Archive for Parenting traumatized children

Type A Parenting Begets Stressed Children

Dear Parents:

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Sometimes we parents are seriously Type A toward our traumatized children.  We are forever working our kids to be better, be focused, be kinder, be organized, be mature, be motivated, be “normal.”  Wha?  Our kids by definition are working as hard as they can to figure out how to feel safe in their own skins in their adoptive families. This thing called family life is complex and filled with emotional landmines.

From where your child began, stop and notice how far s/he has come. Give yourselves a little break from bettering every moment. Slow down. There is time.  Every imperfection is not an emergency.  It just feels like it.

Lift your head up from the grindstone.  It’s nice up here.

Love matters,

Ce 

Upcoming Events Calendar and Other Things in Sacramento…

NEW DATE: Trust-based Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held on February 17th from 9am to 4pm.  Register here or on our website!

Tell your friends: Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. Open to the public. February 16th, 2018 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.  Gluten-free snacks provided. Please RSVP to Andrea@attachplace.com so we get enough snacks, right? This is a  monthly social group for the children; and caregivers will have an opportunity to connect, chat, and chill in a separate space. A donation of $0.00 to $5.00 will be accepted for food and supervision if you are able, but please don’t let that be an attendance barrier because the group is FREE.  ASD kids need a social life and this is a great way to make it happen.

NEW!  5-Week FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS IMPROV GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA–5-7 yrs group. The 5-wk group will be $120 total, CALVCB payment eligible, structured, and fun, too.  New groups will begin again in March, 2018.  Contact Ce at Ce@attachplace.com for more details.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on Valentine’s DayFebruary 14th, 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.

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

      

 

 

           

When Your Hurt Child “Hates” You

Dear Parents:

Things like this are never easy to hear; unfortunately, you are in the designated hot seat to be the target for:

I hate you.

I hate everything about you.

I wish you never adopted me.

I want to kill you.

I am going to kill you in your sleep.

I hate you and I always will.

 

And then there are the variations on a theme:

I hate how you chew.

I hate your face.

I hate your voice.

I hate how you talk.

I hate your stupid dog (now this is a low blow.)

Shoot, you just wanted to give this child a nice home and a loving family, right?  

Now what?

Blow a big bubble, step inside it, and fill it with empathy for your child’s obvious emotional pain and distress.  Invite a village to surround your bubble, so you have the support you need to do it.

You might think I’m kidding, but I am not.  Empathy in the face of your child’s hatefulness is the ultimate cure.  You have to give empathy over and over and over to your child in order for your child to internalize it as healing salve on a wounded heart. Your anger, punishment, consequences, fear, cut-offs, rejection, dismissiveness, dread, coldness, personalization, and avoidance will feed the cruel wounded beast that has taken up residence there.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

I read somewhere that empathy is the opposite of cruelty. That struck a chord with me.  When my empathy tank is on E, I find myself behaving in subtly cruel ways toward my child. You already know I am not a perfect parent, so be sure to look deep at your own behavior.  You have to name it to tame it, as Dan Seigel would say.  We parent are never justified in being cruel or mean to our children, even if they have been that way to us.

Personally, I shame with discreet facial expressions.  I ignore by reading instead of engaging. I am matter-of-fact and I speak in a flat voice. I withhold eye contact. I am not proud of these things and I work hard to keep my empathy tank on F, but I want to be honest about them so maybe you can look at your own subtle ways.

Our children are not just reactive. They are specifically reactive to us.  Sometimes we are actually doing things that keep the hate alive and not doing enough to heal the pain within.   The solution is incredibly simple and amazingly hard at the same time. Open your higher self to your child and only share your lower self with friends who can understand and be soothing to you.

Over time…   Over time…   Over time, healing occurs.

Love matters,

Ce

 

Upcoming Events Calendar and Other Things in Sacramento…

NEW DATE: Trust-based Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held on February 17th from 9am to 4pm.  Register here or on our website!

