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Energize Times Three

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Wisdom For Adoptive Parents
Dear Parent,
Raising traumatized, attachment challenged children is stressful and you must take care of your energy systems in order not to fall prey to the ravages of depletion.  When I am depleted, I eat too much, sleep too little, and snap at my children.  I am even known to yell and be unreasonable. During these times, I am exhausted and I cry a lot, too. Imagine that.
There are three basic human energy systems:
Physical, body
Emotional, mood
Mental, problem-solving
When your body is depleted, you must nurture and rest it.  Sleep is ever so important to all energy systems, especially your body.  Go to bed early, sleep at least 8 hours, and get up early. Exercise moderately and eat clean foods (that means unprocessed and fresh.)  This is all obvious and yet extremely hard to put first in your life when your child is screaming like a banshee.  Yes, it is hard.  Do it anyway.
You can lift your mood by shifting your posture, directing your eyes more upward than downward, getting sunlight first thing in the morning, and engaging in physical or intellectual activities to give your emotions a distracted relief.  Check-out your thinking to make sure you aren’t telling yourself horror stories about the future of your child.  Nothing sours a mood more than catastrophizing the “what ifs” for 10 years from now.
Thinking, pondering and obsessing about something over and over is like putting yourself in a hamster cage and running the wheel all day and all night.  You are wearing your mental capacity out.  Give your mind a break by putting on some music and get your jiggy on (okay I don’t know what that means either) or call a friend for a gabfest over tea. I read an article about Caffeinated Napping that touted drinking a cup of coffee just before a 20-minute nap; the theory being that the coffee would kick in just as you wake to make you feel truly energized. Who knew?  I’ve been doing that for years, but I really don’t recommend it. A brisk walk with the dog is always a welcome mental refresher. Oxygen to the brain is a good thing.
If you aren’t taking care of your energy systems, you are not going to be taking good care of your child.  Oh, one last thing: stay away from the blue light of screens for at least four hours before bedtime and you might find you sleep like a puppy all cozied up under the covers.
Love matters,
Ce
The next 8 hr. Trust Based Parent Training is scheduled for February 20th and 27th from 12noon to 4pm.  $200 per couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day. To sign up email Jen@attachplace.com and she will register you.
 
Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.  Group and Childcare are Free.
Look for Ce Eshelman’s Upcoming Book
 
Drowning With My Hair On Fire
Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents
 
Expected Publication Date: February 15, 2016
Drowning with My Hair On Fire is a compilation of over 175 daily support letters to parents of adoptive children and other children from difficult beginnings.  With a forward by Dave Ziegler, Ph.D. and a brief personal memoir, this publication is a response to blog-reader requests for a book of letters that can be easily returned to day after day, when inspiration is hard to find.
Praise for Drowning with My Hair On Fire
This woman saved our family. This book will save your sanity! After years (and many therapists) of getting it wrong, Ce Eshelman got our traumatized family on the right path to attachment, sanity, and big big love. Ce’s unique therapy is grounded in the latest brain research, her own struggles raising traumatized children, and work with hundreds of families like ours. Her stories, contained in this book, are our stories: full of pain, confusion, hope, faith, love and practical magic that really works.
Elaine Smith, Adoptive Mother
Ce’s daily blog has been a lifesaver, particularly when days are most dreary and hopeless.  Not only have her words of empathy proven to be priceless to our family, but I have often forwarded them on to others.  Such a comfort to feel understood, with no judgment.
Patty O’Hair, Adoptive Mother
In a real sense “Drowning with My Hair on Fire: Insanity Relief for Adoptive Parents” is a daily mediation of struggle, success, failure and getting up and trying again.  If that sounds like too much to subject yourself to then don’t adopt a challenging child.  And one more thing, shouldn’t we require prospective adoptive parents to read “Drowning with My Hair on Fire: Insanity Relief for Adoptive Parents” rather than another ‘All they need is love’ manual?
Dave Ziegler, Ph.D., founder of Jasper Mountain Center and author of many books on raising children from difficult beginnings.

Toxic Stress Part 2

The only way to change the toxic stress that may be poisoning your family life is to get on board a huge parent self-care regimen for yourself, that I wrote about yesterday, and a daily felt safety diet for your child.

