Archive for parenting attachment challenged children – Page 2

Neglect Damages A Baby’s Brain

Dear Parent,

All child abuse damages the brain of the child.  Let’s be 100% clear about that.  The research is in. It turns out that neglect in childhood actually impacts more of the developing brain than physical abuse.  Avoidant, dismissive, detached, absent, absent-minded, inconsistent, careless, disengaged, not-good-enough neglectful parenting prevents the regulatory, sensory, neurological, digestive, and sympathetic systems from wiring and firing properly from the git-go.

Damage from neglect lasts a lifetime and is often missed or misdiagnosed, so treatment is often non-existent or incorrect; that makes a sad situation worse.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

To sign-up for daily Wisdom for Adoptive Parents, click here.

The next 8-hr. Trust-based Parent Training is scheduled in June 18th and 25th from 12 noon to 4 pm.  $200 per two person couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up, email ce@attachplace.com and I will register you.

TIME CHANGE: Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.

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To buy your very own copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT, go toAmazon.com or www.attachplace.com/drowing-hair-fire.  Please be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon.  Thank you.

More and More I Believe Play Trumps Everything

Dear Parent,

Go ahead, call me a broken record.  At nearly 60-years-old, play is not my first or second language.  I have to work at it, and I am still prone to seriousness.  Boo-hoo.  I know for a fact I myself am happier when playful, but it wasn’t done with me as a child, so I had to learn it as a parent.  This might be true of you, too.  Or, if play does come like rain used to in Spring, then you may be suffering under the misconception that attachment challenged and traumatized children are so naughty that you have to be serious in order for them to know you mean business.  Otherwise, you might think, your children could grow-up into mass murderers or anti-social, ne’er do-wells.  There is true terror in that thinking.

A mean task master, fear often scares the play right out of most parents of adopted children.  While adoptive parents are known to post lively, deliriously happy and grateful comments on Facebook, let this not distract from the underlying realities inside most attachment and trauma challenged relationships–chaos regularly oozes from under backyard fences, around window sills, and through carefully locked exterior doors.  The wounds of childhood abuses last a childhood and adoptive parents are on the front lines doing triage and in the background doing the healing.  Who has time for play?

That is my point really.  You  must make the time to play every day of your child’s life, without exception, because that is the healing language of children.  Play is not just a little thing you do when you can squeeze it in.  It is the whole shebang–the one true natural therapy.

Play is a biological imperative hardwired into children that sustains them while their bodies grow and their brains learn to handle the conflicting feelings produced by the slings and arrows of budding adulthood4.

Parents, if all you do differently is amp up your smiling face, throw on more laughter, and find the silly deep within your core,  you will be applying some of the best naturally occurring salve available for what ails the wounded heart of your child.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

To sign-up for daily Wisdom for Adoptive Parents, click here.

The next 8-hr. Trust-based Parent Training is scheduled in June (TBD) from 12 noon to 4 pm.  $200 per two person couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up, email ce@attachplace.com and I will register you.

TIME CHANGE: Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.

picture of cover

To buy your very own copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT, go toAmazon.com or www.attachplace.com/drowing-hair-fire.  Please be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon.  Thank you.

Get A Free Copy Of My Book, YES!

Dear Parents,

Enter my Amazon.com book giveaway to get a free copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief for Adoptive Parents.  Why not, right?

See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: Drowning with My Hair on Fire: Insanity Relief for Adoptive Parents. #adoption https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/00c6ea1f13bdecdf

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends May 4, 2016 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules.

When you win, don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon.com.  Apparently, that’s the way one sells books.

Attachment Help

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

To sign-up for daily Wisdom for Adoptive Parents, click here. 

The next 8-hr. Trust-based Parent Training is scheduled in June (TBD) from 12 noon to 4 pm.  $200 per two person couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up, email Ce@attachplace.com and I will register you.

TIME CHANGE: Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.

picture of cover

 

To buy your very own copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT, go toAmazon.com or www.attachplace.com/drowing-hair-fire.  Please be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon.  Thank you.

Enter my Amazon.com book giveaway to get a free copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief for Adoptive Parents.  Why not, right?