Tell your friends: Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. Open to the public. February 16th, 2018 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.  Gluten-free snacks provided. Please RSVP to Andrea@attachplace.com so we get enough snacks, right? This is a  monthly social group for the children; and caregivers will have an opportunity to connect, chat, and chill in a separate space. A donation of $0.00 to $5.00 will be accepted for food and supervision if you are able, but please don’t let that be an attendance barrier because the group is FREE.  ASD kids need a social life and this is a great way to make it happen.

NEW!  5-Week FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS IMPROV GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA–5-7 yrs group. The 5-wk group will be $120 total, CALVCB payment eligible, structured, and fun, too.  New groups will begin again in March, 2018.  Contact Ce at Ce@attachplace.com for more details.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on Valentine’s DayFebruary 14th, 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.

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

 

 

 

 

                                              

 

A Bite of Mindfulness Everyday

Dear Parents,

Mindfulness is the new, old, buzz word.  Still, more and more research is showing that daily mindfulness has a real impact on brains for the good.  Eastern cultures have known these benefits for thousands of years.  Our children from difficult beginnings have very busy brains–like you don’t know that, right? I image you are thinking “No way, Ce, are my kid(s) going to be quiet on demand for even a minute.”

To that, I say, “You might be surprised.”  First of all, we are talking about one minute to start.   And at the top end, we are looking at 5 to 10 minutes total.  Daily mindfulness practice is setting new neuropathway tracks for focus, attention and personal agency over unruly emotions.  The promise is worth the price.  Which wolf are you feeding?

Be sure when you begin any mindfulness practice with children from difficult beginnings that you are trauma-sensitive about it. Our kids often cannot tolerate the way they feel inside, so closing their eyes for a minute can be wildly overwhelming.  Hint:  that is why they are so busy in the first place.  Here are some ideas for modifying usual mindfulness practices for traumatized children.

  • Use your child’s imagination. Keeping their eyes open, ask them to imagine what their toes feel like from the inside.  No one can do that, but it is mindful to try.  Tip:  when they think they can feel them, then ask them to notice how their ankles feel from the inside.  Don’t do this for longer than a minute.  Tomorrow.  Ask for the inside of a different body part. Of course, this will only work for a bit and then you will need to switch it up with a new practice.
  • As a family, do this little rap and sit criss-cross applesauce on the floor together.  Then, ask everyone to simply rest eyes on the ball/object that is placed in front of them.  Yes, all parents in the house sit criss-cross applesauce.  That is fun to watch in and of itself. https://youtu.be/4NIEUX55hSk

  • In the spring, go lay out on the grass and look at the sky.  This can last a very long time without effort.
  • Get the Headspace app on your phone and let your children watch the one-minute body scan animation, which is free.  Watch them go into a full body mindfulness state instantly. Some children will really enjoy this.
  • Look online into investing in HeartMath. This is a well-researched method for getting your child’s breath and heartbeat in sync.  Turns out this is very healing.
  • Each day, pick a two or three minute YOUTUBE video on mindfulness for kids to watch with you.  If you have a Smart TV or Apple TV you can show it on the big screen.  You can also watch it on a laptop or your phone.  This is a good reason to look at a screen.  Here are just a few I like:

Go in there, parents, and teach mindfulness to your little wild cats by “being it” together. Be creative. Be light about it. Have fun.

Love matters,

Ce

P.S. Today is Week 2 of Friendship Improv Group for 5-7-year-olds If you want your child to learn friendship skills, drop me an email to reserve a spot in the next one coming up in March.

Yesterday’s Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place was great!  Don’t miss the next one: February 16th, 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.

Couples Blog

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

 

Upcoming Events Calendar and Other Things in Sacramento…

NEW DATE: Trust-based Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held on February 17th from 9am to 4pm.  Register here or on our website!

NEW!  5-Week FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS IMPROV GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA–5-7 yrs group. The 5-wk group will be $120 total, CALVCB payment eligible, structured, and fun, too.  New groups will begin again in March, 2018.  Contact Ce at Ce@attachplace.com for more details.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on February 14th, 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.

