Archive for Parenting

Releasing Control to Teens Recovering from Trauma

Family Therapy
Dear Parents,

There are two vastly different phases to parenting–the first ten years and the second ten years.   In the first ten years, we spend all of our time teaching, coaching, reminding, supporting, protecting, correcting, ad nauseam.  Our job is creating a foundation for the rest of their lives–say please and thank you, don’t hurt people, brush your teeth, wear a coat in winter, don’t wear a coat in summer, take pride in your work, and on and on.  This is their foundation.  We do that for our children.

The second ten years, we must learn to control ourselves and our honed lecturing and reminding skills.  The second ten is all about releasing our control and allowing our teens to learn from their own choices, successes, mistakes, and missteps.

I can hear the gasping now.  My sixteen-year-old acts eight half the time.  How in the world can I release my control to him?  Well, that is the art of parenting an attachment challenged, traumatized teen.  It is an art to progressively release control and let our teens make the mistakes necessary to grow in maturity.  (You can substitute pre-frontal cortex here for maturity, if you like.)

Few 16-year-old kids recovering from complex trauma can manage the responsibility of driving, for instance. That’s okay. Show that you are truly interested in them learning to drive.   Let them know, humorously of-course, that you are particularly invested in giving up your taxi job.  Also, let them know that taking responsibility for managing their rooms, chores, school work, and friendships will show you that they are ready to, dare I say it, drive.

That’s why it is important to give up reminding, cajoling, lecturing, coaching, and insisting the way you might have in the first ten years. He knows. She knows. Teenagers know everything.  Let her prove herself and let her fall on her face, too.  He might be twenty-two before he is close to ready to drive, but it is his responsibility to show you he can manage self-care, personal responsibilities, commitments, chores, and relationships.  By releasing control, you say, I believe you can do it…show me.  Through this process, teens learn that freedom, access, and privilege are directly correlated with their own actions.

Remember, I said second ten because that is how long you have to practice progressively releasing control for them to get to responsible adulthood.  I am not going to scare you here with talk about the third ten years.  Baby steps.

It takes a lot of faith to begin to release control.

 Remember, your love matters!

Ce Eshelman, LMFT

The Attach Place Local Community Upcoming Events


Join The Love Matters Parenting Society Membership–a Therapeutic Parenting process to Thrive.

Everyone is welcome to join the free public Love Matters Parenting Group on Facebook

HIATUS: NO SUPPORT GROUP until further notice. ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP is taking some time off.
If you would like ongoing support, you might be interested in joining The Love Matters Parenting Society above.  Those who are doing it are really getting what they came for.  Check it out.

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

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.

No Fear

Dear Parents,

My traumatized children never seemed to express fear in the early years after coming home with me.  They took big physical and relational risks, broke all rules, and seemed to be unmoved by my ire.  I came to know this as traumatic dissociation because the longer I lived with them the more I saw that they were afraid of almost everything.

Eventually, the feelings of fear must be uncovered to engage life with appropriate amounts of risk-taking and caution. My children have work to do in this arena.  When my daughter calls in tears about how scared she is to be on her own, I soothe her.  My son still glazes over to avoid his fears.  There is more processing to be done for them to emerge feeling safe inside themselves and in the world.

The upshot is this: Felt safety needs to be our parenting goal for our children, so they can face forward without fear and with love in their own lives. No easy task.  No fear.

Love Matters,

Ce

The Attach Place/Local Community Upcoming Events Calendar…

Join the Love Matters Parenting Society Membership…
Love Matters Parenting Society for a THRIVING Life with Children from Difficult Beginnings. Check it out.  You are going to love it, I promise.

While the Love Matters Parenting Society membership is closed to new members right now, you can join the free public Love Matters Parenting Group on Facebook until March 2020 when the membership opens again.  

HIATUS: NO SUPPORT GROUP until further notice. ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP is taking some time off.  NO SUPPORT GROUP until further notice. If you would like ongoing support, you might be interested in Love Matters Parenting Society above.  Those who are doing it are really getting what they came for.  Check it out.

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

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.

 

 

 

Back Talk–My Fav

Dear Parents,

I know back talk is not your favorite thing about parenting children, nor is it mine.  Since I do it, I’m not sure why I dislike it so much, hmmm.

Here are a few tips about Back Talk for you to, as my friend Kiki says, “marinade in.”

Back Talk is like Ping Pong.

