Responding to Severe Behaviors

* Lifeline is not certified to teach skills in TBRI Level 4: Protective Engagement.

* Protective engagement refers to restrictive techniques such as restraining used to deescalate situations and keep children physically safe.

* We do however want to give you tips on how to respond when your child is in “crisis mode”:

o First ask yourself these two assessment questions:

* Is this child about to hurt himself?

* Is this child about to hurt someone else?

o Do not yell, stay calm, and do not escalate with the child-

* If a child escalates, you need to stay calm so that the child has the opportunity to calm down too.

* If you escalate with him, he will continue to escalate further!

o Do not pressure the child

o Give the child a little space when necessary while still remaining close by.

o Do not try to reason/teach to the child in that moment (wait until the child calms down to teach) –

* Remember, a child cannot learn when in fight, flight, or freeze mode

o Use few words – like “you are safe”

o Focus on helping the child calm down and feel safe

* If your child is physically violent or destructive we encourage you have a plan for such moments including:

o Having emergency numbers near the phone where everyone can find them (911, your local crisis line, your state’s Child Protective Agency, etc.)

o A response plan for your other children to follow (such as going to a neighbor’s house or the oldest child taking the younger ones into a different room)

o And a discussed plan for each parent to follow in order to keep yourselves calm in such moments.

TBRI recommended training protocols:

o Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI)

o Satori Alternatives to Managing Aggression (SAMA)

Reference: Purvis, K. B., Cross, D. R. (2011, September). TBRI® Professional Training Program

presented by the TCU Institute of Child Development. Training conducted at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas.