Guest blog by Jane Evans
For too many years myths have existed about how children, especially young ones, are affected by living with chaos, fear and unpredictability in their home life.
“They were young they will get over it” “They never saw anything”
However, science and research have now blown all of this out of the water! See here
In fact, it turns out that we need to offer the most robust trauma informed support to the youngest children as soon as possible, which can seem daunting to practitioners, parents and carers alike.
When I was a parenting worker for a domestic abuse organisation I worked with parents and children post abuse that were deeply traumatised, unable to put their experiences into words and were in crisis. This has been a pattern for much of my working life over the past 20 years so when I found myself setting up my own business, post redundancy in the funding crisis, it seemed time to write the book I had in my heart and head to try and address some of this sadness and anxiety in the children and their parents and carers. Baby Bear was ‘born’ and has now been published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers!
Since the publication of my gentle story book and guide, I have overwhelmed by the different ways people are using it and reacting to it. For example, reading it to a group of women post domestic abuse at a Freedom Programme, buying it for themselves as they were Baby Bear, donating it to schools and domestic abuse organisations via #donateBabyBear on Twitter, using it in play therapy, counselling, the assessment process and to support children who just need to find words for feelings for a wide range of reasons.
Some tweets (@janeparenting) I have received:
thank you for such a wonderful resource! Very emotional when reading it with my daughter tonight. Thank you xx
love your book jane am taking to read with one if my #playtherapy #children tomoro v relevant for him
We plan to highlight your book to nursery SENCOs at clusters next week – should reach about 150 nursery settings #BabyBear
At my recent book launch people from some of the 5 settings I donated a copy of How are you feeling today Baby Bear? to, told everyone that they had been Baby Bear when they were little which was deeply moving. Mandy Thomas, the mother of X Factor runner up Jahmene Douglas, was interviewed by BBC Wiltshire Radio and said how much she wished this book had been available for her children post domestic violence.
Baby Bear meets Teddy Bear
This week I attended a conference on attachment and trauma in Glasgow, the keynote speaker was Dr Suzanne Zeedyk. She eloquently and expertly talked about the vital role of attachment in early childhood and how it can be fractured by exposure to trauma. Suzanne takes the most complex subjects and reduces them to accessible and memorable concepts. She explained attachment and trauma in terms of the threat from a sabre tooth tiger and an inner teddy bear.
Ping! A light bulb moment where I saw the links between Baby Bear being there to grow and create Dr Zeedyk’s inner Teddy Bear to build attachment. I realised that this is a subconscious message in and from my book and it’s not only about enabling children to have reduced anxiety, mental and physical illness and distress but is also a gentle tool for parents and carers post trauma to build attachment with a traumatised child.
So now I have additional unexpected perspectives and understanding of the power of a book like How are you feeling today Baby Bear? It is a most humbling and invigorating journey of discovery and I look forward very much to hearing about how you plan to use, or the reactions you get, to Baby Bear in your work and life.
Read further about Baby Bear
To purchase your own Baby Bear follow the Amazon advert on the right of the blog.
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