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Archive for adoption

The Secret To A Happy Life With Traumatized Children

Dear Parents:

What Is Your Favorite Form of Suffering?

Yep, you read that right.  Every day, I spend quite a bit of time talking to suffering parents of children from difficult beginnings and working to support them to pull their chins up, stay in the parenting long game, and buoy out of the traditional parenting traps of power and punishment.  Personally, I rarely feel suffering in the face of the shenanigans my children can produce and despite the grief and pain I encounter in my work with parents and children.

Anti-Depressants Do Not Stop Suffering

Full disclosure, being genetically predisposed to large mood swings, I take medication to keep me out of suicidal major depression.  What medication does for me is it keeps me inside the normal range of emotion.  Medication, however, does not keep me from suffering the feelings of fear, despair, helplessness, and hopelessness.  I stay out of suffering those with a personal commitment to live my life fully every day.  When I lost my mother in a car accident as a teenager, I made a vow to live every day as though it were my last.  That was well before the pop songs were written. That vow shaped my adult life, so I have a fairly well-developed muscle for being happily alive.

Fear, Loss, Less, and Never

In my experience, most people have favorite forms of parental suffering that fall around four concepts: fear, loss, less, and never.

My child is going to prison in the future if I don’t get his/her behavior under controlFear  

I adopted a child that can’t be part of the family life I always wanted–Loss

Other people get to have reciprocal relationships with their children, and I don’t–Less

My children are never going to have normal lives–Never

I’m not saying don’t feel your feelings.  Do feel your feelings, even share them with yourself, a loved one, or therapist.  The sentences above are not feelings, they are thoughts that produce feelings. If you get stuck in that feedback loop, you will find suffering.

Here is the secret to a happy life with children from difficult beginnings:

  1. Feel your feelings for about 2 minutes tops, then bust the thoughts behind them for what they are (bad habits) and focus on some things you appreciate (good habits).
  2. Find gratitude for the very thing you are suffering over.
  3. Find your favorite form of suffering–fear, loss, less, never—and bust it, replace it, repeat the replacement, recycle.
  4. Vow to live your life with less suffering and more abundance of spirit for living.
  5. Realize that you are playing the parenting long game.  Parenting is right now for the future.

I know Buddha said, “Life is Suffering,” but I think he meant everything changes so don’t cling to any one thing.  To me, that is where the hope lies.  Accept, let go, live.

Love matters,

Ce

The Attach Place Upcoming Events Calendar

SIGN UP HERE: Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held May 11th, 2019  from 10 am to 4 pm.  Childcare provided for an additional fee. CALVCB will reimburse this training. Stay tuned for the exact dates.

Girl’s Empowerment Group (ages 9-11): Registration Closed. Begins April 13th from 1:00pm to 2:30pm for four weeks–$30 per session.  Ce Eshelman, LMFT and Andrea Kersten, B.A./B.S. will be using art and improv to create relationship skills for making and keeping friends.

AUTISM Support Group:  Monthly Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. Open to the public.  NEW DAY: Every third Monday from 5:30 to 7pm.  Gluten-free snacks provided. Please RSVP to Andrea@attachplace.com so we get enough snacks. This is a  monthly social group for the youth; and caregivers will have an opportunity to connect, chat, and chill in a separate space. There will also be occasional fun field trips, like bowling, ice skating, roller skating, etc. A donation of $5.00 will be accepted for food and supervision if you are able, but please don’t let that be an attendance barrier because the group is FREE.  ASD kids need a social life and this is a great way to make it happen.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  CLICK HERE to join our monthly  Adoptive Parent Support Group, May 8th, 2019.  Childcare provided at no cost. Support Group is every 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6 pm to 8 pm at 3336 Bradshaw Road, Ste 175, Sacramento, CA 95827. Open to the public.

GIVE A BOOK OF SUPPORT TO A FELLOW PARENT ON THE ADOPTION JOURNEY: Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT.  Daily inspirational reading for those who sometimes find it hard to keep hope alive. There is hope for healing.  Buy from Amazon or order a discounted copy here.

