Archive for brain-based parenting

Ten Therapeutic Parenting Principles to Snack On

Dear Parents,

Here are 10 Therapeutic Parenting Principles; not the only 10 Therapeutic Principles because there are many more.

10 Therapeutic Parenting Principles

  1. Be safe parents to attach to.  Safety over compliance is important in therapeutic parenting. Keep your faces and eyes soft.  If you are upset, give yourself a time out to someplace kid free until you can get your soft face back.  If the child insists on talking, insist on space for yourself first.  If the child badgers you, sit silently and read a book.  Offer the child a seat beside you. Promise to talk when you have calmed down.  This models affect (emotional) regulation.
  2. Punishment does not work.  Consequences do not work.  Emotional discussions do not work.  Rejection does not work.  Threatening does not work.  Spanking, hitting or physical force does not work.  Time out in isolation does not work.  Reasoning with a dysregulated child never works. So what works, you ask?  Emotionally regulated parent(s) using soft-eye nurture, empathy, engagement, and structure works to create the safety necessary to attach which is necessary for positive behavior change.
  3. Stop yourselves from talking, talking, talking to the child.  This will create tuning out, blank stares, and dissociation.  “Please remember that plastic can’t be microwaved, honey.”  “Thank you for quickly stopping and doing what I asked you to do.”  “Would you speak loudly please, or I won’t be able to answer you otherwise.” “When you are ready to finish your chores, then we can get on with the fun part of the day.”
  4. Be on the same page with your co-parent.  Use wait time to decide what to do.  Consult each other before making parenting decisions.  It is okay to say, “Something will happen, though I’m going to talk with Mom or Dad before deciding.”
  5. Stay calm.  Respond calmly and quickly only to real (not imagined) safety concerns that impact siblings, Mom or Dad, pets, or others. You can include property in this, but be careful. Sometimes “things” become more important than the heart of the child and that will not work long term.  Use appropriately measured restitution for property destruction instead of emotional punishment or consequences. Have the restitution discussion only when all are emotionally regulated.
  6. Do not follow, lead.  Your child needs you to be the leader.  If there are choices to give, you initiate them and you give them with empathy and understanding.  This is the kind of structure and nurture an attachment challenged child needs to feel safe.
  7. Avoid saying “no.”  This is very difficult.  Find a way to say yes.  “Yes, you can play with friends, when we come back from the store.”  “Yes, you can have candy after dinner.”  If badgering ensues, instead of ramping up your voice and thereby the emotional stakes, be a calm, broken record “Yes, after dinner.  Yes, honey, after dinner.”   Another way not to have to say “no” is to ask the child what s/he thinks the answer is?  Ignore most negative behavior.  You get more of what you focus on, so focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want.  Ignore the rest. Appreciate, compliment, and thank the child for behavior you want.  Give these things in a neutral tone rather than an exuberant tone.  Good behavior creates BIG anxiety in challenged children because they fear they will not be able to keep it up (as they think they are inherently bad somehow and it is only a matter of time before they do bad behavior).  These kids sabotage themselves, so avoid big build up to going places, seeing someone special, or getting to do or get something great.  The child will find some way to mess up the experience.  This is due to a number of internalized messages, but largely excitement dysregulation, anticipation anxiety dysregulation, and internalized negative self-concept dysregulation.  Operative word–dysregulation.
  8. Wait for regulation. Process situations with your child only when everyone is emotionally regulated.  If one of you gets dysregulated during a discussion, simply say, “Let’s stop for now and finish this conversation later when we can all be calm.”   Almost nothing requires a talk RIGHT NOW.
  9. Play, be silly, and laugh together.  Play is extremely important with challenged children. Use the therapeutic principles in Theraplay by Booth and Jernberg–Structure, Engagement, Challenge, and Nurture.  Stay away from winner/loser games.  Try not to keep score even if the game usually is scored.   Be lovingly physical.  Roll around on the floor together and switch up the play when the energy gets too high or too low.  Traumatized children get dysregulated by fun, too. That doesn’t mean they should never have it.
  10. Give lots of hugs and kisses on your terms.  It is okay to give them on the child’s terms, too; however, not only on the child’s terms.  If this is a problem and it often is, then get your therapist’s support for ways to change the dynamic.

Feel free to pass this along to any parents you think are struggling with trauma manifesting in their children.  Bottom line:  Most parents of traumatized children need the support of an attachment-based, trauma-informed therapist or team of trauma-informed professionals, and lots of respite.

