Archive for Parent Self Love

Thank Your Lucky Stars

If your traumatized, attachment challenged child is pooping in the corners of your dining room while you are cooking dinner, this post is NOT really for YOU.  Everyone else, cross yourself, count your blessings, kiss your rosary, say a little prayer, give a little nod to the Universe, thank your lucky stars for how blessed YOU are because your child is not pooping in the corners of your dining room.
 
On second thought: Call me if you are cleaning up poop right now.
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.
The Attach Place is offering a weekend workshop for couples on July 18th and 19th, 10 to 4pm 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.

I’m serious.  YOU can call me.

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

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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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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Love Matters Bootcamp Day 5–Empathy and Blaming

Love Matters Bootcamp Day 5–Empathy. I have sent this out to YOU before, but do yourself a favor and take 2 minutes and 53 seconds to watch it again. 
 
Brene Brown on Empathy 2
And now, the very thing that blocks Empathy–Blaming. Come on, just 3 minutes and 14 seconds more.
 
Brene Brown on Blaming
 
These are my two favorite things to watch.  I do it over and over. They are short and on-point. I wonder what the world would be like if everyone ate-up these two videos every morning for breakfast.
A girl can dream, can’t she?
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 April 8th. Come join us.  Online RSVP each 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.

Empathy supports connection. Play more. Blame less.
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Trauma Brain Sandwich

Some kids who have Complex Developmental Trauma are white knuckling day and night.  Their need to manage every single little thing to keep themselves feeling safe takes the life, the joy, the play, the spontaneity right out of them.  Their need for the safety that control brings to them takes the life, the joy, the play, the spontaneity right out of YOU, too.
 
Upshot: Be super sure you are getting plenty of adult respite time to play, laugh, love, and be untethered so you are not having a steady Trauma Brain Sandwich diet. YOU will starve to death otherwise.  
Love Matters,
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
Trauma Brain Sandwiches are all carb, no protein.
The Attach Place Logo
The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships
Next Trust-based Parent Course is planned for March 28th and April 4th.  Save the date.
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.
Feel free to send this link to friends or family members who you would like to sign-up for Daily YOU Time: Wisdom for Adoptive Parents.

Teach Respect

I have always liked that bumper sticker that says Teach Peace. Look!!! Here it is.

teach peace 2

Whenever I see it on a car, I feel a kinship with the driver.  The fact that the sticker might be left over from three owners before and this driver is actually not particularly Man of the Year doesn’t keep me from feeling a little extra love juice in that direction.  Nothing wrong with that, right?  Both of us can probably use it.

Teach Respect is better as a mantra than a bumper sticker.  If our kids have knowledge gaps, then we have to teach them things we think they should already know–like respect.

I am forever shocked at how little our tiny attachment challenged professors actually know about the subtleties of life.  They have to be taught.  Respect is no different.

Believe it or not, parents have often been the teachers of disrespect to their children in two ways:

  1. We respond to disrespect with disrespect. Because we are the adults, we don’t always go back, apologize, and redo our disrespectful words with the one’s we wish we had used.  We just feel justified and move on.
  2. We respond with compliance. When Sam says, “I don’t want this for dinner. I hate f…ing pork chops,” many of us will tell him to “Shut your f….ing pie hole and sit the f… down!” Certainly none of my readers. Others of us will simply get him something else to eat to spare the family the shenanigans.
Neither of these methods teach respect.  Actually, they teach the opposite.  Try these on for size:
 
1. Be respectful, even when your child isn’t. Save all your angry, disrespectful words for your mental bubbles or therapist (who will definitely understand.)
2. Gently require respect before your child gets the thing s/he wants.  For example:  Whoa Sam, not sure you realize that saying that the way you did about the pork chops is a sure fire way of making me deaf. That hurts my sensitive ears. Go ahead and try again.  If Sam gives you more disrespect, tell him you love him and go back to dealing with dinner–mental bubble: pork chops it is .  If he gives you respect, you can decide to stick with pork chops because that is all there is and let him choose dinner for another day or maybe give him the choice of something leftover.  It’s never a good idea to allow him something special while everyone else gets what is on the menu.
 
Of course, there are a zillion ways to respond.  Those are just a few.  I have heard plenty of people react to my suggestions with, You have got to be kidding; my kid would explode all over the place if I tried to correct him.  If you don’t correct him now and withstand the tantrums for a good 21 days, YOU will live with this tyrant for an entire childhood.
The Attach Place Logo
 
Love Matters,

Ce Eshelman, LMFT

Pay now or pay later.

I fixed the link to the parent training if you have been trying to sign-up and couldn’t get through.  Sorry about that; my techno wizardry only goes so far–about a foot.
NOTE:  Space is limited this time around. The nextREVISED Trust-based Parent Training Course in Sacramento, CA is scheduled for January 24th and January 31st. Registerhere.  If you have been through this course in the past, you will be getting significantly more hands on experience than ever before.
 