CAFA CAMP Registration–Reserve Your Spot Now

Couples Blog

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Dear Parents,

Check this FREE CA CAFA Family Camp out.  You need this more than you realize.  Register today.

Love and Fun Matter,

Ce

Upcoming Events Calendar and Other Things in Sacramento…

NEW DATE: Trust-based Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held on February 17th, 2018 from 9am to 4pm.  Register here or on our website!

JANUARY GROUPS ARE OFFICIALLY FULL!!!!!  Register today for the next session.   5-Week FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS IMPROV GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA–5-7 yrs group. The group will be $20 per session, CALVCB payment eligible, structured, and fun, too.  Groups will begin March, 2018.  Contact Ce at Ce@attachplace.com for more details.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on January 10th, 2018! Open to all parents/caregivers at no cost. Support Group is every 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6 pm to 8 pm at 3336 Bradshaw Road, Ste 175, Sacramento, CA 95827.

Reminder: Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. January 19th, 2018 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.  Gluten-free snacks provided. Please RSVP to Andrea@attachplace.com so we get enough snacks, right? This is a  monthly social group for the children; and caregivers will have an opportunity to connect, chat, and chill in a separate space. A donation of $0.00 to $5.00 will be accepted for food and supervision if you are able, but please don’t let that be an attendance barrier because the group is FREE.  ASD kids need a social life and this is a great way to make it happen.

GIVE MY BOOK FOR SUPPORT TO A FELLOW ADOPTION ADVENTURER: Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT.  Daily inspirational reading for those who sometimes find it hard to keep hope alive. There is hope for healing.  At Amazon or get a discounted copy here.

FOLLOW US:  Twitter @lovingradkids and @Attachmenthelp or Facebook.

 

For Those Considering Adoption

Dear Potential Adoptive Parents,

From the beginning, my children rushed me at the door as I came home from work. Frequently overwhelmed, I had two wild-eyed children, hungry cats, and excited dogs pawing at me before I sat my briefcase and groceries down. BC (before children), that iconic scene of parents coming through the door to a happy, bubbly, burst of children made me want a couple of them all the more. Everyone else is getting to have that experience, I thought; and there I was near 40 unable to hold a bun in the oven. That scene in movies and commercials was always bittersweet, never left me dry-eyed, and rarely failed to fill me with longing for the clamoring of little children.

I am not fond of the adage, Be careful what you wish for; however, Be careful what you wish for. Now, 18 years later, my adult children and innumerable dogs continue to paw me at the door. Usually, the kids reach for the grocery bags, and they are better able to step back for a minute when I say, Let me get in the door, honey. I say that sentence every day–Let me get in the door, honey.

My children reject most of my suggestions while hanging onto the slightest hint of disapproval. Cursed with an expressive face, I try to keep my eyes and voice soft, but sometimes (like today) my tiredness from work and exasperation from the clamoring sneaks into the creases around my eyes and my tone. It happens in a flash before I am aware. At that moment my children are crestfallen and ashamed for nothing they have done except being highly entangled in their attachment to me. I fear I will always be powerful in their insecure right-brains, and powerless to influence their left-brains. Darn it.

Consider the following very carefully:

Maniacal laughter; kicking and hitting with no apparent care about harm to the object; continuing to yell No! when no one is making a request; smiling in the face of hurting someone; running away with no destination in mind; holding hands over ears screaming, Lalalalalalala, I can’t hear you; feigning deafness; slamming fists through windows and walls; staring a hole straight through you; saying back the exact words you are saying; saying nonsensical things; baby talking when upset; desperate screaming and crying; spitting; growling; accusing you of hurting, abusing, scratching, threatening, and being mean when you accidentally bump them; moving from thing to thing to thing for no obvious reason; darting in and around people or spaces; erratic grabbing, snatching, lunging, rolling, diving, jumping, and climbing on tables and cabinets; demanding food when food is on the plate; running around breaking random things; yelling, You’re hurting me, I hate you, I’m going to kill you, fuck you, die.

