Archive for adoption – Page 2

On Being Mean

Parents are human, and sometimes humans are mean.  In the same way we would look underneath the behavior of our children for the cause, the root, or the trigger that fueled the negative reaction, parents need to do the same thing for themselves.
 
Instead of feeling guilt, shame or like a bad parent, find the root of your upset.  Only then, will you be able to make a change.
 
Example: 
The kids are begging you for a trip to the park.  You are busy with other things, but you decide to squeeze it in for them.  On the way to the park, they hit each other, run ahead, lag behind and make the walk to the park unfun and frustrating.  Halfway to the park, you get exasperated, pull up short, and say very calmly or maybe very loudly, “That’s it, no park!”  You turn on a dime and walk home with the children refusing, resisting, and shouting mean things at you about being a mean mommy.  You tell them and yourself that it is the consequence for their unruly behavior on the way to the park.
 
On the face of this it makes sense.  Not getting that thing they want is a natural consequence of poor behavior.  It just doesn’t work for what you are trying to get from them–better behavior.  Their stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) likely shot to the top of their brains blocking the meaning of the consequence. The way the consequence got dished out was mean because of the voice tone, the frustration, the punitive way the park was taken away.
 
I am not telling you to reward poor behavior.  I am trying to get you to see the delivery process of the consequence can be relationship damaging or relationship growing.  What was going to be a fun, nice mommy gift to your children, is now a punitive, mean mommy relationship sting to the relationship.  Your unmet needs and feelings can lead to behavior on your part that you regret and that your children fear.
 
Alternatives:
Squeezing in a child activity is not a great idea.  You will feel pressured, stressed, and less tolerant of the usual child behaviors. That often causes dysregulated, mean behavior.
Instead of getting frustrated on the way to the park because of unruly behavior, tell yourself the truth: your children are excited and unable to maintain the rules on the walk because of their dysregulation.  
 
Create structure before you set out.  
  • We are going to the park for a short playtime.  This is what needs to happen for us to get the most time playing when we get there.
  • On the way, everyone is going to walk together on the sidewalk. No running ahead.
  • Body space and listening ears on the way. Got it?
  • What did I say?
 
On the way, when one child gets away from the expected behavior, you STOP and say, “What needs to happen for us to get to play at the park? “When you do that, it is not keeping body space. Let’s try again”. 
You may stop 6 times on the way to the park for one child or the other.  That’s okay and that is why you cannot squeeze anything in. Time for training is required. Soon enough the children will get that play in the park is shorter when the walk is longer due to stops for training. YOU don’t need to tell them that.  They will experience it on their own. Let them.
Love Matters,
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
The Attach Place Logo 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 September 9th at 6pm. Come join us.  Online RSVP each month required only if 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 online atwww.attachplace.com.
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.

Squeezing your kids into a too tight schedule will pinch your own mean behavior right out of you.

Dysregulation Is An Human Condition

When I was in school, I learned that a becomes an when put in front of an h.  Is that a thing still?   Dysregulation Is An Human Condition (today’s title) just doesn’t sound right, but a or an aside, dysregulation in traumatized humans is still a thing.
 
I was working with an almost 18-year-old attachment challenged, formerly maltreated, boy yesterday and I realized that his very, very, nice demeanor was really a dysregulated state.  Shabam! Nearly got by me. 
 
He was here for one chronic misbehavior; otherwise, he wouldn’t be back here, as he graduated from my care nearly 6 years ago.  I did two sessions of cognitive behavioral conversation with him and assessed for deeper attachment challenged reasons for his misbehavior, when suddenly a revelation.  He sweetly (not oppositionally) says, “I don’t know” to nearly everything I ask, as though he knows nothing about himself.  After some serious digging, he was able to say that he is nice and smart, maybe.  
 
Turns out he has a dysregulation “tell.”  When he gets a rise in cortisol (stress hormone from dysregulation) his face does not change one tiny perceptible degree and his body stays relaxed looking and still; although, he does become even nicer and seemingly more empty saying, “I don’t know” to unpredictable questions.
 
Now that I know his “tell,” I can help him begin to notice how he is on the inside.  Before, it just seemed like there was no there there, which is never true. Once he begins to notice his own dysregulation, the odds quadruple for changing that one chronic misbehavior of his from the inside out.
 
