Relationship regulates, repairs and builds resilience
Current trauma research indicates that experiencing loss, abuse, and neglect in early life can overwhelm a young child’s brain and nervous system. As they grow, they may express their difficult histories unconsciously through “difficult” behaviours and “difficulties” in present relationships.
This is a completely NORMAL adaptation to ABNORMAL experiences in early life, but it is a challenge for parents and teachers as well as the child. We encourage adults to think of behaviour as language signalling a relationship need rather than defiance or manipulation. It can help to think of how the, “the body keeps the score”* because even children too young to remember or talk about their history will hold those memories in their body and act upon them.
*The phrase comes from Bessel van der Kolk’s book of the same name, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma.