the help you need to manage an out of control child
– even when your situation seems helpless!
You are struggling with difficult children that do
not respond to typical parenting strategies, often
due to things that happened in those child’s early
years. You feel alone, attacked, and don’t know where
to turn. You have tried everything and nothing has
worked and your child is getting older by the day.
You have found few resources in your
area, especially in Canada.
That’s where I can help. I grew up in
a home with three challenging special needs siblings
and now parent my own adopted challenging child. I
have salvaged many families who were on the brink
of hopelessness. It’s been my lifelong career.
Because of specialized experience and
academic training, I know exactly
what works and what doesn’t when it comes to working
with an out of control child, particularly those with
difficulties attaching to their parents.
Your child likely displays many of the
following behaviours and almost all of the following
display the child’s single-minded desire for control.
Distorted cause and effect thinking
Controlling and manipulative actions
Superficially engaging and charming
Lack of eye contact
Indiscriminate affection for strangers
Behaviour focused only on immediate
Demanding and clingy controlling
Child is abusive towards parents
Preoccupied with “evil” (blood,
fire and gore)
Those outside the home view parents
as overly controlling, angry and hostile
Parents are scared of the child
These are symptoms of a person with
attachment problems or Attachment Disorder and may
overlap with a number of other disorders that require
similar parenting support.
An attachment disorder is a condition
in which individuals have difficulty forming loving,
lasting, intimate relationships. Attachment disorder
varies in severity and the individual’s ability to
benefit from treatment. All of these individuals have
difficulty showing genuine affection. Those with the
most extreme form of the disorder may not display
any sign of conscience and do not learn how to trust.
All of the following risk factors may
increase the likelihood of an individual developing
an Attachment Disorder. However, the key element is
whether or not the individual has developed a significant
attachment with a consistent and loving parental figure
in their first two and half years of life. This figure
may be a mother, father, grandparent, foster parent,
aunt or uncle – the key is that they were available,
a primary caregiver, and provided a stable environment.
Elements that increase the likelihood of Attachment
Abuse (all kinds) and neglect, disregard
for a child’s emotional needs
Sudden separation from the primary
caretaker early in life (i.e. illness or death of
mother or sudden illness or hospitalization of the
Chaotic early environment
Chronic illness or traumatic medical
intervention leading to difficulty in being calmed
or soothed by caregiver
Inconsistent or inadequate parenting
Chronic maternal depression
Frequent moves between caregivers,
including foster care and failed adoptions
In a healthy attachment, the child learns
to trust their primary caregiver, usually their mother.
and views her as a loving protector. Those with impaired
attachment may not learn to trust and may view their
mother as a threat and, in the long term, view others
as unsafe or as a threat. The child decides that the
only way to survive is to take control of their environment,
through whatever means they can.
The older the child gets the more difficult
they are to manage. Parents are at a loss as to how
to respond and start looking for help.
Here is a typical call to my office:
Recently a mom called me and told
me that her son had been using a lighter to set
various items in his room on fire because he had
been sent to “time out.”
Of course, she was very upset and scared that one
night he might set the house on fire in order to
harm her and the rest of the family.
I told her in three specific steps
that she needed to take that day before he came
home from school and we made an appointment for
a follow-up telephone consultation.
She called back the next day very
relieved and said, “Things are falling into place.
The social worker I have been calling returned my
message because of what you said to say, and we
now have a plan with the local mental health team
for how to respond. I feel a lot less stressed.”
We set up regular weekly sessions so that she can
continue to develop a parenting plan to manage the
child’s severe behaviours.
This type of practical support is what
parents need if they are going to make a difference
with such difficult children and stay safe as a family.
Even though it feels like no one understands,
your situation is not unique and your situation
is not hopeless!
The strategies I use have been developed
over the past 15 years of successfully working with
parents from all kinds of situations. I’ll help you
figure out exactly what to do for
You will know exactly
who to ask for help in your community and what to
You will know exactly
how to respond to your child’s behaviours.
Here Are Some
of the Strategies
You’ll Discover to Change Your Parenting Situation
The new house rules that need to
The things you are doing that you
believe are bad but really are the right
thing to do
Trigger words and actions that
defeat your chance of reaching this child
What you need to let go of right
Your life is totally centered around
this child. You need to gain new perspective and start
regaining your life so you can help your child get
I can help you but
you’ve got to take the first step.
I look forward to hearing from you today.
My email address and phone number are below so you
don’t have to do through this battle alone any more.
Tanya Helton, M.Sc.
You may be facing many challenges in
your life. Despite the love and support of the people
around you, it may not seem like they understand where
you are coming from or where you want to go. As a
life coach, Tanya Helton-Roberts offers you specialized
support and encouragement as you envision where you
want to be in the future and how to get there.
Forest Cottage Centre provides:
Attachment-based support for parents
of severe behaviour or special needs children
Attachment Disorder resources and
Workshops for professionals working
with challenging children