About


Bonding and Attachment in Maltreated Children


Course Home
Lesson 1
Lesson 2
Lesson 3
Lesson 4
Message Board
Help
Lesson 2: Assignment
Format for Printing
back 1 2 3 4 5 6  
 

Assignment #2

Attention to non-verbal cues is an important part of both parenting and working with children.  Careful consideration about and response to the cues and signals offered by a child can increase not only your understanding that child’s unique needs, but improve the sense of connection you both feel within the relationship. Some cues indicate physical needs (e.g., fatigue, need to go to the bathroom) while other cues suggest emotional needs (e.g., wanting to explore,  feeling shy around an unfamiliar person).

 Consider the following nonverbal behaviors and what they could mean, depending on the child’s age/development, cultural background, individual personality, history, and the circumstances in which the behaviors are observed.

 In the answers section, we will offer some typical and some uncommon interpretations.

�     A 4-month-old rubs her eyes.

�   An 18-month-old in a store walks forward, away from his mother, and then looks back; then walks a little further, and looks back.  This continues for a brief time until he finally runs back to his mother.

�   A 2-year-old says, “No!” to her mother when asked to give something back to her baby brother.

�   A 3-year-old clings to his mother at a crowded, noisy child’s birthday party.

�   A 5-year-old chews the neckline of her shirt while waiting to see the dentist.

�   A 6-year-old lowers his head tells his tutor, “Ssshhhh” when given animated praise for working a problem.

�    A 7-year-old eats a sandwich that another child threw away in the trash at school.

Please complete assignment before proceeding to answers below.

 

Assignment #2 Answers

�     A 4-month-old rubs her eyes.

Typical interpretation – She is tired / sleepy.

Alternate interpretations - She could also have something in her eyes, light could be bright or too intense.

 �   An 18-month-old in a store walks forward, away from his mother, and then looks back; then walks a little further, and looks back.  This continues for a brief time until he finally runs back to his mother.

Typical interpretation - This is normal behavior for age – starting to venture out more independently from parent but returning for a sense of security when feeling unsure.

 �   A 2-year-old says, “No!” to her mother when asked to give something back to her baby brother.

Typical interpretation -  This is common behavior for 2- and 3--year-olds.  It is another means of establishing greater independence.  Sharing is also a considerable challenge for children this age.

 �   A 3-year-old clings to his mother at a crowded, noisy child’s birthday party.

Possible interpretation -  This is very common for many children at this age. 

Another consideration - If the child has a history of abuse, the party may also be terrifying. 

 �   A 5-year-old chews the neckline of her shirt while waiting to see the dentist.

Possible interpretation - This may be a way to express apprehension, even if she is unaware of her anxiety or unable to verbally explain how she feels.

 �   A 6-year-old lowers his head tells his tutor, “Ssshhhh” when given animated praise for working a problem.

Possible interpretation - He may be a little embarrassed by the enthusiasm.

Additional note: The child in this scenario actually had a very violent past and often hid with his siblings from his father.

�    A 7-year-old eats a sandwich that another child threw away in the trash at school.

Possible interpretations - This child is under-socialized or very hungry.

Another consideration - This child originates from a very neglectful home, where both food and attention/nurturing were unpredictably provided.

When interacting with children, it is useful to help them identify their own needs.  Statements like "You are rubbing your eyes.  You do that when you are sleepy."  Or to a reticent child who wants to explore a new playground but is clinging to your leg instead, it is helpful to rub their back and whisper to them "It's okay to take your time.  This playground is new to us.  Would you like me to come with you to the slide?"  Offer to hold his hand and stay close.

 


back 1 2 3 4 5 6  

Congratulations! You have completed Lesson 2.  Take the quiz to test your knowledge. See link below.

Where do you want to go next?


Home | Help | About
Questions or comments? Contact Us
Copyright 2005, childtraumaacademy.com