Do you have a chronically nice child from difficult beginnings? Investigate her tell.  Explore her inner landscape for hidden dysregulation that is keeping your child’s personality from blossoming or holding a few negative behaviors frustratingly static. 
 
Love Matters,
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
The Attach Place Logo 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 September 9th at 6pm. Come join us.  Online RSVP each month required only if you need child care.
The Attach Place offers a 10-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course  every other month.  Our next course begins August 22nd and August 29th, 10am to 3pm each day.  Child care provided for an extra fee. Sign-up online at www.attachplace.com.
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.

Our kids need help knowing what is happening to them emotionally on the inside, so they have a better chance of making thoughtful decisions and good choices on the outside. 

Harassment For The Greater Good

It has been a long time since I wagged my index finger in your face.  Today is the day.  Take time for yourself. Have YOU made every effort to find respite for yourself that includes an overnight?
To quote a famous tennis shoe, Just do it.
Love Matters,
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
The Attach Place Logo 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 August 12th at 6pm. Come join us.  Online RSVP each month required.   Child care provided.
The Attach Place is offering a weekend workshop for couples on July 18th and 19th, 9am to 5pm each day, to help you create the loving relationship you want and deserve.   Jennifer Olden, MFT and Certified Emotionally Focused Therapy Supervisor, will conduct a two-day Hold Me Tight Couples Workshop.  For more information, call Jennifer at The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships 916-403-0588, Ext 3.
The Attach Place offers a 10-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course  every other month.  Our next course begins August 22nd and August 29th, 10am to 3pm each day.  Child care provided for an extra fee. Sign-up online at www.attachplace.com.
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.

Respite is the key to long-term regulation.  Get some.

Be The Leader Not The Director

I have a sweet friend, Grish, who raised a great son who also happens to have Autism.  He is graduating from UC Davis on Saturday.  Isn’t that cool?

Okay, I am mentioning this because I am proud of him and of her forever loving support of him.  I also want to share something she taught me about how she handled his incessant, self-focused talking. She taught him she could hear about four sentences on a topic before she stopped being able to hear at all.

Lightbulb!  I had never thought of that before that day.  I could just teach my children to stop after four sentences.  That turned out significantly harder than it sounds, of course. Isn’t everything?

My kids both get it now though.  They talk enough to share and not too much to make me start to pull my hair out.  It took about a year to drive it home, but it was worth it.  

I love it that my kids both still want to talk to me, share with me, get my ideas on things, etc.  I also really love that I can stop them now after a few minutes without hurting their feelings.   As a matter of fact, when their eyes glaze over when I am talking to them we can joke about my having over-reached my four sentences.

Love Matters,
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
The Attach Place Logo 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 July 8th at 6pm. Come join us.  Online RSVP each month required.   Child care provided.
The Attach Place is offering a weekend workshop for couples on July 18th and 19th, 9am to 5pm each day, to help you create the loving relationship you want and deserve.   Jennifer Olden, MFT and Certified Emotionally Focused Therapy Supervisor, will conduct a two-day Hold Me Tight Couples Workshop.  For more information, call Jennifer at The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships 916-403-0588, Ext 3.
The Attach Place offers a 10-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course  every other month.  Our next course begins July 25th and August 1st, 10am to 3pm each day.  Child care provided for an extra fee. Sign-up online at www.attachplace.com.
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.

When they talk, listen.  Just be sure to take care of yourself by limiting the amount of talk your ears can tolerate.

Blessings Come In Strange Ways

I have been keeping a little (read: BIG) secret from YOU, because I learned real quick from family and friends that I was, perhaps, a little out of mind.  Then I realized that YOU already know I am a little out of my mind, so why hide from YOU, right?
 
Okay, as you might recall I tried to move my 18-year-old attachment challenged son out of the house into a sheltered living environment nearby, but caved after his very genuine hiccuping sobs streamed rivers down his face. He clearly wasn’t ready to leave Mom, just because Mom was ready for him to leave.  
 
