Archive for Parenting traumatized children

You Don’t Exist

Dear Parents:

If you had a bad habit of mumbling your words or talking a little too loud or too much or chewing vigorously with open mouth at dinner and your beloved ignored you whenever it happened, how might you feel?

Ignored?

Hurt?

Rejected?

Shamed?

Angered?

Furious?

Reactive?

Rebellious?

Oppositional?

Bitter?

Unloved?

Disengaged?

Done!

Couples Blog

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Be careful what you are ignoring when you follow advice from parent educators and therapists to “ignore” your child’s negative behavior. Sometimes we parents get confused about what that means.  It doesn’t mean ignore the child.  It means ignore the behavior, not the child.  Some attachment challenged, traumatized children have a multitude of negative behaviors. You could end up ignoring your child at regular intervals all day, every day.

Attachment challenged children are not usually capable of discerning exactly what you are ignoring.  They often take it to mean: “You are mean, and I am bad.”

A better approach with soft, loving eyes sounds like this:

Yelling when you are angry really, really, really hurts my ears.  

Chew with your mouth closed, Sweetie Pie.  

I couldn’t hear what you said. It sounded like, “Can I toast some chihuahuas?”  That can’t be right. Try again please.”

Yep, say those kinds of sentences playfully 15 times a day instead of ignoring your child 15 times a day.  Could be life changing.  Enough said, right?

Love matters,

Ce

Upcoming…

NEW!  Strictly Social Autism Spectrum Disorder Pizza Night for Tweens (11 yrs – 16 yrs) at The Attach Place. November 17th, 2017 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.  Pizza will be provided. Please RSVP to Andrea@attachplace.com so we get enough pizza, of course. 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 pizza and supervision if you choose.

NEW!  5-week FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS IMPROV GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA–6-9 yrs group and 9 to 11 yrs group.  The groups will be $20 per session, CALVCB payment eligible, structured, and fun, too.  Groups will begin in January 2018.  Contact Jen@attachplace.com for more details.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on December 13th, 2017! 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.

TRY MY BOOK FOR DAILY SUPPORT: 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.

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

Painful World View of Some Adoptive Children

Dear Parents,

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Your mission, whether you choose to accept it or not, is to be the change agent in the worldview of your adopted child.  We all get our personal worldviews between conception and two years old. No kidding. That has always been kind of scary to me. Before we can talk and before we have identities apart from our caregivers, we learn the world is safe or scary, that we are lovable or unlovable, and that our needs will be met or not.  If we get the unsafe, unloveable, unwanted worldview, we internalize that the world is a hostile place, we are bad actors in it, and we have to go it alone to figure out how to survive.  If we get the safe, loveable, wanted worldview, we internalize that the world is a safe place, we are good and lovable actors in it, and we can trust ourselves and depend on those close to us for our well-being.

Whichever worldview we get, we keep it until something deliberate happens in our lives profoundly and consistently enough that our worldview gets re-written with a new pen and a better outcome.

You are the Internal Worldview Script Doctor re-writing over the previous storyline and creating a more integrated personal story for your child.  They say we all have at least one masterpiece in us. Your child(ren) may be your greatest work(s) of art.

Love Matters,

Ce

Sacramento Local Events: 

CAFA’s FREE Respite Program provides temporary relief for adoptive families living in or who have adopted through Sacramento County. Respite provides a positive experience for both the parent and the child. While families may take great joy in providing care for their loved ones, the physical and emotional consequences for the family caregiver can be overwhelming without some support, such as respite. Respite provides a break for the whole family, which research shows, is beneficial for everyone involved. Respite is available to kids aged 4-17.Children will be supervised by staff experienced in teaching social skills and positive peer interaction. Children will get the opportunity to participate in activities like sports, playing team building games, art, crafts and more.
Lunch is provided!
When: November 11th, 2017 (New Date)
Time: 10am-3pm
More details and to Register go to:www.capadoptfam.org

NEW!  AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD) CO-ED SOCIAL GROUP for Tweens (older 11-years-old through younger 15-years-old) at The Attach Place. November 6th, 2017 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm will be the first social group for ASD tweens. Pizza and drinks will be provided. Please RSVP to Andrea@attachplace.com. This is a no-cost monthly social group for the children, and parents will have an opportunity to socialize, chill, or maybe read a book in a separate space, too.