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

 

 

 

 

                                              

 

 

Push Back Against the Social Machine: Confront Your Inner Sheeple

Dear Parents,

If you frequent The Attach Place much, you know I am single-handedly on a crusade to significantly reduce the use of screens with children from any kind of beginnings, difficult or otherwise. This is in no way an attempt at shaming you for using screens or allowing your children to have screens.  We are all frogs in the same slowly boiling pot.

Full disclosure, I love my gadgets.  I have an iPhone, Mac, iPod, and iWatch.  I can GPS track my children and husband anywhere on the planet at any given time.  I know how much I walk every day, and I know how many calories my husband burns each day.  My phone tells me how many minutes it will take me to drive to my office as if it knows that I am on my way there. Frankly, the machine does predict my habits and is rarely wrong.  From the coast of southern Italy, I found I could see my dogs napping in my U.S. living room, and I could also see when my employees entered the office while I was gone.  I actually know what the office cleaners do if I bother to look at my phone when it chimes in the middle of the night because, apparently, that’s when my office cleaners clean–who knew? The machine knows. There is not a single text, email, phone call, time to stand, or time to deep breathe that is not transmitted to me via haptics on my wrist.  I am wired.  I really do love my gadgets.

Just writing that scares me and embarrasses me a little because being this wired is out of integrity with what I know.  I do not need all of this. I know I can live without it because I lived most of my life without it–that’s how old I am.  I admit that I simply like dinking with it.  This is also what I can admit:  I let my gadgets get in the way of my relationships.  I am willingly a “sheeple.”

What I am wanting you to do, as a parent, is question your inner sheeple.  It feels like pushing an electronic bolder up a hill, even for me who only has my own fascination with electronics to contend with.  Still, I feel compelled to continue sounding the clarion alarm.  I believe following social screen norms is destroying the fabric of our families, our connections to ourselves and our children, and even the structure of our brains.

The research is already in–screens significantly reduce the quality of our human relationships.  Actually, they reduce our human attention spans altogether. They act like addictive substances on the brain’s reward system.  Over time, children and adults are replacing human relationships with electronic ones–Facebook over face to face connection becomes the easy, go-to alternative.  We are reducing our natural uplifting neurochemicals by engaging in non-human interactions as replacements for the real deal. Electronics interrupt human engagement and attunement and create distance between spouses and conflict between parents and children.  Most of all, regular repeated use rewires every single person’s brain, no matter who you are or how much you resist. Everyday life becomes a little duller and unexciting when compared to the ever-present blue screens with bright lights and lightning-quick, effortless interactions.

Being “truly human” is becoming harder.  Empathy is strained.  Logical reasoning is more and more illogical.  Family ties are less binding.  Real experiences are giving way to manufactured electronic alternative realities.  Normal curiosity and physical activity in children are being anesthetized by electronic child occupiers.  We are losing something very important in our society–the wonderful satisfaction of love and connection to others in our families and in the greater community.

Right now, I think this is mostly a first world problem.  Developing countries need electronics to catch up and bring them into the global realm.  I get that.  Electronics are not evil.  They are not even intrinsically bad for people.  Being a marketplace sheeple is the part I’m talking about–voluntarily following social screen norms despite what you know is ill-advised.

Couples Blog

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

As a parent, I know you are struggling with this.  Every parent is.  Some of you have already significantly reduced screen access in your homes. However, many of us have given way to the pressures of social norms and our children’s protestations of “Everyone else has….”  That’s what I did when my children were younger and the outcome for my adult son, in particular, has had a long-lasting impact on his personal motivation and overall life. I want to encourage you to know the facts.  Put them in front of your protesting children.  Stand your ground.  You need parental controls. You cannot trust children to moderate, modulate, or measure their use. Take your electronic power back.

Here is my pledge. I am going to take my power back, too. I am taking a 30-day Sheeple Challenge–nothing as severe as the “Kill Your TV” movement, because there is a place for electronics in our lives. I’m going with something more reasonable. I’m putting my screens on the charger when I walk through the door at night and that is where they will remain until I leave the house.  If the phone actually rings, I may answer it though I probably won’t.  I am going to make my iWatch a simple watch and turn off all those intrusive haptics.  I am not going to use my computer when there is a living, breathing person in the room, except for essential work-related things.  I will not use my screens for entertainment or pseudo-personal connection.  Some of this will be simple.  Some of it truly hard.  I’m up for getting my integrity back.

