Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in /home/attachpl/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wp-live-chat-support/functions.php on line 1811
parenting special needs children Archives | The Attach Place

Archive for parenting special needs children

Parenting Takes Discipline, Self-Discipline

Let me remind you that the first level of intervention, correction, is a playful request to try it again sweetie.  If no is the reflexive answer, breathe, and give your second response, Okay, you can try it again later. 

Your job is to require the redo before the very next time you give your child what s/he wants.  It’s not a power struggle.  It is a waiting game, a regulation game. Delayed gratification is now on your plate. It’s challenging, isn’t it?  Our kids are challenged that way, too.

This form of correction needs to be the major form of intervention in your home. This is the way you get your child’s negative snark down and the respectful tone up.  Try it.

 

Dear Parent Teacher

Hello Ce,

I love this. Take a few minutes to listen to the smartest people I’ve heard from in a long time.

Brain Highways

Out of the mouths of our babes.

Love Matters,
Ce Eshelman, LMFT

The Attach Place Logo The Attach Place provides a monthly, no fee 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. Child care provided.

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 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.

Sexting And Adopted Children

This morning I was met with giggling and sheepish eye darting when both of my young adult children with questionable prefrontal cortices were telling me about their 17-year-old overnight guest last weekend who shared nothing less than a graphic video of anal sex downloaded from the internet. My kids were intrigued and scandalized at the same time. Both anxiously talked over one another, telling their similar versions of the same story, and how they independently got up and went to their respective rooms as soon as they realized what they were seeing. If this is true (and it seemed so), their mutual response was actually unusual.

I dare say many attachment-challenged children with poor executive function (as well as plenty of securely attached children with developing executive function), depending on age, would also be at once intrigued and scandalized. Also, they may be compelled to engage, watch repeatedly, and share further in the form of acting out what was seen–sexting it out, and possibly getting into serious hot water taking it all too far.

I encourage you to talk with all of your kids starting in 6th grade about texting rules and family expectations. While you are at it, share the law and legal consequences of sexting. Twenty percent of middle-schoolers with cell phones have received sexts. If your third grader happens to have access to one, then beware. This sexting abuse is happening at younger and younger ages all the time.

When my daughter was 14-years-old, she borrowed my cell phone for a quick call to a friend that lasted only five or so minutes. Later in the evening, from that school friend, I received a follow-up sext of his erect penis, up close and way too naked. I have no idea what she sent possibly prompting his sext, and it didn’t matter. She was 14, and he was 18. He committed a crime. The rest is history.

If your child is exhibiting poor judgment in other areas, you can assume the cell phone will be no exception. Set boundaries and keep them. It is okay for safety purposes to invade the privacy of a minor. No child NEEDS a cell phone. Every child NEEDS protection from him/herself when continually behaving unreliably and irresponsibly.

Sometimes we have to lend our brain power to our children while theirs is still under functioning. That may go on throughout the teen years well into young adulthood.

Breathe, dear parents, and carry on.

Love Matters,
Ce Eshelman, LMFT

The Attach Place Logo The Attach Place provides a monthly, no fee 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.

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 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.

Raising kids in the age of technology–yikes.

Toxic Stress

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.

Self-care Regimen

  1. 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.  
  2. Respite needs to be your priority after the basics–food, water, air, shelter, hugs.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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 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 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.

Magic Question

Sharing power is one of the best ways to get your challenging child to be a bit less, well, challenging.  When your child resists shifting from one thing to another, try this magic question:

Okay Sweetie Pie, time to go to bed.
“Noooooooo!!! I’m not done!”
How much more time do you think you need? This is the magic question.
“Ten minutes.”
Let’s compromise–five more minutes. 
“Awwwa, okay.”
Two minutes later, he is done and down the hall to the bedroom.

I know you don’t believe me, so start small and build up to bedtime.

Once my son had been sick in bed for two days.  I asked him, How much more time do you think you need?
“Uhh, I’m pretty sick.  My stomach really has been hurting.  Uh, a week?”
Let’s compromise–you’re getting your butt to school to-mor-row.
“It was worth a try, Mom.”
We giggled.  He went to school the next day.

Wow, crazy as it seems, I have raised a seriously reasonable kid.  I worried that would never happen.  I often had pathetically low faith, coupled with monumental fear. Good thing I kept putting one foot in front of the other.  Just like you.
Keep the faith. Keep walking forward.

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.

Sometimes having faith in our challenged kids is like taking cough syrup when your cough has kept you up for three nights straight.  You know you have to do it to sleep, and you also know you seriously have to gag it down.  Well, that is a pleasant comparison.

Teenage Play Dates

I am a mother who had very few Mommy Moments in the raising of my children. You know, those sweet moments when a warm feeling blossoms up like a big Pink Peony in your chest? Pretty sure many Dads aren’t feeling the Pink Peony metaphor, so substitute here whatever the man equivalent of that is–Red Lamborghini Moment? Sometimes I like being completely sexist, so stop groaning. YOU may not be getting many of those sweet moments right now either if you are still in the daily trenches of humiliating Target meltdowns, broken dishes on the kitchen floor, spilled milk all over the restaurant, and bite marks on your forearms.
 
