23 September 2020

Over the past few years, I’ve started wearing reading glasses. It started when one day I looked at the back of the ibuprofen bottle to determine if I should take one pill or two for my headache and couldn’t read the label. I decided there was something wrong with the label and handed it to my husband for a second look. Guess what? There was nothing wrong with the label. Rather, it was the ‘lens’ through which I was viewing it. Sometimes our eyes need help with ‘lenses’ to see more clearly. So...

15 September 2020

Maine Children’s Home has special expertise in providing trauma-based treatment and support for families. We’re pleased to offer Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (or TBRI®) trainings for parents, caregivers and professionals. Trust Based Relational Intervention® or TBRI® is an emerging model used for a range of childhood needs, with particular focus on children who have experienced trauma. Our TBRI® Caregiver Primer – offered three times Sept. to Nov. -- provides an introduction and overview...

01 September 2020

Don’t we wish parenting/caregiving came with a handbook? "If your/a child says/does this, it is best to respond with ______." Wouldn’t that be lovely? But seriously, in times of struggle or even just tired days, I’m sure we all wish we had some standard lines that we know could always be helpful/useful. What we have found is that using short phrases or what we call in Trust-Based Relational Intervention land are “life value terms” or recently described in the book The Connected Parent, “scripts...

12 August 2020

As parents and caregivers, we always want the absolute best for our kids. We innately know the amazing things they are capable of and set high goals/expectations for them. After all, we know they can be SO amazing. We sometimes subconsciously set the bar high the first thing in the morning, trying to set that mood for the day. So, what happens when we see those expectations are not being met? We ask more of them, knowing they can do better. Except, what happens when we feel like a broken record...

31 July 2020

This week Jordan spends time talking about when and how to apologize to your children and why that apology is important. Weekly vlogs are done by Jordan Shaw, graduate intern for the Turner Family Counseling Center.

30 July 2020

If you’ve ever had a moment, or maybe lots of moments, where you felt you just bombed as a parent, and you really started to wonder “Am I worth a darn? The most important job I have in life and I can’t even get it right with my parenting?” At The Connected Community at The Maine Children’s Home, we want you to push a pause button right there and tell yourself, “I am worthy. I am worthy just by virtue of being human - all human beings are worthy of being seen, heard and valued.” Please know this...

24 July 2020

This week Jordan talks about appropriate conversations to have around your children. As adults, who have to have very grown-up conversations about tough things we often don't think about tempering what we talk about and when but it's important to consider the fact that children are very concrete thinkers and hearing hard things can be very challenging for a young child. Weekly vlogs are done by Jordan Shaw, graduate intern for the Turner Family Counseling Center.

23 July 2020

Those famous words, “You can't pour from an empty cup” Self-care. We all know the importance of it, we all desire it, and we are told often and seeing more often the information about how it can be helpful to us when caring for others, especially as parents caregivers grandparents, etc. of kiddos with extra needs. But how does one do self-care during a pandemic? Especially when our “community” and support systems are likely not as available. We typically might have 2-3 hours while our littlest...

20 July 2020

The phone system for The Maine Children’s Home has been damaged and a number of our phone connections are not working. We are working with our repair team but will not be able to make all updates and repairs until we receive new equipment tomorrow afternoon. We expect to have our phone system repaired by the end of the day tomorrow (7/21). In the meantime, most of our voicemail systems are working so you can leave messages. Clients of the Turner Family Counseling Center may use the numbers you...

17 July 2020

This week Jordan answers a parent question: "how do I show equal attention to all of my children?" Jordan dives into why it's important to show your children equal attention and give you a trick to navigating multiple children competing for your time. Weekly vlogs are done by Jordan Shaw, graduate intern for the Turner Family Counseling Center.

15 July 2020

Wouldn’t it be nice if children came with instruction manuals? TBRI® and Dr. Karyn Purvis have discussed the I.D.E.A.L. response to help parents with teaching children about learning how to interact appropriately with others. The IDEAL response stands for: Immediate, within 3 seconds. Direct, Be near the child and make eye-contact, model how you want them to respond. Efficient, responding to “low” level behaviors with low-level responses, catching it low and not reacting to low-level behaviors...

09 July 2020

We know that parenting or caring for children from hard places requires a very specific set of parenting skills that may require modifying the way you are programmed to parent or care for children. Perhaps you have closely modeled your caregiving or parenting style to that of your own parents or maybe someone else in your life whom you greatly admired. Being mindful or self-aware of your caregiving style is the first step toward positively reshaping the challenging behavior of children who have...