What will you do?  Take the challenge if you dare.  And, I am daring you.

Love matters,

Ce

P.S. The first 5-7-year-old groups went swimmingly yesterday.  A good time was had by most and how to make new friends was the topic of the day.  Looking forward to next week.  If you want your child to learn friendship skills, drop me an email to reserve a spot in the next one coming up in March.

Don’t forget this week’s: Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. January 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, 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.

 

Couples Blog

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Upcoming Events Calendar and Other Things in Sacramento…

NEW DATE: Trust-based Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held on February 17th from 9am to 4pm.  Register here or on our website!

NEW!  5-Week FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS IMPROV GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA–5-7 yrs group. The group will be $20 per session, CALVCB payment eligible, structured, and fun, too.  Groups will begin January 13th, 2018.  Contact Ce at Ce@attachplace.com for more details.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on February 14th, 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.

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

 

 

 

 

                                              

 

 

 

Parenting Children Is A Character Builder, For Sure

Dear Parents,

My friend and colleague, Jennifer Olden, LMFT, told me she learned this stuff from me, but she flatters me.  Anyway, she is also one of my writing partners, so I get to read some of her stuff once in awhile.  Today, I received this little essay about parenting her perfectly attached, trauma-free, biological children.  Reminded me, parenting is a wild ride no matter the circumstances.

I am an AMAZING mother

  by Jennifer Olden

Yesterday at the Barrio, our local coffee shop, my 3-year-old, Sam, played Legos independently for 45 minutes while I chatted happily with a friend. 
 
An acquaintance approached and said, “Wow, I don’t want to jinx it but your kid is so well-behaved.” 
 
I responded, “It’s because I’m an AMAZING mother.” 
 
In truth, Sam’s ability to focus and play independently is more about his personality than my mad skills as a parent.  It’s easy for me to see the tenuous relationship between my parenting and his behavior at the coffee shop but when my eleven-year-old daughter was his age, I couldn’t separate the two at all.
 
My sweet daughter is very sensitive.  It’s her strength and I can see that now, but when she was two years old I didn’t recognize the blessing.  Her tantrums are seared into my mind.  For example, I remember the meltdown at the community pool because I brought the wrong bathing suit.  She screamed, cried, and rolled around on the grass.  I remember my hot shame and the overwhelming feeling of failure.
 
I *know* there were parents and grandparents in the vicinity watching her and watching me and thinking, “Wow, your child is poorly behaved.  What have you done?” 
 
I asked myself the same questions: What have I done?  What is wrong with me?  What is wrong with her?  
 
I didn’t know that I was asking the wrong questions.  In a situation like this there are only two questions a bystander or I should be asking:

1) Are you Ok?
2) How can I help?

I wish I could reach through time and put my arm around my previous self and stop asking the questions whose business is it to assign blame for the suffering.  I wish I could orient my mind to the simple and earnest stance of compassion and concern.  So much of life is out of our control. 
 
Sam is basically happy because he’s basically happy and it’s not my genius, or failure, or supreme mental health, or stellar parenting, or top notch abilities as a therapist, or the undeniable fact that I’m a domestic goddess.  It’s just him.  It’s how he plopped onto the planet—a chubby baby packed with joy.  Good for you, Sam.
 
I wish I could go back to that scene at the pool when my first born was crying and screaming in histrionic fits of discontent because of the wrong bathing suit and yell at the woman looking at me from across the pool.
 
I’d yell, “It’s not my fault, expletive, expletive, expletive.  We are sensitive about all things.  It’s our strength and source of compassion.  Why don’t you help me load up my car because as you can see I’m going to have to carry a screaming two-year-old and it’ll be difficult to also pack up the towels and toys and leftover fruit snacks and fishy crackers?  We are made of pure sunshine—my daughter and I—so you should take heed and help us out.” 
 
