Through TBRI®’s Empowering Principles, we are able to address a child’s physical needs by concentrating on their safety and health.
Many of the clients our ministries serve come from traumatic situations and our priority is to provide them with a feeling of “felt safety.” Children from hard places often have a difficult time actually feeling safe in their everyday lives, which can make them feel uncomfortable and seem unpredictable. As adults, we want to help regulate the child’s environment. We do this by introducing predictability through a daily routine and allowing for smooth, notifiable transitions of change in their environment (i.e. letting them know ahead of time what will happen next, notifying them when you leave the room, letting them know when you’ll return, etc.). By allowing children to feel secure in this way, we can help strengthen their grip on the ups and downs of life itself.
It’s also important to help children have healthy minds and bodies. To foster a healthy mind, we encourage “safe touch” and sensory input. “Safe touch” means kneeling to look the child directly in the eyes and showing affection in a gentle, mindful way. A touch on the shoulder, a hug, or a held hand can work wonders for improving a child’s mental health. When children are offered a safe, nurturing touch, it lets them feel loved and cared for, and this can change the way they behave in return. Sensory input gives a child the chance to use their senses and lets them have a mental break. They can go outside to touch the grass, smell the breeze, stick their hands in the sand, or dip their feet in the creek, all of which help them feel familiar with their environment and enjoy their surroundings. To foster healthy bodies, we try to make sure a child drinks plenty of water and has a nutrient-rich diet. Both of these things are essential for their physical and emotional well-being.
By utilizing the TBRI® Empowering Principles, we are able to set the scene for healthy, positive interactions with children from hard places. If you’d like to learn more about the TBRI® Empowering Principles, below is a great resource for you to watch!