Felt Safety Diet:

  1. First and foremost: Well regulated parents who have an establishedSelf-care Regimen.
  2. A slow pace.  Pretend you live in a small sleepy town where no one feels the need to speed.  Then, don’t speed, rush, hustle, bustle, race, multi-task, or try to live three lives at once.
  3. Attune to your child’s needs for connection, engagement, attention, playfulness.  Play with your children.  Watching them play is not the same thing.
  4. Lose the concept of punishment and consequences.  Use structure and gentle correction instead.  If you use punishment and consequences, your child will fear you while continuing to do the things you don’t want them to do.
  5. Set the behavior bar low, so your child is successful.  Praise like crazy for achieving it. Setting the bar too high will cause behavior like giving up, throwing in the towel, defiance, opposition, or not even trying.
  6. Accept your child for who they actually are, rather than for who you wish they were.  This is a big one.  Stop working so hard to make them different.  Imagine someone doing that to you every day, all day.
  7. Never forget that your child probably has some kind of sensory integration issue because children from difficult beginnings usually do.  Give them a steady schedule (every two hours) of physicality, healthy food/snacks and big hydration.
  8. Finally, work very hard to be sure your child’s school is trauma informed, so your child isn’t inadvertently emotionally harmed.

And there you have it: a healing Felt Safety Diet.

Love Matters,

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 November 11that a NEW time–5:30 pm. Join us.  Online RSVP each month required when you need child care. 

The Attach Place offers an 8-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course every other month.  Our next course dates areDecember 5th and 12th, 2015. Sign-up by calling 916-403-0588 x1 or email attachplace@yahoo.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.

Take a look at your calendar.  If the word respite does not appear there, get to it.

The Great ChildCare Hunt

I am really empathizing with those of you who cannot keep a good child care worker in your homes to spell you from the demands of therapeutic parenting. 

 

I had this problem early on when my kids were little, hanging from the chandeliers, but finally found the best thing ever, my adult step son, to take the job for 8 or so years.  Can you believe that?  Every weekday and some weekends for eight years!  When I look back on it, I owe my sanity to that young man who nearly lost his own some days while backed into a corner at knifepoint.  True story. He never quit.  He did not quit me or them.  I have the biggest appreciation for him.  Words cannot cover it.

 

As of late, it has been hard for me to keep a child care worker for our parent training events and our monthly parent support nights.  I keep peeling them off one by one.  There is no shortage of people willing to try; however, there is a limited supply of willingness to come back.  I know many of you know this story.

 

Today, I am on my umpteenth round of solicitations on Care.com. I’m glad I have that resource.  Overnight I have a new crop of bright-eyed helpers in my inbox thinking they have what it takes to step into your shoes for a few hours once in a while.  I hope this let’s YOU know that raising attachment challenged children is nothing like raising attached children.  Nothing–no matter what well meaning people say, All kids are like that, and such.  

No, no they aren’t.

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.

 Hire someone with a special needs background, pay them what they are worth to you, and send them to a Trust Based Parenting Training.  I spent a lot of money on childcare over the years.  It was well worth it for the respite.

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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Tax Day

Be careful what you are ignoring when you follow advice from parent educators to “ignore” your child’s negative behavior. Sometimes we parents get confused what that means.  It doesn’t mean ignore the child.  It means ignore the behavior.  Some attachment challenged children have a multitude of negative behaviors. You could end up ignoring your child at regular intervals all day every day.  
 
If YOU had a bad habit of mumbling your words or talking a little too loud or too much or chewing vigorously 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!
 
Enough said, right?
Attachment challenged children are not usually capable of discerning exactly what you are ignoring.  They often take it to mean YOU are “mean” and they are bad.  
 
A better approach with soft loving eyes sounds like this:  
“I love you and yelling when you are angry hurts my ears.  
“I love you and chew with your mouth closed, Sweetie Pie.”  
“I love you and I couldn’t hear what you said.  Try again please.”  
 
Yep, say those sentences 15 times a day instead of ignoring your child 15 times a day.  Could be life changing.
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.
Next Hold Me Tight Couples Workshop by Robin Blair, LMFT at The Attach Place is planned for April 17th, 18th and 19th.
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.

Dear Parents: I love YOU and I need you to 
take better care of yourselves.
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The Wink

It was 4 PM and my contractions were intensifying. I still felt on top of them and naively considered that maybe I had grown more pain tolerant since my previous labor. This time around I wouldn’t want/need an epidural.