When you adopt children who lived through adverse abusive experiences before the age of two, you are likely to experience some or all of the above for years after you put your signature on the bottom of the adoption papers.  They are not bad children.  They are dear and precious. They are also traumatized and abandoned.  Those adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) create problems in their psyches that those beautiful children will struggle with across their lifespans.  As the parent of two from difficult beginnings, I can tell you that these deep emotional scars persist well into adulthood.

If you adopt a child from difficult beginnings, from day one you will become a therapeutic parent–and that really never changes.  Are you up for the possibilities?  Did you have a secure attachment in childhood yourself, so you can weather the spit hurled into your face in the middle of a tantrum?  Can you set aside your own needs for a close, “normal” family in favor of working harder than you ever have in your life for anything in order to heal the wounds you had no hand in creating?  Adopting children is a life mission.  Are you up for it?

If your deep spiritual answer is a resounding yes, you are the right person to be looking into adoption.  All of these children deserve a loving, therapeutic parent.  None of them deserve an unprepared, unhappy, frustrated, and disappointed parent.  You don’t deserve that either.

Through love and acceptance, I continue to support the development of my adult children’s secure attachment. I try to own my facial expressions out loud, so they can relax their hyper-vigilance. I always consider how they might take something before I speak.  Those precautions do not always work.

I desire internal peace, love and success for my children. I want peace for myself, too.  I call on faith that we will find this ever elusive secure attachment some day. I call on my faith in love.

Attachment Help

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

If this sounds like a mission with your name on it; a mission that will bring greater meaning to your life the way climbing Mt. Everest does for adventurers; then bring it.  There will never be enough therapeutic parent adventurers for the number of hurting children who need one.

Love matters,

Ce Eshelman, LMFT

 

Attention regular monthly support group attendees:  

Our Monthly Support Group for Therapeutic Parents will not be held on the 2nd Wednesday in September, 2016.  We will have an alternative group meeting on the 3rd Wednesday of September, which is September 21st at 6pm at our office at 3406 American River Drive, Ste D, Sacramento, CA. My apologies for not realizing this hitch in the calendar until just now.  

 

You capicture of covern find my book on Amazon.com or on my website. Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon.

To sign-up for free Wisdom for Adoptive Parents blog delivered regularly to your inbox, click here.

Follow on Twitter @lovingradkids and @Attachmenthelp or Facebook.

Next Therapeutic Parenting Class is scheduled for October 8, 2016 from 9am to 5pm.  Sign-up on attachplace.com.  

Platitudes To Live By

Dear Parent,

I am a sucker for platitudes and dog videos. I read a “mood card” for adoptive parents today that said, Your adult children are the best part of you.  Sorry, but I seriously hope not. Then I read something else on Facebook by Anne Lamott that said, The reason life works at all is that not everyone in your tribe is nuts on the same day.  Pretty sure Anne Lamott is related to me somehow.

Either way, this is my best shot at a platitude that fits my truly wild and zany life: Dance around like you don’t care, sing in the car like you care even less, drink fine (or even cheap) wine every time you don’t have to pay for it, laugh too loud and way long into the night, and love fiercely even when it makes you cry like a baby.  

Me thinks life might not be worth living if it were dull.  Thank the Universe I adopted children.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

To sign-up for daily Wisdom for Adoptive Parents, click here.

The next 8-hr. Trust-based Parent Training is scheduled for June 18th and 23rd from 12pm to 4pm. Email Ce@attachplace.com to register.

TIME CHANGE: Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.
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You can find Ce’s book on Amazon.com.

Renaming Discipline

Dear Parent,

I wonder how I would view disciplining children if it were called shaping children or growing children or supporting children?  Would you see discipline differently if it were called something else?

I know the word discipline derives from the Greek word to follow or follower of a teacher (like Jesus). In the truest sense of the word, it follows that children are the disciples of parents (who often are not at all like Jesus); however, it does not follow that discipline means “to teach,” but rather it means “to learn.”  To teach is a misnomer.

