Archive for Parent Self Care

Throwing in the Towel

Couples Blog

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships, LLC

Dear Parents, Sometimes I wonder where cliches come from.  Usually, I know what they mean, but I am not always sure from whence they sprang; hence the title.  Does throwing in the towel have something to do with surrendering in war?  Boxing maybe?  Mama Google says the latter, “When a boxer is too beat up to continue, his coach throws a towel into the ring to signal that the fight is over.”  Oh, apparently one cannot throw one’s own towel into the ring; someone else does it for said one.  Well, the title of this blog only kinda works then.

When Life Creates Movies

A day or so ago, I watched Instant Family and sadly resonated with the husband and wife scene in the bedroom just after the three kids come home as fosters.  I think they were effectively throwing in the towel and by the end of the tirade, they had grabbed it back again.  I certainly did that a zillion times over the two decades of raising my children.  As far as I know, there isn’t a cliche for grabbing the towel back again, but that’s the part I loved. The part where some deep commitment, I think core human attachment, kicked in and brought me back to reality. Yep, I signed up for this.

Then There Is Life

Sunday, I had breakfast with my 23-year-old daughter.  She had her partner and their almost two-year-old son, my grandson, with her.  The baby is from difficult beginnings.  His parents are both grown-ups with Complex Developmental Trauma.  The little guy was pitching a fight all over the place, not to mention flinging the hash browns and mac and cheese at everyone who walked by.  I was sucked into a time warp when my children were his age and twice as dysregulated.

The distress on my daughter’s face was palpable, while her partner had lost his temper repeatedly until he fell silent playing on his phone.  Personally, I was completely calm and empathic with all of them in a way I was never truly able to be 20 years ago.  Of course, I would be headed home in an hour to a quiet house filled only with dogs.  It’s easy to be regulated for a couple of hours.  Still, I was filled up with love right then when an old, familiar wish barged in–a bittersweet wish that I had known at the beginning of my parenting life what I know now.

Be as therapeutic as you can muster with your children today, my friends.  They will grow up, and they need all the empathy and understanding you have in your bones to get there.  That, of course, involves having empathy and understanding for yourselves, as well.

Love matters,

Ce

The Attach Place Upcoming Events Calendar

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

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, March 13, 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.

Save Your Words of Wisdom Parents

Dear Parents,

Man alive, do we parents talk too much to teenagers–actually to all children.  Why do we do that when we know that even our kindest voice can feel like little pins pricking into their eyeballs? Too graphic? Sorry.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Talk less–be slow to fault-find and fast to accept.

Back off a bit with parenting and go forward a bit with fun and novelty.  Watch movies together. Bake brownies. Find a “thing” you both like, and don’t let a week go by without doing it.

Work hard at soothing your own sense of helplessness, rejection, and inadequacy.  Your teenager feels that way but you don’t have to because you are not 15–thank the Universe for that small gift.

Love matters,

Ce

The Attach Place Upcoming Events Calendar

Trust-based Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held on November 10, 2018 from 10 am to 4 pmChildcare 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. October 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. 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.

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

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.

 

 

 

Parents Doing Their Own Emotional Work

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Dear Parents,

I don’t usually share other writers’ works because it is like cheating for me; however, this came to me from the “Mental Health on the Mighty” blog and it made me think that you, parents, might like a way to see if your own childhood experiences impact you in any of the ways it has impacted the people commenting below.  If you see yourself in some of these remarks, then you might need to do some work on yourself to keep from constant dysregulation with your children.

21 Things You Do As An Adult If You Grew Up With Low Self-Esteem

by Juliette Virzi

Growing up, most of us aren’t taught about feelings and mental health. So if you are a kid struggling with low self-esteem, it’s easy to think there’s just something wrong with you.

That’s why we want anyone who grew up with low self-esteem to know there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you, and you’re not alone.

Maybe you grew up in an abusive household, and you constantly battle feelings of unworthiness. Maybe you were bullied as a kid, and are still dealing with the fallout of the things that were said and done to you. Or maybe you grew up with a mental illness and it affected your self-image.

Whatever the situation was for you, you’re not alone in it — even when it feels like it. To find out what people do now as adults because of a childhood struggle with self-esteem, we turned to our Mighty community to share their experiences with us. 

If you grew up with low self-esteem, we are so grateful you’re here and in our community. If you’re struggling, we encourage you to post a Thought or Question about it on the site to get support from other people in our community who get it.