24 June 2020

As adults we are navigating many of the most difficult times we have seen in decades, and now as parents/caregivers, we are looking for more language, words, resources, tools, etc. to teach our children about all the happenings around them. Children often learn through play, through experience, and through us as parents/caregivers. We have had the honor of staying connected to one of the amazing girls we have helped welcome into her forever home from her birth country of China. At a young age...

19 June 2020

One of the most important things that contribute to our well-being and to the well-being of our children is finding large and small things to be grateful for each day. This week, Jordan talks about the importance of this short, but important act and explains a little bit about why it's important. Weekly vlogs are done by Jordan Shaw, graduate intern for the Turner Family Counseling Center.

18 June 2020

Children who come from hard places such as early trauma, abuse, and neglect, have different ways of responding behaviorally than children who were given a healthy start with a parent or caregiver who responded to their needs appropriately and consistently. When children who do not have an attentive, attuned parent or caregiver who, for example, does not respond when they cry as an infant or young child, who may leave them unattended in their crib, or unfed, unchanged, or physically or...

12 June 2020

Apologizing when we do something that hurts someone else is one of the most important things we teach children. This week Jordan talks about two things to keep in mind when teaching our children to say "I'm sorry." Weekly vlogs are done by Jordan Shaw, graduate intern for the Turner Family Counseling Center.

11 June 2020

Parents and Caregivers of the World! Do you ever feel the need to have just a moment (or two or three) to yourselves to pause, regroup, refresh, and recharge those caregiving batteries? We here at The Connected Community at The Maine Children’s Home have some amazing friends and colleagues at the Halo Project in Oklahoma, who’ve shared this wonderful video on a strategy to use when needing to take a break and get some much needed time to oneself - not easily done in these COVID-19 times! We’d...

06 June 2020

Right now, for a child, the news can sound and look scary. Fundamentally what they need is to know that the significant adults in their lives love them and will do everything they can to keep them safe. This week, Jordan talks about how to talk to your child about the police brutality, protests, and riots they are seeing in the news and hearing the significant adults in their lives talk about. Weekly vlogs are done by Jordan Shaw, graduate intern for the Turner Family Counseling Center.

29 May 2020

Chores are a great way to include your child in the running of your household, they help a child contribute to the household and take pride in being a part of a family. This week Jordan talks about a couple of things to keep in mind while encouraging your child to take on chores. Weekly vlogs are done by Jordan Shaw, graduate intern for the Turner Family Counseling Center.

28 May 2020

Sometimes as parents we do not understand our children. This is especially true for children from “hard places” as they have experienced horrific things that have deeply affected them. This can make connecting with our children very difficult. As others from the Connected Community @ MCH have said, allowing kids to make choices, giving them redos, teaching them about respect, and how to regulate their emotions will help our children to have an increase in felt safety. Children today like a...

26 May 2020

We recently celebrated Mother’s Day and as always, my thoughts are focused on the joy of being a mom and gratitude for the woman who made me a Mama when she chose me to parent her son. Mother’s Day can be both a day of great joy and a day filled with complex feelings for many women. There are those who have challenging relationships with their mothers and those whose mothers have died. There are those who have had children die, had miscarriages, and those who had to face the tough decision to...

22 May 2020

Discipline can be a tricky subject because everyone has a unique opinion on how to set limits for children and hold them accountable when they breach those limits. This week I talk about setting those limits and some things to keep in mind when having to discipline children. Weekly vlogs are done by Jordan Shaw, graduate intern for the Turner Family Counseling Center.

20 May 2020

Oh boy, here comes the million-dollar question: How can you proactively convey effective, important life values without a long drawn out lecture and the subsequent fear of being ‘tuned out’ by your child? You could try using consistent short questions or statements with a playful or neutral tone to reshape behavior. Ideally, these concise phrases have big meanings and they give parents, caregivers, and children the language to communicate, understand, and learn valuable life skills. The goal is...

18 May 2020

There are many ways to create a family. There is the traditional path that looks something like boy meets girl, boy marries girl, boy and girl have children. It is a beautiful path to parenthood and one that no one really questions. There may be questions around timing but not questions related to the path of creating your family. Straying from the traditional path can happen for lots of reasons-simple desire to do things differently, sexual orientation, gender identity, health issues, age, or...

15 May 2020

This week's vlog topic comes straight from a parent. Our kids are mad and sad because they're grieving the loss of their normal lives. It is normal for them to be angry about not being able to see their friends and teachers. It is our job as parents to normalize their feelings, offer comfort, and share with them the good things that they can do, like spending extra time with you. Weekly vlogs are done by Jordan Shaw, graduate intern for the Turner Family Counseling Center.