For every ten principles, there are 10 more. You have plenty of time to grow.

Love matters,

Ce

The Attach Place Upcoming Events Calendar

Look what is coming at the end of August…August 28th to be exact

For more Mastermind information, click here.

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 ONLINE ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:   Adoptive Parent Support Group, July 10th, 2019.   Support Group is every 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6 pm to 8 pm online. Open to the public.  If you would like a link to the webinar, reply to this post with Adoption Support Group in the subject line.

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.

 

 

The Parent Is The Responsible Party

Dear Parents:

Couples Blog

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

I know I have said this before, but it bears repeating:  Parents, not therapists, are the healers of their children’s attachment and trauma. That is a big responsibility, isn’t it?  Yeah, the word “parent” should be replaced by “guarantor” or something like that.  Maybe “responsible party.”   I say it not as an obvious reminder that your children are your responsibility.  I know you know that.  I’m saying it because I want you to be perfectly clear that therapists, no matter what they think, are not the healers of attachment and trauma in your child–you are.  What therapists can do is support parents to be the Full Spectrum lighting; the Guerilla Glue; and the Neosporin, as it were, to the slings and arrows of painful childhood wounds.

To be the responsible party, you will have to take full responsibility for taking the best care of yourself possible.  Raising your child is a long journey into the dark night of the soul and the bright light of epiphany. Take a serious look at your own trauma, your own story, your own wounds from early life. Up your empathy for yourself, and then for your child.  Become an expert in how a traumatized child experiences parents and how you can become soothing to the dysregulated survival brain your child possesses.  Get respite–rest, relaxation, and recreation.  If your love and empathy are blocked, get unblocked (that is the hardest part).  Love deeply from the inside out.

That is my best encouragement for today my friends.  You can do this.

Love matters,

Ce

The Attach Place Upcoming Events Calendar (Click Here)

SPECIAL REPEAT: Trust-based Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held on July 14th, 2018 from 9 am to 4 pm.  Childcare provided for an additional fee. CALVCB will reimburse this training. Register here or on our website!

Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held on July 14th, 2018 from 9 am to 4 pm.  Childcare provided for an additional fee. CALVCB will reimburse this training. Register here or on our website!

AUTISM Support Group:  Monthly Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. Open to the public. July 20th, 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.

NEW!  5-Week FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS IMPROV GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA–5-7 yrs and 8-10 yrs. groups. The 5-wk group will be $125 total, CALVCB payment eligible, structured, and fun, too.  New groups will begin again August 4th, 2018.  Click here for more information.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Click Here to join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on July 11th, 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.

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.

 

 

When Your Hurt Child “Hates” You

Dear Parents:

Things like this are never easy to hear; unfortunately, you are in the designated hot seat to be the target for:

I hate you.

I hate everything about you.

I wish you never adopted me.

I want to kill you.

I am going to kill you in your sleep.

I hate you and I always will.

 

And then there are the variations on a theme:

I hate how you chew.

I hate your face.

I hate your voice.

I hate how you talk.

I hate your stupid dog (now this is a low blow.)

Shoot, you just wanted to give this child a nice home and a loving family, right?  

Now what?

Blow a big bubble, step inside it, and fill it with empathy for your child’s obvious emotional pain and distress.  Invite a village to surround your bubble, so you have the support you need to do it.

You might think I’m kidding, but I am not.  Empathy in the face of your child’s hatefulness is the ultimate cure.  You have to give empathy over and over and over to your child in order for your child to internalize it as healing salve on a wounded heart. Your anger, punishment, consequences, fear, cut-offs, rejection, dismissiveness, dread, coldness, personalization, and avoidance will feed the cruel wounded beast that has taken up residence there.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

I read somewhere that empathy is the opposite of cruelty. That struck a chord with me.  When my empathy tank is on E, I find myself behaving in subtly cruel ways toward my child. You already know I am not a perfect parent, so be sure to look deep at your own behavior.  You have to name it to tame it, as Dan Seigel would say.  We parent are never justified in being cruel or mean to our children, even if they have been that way to us.

Personally, I shame with discreet facial expressions.  I ignore by reading instead of engaging. I am matter-of-fact and I speak in a flat voice. I withhold eye contact. I am not proud of these things and I work hard to keep my empathy tank on F, but I want to be honest about them so maybe you can look at your own subtle ways.

Our children are not just reactive. They are specifically reactive to us.  Sometimes we are actually doing things that keep the hate alive and not doing enough to heal the pain within.   The solution is incredibly simple and amazingly hard at the same time. Open your higher self to your child and only share your lower self with friends who can understand and be soothing to you.