See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: Drowning with My Hair on Fire: Insanity Relief for Adoptive Parents. https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/00c6ea1f13bdecdf

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends May 4, 2016 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules.

What Is It About Me?

Dear Parents,

Today I received a text from one of my beautiful, not-adopted children.  It read, My friend, (girl I know from the group home), asked to move in with us. I told her no, there isn’t enough room.

Boy howdy, she got that right. There are so many toothbrushes around here I have taken to keeping mine in my bedroom. The daily chore list takes up two pages because there are so many people to make “chore annoyed” every day. The bright side is that I rarely have chores to do myself.  I can’t say they are always done well, but they are always attempted.  I’m usually okay with attempted chores.  There is something special about living with four people who have proprioception issues.  Almost nothing gets wiped down well.  Eh, I’m getting used to sticky everything.

One of my precious colleagues implies, nearly daily, that I have sucker stamped on me somewhere. I think the kids secretly take turns writing it on my back while I sleep. Seems I can’t see it.  Apparently cats and dogs know it’s there, too.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

To sign-up for daily Wisdom for Adoptive Parents, click here.

The next 8-hr. Trust-based Parent Training is scheduled in June (TBD) from 12 noon to 4 pm.  $200 per two person couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up, email Ce@attachplace.com and I will register you.

TIME CHANGE: Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.

picture of cover

 

To buy your very own copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT, go toAmazon.com or www.attachplace.com/drowing-hair-fire.  Please be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon.  Thank you.

High Road Parenting

Dear Parents,

Dan Siegel, MD coined the term “high road parenting” in his book Parenting From the Inside Out–one of my favorites for helping parents understand their mission as parents and how to achieve it.  High road parenting isn’t any different from high road anything.

When one is cut off on the freeway, high road driving is called for–not the middle finger with a side of Mad Max road rage.  When one’s mother-in-law looks sideways at you while referring to today’s slackers, high road son-in-law behavior is ignoring the slight and offering her another piece of cherry pie.  When your partner, under stress, acts a tiny bit “hole-ish,” high road loving is to ask if you can do something to help–instead of “hole-ing” back an insult of greater proportion.  Where is the love, baby?

Taking the high road may seem like being a doormat, and I am not suggesting that at all. It is perfectly fine to kindly take care of yourself.  I am, however, saying that the world is a better place when people are attached to their own humanity and the humanity of others. Relationships are stronger when we treat them with love and respect in the face of adversity.  And parenting is healing when it is served up with a dose of kindness, empathy and sensitivity to the wounded hearts of our traumatized children.

The next time you get to a crossroads during a moment of heightened stress, take a moment; take a breath; and choose to take the higher road.  You and those around you will be grateful for your personal awareness and your dedication to being love in action.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

To sign-up for daily Wisdom for Adoptive Parents, click here.

The next 8-hr. Trust-based Parent Training is scheduled in June (TBD) from 12 noon to 4 pm.  $200 per two person couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up, email Ce@attachplace.com and I will register you.

TIME CHANGE: Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.

picture of cover

To buy your very own copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT, go toAmazon.com or www.attachplace.com/drowing-hair-fire.  Please be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon.  Thank you.

Never Underestimate Dysregulation

Dear Parents,

I had a therapy session today with an eleven-year-old boy whose dysregulated state looked just like paranoid schizophrenia.  If his parents were not there to tell me he is not always that way, hands down, I would have misdiagnosed him.  He was dysregulated by my miscalculation about his tolerance for role play.  Instead of getting my point (which I genuinely thought he would), he became humiliated and interpreted me as simply mimicking him.  I didn’t mean to humiliate him though, and he couldn’t recover despite my apology.

That is a bad feeling.  I don’t usually use that method to break through a child’s defense and now I remember why.  It sometimes backfires in a big way.  I hope I can gain his trust back.

If you are a parent who is prone to sarcasm, you may have found yourself resorting to mimicry to get your point across to your attachment challenged child. Take a lesson from me, they have tender underbellies and little tolerance for the gut-stabbing feeling of humiliation. The wound can be deep and long lasting.