NEW!  FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA.  The groups will be low-cost, CALVCP payment eligible, structured, and fun, too.  Details coming soon.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on November 8th, 2017! 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.

TRY MY BOOK FOR DAILY SUPPORT: 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.

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

Plain Talk for Challenged Parents of Challenged Children

Dear Parents:    

I often get calls from adoptive parents seeking therapy for their attachment challenged child(ren).  When I share our comprehensive family approach, many are accepting and excited.  Some, however, are white-knuckling every day, worn out to the core, and reluctant to put in even an ounce more energy.  These parents are desperate to get help for their child and they focus only on that.

He never does what I tell him to do.

She only cares about herself.

Something is wrong with him.

She sneaks around all the time.

He steals things from everyone.

She doesn’t have a conscience.

He lies about everything.

She is grieving about her crappy past.

He is negative all the time.

She doesn’t care about anything.

He hurts his brother.

She hates me and her life.

He is self-centered and disrespectful.

I hate every minute of this.

S/He needs therapy.

I have no doubt about the behavior.  I do have to question the focus and motives ascribed.

Here is what I see in the room with me:  parents–once hopeful, excited, enthusiastic people who had a dream of creating a loving family; parents with shattered dreams and buckets of grief and overwhelm.  If this is you, you may be:

Hurt.

Triggered.

Reactive.

Adversarial.

Resentful.

Grieving.

Angry.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Depressed.

Dysregulated.

Exhausted.

Despairing.

And in need of big support.

Your whole family needs help. You are the healer for your child, but you must first start from within. Therapy for your child will not be effective without you. When you have trouble finding your heart and seeing the good in your child, you are the one who needs help first and the most. It is okay to admit it if it is so.

Love Matters,

Ce

Sacramento Local Events: 

CAFA’s FREE Respite Program provides temporary relief for adoptive families living in or who have adopted through Sacramento County. Respite provides a positive experience for both the parent and the child. While families may take great joy in providing care for their loved ones, the physical and emotional consequences for the family caregiver can be overwhelming without some support, such as respite. Respite provides a break for the whole family, which research shows, is beneficial for everyone involved. Respite is available to kids aged 4-17.Children will be supervised by staff experienced in teaching social skills and positive peer interaction. Children will get the opportunity to participate in activities like sports, playing team building games, art, crafts and more.
Lunch is provided!
When: November 11th, 2017 (New Date)
Time: 10am-3pm
More details and to Register go to:www.capadoptfam.org

NEW!  AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD) CO-ED SOCIAL GROUP for Tweens (older 11-years-old through younger 15-years-old) at The Attach Place. November 6th, 2017 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm will be the first social group for ASD tweens. Pizza and drinks will be provided. Please RSVP to Andrea@attachplace.com. This is a no-cost monthly social group for the children, and parents will have an opportunity to socialize, chill, or maybe read a book in a separate space, too.

NEW!  FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA.  The groups will be low-cost, CALVCP payment eligible, structured, and fun, too.  Details coming soon.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on November 8th, 2017! 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.

TRY MY BOOK FOR DAILY SUPPORT: 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.

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

Sugar Shack Attack In Children From Difficult Beginnings

Dear Parents,

Tonight, I met with some great parents who are dealing with the insanity of what I call the sugar shack attack. Their young children will not eat real food–just sweet stuff.  They have pared the sugar down to healthy sweet this and organic fruity sweet that, but they are having a sugar shack attack all the same, and there is full-on food refusal at their dinner table…breakfast table…and even school lunch table.

When they were talking, I was harkening back to the time when hoarding candy, amongst plenty of other stuff, was a major force in my house.  Where did all the candy come from?  I watched so closely, and yet candy wrappers magically appeared by the dozens–stuffed into every nook, drawer, vent, pillowcase, and behind every bed, dresser, and door.  Amazing really.

Sweets, like alcohol, crack, and heroin, jingle the reward systems in children (and adults for that matter.)  Dopamine is the reward system’s candyman. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that makes all of us humans feel GOOOOOOOD. Soothed. Happy. Too much dopamine, however, can lead to addictive, and even psychotic, behavior.

You can see why our attachment challenged children, who often have deficits in the happy neurotransmitters, would be seeking sweets–eventually moving on to other substances to make all the pain in their hearts go away. Unfortunately, no substance works long-term and the urgency for more amps up. Most traumatized children are sweet-seeking missiles.