In popular culture, discipline has come to mean something more authoritarian, power over, and punitive.  To discipline a child is to create learning through some form of pain–isolation from the family, restriction from play, loss of beloved things, slaps, spanks, verbal lashing, humiliation, and other unspeakable forms of torture in the name of discipline.  Pain of some kind is de rigueur,  as though pain infliction is the only way to get a child to learn.  Isn’t that odd?  Even a little counterintuitive from where I stand.

I wonder if I would have learned Spanish if every time I conjugated a verb incorrectly the teacher inflicted pain so I would learn.  I am actually having a hard time even imagining that scenario.  Of course, we all know pain is not necessary to learn Spanish or any other academic subject.  I think we all know that, except a lot of knock-down drag-out fights over homework might be evidence to the contrary.

Actually, to really learn Spanish (for native English speakers) there needs to be 1) a desire on the disciple’s part to learn, and 2) there may or may not be another reward involved, such as a passing grade, the ability to speak with someone in Spanish, the internal feeling of pride and accomplishment, or college entrance and employment advances.  Come to think of it: I’m pretty sure had pain been part of the equation, I would have elected not to learn Spanish.  I would have given up on my desire to learn it, and any of the possible rewards that would have accompanied acquiring Spanish speaking skills.  I never would have made it to college, because a language is required.  I would not have become a teacher or therapist.  Likely, I would not be able to afford the luxuries my professional career brings me.  I might have ended up living below the poverty line:  Perhaps even lose my will to accomplish anything in life at all.  I might have started hating Spanish, and learning, and teachers all together. I might have dropped out of school, given up on myself and my goals, and perhaps pursued a less than savory lifestyle to get by.

If I had to choose between painful success and painless survival, I’m not sure I would have had enough pre-frontal cortex developed in my high school years to make a decision that ultimately would have given me life advantages.  To clarify, the decision that would have given me life advantages would have been to continue on learning Spanish, while hating learning, hating teachers, and despite the pain inflicted when I made mistakes–despite the pain, not because of the pain.  (I thought about inserting an old Nun quip here, but I’m too serious about the topic to make it funny.)

What do you say we collectively stop painfully disciplining our children to teach them to learn and start supporting them, growing them, shaping them to learn instead?  Just a thought on this fabulous Friday.  Go have some fun with your precious traumatized, attachment challenged babies.  Playful engagement is the best teacher of children and it is  in their native language.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

To sign-up for daily Wisdom for Adoptive Parents, click here.

The next 8-hr. Trust-based Parent Training is scheduled in June 18th and 25th from 12 noon to 4 pm.  $200 per two person couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up, email ce@attachplace.com and I will register you.

TIME CHANGE: Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.

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To buy your very own copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT, go toAmazon.com or www.attachplace.com/drowing-hair-fire.  Please be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon.  Thank you.

 

Calling For A Revolution

Dear Parent,

I am on a soapbox today.  Don’t let any professional tell you that you are a bad parent because you need a break from your traumatized, attachment challenged child or if you think your child’s behavior is unsafe at home.  If your adopted child is tantrumming, self- and other-harming, ruling the roost, and challenging your authority at every turn out of fear related to his/her difficult beginnings, you may be suffering from Secondary Posttraumatic Stress. There is even something called Post Adoption Stress.  These are real experiences of loving parents everywhere who have adopted hurt and wounded children. It is phenomenally difficult to maintain one’s sanity while trying to heal these scared, scarred, and reactive little (and big) children. Unfortunately, because there are not enough respite resources and money to pay for consistent, competent childcare, adoptive parents fall prey to illness from stress–posttraumatic, post adoption stress.

Compounding the problem, if you happen to have trauma in your own childhood narrative, the likelihood of you coming down with a stress illness from the prolonged duress of raising challenging children is exponential.  If you doubt me, check out Dr. Nadine Burke Harris’s short TED Talk to hear the truth, THE EVIDENCE, about adverse childhood experiences (ACES) on all humans, children and parents alike.