You know this, of course: If we are playing ping pong and you serve the ball to me – and then, I hit it back to you – we would have a game going, right? Back talk is a lot like that. If you “serve up” a remark and I hit back with, “Don’t talk to me like that, missy!” or any other “verbal volley” – it’s GAME ON!

On the other hand, if you served the ball to me – but I let it drop and busy up elsewhere – then, you wouldn’t have anyone to play with, right? It pretty much ends the game, which equals NO FUN, NO POWER, NO ENGAGEMENT for disrespectful behavior.

Of course, there would be the chase down the player who left the game game to entice the player back to the table. That is where your stealth gamer skills come in—regulate yourself, Mama/Papa Bear. Think of back talk as a game of ping pong. If your child talks back and you respond with a reprimand or a threat – or show any frustration at all – you’re IN THE GAME. That equals maladaptively getting attention, engagement, the gift of your energy, and power and puts your child in control. “YAY! I’m winning… I pushed “mom/dad buttons…” This is the way to feel good…” BUT – if your child serves up a little back talk, and you just let it land with a thud and don’t “hit back” – just let it fall to the ground, there’s no game. No control. No power in their words. If this works, awesome! It works with children from secure beginnings and might actually work with some of our children, so try it first.

For Children Experiencing Complex Developmental Trauma:

Your child might feel (not necessarily “think”), Well, that didn’t end up satisfyingly. This is boring. Who wants to fight alone? Or, your child might feel (not necessarily “think”), She is abandoning me, she doesn’t care about me, she won’t even talk to me. I have got to do something to get her back in the game. This is where a stealth gamer like you in the most therapeutic parenting ping pong way says only with your eyes, “I love you.” Once they realize you won’t reward the behavior with a volley response – it’ll get old, not fast, but over time.

ISN’T THAT LETTING HIM/HER GET AWAY WTH BACK TALK?

This is a hard one because most parents think alike: There is NO WAY I’m going to let her get away with talking to me like that! S/he cannot disrespect me. I truly get you. But remember the objective in the first place…a maladaptive attempt to get your engagement, attention, struggle. I know in TBRI, there is the “Say that with respect…” script, but that is not intended to be used for back talk, so don’t be fooled by engaging because you will be feeding the ping pong beast. When you “let the ball drop,” you ARE in charge. And in a clear way, you are sending the message: “Nope. This is NOT a game we’re going to play.”

While it may seem a bit off at first, what you’ll soon realize is that it keeps you in the stealth gamer role in terms of what behavior you’ll accept and allow. But, your job in the moment is to avoid getting hooked into playing the ping pong game – and giving a payoff to their power struggle. This may take nerves of steel, but you got ‘em, right?

Breathe, regulate.

The next time your child lobs some back talk at you – let it land and keep on doing whatever you were doing, including walking nonchalantly away, saying something like, “Oh, I need to check the calendar for what’s next.” Don’t engage at all and see what happens. You must ignore the behavior; that means no energy whatsoever sent to the child–zero, nunca, no negative facial expressions, huffs, quick about-faces or disapproving energy. But DO NOT IGNORE THE CHILD, because they cannot handle the feeling of abandonment when you do. This is key.

I think it is a good idea to share in advance how you plan to respond to impolite back talk in the future. You do want your children to know what to expect and how to interpret what you are doing. Okay, try to trust me on this and give it a whirl.

You might find, as I did, that you have a bad response backhand swing that keeps the ping pong game perpetual.

There will be more about stomping out Back Talk for good in the Love Matters Parenting Society, and this is a good start.

Love matters, when more than love is required,

Ce

P.S. You got this.

The Attach Place/Local Community Upcoming Events Calendar

Today is the Last day to register for the Defending the Cause TrainingUp Conference.

Use this code MEM19 to get a $10 admission discount.  You can get great info and refreshers on supporting your children. See you at our table there–you can get a Love Matters wrist bracelet/stickers, too. https://allevents.in/rocklin/2019-training-up-conference/200017391859227

August 28th the Love Matters Parenting Society opens its doors…
Love Matters Parenting Society for a THRIVING Life with Children from Difficult Beginnings. Check it out.  You are going to love it, I promise.

ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:   Adoptive Parent Support Group, September 11, 2019.   Support Group is every 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6 pm to 8 pm in The Attach Place office. Open to the public.  Free childcare provided.