A big part of dealing with this is managing diet. Yep, you have to withhold sweets and natural alternatives, too.  Those are just sugar hits in disguise.  Fruit is sugar and should be eaten only as a dessert after all the other food has been consumed.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

One of the best things you can do is get your children on a Whole 30 Diet.  Cut out carbs (which metabolize into sugar), and when necessary, cut out excessive fruits (dried and otherwise.)  Give your children a clean palate, so that real, healthy, clean food tastes sweet.  If you don’t know that most clean food tastes sweet, then the Whole 30 Diet will enlighten your reward systems, too.

When your kids don’t get sugar to soothe, they will need a replacement. Let it be you. Hold your babies (even if they are 18) when they ache.  If they cannot tolerate touch because of complex trauma, sit close, use soft eyes, and talk sweetly. Isn’t that term funny–talk sweetly? The positive neurochemical cascade can be ignited those ways, too.

Sweet talk is a love language.  Broken hearts need a whole lot of sweetness to heal.

Love matters,

Ce

Sacramento Local Events: 

CAFA’s FREE Respite Program provides temporary relief for adoptive families living in or who have adopted through Sacramento County. Respite provides a positive experience for both the parent and the child. While families may take great joy in providing care for their loved ones, the physical and emotional consequences for the family caregiver can be overwhelming without some support, such as respite. Respite provides a break for the whole family, which research shows, is beneficial for everyone involved. Respite is available to kids aged 4-17.Children will be supervised by staff experienced in teaching social skills and positive peer interaction. Children will get the opportunity to participate in activities like sports, playing team building games, art, crafts and more.
Lunch is provided!
When: November 11th, 2017 (New Date)
Time: 10am-3pm
More details and to Register go to:www.capadoptfam.org

NEW!  AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD) CO-ED SOCIAL GROUP for Tweens (older 11-years-old through younger 15-years-old) at The Attach Place. November 6th, 2017 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm will be the first social group for ASD tweens. Pizza and drinks will be provided. Please RSVP to Andrea@attachplace.com. This is a no-cost monthly social group for the children, and parents will have an opportunity to socialize, chill, or maybe read a book in a separate space, too.

NEW!  FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA.  The groups will be low-cost, CALVCP payment eligible, structured and fun, too.  Details coming soon.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on November 8th, 2017! 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.

TRY MY BOOK FOR DAILY SUPPORT: 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.

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

Screen Time–A Real Life Cautionary Tale

Dear Parent,

I wrote some of the following blog post in August 2014 about my son (17 yrs) who was struggling with lying and stealing to manage his screen addiction.  The last part of this post is what is happening now, three years later. He is 20-years-old, living in a semi-supportive care home.

August 18, 2014: During my summer hiatus from writing, my son definitely engaged in shenanigans.  BIG, UGLY, UNBELIEVABLE shenanigans.  In the middle of the night, he took one of my credit cards and charged Minecraft Video Game stuff–a couple hundred dollars worth. Not the end of the world for my pocketbook, but it felt like the end of the world for my heart.

My daughter did these kinds of shenanigans a lot when she lived at home.  I thought my son was going to escape the magnitude of her impulsive urges, but I was wrong.

This, by the way, is not his first rodeo.  He actually “steals” all the time: all the honey in every jar; all the sodas hidden (and somewhat forgotten) in the back of my closet; sneaky charges to my debit card via “Mom, can I borrow your phone for a minute”; and every cookie ever brought into the house. This time what he did was a crime.  I told him that a second crime like this will be reported to police. He might have to go to Juvenile Hall. And I left it at that.

A week or so later he came to me and said, I know I did something really wrong. I don’t know why I did it.  I know you hate lying and stealing. I am really sorry. I will accept whatever consequence you want to give me.  Actually, Mom, I think you should take my computer away for a while.  I did just that for 6 months.

When he and his sister were younger, I disliked when they leveled their own “consequences” for their wrongs before I had a chance.  The drive for control in these kids flipped me out and I knew it wasn’t in either of their best interest. I wanted to be the parent. Now, I appreciate them both taking responsibility.

I had mentioned previously to my son that I thought his computer use was becoming a problem because his desire to play “no matter what” caused him to make poor decisions, like stealing my credit card. He took that to heart. With courage and genuine sadness, he presented me with his most prized possession, his laptop.

