I have saved myself quite a bit of money over the years being sensitive to perfume. Yep, I can’t spend more than 15 minutes in Macy’s, Nordstroms, or any mall anywhere without getting sneezy, wheezy, and dizzy. I am amazed by this fabulous built-in shopping deterrent.
Just as I am sensitive to scents, my children and likely yours are sensitive to rejection and humiliation. Their sensitivities make them prone to lying and reflexive arguing. Hardwired into parental brains is a monumental dislike of a child’s back talk. Our instant ire at compulsive lying goes without saying, right?
Attachment challenged, traumatized children cannot tolerate being wrong, bad, criticized, or humiliated (due to feeling damaged from abuse and abandonment before you), so they are on auto-lie and auto-defend most of the time. You can help them by being a safe person in their lives who does not over-react emotionally to their defend and deny survival instincts.
When you detect an auto-lie, lovingly say, “I know you are scared right now. You are not in trouble. Let’s talk when you fell less afraid to tell me. Try again in a few minutes, okay honey?” Follow this with a hug and, “I love you.” Remember auto-lying is not about YOU, so you don’t have to take it personally.
When you get a rash of defensive denial, say something like, “I know you don’t want to be wrong, and you aren’t. I only want you to hear what I am saying and to understand what you are saying. That’s all honey.” Follow this by a genuine loving smile and reassurance. Remember they are sensitive to being wrong, which makes it hard for them to hear parents. Tip: Ask yourself what makes it hard for YOU to hear children?
You can decrease your child’s sensitivity to feeling bad or wrong by allowing room, little by little, to let learning be your goal and being in trouble to be obsolete. Learning to be a healthy adult is the primary point of raising a healthy child. Anger, shame, humiliation, exasperation, and rejection block all learning in everyone, especially your traumatized child.
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
The Attach Place provides a monthly, no fee Trust-based Adoptive Parent Support Group in Sacramento, every 2nd Wednesday of each month. Next group is October 14th at a NEW time–5:30 pm.Join us. Online RSVP each month required when you need child care.
The Attach Place offers a 10-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course every other month. Our next course dates are October 10th and 24th. Child care provided for an extra fee. Sign-up by calling 916-403-0588 x1 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Attach Place supports The Wounded Warrior Project by providing free neurofeedback to veterans. Feel free to send a soldier our way for an assessment and 20 session course of treatment.
Feel free to send this link to friends or family members who you would like to receive Daily YOU Time: Wisdom for Adoptive Parents.
Learning only happens in a safe space.