Billy Moffle’s Straight Lines – coming soon!

The second picture book in the Moffle series, Billy Moffle’s Straight Lines, will be coming out soon now. Here’s what Dan Hughes from the Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Institute has to say about it – we’re so happy he’s a Moffles fan!

Have a look around the website & you’ll find other Moffle stories & resources free to download.

The first Moffle picture book, Tippy Moffle’s Mirror, is available to buy & also available on the website as a free audio download.

The Moffles have been written for care experienced children with relational trauma & the adults who love & care for them.

Explosive situation? A&E response!

Sometimes I hear, ‘My child was exploding & PACE just made it worse!’ If you’re having a difficult moment with your child & they are becoming increasingly upset or angry, try to hold your confidence that your PACE-ful attitude (playfulness, acceptance, curiosity & empathy) can help. You just don’t need to use it all at once!

At tricky times when a child is going into fight/flight mode, you might find it helpful to ‘think A&E’. Focus on your acceptance & empathy & try not to ask your child too many questions.

Acceptance & empathy can help a child to feel safe & understood & this may help them to calm down.

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PAWS – a simple script for when things go wrong

Understandably, I’ve often heard from parents, carers & teachers that it can be hard to think of what to say, especially in the heat of the moment, that will put the ‘two handed’ relational approach to discipline (PACE-fulness on the one hand, alongside structure, boundaries & natural consequences on the other), into action.

Here’s a simple script that provides a structure for addressing challenging behaviour with a child, whilst still conveying that you care about them. There are a couple of examples given for each of the steps outlined.

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Brain Calming Activities – the 6 R’s

Children’s learning & their social and emotional development is built on a foundation of bodily awareness and coordination. This comes from good care early in life, & a rich variety of movement and sensory experiences. Children with relational trauma & a history of neglect & abuse, have often missed out on these important, early sensory experiences.

Relational trauma & big gaps in body control, lead to a child’s brain staying on high alert, & their body primed for fight, flight, or freeze. This makes it hard for them to process their thoughts & feelings or to manage their behaviour.

It’s possible to go back and fill in the gaps, by encouraging certain activities & movement. Repeated patterns of movement are good for building new connections within the child’s brain & helping their body to learn that it is safe.

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Learn to be a Brain Whisperer!

Remember any ‘challenging behaviour’ we see begins in the child’s brain stem, the reptilian brain. Until we learn to think of ourselves as ‘brain whisperers’ – arousal regulators rather than behaviour managers –   the child will not be able to learn, no matter how good the teacher is!

A child’s brain organises from the bottom up, & the higher brain region (the corticol brain, or thinking part of the brain) cannot work properly if a child has become over reliant on their lower brain regions – the limbic brain & brain stem.

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Stories remind us we are not alone

Stories remind us that we are not alone. They create opportunities to explore, remember & forget, without fear. They give us hope to imagine different endings and better possible worlds.

  For children especially, the natural language for expressing feeling is through images & stories. It is so important to find ways to help our children articulate their stories & understand them.  We know that one of the indicators of good mental health is being able to hold a coherent narrative about your life – a joined up story that expresses the thoughts, feelings & motives of self & others in the story.

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Social Work Week 2022

Alone we can do so little but together we can do so much. A big thank you to all the social workers out there, supporting families & helping to keep our most vulnerable children safe & cared for. As the Dalai Lama said, it is not enough to be compassionate – you must act. Here’s to all the social workers who advocate for the most marginalised & vulnerable people in our society, acting to make a difference in the lives of so many.