You’re listening to Together by AGCI. I’m Melisa Rush.
I’m so excited about our conversation with David Randall, AGCI’s Director of Social Services today. We’re talking about all things TBRI®; what it is, how to begin implementing it, and why it’s an incredibly powerful tool for caregivers. If this is your first introduction to TBRI® and know you’re going to want to know more, Families Are Forever an incredible online learning platform for parents, has classes specifically on TBRI®. So definitely check those out. Okay, let’s get into our conversation.
Thank you, David, so much for joining us. I’m so excited to learn more about TBI® and just so grateful for the opportunity to have you share your wisdom here. Can you just start by, for people who don’t know, what is Trust-Based Relational Intervention? What is TBRI®?
All right. So as you just mentioned, so TBRI stands for trust based relational intervention and what it is, is an attachment based treatment for an intervention that we use. And basically what it is, is designed to meet the complex needs of children, plural children by using TBRI. Right. Debray has what we call three principles that go along with that.
We have the empowering principle, which is to address the physical and environmental needs of the child. We have what we call the connective principle, which is to meet the attachment needs of the child. And what we have the correct in principle, which is to disarm fear based behaviors of the child. So all that is, say, what I like to say in more basic terms is really about how we interact with children.
It really is that like that across cross, like I said, that dance that we do when a child has a need, how we respond to it. So it’s that interaction that connection that we have with our children. Mm hmm. Thank you for explaining that, because I know that’s a term that we toss around all the time and kind of just assume people know what it is and most people don’t know what that is.
So how did you get involved with TBR? I think what can you just kind of walk me through? Like how you first learned about it and why you decided to have it be such an important part of your work? Definitely. So it all started maybe about seven years ago. My wife and I, we were foster parents and, you know, we were getting we knew what we were getting into, but not really.
You know, when you get your license and everything else, you know, this play and things, but they don’t really tell you the reality of things. When you’re working with children that have a history. Right. So we were literally we although I was a teacher at the time and my wife was a teacher also previously, we just we have behaviors in our home that we just didn’t know how to handle.
Like we were, you know, dealing with a lot of different issues and, you know, children coming in and out of our home. And you get to a point that we just didn’t know what to do. So it was actually my wife. She was reading a blog and I can’t remember exactly the blog name, but she was doing a blog and the lady either wrote a blog mentioned TBI.
Right. In her blog. So when I came home from work, my wife said, you know, you should look into this thing called TBI, right? It sounds really interesting. Maybe something that we can utilize. So I went that night and I got on the computer, literally got it, read it. And it’s got a two labels got a light up when I was reading it because I was like, you know, this is something that personally as foster parents, we definitely can use.
But I mentioned I was also working as a teacher in a know in a reservation. And we were we deal with a lot of behaviors. Awesome. And I was like, this is something I could just use professionally in my work. Yeah. So honestly, I saw that that was that night. It was the application to become a TV practitioner.
So without even enough thought that I would fill out the application, I don’t even know how all this was going to be called or how it’s going to happen. If I was going to get accepted and I applied for it and I went to work the next day and explained to my director like, I feel we need to take care of these social, emotional needs of our children.
I come from a generation of trauma and I think this is going to be our tools to do this if we are able to our family to get into the program and they say yes. And I was like, and I accept that also, and that’s how my work started, really. So once I took all the course where I became a practitioner, I started playing with my wife and I was just we were watching Liberty’s already previously.
We already started using it and we just really started using it within within our own family dynamics. And then I started using it to work with the community that I was working at. And we’re able to see the changes. We were able to see the transformation of the children. We were able to see that as time went by.
It didn’t happen magically. You know, it took time as we became practicing more and how we interact with the children, how we respond if they’re reactive how we view things. There was a lot of work on our part too, but we saw the changes and really that’s how I was like, This is it, you know? This is so not only that personally, and within my classroom, within my program, I became director of special education, but we started playing it within the community, what I was working at, and it just went from there.
And that’s how I really got involved. Wow. That’s right. That’s amazing that you you I mean, it started from a blog that you just like the information that you, you know, whatever you and your wife kind of passed out of that in one evening. You were like, I feel like this could really make a difference both personally and professionally.