Over time…   Over time…   Over time, healing occurs.

Love matters,

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 from 9am to 4pm.  Register here or on our website!

Tell your friends: Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. Open to the public. February 16th, 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.

NEW!  5-Week FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS IMPROV GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA–5-7 yrs group. The 5-wk group will be $120 total, CALVCB payment eligible, structured, and fun, too.  New groups will begin again in 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 Valentine’s DayFebruary 14th, 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.

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.

 

 

 

 

                                              

 

A Bite of Mindfulness Everyday

Dear Parents,

Mindfulness is the new, old, buzz word.  Still, more and more research is showing that daily mindfulness has a real impact on brains for the good.  Eastern cultures have known these benefits for thousands of years.  Our children from difficult beginnings have very busy brains–like you don’t know that, right? I image you are thinking “No way, Ce, are my kid(s) going to be quiet on demand for even a minute.”

To that, I say, “You might be surprised.”  First of all, we are talking about one minute to start.   And at the top end, we are looking at 5 to 10 minutes total.  Daily mindfulness practice is setting new neuropathway tracks for focus, attention and personal agency over unruly emotions.  The promise is worth the price.  Which wolf are you feeding?

Be sure when you begin any mindfulness practice with children from difficult beginnings that you are trauma-sensitive about it. Our kids often cannot tolerate the way they feel inside, so closing their eyes for a minute can be wildly overwhelming.  Hint:  that is why they are so busy in the first place.  Here are some ideas for modifying usual mindfulness practices for traumatized children.

  • Use your child’s imagination. Keeping their eyes open, ask them to imagine what their toes feel like from the inside.  No one can do that, but it is mindful to try.  Tip:  when they think they can feel them, then ask them to notice how their ankles feel from the inside.  Don’t do this for longer than a minute.  Tomorrow.  Ask for the inside of a different body part. Of course, this will only work for a bit and then you will need to switch it up with a new practice.
  • As a family, do this little rap and sit criss-cross applesauce on the floor together.  Then, ask everyone to simply rest eyes on the ball/object that is placed in front of them.  Yes, all parents in the house sit criss-cross applesauce.  That is fun to watch in and of itself. https://youtu.be/4NIEUX55hSk

  • In the spring, go lay out on the grass and look at the sky.  This can last a very long time without effort.
  • Get the Headspace app on your phone and let your children watch the one-minute body scan animation, which is free.  Watch them go into a full body mindfulness state instantly. Some children will really enjoy this.
  • Look online into investing in HeartMath. This is a well-researched method for getting your child’s breath and heartbeat in sync.  Turns out this is very healing.
  • Each day, pick a two or three minute YOUTUBE video on mindfulness for kids to watch with you.  If you have a Smart TV or Apple TV you can show it on the big screen.  You can also watch it on a laptop or your phone.  This is a good reason to look at a screen.  Here are just a few I like:

Go in there, parents, and teach mindfulness to your little wild cats by “being it” together. Be creative. Be light about it. Have fun.

Love matters,

Ce

P.S. Today is Week 2 of Friendship Improv Group for 5-7-year-olds If you want your child to learn friendship skills, drop me an email to reserve a spot in the next one coming up in March.

Yesterday’s Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place was great!  Don’t miss the next one: February 16th, 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.

Couples Blog

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

 

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 from 9am to 4pm.  Register here or on our website!

NEW!  5-Week FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS IMPROV GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA–5-7 yrs group. The 5-wk group will be $120 total, CALVCB payment eligible, structured, and fun, too.  New groups will begin again in 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 February 14th, 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.

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.

 

 

 

 

                                              

 

 

Push Back Against the Social Machine: Confront Your Inner Sheeple

Dear Parents,

If you frequent The Attach Place much, you know I am single-handedly on a crusade to significantly reduce the use of screens with children from any kind of beginnings, difficult or otherwise. This is in no way an attempt at shaming you for using screens or allowing your children to have screens.  We are all frogs in the same slowly boiling pot.

Full disclosure, I love my gadgets.  I have an iPhone, Mac, iPod, and iWatch.  I can GPS track my children and husband anywhere on the planet at any given time.  I know how much I walk every day, and I know how many calories my husband burns each day.  My phone tells me how many minutes it will take me to drive to my office as if it knows that I am on my way there. Frankly, the machine does predict my habits and is rarely wrong.  From the coast of southern Italy, I found I could see my dogs napping in my U.S. living room, and I could also see when my employees entered the office while I was gone.  I actually know what the office cleaners do if I bother to look at my phone when it chimes in the middle of the night because, apparently, that’s when my office cleaners clean–who knew? The machine knows. There is not a single text, email, phone call, time to stand, or time to deep breathe that is not transmitted to me via haptics on my wrist.  I am wired.  I really do love my gadgets.