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

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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

In This Home

Dear Parents,

A.D., in our Adoption Support Group, sent this to me today and I ordered two on wood for the office, but I realized I could send you a copy and you could have a mini version at home to remind you of everything I have been teaching you.  It is almost as though I wrote it, but I didn’t!

IN THIS HOME

WE ARE TRAUMA-INFORMED

WE CONNECT BEFORE WE CORRECT

WE STAY CURIOUS—NOT FURIOUS

WE UNDERSTAND BEHAVIOR IS

COMMUNICATION

WE BELIEVE IN CO-REGULATION

THAT KIDS REGULATE

OFF THE ADULTS IN THEIR LIVES

WE THINK CAN’T—NOT WON’T

WE EMPATHIZE WHEN SOMEONE

IS FLIPPING THEIR LID

WE BELIEVE IN

RESTORATION—NOT PUNISHMENT

WE BELIEVE THAT RELATIONSHIPS BUFFER STRESS

AND BUILD RESILIENCE

ALL OF US NEED ONE ANOTHER ALWAYS

RESILIENCE MEANS

WE SEE YOU… WE HEAR YOU…

WE ARE WITH YOU…

Download This PDF Now

Or Buy One On Wood Here

Love matters,

Ce

Local Area Events:

September, Friday the 20th & Saturday the 21st, 2019, Attachment Parenting Strategies for Strengthening Attachment with Hurt and Traumatized Children Presented by Ce Eshelman, LMFT.  Open to the public with registration.

Click here for more information.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TorSDynsg9TMIIPgAMFgscXr0sPCpLxA/view?usp=sharing

The Attach Place Upcoming Events Calendar

Coming soon!  Open enrollment for Love Matters Parenting Mastermind–an Online Therapeutic Parenting Membership for all of you living with children experiencing Complex Developmental Trauma who want to sharpen your skills and become an expert in the healing of your child.

Where are you along the therapeutic parenting success path below? How can this mastermind community support you?

Love Matters Parenting Success Path

If you haven’t already, reply here with the word “Mastermind” in the subject line, so you don’t miss out on registration details.

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, June 12th, 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.

 

 

Summer Activities for Healing Children

Dear Parents,

I know you were hoping I would put out a list of preplanned local activities you could easily snatch up and run with, but you all live in vastly different areas so that would not be helpful to everyone. In most cities and towns (in the U.S. anyway) there are publications just for parents about kid activities and camps in your area.  Definitely pick up a copy for your summer planning.

By summer activities, I am suggesting that you do some novel things that you may not feel you can get to the rest of the year because of school.  Novelty is the way into a brooding, wounded child’s heart.  So, this is about winning back the heart of your traumatized child in case you lost some of your heart cred during the homework, school behavior struggle all year long.

Inexpensive Summer DIY Activities

Go fishing.
Make a picnic basket and eat it at the river.
Sleep in a tent in the backyard or even the front yard.
Make a fire pit and roast marshmallows.
Go geocaching (Google it).
Find a nature walk nearby.
Walk the dog in unfamiliar dog parks.
Hike a bit to a stream and go swimming.
Dine under the stars and lean back to see what is up there in the night sky.
Build a fort in the living room on hot days or outdoors if you can.
Bake stuff together–cookies, mini fried pies, pizza.
Birdwatch.
Squirt the kids with the hose while washing the car together.

What?  You say you want more…?

Name some wildflowers.
Plant a mini garden or a big one and tend to it all summer long.
Build a birdhouse, dog house, kid house, bench, fort, wooden toys together.
Paint flowers on your backyard fence.
Family weed pulling day, with ice cream sundaes at the end.
Invite a few friends over for Root Beer floats.
Put a puzzle together (might take a while).
Spa Day at home with the whole family (Moms and Dads, too).
Pick berries. Make cobbler.
Urban hike through a cool city.
Go to a kid’s museum.
Walk on a beach.
Listen to a concert in the park.
Make homemade, experimental fruitsicles.
Have fun doing anything, even chores.

Your kids might grumble some about the effort involved in having fun together.  Don’t let that stop you.  The memories will be made for a lifetime of stories around the Thanksgiving table. Send me back some I might have missed that you already have planned. Others will benefit from your creativity.

Love matters,

Ce

Local Area Events:

September, Friday the 20th & Saturday the 21st, 2019, Attachment Parenting Strategies for Strengthening Attachment with Hurt and Traumatized Children Presented by Ce Eshelman, LMFT.  Open to the public with registration.

