Archive for Therapeutic Parenting

Attention Is A Need

I work with a number of children who annoy for attention. Attention is attention to them regardless of whether it is positive or negative.  Some attachment challenged children have difficulty being vulnerable enough to seek attention in a pro-social way.  To do that would be to admit that s/he has emotional needs in the first place. And some are simply habituated to seeking negative attention.

My son has mastered the art of ridiculous questioning to get my attention. For example, “Mom, I’m wondering why it is that I really like to go to those swim parks? Why do you think I like them so much?”

Out of the blue from another child, “One time when I was visiting my grandmother’s farm the dog farted so loud the cats ran into the barn.”

Another child asks, “Can you see air?”

And another, “I noticed cats have big eyes.”

My son, “Mom, I didn’t know you were home.  Are you home now?”  

Again, my son, “Mom, why do I like cauliflower that way and not the other way? And, “The worst thing to call a teacher is Mrs. P.”

Really?

Instead of giving the “go away from me” look of annoyance or the ridicule that might easily roll off your tongue (like it wants to from mine), pull your child (big or small) in for a hug or a close-up of soft eyes with a “love bomb” smile.  This is all that is needed:  I love you–now run along, Sweetheart.  Anytime you want my attention, come ask for a hug.

Attention is a need. Nothing else. Resist the urge to be sarcastic, mean, ridiculing, or angry.  Honestly, our children need our attention.  Give it to them more when they need it, and the non-sensical crazy stuff will decrease.

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 February 2nd, 2019 from 10 am to 4 pm.  Childcare provided for an additional fee. CALVCB will reimburse this training. Register 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.  NEW DAY: 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 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, January 9th, 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.

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 get a discounted copy here.

The Holidays Can Be Lovely With Children From Difficult Beginnings

Dear Parents,

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

I just met up with my adult children for a pre-Thanksgiving gathering. I found myself marveling at how they are unfolding.  I mean that.  At 21 and 23, they are adults with lives of their own.  They are happy.  They have interests and friends and places to go and things to do.  They are grown up and I no longer worry about them. And that is the point of this post.

I worried way too much when my children were growing up.  Because they came from difficult beginnings and because their behavior was out of the ordinary, I fretted and worried and over controlled them.  I downright ruined every holiday.  Yes, it was me who ruined them, though at the time I quietly thought it was them ruining it for us.  I was wrong.

What I didn’t know how to do then was accept my children as they were.  I wanted them to be the way I wanted them.  You know, a lot more perfect.  Way less messy.  Seriously better mannered.  Definitely well regulated. I didn’t want their trauma to be impacting my holidays–pure and simple. Every year, every holiday I didn’ want that.  And, every year, every holiday they were who they were–traumatized, attachment reactive children from difficult beginnings.  Who needed to change in this situation?  Who had the most potential for change at the time?  Yep, it was me.

I could have accepted my life and my children. I could have changed my expectations and made the environment trauma-sensitive.  I could have been considerate of what they could tolerate and how long they could tolerate it.  Instead, I tried to fit them into my life the way it was before children and the way I thought other children were able to fit in.  My children weren’t other children; they were actually special with special needs during the holidays.  I could have been more loving and less worried about how they behaved. I could have been more flexible.

I learned a lot about myself while raising my children.  Much of what I learned was not pretty or pleasing to me.  Frankly, I wasn’t personally prepared for traumatized children.  I had to learn to be.  I had to learn to let them be.  I wish I knew then what I know now.

My children are unfolding in their adult lives according to their abilities.  That was always their trajectory.  My advice to my former self (who might resemble your current self): worry less, accept more.  I think that is the definition of love.

Happy Thanksgiving,

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 January 2019, from 10 am to 4 pm.  Childcare provided for an additional fee. CALVCB will reimburse this training. Register 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.  Look for new day in January TBD next year.  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 December 12, 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 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 get a discounted copy here.

Fix Less, Accept More

Dear Parents,

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

What follows is not criticism.  It is a chance to acknowledge to yourself, “I got this,” or to see you have some growing to do as a parent of children from difficult beginnings.  Personally, I am always the latter, despite all I know.  Here goes.

Have you ever been in a relationship where you spent a lot of time trying to get the other person to change?

If you would learn to share your feelings…

If you would try to think about me once in a while…

If you were more motivated to grow…

If you were more considerate…

If you liked my family…

If you would go out more…

If you were more adventurous…

If you were more spontaneous…

If you were more reliable…

If you were more positive…

If you weren’t so negative…

If you weren’t so judgmental…

If you would care more about how you look…

If you would care less about what others think…

If you liked to hang out with my friends…

If you had more friends…

If you helped around the house more…

If you didn’t have so many big feelings all the time…

If you would just be happy…

If you weren’t so miserable…

If you worked less…

If you worked more…

If I felt more loved…

Then…what?  I would feel better. I would accept you. I would love you.