Here’s what our community told us:

  1. I automatically assume a compliment is either a lie or they need something from me so they’re building up to ask it.” — Brittany S.
  2. “As an adult, having low self-esteem means I have to ask people’s opinions on how to complete even the simplest of tasks as I don’t believe my own solution is good enough, or the correct way.” — Anna B.
  3. “Constantly looking for validation from others… and not knowing how to say ‘no.’” — Jenna E.
  4. “Anytime somebody makes a negative comment about me, I think about it for months.” — Janet B.
  5. “I am super insecure in relationships. I know I’m not good enough or they can do better so I’m constantly needing attention and validation.” — Danielle H.
  6. “With my low self-esteem I constantly wear long baggy clothes. I find no point in putting work into my makeup or hair since I feel that no one would notice/care even if I did.” — Cassandra P.
  7. “I won’t go into public very often, especially since gaining weight. Then when I walk past people I hold my breath and pray nobody starts laughing or whispering.” — Angie T.
  8. “I have to prove myself to everyone. My family, my friends, my co-workers, my job, my therapist, the lady checking out my groceries, my landlord, my gym trainer, my dog, the lady that watches my dog… you get it. It’s constant and exhausting.” — Holley L.
  9. “I have no idea how to take a compliment, and I’m way too embarrassed to talk in public.” — Justin L.
  10. “Eye contact scares me.” — Lucy G.
  11. “Sex! No confidence when it comes to my body or performance.” — Anastasia H.
  12. “I seek validation from other people on Facebook to the detriment of my mental well-being. So when my posts get ignored/no one ‘likes’ them, I assume I’m not liked/worthy.” — Faye E.
  13. “Job interviews are the worst. How do you explain what a great person you are when you don’t believe it?” — Kristi J.
  14. I’m so used to feeling less-than that I really have to psych myself up to do something minor like make a comment in a group, on or offline. Past criticism haunts me like I wish compliments would.” — Robin W.
  15. “My service in the military helped to pick my esteem back up. I was good at it. I enjoyed it. Now that I’m out I’m having a hard time being proud of anything I do. Feels like I lost direction. But it can only get better.” — John B.
  16. “Constantly changing my personality to those around me so I fit in and never stick out. I don’t know who I am.” — Nicole V.
  17. I constantly pick myself apart and notice all my flaws.” — Corinna H.
  18. “I rarely take pictures. I never believe any compliment. I think people feel sorry for me or want to use me. I have never looked at myself and felt attractive, I only see flaws.” — Charly B.
  19. “Dating has been horrible. I constantly second-guess and over-criticize myself. I’ve convinced myself a lot that I don’t deserve to be in a healthy, solid relationship, but I’ve finally started to let that go!” — Emily L.
  20. “I was told by a parent that I was worthless… and it has carried over into my adult life in the worst ways. I have a fear of being ignored by the people I love and have made myself into a doormat in so many ways just to make sure they never feel how I feel.” — Mikki I.
  21. “Not knowing who I am. I looked for affection and attention and validation for so long in everyone else that I’m not sure who I was. Or who I am. I’m spending my mid 30s getting back to who I am. And being confident that she’s an amazing person with all the love and kindness and her heart. And she’s smart too.” — Kristy G.

________________________________

When we feel/believe/experience things like these, we can find the slings and arrows of our children from difficult beginnings intolerable.  We can become reactive and hurtful right back. 

No shame.  Just get honest with yourself and get whatever help you need to heal from your own difficult beginnings.

Love matters,

Ce

Caring For Your Life–The Great Parenting Challenge

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Dear Parents,

It has been a while since I stepped up on my soapbox about the importance of self-care for parents, and the last time I made my soapbox case a parent retorted, “And exactly how are we supposed to do that?”  Right.  I didn’t say it was easy to get all your ducks in a row to escape to adult time away from children. But, your hyper-aroused neuronet needs a break.  I just said it was imperative.  So, knowing the difficulty, I still challenge you to spend the next month saving your pocket change, searching actively for childcare, training those you find in therapeutic care strategies, and booking time alone with or without your spouse–even if it is just down the street at the Motel 6. Try to find one with a spa and order food via Grubhub or Doordash.

When I was raising young children, my later to be, husband, whisked me away nearly every month for a couple years for a brain break.  I was extremely fortunate, I know. So grateful today for him and his generosity–and the break.  I also know it saved my emotional life.  Raising my dysregulated children 24/7, 365 for 18 years was the hardest thing I ever did in my life–seemed a little like rock climbing the side of a cliff without ropes or a net. Or muscles.