I’m going to become a TV, our eye practitioner. That’s like a pretty big move. Yeah. One thing I was convinced for the whole from day one, when I read all the information, I was just like I felt, this is why we need it, because we had a teacher, you know, like I said, game and an education career. And we had tried so many different behaviorist said rewards and concept koans.
They said, you know, let’s try this and that. And like, it just wasn’t working for the children, you know, it just wasn’t working with the kids that we were fostering. And it’s just like we were really know. We said it was like, what else, you know, do we stop being foster parents? Do we just not do this? Yeah.
So, yeah, so we believe from day one when we looked into it, that’s awesome. And something that’s so, you know, I think compelling about TBI and that for people who maybe are skeptical about like, oh, another, you know, method of parenting or working with kids because there are so many, you know, theories out there, of course. But the research behind TBI, it is so solid.
Can you kind of talk about some of the research and history behind TBI? And maybe maybe that was part of what convinced you that it was a good, you know, path for your family and also professionally. Yeah. So what it was it was founded by Dr. David Cross and Dr. Karen Purpose. So they are the founders of TBI.
Right. So started over over a decade ago, almost two decades ago, where basically then TBI together. Dr. Cross literally was following around that recurring purpose, taking notes, because she was a natural person, like with the kids as you were acting and and taking notes. And this is where really the foundation of it started, right? Like how the kids were responding to care purpose and of course, they were reading a lot of research, like keeps the score from the clerk of the House about three pillars.
So they took all that information in. Right. And now what they did is because they actually well, is there is this adopted mother so they were that also with behavior or something they just didn’t know how to do that contacted Dr. Cross and he was collecting this information and they decided to create a camp for for these children from this mice.
So they brought these mothers together that were just concerned. And this over the top, the children and they clear this gap and they saw what this and don’t quote me on this, I think it was about two weeks. I’m not sure this active and I don’t want to put that right. No, worries. No worries. So what the level in the camp this so that there was some effects from that at the end of the camp there so that the children have were able to regulate themselves more or less behaviors.
So that’s when they really start taking note of that. And then they started doing a lot of research on it. On attachment of and that’s where TBI. Right. Really found that out off from from the work that our doctor Carol purpose and Dr. Cross did back through the camp that they did. So that’s how it all really started.
And obviously, it is evidence based practice that we’re using here. But it really just came out from from them working together and just interacting with the children and just putting all this research. So at the time that was together, that was created from. So it’s interesting to be here I was when it started out and they kind of began to see those changes.
And gosh, two weeks, that’s pretty incredible. That’s a really short amount of time, right, to see changes in kids or anyone. But it was intended for adopted children. But now I mean, it really it’s for everyone, right? I mean, like TBI is not just for adopted or foster kids. It’s it’s applicable for all people, really. Exactly. So yes, exactly.
So I started it really from adopted foster children and they wrote the book to connect the child and integrate the child. The book that they wrote talks about adopted foster families. But now the application is everywhere. I used it personally in the schools right now with HCI with all God’s children, traditional, we use it in all financial institutions at the government level.
We use it in its use in juvenile centers, at residential centers, in hospice roles, in classrooms, foster parents, biological parents. So it really is anywhere you can think there’s a child, it can be used it’s been proven to be that you can apply in any type of atmosphere or location, which is awesome. Can you talk about how so we talk about changes yes.
What does that mean? Like how can TBI change outcomes for kids? Now, when I say transformation or changes, yeah, it’s like I said, it’s a relational way, right? How we relate to children is how we respond to them, how we interact with them. So the way so I see two different ways on how these psychologists first we started to a transformation of our own as the caregivers.
And when I say the word caregivers, I mean any person that has a child in front of whether you’re a biological parent, a foster parent, an adoptive parent, whether you’re a teacher, a nurse, it doesn’t matter to me if you have a child in front of you, you are a caregiver. The research with a transformation within ourselves first.
Mm hmm. Right. Because we start viewing the child with a different lens. We start abusing them as these behaviors that we are confronted by, that we are experiencing are still seen as that what we call the disobedience alliance that they’re doing on purpose to push our buttons. I see that as their survival lens for that. This is how the child is surviving because of their history.
Right. So versus a change within me or how I view what’s been presented in front of me. Mm hmm. And with retreat, right? We get those strategies. We get those tools on how I provide healing for these children. I provide those tools so they’re able to receive healing from us. Mm hmm. The other aspect, that biggest part here also is the outcomes for the children is not only within the tools, they’re also getting the tools themselves.
