Nurturing the Heart of a Child.
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I'm Dr. Barbara Sorrels -  a mom, grandmother, child development specialist, and served as University Professor, Children's Pastor, teacher, and consultant.
When you understand some basics of child development, parenting becomes less mysterious and more wondrous.
As founder of the Institute for Childhood Education, we're helping parents, teachers, & child care facilities create nurturing environments.
Child development is amazing, and a glimpse into the mind of our Creator. I'm here to help you nurture your children, grandchildren, and the kids you care for. Read more →

Biting is a behavior that can cause a great deal of angst in parents and teachers alike. There are several reasons for biting at different stages of development. 

Babies may bite when they are teething or exploring. I have heard parents make silly, affectionate statements like, “I love you so much, I could just eat you up,” and they proceed to pretend to gobble the child up. The baby then imitates the parent’s behavior.

Babies are also learning that they can make things happen. They may bite simply to see the reaction that they get from another child.

With toddlers it is different. I have learned over the years that one of the primary reasons toddlers bite is not enough gross motor activity. I know this sounds strange but the brain and body innately know what is needed to grow and develop in healthy ways. Toddlers are made to climb, run, roll, jump, kick and throw balls. When we don’t meet their needs in appropriate ways, they will get what they need one way or the other. Biting or “chomping” is a form of deep muscle stimulation.

To date, 13 child care centers have reported to me that they have shut down biting in their toddler classrooms when they follow my advice to provide things to climb on, things to crawl through, things to roll over, play dough, rhythm band instruments, and more outdoor play. Sometimes it is as little as getting a little Tykes slide and letting children pull themselves up the incline. Letting them snack on beef jerky (or similar) is also helpful.

When children move beyond the toddler years, they may bite due to lack of language and social skills. Children with language delay are often left out of play. Their frustration leads them to bite because they have no words to communicate their wishes and needs.

Giving them the right words and behaviors to ask for what they need, invite someone to play, say “no” in friendly manner and solve conflict can de-escalate the biting.

 

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Podcast #11: 

Today we’re talking about “healing insecure attachment.”    

Listen here: 

OR – Listen and subscribe in  iTunes  or  Stitcher

Print this Nurture Notes PDF:   Nurture Notes – Dr. Barbara Sorrels – Podcast 11

We love hearing from you!  Please feel free to send us any questions that arise after listening to our podcast and hopefully we can answer yours on a future question and answer podcast!  Email us at nurturingtheheartofachild@gmail.com

Please share this post with your friends!

Krista and Dr. Barbara


Episode 11- Healing Insecure Attachment

We have spent the last few episodes in our attachment series explaining the different types of insecure attachment.  So far we have discussed avoidant and ambivalent attachment patterns.  

Before we move on to the last couple of attachment patterns, we felt an urgency to offer hope.  

There is healing for those who have been reflecting on their own history as far as pattern of attachment as well as those who recognize these patterns in their relationships with their children now.  Today we are going to talk about how to heal 

So what do you do when you realize that maybe you have unresolved issues that may impact your parenting?

Self-reflection and awareness

Make sense of your own story—never to blame but to understand

Understand the people, the experiences and life circumstances that have shaped our view of ourselves, others, our value, our choices and our responses in life.

One of the most important questions we can ask is “Why do I do what I do?”

Most specifically, why do I relate to my child the way that I do?

The avoidant parent is dismissive.

Why am I dismissive?

  • Chances are there were life circumstances where maybe you were not wanted, not seen, not allowed to speak the truth.  
  • Chances are you were dismissed as a child.  By whom was I dismissed and why? 

The ambivalent parent is preoccupied.

Why am I preoccupied?

  • So preoccupied with their own needs, desires, etc. Their own neediness fill them.

Coming to recognize areas where your own needs weren’t met—everyone does the best they can with what they know –when we know more we do better

Recognize your past if this describes you as a loss and to grieve that loss.  Find forgiveness for those people who were a part of that loss.  Remember that those people did what they did out of their own brokenness.

No parent is perfect.  We all do the best can with what we know. 