It may not be that hard for you, but you have to admit it is still stressful and requires constant energy output.  Your neurochemical complex needs active recovery.  The Great Parenting Challenge is before you.  Will you accept the challenge?  I hope so.

Love matters,

Ce

P.S. I know the idea of taking our easily dysregulated kids to a toy store brings about hand-wringing and the gnashing of teeth, but there is a great toy store in the Folsom Outlets, Folsom, CA that caters to kids and is owned by a woman who actually came to my office to chat about what we do at The Attach Place, and to lend her support to our effort to heal the hearts of traumatized children.   Check out their website where you can become a VIP Club member and see events that happen every week.  They know you might be coming and are prepared for the shenanigans of children from difficult beginnings.  

Upcoming Sacramento Adoption Community Events

Working with Kids with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders And Other Neuro-Based Challenges: A training for caregivers, child welfare professionals, mental health providers, and school and community personnel

FASD is underdiagnosed and many adoptive parents have no idea their child may have it as other diagnoses have overlapping characteristics.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Registration 8:30
Training 9:00-12:00
Presented by Barb Clark, Master Trainer

Location: Sierra Forever Families
8928 Volunteer Lane, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95826
Phone: 916-368-5114
RSVP: Kim@capadoptfam.org

Hosted by Sacramento County Community Champions Network and the North American Council on Adoptable Children

Caring For A Child Who is Someone Else’s?

Are you informally caring for a child, an adoptive family, a foster/resource family, or a guardian? Looking for support or information? Need help finding services? Please join us for a community discussion! With the help of the Community Champions Network we may be able to create something helpful in our community. Can’t attend the meeting but still want to participate in the conversation? Email Kathryn at kemoryka@netscape.net

Meeting Details:

Tuesday September 25, 2018 6:30pm to 8:30pm

El Dorado County Office of Education

6767 Green  Valley Rd.

Placerville Building B, Room 2

NACAC shares current child welfare information and post-adoption best practices through publications, our website, social media, webinars, and educational events. Each year, NACAC hosts the most comprehensive adoption conference in North America.

We also provide information and training on adoption topics for parent group members, parents, young people who were adopted or in care, and child welfare professionals. As part of a federally funded collaboration called Critical Ongoing Resource Family Education or CORE, NACAC is currently working with Spaulding for Children and other partners to help improve the training offered to foster and adoptive parents of children who are older and have more needs.

Are You a Professional Who Works With Children?

We are hosting a discussion/focus group for professionals who work with children who are not being raised by their biological parents. Our community would like to assess the needs of professionals (agency workers, therapists, community providers) who serve our families. What do you need? What does the community need? A Community Champions Network may help us meet the needs and fill the gaps in our community. Can’t join us for the discussion but still want to join the conversation? Email Kathryn at kemoryka@netscape.net.

Meeting Details:

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 1pm to 3pm

Cameron Park Library

2500 Country Club Dr.

Cameron Park, Ca 95682

Working with Kids with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders And Other Neuro-Based Challenges: 

A training for caregivers, child welfare professionals, mental health providers, and school and community personnel

FASD is underdiagnosed and many adoptive parents have no idea their child may have it as other diagnoses have overlapping characteristics.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Registration 8:30
Training 9:00-12:00
Presented by Barb Clark, Master Trainer

Location: Sierra Forever Families
8928 Volunteer Lane, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95826
Phone: 916-368-5114
RSVP: Kim@capadoptfam.org

Hosted by Sacramento County Community Champions Network and the North American Council on Adoptable Children

The Attach Place Upcoming Events Calendar

Trust-based Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held in November 2018 from 10 am to 4 pmChildcare 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. October 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. 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.

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

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.

 

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.

 

 

Dad’s Are Bad

Dear Parents:

Couples Blog

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Dad’s are badass, I mean.  You are the ever-present man behind the woman behind the kid.  And, in some cases, you are the man behind the man behind the kid.  Sometimes you are solely the man behind the kid.  Every kid needs a dad like you–engaged, connected, courageous, and badass.

You may not get a peaceful Sunday relaxing in the environment of your choosing, but you sure do deserve it. You may even get overlooked in the hubbub of the celebration tomorrow–Where’s Dad?

Rest assured.  You are seen.  You are a gift in the life of your child.  Celebrate your day.  Just like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is every day.  You matter immensely in the life of your family and you are badass to boot.

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!

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.

