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Archive for Therapeutic Parenting

Parenting Adopted Children: Nonsensical Lying Makes Sense

Dear Parents,

Nonsensical lying makes sense. It really does if you understand the internal workings of children who come from difficult beginnings.

Nonsensical lying is triggered by exactly the same things that trigger emotionally dysregulated meltdowns–PURE FEAR, a pervasive sense of fear of the unknown, fear of authority, fear of change, fear of danger, fear of vulnerability, fear of being “in-trouble,” fear of feeling shame, fear of abuse, fear of being out-of-control, fear of giving up control, fear of deprivation, fear of powerlessness, fear of loss, fear of abandonment, fear of dying–fear of you. Fear.

When your child lies to you,  assure your child that you are a safe person to tell the truth to, and then be a safe person to tell the truth to. Oh yeah, that is the hard part. We parents usually have as much hard work to do on responding to our children’s lying as our children do.

Children do not stop lying because of punishment. Fear of punishment will cause more and more intricate, insistent lying.

A Story

My daughter is 23 years old. She still lies to me when “caught” doing near anything that she believes will cause me to disapprove of her. Even if I am not asking, she will lie to me prophylactically. It’s kind of incredible.

She is an adult now, so I rarely care what she does; when she does it; where she goes; or who she sees. I really don’t care. It’s not my life, and she will have to experience whatever consequences life dishes up, as a result of her choices.

Now that we are both older, ha, we can talk more honestly about lying. Yesterday, after a ridiculously elaborate lie, I told her that lying to me is wasting her energy.

She stopped in her tracks, tears in her eyes saying, “Mom, I just really want so much for you to be proud of me.”

Hugging her, I am so very proud of you, sweetheart. Nothing you can do will make that go away. I’m your mom.  I love you.

I know, Mom, but I’m so afraid in this horrible, deep achy way in my chest–it actually hurts– that one day I will break you, and burn my bridge with you forever, and you’re all I’ve got.  My life is so f’d up and I can never seem to get it right,” she continued through rivers of tears.

I know you are afraid. It’s painful for you because you did lose your birth mom. I know you don’t think you can trust love, especially mom love.  So, I will keep telling you forever that you can’t break my love. You can break the bank, but not my love. We both had a good laugh, because that is so tragicomedically true, and her tears stopped.

I am going to keep working on being safe enough for you to be honest with.

“I’ll work on being less afraid, so I can tell the truth,” she said.

The Moral

Dear parents, this girl will lie to me before the sun sets today.  I could make some serious Benjamins betting on that in Vegas. As much as she wants to tell me the truth, her body-deep, pre-verbal fear from early childhood trauma squeezes the air out of her chest and she feels like she might die–burn the bridge to the only true love she has ever had. Boom, lie.

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

The Secret To A Happy Life With Traumatized Children

Dear Parents:

What Is Your Favorite Form of Suffering?

Yep, you read that right.  Every day, I spend quite a bit of time talking to suffering parents of children from difficult beginnings and working to support them to pull their chins up, stay in the parenting long game, and buoy out of the traditional parenting traps of power and punishment.  Personally, I rarely feel suffering in the face of the shenanigans my children can produce and despite the grief and pain I encounter in my work with parents and children.

Anti-Depressants Do Not Stop Suffering

Full disclosure, being genetically predisposed to large mood swings, I take medication to keep me out of suicidal major depression.  What medication does for me is it keeps me inside the normal range of emotion.  Medication, however, does not keep me from suffering the feelings of fear, despair, helplessness, and hopelessness.  I stay out of suffering those with a personal commitment to live my life fully every day.  When I lost my mother in a car accident as a teenager, I made a vow to live every day as though it were my last.  That was well before the pop songs were written. That vow shaped my adult life, so I have a fairly well-developed muscle for being happily alive.

Fear, Loss, Less, and Never

In my experience, most people have favorite forms of parental suffering that fall around four concepts: fear, loss, less, and never.

My child is going to prison in the future if I don’t get his/her behavior under controlFear  

I adopted a child that can’t be part of the family life I always wanted–Loss

Other people get to have reciprocal relationships with their children, and I don’t–Less

My children are never going to have normal lives–Never

I’m not saying don’t feel your feelings.  Do feel your feelings, even share them with yourself, a loved one, or therapist.  The sentences above are not feelings, they are thoughts that produce feelings. If you get stuck in that feedback loop, you will find suffering.

Here is the secret to a happy life with children from difficult beginnings:

  1. Feel your feelings for about 2 minutes tops, then bust the thoughts behind them for what they are (bad habits) and focus on some things you appreciate (good habits).
  2. Find gratitude for the very thing you are suffering over.
  3. Find your favorite form of suffering–fear, loss, less, never—and bust it, replace it, repeat the replacement, recycle.
  4. Vow to live your life with less suffering and more abundance of spirit for living.
  5. Realize that you are playing the parenting long game.  Parenting is right now for the future.

I know Buddha said, “Life is Suffering,” but I think he meant everything changes so don’t cling to any one thing.  To me, that is where the hope lies.  Accept, let go, live.

Love matters,

Ce

The Attach Place Upcoming Events Calendar

SIGN UP HERE: 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): 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.

May 11th Therapeutic Parent Training

Dear Parents:

Mark your calendars for our upcoming Therapeutic Parenting Training.

Traditional parenting cannot heal the wounded hearts of traumatized children. Therapeutic parenting can.

This adoption and trauma-informed training will help you find your way with a comprehensive approach to parenting children from difficult beginnings.  The workshop will cover the following topics:

  • Complex Developmental Trauma vs. Reactive Attachment Disorder
  • Brain-based Parenting Strategies
  • Impact of Attachment Styles on Parenting Attachment-Challenged Children
  • Conquering Parental Reactivity
  • Zones of Regulation
  • Trust-based Relational Intervention (TBRI)–Empowering, Connecting, Correcting
  • Parenting with P.A.C.E.

Get support, information, coaching, and understanding of what you are experiencing as a parent.

Who Should Attend?

You, if you are a relative, caregiver, guardian, or adoptive parent of a child(ren) from difficult beginnings—maltreatment, neglect, trauma, attachment breach, drug exposure, difficult pregnancy, and/or birth trauma.  This is the help you have been looking for, especially if you have tried everything.

May 11th, 2019   10am to 4pm

Light lunch provided. Bring your own special diet lunch.

Registration required. Cost is $100 per person. No tickets will be issued, but a spot will be reserved for you. This training can be reimbursed by CALVCB.

THIS WORKSHOP IS PROVIDED BY CE ESHELMAN, LMFT, CERTIFIED TBRI PRACTITIONER.

The Attach Place Upcoming Events Calendar

SIGN UP HERE: 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): 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.

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.

 

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