Just writing that scares me and embarrasses me a little because being this wired is out of integrity with what I know.  I do not need all of this. I know I can live without it because I lived most of my life without it–that’s how old I am.  I admit that I simply like dinking with it.  This is also what I can admit:  I let my gadgets get in the way of my relationships.  I am willingly a “sheeple.”

What I am wanting you to do, as a parent, is question your inner sheeple.  It feels like pushing an electronic bolder up a hill, even for me who only has my own fascination with electronics to contend with.  Still, I feel compelled to continue sounding the clarion alarm.  I believe following social screen norms is destroying the fabric of our families, our connections to ourselves and our children, and even the structure of our brains.

The research is already in–screens significantly reduce the quality of our human relationships.  Actually, they reduce our human attention spans altogether. They act like addictive substances on the brain’s reward system.  Over time, children and adults are replacing human relationships with electronic ones–Facebook over face to face connection becomes the easy, go-to alternative.  We are reducing our natural uplifting neurochemicals by engaging in non-human interactions as replacements for the real deal. Electronics interrupt human engagement and attunement and create distance between spouses and conflict between parents and children.  Most of all, regular repeated use rewires every single person’s brain, no matter who you are or how much you resist. Everyday life becomes a little duller and unexciting when compared to the ever-present blue screens with bright lights and lightning-quick, effortless interactions.

Being “truly human” is becoming harder.  Empathy is strained.  Logical reasoning is more and more illogical.  Family ties are less binding.  Real experiences are giving way to manufactured electronic alternative realities.  Normal curiosity and physical activity in children are being anesthetized by electronic child occupiers.  We are losing something very important in our society–the wonderful satisfaction of love and connection to others in our families and in the greater community.

Right now, I think this is mostly a first world problem.  Developing countries need electronics to catch up and bring them into the global realm.  I get that.  Electronics are not evil.  They are not even intrinsically bad for people.  Being a marketplace sheeple is the part I’m talking about–voluntarily following social screen norms despite what you know is ill-advised.

Couples Blog

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

As a parent, I know you are struggling with this.  Every parent is.  Some of you have already significantly reduced screen access in your homes. However, many of us have given way to the pressures of social norms and our children’s protestations of “Everyone else has….”  That’s what I did when my children were younger and the outcome for my adult son, in particular, has had a long-lasting impact on his personal motivation and overall life. I want to encourage you to know the facts.  Put them in front of your protesting children.  Stand your ground.  You need parental controls. You cannot trust children to moderate, modulate, or measure their use. Take your electronic power back.

Here is my pledge. I am going to take my power back, too. I am taking a 30-day Sheeple Challenge–nothing as severe as the “Kill Your TV” movement, because there is a place for electronics in our lives. I’m going with something more reasonable. I’m putting my screens on the charger when I walk through the door at night and that is where they will remain until I leave the house.  If the phone actually rings, I may answer it though I probably won’t.  I am going to make my iWatch a simple watch and turn off all those intrusive haptics.  I am not going to use my computer when there is a living, breathing person in the room, except for essential work-related things.  I will not use my screens for entertainment or pseudo-personal connection.  Some of this will be simple.  Some of it truly hard.  I’m up for getting my integrity back.

What will you do?  Take the challenge if you dare.  And, I am daring you.

Love matters,

Ce

P.S. The first 5-7-year-old groups went swimmingly yesterday.  A good time was had by most and how to make new friends was the topic of the day.  Looking forward to next week.  If you want your child to learn friendship skills, drop me an email to reserve a spot in the next one coming up in March.

Don’t forget this week’s: 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.

 

Couples Blog

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

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 from 9am to 4pm.  Register here or on our website!

NEW!  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 January 13th, 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 February 14th, 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.

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.

 

 

 

 

                                              

 

 

 

Mental Wellness Exams Before Kindergarten

Dear Parents,

I was just reading an NPR article about getting mental wellness intervention before a child goes to Kindergarten and gets entangled in the educational system where it seems intervention at that age is poo-poo’d–Just wait until 1st or 2nd grade when things are really bad, then we can do something.  