 

If Shame Is Your Middle Name

Dear Parents:

Shame has a tendency to well up around parenting attachment challenged, traumatized children.  These are the thoughts of shame: I’m not good enough.  I’m a bad parent.  I can’t do this.  I don’t feel loving. I’m angry all the time. I have no patience. I hate how I am. If you are swimming in shame, you may need some help finding your vulnerability and compassion for yourself.  Some of our children have difficulty accepting parenting and we have difficulty accepting that it isn’t our fault. The shame often doesn’t come directly from parenting. Likely it started in your childhood.  It just gets big and overwhelming when your own children are added to the mix.   It is never too late to reclaim your childhood.

If this sounds like you, check out a little reading.  Brene Brown is my favorite.  She has a blog (doesn’t everyone have a blog?) You can watch her on TED (not everyone has a TED Talk.)  Read her book. Go to a local workshop based on her work. Join a support group based on Daring Greatly (her book.) She is all the rage.  You could be part of a movement.  The no fear, no shame movement.

Get a little inspiration here:

You can go to therapy, buy a workbook, find a 12-step.  What you probably ought to avoid? Avoidance.

Love matters,

Ce

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

The Attach Place Upcoming Events Calendar (Click Here)

RESERVE YOUR SPOT: Trust-based Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held on June 9th, 2018 from 9 am to 4 pm.  childcare provided for an additional fee. 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. May 18th, 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 in August 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 June 13th, 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.

Mother’s Day Is Every Day

Hello Parents:

This day has created one of the most iconic pictures of motherhood–all flowers, breakfast in bed, and celebration with curly-haired, dimpled-faced, adoring children gently dusted with pancake flour.  Some of us mothers are getting a version of that today as spouses, friends, and children scramble to create this hallmark image of happiness.  Some of us are trying to do it for ourselves.  Others of us are simply getting through the day.

Couples Blog

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Wherever you are, however you find yourself on this day elected to honor mothers, know this in your bones: mother’s day is every day.  You are always “bringing it” for those you love.  Some days you can barely brush your teeth at the end of the day, and other times you skip it altogether out of a desperate need to drop from exhaustion wherever you are.  Mothering is in your DNA. You cannot give it up once you have embraced it.  It pushes and prods and pulls you forward into action.  It whispers in your ears day and night how much those around you truly need you.  You cannot give up, let down, or surrender to the challenges of mothering, and you wouldn’t even if you could.  That is your inherent genetic make-up showing forth for your children. You are made of grit and courage, determination and compassion.  You hold the keys to the universe and to the car. You have hands for comforting and for unlocking the box where all the remotes live.  You are made of gorilla glue, two-sided tape, caulk, and baling wire. Like it or not, Mammas, you got this.

Happy Mother’s Day; this day is one among 365 mothers’ days a year.  Go ahead, let loose–celebrate. You deserve it.

Love matters,

Ce

Upcoming Events Calendar (Click Here)

RESERVE YOUR SPOT: Trust-based Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held on June 9th, 2018 from 9 am to 4 pm.  childcare provided for an additional fee. Register here or on our website!

FRIENDS OF AUTISM:  Monthly Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. Open to the public. May 18th, 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 in August, 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 June 13th, 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.

Fear or Love? Parenting Developmentally Traumatized Children

Dear Parents,

One of my children was potty trained, in charge of the universe, and talking at 1.5 yrs. The other was 4 yrs. before either of those things happened. I was frightened by both.

One of my children was astute and controlling everything and anything in her worldview. The other was forever a baby, needing help with simple tasks through the adult years. I was frightened by both.

One of my children was cunning and shrewd–survival was the modus operandi. The other was gullible and passively uncooperative–survival was the modus operandi.  I was frightened by both.

One of my children used a 10″ butcher knife to threaten an adult step-brother and to carve a thin line on all the walls about waist high in every room in our house.  The other foreshadowed this years earlier by meandering toward me with a similar blade, which seemed longer than the little arm that was wielding it at the time. I was frightened by both.

My fear made me distant and guarded at the very times my children needed my love.  My children needed me close and my fear walled off my heart.  Survival mode took me over and I became more utilitarian than relational.  I didn’t think I could help it at the time.  As a matter of fact, there was a moment when I looked for the exits.  The ones I found were not really tenable–who would take care of my kids?  I just kept going like an emotionally volatile robot.

I’m telling you this to say, “Me, too.” I’m telling you this to say that I did eventually find a way out of survival mode.

Parents, I implore you, do what you can to find your heart. Go closer. Keep your skin in the game. Fear less. Engage more.”  Fear? Or Love?