On how they regulate their bodies, because it’s not just about the behaviors, all these other things behind the behavior. Right. You have to take into account their body, their brain, their beliefs, their biology and their behaviors. Right. So all these things is brain healing, but they learn those tools also themselves. They can regulate themselves so they can feel safe on how I respond.
So instead of using this survival skill, I have learned through my experiences in time, how do I do it in a different appropriate way? Right. So the activities that they learn, because all this I mentioned, this is attachment based, right? Mm hmm. It’s this dance that we play. These respond because this is attachment affects our relationship. Yeah. So we start this work with each other because it’s when they become young men, young woman, adults, and they have families of their own or they have relationships with others, whether it’s personal relationships family, friends, friendships, all these relationships that we are surrounded by in our daily basis that they’ll have the skills to maintain those relationships.
And what is a good relationship now to be able to have the tools to care for their children, their future and others. Yeah, and what’s so cool about that is that it’s settings. It’s not just it, it’s not just like a bandaid, right? Like it’s not just changing things that kids are struggling with, whether that’s behaviors or regulation.
It’s not just fixing that for or not fixing, but like, you know, working on the journey of that in that moment, it’s setting kids up throughout the lifecycle to have healthier relationships with themselves, with others, to be able to deal with stress and the uncertainties that life throws at you. And then, you know, potentially depending on what their circumstance is, because as we know, if there’s no intervention, those cycles repeat.
Right? And so then those kids are set up for if they choose to have children in the future, they’re going to be better prepared to parent them in a way that maybe they didn’t receive at a certain point in their life, which is really amazing. Exactly. Exactly that. Can you just give us a scenario where the implementation of or I could completely change an interaction, like maybe for somebody, maybe this isn’t a parent.
Maybe this is someone who’s their interaction with a kid is limited. Maybe it’s a teacher or a nurse, like you said. Could you could you kind of give an example of how you can kind of flip the script in that moment? Yeah, definitely. I can use what from my personal life with my daughter, because even as a teacher, you could actually utilize this in the classroom.
And because I like to use the example, I have used it before on how we change that interaction as we use it. Because I speak in the students or speaking to kids in our care is really how we approach them and how we respond to that moment in that situation. So I always so my daughter, she, I even mention it, but at the beginning I do have seven children, three biological children, four adopted from the health worker, from the foster care system.
Mm hmm. And so my daughter has her own history, right? Mm hmm. And she one of her survival skills is no matter when you asked her a question she always will come out with a lie. It was automatic for her. So she wants to meaning to just lie. Oh, I’m going to lie to Dad. I’m going to lie to her.
So so we might. And so for those that are not that relate to each other, like in the classroom or under your care, we have children that we prefer that, right? Mm hmm. My first response to her will be like, oh, you are a liar. Stop lying to me. That could be a natural response to that is you’re a liar, right?
Just directly focus on her, right? Instead of the behavior Mm hmm. So one way that we implement and liberate attention to our emotion, that lens, I see this as survival skill. Now, instead of her being disobedient being, like, purposely lying to me because she wants to write, even if I’ve seen her do it, you know, she just wants to push my buttons because we can relate this in any setting.
We all a lot of us have been there. Like, we feel like that purposely do it right. So, yeah, absolutely. So before I would be like, oh, you’re a liar. Stop lying. Right. That would be my response. To her. Now, knowing what I know, knowing that this is just an official logical response from her brain. Right. That literally what we call Flipper, her latest with her brain is just like on survival mode at this moment in time.
So why approach instead of focusing on her, what we do is we focus on we level the response at the behavior, not on her. Right. And the behavior. So I change the way I respond to her now. I respond to her. So I’d be like, let’s just seeing her like she left. Let’s just as she left the plate on the table or whatever, if you want in the class or legislator, say you see that book in their bag and they didn’t want to pull it out for whatever reason.
Right. And they say, oh, I don’t have it. I didn’t do it. I didn’t leave the plate. But I just saw you. I see that book there, for example, right? Yeah. So the way I approach, you know, it’s like still calling you a liar and that I’ll be like, oh, OK. I lies hurt people. So now I concentrate, I’m focused on the behavior.