Make yourself as safe as you possibly can to the tender parts of your defense-protected child. Our children need to trust we will not hurt them.  I will be making great effort to get this young boy’s trust back.  If you have hurt your child, on purpose or by accident, work very hard to re-establish trust and safety by making a sincere apology and taking the high road every chance you get.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

To sign-up for daily Wisdom for Adoptive Parents, click here.

The next 8-hr. Trust-based Parent Training is scheduled in June (TBD) from 12 noon to 4 pm.  $200 per two person couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up, email Ce@attachplace.com and I will register you.

TIME CHANGE: Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.
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Drowning with My Hair on Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents

 

To buy your very own copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT, go to Amazon.com or www.attachplace.com/drowing-hair-fire.  Please be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon.  Thank you.

This Really Is My Life

Dear Parents,

I took my 20-year-old daughter for a psychiatric evaluation today.  I have somehow escaped this for the last two years, since she became an adult.  I offered to pay for an eval outside the Medi-Cal system in order to get a legitimate diagnosis and medication that is not dependent on the amount of money one can pay.  So, today was the day.

In a very short period of time, the psychiatrist leveled one of the diagnoses I knew would be given–Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). In that moment my heart cracked open and my mother blood leaked out onto the floor.  If you are not a therapist, this diagnosis may mean nothing to you. However, the diagnosis is often considered the bane of a therapist’s existence when a person labeled with it walks across the threshold.

I am breaking the therapist code of silence right now, because, as a therapist, I am not supposed to say any of this out loud.  As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure I will be stoned for daring to speak this. Most therapists (though not all) only take one or two people labeled “Borderline” into their practice at a time.  Why is that, you might wonder?  It is because they are so difficult to treat.  BPD person’s are predominantly female and well known for love you/hate you outbursts.  They often burst out of therapy the way attachment challenged children outburst over parenting.

My daughter had love you/hate you outbursts from the day I brought her home at three-years-old.  And, she still does.  Reactive Attachment Disorder grown-up without successful intervention is often called Borderline Personality Disorder in women and Narcissistic Personality Disorder in men.

I want you to know that early, effective intervention is possible.  Healing is possible. You can change the trajectory of your sweet, attachment challenged child.  How?  With consistent, trust-based, brain-based, therapeutic parenting.  That is how.

When my children were young, I wish I knew then what I know now.  I desperately wish this.  Right now, I am pleased my daughter lives with me and I have a chance to help her heal from the horrible wounds of attachment trauma in early childhood.  It is never too late.  Never.  I know this in my bones.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

To sign-up for daily Wisdom for Adoptive Parents, click here.

The next 8-hr. Trust-based Parent Training is scheduled for April 23rd and 30th from 12 noon to 4 pm.  $200 per two person couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up, email Jen@attachplace.com and she will register you.

TIME CHANGE: Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.
picture of cover

Drowning with My Hair on Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents

To buy your very own copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT, go to Amazon.com or www.attachplace.com/drowing-hair-fire.  Please be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon.  Thank you.

Change Makers

Dear Parents,

Our children do not change easily, but we can.  I know it seems like it is hard to change.  As a matter of fact, I think people go to therapy to change and stay too long “trying.”  Trying to change is the problem.  One must simply do it.  Do the mindful trick of changing your mind.

I read a study once that said the degree of one’s denial is the best predictor of a long, happy marriage.  Basically, those who are happy for the longest time in attachment relationships are those who ignore the stuff they don’t like about their partners and who focus on what they love instead.  Really, this is actual research.

By experience, I find that research to be true.  For example, I can focus on my husband’s repetitious restacking of the dishwasher and find it irritating, annoying or even personalize it as a comment he is making on my competence to stack the dishwasher correctly.  On the other foot, I could notice my husband’s repetitious restacking of the dishwasher and find it meaningless, his deal, or even a cute little behavior of his.  Which version will be the most attachment promoting way of seeing my husband?  I personally find it cute; also, I never have to put dishes in the dishwasher. Works for us both and I can feel perfectly in love with him while we clean up the kitchen after dinner.