It seems child welfare professionals (not individuals necessarily, but collectively) are having difficulty holding the dialect that loving parents are still loving parents when they get stressed out.  Loving parents can break down.  Breaking down does not mean one should not continue being a parent.  It may mean  child welfare agencies need to step it up. STEP IT UP!  Stop withholding funding, permissions, resources.  Stop putting parents down and holding them back.  STEP IT UP with more support directly into the purses of the parents who are ragged under the weight of trying to get what is needed for their children.

I am very deeply concerned that adoptive parents are being blamed by agencies, social welfare services, and adoption support organizations for not being able to whether the ill effects of childhood abuses on their adoptive children. Adoptive parents are getting the shaft, taken to task, called up on CPS charges, blamed in WRAP team meetings, and getting scorched and scorned behind closed clinical doors (where the motto is supposed to be “nothing about them–parents/children–without them.) This is happening simply because the adoptive parent ends up having posttraumatic symptoms directly resultant from the prolonged reactive, stressful behavior  on their own brain functions.  That was an ineloquent set of sentences, and I don’t give a care.  I mean every awkward word.

My views on this do not make me the most popular person in power’s that be circles and I can’t care about that more than I care about the families I see every day in my practice who are hurting and desperate for help.  I am not blaming the system.  I want to change the system.  I believe it has lost its collective way under the misguided belief that evidence-based interventions must all be tried and failed before creative, holistic ideas can be considered. We need to pull our heads out of…the sand.

I am calling for a revolution in post adoption services, a la Bernie Sanders and Black Lives Matter.  If $10,000 per month can be given by a county to a WRAP program to have meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting to no solid, tangible, evidence-based result for adoptive children, then adoptive parents ought to be given a shot at the same amount of money each month to acquire real, therapeutically trained, in-home supports that will actually help with the stress, remove some of the barriers to therapeutic attachment, and soothe the frayed nerves of adoptive parents who want nothing more than to be the loving, healing agents of change their children need.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

Ce Eshelman, LMFT is an attachment therapist, adoptive mother, stepmother, guardian mother, dog/cat mother, grandmother, not her husband’s mother, and author of:

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Available on Amazon.com.

Coherent Narratives

Dear Parent,

You might not know this about me (amidst all you do know):  I am a closet poet.  I used to be less closeted about it. Thought for awhile I would actually call myself a poet.  But that was when I was younger and had not yet found my calling (or read any real poets.) Yesterday, I wrote a little blog about mothers and one of my readers mistook it as a poem. She said it sounded like one.  It really wasn’t, though her comments sparked a memory that I was once a writer of poems.

In a minute I am going to share an actual poem I wrote some thirty years ago when I was wrestling with the notion of having a coherent narrative–that was long before I ever knew there was such a thing.  All of my life to that point, I had been trying to figure out what really happened in my childhood.  If you have read my book, you know more about that than you probably want.  Still, I tried to get coherent about my personal history before I was a therapist and before I was an adoptive mother.  I had no idea at the time why, except a nagging feeling that I would feel better if I understood my childhood better. Now I do know, and I want you to know so you begin to think about getting your narrative into coherent shape, too.  If you do, your relationship with your adoptive children will get better.

When you hear the angry sound of your mother’s words and voice tone coming out of your mouth while upset or challenged by your children, then you can know that your narrative has a bit of incoherence in it.  You are acting out the imprinted parenting of your childhood, perhaps without mindfulness.  The question is:  Do you want to be the same as your parent when she/he was upset?  If your parent was great, then the answer will most likely be yes.  If your parent was not so much great, then you might want to become more thoughtful yourself about your personal childhood story.

A well understood story is the beginning of a life well lived.  An incoherent, buried, denied or rejected story, may wreak havoc in your life, especially in your parenting life.  It is never too late to have a well examine childhood or to change a painful bout of parenting missteps into compassion for yourself and your child.

This is a poem about my mother.  It was my first attempt at a coherent narrative.

