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parenting children with special needs Archives | Page 2 of 12 | The Attach Place

Archive for parenting children with special needs – Page 2

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.

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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Love Matters Bootcamp Day 1

I am so excited.  I must be, because it is 5am and I am up and ready to roll. The Attach Place is in “Love Matters” Bootcamp–Day 1–with a family of six from out-of-town. Bootcamp is an attachment-intensive therapeutic dose of family healing–no boots required.
 
Come along for part of the ride by trying on something new each day for two weeks that can help propel your relationship with your attachment challenged child forward.  Since it is Spring Break for most kids, this might be a good time to pump up the volume on the heart of things.
 
Day 1–Try This:
Get out a nice fancy piece of paper, giant poster board, or even a recycled lined notebook sheet (if that’s what you have.)  During snack time today, put a nice treat on the table and tell your child(ren) that YOU really want to acknowledge his/her “fabulousness.”  Then, proceed to write down on that paper (big and celebratory or small and humble) your child’s strengths.  YOU start with one strength and then ask your child for another.  If you have more than one child, have everyone contribute a strength for that child.  Repeat until your brainstorm naturally runs out.
 
If you have lots of children, this is a great opportunity to take turns around the table shining on everyone in round robin style.  Make it quick and light, being sure to stop before the fun runs out.  If your child(ren) gets into it, then make an art project out of it by having your child draw/color a picture of him or herself being all these wonderful qualities at once.  Pin it up somewhere public.
 
If this activity goes sideways, it will likely be because of shame hiding in the background.  No worries.  Take over, list a few strengths YOU see, and quickly stick the paper on the frig with a magnet. Your child is watching, so don’t let shame reign. Be proud. Be delighted. Be done.
 
See YOU on Love Matters Bootcamp–Day 2.  
 
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.

Resist letting your child’s hardwired shame rule the day or draw yours out.
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Let the Negativity Begin

Traumatized children bathe in negativity and think the worst.  That is a worldview shaped by trauma and hardwired into their forming emotional brain systems in the early years.  Then, in order to make sense of things, they believe they are protecting themselves from the worst, by thinking the worst, before the worst happens. It makes perfect sense, even if misguided.
If you understand this, YOU can be prepared for the negativity when it shows up, so you can avoid being dismissive, discounting and disparaging.  Those reactions on your part to their predictable negativity will prove to your child that their thinking is correct–the world is mean and unsafe.  See how that works?
 
I know it seems like your child at some point SHOULD be developing a sense of gratitude for what YOU have done. You might think it will eventually dawn on them that they are living a fabulous, abundant life.  And then it doesn’t.  
 
Take heart.  It will, but YOU have to provide safety and positive experiences to develop your child’s brain forward. In the face of negativity, show acceptance of the fear of the worst and with empathy encourage practice, accept missteps, and assure your child that you will be there to support them no matter what.  Do this a zillion times and one day you will see joy and gratitude creep right in.
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.

Accept your child’s point of view
 while supporting brave, bold movement forward.
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Annoying For Attention

I have a number of children I work with who annoy for attention. Attention is attention to them regardless of whether it is positive or negative. Some attachment challenged children have difficulty being vulnerable enough to seek attention in a pro-social way.  To do that would be to admit that s/he has emotional needs in the first place.  
 
My son has mastered the art of the ridiculous question to get my attention.  Last night he came into the room where I was writing with, “Mom, I’m wondering why it is that I really like to go to those swim parks. Why do you think I like them so much?”
 
Out of the blue from another child, “One time when I was visiting my grandmother’s farm the dog farted so loud the cats ran into the barn.”
 
“Can you see air?”
 
“I noticed cats have big eyes.”
 
“Can we talk?  I have a mod and the thingys are cute.  Can I show them to you?”  
 
“Mom, I didn’t know you were home.  Are you home now?”
 
“Why do I like cauliflower that way and not the other way?” 
 
“The worst thing to call a teacher is Mrs. P.”
 
Really?
attentionseeking
 
Our children need attention and they need corrective parenting. They need help seeking attention in a positive way.  Give solid eye contact saying, I would love to talk with you about something more interesting or in a voice that I can better listen to or about something more meaningful to you. Here I am. Try again, Sweetie Pie.
 
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.

Genuine connection is a skill and a gift.
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How Trauma Works

The brain records trauma in such a way that it keeps getting triggered over and over again, even after the abuser has long left the picture. Your child repeatedly relives the past in the present. That is the definition of posttraumatic stress, and Complex Developmental Trauma is attachment challenge plus posttraumatic stress.  This makes your child tread as though the abuse is about to recur at the next turn.  
 
