Shine A Little Light

Dear Parents,

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

We humans tend to like what we are good at.  Actually, we are more inclined to like things we excel at than we are to like things we simply enjoy.  When I was young, I was good at public speaking–go figure.  I spent a lot of time giving speeches about things I didn’t really care about because I was good at speechmaking.  As a young adult, I found myself in careers like teaching, lecturing, training.  I am generally considered a pretty good teacher and trainer.  It is my strength.

I’ve told this story before, but maybe it is worth repeating. About 10 years ago I had a minor epiphany.  I am shy (this is true, but hard to believe if you know me).  I don’t really enjoy public speaking. I am simply good at it.  Because I was channeled rather early to hone my speaking ability, I really didn’t do much of anything else for enjoyment.  I recall wanting to learn the piano, but I wasn’t good at it.  I wanted to try basketball, but I wasn’t athletic.  I wanted to train dogs, but I didn’t know how.  I was good at talking and everyone around me reflected this strength to me.  I thought it was all I was good at, so it was mostly all I did.  Imagine a child and, eventually, a  teenager who spends her free time writing, practicing, and engaging in competitive speechmaking. It’s a great skill I’m grateful teachers encourage, but not to the exclusion of developing curiosity and other delights. Really seems odd to me now.

Our traumatized children have trouble accepting that they are good at anything.  Some of them are quite good at many things, while others are quite poor at many things.  Once in awhile our children will grab ahold of a strength and become extremely boastful about proficiency. And sometimes they think all their skills are superior, in the absence of skill or talent. That is a desperate attempt to feel good inside.

Why am I saying all of this?  Because children need to have all their strengths and all their interests reflected back to them so much that they actually begin to see themselves as “good, talented, interesting, joyful, strong, fun-loving, and capable.”  Emphasize enjoyment, fun, playing, trying new things, taking a chance, and making an effort.  Exposure to diverse activities at a young age shapes the natural curiosity in children who might otherwise be content with iPad video games.

On top of this, our children are often embarrassment averse.  They are mortified by so many things, especially standing out in a negative (or even super positive) way.  If they try something and stand out, they may not try that again and maybe they will stop trying to avoid having that horrible feeling again.  A remedy: set the bar low and build on success to avoid internal shame triggers while your child is learning to be competent in the world.

Build your child in small ways by reflecting the small things specifically, rather than saying “good job” about everything, which becomes empty praise over time. This takes some practice. Here are a few ideas:

  • You set the table creatively tonight. How will you top this tomorrow?
  • You seem to enjoy singing. Is that right?
  • I saw you laughing your head off when you played in the pool today.
  • How did you like strumming Dad’s guitar?
  • Let’s share your cookies with the neighbors.  You are a yummy cookie maker.
  • You take a lot of pride in decorating your room. Which is your favorite wall?
  • Nice outfit you put together.  You have quite an eye for style.
  • I sent a picture of you playing baseball today to Grandpa.  He will like seeing how you enjoy playing his favorite sport.

Guess what, parents, I know you are putting a huge amount of effort in being a therapeutic parent. I think that makes you a person of awesome character.

Love matters,

Ce

Upcoming Sacramento Adoption Community Events

Working with Kids with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders And Other Neuro-Based Challenges: A training for caregivers, child welfare professionals, mental health providers, and school and community personnel

FASD is underdiagnosed and many adoptive parents have no idea their child may have it as other diagnoses have overlapping characteristics.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Registration 8:30
Training 9:00-12:00
Presented by Barb Clark, Master Trainer

Location: Sierra Forever Families
8928 Volunteer Lane, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95826
Phone: 916-368-5114
RSVP: Kim@capadoptfam.org

Hosted by Sacramento County Community Champions Network and the North American Council on Adoptable Children

Caring For A Child Who is Someone Else’s?

Are you informally caring for a child, an adoptive family, a foster/resource family, or a guardian? Looking for support or information? Need help finding services? Please join us for a community discussion! With the help of the Community Champions Network we may be able to create something helpful in our community. Can’t attend the meeting but still want to participate in the conversation? Email Kathryn at kemoryka@netscape.net

Meeting Details:

Tuesday September 25, 2018 6:30pm to 8:30pm

El Dorado County Office of Education

6767 Green  Valley Rd.

Placerville Building B, Room 2

NACAC shares current child welfare information and post-adoption best practices through publications, our website, social media, webinars, and educational events. Each year, NACAC hosts the most comprehensive adoption conference in North America.

We also provide information and training on adoption topics for parent group members, parents, young people who were adopted or in care, and child welfare professionals. As part of a federally funded collaboration called Critical Ongoing Resource Family Education or CORE, NACAC is currently working with Spaulding for Children and other partners to help improve the training offered to foster and adoptive parents of children who are older and have more needs.

Are You a Professional Who Works With Children?

We are hosting a discussion/focus group for professionals who work with children who are not being raised by their biological parents. Our community would like to assess the needs of professionals (agency workers, therapists, community providers) who serve our families. What do you need? What does the community need? A Community Champions Network may help us meet the needs and fill the gaps in our community. Can’t join us for the discussion but still want to join the conversation? Email Kathryn at kemoryka@netscape.net.

Meeting Details:

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 1pm to 3pm

Cameron Park Library

2500 Country Club Dr.

Cameron Park, Ca 95682

Working with Kids with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders And Other Neuro-Based Challenges: 

A training for caregivers, child welfare professionals, mental health providers, and school and community personnel

FASD is underdiagnosed and many adoptive parents have no idea their child may have it as other diagnoses have overlapping characteristics.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Registration 8:30
Training 9:00-12:00
Presented by Barb Clark, Master Trainer

Location: Sierra Forever Families
8928 Volunteer Lane, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95826
Phone: 916-368-5114
RSVP: Kim@capadoptfam.org

Hosted by Sacramento County Community Champions Network and the North American Council on Adoptable Children

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 November 2018 from 10 am to 4 pmChildcare 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. October 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. 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 October 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.

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.

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