This same boy is now a man.  He lives away from home, though I am still footing the bills. I will forever be doing that until one day he spontaneously recovers or SSI agrees he is unable to care for himself.  I am torn about this because it would be amazing for him to “not qualify for SSI” because of his productive behavior, rather than because he is so damaged by childhood trauma that he cannot function well enough in society to interview for the most menial of jobs.

My son has not attended school (extended high school at a special school for children who need special attention until they turn 22 years old) for two months.  Turns out he has been spending every night talking with an internet only girlfriend–possibly a 50-year-old “catfishing” man, for all I know. My son sleeps through his van ride to school every day and is completely unmotivated to do anything differently.

Two weeks ago, I gently took his laptop from under his arms as he lay dosing in bed at noon on a school day.  I told him I loved him and he needed to shower, wash his clothes, and go to school.  The next week he didn’t go to school either.  I returned, then, for his secret desktop.  He said nothing.  Afterward, I learned he started using the house computer all night, and I wrote an email requesting parental controls be added to that one to support his school attendance.

Today, he went to school. Hallelujah. Do you hear the choir?

This is so hard. I love him, and he is addicted to computer socializing because face-to-face socializing has always been tough for him.  Still, he needs to grow new neuropathways for living a non-virtual life. He needs this so he can learn to support himself when I am gone.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

While I can, I am going to continue parenting him like he is half his age.  He is half his age and he needs a mother.  You might be wondering why I don’t let him live at home then.  I’ll be honest.  I just cannot live with him any longer.  My own health is at risk and I need to mother him in a different way to continue to do this part of my commitment to being his mother for the long haul. It is what it is.

Sometimes I feel selfish, unloving, rejecting, and unmotherly.  And sometimes, I am able to see the limits of my own humanness.  My love is boundless, so I continue to love my children in every way that I can without sacrificing my life.  I have come to the realization that sacrificing myself will not make my son (or my daughter) more successful.  Little by little–painful, laborious and heart-wrenching lesson at a time–I can continue to thrive and live another day to support my children to grow and create the lives they are capable of.

The last line of my original post read, Little by little, I see my son becoming a man.  That line still applies.

Love matters,

Ce

Sacramento Local Events: 

CAFA’s FREE Respite Program provides temporary relief for adoptive families living in or who have adopted through Sacramento County. Respite provides a positive experience for both the parent and the child. While families may take great joy in providing care for their loved ones, the physical and emotional consequences for the family caregiver can be overwhelming without some support, such as respite. Respite provides a break for the whole family, which research shows, is beneficial for everyone involved. Respite is available to kids aged 4-17.Children will be supervised by staff experienced in teaching social skills and positive peer interaction. Children will get the opportunity to participate in activities like sports, playing team building games, art, crafts and more.
Lunch is provided!
When: November 11th, 2017 (New Date)
Time: 10am-3pm
More details and to Register go to:www.capadoptfam.org

NEW!  AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD) CO-ED SOCIAL GROUP for Tweens (older 11-years-old through younger 16-years-old) at The Attach Place. Stay tuned for details coming soon. This will be a no-cost social group for the children, and parents will have an opportunity to socialize, chill, or maybe read a book in a separate space, too.

NEW!  FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA.  The groups will be low-cost, CALVCP payment eligible, structured and fun, too.  Details coming soon.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on November 8th, 2017! 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.

TRY MY BOOK FOR DAILY SUPPORT: 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.

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

 

 

Dear Well-Meaning People Along My Adoption Journey:

Dear Parents,

By request, these are some pointers for non-custodial grandparents, extended family members, respite providers, and friends on how to support parents with attachment challenged children.

 

Dear grandparents, extended family, close friends, and respite care helpers:

I want you to know how much your love and support mean to me.  Without you, I would truly be on a very small island.  Here are some things recommended by an attachment therapist to help you understand and support the healing in our family.

Please understand:

My child has Complex Developmental Trauma and maybe some other things I am not sure of at the moment.  Complex Developmental Trauma is a combination of trauma and attachment challenge from early childhood maltreatment and abandonment.  This means that my child and I are learning to have a balanced emotional life together and to heal from internalized negative messages about parents, self, and the world.