Hahahahahahahaha…

The nurse examined me and shook her head grimly saying, “You are only 3 cm dilated. ” She informed me that they had a strict policy to not admit women until they were at least 4 cm.”

I said, “But I’m 42 years old.”

The nurse looked at me sadly and said she’d check with her boss before sending me home. She returned looking positively cheery. She exclaimed, “Good news! We can give you a ‘pity admit.’”

Yes, it’s a thing: “Pity admit,” for those women who are managing labor so pathetically that the staff relents and lets them take a bed.   Luckily, in the midst of excruciating pain, my pride takes a back seat.

I was instructed to walk around for an hour to speed up the labor, which I did with my husband, Randy, on my right. The contractions intensified more. I remembered my previous two un-medicated labors and insisted that we return to my bed so I could get the epidural NOW, to which they complied. The epidural nurse was magazine-beautiful with long blond hair. She announced, “I love my job,” as she stuck the needle in my back.

All better.

Then we chilled for four hours.

Finally the nurse said that I was 10 centimeters. The doctor arrived in 20 minutes. She was a slim, dark-haired, no-nonsense, energetic woman in her 50s named Dr. M.

Dr. M told me to push and I did as instructed.     Except, Sam didn’t come. He didn’t move an inch. He appeared to be stuck. Not only was he stuck, but his heart rate decelerated every contraction, which was a red flag for the doctor.

I tried harder to push. Nothing. Sam didn’t move and his heart kept dropping. Then during one contraction, it dropped down so far that the nurse and the doctor grabbed me and pushed my knees to my chest while pushing me over onto my left side. I was exhausted and in a dreamy altered state so their intervention felt intrusive and strange.

“What are you doing?” I demanded.

They pointed to the monitor and said that his heart rate had dropped too much. I knew they were worried.

This is my third child, third pregnancy, third labor, and so I know something that first time moms can’t possibly fully understand. Being a mother is a profoundly vulnerable experience because you realize that your child could die right before you, and even if they live there is only so much you can do to protect them from pain. The realization is searing.   Every single parent bumps into a horrifying reality: ultimately, I am powerless. We do what we do to protect our little ones from danger and heal their hurts, but there is always that edge of powerlessness we must learn to live with at the cost of loving deeply. There is no way around it, and I hate it.

This was the first time I felt that fear with Sam. I squeezed Randy’s hand and he squeezed back.

The doctor instructed that I stop pushing.   It was decision-making time.

Dr. M said that there were three choices:

  • Vacuum
  • C-section
  • Stay the course

The third option was the most risky.

“I’m scared.”

The doctor replied, “Me too.”

When I tell people this part of the story they always gasp and express righteous indignation, “You should have told her to go get someone who knows what they are doing!!!” I don’t share the outrage.

I loved the doctor for this honesty. I loved that she gave me a choice and didn’t have an answer because that’s life and I imagine (If Grey’s Anatomy has taught me anything) that this is never truer than on the operating table. The crossroads don’t have definitive signs and cost/benefit analysis must be done in a split second. Sometimes intuition is our only guide. So when Dr. M told me she was scared, she let me know two things:

  • She cared.
  • She owned her vulnerability. She wasn’t omnipotent   She was like me, but with a medical degree.

The next contraction came and I threw up. Baby Sam skootched over to the middle of my stomach. I decided to stay the course, for now. I pushed again. Dr. M looked at me. Her face 3 inches from my vagina, her hands ready to catch the baby, and then….She winked.

When I think of my labor this is the indelible imprint of the whole experience, not my baby’s arrival. Sure, that was earth shattering and transcendent, but my tiny OB perched between my legs with a smile and a big wink cannot be erased. It’s funny that we cannot escape ourselves. Even though this was a real life, cliff-hanger moment, my brain had the stamina and the gall to have an awkward social moment. “Should I wink back?” I wondered. I decided against it.

It was 1 AM. I pushed with everything I had left. With a mighty UMMPH, he slipped out and everyone cheered. He cuddled onto my chest and I held him close. Big love. One minute into a relationship with this baby and I already knew that I was sunk. I was totally and completely crazy in love with my sweet blue-eyed baby boy, Samuel Reed Olden.

