For nearly 30 years ATN has been in the trenches with children significantly impacted by early childhood trauma…now understood as developmental trauma, attachment trauma, relationship trauma. Our roots are working with children who struggled due to very early abuse, neglect, maltreatment – including abandonment, witnessing violence and horrific mistreatment. But the truth is, many children (and adults) early adversities (ACEs) that, left unaddressed, make all of us vulnerable to the impacts of trauma.
While the tragedy in Uvalde, TX last week has definitely sent us all reeling, it’s still “business as usual” here at ATN. With a mission to end childhood trauma, we witness events like this and the one just days before in Buffalo…and the other gun violence since that may not be as highly reported that happens daily in this country, and we know that we’re not going to be short on the need for healing trauma any time soon.
Hurting people hurt people. It is said so much around here that it sounds cliché. But it contains so much truth. Trauma is contagious and the hurt of one person can spill over on all the people around them in so many ways, often not as visible as a mass shooting, but devastating nonetheless. This is why the mission of ATN is so needed: to promote the healing of children impacted by trauma in their families, schools and communities.
So the arguments rage on whether solutions involve gun control or mental illness support. I’d love for both to be actively addressed. BUT it’s just as important to focus upstream from all this killing to what is happening to children…and all of us…emotionally during such trauma-inducing times. Why are we living in a culture where being traumatized is so prevalent? What can be done to stop hurting people from hurting more people…and creating even more hurting people?
We know that the children and community of Uvalde, TX are traumatized. The same could be said for the shooter. And for countless others across this country who will never be involved in a horrific situation like this, but can transmit their trauma in behaviors that hurt others and themselves every day. But we also know that healed (and healing) people help people heal. It is the science of Resilience.
The power to stop the hurting lies in healing relationships. In simplest terms:
- We end childhood trauma by creating resilient children.
- We create resilient children through relationships and regulation.
- Healthy relationships are very regulating to our emotional brains.
And this is why at ATN it’s “business as usual” with a renewed resolve that the trauma-informed, attachment-focused, resilience-building strategies and practices we advocate for are at the root of what children, families, schools, and communities need.
Healthy relationships for every child in America…and around the world…this is how we end early childhood trauma! It’s not going to be easy…but it’s possible. And important. And life-saving.
Join us on this life-saving mission!
Sandy Hook Promise: is a kindred spirit in the world of childhood trauma. Their programs, “Start with Hello” and “Say Something” are wonderful ways that students and teachers are learning about how to build relationships and reduce bullying, loner behaviors and creating cultural changes that lead to both safer schools, and more healing for children.