No matter how it seems, I love my child and sometimes it is more a love “commitment” than a love “feeling.”  Please don’t judge me for my frustration, anger, resentment, hurt, grief and wounded feelings. Yes, I did sign on the adoption line and I do take responsibility for my decision.  Still, the magnitude of the disruption to my sense of well-being is stunningly painful.

My child deserves love and kindness, and I do my best to provide that every minute.  Sometimes I fail. I feel bad about myself when that happens, so you don’t have to find a delicate way of telling me so. It would be really great if you noticed out loud to me the loving things I do for my child.

Since I love my child, it will not be helpful for you to tell me how awful my child is or how great my child is.  I see it all. I really just need you to listen when I need someone to talk to about “me,” when I am on my last nerve, or when I need to celebrate a small breakthrough.

Dysregulation (uncontrollable upset) is my middle name.  My child’s Complex Developmental Trauma has an impact on me that even I have a hard time coming to terms with.  Offer me a listening ear, a cup of tea, a pedicure, or a shoulder massage because I need a break more than I need anything.

You have no idea how much I really appreciate it when you are willing to care for my child, so I can rest and rejuvenate.  I think you are amazing. When you do give me respite, it is very important that you follow my stated rules with my child; otherwise, your kindness will backfire on me when my child comes home.  My child cannot have more fun or excitement with you than there is at home. This will be hard for you, but my child needs to be regulated emotionally while in your care. Too much fun, excitement, change, and freedom will only serve to dysregulate and cause a split between my child and me. Please don’t think spoiling, paying extra close attention, listening to wild, made up stories or “siding” with my child against me will help my child.  It will destroy my child’s connection with me. Please do not do anything that will destroy my child’s connection with me.  I am working every second to create that connection and it only takes a couple of visits with a well-meaning, overly solicitous family member or friend to set my child’s attachment progress with me into reverse.

My child can be an angel in front of you.  Attachment challenge is usually between the child and the parents.  Others may never see it.  Please believe I am not making this up and I am not crazy. My child is not a victim of my inability to love.  My child has been a victim in the past and still feels that way inside.  I am not the creator of this worldview.  I am the healer of this worldview for my child, and it is hard for me to be balanced enough all the time to be healing.  That is my constant struggle. You can know that and empathize with my mission to save the heart of my child.

You may not know this, but traditional parenting doesn’t work with my child, so please don’t give me traditional parenting advice.  I don’t actually need advice, and I sure don’t need anyone to tell me that I need to give more consequences or rule with an iron fist. I am using a therapeutic parenting approach that I have learned can heal the complex trauma my child experiences.  Please trust me on this.

Finally, very few people want to spend time with my family right now.  I am isolated and lonely. Any time you lovingly reach out to me feels like water in a desert. I may not reach back very much, but that is because I am emotionally exhausted and I don’t want to feel like a burden to you.  Please check in with me. I need you. I love you. I appreciate you.

Sincerely yours,

 

Adoptive Parent

 

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

When our helpers get it, we parents feel 10 tons lift from our shoulders.

Love Matters,

Ce

NEW!  AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD) CO-ED SOCIAL GROUP for Tweens at The Attach Place. Stay tuned for details coming soon. This will be a no-cost social group for the children, and parents will have an opportunity to socialize, chill, or maybe read a book in a separate space, too.

NEW!  FRIENDSHIP SOCIAL SKILLS GROUPS FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA.  The groups will be low-cost, CALVCP payment eligible, structured and fun, too.  Details coming soon.

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on November 8th, 2017! 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.

TRY MY BOOK FOR DAILY SUPPORT: 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.

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

Managing Traumatic Days for Adopted Children from Difficult Beginnings

Dear Parents,

Parents, of late, are saying similar things over and over to me.  This is a version of how it goes: It feels like the world is coming to an end.  While the world reels from the traumatic events of gun pathology, terrorism, natural disasters, wars, and other crises, the U.S. is experiencing a relatively large uptick in weather disasters, human-made tragedy, and political strife.  It all feels overwhelming. The destruction from fires in California and hurricanes in the Atlantic is nearly unfathomable to think about, and worse, to live through.  I cannot comment on the world’s prognosis; however, I can say that the feelings are real, and the dysregulation that comes from living through stressful times is having a neuro-bio-psycho-social-physiological impact on us all.