Identities

For that moment at least

I was you—

            from “Images of Godard”

            —Adrienne Rich

 

I remember a snapshot of you

and a Christmas turkey losing its wing to the blade of your

butcher’s knife

the camera’s flash caught the point

throwing white light across your face

leaving only the turkey focused

 

I remember about you      but I can’t quite see your face

your face that looked like me      Grandma says

like me when I’m angry or napping

you had fiery red hair stacked tall on your head

and there was some family joke about Dad

standing on a milk crate in a long lost portrait

trying to be taller     taller than you and your persona

“We never messed with your Mom” teased the men from the shop

where you worked your knuckles red and chapped

stripping flesh from bone     slicing muscle from fat

“She was a tough lady” they smiled fear lined admiration

no woman could match your easy wit and razor sharp tongue

no woman of your apron bound generation

 

Holding my shoulders high like you

my tongue as sharp and fiery

I sometimes scar others as you once scarred me

 

Passing the butcher shop today

I glimpsed my reflection

in the storefront window

and for a brief moment     my hands ached

and I knew myself as you

 

Love matters,

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Ce

 

Ce Eshelman, LMFT is an attachment therapist, adoptive mother, stepmother, guardian mother, dog/cat mother, grandmother, not her husband’s mother, and author of:

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Available on Amazon.com.

This Really Is My Life

Dear Parents,

I took my 20-year-old daughter for a psychiatric evaluation today.  I have somehow escaped this for the last two years, since she became an adult.  I offered to pay for an eval outside the Medi-Cal system in order to get a legitimate diagnosis and medication that is not dependent on the amount of money one can pay.  So, today was the day.

In a very short period of time, the psychiatrist leveled one of the diagnoses I knew would be given–Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). In that moment my heart cracked open and my mother blood leaked out onto the floor.  If you are not a therapist, this diagnosis may mean nothing to you. However, the diagnosis is often considered the bane of a therapist’s existence when a person labeled with it walks across the threshold.

I am breaking the therapist code of silence right now, because, as a therapist, I am not supposed to say any of this out loud.  As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure I will be stoned for daring to speak this. Most therapists (though not all) only take one or two people labeled “Borderline” into their practice at a time.  Why is that, you might wonder?  It is because they are so difficult to treat.  BPD person’s are predominantly female and well known for love you/hate you outbursts.  They often burst out of therapy the way attachment challenged children outburst over parenting.

My daughter had love you/hate you outbursts from the day I brought her home at three-years-old.  And, she still does.  Reactive Attachment Disorder grown-up without successful intervention is often called Borderline Personality Disorder in women and Narcissistic Personality Disorder in men.

I want you to know that early, effective intervention is possible.  Healing is possible. You can change the trajectory of your sweet, attachment challenged child.  How?  With consistent, trust-based, brain-based, therapeutic parenting.  That is how.

When my children were young, I wish I knew then what I know now.  I desperately wish this.  Right now, I am pleased my daughter lives with me and I have a chance to help her heal from the horrible wounds of attachment trauma in early childhood.  It is never too late.  Never.  I know this in my bones.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

To sign-up for daily Wisdom for Adoptive Parents, click here.

The next 8-hr. Trust-based Parent Training is scheduled for April 23rd and 30th from 12 noon to 4 pm.  $200 per two person couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up, email Jen@attachplace.com and she will register you.

TIME CHANGE: Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.
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Drowning with My Hair on Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents

To buy your very own copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT, go to Amazon.com or www.attachplace.com/drowing-hair-fire.  Please be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon.  Thank you.

Reflexive Reactions

Dear Parents,

I live with 4 adult children from difficult beginnings and my ears are being assailed by explanations, reasons, lies, excuses, and arguments.  Any sentence I speak that ends with a question mark is met by reflexive survival reactions designed to say, Whatever it is you might be asking (which I probably didn’t fully hear), I didn’t do it; I am not bad; you are wrong; there are reasons.  

Me:  Did anyone see my old Mac around?  

Collective Them:  No, I’ve never touched it.  No, I have never seen it.  I didn’t even know it was missing, so I didn’t take it. I didn’t use it, Mom.