Look around at your life.  What triggered feelings are you focusing on, memorizing today that you will play tomorrow when you encounter that trigger again?  Right now the garbage is overflowing in my kitchen.  I can allow my thought, Someone who was supposed to take it out has disrespected me, to make me annoyed or angry; or I can take a moment, wonder why it didn’t get done, take it out myself, or put it on the chore list for tomorrow. Which version will be the most attachment promoting way of seeing my children?

Much to the chagrin of many friends and family members, I have a tendency to take my children’s repetitious behavior in stride.  It is the way they are.  I don’t love it, and it isn’t about me.  That is what I know.  If I were to think their behavior is about me, then I would be angry and our attachment relationship would be compromised.  I want to be happy, so I choose a form of denial about my children. They do their best.  It isn’t always that good.  And, that is not about me. That thought keeps me happy.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Love matters,

Ce

The next 8 hr. Trust Based Parent Training is scheduled for April 23rd and 30th from 12noon to 4pm.  $200 per couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up email Jen@attachplace.com and she will register you.

TIME CHANGE: Monthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.
To buy your very own copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT, go to Amazon or www.attachplace.com/drowing-hair-fire. Please be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon.  Thank you.

It Was A Sweet Book Party!

Dear Parents,

Many of you were able to make it to the book launch party on Saturday and I was so happy to see your beautiful faces.  I wanted to put pictures of the party in this post, though all you will see are empty rooms, me and only one of my lovely colleagues.

My husband (very quiet, unassuming, introvert) was the DP (designated photographer) for the day.

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At the start I told him he couldn’t take random pictures because there would be some parents here.  He took that to mean he would be taking pictures of food, empty rooms, and me, plus an office mate here or there.  So cute, he is.

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Despite how this picture looks, there was a lovely group of celebrants and I had a wonderful time.  I hope everyone else did, as well. Wish you all could have been here for the cake because it was to die for.

Thank you for all the love and support.

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Jen Nguyen, LMFT,  being the hostess with the mostess; and baby makes two. The quilt in this picture was handmade for me by two incredible, adoptive parents.

Love matters,

Ce

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationship

The next 8 hr. Trust Based Parent Training is scheduled for April 23rd and 30th from 12noon to 4pm.  $200 per couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. To sign up email Jen@attachplace.com and she will register you.

TIME CHANGEMonthly Adoptive Parent Support Group is every second Wednesday of the month from 6pm to 8pm.  Group and childcare are free.
To buy your very own copy of Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents by Ce Eshelman, LMFT, go to Amazon or www.attachplace.com/drowing-hair-fire. Please be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon.  Thank you.

Respect Begets Respect

Dear Parents,

Disrespect is not a given with children from difficult beginnings.  It can be trained out.  It cannot, however, be stomped out.  How we speak to one another is one of the ways we transmit love or disdain.  If you speak dismissively, your children will speak with disrespect.  If you speak with love, your children will learn to speak that way, too.

Training takes time.  There is no fast fix to disrespectful reactions.  There is only corrective parenting in the form of respectful repetition.  Imagine you are teaching a three year old to engage respectfully.  You don’t use a smart mouth to do it, right?  You take time to look them in the eyes, smile, and let them know how a respectful response sounds.  That is the way to teach all children regardless of their age. With kindness and deference to their difficult beginnings, you can bring your children along to loving engagement with you.

This will take the patience of Job. If you give it, they eventually give it back.  I promise.

Love matters,

The Attach Place

The Attach Place Center for Strengthening Relationships

Ce

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The public is invited to celebrate Ce Eshelman, LMFT’s new book, Drowning with My Hair on Fire: Insanity Relief for Adoptive Parents at an open house with brunch bites and bubbly on April 16th, 2016, from 11:30am to 1:30pm.  RSVP here.  Probably not the best event for children though.
To purchase a book click here or go toAmazon.com. Leave a review, when you can.

The next 8 hr. Trust Based Parent Training is scheduled for April 23rd and 30th from 12noon to 4pm.  $200 per couple.  Childcare available for $30 each day, second child $10 additional. 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.