TBRI® Correcting Principles

At a loss with handling your kid’s behavior?

Have you been loosing your cool, getting caught up in power struggles or quite frankly becoming a nag?  Maybe you’ve been giving punishments- but they don’t work, make your kid angry and they’re oh-so-hard to follow through on.

Many parents don’t see other options.  I get it- handling difficult behavior is, well…difficult.

But there are ways- better and more effective ones- to handle tough behavior and actually focus on teaching and strengthening the relationship with your child.

Correcting Principles in TBRI® helps parents EFFECTIVELY address problem behaviors AND maintain healthy relationships!

Now let’s get clear on this one key point- the best way to handle behavior is to prevent it.

Connecting and Empowering principles focus on prevention and they should be the first focus.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go back, read those articles (click on the links above), then come back here.

Okay, prevention in mind first, time to tackle how to handle that naughty behavior (because…it will happen).

Within Correcting Principles, there are two types of strategies: proactive and responsive.

Proactive strategies are about balancing structure and nurture to build trust.

Responsive strategies are structured and easy to learn, although learning new parenting skills can often be difficult.

In TBRI®, there are three goals for Correcting:

  • Connected: Parent maintains connection with child (not disruptive to the relationship)
  • Content: Children end the episode feeling content (not discouraged or shamed)
  • Change: Behavior change occurs (for the positive)

The goal is real behavioral change…

…not simply stopping the behavior at that moment.  In fact, through the Correcting Principles, the goal is for your child to gain mastery of important life skills and even strengthen your relationship through the process.

Sounds pretty good?  Then listen closely-

Proactive Strategies:

The Proactive Strategies consist of several “Life Value Terms” and “Behavioral Scripts”.  Using a playful tone of voice can be correcting and nurturing at the same time.  By focusing on positives children learn social skills and how to regulate (calm themselves down).

  • Life Value Terms is the language of a caring home culture. The terms embody respect for self and others, and include phrases such as “Gentle and Kind”, “Listen and Obey”, “Use Your Words”, “Good Accepting No” “Try that again With Respect” and “Who’s the Boss?”
  • Behavioral Scripts are the core behaviors of a caring home culture.  They foster self-regulation and pro-social competence.  Scripts include behavioral “re-do’s” and offers opportunity for a “compromise” or “choice”. An important key here is to give kids an opportunity for some control while maintaining authority.  Parents offer choices and compromises that they can live with.

Responsive Strategies:

The Responsive Strategies consist of the “IDEAL Response” and “Levels of Response”. Taken together, these two strategies provide a structured framework for effective and appropriate caregiving interactions with children.

  • IDEAL” is a prescriptive acronym for critical elements of responsive interactions:

Immediate- It is ideal to address the child’s behavior within 3 seconds.

Direct- Use of Engagement Strategies- “tune-in” to your child and become close in proximity (no yelling across the room, please)

Efficient- Lowest possible, yet still effective Level of Response (sometimes parents try to shoot a gnat with an elephant gun…generally match your response level to your child’s behavior level)

Action-based- For the child, not the adult- give your child opportunity to ‘re-do’ or correct the mistake.  This ‘wires’ neurologically what you want vs. focusing on what you don’t want.

Leveled- At the behavior, not the child.  Don’t continue to bring up past infractions.  Let your child know that mistakes happen…own it, fix it, learn from it and then MOVE ON.

The absolute best way to explain this is directly from the source.  In this video, Dr. Karyn Purvis, one of the creators of TBRI® walks through the IDEAL response and explains why it works.

Trust Based Relational Interventions TBRI® is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. TBRI® uses Empowering Principles to address physical needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors. While the intervention is based on years of attachment, sensory processing, and neuroscience research, the heartbeat of TBRI® is connection.

Wishing you strengthened relationships…

Jenna Fleming is a licensed professional counselor serving kids, teens, and parents in Georgetown, TX.   She offers counseling services, courses and classes to help families enjoy life more fully and get to a smoother, healthier path.