Nurturing the Heart of a Child.
I'm Dr. Barbara Sorrels -  a mom, grandmother, child development specialist, and served as University Professor, Children's Pastor, teacher, and consultant.
When you understand some basics of child development, parenting becomes less mysterious and more wondrous.
As founder of the Institute for Childhood Education, we're helping parents, teachers, & child care facilities create nurturing environments.
Child development is amazing, and a glimpse into the mind of our Creator. I'm here to help you nurture your children, grandchildren, and the kids you care for. Read more →

Today we launched season two of Nurturing the Heart of a Child!  We are so excited to be venturing into a new season of our podcast and we have lots of interesting and important material to cover this season.  We will be starting with a study on technology and how it effects children.  We know this is a hot topic today and often on the minds and hearts of parents.  A great book that we want to recommend is called Glow Kids by- Nicholas Kardaras.  This book shares a lot of research as to how technology effects children and it is quite alarming.  A lot of what we share in our technology study has come from this book if you want to do some more research on your own!  We are going to break down how technology effects children by looking at how it effects them mentally, emotionally, psychologically, socially, physically,  and educationally.

This first episode is specifically about how technology effects children mentally and educationally. We would love for you to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes so that you don’t miss an episode- or you can listen to the first one episode of season 2 here:

OR – Listen and subscribe in  iTunes  or  Stitcher

Podcast #12: 

Today we’re talking about “Disorganized Attachment”    

Listen here: 


OR – Listen and subscribe in  iTunes  or  Stitcher

Resources mentioned: Here are some resources for parents wanting to learn more about how to help children with disorganized attachment or RADS:

Building the Bonds of Attachment: Awakening Love in Deeply Traumatized Children by Daniel A. Hughes

Romania’s Abandoned Children: Deprivation, Brain Development, and the Struggle for Recovery by Charles A Nelson

We love hearing from you!  Please feel free to send us any questions that arise after listening to our podcast and hopefully we can answer yours on a future question and answer podcast!  Email us at

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Krista and Dr. Barbara

Episode 12 – Disorganized Attachment

Characteristics of parents

  • Their children are most at risk for abuse or neglect
  • Often come from their own background of trauma
  • Low capacity for patience, empathy
  • Little ability to tolerate frustration and stress
  • Very punitive in discipline, and use shaming 
  • They use fear in attempt to change behavior
  • Inconsistent expressions of love, mixed messages and confusion
  • Profoundly self absorbed—leave children for long periods of time
  • Fail to protect their children—expose them to inappropriate experiences, movies
  • No attunement to the child’s needs—but very absorbed with their own


  • Bounce between anxiety, fear and anger—live in a constant state of stress and dysregulation
  • Demonstrates characteristics of both the avoidant and ambivalently attached child.  
  • Kids will be very unpredictable  and respond in different ways to different experiences
  • They learn that the adults in their life can’t be trusted to take care of them and keep their welfare 
  • They live in a chronic state of hypervigilence constantly checking the environment for threat
  • They live in a chronic state of self protection the slightest threat elicits an overwhelming emotional response
  • They protect their hearts by fighting for control—their thinking is that when you lose control bad things happen
  • They often push others away and reject them before they can be rejected
  • They can appear to be oppositional but what drives their behavior is fear of letting others in
  • Tearing down the walls can be very challenging
  • Can be very hard for foster or adoptive parents when all they want to do is love their children.  
  • Situation where mental health professionals are needed

Reactive Attachment Disorder

  • Profound abuse of the worst kind
  • Institutional orphanages
  • Lost capacity to form human relationships
  • Toxic to the  mind, body and soul
  • Demonstrate bizarre  behaviors at a very young age
  • Mutilate animals, jumping off the roof to their house, harming other children , setting fire to their homes
  • As get older can be very charming and endear themselves to people
  • Trust bandit
  • Dealing with these children requires specialized knowledge

Thank you to those of you who have taken the time to give us a rating and review on iTunes!  Means so much to us!  If you haven’t done that would you mind taking a minute to do so. It really helps other people find our podcast!  –>  iTunes  



New book for parents!

Nurturing Healthy Attachment: Building Parent-Child Connections to Last a Lifetime

Pre-Order paperback here



Biting is a behavior that can cause a great deal of angst in parents and teachers alike. There are several reasons for biting at different stages of development. 

Babies may bite when they are teething or exploring. I have heard parents make silly, affectionate statements like, “I love you so much, I could just eat you up,” and they proceed to pretend to gobble the child up. The baby then imitates the parent’s behavior.

Babies are also learning that they can make things happen. They may bite simply to see the reaction that they get from another child.

With toddlers it is different. I have learned over the years that one of the primary reasons toddlers bite is not enough gross motor activity. I know this sounds strange but the brain and body innately know what is needed to grow and develop in healthy ways. Toddlers are made to climb, run, roll, jump, kick and throw balls. When we don’t meet their needs in appropriate ways, they will get what they need one way or the other. Biting or “chomping” is a form of deep muscle stimulation.

To date, 13 child care centers have reported to me that they have shut down biting in their toddler classrooms when they follow my advice to provide things to climb on, things to crawl through, things to roll over, play dough, rhythm band instruments, and more outdoor play. Sometimes it is as little as getting a little Tykes slide and letting children pull themselves up the incline. Letting them snack on beef jerky (or similar) is also helpful.

When children move beyond the toddler years, they may bite due to lack of language and social skills. Children with language delay are often left out of play. Their frustration leads them to bite because they have no words to communicate their wishes and needs.

Giving them the right words and behaviors to ask for what they need, invite someone to play, say “no” in friendly manner and solve conflict can de-escalate the biting.


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