14 May 2020

Do you ever wish you could do something over? Like, get a second chance, a "re-do”? Do it. Try giving yourself grace and try again. These times are stressful. Maybe you find yourself being more impatient, frustrated - try to stay presently mindful and notice it. Take a breath, ask to start over and try again. Or just give yourself a re-do. Maybe you snap back at your spouse or child with a voice that seems frustrated - ask for a re-do, a try again. This will not be easy to do, to be vulnerable...

08 May 2020

At this point in the school year, children are probably feeling a bit defeated by all of the rapid changes. This feeling can make it difficult to focus and difficult to figure out school work. This week Jordan talks about a small but powerful word: YET. Why the word is important and simple ways to incorporate it into ours and our children's approach to living in the midst of a pandemic. Weekly vlogs are done by Jordan Shaw, graduate intern for the Turner Family Counseling Center.

07 May 2020

Children from ‘hard places’ such as those experiencing abusive and traumatic experiences have had little power to control what is happening in their lives. Powerlessness and hopelessness are unfortunately much more the norm than having their thoughts, feelings, and needs heard by a safe, trusted adult caregiver. One of the most powerful gifts we can give children who have not had the experience of voicing their needs and being heard is to give them choice. Offering a child the choice of “would...

01 May 2020

It is easy to always focus on the things that are children are not doing right, this week, though Jordan explores things to keep in mind around offering criticism and praise. It is always important to accentuate the positive things your children are doing for all kinds of reasons. The biggest one, though, is that your voice can become their internal voice and can influence their self-esteem later on. Weekly vlogs are done by Jordan Shaw, graduate intern for the Turner Family Counseling Center.

30 April 2020

🎵 It always feels like somebody’s watching me 🎵 Parents, it probably does always feel like “Somebody’s Watching You” as the truth is, someone always is! Your children are watching and learning through behavior that you model- good, not so good, and everything in between. It always brings a smile to see a little one walking alongside their mom or dad, and you can see the physical movement, body position, often facial expression, and so on, matches pretty well what their parent or caregiver is...

28 April 2020

I was asked recently if I would be willing to write something for an adoption blog “as an adoptive mother”- things I wish I knew before I adopted my child. What immediately went through my mind were the very words used in the request “as an adoptive mother.” I am the type of person who LOVES that my child is adopted and LOVES the title of adoptive mom. While in so many ways I am a mom like every other mother out there who has birthed their child, adoption also changes what being a mother looks...

25 April 2020

Self-care is important and while we’re trying to help our children manage their emotions it is important to pay attention to our own needs. This week, Jordan Shaw, graduate intern at the Turner Family Counseling Center, spends some time talking about self-care, what it is, and why it’s important.

23 April 2020

How’s your engine running? A strange question to ask your child, right? Well, not really. Lots of young children have been exposed at school to similar concepts which are simple ways of helping children figure out if “their engine” is running in the blue (low energy or even sad), green (just the right amount of energy, feeling good), or red (super high energy, or even mad/angry). Truly, this is a great help in teaching a child the skill of noticing how one is doing- am I low energy or even sad...

17 April 2020

In this weekly vlog series, Jordan Shaw, graduate intern at our Turner Family Counseling Center, talks about the importance of schedules, spending time outdoors, and reassuring parents that they are, in fact, doing a great job, even though they may not get it right one hundred percent of the time.

16 April 2020

One of the things that may surprise you is that band-aids can be a truly magical healing tool - it’s almost like you can’t have enough of them in your parenting toolkit. We know from our own experiences as children that when we fall down and someone notices our ‘outside hurt’ (scrape, cut, etc) and offers to help with a band-aid, this is a powerful act of care. An interesting off-shoot of this is, sometimes band-aids are helpful and necessary for ‘inside hurts’ as well. When a child has an...

09 April 2020

Safety: A feeling. Or as we call it, Felt Safety... We all know about keeping our children safe: keeping a roof over their heads, putting food in their bellies, giving them lots of fresh water to drink, keeping the doors locked at night, not taking candy from strangers, washing hands. This is physical safety for sure, and we can help children know logically that they are safe. But what about emotional safety? How do we help our kids know in their hearts- their whole beings - that they are truly...

08 April 2020

In this week's video, Jordan Shaw, intern at Turner Family Counseling Center, talks about the importance of schedules both for you and your child; and, what to do if, after creating one, you completely blow your schedule.

29 March 2020

In this week's video, Jordan Shaw, graduate intern at Turner Family Counseling Center, talks about the importance of meeting your child where they're at, briefly touch on schedules and remind you of something that I hope you already know.