That’s easy to say but it isn’t easy to do.  I know.  I truly know in my bones.

If this is happening to you, then you MUST do some things to get out of the rabbit hole of survival mode.  The number one most effective cure for fear that blocks engaged, loving parenting is… Ready?   Regular respite. 

I promise you that is the cure for blocked, guarded-hearted, fearful, survival mode parenting.

In my work, parents tell me all the time that they can’t afford “regular” respite.  I get it; it’s expensive.  And some parents really can’t.  Often though, I notice those same parents taking vacations to Hawaii or Mexico once a year.  I know they scraped up coupons, Groupons, deals, and stuff to make that happen, and I don’t for a second begrudge or judge anyone for desiring a tropical vacation.  I don’t.  What I am wanting you to consider is finding a way to get money to pay for regular respite in the same way you find the money to go on a vacation–beg, borrow, swap, co-op, trade, exchange, barter, and save cans.

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Center for Strengthening Relationships

Regular weekly respite will rejuvenate and sustain your emotional life with your children.  The excitement and relief of a vacation with your children may or may not last through the plane ride.  At some point during the vacation, you may even ask yourselves, “What in the @#$! were we thinking?”

Not all parents will regret their tropical vacation midway through.  Let me say this though; the parents who find a way to enjoy vacationing with their children are usually the same ones who found a way to get respite regularly.  “Regular respite” and “enjoying your children” are the main ingredients for making life force biscuits.  Mmmm delicious.

Hey, it’s the New Year, right?  While resolutions rarely survive the first two weeks of January, consider making a weekly respite goal and sticking with it for 21 days (that three weeks in case you weren’t counting).  By that time it will be a habit to save money each week for your life force–the Regular Respite Cure.

Love matters,

Ce

Upcoming Events Calendar and Things in Sacramento…

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.

Reminder: Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. January 19, 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 and 8 to 10 yrs group.  The groups will be $20 per session, CALVCB payment eligible, structured, and fun, too.  Groups will begin January 13th, 2018.  Contact Jen at Jen@attachplace.com for more details.

If you haven’t responded to the Capital Adoptive Family Alliance (California residents only) survey about needs you have for your family while raising adopted children, here is the linkFill it out now!  That is my way of encouraging everyone to answer the survey questions to the best of your ability. You can skip anything that you don’t want to answer.  This is a way to get funding channeled to adoptive parents.  Super special opportunity for all of us adoptive families who need financing for services.

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.

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

 

Stress Kills

I know it seems like you have to live with stress because you are parenting children who present with behavior that is stressful.  That has a certain logic, but I think it is an excuse for not regulating yourself so you can be less stressed.  I certainly have blamed my children for my stress level.  It was hard for me to take responsibility for myself, for my health, for my stress reduction strategies.
 
Are YOU taking responsibility for your emotional state?  
 
Here is a suggestion:
 
Take your stress temperature at regular intervals throughout your day.
On a scale of 1 to 10, where are YOU?  If you use the Zones of Regulation, which I suggest you do with yourself and your children, ask yourself what zone you are in regularly throughout your day.
 
  • If your stress level is above a 7 or in RED, YOU have flipped your lid. Stop whatever you are doing and take a break.  Let the kids coast on a benign beloved activity (yes, even TV or iPad,) so you can breathe yourself off the ledge.
  • If your stress level is between 4 and 6 or in YELLOW, YOU are about to flip your lid.  Gather up your kids and go outside to run around in the yard, a park, or the gym.  Engage all the children in a rev up and calm down activity like racing then resting, climbing then crawling, screaming then humming.  Do it all with them until you are below a 4 or in GREEN.
  • If your stress level is between 1 and 3 or in GREEN, YOU are alive and living the dream.  Enjoy it and remember you need to do something actively to stay that way.
  • If you cannot even find your number or in BLUE, YOU are too low and in need of rest, relief, exercise, friendship, hugs, food, laughter, love.  Go get it now.
Everyone raising children from difficult beginnings needs to actively regulate moment to moment.  It is not a passive thing.
Love Matters,
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
The Attach Place Logo 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 August 12th at 6pm. Come join us.  Online RSVP each month required.   Child care provided.
The Attach Place offers a 10-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course  every other month.  Our next course begins August 22nd and August 29th, 10am to 3pm each day.  Child care provided for an extra fee. Sign-up online at www.attachplace.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.

I read this somewhere:  Love says, ‘I’ve seen the ugly parts of you, and I’m staying.’
I love being loved that way.