Fast forward six months and here I am moving my son’s 19 year old girlfriend into our extra bedroom.  Stop gasping.  I know. Trust me, I know because my husband hasn’t stopped rolling his eyes into the back of his head since I mentioned it to him.  As a matter of fact, I am sure they are permanently stuck that way.  He looks very silly.
 
Here’s the thing:  She is a severely attachment challenged teen who aged out of a group home straight into a homeless shelter. How is that possible?  Of course I have heard of these things happening, but I have never been as close to it as this.  She and my son are like mirror images of each other–two peas in a pod, as it were.  I just had to open our home.  I had to.
 
I don’t talk a lot about blessings because I am not really that kind of person.  However, this decision is a true blessing to me.  When I adopted little children, it was not a bit altruistic.  It was purely selfish, because I wanted children and couldn’t have them myself. When my kids turned out to feel less than thrilled to have me as their mother, I slowly evolved to the place I probably should have been in the first place–raising children for the love of the children, rather than to meet my need to be a mother. On the flip side, having my son and his girlfriend in the house brings laughter, sweet silliness, quiet sitting, walking the dog, and lively hikes to the gelato store.  I feel like I have died and been reborn into a family. Even if the honeymoon only lasts a week or two, I will remember this feeling forever.  
 
Love Matters,
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
The Attach Place Logo 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 June 10th at 6pm. Come join us.  Online RSVP each month required.   Child care provided.
We had a fun first half of the 10-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course  over the weekend.  Looking forward to Day 2 on Saturday.  Next course–July 25th and August 1st, 10am to 3pm each day.  Child care provided for an extra fee. Sign-up online at www.attachplace.com.
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.

Blessings coming in strange ways.
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We Are Amazing

My life is being run by dogs, cats and kids. I wake to the whine of my weeping-eyed, black lab resting his giant head about an inch from my face.  My cat made sure I was alerted off and on throughout the night by walking back and forth across my pillow (and thus my face.) Silver lining, I was awake and ready if burglars ascended. They didn’t. When I get into the kitchen to give that whiny dog his morning chewy (yes, I know, I trained him to whine at 5:30am by feeding him treats), I see a formerly clean sink now full of dirty dishes with telltale crumbs and peanut butter smeared everywhere. When did that happen, I was up all night watching for burglars? Then my son literally crawls into the living room telling me I have to drive him to school today because of xyz, which he forgot to tell me. 
 
Frankly, I can’t wait to get to the office.  I love my work, though I do have to swing back by school at noon to take the boy to the dentist. Sometime in the night my daughter texted that she needs money to buy FOOD, again, and can I bring it by before 11am because they are really hungry. 
 
Uh, no.  No, I can’t.  Sorry honey.  Recycle some cans.
 
We parents are amazing humans, AMAZING!
Love Matters,
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
P.S. While I was writing this, my son crawled back into the living room to tell me, “Nevermind Mom, I’m sick and yes I DID puke in my shoes MOM!”  The kid knows me.
Okay, go back to bed, sweetheart, and give up your laptop on the way.  
 
Silver lining, I don’t have to take him to the dentist at noon.  Lunch anyone?
The Attach Place Logo 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 June 10th at 6pm. Come join us.  Online RSVP each month required.   Child care provided.
We had a fun first half of the 10-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course  over the weekend.  Looking forward to Day 2 on Saturday.  Next course–July 25th and August 1st, 10am to 3pm each day.  Child care provided for an extra fee. Sign-up online at www.attachplace.com.
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.

When they turn 18, they usually aren’t ready to fly. Breathe.
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Upcoming C.A.S.E. (Center for Adoption Support and Education) Webinars

FYI: These webinars have been quite interesting and meaty.  If you register ASAP you could get in free, otherwise they are $25.00 each.