If I’m dismissive:

-communicate that sense of being wanted.  Be a student of your child.  Learn them- what makes them sad, happy, etc.  Be attuned to their emotions and respond in a way that is supportive and not rejecting.  

-Looking for ways to communicate “I take great delight in you.”

Examples:

Trouble with physical touch- start with playful touch.

Carving out time.

If you’re preoccupied- get away with your child to be able to focus.

Say no to more things.  Make adjustments in your life to manage your own stress and carve out time for your kids.  

So what about post-partum?

Recognize your child’s whininess as a fear of losing you.

Repair what was damaged.

Always leave with an affectionate goodbye. Never leave them without saying goodbye.  Leave them a symbol of you like a bracelet or a special picture.

Communicate to your child that I hold you in mind.  I saw this…and thought of you. 

Thank you to those of you who have taken the time to give us a rating and review on iTunes!  Means so much to us!  If you haven’t done that would you mind taking a minute to do so. It really helps other people find our podcast!  –>  iTunes  

 


 

New book for parents!

Nurturing Healthy Attachment: Building Parent-Child Connections to Last a Lifetime

Pre-Order paperback here

 

 

Podcast #10: 

Attachment is my absolute favorite topic – because it can change your family!

Today we’re talking about “ambivalent  attachment.”    

Listen here: 

 

OR – Listen and subscribe in  iTunes  or  Stitcher

Print this Nurture Notes PDF: Nurture Notes – Dr. Barbara Sorrels – Podcast 10

We love hearing from you!  Please feel free to send us any questions that arise after listening to our podcast and hopefully we can answer yours on a future question and answer podcast!  Email us at nurturingtheheartofachild@gmail.com

Please share this post with your friends!

Krista and Dr. Barbara

This is part four in our series on attachment.  If you missed our prior episodes, we would encourage you to go back and listen to Episodes 5, 7, and 8 to understand what we mean by attachment, what secure attachment looks like.

What are the Characteristics of the parents who are creating an ambivalent child?

Preoccupied and inconsistent

  • Unable to provide the consistency of care children need to thrive
  • Don’t have the emotional resources to consistently meet the needs of the child
  • Often misinterprets the needs of the child and imposes own needs on them
  • Anxious parent
    • insecure in their parenting ability to the point that the baby’s upset only triggers their own anxiety
    • They are unable to soothe the child as they absorb the baby’s dysregulation
  • Preoccupied parent
    • Overwhelmed by life—finances, divorce, 
    • Preoccupied by technology or a job
    • May be holding their child while playing a game on their cell phone or watching TV.
  • Preoccupied with their own needs
    • Role reversal–Look to the child to meet their needs
    • Child feels unprotected
    • Send very mixed messages—sometimes over protective and at others don’t offer comfort
  • Post-partum depression—inconsistent response—instead of looking into a face of joy and delight looks into the face with no affect

What are the characteristics of The  ambivalent child?

  • Does not soothe in the presence of the parent
  • Cries more at one year of age
  • Exaggerated emotion because never sure of attachment figure will respond
  • Child throws temper tantrums
  • Child is  both demanding and clingy—when mom leaves never sure he will get her back so come unglued when she leaves
  • Hard to please—nothing is ever right
  • Wants to be center of attention—tattles, becomes class clown
  • Predicts being the victim of a bully
  • Predicts addictive behaviors
  • Struggles in relationships with peers—wants things their way, on their terms

 

Thank you to those of you who have taken the time to give us a rating and review on iTunes!  Means so much to us!  If you haven’t done that would you mind taking a minute to do so. It really helps other people find our podcast!  –>  iTunes  

 


 

New book for parents!

Nurturing Healthy Attachment: Building Parent-Child Connections to Last a Lifetime

Pre-Order paperback here

 


 

I just returned from leading a wonderful two-day program, (see below) where I helped teachers and childcare workers understand how to help children who have experienced trauma.

If your community or church would like to host a seminar on trauma, parenting, or any other child development topic, please contact me and let’s discuss.

Continuing education credit is available for some topics. 

 

 


Order my new book, Nurturing Healthy Attachment!

Pre-Order here