The Attach Place  Center for Strengthening Relationships

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Parenting with heart,

Jennifer Olden, LMFT

The Middle Child

Daniel Siegel, attachment researcher, neuroscientist, and author of a dozen books on the brain, teaches us that we create a life that reflects our brain.

 

We create a life that reflects our brain.

 

This isn’t just something the mystics and the new age hippies espouse with their manifestation boards and drum circles. It’s hard science.

 

So, if we believe we are unlovable then we provoke rejection from our most beloved people. This is more than a cognitive choice. It’s a reflex. It has to do with the mechanics of our brain and the wiring of our early experiences.

 

I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on November 15, 2014. My five-year-old son just became a middle child instead of The Baby. Since then, Josh has provoked disapproval from me.

 

Example: Last night I was looking up how to use butternut squash in a salad and whether or not it was reasonable to add raisins instead of cranberries (it’s not) and Josh comes by and wordlessly shuts my computer. Then he ambles away, laughing hysterically.

 

He also ate half the tube of toothpaste, for the second time.

 

After I instructed him not to touch the muffin tray, he reached out anyway, and predictably burned his finger.

 

I said, “Josh, don’t stomp. You’ll wake up the baby.”

 

Stomp. Stomp. Stomp.

 

I said, “Don’t put the binky in Sam’s mouth because you’ll wake him up.”

 

Josh promptly put the binky in Sam’s mouth.

 

Josh drives me CRAZY. He doesn’t listen nor follow directions and purposely does the exact opposite of what I want him to do—just to mess with me, the exhausted post partum mom.

 

I am reminded of a Louie CK joke.

 

He quipped, “Before children when I’d see a parent yelling at a child in the grocery story, I’d think, ‘Oh that poor child. What is wrong with that mom?’ After I had children, I’d witness the same scene and instead think, ‘That poor, poor woman. What has that horrible child done to her.’

 

During one of Josh’s oppositional moments I accidentally visualized sending him outside.

 

“Go play outside,” I’d yell and then enforce it.

 

I pictured him behind the sliding glass door crying; his giant alligator tears falling down his cheeks. That’s Josh’s worst fear, I think, to be behind a pane of glass separated and rejected by the people he loves the most; and yet that’s exactly the response his behavior provokes. Luckily, I have Herculean mental strength and self control not to obey his command.

 

I’m not going to send Josh outside, because the other half of the story is this boy is

bad-ass and hilarious and so intensely loveable I couldn’t imagine loving him more (or less) for any reason. He shines.

 

Josh collected snails in a plastic 16 oz cup, set up a table in front of our house, and made a sign that read, ”Snails for sale. $4.00 each.” Only one snail was purchased by his sister and she got a deal; it was free.

 

Josh wanted to invent a diving board flinger to solve his sister’s fear of diving. He imagined that he could just push a button and take the choice out of it for her.

 

When his sister cried about a mean friend, Josh offered (at about two-years-old) to beat up the culprit.

 

He wore dresses like his big sister and when he started realizing that boys don’t usually he just put on pants, too, tucking his dress into his pants when he was in public.

 

Josh is obsessed with the regular boy stuff including cars, tools and trains and he also loves Origami, classical music, and drawing pictures. He has an uncanny ability to imitate other people and can run as fast as an 8 year old. He loves to dance.

 

My heart is tied to his every single day. I believe in Josh’s soul.

 

Yet, he provokes my irritation and anger and disapproval, despite my deepest feelings about him and my intention to fill him up with love and approval every day.

 

Parenting requires ENORMOUS self-control.

 

As an antidote to this nasty dynamic, where Josh was annoying me and I sent him disapproval, which made him act out more, which caused me to disapprove more, I started noticing what Josh was doing right.

 

I assigned him little jobs around the house like getting the water for my tea and putting a blanket on the baby. I praised him with every success. I ignored the oppositional moments—when possible.

 

Then one night, I put him to bed and listed all the things he did right that day.   He said, “But I got into some mischief, too.”

 

I responded, “When I was a little girl, I did mischief, too.”

 

He said, “You are still kind of sneaky with popsicles.”

 

I told him that if he could see himself through my eyes, he’d never doubt himself again.

 

He put his arms around my neck and we cuddled till he fell asleep.   I am shaping Josh’s brain right now so that he has a template for love. Even when he is struggling with being a middle child and acting out, he is still intensely loveable. In the end, he will see himself through my eyes and when he looks in the mirror, he will see what I see: A capable and fiercely independent but also deeply loving and affectionate, beautiful boy.

