Archive for Parenting

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

 

 

The Imagination Is Worse Than Reality With Traumatized Children

Dear Parents,

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

As a fellow parent, I know what it is like to be scared senseless by TV movies about attachment challenged children, about News reports of foster children killing parents, and my imagination in the face of truly unbelievable, unrelenting shenanigans by my children. Much of my own dysregulation was caused by my ever-present fear of the future hovering around me. Sometimes I could feel the breath of fear, rank and hot on my neck.

Do yourself a favor:  only think of your children in the present. They are not your future nightmare.  They are children. They are traumatized, wounded children.

Difficult?  Oh yes.  Hurting and hurtful?  Certainly.  Criminals and killers?  Not usually.  Can they become criminals and killers?  Yes, just like the rest of the population. News flash: most criminals and killers are raised by their biological parents.

Put your fears away and bring your empathy, tenacity, and love out for the rest of their childhood.  Don’t let the sensational, unusual, or imaginal destroy your ability to love freely with hope now. Remember that attachment challenged brains are delayed emotionally.  Even if you have a terrible teen, calculate the true emotional age (about half the chronological age). Still pretty darned young, right?

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. 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

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Fight, Flight, Freeze, Appease, or Lie

Dear Parents,

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Is your child’s lying a sign of pathology or future doom? Is it disrespectful and an indicator that your child is morally bankrupt?  I know you have thoughts, at least, if not outright accusations leveled toward your child of his/her untrustworthiness.  I sure thought worse and said plenty to my children that I regret before I knew what was happening.

There is evolving research that there is a fifth neuro-biologically driven addition to the sympathetic nervous system’s response to perceived threat or danger.  Faced with extreme stress, human’s have four survival modes–fight, flight, freeze, or appease. It seems the new self-protective mechanism is lying–fib your way out.  Can’t run, can’t hit, staring like a deer in the headlights won’t work, better run then with a tall tale.  If it works for even a brief moment, the limbic part of the brain that has just shot into a neuro-cascade of stress hormones–adrenaline and cortisol–now gets a reward to the brain when the lie allows for a momentary reprieve from danger in the form of  a) parental disapproval, b) parental punishment, c) shame feelings, d) lowered self-esteem and self-efficacy.  In essence, lying works to help the child survive a little bit longer physically, emotionally, and socially.  While it is often short-lived and short-sighted, lying works in the moment to lift the threat.  Win/Win on the level of brain function.

What I’ve just described, happens every day in our homes with children from difficult beginnings because Developmental Trauma has impaired the development of the pre-frontal cortex where executive function with higher order thought resides.

There are three functions that lend your child’s brain to lying:

Weak Inhibition: Impulsivity and the inability to stop an action.  Under pressure to respond to a stressful parental question like “Did you do xyz?”,  verbal communication jumps out before logical thought has kicked in.

Poor Emotion Regulation: Extreme overwhelming fear response in the face of a stressful situation–parental punishment, disapproval, rejection, lowered value, shame, past abuse imprints.

Faulty Working Memory: Poor planning for getting “found out” in the heat of the current moment. Inability to apply prior teaching and coaching from the recent past to the present.

Early Imprint: If your child comes home to you after being harmed by any kind of abuse, including neglect, and by the nature of fostering/adoption there is also at least one–if not many–attachment breach, your child’s brain is pre-conditioned and hardwired to distrust parents, even in the absence of evidence that the current parent is untrustworthy.  Chronically projecting the past onto the present is a hallmark of Developmental Trauma.

What is the answer then for caregivers? 

Well, it is not as easy to extinguish lying as it is to understand the neuroscience of it.  Imagine that.

  1.  Use PACE in all your interactions with your child.  This is an attitude of playfulness, acceptance, curiosity, and empathy.  This is how we ought to treat all children regardless of their beginnings because it is loving and respectful to their budding humanness.
  2. Use soft, empathic questioning to help prepare your child to tell the truth. Are you worried about getting into big trouble or about my disappointment?  Sweetheart, I know it is hard for you to tell me the truth when you are afraid of getting into trouble and feeling bad.  I understand that and I don’t want you to be in trouble or to be afraid of bad feelings inside or outside.  I am only interested in you being able to tell the truth.  There will be no trouble.  I promise. Parents, be sure to keep that promise if you make it.
  3. Give space for the child to regulate and allow room for a thoughtful response, rather than an impulsive one. So, Let’s take a few minutes to think before we talk.  This is hard for parents to do.  We seem to be impulsive about lying, too.  Did you take that candy from your teacher?  Tell me right now.  Since you already know the answer, don’t bother to ask. Making a demand to tell the truth will definitely set the survival lower brain processes into action. It is a setup for lying.
  4. Regulate with your child.  Admit it, you get dysregulated, too, when your child lies. We parents often feel wildly disrespected by lying.  We also feel intense fear that our child is going to be unsuccessful in life if lying persists into adulthood.  When a child is 8, 9, 10 years old, you can be sure lying is not the precursor for a school to prison pipeline.
  5. Resist the urge to teach by punishing the crime that is being lied about.  Reward the truth with a reprieve from the negative consequences of your disappointment, anger, or loss of stature in your eyes. Withhold punishment of any kind to create felt safety.  Brainstorm a restorative justice response with your child once all the truth is out and the regulation is back to normal. Restorative justice is doing a kindness like a chore for someone wronged.  Or it might be writing a letter of apology.  It could be repairing something broken and paying for the supplies out of birthday money or allowance.

None of this will make lying go away.  It is the last survival behavior to go, so be prepared to regulated over the long haul.  As your child ages into adulthood, you will have instilled a habit of telling the truth.  Isn’t that the point after all?

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 in 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.

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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