What I am about to say may seem obvious and I know you are always doing the best you can; however, in times of high stress, we parents can forget that our children have very big ears attached to their heads and that they are taking in information like feeling barometers.  To that end, beware of too much exposure to news in your own living room.  Realize that your adult conversations about current events in the bedroom, on the phone, in the car, etc. can be traumatizing and re-traumatizing through repetitious, scary visuals and frightening, dramatic hyperbole.  Trauma in the present can easily trigger past trauma in yourself and/or your special needs children.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Things to do: reduce exposure to media, video games, high emotional stimulation, and your own expression of fear, grief, worry, and anger.  Children do best when they are allowed to remain children in the midst of crisis.

Even schoolyards these days can be stressful for children when they sometimes mirror the struggles of the greater society–social conflict, dishonesty, race baiting, and dog whistling they have no way of fully understanding.  When they come home mad, hurt, or cranky, meet them with understanding, empathy, soothing, and, above all, a safe harbor.

The goal of trauma recovery is to not always keep your children calm, but rather to help your children, when dysregulated, practice coping skills to reduce fear, agitation, and aggression. The coping skill most healing is the repetitious practice of the stress/relaxation cycle.  Up regulation.  Down regulation.  Up regulation.  Down regulation.  Up regulation…you get the picture.

Our current dramatic world events give us all plenty of opportunity to help reduce our children’s dysregulation by encouraging deep breathing, deep playing, deep connection, and deep relaxation.

My love to those in the fire zones and hurricane recovery.  If you can contribute in any way, please do.

Love matters,

Ce

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on November 8th, 2017! 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.

TRY MY BOOK FOR DAILY SUPPORT: 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.

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

Embrace the Facts

Dear Parents:

When you come to the edge of everything you know, surrender. Developmentally traumatized children from abuse, neglect, and abandonment are caught in a terrible double bind.  They desperately need you and they desperately fear and doubt your veracity as a forever parent.  They fear you will harm and leave them so much that they try to beat you to it by rejecting you first and unconsciously pulling for a repeat of their early traumatic years.

Couples Blog

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

When they turn on you, spewing ugly, vulgar accusations, hold steady if you can–if you manage that 50% of the time feel good about yourself. That ugliness isn’t about you. It only feels like it.

If you cannot figure out how to soothe the dysregulated negative internal working model, surrender the need to control what is flying toward you.  Sit down; be present to your child’s pain and core sense of unlovability.  You cannot make a child feel loveable.  You can only empathize and maintain your attachment positive behavior toward them–soft eyes, soft voice, proximity, and gentleness.  Try never to withhold yourself.  To a traumatized child that triggers abandonment all over again.

Love matters,

Ce

Healing Difficult Beginnings — Trauma-Informed Parenting with Teri Gelgood, LMFT.
8 Saturdays: September 30 – November 18, 2017      9am-12pm      
493 Main Street, Suite D, Diamond Springs  (Gust Bros Building)
Cost:  $800 (second person caring for same child – free)
Teri@CreatingJoyNow.com        530-503-7040              CreatingJoyNow.com

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on October 11th, 2017! 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.

TRY MY BOOK FOR DAILY SUPPORT: 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.

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

You Gotta Get This For Back-to-School

Dear Parents:

Last night at our Adoption Support Group one of our resourceful parents shared this GREAT template she purchased for just $10 from a website for parents of challenged children.  This will be the best $10 you spend to support your school age child from difficult beginnings to be successful in the classroom.  It’s the bomb baby!

Take a minute to check this out.  The template, by report, takes some time to fill out for your child but is well worth the effort when it comes time to try to help the classroom teacher, principal, or school counselor understand the wild and wooly behavior they may be dealing with from your child.  It is strength based and straight forward.  Your child’s teacher will be grateful and your child will benefit the most.

Here is the link: https://serenitylinkscoaching.com/2016/08/06/school-information-packets-template/.

Love matters,

Ce

UPCOMING Sacramento/Local Area EVENTS:

Take the Capital Adopted Families Alliance needs survey here.

2017 CAFA Conference
Saturday, September 16th, 2017

The goal of this conference is to give adoptive parents, foster/kinship
parents and professionals the opportunity to meet and learn from four
therapists who have worked successfully with adoptive families in the Sacramento area.