So that’s my actual response. Instead of me calling her a liar, say, hey, lies, hurt people. How are we? Try this again. I’m going to ask you the same question. I want you to take a pause for a minute, for one second. And I want you to because now here’s the teaching part, right? Mm hmm. This is where Deborah is.
We also have teaching in this moment. Right. I’m going to ask you the same question. And I and I see the book there. I see the plate there. You could say, and I might be given the words by the spectator is going to be depending on the child, because we talk about when it’s out of circulation of what they can do in the moment.
Right so I’m going to lower expectations right here. And I might even give them the words. I see you might say that or Mr. Randall, however you want to. Yeah. So once it doesn’t, you know, I might get in the words you’re going to say, hey, Mr. David, our dad. Yes. I left the plate there. Oh, yes. I have my book here.
I’m going to get it out. Are you ready? Let’s try this again. All right. Now, do you leave the plate there or do you have your book with you? So I try to really the simple both ways. Right? And all right. Now, I use the words that I gave you because I tried to teach it appropriate instead of automatically answering with a lie to me, I tried to teach an appropriate.
Well, how’s this? You respond with the truth? Yes, that so that it it’s that whole dynamics of me being like, oh, there it is. I can see it the way they lied to me. And now I’m all negative in my head. Right? So what do I do now? I before I would just said, now I’m taking your reasons away.
Now you don’t get to be what I feel for lying to me, right? I’m completely out of hurt right now. So I’m just tackling that behavior in that moment in time, and I’m teaching her how to appropriately respond to me instead of with the truth instead of a lie, if that makes sense. So it’s like a different way of how we interact with it.
And then keeping the relationship at the forefront and keeping connection at the forefront with the student or with my own child, which that’s how that has happened with me and her. Right. That’s been part of it. And over time, she now she has a positive experience with me. She has the tool or how she should respond to pause for a second and think what, you know, sort of dramatically comes as a lie.
Yeah. And now when you ask her what 100%, you know, this is a motion itself. Well, this is a journey yeah. This is a journey. This is not a two week. It’s going to be all perfect. It’s a journey. No, but now now I’m going to say that my time is the exact thing and she thinks about it and speaks the truth.
Yeah, right. Yeah. So that’s how we change, how we change our interaction. So thank you for sharing that. Example is something that I have heard a lot with TBI is to see the need behind the behavior. And so when you think about something like like lying where, you know, I mean, as adults who are maybe in a healthy place where like, well, it’s, you know, do you just tell the truth?
Whatever. But maybe that’s coming from a place of what’s going to happen to me that I did something I’m not supposed to do, I’m going to be punished or you know, whatever. And it’s not safe to tell the truth in some way, you know what I mean? Like that it’s that internal thing where for whatever reason, that’s how they feel.
And so they’re like, well, I can’t say that. So I have to, you know? And so it’s like when you think about it from that perspective and also when you separate it from the person, like the action from the person. And so it’s not like, as you said, you’re a liar. That doesn’t help anything to say. Like, OK, lying is hurtful.
Let’s try this again. And then it doesn’t also like just add shame and exactly negative emotions to that kid or adult so thank you for thank you for sharing that. So obviously TBR is incredibly helpful for kids who have difficult backgrounds and have had you know, the classic language about it is, you know, kids from hard places which, you know, the children that we serve around the world, I would say without a doubt that applies to them.
How does AGC I partner with organizations to implement TBR, I on like such a big scale because like the examples you’re giving, it’s, it’s so individual right it’s like connection between an adult, a caregiver and a child. And that’s like really how you’re going to begin to implement bigger changes. How do you do that on a big scale just like we don’t just preach, right?
We practice what we preach as far as the going rate goes. So within HCI, we integrate on everything that we do. So when you ask me how do we partner up with around the world with other organizations, we do through relationship, just like because and I want to quote this before because just like we spent, you know, a lot of these children are hurt through a relationship we had to heal through.
Relationship is all through the relationship. So that’s how we partner up with our organizations. We build relationships with them. We walk through the journey with them. So when we’re in a country right and our process or the you know, about the work that we’re doing that starts right there, we start getting to know them. We figure out, just like we deal with a child, we figure out what their needs are in the moment.
So that’s why I like our theory is flexible. It’s not like, yes, you had this theory about, you know, what attachment is and everything that you learned the theory. But the beauty of it is once you had that foundation, that connection is the biggest, the biggest part, right? And you have the theory how you apply it is really up to you.