Me:  Whose clothes are in the dryer?  

Collective Them:  Not mine.  His, I didn’t touch the dryer.  I haven’t done mine this week at all.   I didn’t see who did it.

Me:  Who has my tweezers?  

Collective Them:  I have my own.  I never use tweezers.  I don’t even know where you keep your tweezers.  Don’t ask me.

Me:  Are all the chores done?

Collective Them:  Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Me: Right. Get them done before dinner, please.

Me: Whose music is blasting?

Collective Them:  Not mine. Not mine. Not mine. Not mine.

Me: Clearly it’s mine. Whoever’s music isn’t blasting, turn it down.

The quickest way for me to find out who is home is to yell out a question–the reflexive, survival responses are lightning strikes off their tongues.  Poor babies.  Every last one of them is scared to death of being “bad,” and not one of them actually is.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

UPCOMING HOLD ME TIGHT WORKSHOP

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​Jennifer Olden, LMFT presents a ​“Hold Me Tight​”​ Couples Workshop at The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships in Sacramento, CA on May 28-29th.  If you are looking to improve your relationship​,​ this workshop will teach you how to create a stronger bond, lessen conflict, and increase trust and intimacy.  Based on Dr. Sue Johnson’s model for couples therapy:  Emotionally Focused Therapy.  Proven effective. Research based. ​Read more and register here.

The next 8 hr. Trust Based Parent Training is scheduled for April 23rd and 30th from 12noon to 4pm.  $200 per couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up email Jen@attachplace.com and she will register you.

Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.  Group and childcare are free.
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The public is invited to celebrate Ce Eshelman, LMFT’s new book, Drowning with My Hair on Fire: Insanity Relief for Adoptive Parents at an open house with brunch bites and bubbly on April 16th, 2016, from 11:30am to 1:30pm.  RSVP here.  Probably not the best event for children though.
To purchase a book click here or go toAmazon.com. Leave a review, when you can.

Without A Well Developed Prefrontal Cortex

Dear Parent,

Without a well developed prefrontal cortex, your child of any age cannot make sense of what matters in a productive life, logical consequences, parent/child hierarchy, morality, give and take, love commitments, integrity, honor.  If your child comes from difficult beginnings of any kind–adoption, birth accidents, illness, maternal illness or death, postpartum depression, multiple abandonments, abuse–the prefrontal cortex has been bathed in cortisol, which likely stunted expected emotional development.  If that is the case, using parenting strategies that rely on cause and effect, punishment, emotional demands, lecturing, logical consequences, hierarchical expectations, doing what is right, being good, relationship glue, conscience, and/or shame will make the problems worse and delay development further.

I heard that collective sigh, parents.  Strategies that rely on respect of the child’s life experience, regulation, shared power, training, repetition, acceptance, structure, nurture, safety, and empathy will help to lower the cortisol and raise the development quotient of the part of the brain where everything you are looking for lives.  It’s truly worthy parenting.  Any other kind is the opposite.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

Upcoming Hold Me Tight Workshop

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​Jennifer Olden, LMFT presents a ​“Hold Me Tight​”​ Couples Workshop at The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships in Sacramento, CA on May 28-29th.  If you are looking to improve your relationship​,​ this workshop will teach you how to create a stronger bond, lessen conflict, and increase trust and intimacy.  Based on Dr. Sue Johnson’s model for couples therapy:  Emotionally Focused Therapy.  Proven effective. Research based. ​Read more and register here.

The next 8 hr. Trust Based Parent Training is scheduled for April 23rd and 30th from 12noon to 4pm.  $200 per couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up email Jen@attachplace.com and she will register you.

Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.  Group and childcare are free.
picture of cover
The public is invited to celebrate Ce Eshelman, LMFT’s new book, Drowning with My Hair on Fire: Insanity Relief for Adoptive Parents at an open house with brunch bites and bubbly on April 16th, 2016, from 11:30am to 1:30pm.  RSVP here.  Probably not the best event for children though.
To purchase a book click here or go toAmazon.com. Leave a review, when you can.