Even when you have all the information about your child’s traumatized brain, every bit of therapeutic parenting advice, tons of therapy, and book piles to stop every door in your house, something may still have a stranglehold on your entire family. When it gets right down to it, toxic stress is the real culprit. Your traumatized child has it and you have it, too.
The only way to change the toxic stress that is poisoning your family life is to get on board a huge parent self-care regimen for yourself and a daily felt safety diet for your child. Sounds easy, but you know it isn’t. Also, this regimen and diet will be for life, so you have to embrace it every day in order to live an emotionally, toxin-free life.
Today’s post is about the most important thing in the world–your self-care. Tomorrow, felt safety.
- First and foremost: get out of denial. Your child has special needs. You need to pay attention to your needs first. Put your oxygen mask on before assisting your child.
- Respite needs to be your priority after the basics–food, water, air, shelter, hugs.
- A trained childcare provider is a must and a miracle. Get two or three; train them; and pay those folks as well as you can because they matter a lot.
- Schedule respite breaks for yourself every day on your calendar, in your phone, on your To Do list. Schedule respite like it is a hard to get dental appointment that you will be charged for if you miss it.
- Care about yourself. Care for your body. Care about what you eat. Care about your sleep. Care about your love life. Care about your friendships. Care about your garden, animals, hobbies, creativity, passions, missions. Yes, you can fit everything into your life. If you cannot, then you do not have a healthy life. Think about that.
- Think about this while you are at it. Attachment challenged, traumatized children do not need a full schedule of organized sports, dance lessons, piano recitals, playdates, extravagantvacations, and the latest kid stuff. They need at least one (and two would be better) well cared for, emotionally present parent.
If that is all they ever have, they will be rich beyond their wildest dreams.
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 11th at 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 are December 5th and 12th, 2015. 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.
Take a look at your calendar. If the word respite does not appear there, get to it.