You have the tools and how you apply it, and it’s going to work for you. So we have audiences that approach us and we approach them and we want to be part of their system. You know, we go through a relationship. We feel like just like we would with a child, what your needs right now. So I could meet your needs right now.
That’s what we do. Negotiate. What is your need as an organization? This moment in time. And then once we look at that and it’s somebody that we partnered up with is like, OK, now how do we apply to grow within your organization? How do we apply for the children that you serve? Because everyone is different, some of them in the foster care, some of them are adoption agencies, some other are residential places, orphanages.
There’s different types some of them already are doing things. Amazing thing with the children. We’re not there to change completely. OK, you guys start from scratch. Why are you already used to it? It’s probably a lot of sorry, right? Right. Yeah, we just giving that name and now we are strengthening what they are doing. And if they have a need in a certain area that maybe they need, that’s why we provide support and training but we don’t just provide training, we support them.
I walk them with them because it’s one thing to hear all this theory about it is a different thing to apply it so through, you know, you know, we know a lot of us are married to be our right practitioners. So through our communal experiences and the people we have to think about, we empower the single thing that we do is we empower those leaders.
Yeah. In the ground. So when we’re talking about transitioning, we find those change agents, the people that we want to make those changes and we empower them to do their work. So it’s not this David externally coming in and try to do all this change. It’s not we find the people locally and we empower them and we use that what we call us, we say are the child advocacy model, which is what we use this a model that we give us a structure of how to do this, but we’re flexible enough to meet all the needs of the different organizations.
How do we fill that gap? Of what they need? And we just provide support on that aspect of it. Yeah, that’s it’s amazing. I mean, I just as I was telling you before, we got on our call, I recently went to Columbia after not having been there for five years. And in that time, Tbree has been implemented in the organizations that we partner with.
And it was night and day. It is it was amazing. I mean, to see the kids are doing so much better and the caregivers have like a new level of not that they weren’t committed, but they feel empowered in their work and that was just evident from I mean, I wasn’t there very long just getting to be there, you know, a few hours at each different place.
And it was just so clear and that was really exciting to see. And I also just think it’s worth recognizing that something that’s really cool that GCI does with with TBI is that they meet, like you said, they meet the organization and the country like where they’re at, and we’re not coming in as some like white savior. That’s like, hey, like this is how you need to do it.
We listen to people, listen to their unique experiences and what their needs are and help them come up with solutions that work for them, which is, you know, and it’s working, which is exciting. Exactly. And that’s how we culturally adapt to different countries. It’s not the way it doesn’t work in another country or even within the regions of the third country.
So exactly what you said Melissa, is we listen to that. What is the need that they need? And then from there, we work together to figure out how we can adapt this to what they’re already utilizing, what they’re doing or how we can change it, specifically those just listening. Yeah. Yeah. But it’s kind of funny like that. We sometimes all need a reminder of how important it is to listen right yeah.
That’s what we got to do with our children. That’s part of our tibia, right? We have to listen to our children in front of us so that we forget that they have a voice. That’s the biggest part. Our children have a voice you know, and sometimes as grown ups it, me included, I’m going to speak up myself here.
Yeah. I forget that my own children, before I learn about, you know, that they had a voice. It was there. I was that person. I was that person that will say, no, you go do it my way because I said so. Yeah, right. I tell you to do it. You will do it. And I will be angry, right?
With my children. And because I didn’t hear their voice, well, now it’s like, OK, what is it that you need? Mm hmm. Yeah. It really changes. It’s just it’s just a it’s like you said, when you walk into an organization that is using it is you see the smiles and you really see those children and you can tell the difference and you feel it so.
Yeah, yeah, you can you can absolutely feel it. And it sounds it’s like things that seem so simple can have such impact, like giving children choice like even just what do you want? This snack or this snack? Do you want just things like that that you’re like, if you don’t think about it, you can be like, OK, this is what you’re having.
But to empower people, I mean, think about as an adult, like, if somebody was just telling you you had to do this, this and this, and especially kids in an institution where they have so little control over their day to day lives, to give them a little bit of that back, it’s just I mean, the impact is exactly amazing.