Click here for more information.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TorSDynsg9TMIIPgAMFgscXr0sPCpLxA/view?usp=sharing

The Attach Place Upcoming Events Calendar

Coming soon!  Open enrollment for Love Matters Parenting Mastermind–an Online Therapeutic Parenting Membership for all of you living with children experiencing Complex Developmental Trauma who want to sharpen your skills and become an expert in the healing of your child.

Where are you along the therapeutic parenting success path below? How can this mastermind community support you?

Love Matters Parenting Success Path

If you haven’t already, reply here with the word “Mastermind” in the subject line, so you don’t miss out on registration details.

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, June 12th, 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.

 

 

Hey Peeps: How Awesome Is This?

Dear Parents:

Click here for a wonderful surprise.  Yay, world, for recognizing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) as a reality!  It’s what we live with every day in the form of our beautiful traumatized children.  

COMING SOON…

Therapeutic ParentingAdoptive Parents

 

Complex Developmental Trauma, Complex Trauma, Be looking out for my upcoming THRIVE Parenting Mastermind Support Circle launch.  THRIVE Parenting is a monthly therapeutic parenting membership to get up-to-date treatment information, therapeutic parenting information, coaching, and community connection/support with other parents for raising your child(ren) from difficult beginnings.

All this for the price of one therapy session. What?  You can’t beat it. You know you are the best therapist for your child, and you also know how hard it is to get the support you need to be your most informed, regulated self. I am so excited to bring this experience to you online, so you don’t need a babysitter–Woot!

If you want to be sure to get registration news, you can send an email to ce@attachplace.com with the word “Mastermind” in the subject line and I will make sure you get THRIVE dates and specifics.  Looking forward to THRIVING together.

Love matters,

Ce

Trajectories Of Their Own

Hello Parents,

We work so hard to impact that early wiring in the brains of our children from difficult beginnings.  Maybe too hard sometimes, because our children have trajectories of their own.  We do our best.  They do their best.  The rest is up to the Universe.

We Are Not In Control

I do not say this lightly.  I say it honestly.  We cannot control the outcome of our children’s lives.  We just can not.  They have a trajectory of their own.  I respect that.  And I encourage you to have compassion for them, for you, for the journey.

Growth Happens

Every time I felt hopeless when raising my children; when all seemed fruitless and futile, in time there was growth.  There is always growth.  It was not always in the way I wished or in the way I thought would be the best, but growth did happen over time.

Sometimes we parents have to let go and let God or the Universe or the Light or life’s trajectory.  We are not really in control.  We never are.  We can only do our best with what we have at the time.  In retrospect, there is sadness for how little we once knew.  That’s okay.  That’s life.  You can’t know what you don’t know.

Be Compassionate

Be gentle with yourselves, dear parents; be compassionate for your efforts, for your child, for the trajectory that is their own.  It is bittersweet, I know.  My salvation has been in accepting my children’s journey and separating them from my own.  They are truly different from me and just perfect as they are.

Acceptance Is Healing

I love my kids.  Do they live the lives I would have them live?  Not really.  I wish much more for them, and I accept them as they are.  They both appreciate me for that, I think.  I see them becoming more and more comfortable being loved by me.  Maybe that is the first step for them in learning to love themselves.  I hope so.

Love matters,

Ce

The Attach Place Upcoming Events Calendar

SIGN UP NOW: 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): Sorry 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.

 

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.

Sleep Is Key for Parents and Children from Difficult Beginnings

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Dear Parents,

I know you are well aware that your sleep and your child’s sleep are super important to a happy home. Do you know why?  And, do you know how to set the stage for getting the best sleep?  If you know, don’t read on.  If you are curious, here are the basic facts and a few tips for getting the most out of slumber.