That relationship didn’t work out very well, did it?  Or, that relationship isn’t going very well now, is it?

For a moment, think about your relationship with your attachment challenged, traumatized child. Do you have an “If…then” list?

If you would just be normal…

If you would act your age…

If you could stop bouncing off the walls…

If you could stop talking all the time…

If you would just tell me what you feel…

If you would clean your room…

If you would tell the truth…

If you were trustworthy…

If you were honest…

If you were less self-centered…

If you would think about the rest of the family…

If you would take less and give more…

If you would do your homework…

If you would try harder…

If you were pleasant to be around…

If you brushed your teeth, showered, zipped…

If you would stop badgering me…

If you would act right…

If you would do the right thing…

If you weren’t always making me crazy…

If you would stop scaring me…

If you didn’t need so much supervision…

If you weren’t so needy…

If you weren’t so helpless…

If you would just grow up…

If you would show some love…

If you would stop controlling…

If you would stop throwing tantrums…

If you would accept some love…

If you would trust me…

If you would get better…

Then…what?  I would feel better. I would accept you. I would love you.

Enough said, right?

I am always fighting my own “If…then” stink’in think’in.  It keeps me from being present, from accepting, from being a loving person.  Love is free, not an “if-then” proposition. I am a work in progress. How about you? Steady on.

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 January 2019, from 10 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. 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 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 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

 

 

Murphy’s Law: Heaters Bust at the Door to Winter

Dear Parents,

Why do heaters stop working the second the temperature outside drops below 50 degrees? Don’t answer that.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

I am thinking about love. Despite all of my references to love, I am not a particularly touchy-feely person.  I am more of a brutally honest, blunt pragmatist with a huge dose of life experience that led me down a twisty-turny path to a few solid beliefs.  Here they are:

  • Life is too long and too short to be “small-minded.”
  • Nothing but love really matters in the beginning, middle, or end.
  • Love is a commitment and an attitude of generous abundance and acceptance, not a feeling.
  • Giving away love doesn’t hurt one little bit or cost one little cent; it’s free and healing.

I discovered somewhere along the line that I can love anyone, even people I don’t particularly want to have even a cappuccino with.  Love is an attitude with an open heart.

How this relates to attachment challenged, traumatized children is simple. If love is an attitude, with or without feeling, then it is possible to give generous abundance and acceptance in the face of our children’s biggest and most painful shenanigans.

Love is about the lover, not about the perceived lovability or worthiness of the beloved.

Just a little something to chew on.

Love matters,

Ce

Love begets love eventually.

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.

 

 

Shine A Little Light

Dear Parents,

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

We humans tend to like what we are good at.  Actually, we are more inclined to like things we excel at than we are to like things we simply enjoy.  When I was young, I was good at public speaking–go figure.  I spent a lot of time giving speeches about things I didn’t really care about because I was good at speechmaking.  As a young adult, I found myself in careers like teaching, lecturing, training.  I am generally considered a pretty good teacher and trainer.  It is my strength.

I’ve told this story before, but maybe it is worth repeating. About 10 years ago I had a minor epiphany.  I am shy (this is true, but hard to believe if you know me).  I don’t really enjoy public speaking. I am simply good at it.  Because I was channeled rather early to hone my speaking ability, I really didn’t do much of anything else for enjoyment.  I recall wanting to learn the piano, but I wasn’t good at it.  I wanted to try basketball, but I wasn’t athletic.  I wanted to train dogs, but I didn’t know how.  I was good at talking and everyone around me reflected this strength to me.  I thought it was all I was good at, so it was mostly all I did.  Imagine a child and, eventually, a  teenager who spends her free time writing, practicing, and engaging in competitive speechmaking. It’s a great skill I’m grateful teachers encourage, but not to the exclusion of developing curiosity and other delights. Really seems odd to me now.

Our traumatized children have trouble accepting that they are good at anything.  Some of them are quite good at many things, while others are quite poor at many things.  Once in awhile our children will grab ahold of a strength and become extremely boastful about proficiency. And sometimes they think all their skills are superior, in the absence of skill or talent. That is a desperate attempt to feel good inside.

Why am I saying all of this?  Because children need to have all their strengths and all their interests reflected back to them so much that they actually begin to see themselves as “good, talented, interesting, joyful, strong, fun-loving, and capable.”  Emphasize enjoyment, fun, playing, trying new things, taking a chance, and making an effort.  Exposure to diverse activities at a young age shapes the natural curiosity in children who might otherwise be content with iPad video games.