Yeah. So something that’s exciting is that HCI is beginning to partner with, you know, organizations in the US to like implement TB. Are I can you speak a little bit about that and what that looks like yeah. So I know I’m not do domestic side of it, but what we have doing internationally, I already mentioned the child advocacy model we are using the same model in the United States.
My counterpart, Jill Cruise, she just as a part of educating now she’s going to be doing the national work. So we are doing this like I already spent the whole aspect of that relationship, how we build a relationship with people, different states every states different within the adoption processes, the the the foster care system processes, the child welfare system, they all have gaps in different areas.
So what we are doing internationally we’re going to be doing domestically and Jill is going to come in and she’s going to play that child because see might as like, what is it that you need building those relationships? So we started that work nationally now because we saw that we were doing this international work. I say GCI because we are an international organization that do international adoptions, but we’re like, we need to do something in the United States through our home, right?
Yeah. There’s still so much to do. We’re not the the leading country on everything. You know, we’re not you know, we have a lot of gaps yes. And I’m so excited that HCI recognizes this. And they have created a team to to do this work also nationally to build these relationships to where we fill those needs in different states.
So if we’re in the beginning of it. So I’m excited to see where this is going to go and I’m going to do those local churches also. Absolutely. It’s so exciting. And I just think the more of it, at least I’ll just speak for myself. But the more that I learn about TBI, the more I’m like, oh, my gosh, every teacher, every like a school bus driver, nurse, doctor, anyone that is interacting with kids like needs to have an understanding of this because it just is so transformational and it can just be implied and I don’t know so many ways.
I mean, just like, oh my goodness, I wish I could rewind the clock and every, you know, like that. Everyone could have had this kind of exposure to this because it really the more you learn about, the more exciting it is. And you just see, you know, the criminal justice system, all of it like the changes that are popping.
I do want to mention that there’s already a lot of great organizations that are doing already that work in the United States. So there’s already been so many changes in Louisiana in Texas, you know, in other states where just people like ourselves are doing this work. So it’s it’s it’s also just looking into other things is what we’re going to be doing is being aggressive with them because we’ve already been doing it and we’re doing it right and they’ve been doing it for years.
We can see it replicated in other places where it’s more needed. So yeah, not to say that it’s not being done in the U.S., it’s been done in the U.S. It’s by a lot of great, amazing people out there. But now we can come in and also how we become another person to assist another person to meet those needs.
So yeah. Yeah, expand that reach. Yeah. That’s amazing. What’s something that you wish like parents and caregivers understood about? I maybe. Maybe this is for somebody who is skeptical. Like, it’s hard for them to get past the like a lot of people grow up with, you know, kind of being raised like, well, I’m the parent. I am, you know, it needs to be this way.
It’s my way or the highway kind of thing. Like kids are being willfully disobedient. Like, how can you kind of what do you say to people who don’t understand, you know, this different approach? Yeah, I do get that a lot, especially like, well, I was raised this way and I look at me, I’m fine, right? I get a lot of that.
Like, yes, it was fine. I was I was hit with the switch when I was a kid and I grew up just fine or, you know, whichever condition or sister. That is what I am so one of the approaches I do when I get faced with that, with skepticism, whether a caregiver or a parent or who are in that position, is like, I basically do a lot of reflection with them.
I try to have that reflect like, OK, I hear you. And some of them are doing amazing work with the kids. It doesn’t mean I understand that, you know, you’re not. I say, OK, let’s reflect on what’s going on then. You know, obviously you’re here with me for a reason. First off, if we’re talking for some reason, right?
You’re you we’re looking for something else. So I said, well, so I mean, every situation is different, right? So let’s just say I have a skeptical parents they they heard about this. They went through training. They because maybe they were looking for something to do with their own child. They just had biological parents, right? Yeah. And and they say, well, I’m not sure about this connecting power or whatever.
I was fine with I was a kid. Look at me. That’s like, OK, well, what it’s like I brought you here. So in the first place for you to hear about and say, well, how my kids maybe some behaviors, I just don’t know. I just want to see what else I could do to that. And it’s like, OK, well, you tell me that a different way of approaching the situation and it’s not for you.
So go. And then I my question is like what you been doing so far up to this moment in time? Has it been working? Mm hmm. And of course, if they’re there and centering and personhood time is nice not working. Yeah, I’ll go harsh punishment be work for that child yet or you continue to repeat the same patterns so I try to put in a different perspective where they get to reflect on it.