THE WHY

There are 5 Sleep Stages:

  1.  Stage one is that delicious, half awake time when one is easily awakened, and moving in and out of sleep. Eye and muscle activity slows and some people experience sudden contractions followed by a feeling of falling.
  2. Stage two prepares the body for deep sleep by dropping body temperature and bringing eye movement to stillness.  There only a few spurts of rapid brain waves and the heart rate slows.
  3. Stage three takes you deep into sleep where slow delta brain waves are active with short bouts of faster brain waves.  During this stage, the body repairs and regrows tissues, builds bone and muscle, and strengthens the immune system. This is also the time of parasomnias–night terrors, sleepwalking and talking, and bedwetting.
  4. Stage four gets a person into deep sleep where the brain is producing exclusively slow delta waves. If roused from this state, people feel disoriented and have a difficult time placing where they are.
  5. Stage five is called REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep when brain waves most resemble the brain waves active during waking periods.  The first REM cycle begins after about 90 minutes of sleep and lasts for 10 minutes or so. REM cycles repeat several times throughout the night with the longest lasting for about an hour. This is where the emotions and events of the day are sorted out through dreams that likely will not be remembered.  Fun fact: Babies spend about 50% of their sleep in REM, while adults do only 20%.

Full sleep cycles occur about  4 or 5 times during a night.  If REM gets interrupted for any reason, the body will try to get more the next night to make up for it.

THE HOW

TIPS for Sleep:

Ce’s Soap Box: Turn all screens off 2 hours before bedtime.  Yep, phones, iPads, iPods, TVs, computers, laptops–OFF!  Create a calm home an hour before bedtime and everyone will fall asleep sooner and stay asleep longer.  Actually, reduce screentime overall for a healthier lifestyle.

CONTROL LIGHT AND KEEP A ROUTINE

  1. Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day.
  2. Avoid sleeping in—even on weekends.
  3. Be smart about napping.
  4. Fight after-dinner drowsiness. …
  5. Expose yourself to bright sunlight in the morning.
  6. Spend more time outside during daylight.
  7. Don’t read books on a backlit device.
  8. Use full spectrum light if you are indoors all day, every day.
  9. Sleep in a dark room.
  10. Keep light low when you go to the bathroom in the night.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU CONSUME

Foods that encourage sleep are Tryptophan-rich. Dairy, nuts, seeds, bananas, honey, and eggs. A small amount of good carbs before bed will help one fall asleep faster:  bowl of low sugar cereal with milk, half a turkey sandwich, bread and cheese, or nuts and crackers.

Eat only a small snack before bed because a big meal will disrupt your sleep by activating your digestive system and lead to nighttime trips to the bathroom.

Cut all sources of caffeine from the diet 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.  Beware of small traces of caffeine in chocolate, tea, decaf coffee. Read the label on all over-the-counter medications for pain, allergies, and colds, because they may have hidden caffeine.

Don’t drink alcohol 4 to 6 hours before sleep.  Alcohol can cause what I call the “bolt uprights” when your blood sugar drops and you are awakened from it.

Avoid tyrosine-rich foods at bedtime.  Protein activates brain activity.  And, of course, sugar is not a good idea at bedtime for challenged children and challenged adults, but really should be kept to a bare minimum for everyone all the time.

Staying hydrated during the day is important, but drinking fluids a couple of hours before bed will cause the need for urination throughout the night.

Smoking is a stimulant.  Skip the urge to relax this way before bed.  Actually, any time.  Try yoga instead.

MOVE

Exercise during the day (at least 3 hours before bedtime) is essential for restful sleep at night; however, exercise before bed is too stimulating.

Vigorous exercise is best, and even 10 minutes of walking per day will improve your sleep. Build a daily exercise routine because it takes some time before you see the full benefits of exercise on sleep hygiene.

TOOLBOX

Create a “toolbox” of relaxing bedtime rituals to help you unwind before sleep.

  • Read a book or magazine by a soft light
  • Take a warm bath
  • Listen to soft music
  • Do some easy stretches
  • Wind down with a favorite hobby
  • Listen to an audiobook
  • Make simple preparations for the next day and then LET IT GO
  • Dim the lights in the hours leading up to bed
  • Quiet your home and your mind
  • Meditate for a few minutes–Loving Kindness Meditation
  • Talk to your doc about the use of over the counter Melatonin to induce sleep

GET OFF THE HAMPSTER WHEEL

Whatever you are worried about will be better after a good night’s sleep, so give up thinking about stuff until you are fresh in the morning.  You will be surprised how quickly solutions come following sleep.

If you don’t believe me, check this out.

Love and sleep matter,

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. November 19, 2018from 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 November 14, 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.

 

Neurofeedback Solutions for reducing the intensity of Developmental Trauma symptoms in foster and adoptive children and their parents.  Get more information here.

Change Your Child’s Brain / Change Your Child’s Life