On top of this, our children are often embarrassment averse.  They are mortified by so many things, especially standing out in a negative (or even super positive) way.  If they try something and stand out, they may not try that again and maybe they will stop trying to avoid having that horrible feeling again.  A remedy: set the bar low and build on success to avoid internal shame triggers while your child is learning to be competent in the world.

Build your child in small ways by reflecting the small things specifically, rather than saying “good job” about everything, which becomes empty praise over time. This takes some practice. Here are a few ideas:

  • You set the table creatively tonight. How will you top this tomorrow?
  • You seem to enjoy singing. Is that right?
  • I saw you laughing your head off when you played in the pool today.
  • How did you like strumming Dad’s guitar?
  • Let’s share your cookies with the neighbors.  You are a yummy cookie maker.
  • You take a lot of pride in decorating your room. Which is your favorite wall?
  • Nice outfit you put together.  You have quite an eye for style.
  • I sent a picture of you playing baseball today to Grandpa.  He will like seeing how you enjoy playing his favorite sport.

Guess what, parents, I know you are putting a huge amount of effort in being a therapeutic parent. I think that makes you a person of awesome character.

Love matters,

Ce

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.

Playing Is Not the Same As Playful

Dear Parents,

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Sometimes I hear parents of traumatized children discuss that situation when their hurting child “turns on them.”  Suddenly, Mom can’t do anything right and Dad is the favorite.  Or vice versa, of course.  After a little listening, I can tell the remedy is more simple than complex.  Unfortunately, I sometimes say to parents something that needs nuance.

I almost always ask, Are you being playful?   

Parent, “All the time; I’m playing to death.”

That’s great, I say, And are you correcting playfully?

Crickets.

Play is the language of children, of course, and it isn’t usually the language of parents.  As a matter of fact, when correcting shenanigans, parents have to learn how to be playful.  Playing does create the neurochemical elixir of attachment; however, it is playfulness during correction, that creates safety.

Lighten up.  Every transgression does not lead to prison.  There is no such thing as an adoption to prison pipeline.  It only feels like it.

Get regularly playful, empathic, and accepting during correction and you might just find yourself back on the “favorite” list.

Love matters,

Ce

The Attach Place Upcoming Events Calendar

TOMORROW! Trust-based Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held on September 15th, 2018 from 10 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. September 21st, 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.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Click Here to join our monthly  Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on September 12th, 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.

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

Be the Change You Want to See in Your Children–Apologies to Gandhi

Dear Parents,

Our children do not cause our poor parenting behavior–yelling, demanding, demeaning, belittling, overpowering, physicality, threatening, arguing, meanness, etc.  Those behaviors belong to us and no amount of attachment challenged child behavior is responsible for our “low road,” survival brain reactions.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Because I know in my marrow this is true, I have worked hard to master the art of the sincerely humble apology.  I often owe that to both of my children.  When I suggest that parents may owe an apology to their child before expecting their child to “feel sorry,” I can get an ear-load of push-back.

“Absolutely not!” retorted one parent, when I asked if she had something to apologize for after she wrongly accused her daughter of something she had actually done herself.  “If she didn’t lie all the time, I wouldn’t have falsely accused her.”

Okay, but you did wrongly accuse her this time, and really you owe her a sincere apology for wronging her, right?  

“No.”

Hmmmm.

If we expect our children to sincerely feel remorse and apologize for their wrongs, then we have to model it first.  Otherwise, we are blaming them for our behavior.

Isn’t that what they often infuriatingly do to us?

Love matters,

Ce

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

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 September 15th, 2018 from 10 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. September 21st, 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.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Click Here to join our monthly  Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on September 12th, 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.

 

He Says Hateful Things

Dear Parents,

“He says hateful things,” reports a parent expressing vehemently that her child possesses a kind of deep badness.  I get it.  It feels like that when repeatedly a child’s face is screwed up in an angry fist of emotion and the words are dripping with ugliness no one ever wants to hear from the mouth of a child.  Indeed it is nasty and forceful. It is shocking and unbelievable.  From a different vantage point, I have to admit that it is a pretty good weapon to keep back a perceived threat.  Unfortunately, the threat, in this case, is a parent trying to make a connection, hold a line, set a limit, provide guidance, and establish authority.  All those well-meaning parental behaviors threaten the control, autonomy, and agency of a child who thinks he is 100% responsible for saving himself from past, present, and future harm.