That would be satisfying. 
 
But I didn’t realize what I now know so I scurried to the car, face red from the sun and embarrassment, and cried alone.    
 
Are you ok? How can I help?  Me too.  That’s what I needed and still need. 
 
Don’t compliment me on my son’s behavior.  I am not in control of it.  I’ve influenced and impacted all three of my children but they have their own soul and life story.  I am here to help them live it as fully as possible; that’s the true meaning of secure attachment.   –The End, The Beginning

Love matters,

Ce

We have joined the 21st Century so you can now book online for The Attach Place:  

 

Couples Blog

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Upcoming Events Calendar and Other Things in Sacramento…

NEW DATE: Trust-based Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held on February 17th from 9am to 4pm.  Register here or on our website!

NEW!  5-Week FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS IMPROV GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA–5-7 yrs group. The group will be $20 per session, CALVCB payment eligible, structured, and fun, too.  Groups will begin January 13th, 2018.  Contact Ce at Ce@attachplace.com for more details.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on February 14th, 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.

Reminder: Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. January 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, 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.

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.

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

 

                                                  

CAFA CAMP Registration–Reserve Your Spot Now

Couples Blog

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Dear Parents,

Check this FREE CA CAFA Family Camp out.  You need this more than you realize.  Register today.

Love and Fun Matter,

Ce

Upcoming Events Calendar and Other Things in Sacramento…

NEW DATE: Trust-based Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held on February 17th, 2018 from 9am to 4pm.  Register here or on our website!

JANUARY GROUPS ARE OFFICIALLY FULL!!!!!  Register today for the next session.   5-Week FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS IMPROV GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA–5-7 yrs group. The group will be $20 per session, CALVCB payment eligible, structured, and fun, too.  Groups will begin March, 2018.  Contact Ce at Ce@attachplace.com for more details.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on January 10th, 2018! Open to all parents/caregivers at no cost. Support Group is every 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6 pm to 8 pm at 3336 Bradshaw Road, Ste 175, Sacramento, CA 95827.

Reminder: Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. January 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, 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.

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.

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

 

Skills Groups for Children from Difficult Beginnings

Couples Blog

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Dear Parents,

We at The Attach Place are excited that our upcoming 5-week Friendship Social Skills Improv Groups for 5-7 year-olds are beginning this week. Our children need bite-sized opportunities to practice friendship skills because they do not have the ease of relationship making and keeping hardwired in. As a matter of fact, they have relationship breaking and damaging hardwired in instead from the slings and arrows of difficult beginnings of childhood abuse and abandonment.

Wherever you live, look for social skills groups for your children. Our kids often have so much anxiety in relationships that they are jettisoned into survival mode during play dates or when trying to navigate the playground at school. They need fun ways to learn to be pro-social, rather than consequences for bad behavior resulting from survival brain that they simply cannot help.

Love matters,

Ce

Upcoming Events Calendar and Other Things in Sacramento…

NEW DATE: Trust-based Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held on February 17th from 9am to 4pm.  Register here or on our website!

NEW!  5-Week FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS IMPROV GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA–5-7 yrs group. The group will be $20 per session, CALVCB payment eligible, structured, and fun, too.  Groups will begin January 13th, 2018.  Contact Ce at Ce@attachplace.com for more details.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on January 10th, 2018! Open to all parents/caregivers at no cost. Support Group is every 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6 pm to 8 pm at 3336 Bradshaw Road, Ste 175, Sacramento, CA 95827.

Reminder: Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. January 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, 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.

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.

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

 

Therapeutic Parenting Primer: 20 Tips for Foster and Adoptive Parents

Dear Parents,

You might have seen this little primer before on this blog; and, you might have missed it.  It is a quick review to help you get your therapeutic parenting head screwed on right today.  Some days it isn’t so easy to remember the basics.  Here they are:

(It is easiest to download this Google Drive iBook, as it opens slowly in preview.)

Love matters,

Ce

P.S.  By popular demand, The Attach Place has a new online scheduling system with appointment reminder emails.  You can still call to make an appointment, but some folks prefer more streamlined access. There it is. Feel free to access it from our website, too.