9:00 Ce Eshelman, LMFT – How parental attachment patterns impact
parenting challenging traumatized children
10:30 Kate Messina, PhD, LMFT – Identify and coach your child’s
temperament and “protest style”
12:30 Edye Swidler, LMFT – Social Media and your adopted child
2:00 Debra Wiegel, LMFT – The Hidden Disability: FASD and its effects
on the building blocks of relationships: empathy, conscience, and self-control
Location: River Oak for Children, 5445 Laurel Hills Dr. Sacramento
Time: 8:30-9:00 a.m. check-in 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Conference Cost: $25 a person, includes lunch
*No childcare available
To register: Go to www.capadoptfam.org and click “Training Conference.”
Or send check to 6875 Poca Montoya Dr. Granite Bay, CA 95746
Questions: kim@capadoptfam.org (916) 834-3700
Capital Adoptive Families Alliance was formed by adoptive parents in the Sacramento area.

Healing Difficult Beginnings — Trauma-Informed Parenting with Teri Gelgood, LMFT.
8 Saturdays: September 30 – November 18, 2017      9am-12pm      
493 Main Street, Suite D, Diamond Springs  (Gust Bros Building)
Cost:  $800 (second person caring for same child – free)
Teri@CreatingJoyNow.com        530-503-7040              CreatingJoyNow.com

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on September 13th, 2017! 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. Free child care provided.

TRY MY BOOK FOR DAILY SUPPORT: 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.

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

Mad As Hell

 Dear Parents:

When your child is “mad as hell,” flashing eye-daggers, hating you out-loud and personal, you can know that she is dissociated.  What does that mean?  Well, there is a complicated, psychobabble explanation, but I will put it here as simply as I can:  She is split off from the part of herself that is monumentally overwhelmed at the core because of some kind of emotionally devastating experience, such as attachment breach.  Even babies experience attachment rage; a survival tantrum that supersedes feelings of fear, despair, hopelessness, and a sense of impending death.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

No, I am not being dramatic. Attachment breaches are dramatic, creating trauma to brain development that impacts the life trajectory of a child. If the breach occurs before 2 years old, then the brain forms around these experiences, often triggering later in life whenever the child feels deprivation, fear, or threatened by the large and small interactions of everyday life.  Even closeness (via therapeutic parenting, for example) can cause fear that triggers dissociated rage.

Therapeutic parenting is more than just keeping your cool in the face of rage.  It is learning how to hold and process the feelings beneath. You might need help from a trained therapist. Even then, it is a journey with no map.

Do everything you can not to personalize dissociated rage.  It really isn’t about you.

Love matters,

Ce

UPCOMING Sacramento/Local Area EVENTS:

Take the Capital Adopted Families Alliance needs survey here.

2017 CAFA Conference
Saturday, September 16th, 2017

The goal of this conference is to give adoptive parents, foster/kinship
parents and professionals the opportunity to meet and learn from four
therapists who have worked successfully with adoptive families in the Sacramento area.

9:00 Ce Eshelman, LMFT – How parental attachment patterns impact
parenting challenging traumatized children
10:30 Kate Messina, PhD, LMFT – Identify and coach your child’s
temperament and “protest style”
12:30 Edye Swidler, LMFT – Social Media and your adopted child
2:00 Debra Wiegel, LMFT – The Hidden Disability: FASD and its effects
on the building blocks of relationships: empathy, conscience, and self-control
Location: River Oak for Children, 5445 Laurel Hills Dr. Sacramento
Time: 8:30-9:00 a.m. check-in 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Conference Cost: $25 a person, includes lunch
*No childcare available
To register: Go to www.capadoptfam.org and click “Training Conference.”
Or send check to 6875 Poca Montoya Dr. Granite Bay, CA 95746
Questions: kim@capadoptfam.org (916) 834-3700
Capital Adoptive Families Alliance was formed by adoptive parents in the Sacramento area.

Healing Difficult Beginnings — Trauma-Informed Parenting with Teri Gelgood, LMFT.
8 Saturdays: September 30 – November 18, 2017      9am-12pm      
493 Main Street, Suite D, Diamond Springs  (Gust Bros Building)
Cost:  $800 (second person caring for same child – free)
Teri@CreatingJoyNow.com        530-503-7040              CreatingJoyNow.com

UPCOMING ADOPTION SUPPORT GROUP facilitated by Ce Eshelman, LMFT:  Join our monthly Adoptive/Foster Parent Support Group on September 13th, 2017! 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. Free child care provided.

TRY MY BOOK FOR DAILY SUPPORT: 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.

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