Please share freely.  Your community of support can sign-up for their own Daily YOU Time email by clicking here.

 

Fear Is Not Required

One of my children was potty trained and talking at 1.5 yrs. The other was 4 yrs. before either of those things happened. I was frightened by both.
 
One of my children was astute and controlling everything and anything in her worldview. The other was forever a baby, needing help with simple tasks through the teen years. I was frightened by both.
 
One of my children was cunning and shrewd. The other was gullible and passively uncooperative.  I was frightened by both.
 
One of my children used a 10″ butcher knife to threaten her adult step-brother and carve a line in the wall about waist high in every room in our house.  The other foreshadowed this years earlier by meandering toward me with a similar blade, which seemed longer than the arm that was wielding it. I was frightened by both.
 
My fear made me distant.  My children needed me closer.  
 
Go closer.  
 
Get some skin in the game.  
 
Fear less.  Engage more.
The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love Matters,

 

Ce Eshelman, LMFT

Be Gentle and Kind

When we teach scripts to parents for correcting and redirecting attachment challenged children, the first one is usually Be Gentle and Kind.  At various places around the office that direction can be heard throughout the day, every day, every week, all year long, year after year. It takes thousands of repetitions to stick the landing of a new neuropathway.
 
It occurred to me this morning that my last three Daily YOU Time emails have really fallen under the heading of Re-parenting Parents With the Script Be Gentle and Kind
 
I wish I had been re-parented early on to Be Gentle and Kindwith my childrenI just did what was imprinted by my parents–Be Powerful and In Control.  That was misguided and made a mess of things for quite a while.
 
So, forgive me for my repetitious re-parenting script to Be Gentle and Kind.  I am simply trying to make it stick for YOU and your attachment challenged child(ren).  It makes all the difference over time.
The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love Matters,

Ce Eshelman, LMFT

Love Matters Scholarship Fund can use your contributions. Click here for more information.
 
The next Trust-based Parent Training Course in Sacramento, CA is scheduled for January 24th and January 31st. Register here.
 
Please share freely.  Your community of support can sign-up for their own Daily YOU Time email by clicking here.

 Be Gentle and Kind All the Time. Why not?

I Wish I Had An Attitude Adjustment Earlier

I bought a panini maker.  Mmmmm, nothing like a cheesy/carbo-load to get the kid out of bed. What I discovered is how sweet my son is when he knows I made it for him, whether he has time to eat it or not. When he was younger, I would have pitched a fit if he lollygagged and didn’t eat it.  Then he would have pitched a fit back, maybe throwing the hot panini puck at my face. I would have insisted at higher and higher volumes that he NEEDED to eat breakfast, but why was I MAD when he didn’t. After awhile, I took everything personally.  It felt like these shenanigans were by way of gutting me with a fishing knife. I started to hate my life and my kids, too. This is the ugly truth.
If you are waiting for your children to have love in their eyes before YOU have love in yours, YOU will be waiting a very long time.  Oh, I know you used to have love in your eyes, but your child’s attachment challenged shenanigans drained you to flat, hopeless, and sometimes bitter despair. I’ve been there. I know. And, I don’t judge YOU. I get YOU. I am YOU. I am YOU years down the road.
When my kids were younger, I wish someone had bonked me on my head, like a V8 commercial, so I could have had an earlier attitude adjustment.
So, (if you need one) here is my attempt at a “bonk” on your pre-frontal cortex.  If you are a parent who adopted a child, YOU are their best hope of finding the buried treasure of love in that damaged heart (a.k.a. pre-frontal cortex.) Have I mentioned that pre-frontal cortex is my favorite set of words? Of course I have.
Here is the key:
YOU must make a DECISION every day to BE a loving person. Period.
No one loves the shenanigans of traumatized children–the mean, hateful, scary, snide, cunning, unrelenting, mind-boggling, mind-numbing, heart-stopping, shitty crap (clinical term) they dish up. No one is made for that, better suited for that, temperamentally predisposed for that.  So, YOU wishing you could give up, throw them back, leave them on a corner, put them back on a plane, or relinquish them is very human, understandable, and evidence of the magnitude of grief YOU feel to the bone.  I wish I could hug YOU.  I know you need it.
If you consider yourself capable of being a loving person, then be that in the face of adversity. Raising this kind of child is the definition of adversity. There is a payoff.  It is down the road. Essentially, your love is “paying it forward.”  It will come back to YOU.  Gandhi said it best,Be the change you want to see in the world. Be the love you want to see in your child.  It starts with YOU.
Shenanigans be damned, but not the heart-broken child or the heart-broken parent.
The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love Matters,

Ce Eshelman, LMFT

 
Love in the face of adversity is the definition of love.