My son recoils from me whenever I make a sudden move near him. I have never beaten him, but he is afraid I will because he has that memory encoded in his implicit (unconscious) brain from before he was two years old.  My daughter, on the other hand, is drawn to recreating the traumatic experiences of childhood neglect in her adult life, over and over.  She relives the past every day and struggles to survive as if she has to do it that way.  
 
I try to support both of my children to rise up from the imprints they received during those traumatic times, but it has been difficult.  Our work, as healing parents, is to help our children understand and perceive themselves as something other than victim, and to not be controlled by the ever-reactive trauma brain.  
 
Building a new sense of self is monumental.  Think how you would feel if YOU were tasked to rewire yourself from the ground floor up, childhood to now.  Just changing one little bad habit feels impossible to me sometimes–Step away from the chocolate. 
Eat Chocolate
 
Your kids need YOU to keep your perception of them pure and precious, so they can begin to see themselves through truly loving eyes.   That is a child’s birthright after all.

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.

Taylor Swift and I Shake It Off every day.
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Positive Experience Changes Brains

Keep hope alive folks, because there definitely is plenty of reason to do so. The brain is capable of repair beyond our current scientific understanding. Play, laugh, talk together about real life things, so your child can learn about life the best way–from YOU.  
 
Our traumatized children have a hard time feeling safe with parents, so they often cannot learn from us. Playing, laughing, rolling around, and acting silly together creates safety–felt safety. Felt safety is what allows a fragile brain to grow new neuropathways, new insights, new access to the part of the brain that governs memory and executive functions such as logical sequencing, cause and effect thinking, connections, organization, theory of mind, empathy, and moral reasoning.
 
Your child may not fully heal while living at home, but positive experiences change brains and move children further down the road to a fulfilling life. That’s really all we are hoping for, right?  
 
Play more. Bark less.
 
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 Trust-based Parent Workshop  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.

Practicing what YOU know is hard work.  
Get support from others who are “in the know.”  YOU will be glad you did.
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Fear Strikes The Core

Like a lightening bolt, fear strikes the core of our complex traumatized children in nearly all that they do.  
lightening bolt
 
Last night, I came home from work and walked in the door to my son beginning a lie before the door had even closed behind me.  
 
“I cleaned my room, Mom, but I already messed it up again.”
 
In my world owning up to an ugly truth is difficult, but entirely freeing. For my son, fear strikes his core before he can think of the truth, so the lies shoot out in my face like spring-loaded slinkies–one right after the other in a barely detectable loop-de-loop.
 
Once quiet again and out of his fear-stricken state, for the 5000th time I asked him, What could you do instead of lie?  
 
He responds, “Not be afraid.”  
 
Well, can you actually control your fear?  
 
“No.”
 
Did it occur to you that you could not be afraid by simply cleaning your room?
 
“Oh.  Pregnant pause. “No.”
 
This is an executive function problem.  Putting two and two together in a logical order is very difficult for some of our traumatized children. I wish it were different, but it isn’t.
 
For the 5001st time, Well, you could do your chores or not do your chores. Since you don’t get in trouble for not doing your chores, there is nothing to fear and nothing to lie about either way. Cool, huh?
 
“I’m really trying Mom.”
 
I know, Honey. I know. Just go clean your room.
 
“Okay. Can I tell you about what Mr. XYZ did today?”
 
Yes, three seconds after you clean your room.
 
“You’re funny Mom.”
 
I know, Honey. I know. Go.
 
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 Trust-based Parent Workshop  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.

Repetition creates new neuropathways.  
Brains seem made of cement around our house.
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Control Is Like Air To Birds

YOU can fight if you must, but control is the medium through which your child survives.  Like air to birds, your attachment challenged child needs the predictability of control or a feeling spiral akin to falling out of the sky occurs that feels like sure death.  
 
The overarching therapeutic parenting goal is to create a safe and predictable enough environment for your child to trust s/he is not going to smash to the ground when s/he lets go into your care.  
 
My suggestion is to accept your child’s need for control as one of the basics–air, food, water, shelter, love.  Little by little, show just how safe YOU are because you understand, share, forgive, accept and shape the internal landscape of their brains to need just a little less of it over time.
 
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 Trust-based Parent Workshop  is planned for May 16th and March 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.

Fighting a starving man to give up his one slice of bread makes no sense.
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