Here is the skinny:  many attachment/trauma problems can be corrected well before Kindergarten if they are detected before Kindergarten.  Parents know when something doesn’t feel right.  If something doesn’t feel right, it isn’t right.  It doesn’t mean every little parent anxiety is worth an MRI, but a churning in a parent’s gut about how a child does or does not surrender to parental safety; or the recurring feeling that your child is not being soothed by your attempts; or your on-going experience of chronic crying, sleeplessness, bed dread, and extreme cling are all validate and important reasons to get a savvy intervention while your baby/toddler/young child’s brain is still in its patterning, imprinting stage.  Get they to an attachment therapist, pediatric trauma expert, childhood psychiatrist who specializes in treating primal wound anxiety for help.  You will be exceedingly glad you did or profoundly sad if you don’t.

Attachment Help

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Trust yourself.  It is never too early to get help with something that isn’t going great. Being told that Kindergarten is too soon to be concerned is hog-wash.  Waiting until Kindergarten to deal with anxiety, grief, fear, dysregulation, and/or despair is waiting maybe 5 years too long.

Love matters,

Ce

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.

Next Therapeutic Parenting Class is scheduled for October 1, 2016 from 9am to 5pm.  Sign-up on attachplace.com.  Sorry this date moved around a little.  We are about to move our office and the new office is taking longer to build out than expected.  We will go forward with the original Oct. 1st date.  Sign up on our website:  www.attachplace.com

 

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

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Follow on Twitter @lovingradkids and @Attachmenthelp or Facebook.

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.

Change Makers

Dear Parents,

Our children do not change easily, but we can.  I know it seems like it is hard to change.  As a matter of fact, I think people go to therapy to change and stay too long “trying.”  Trying to change is the problem.  One must simply do it.  Do the mindful trick of changing your mind.

I read a study once that said the degree of one’s denial is the best predictor of a long, happy marriage.  Basically, those who are happy for the longest time in attachment relationships are those who ignore the stuff they don’t like about their partners and who focus on what they love instead.  Really, this is actual research.

By experience, I find that research to be true.  For example, I can focus on my husband’s repetitious restacking of the dishwasher and find it irritating, annoying or even personalize it as a comment he is making on my competence to stack the dishwasher correctly.  On the other foot, I could notice my husband’s repetitious restacking of the dishwasher and find it meaningless, his deal, or even a cute little behavior of his.  Which version will be the most attachment promoting way of seeing my husband?  I personally find it cute; also, I never have to put dishes in the dishwasher. Works for us both and I can feel perfectly in love with him while we clean up the kitchen after dinner.

Look around at your life.  What triggered feelings are you focusing on, memorizing today that you will play tomorrow when you encounter that trigger again?  Right now the garbage is overflowing in my kitchen.  I can allow my thought, Someone who was supposed to take it out has disrespected me, to make me annoyed or angry; or I can take a moment, wonder why it didn’t get done, take it out myself, or put it on the chore list for tomorrow. Which version will be the most attachment promoting way of seeing my children?

Much to the chagrin of many friends and family members, I have a tendency to take my children’s repetitious behavior in stride.  It is the way they are.  I don’t love it, and it isn’t about me.  That is what I know.  If I were to think their behavior is about me, then I would be angry and our attachment relationship would be compromised.  I want to be happy, so I choose a form of denial about my children. They do their best.  It isn’t always that good.  And, that is not about me. That thought keeps me happy.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

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.

TIME CHANGE: Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.
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 or www.attachplace.com/drowing-hair-fire. Please be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon.  Thank you.

Back to Bed He Goes

Dear Parents,

As you know, I am now in recovery from electronics enabling my son.  I found his last hold out cell phone (generous gift from an equally addicted friend) this morning and put it where all things electronic go–between the mattresses in my bedroom (shhhhh, that’s my secret hiding place).

Just as soon as I confiscated it, my sweet electronics addicted child went back to bed.  If you are a religious blog reader, you know I have been around this corner many times before.  He will stay in bed for 3 or 4 days, wasting away (except when I leave the house and he forages the kitchen), and angry as a hornet.  He thinks he is punishing me by not going to school and hiding out in his room.  You may recall that I enjoy the quiet when he is punishing me this way.

I am sad that my son cannot function if he has even one device, but that is the state of his brain.  I have determined through my persistent, tenacious enabling that he will not reach his full human capacity if he has so much as a rather benign iPod.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Biting the bullet is hard on the teeth.