 

Upcoming Events Calendar and Other Things in Sacramento…

NEW DATE: Trust-based Therapeutic Parenting Class for Parents of Children from Difficult Beginnings by Ce Eshelman, LMFT will be held on February 17th from 9am to 4pm.  Register here or on our website!

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on January 10th, 2018! Open to all parents/caregivers at no cost. Support Group is every 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6 pm to 8 pm at 3336 Bradshaw Road, Ste 175, Sacramento, CA 95827.

Reminder: Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. January 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, 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.

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.

NEW!  5-Week FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS IMPROV GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA–5-7 yrs group. The group will be $20 per session, CALVCB payment eligible, structured, and fun, too.  Groups will begin January 13th, 2018.  Contact Ce at Ce@attachplace.com for more details.

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

 

 

Beautiful Parents of Beautiful Children: Create A Happy New Year

Dear Parents,

This one’s for you.  Oh, they all are.  This whole blog is for you because you deserve attention, care, and nurturing, just as much as your children from difficult beginnings.  See you in the New Year!  Remember the only person you can change is yourself: BE HAPPY.

Love matters,

Ce

P.S.  By popular demand, The Attach Place has a new online scheduling system with appointment reminder emails.  You can still call to make an appointment, but some folks prefer more streamlined access. There it is. Feel free to use it.

 

 Upcoming Events Calendar and Things in Sacramento…

GIVE MY BOOK FOR SUPPORT TO A FELLOW ADOPTION ADVENTURER: Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT.  Daily inspirational reading for those who sometimes find it hard to keep hope alive. There is hope for healing.  At Amazon or get a discounted copy here.

Reminder: Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. January 19, 2018 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.  Gluten-free snacks provided. Please RSVP to Andrea@attachplace.com so we get enough snacks, right? This is a  monthly social group for the children; and caregivers will have an opportunity to connect, chat, and chill in a separate space. A donation of $0.00 to $5.00 will be accepted for food and supervision if you are able, but please don’t let that be an attendance barrier because the group is FREE.  ASD kids need a social life and this is a great way to make it happen.

NEW!  5-Week FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS IMPROV GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA–5-7 yrs group and 8 to 10 yrs group.  The groups will be $20 per session, CALVCB payment eligible, structured, and fun, too.  Groups will begin January 13th, 2018.  Contact Jen at Jen@attachplace.com for more details.

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

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on January 10th, 2018! Open to all parents/caregivers at no cost. Support Group is every 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6 pm to 8 pm at 3336 Bradshaw Road, Ste 175, Sacramento, CA 95827.

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

 

 

Fear or Love? Parenting Developmentally Traumatized Children

Dear Parents,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Couples Blog

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

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

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

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

Love matters,

Ce

Upcoming Events Calendar and Things in Sacramento…

GIVE MY BOOK FOR SUPPORT TO A FELLOW ADOPTION ADVENTURER: Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT.  Daily inspirational reading for those who sometimes find it hard to keep hope alive. There is hope for healing.  At Amazon or get a discounted copy here.

Reminder: Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. January 19, 2018 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.  Gluten-free snacks provided. Please RSVP to Andrea@attachplace.com so we get enough snacks, right? This is a  monthly social group for the children; and caregivers will have an opportunity to connect, chat, and chill in a separate space. A donation of $0.00 to $5.00 will be accepted for food and supervision if you are able, but please don’t let that be an attendance barrier because the group is FREE.  ASD kids need a social life and this is a great way to make it happen.

NEW!  5-Week FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS IMPROV GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA–5-7 yrs group and 8 to 10 yrs group.  The groups will be $20 per session, CALVCB payment eligible, structured, and fun, too.  Groups will begin January 13th, 2018.  Contact Jen at Jen@attachplace.com for more details.

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

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on January 10th, 2018! Open to all parents/caregivers at no cost. Support Group is every 2nd Wednesday of every month from 6 pm to 8 pm at 3336 Bradshaw Road, Ste 175, Sacramento, CA 95827.

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