Like because if you continue to use punishment or punitive punishment, like either whether it’s physical punishment or whether it’s like, I’m taking this away, you’re not doing this or control or control power over to the child, I say, is it working for you or do you continue in this cycle because it becomes a cycle. Yeah, a struggle of the power and we’ll get on it at one point or other.
Even as adults, between hours we get into this power struggle right? That ends up nothing about race. And my frustration with the child, what I become with have more structure. Now I take this to be for a week or really two weeks. Oh, really? Three weeks for the rest of your life until you’re 18. Right. We it becomes a spiral down, right?
So I try to have that reflection point with them and I go, well, let’s think about if we are approaching a different way, right where we share power because this is where a lot of people have the problem is, is sharing power with the child right? And they feel, well, I’m going to send them all the time or they know I’m going to give in to everything they say.
I said, I’m not saying that said, we’re still in control. We still let the children need parents. They need caregivers, whatever that looks like the family and the family. Right. They need caregivers to have an adult to be in charge at this moment in time. But I just know taking all the power and sharing the power and you mentioned these three choices, it come to compromise compromises.
Let’s do it in a different way. Right? So instead of me, we coming to this little fight or who wins, who’s going to be the winner at the end of this where nothing. Nothing. And they get mad right away. I send them to the room I send them away and nothing gets learned. Nothing happens. We ignore it, which is what happens here because this is part of the reflection part as well.
What happens? Will we just let it go? And then we’re fine an hour later. OK, bye. Did anything happen to do anything change? Did anything you know, everybody got mad at you. Just ignore it. And now what is their beliefs? I definitely like to do some of the reflection piece. I try to give them examples on how the power struggle doesn’t work and how we can create a different dynamic and a different cycle.
And one which we give voice and where we share power with a child and how that is the ability to do them. So I try to put it into perspective for those powers that are skeptical on what is the bigger. And the second part I do, it’s like you don’t have to hear all this information. Everything that you see you don’t have to start and get it all together right now.
I say Start feels comfortable for you and then you scaffold it, right? You kind of like, OK, I might start with empowering my child by just because they have five water and snacks every 2 hours for a simple, a simple thing that anybody can do, right? And then I’m going to make sure they interact and they’ll respond, you know, and you just keep adding little things to it, you know, to it and start slowly with just because remember the part I mentioned, we have to do a change within ourselves.
Yeah, that’s hard. It’s hard, you know, so it’s I start what works for you. It doesn’t mean David’s way or whoever it is to teach a new way is I know and I’m going to start this way and you just build from. But it takes time. But you go from there. I’m still learning after all. I mean, five years later, I’m still trying to change things within myself.
I’m not 100% right now. I mean, I wish I was you know, I sometimes we are all human beings. Sometimes we lose it. Right? Our brain also gets fired up. We also flip our lid, you know, because we have issues in our lives. Yeah. And what I say here to parents is like as you go through the process, you know, if you come in and I say I call it an error, an error like you lost any other child, like is what how I’m going to repair this.
Instead, I send them away, I ignore it. I’m going to repair it right now. And that’s what I’m saying, right? You know, I’m going to repair and I’m going to have a redo. I’m going to be just like I speak the child to try again in a different way. I’m going to try it again in a different way.
That’s part of the process. Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, I think it is hard like it’s hard to look at ourselves too and what because it’s like you think you’re like, well, no, it’s about it’s always an external thing. Like, it’s about it’s about this this child and this behavior. And that’s all I want to focus on. But it’s like you have to heal.
You have to work on yourself to write. Like you have to be in a good place to be able to help that child. And it’s it’s hard it’s hard to do. So have you have to have compassion for yourself. And yes, there’s no such thing as a quick fix for for anything in life. You have to be wary if someone tells you, oh, 100% in two weeks, you know, you’ll be cured, whatever.
That’s not real. We’re always on a journey and it’s never perfect. But we just we just keep working at it. Yeah, exactly. So what excites you about I mean, it just sounds like there’s so many things, the expansion into the U.S., all of the different countries that we’re working in. What but what excites you most about the future?
Of of TB I and what if you had a crystal ball? Like, what do you what do you think is to come? Man, if I have a crystal ball, my dream right my dream is like where we are able to create is that every child has a relationship with an adult, a caregiving adult, an appropriate relationship with an adult.