When your child misinterprets your parental intentions as threatening, she balls up in a corner, runs wildly away, or fights like hell to stop you in your tracks.  It feels confusing and distressing to parent a hurting child in those moments.  Spitting fight may seem like the worst, but a child collapsing in a corner can be equally disconcerting to parent into wellness.

Your child from difficult beginnings of attachment and abuse trauma is actually afraid deep in the core of the mind/body complex.  If the fear could talk, it might sound something like this, “I am the only one who can keep me alive…I must have control of every aspect of my life…No one can be trusted to care for me, but me…People hurt me, leave me, lie to me, scare me, humiliate me, and abandon me…No one is safe…I need to keep up my guard.”

What if cells in your body, feelings in your chest, and thoughts in your head pulsed with urgent, flashing, survival signals regardless of what reasonable things were being said to you from your parents?  Could you trust anyone?  Would you take a risk to surrender control? Might your ability to distinguish safe from unsafe become distorted?  When all the fiber of your being says unsafe, would the circumstances of a home, parents, siblings, rules, expectations, and everyday challenges convince you that you no longer needed to be in control?

Parenting children from difficult beginnings takes a different kind of parent–a parent schooled in the ways of trauma and attachment.  After the education, comes the coaching and support necessary to keep a parent on the path of healing the broken trust of their child.  It is challenging to unlearn all a parent unconsciously absorbed from being parented in childhood.  It is nearly impossible to ignore much of what might have been taught by educators about typical logic and control parenting strategies.  It is akin to betrayal to shut out the advice from trauma uninformed family, friends, teachers, counselors and even neighbors.

Little by little, a parent of hurting children has to become a warrior parent lovingly persevering to mend the trust of the child in ways that others find culturally unacceptable.  That is a part of the adoption journey, too.

Love matters,

Ce

Upcoming Sacramento Adoption Community Events

Capital Adoptive Families Alliance 2018 CAFA Conference

Saturday, September 8, 2018 

9:30-11:15 Understanding Your Child’s IEP. How to advocate before, during and after the meeting. Attorney CHRISTIAN M. KNOX of Ruderman & Knox Law firm brings over 20 years of experience working with and advocating for special needs children, including as a legal representative for Sacramento County foster children. She has also served as a Special Education Hearing Officer and as an attorney representing children and families in Special Education hearings throughout the state of California.

11:30-12:30 Legal Services of Northern California Liza Thantranon, Managing Attorney and Regional Counsel for Health, will present how to access mental health services including how to overcome common barriers and how Legal Services of Northern California can help.

12:30-1:15 Lunch provided

1:15-2:45 Stories from the Trenches–Adoptive Parents share their stories and answer questions about Transracial adoption, dealing with challenging behaviors, WRAP, challenging the school district, and more. Laura Stillmunkes, Kori Tomlin, and Abby Johnson

Location: River Oak for Children, 5445 Laurel Hills Dr. Sacramento Time: 9:00-9:30 a.m. check-in 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. conference
Cost: $25 a person includes lunch No childcare available
To register: www.capadoptfam.org Questions: kim@capadoptfam.org (916) 834-3700

Capital Adoptive Families Alliance was formed by adoptive parents in the Sacramento area to support one another through the challenges of childrearing, educate ourselves about the issues our children face, and advocate for them in finding needed services.

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 (Click Here)

Trust-based Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held on September 15th, 2018 from 10 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. September 21st, 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.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Click Here to join our monthly  Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on September 12th, 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.

 

Healing Hurting Children

Dear Parents:

The purpose of parenting is to provide children with unconditional love, kind and consistent care, and socialization to live peacefully and productively in the world. This focus leads to secure adults with internal working models of self-love, reciprocity with others, and compassionate civility toward all.  This takes the entire length of childhood and sometimes long into adulthood to develop.  With hurting children, that last sentence needs to be emphasized: This takes the entire length of childhood and sometimes long into adulthood to develop.

Couples Blog

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Parents, resist the urge to be in a hurry to get your children across the finish line.  When children are recovering from attachment and abuse trauma, they first need to heal into a felt sense of safety.  Providing safety alone is enough.  Healing is when the child begins to feel inside a sense of safety.  That felt sense comes only after living many years in a safe home with loving, empathic parents.  Yep, years.

Being in a rush for your children to become efficient rule followers, good choice makers, and strong moral reasoners is not only frustrating when it doesn’t happen quickly, but it is also the very thing that will slow felt safety from growing within your child.

Let kindness, acceptance, curiosity, playfulness, structure, and empathy be your overriding parenting principles to bring forth the whole heart and brain of your child.  It will all come online in time.

Be patient. Be patient.  Be patient.

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.

 

 

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.