Product Description

The media loves stories about adoption reunion, presenting them as dramatic, intense and emotionally heartwarming. For those involved, the reality is much more complex. After a brief overview of the common questions and concerns that are part of this experience, Ellen Singer, LCSW-C, will moderate a panel of adult adopted persons, a birth parent and an adoptive parent. Participants will learn how to 1) prepare for this unique experience and 2) address the common relationship challenges that can surface after reunion. (LIVE) Thurs, May 21, 2015 @ 1:00pm-2:30pm EasternExtended Access: May 22-28, 2015Thanks to Jockey Being Family, the first 300 registration spots are free! Use coupon code SEARCH101

$25.00

Search and Reunion in Domestic and International AdoptionWEB109

Children who have experienced early childhood abuse, profound neglect, or other traumas often have difficulty regulating their emotions and behaviors, lack the skills to self-regulate and also resist co-regulation attempts from their parents. This is the result of the negative effects of prolonged or reoccurring arousal of the fight, flight or freeze response. Although much progress can be achieved with attachment-focused therapies and parenting techniques, these interventions may not include a neuro-physiological component specifically targeting the child’s bodily experience of regulation or dysregulation. C.A.S.E. therapist, Penny Zimmerman, LCSW-C, will introduce message, relaxation, sensory and mindfulness techniques parents can easily put to use at home to improve this area of functioning for their child(ren). The webinar will include a combination of lecture, hands-on practice, and Q/A. Attending with a friend or partner is encouraged, but not required.

(LIVE) Thurs, June 18, 2015 @ 1:00pm-2:30pm EasternExtended Access: June 19-24, 2015

$25.00

Emotional Regulation and Relaxation Techniques for Parent and Child WEB110

Thank you for supporting The Center for Adoption Support and Education – a non-profit adoptive family support center. Since 1998, adoption-competent experts at C.A.S.E. have dedicated their work to ensuring the well-being of foster an

Control Issues Galore

Traumatized children have an inordinate need for control.  Well, as I write that, I realize that they actually have a justified need for enormous control.  After all, before YOU, the people who were supposed to be in charge, in control, obviously weren’t.
 
If you find yourself, your child’s siblings, and peers constantly angered by the mighty Control Chihuahua in your child, consider implementing some of the following things (but don’t do any of them if you cannot follow through consistently.)  Children cannot give up control if you give them all the control, because they will not feel safe.  So be aware this is shared power YOU give, not YOU giving in, giving up and letting go of your little Chihuahua to shred up your life. 
 
  1. Allow your child to decorate and organize the bedroom space.
  2. Once a week on a specific day you select, allow your child to choose between two menu items what the family will eat for dinner.
  3. Share power around choice of two after school activities once in awhile.
  4. Give two choices often, but don’t allow your child’s choice of a third option you didn’t offer.
 
If you allow your child to be in control in appropriate ways there will be room for your child to relax in other ways. This is not a fast solution, but over time the enormous need subsides.
 Love Matters,
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
The Attach Place Logo 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 May 13th. Come join us.  Online RSVPeach month required.   Child care provided.
Next 10-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course  is planned for May 16th and May 23th, 10am to 3pm each day.  Child care provided for an extra fee. Sign-up online at www.attachplace.com.
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.

Who has the control issues:  YOU or your child?  
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Mother’s Day 2015

Hello Ce,

I am not particularly fond of just one day singled out to celebrate mothers (probably because of the massive messes I have cleaned up in the kitchen on Mother’s Day over the years), but I am a fan of yours.
 
               Happy Mother’s Day to all YOU Mom and Dad heros.
 
superhero parents
Love Matters,
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
The Attach Place Logo 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 May 13th. Come join us.  Online RSVPeach month required.   Child care provided.
Next 10-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course  is planned for May 16th and May 23th, 10am to 3pm each day.  Child care provided for an extra fee. Sign-up online at www.attachplace.com.
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.

Behind every superhero is a superhero mom! 
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Self-Care

The words “self-care” must have concrete meaning to YOU.  Every day, what is your self-care?  If your answer is a big question mark, then know this, YOU will eventually break down under the constant stressors of raising a traumatized, attachment challenged child.  
 
Better proactive than reactive, right?  Don’t wait until you have a stress disease, depression, massive dysregulation, cancer, etc. to think about yourself.  Put that darned oxygen mask on!  YOU matter.
Love Matters,
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
The Attach Place Logo 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 May 13th. Come join us.  Online RSVPeach month required.   Child care provided.
Next 10-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course  is planned for May 16th and May 23th, 10am to 3pm each day.  Child care provided for an extra fee. Sign-up online at www.attachplace.com.
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.

When you care for yourself, you care for your family.
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