So they have somebody that they can be they’re their security base, somebody they can be there for them, somebody you know, the knowledge. Because sometimes as caregivers, it’s so easy to us walk through the the good time. So, you know, when they’re listening when they’re doing what they’re asking, it’s so easy, but it’s so hard to walk with them during the hard times, you know, and that’s why we do we have to walk through hard times.
But I would love it if you just you are like where every child has an adult that walks through them with during the hard times as well as the good times. Somebody is there for them. Somebody loves them. Somebody that is giving care to them and also give them the ability for them to receive care. So everybody that a child has a loving adult in their life and that doesn’t have to be a parent.
It doesn’t have to be you know, it could be a teacher, it could be the nurse, it could be the volunteers in things sometimes, you know, in those institutions, you know, you could be the one person for that child. Yeah. That could make a difference for the child, you know, if they don’t have a baby in that moment in time.
Yes. So to break that cycle that we spoke earlier, right. So when they become adults, they have good relationships so when they become partners or spouses or whatever, you know, they have a good relationship with them. They can raise a family and break the cycle, you know, for the future. Wouldn’t it be amazing if every child had a person in their life that matter, make them feel worthy of who they are, the preciousness that they are?
Yeah, amazing. That’s what excites me because that’s what TV. All right. That’s. Yeah, yeah. No, that would that’s a that’s a beautiful vision of the future. And I hope that that comes true. That’s everyone needs everyone needs someone that they know they can count on and that loves them and lets them know how special they are because we all are Well, to end our conversation, I would love if you could share, you know, one thing that that everyone listening can take from TBI and implement into their own lives today, whether they have children or not or they’re a teacher, a parent, just a single adult, maybe.
What’s one thing everyone can can implement? OK, so without having all the background knowledge and all the information, the one thing that everybody that it’s easy to start doing, that no matter what your position, no matter what your role is with that child, is start suggesting the needs of the child. And this is how we started transforming beauty through a different lens.
I’m going to say yes to the needs of this child. I’m going to say yes when they need me. And I say yes to what they need in that moment in time and in I say that we’re going to be like, oh, yes, I’m going to buy you that $500 tennis shoes right now. Oh, yes. You can go to the middle of the street and cross the street by yourself.
In the middle of traffic. Now, I’m not saying that right now, but we can start saying yes by creating situations and we can say yes, because when you say yes, it’s where you build trust. When you build trust with a child, when you have to say those nows, they have meaning. Because if we think about right now, most parents have me by myself.
We said no in our lives so much. No, you can do this. No, you can do this. No, no, no. It’s always I know that it is not right when we they can do something, but it’s how we can start to relate to it. Yes. So, for example, with a teenager, once this $500, Nike’s all right. I want to say that I said no, I can’t not afford that or no, I’m not going to get it for you, OK?
You want those Nike’s? How about we work together and we provide our society or something like that? Each month or whatever your budget is, right? I just say not directly to the child support and say, yes, I we can come together to a compromise to get this done together. How can I say yes? You can come at nighttime if a small child wants to sleep in your bed, right?
You you’d want the child in the bed, for example. How about a of the hallway for you? So when you’re a skier, yes, you can come to them. I have a pallet right here, your blanket and your stuff here next to my bed. So you get yes. You can come in in the middle of the night. You know, this voice says, hey, no, no, there’s ways to say yes.
Just do that. It creates more issues to say yes because, you know, it’s suggested that those needs because that’s how we create trust with them. Yeah. You know, I love how Derek John’s from is he says putting money in the bank and putting money in the bank. So when I need to withdrawal, he’s there, right? Yeah. So we say those Jesus that’s a great place to start, right?
Yes. I’m going to meet your need. What do you need right now? This moment? Mm hmm. A good place to start. Yeah. Thank you, David. Thank you. So much for the incredible work that you’re doing and for taking time to to share that with with us. I, I just. I’m so excited about the future. And you’re such a big part of that.
So thank you for taking time out of your day to chat with me. Oh, thank you so much for inviting me and be able to share about the work that we’re doing. It’s a passion of mine, what we’re doing. So I appreciate you for giving us the time to get to share our TV. All right. That was David Randall AGC ISE, director of Social Services.
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