Love matters,

Ce

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.
Look for Ce’s Upcoming Book
 

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Drowning With My Hair On Fire

Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents
 
Drowning with My Hair On Fire is a compilation of over 175 daily support letters to parents of adoptive children and other children from difficult beginnings.  With a forward by Dave Ziegler, Ph.D. and a brief personal memoir, this publication is a response to blog-reader requests for a book of letters that can be easily returned to day after day, when inspiration is hard to find.
Praise for Drowning with My Hair On Fire
This woman saved our family. This book will save your sanity! After years (and many therapists) of getting it wrong, Ce Eshelman got our traumatized family on the right path to attachment, sanity, and big biglove. Ce’s unique therapy is grounded in the latest brain research, her own struggles raising traumatized children, and work with hundreds of families like ours. Her stories, contained in this book, are our stories: full of pain, confusion, hope, faith, love and practical magic that really works.
Elaine Smith, Adoptive Mother
Ce’s daily blog has been a lifesaver, particularly when days are most dreary and hopeless.  Not only have her words of empathy proven to be priceless to our family, but I have often forwarded them on to others.  Such a comfort to feel understood, with no judgment.
Patty O’Hair, Adoptive Mother
In a real sense “Drowning with My Hair on Fire: Insanity Relief for Adoptive Parents” is a daily mediation of struggle, success, failure and getting up and trying again.  If that sounds like too much to subject yourself to then don’t adopt a challenging child.  And one more thing, shouldn’t we require prospective adoptive parents to read “Drowning with My Hair on Fire: Insanity Relief for Adoptive Parents” rather than another ‘All they need is love’ manual?
Dave Ziegler, Ph.D., founder of Jasper Mountain Center and author of many books on raising children from difficult beginnings.

Brain-based Parenting, What?

Brain-based parenting is one of the true keys to helping our complex, attachment challenged children become family kids.

Children with complex trauma and attachment breaches usually have reactive, stressed out brains.  They have very little access to their pre-frontal cortex, even when perfectly calm. That part of the brain is responsible for good judgment, organization, rational thought, language skills, cause and effect thinking, moral reasoning, and information recall.

Now toss some stress into the mix.  You know, surprise her with a sudden change of plans.  Tell him to quickly get ready for school.  Tell her do her homework with you or by herself without you.  Gently explain that his friend doesn’t want to play with him anymore because he doesn’t like being spat upon.  Challenge her to start that big project right now.  Shout, “Take the trash out!”  Give him an angry face.  Throw away a piece of trash/treasure from under the bed.  Confront her with a chore done poorly.  Hug him without his permission.  Tell her to change her too short skirt.  Hint about a surprise.  Remind him that Christmas is coming.  Nicely tell her to turn the TV off two minutes before the end of the show, and on and on.

If you were a brain-based parent, you would start all conversations with a request for a few deep breaths and a gentle reminder that nothing is wrong, that you are going to tell him something and he is not in trouble.  After that, you would say, “Ready?”  Wait for the all ready sign then slowly explain what comes next. “We are going over to Grandma’s house instead of to Uncle Tom’s house.”

I can hear your exasperation from here. Really? Are you kidding me? Do you realize that I have things to do, places to go, and no time for dilly-dallying?  I know. I know.

If you think slowing down to talk your child through the changes of every day life is like watching ice melt on a busy day, then consider the alternative. How much time does it take to get any kind of positive movement from your child once the stress hormone (cortisol) has kicked in, the pre-frontal cortex has gone off-line, and you have to resort to chasing him around the house, tackling him and making him put hisdarned shoes on now!  Fearful, raging, tantrums ensue.  Tick tock.  The clock did not stop and now you are an hour late (at least).

Two-minutes of proactive, brain-based parenting, can prevent hours of reactive, brain-based fall-out.

Love Matters,

Ce Eshelman, LMFT

The Attach Place provides a monthly, no fee Trust-based Adoptive Parent Support Group in Sacramento, every 2nd Wednesday of each month.  Next group is November 11that a NEW time–5:30 pm. Join us.  Online RSVP each month required when you need child care. 

The Attach Place offers an 8-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course every other month.  Our next course dates areDecember 5th and 12th, 2015. Sign-up by calling 916-403-0588 x1 or email attachplace@yahoo.com.

The Attach Place supports The Wounded Warrior Project by providing free neurofeedback to veterans.  Feel free to send a soldier our way for an assessment and 20 session course of treatment.

Feel free to send this link to friends or family members who you would like to receive Daily YOU Time: Wisdom for Adoptive Parents.

Take time for explaining, training, and listening to complaining.