How can we parent our children who have experienced trauma? How can we discipline them in a way that will help them learn and grow? In this course, we interview Karen Doyle Buckwalter, a clinical social worker specializing in attachment and trauma, and author of Raising the Challenging Child: How to Minimize Meltdowns, Reduce Conflict, and Increase Cooperation.

This course covers the following topics:

Impact of Trauma

  • What is trauma? 
  • Trauma vs PTSD
  • How does trauma impact a child?
  • Three levels of the brain and how children react from a primitive fear base if there is a history of abuse or neglect.
  • Does the age of the child, when they experienced trauma or the type of trauma, affect the degree to which the child will be impacted?
  • If a child is able to leave the abusive situation, it can lower the impact of PTSD.
  • Impact of preverbal trauma- before the child has language and memory.

How to Best Parent a Child Who Has Experienced Trauma

  • What is a typical behavior for a child who has experienced trauma?
  • Internal working model formed with earliest caregivers that forms a template for future relationships with caregivers.
  • Children are terrified of being forgotten.
  • The children often “reject you before you can reject them.” This helps protect them from their core fear of rejection and is a primitive survival mechanism.
  • Importance of awareness of one’s own vulnerabilities and insecurities that may be triggered by caring for children with history of trauma.
  • How to help our kids heal and attach? Tips and Techniques.

How to Discipline a Child Who Has Experienced Trauma

  • Connection before corrections. 
  • Build up your relationship account.
  • Provide choices.
  • Provide a balance of structure and nurture.
  • The need for co-regulation with a safe adult rather than time out or other typical approaches.
  • These things take time to change. What fires together in the brain wires together so just because the child is safe now does not remove these well-worn neuropathways.


*Your course will remain active for 180 days from purchase date.

This course aligns with the following regulatory requirements.

Hague Treaty on Intercountry Adoption*

 96.38 (b)(3)

 96.38 (b)(4)

 96.38 (b)(8)

 96.48 (b)(4)

 96.48 (b)(5)




*Important Information for agencies on Hague Training Requirements