The Attach Place  Center for Strengthening Relationships

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Parenting with Love and Laughter,

Jennifer Olden, LMFT

Back Off And Balance

If YOU have been helicopter parenting to the point where even just the sound of your voice is creating reactivity from your attachment challenged teen, back off and get some balance.  Back way off.  Let them come to you for what they need.  I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but it works. When YOU give them space, and space, and space, your children come seeking contact with YOU.  Be very low key about your response.
 
Without irony, accept the overture, and be the hero:  “Sure, I will drive you to your volleyball game.”
The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love Matters,

Ce Eshelman, LMFT

Let your children seek YOU. That can turn the tables.

If Only You Were Different, I Would Love You

 
Have you ever been in a relationship where you spent a lot of time trying to get the other person to change?  
 
If you would learn to share your feelings…
If you would try to think about me once in a while…
If you were more motivated to grow…
If you were more considerate…
If you liked my family…
If you would go out more…
If you were more adventurous…
If you were more spontaneous…
If you were more reliable…
If you were more positive…
If you weren’t so negative…
If you weren’t so judgemental…
If you would care more about how you look…
If you liked to hang out with my friends…
If you had friends…
If you helped around the house more…
If you didn’t have feelings all the time…
If you would just be happy…
If you weren’t so miserable…
If you worked less…
If you worked more…
 
Then…what?  I would feel better. I would accept you.  I would love you. 
 
That relationship didn’t work out very well, did it?  Or, that relationship isn’t going very well now, is it?
 
For a moment, think about your relationship with your attachment challenged, traumatized child.  Do you have an “IF…Then” list?
 
If you would just be normal…
If you would act your age…
If you could stop bouncing off the walls…
If you could stop talking all the time…
If you would just tell me what you feel…
If you would clean your room…
If you would tell the truth…
If you were trustworthy…
If you were honest…
If you were less self centered…
If you would think about the rest of the family…
If you would take less and give more…
If you would do your homework…
If you would try harder…
If you were pleasant to be around…
If you brushed your teeth, showered, zipped…
If you would stop badgering me…
If you would act right…
If you would do the right thing…
If you weren’t always looking for ways to make me crazy…
If you would stop scaring me…
If you didn’t need so much supervision…
If you weren’t so needy…
If you weren’t so helpless…
If you would just grow up…
If you would stop controlling…
If you would accept love…
If you would trust me…
If you would get better…
 
Then…what?  I would feel better. I would accept you. I would love you.
Enough said, right?
The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love and Acceptance Matter,

Ce Eshelman, LMFT

 
Acceptance is Loving.
 
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Tit For Tat Gets YOU Back

Our children do not cause our poor parenting behavior–yelling,
demanding, demeaning, belittling, overpowering, physicality,
threatening, arguing, meanness, etc.  Those behaviors belong to us
and no amount of attachment challenge child behavior is responsible
for our “low road” reactions.

Because this is true, I have mastered the art of the sincere apology.
I often owe that to both of my children.  Whenever I suggest that
parents owe an apology to their children before expecting their
children to sincerely apologize, I get push back like there is no
tomorrow.

“Absolutely not!” retorted one parent, when I asked if she had
something to apologize for after she wrongly accused her daughter of
something she had actually done herself.  “If she didn’t lie all the
time, I wouldn’t have falsely accused her.”  Okay, but you did
wrongly accuse her, and really you owe her a sincere apology for
wronging her, right?  “No.”  Hmmmm.

If we expect our children to sincerely feel remorse and apologize for
their wrongs, then we have to model it first.  Otherwise, we are
blaming them for our behavior.

Isn’t that what they often infuriatingly do to YOU?

Because Love Matters,

Ce Eshelman, LMFT

Next Trust-based Parent Training Course in Sacramento, CA is
September 27, 2014 and October 4, 2014. Sign-up here –
http://cts.vresp.com/c/?TheAttachPlaceCenter/9ba51af5e7/TEST/c0f94646cd .

Please share freely.  Your community of support can sign-up for their
own Daily YOU Time email by clicking here –
http://cts.vresp.com/c/?TheAttachPlaceCenter/9ba51af5e7/TEST/b816f9fd03 .

Tit for tat, gets YOU back.