Children are more vulnerable to the stress of trauma. Their responses to trauma are complex and are different from those of adults. Children’s traumatising experiences can compromise all areas of childhood development, including identity, cognitive processing, ability to manage behaviour, tolerance, moral development, ability to trust self and others. Children who have experienced trauma will develop “survivor behaviours” and these behaviours help the child to survive extreme psychological stress in a hostile environment. Examples of this can be fighting, running away, substance abuse, shutting down, self-harm, eating disorders, etc. In a threatening environment, the children will exhibit these behaviours to deal with their ‘uncomfortableness’ and anxiety – to these children even a nurturing environment is threatening
The founding principle of More Than Ed Independent School is that all our students will feel secure and cared for and that every member of staff, regardless of their role, can understand and empathise with their feelings and behaviours.
In order for children who have experienced toxic stress to ever feel safe, they need to know that they can approach any member of staff and they will be consistent in their responses. For this reason, all staff at More Than Ed receive training in Safeguarding, Trauma-Informed Practice, Emotion Coaching, Attachment, and ACEs, allowing them to feel confident in their relational approach to our young people. For example:
And above all else...relationships, relationships, relationships!!