connected parenting, TBRI

TBRI basics: proactive strategies

Over the next weeks, I’ll be sharing the basics of Trust-Based Relational Intervention®, an attachment-based trauma-informed intervention designed for kids who have experienced trauma. I believe they’re useful for all children, for educators, for churches, and more. We use this principles in our home, and I just love them. 

Proactive strategies are used as playful opportunities to teach desired behaviors, especially through role plays and pretend play. First, practice the behavior exhibited in a negative manner. Then, practice the positive reaction. Change it up by having a parent or caregiver as the child and then reverse. Life value terms (using gentle hands, asking permission) can also be taught though play, too. Social stories — a written or recited narrative of the desire behavior — could also fit into this categories. These are effective when used outside of stressful times for our kids, well in advance of seeing the difficult behavior. 

Life value terms example: Use rough hands with a stuffed animal, then use gentle hands. Ask for permission to spray someone with silly string.

Role play example: Your child struggles with calmly going upstairs when it’s time to get ready for bed. Practice first with lots of whining and foot-stomping and dragging. Then practice with what you want to see: Kids happily skipping up the stairs for bed.

Social story example: Take pictures of your child playing, then walking up the stairs with a smile, then changing into pajamas. Stick them into Word or glue them onto paper with a narrative story. “Jenny likes playing. When it’s 7 pm, Mommy asks Jenny to come upstairs to get ready for bed. Jenny walks up the stairs happily. Jenny puts on her pajamas and read stories with Mommy.”

trust based relational intervention tbri proactive strategies

More about TBRI here.

Derived from Purvis, Karyn B. et al. “Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI): A Systemic Approach to Complex Developmental Trauma.” Child & Youth Services 34.4 (2013): 360–386. PMC. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.


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