Control is a Survival Skill

Dear Parents:

You can fight it if you must, but control is the medium through which your child from difficult beginnings feels safe.  Like sky for birds, your attachment challenged child needs the illusion of control lest s/he experience a feeling spiral akin to falling out of the sky and crashing headlong into sure death.

The overarching therapeutic parenting goal is to create a safe and predictable enough environment for your child to trust s/he is not going to smash to the ground when s/he lets go into your care.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

My suggestion is to accept your child’s need for control as one of the basics–air, food, water, shelter, love…control. Little by little, show just how safe you are because you understand the need for control, share power, accept, forgive, and shape the internal landscape of your child’s brain to need just a little less of it over time.

Wrestling with a ravenous person to give up the gluten and carbs of a slice of bread makes no sense. Beware of power struggling over control with your child. We all have a hierarchy of need.  To heal from chronic survival control, our children need first to be safe, feel safe, and to experience acceptance from us in order to surrender to us. It’s really all about parents being trustworthy; and trust is built by predictable behavior over time–sometimes a very long time.

Love matters,



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 and click “Training Conference.”
Or send check to 6875 Poca Montoya Dr. Granite Bay, CA 95746
Questions: (916) 834-3700
Capital Adoptive Families Alliance was formed by adoptive parents in the Sacramento area.

CAFA (Capital Adoptive Families Alliance) RESPITE DROP OFF DATE: September 10th, 2017-(Sunday). Time: 10am-3pm. Location: 5445 Laurel Hills Dr., Sacramento, CA.
or call 916.880.0234


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)        530-503-7040    

NEW:  THERAPEUTIC PARENTING WEBINAR with Ce Eshelman, LMFT: 6-Week Interactive Therapeutic Parenting Webinar, August 1 through September 7, 2017.  IN PROGRESS NOW.

UPCOMING THERAPEUTIC PARENTING CLASS with Ce Eshelman, LMFT: Sign up here for the next day long Therapeutic Parenting Class on September 9, 2017, from 9 am to 4 pm at The Attach Place, Sacramento, CA. Cost: $200 for two.  Childcare offered.

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 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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.