In the past, overnights and playdates just couldn’t happen without incidents of grand proportion, so they eventually got ruled out entirely.  I got tired of my kids losing already tentative friendships and trying to get into the good graces of parents who might give my kids another chance with their kids in the park or at the pool party or overnight in their living room (without locking up all the food, cell phones, wallets, and car keys.)
 
Now that I have six adult teens in my life (four of whom are previously diagnosed RAD kids),  I am getting an odd abundance of Pink Peony moments.  This weekend my house was taken over by boys eating, laughing, playing video games, going out for snack attacks, and coming home just to eat again. At the same time, one of the girls flew to and from L.A. by herself to visit family that previously refused to accept her into their home–even for a one hour visit.  She had a great, incident-free day. And yesterday, two others gushed over their beautiful, smiling daughter in pictures taken with the new iPhone I sent them in the mail last week–tag lines like I love you so much Mom and She is smiling because we are saying, ‘Smile for Grammy over and over.’
 
With attachment challenged, traumatized, and special needs children the Pink Peony moments may be delayed.  Wait for them.  I promise they arrive little by little over time until in young adulthood they have no trouble expressing how much YOU mean to them.  Wait for it.
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 October 14th at a NEW time–5:30 pm.Join us.  Online RSVP each month required when you need child care.
The Attach Place offers a 10-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course every other month.  Our next course dates are October 10th and 24th.  Child care provided for an extra fee. 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.

Blue Carnation Moments? 

Blind to the Forest

Some days it is hard to see the forest for the dirty bowls. A few days ago all of my cereal bowls went missing.  I thought someone put the dishes away in a new interesting way where the bowls could not be found.  Nope, that wasn’t it.  I thought someone accidentally broke all the bowls.  Nope, that wasn’t it.  I thought a bowl burglar broke in and, well, took all the bowls.  Nope, that probably wasn’t it.  
 
I asked my husband, the kids, and even had a serious talk with the dogs about the bowl mystery, but no one knew.  My son said, “I even noticed this morning that the bowls are missing, but I can’t think of what happened to them.”  He opened a bunch of cabinets to see if maybe they were in one. Nope, not in any of them.
 
When I came home from work yesterday, miraculously all the bowls had found their way into the top shelf of the dishwasher. I was suddenly crestfallen, realizing my son had gone to great lengths to escape my learning the actual whereabouts of the bowls–the ones dirty and hidden under his covers. All of the darned bowls were hidden under his bed covers!  Did I mention, all the bowls in the entire house?  Okay, I did mention that.
 
Thought we had nipped this eating in the room, hiding the dirty dishes habit.  Really thought we had made it over that hurdle. Nope, back to the drawing board.  It may take me two or three days before I can regulate, because right now my dysregulation is over the moon.
Breathing. I’m breathing.
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 October 14th at a NEW time–5:30pm.Come join us.  Online RSVP each month required especially if you need child care.
The Attach Place offers a 10-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course every other month.  Our next course dates are October 10th and 24th.  Child care provided for an extra fee. 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.

Two steps forward, three back.  We always recover.  We always recover.  We always recover.  Wait for it.  Wait for it.  Waiting for it. Waiting…

Impressionable Minds

Most children are impressionable.  Many remain that way into their teen years.  Our attachment challenged, trauma imprinted children, long after the wounds of attachment seem healed, continue to be gullible, swayable and highly prone to following another’s lead. Some of our children can manage to follow another while looking like they are leading.
The problem with being a follower is that children with compromised regulatory systems do not have well-developed executive function parts of the brain, so they go along with things they really wouldn’t if they had half a chance to think it through.
We need to supervise most of our children long into adulthood. That is a fact. On their own they make decisions with little thought, though they think they have given these ideas lots of thought. It is hard to provide supervision without humiliating or undermining the confidence of the budding adult poking up from the soil of their difficult childhoods. 
 
Recently one of my adult children decided that having a sex change was a real option. I can thank Caitlyn Jenner for taking the public lead on this.  While I have no problem whatsoever with transgender people or with Caitlyn Jenner, the pronouncement was a surprise, you might say.
 
Child:  Mom, I have made a decision. I have been thinking about this a lot and I’m nervous about telling you.  Umm, you know what I am going to say, right?
 
Me:  Not really, no.  Give me a hint.
 
Child:  You know how I act?  Umm, uh, umm, so I want to have a sex change so I fit more how I am.
 
Me:  Mastering the fine art of nonchalance, Okay.  Well have you researched it?
 
Child:  Yes, and I really have thought about this for a long time.  I even talked about it with my friend’s moms already. 
 
Me:  Still so very calm in close to the tone of saying I am making you a bologna sandwich, Oh you did? Okay. I am glad you are telling me, too.  It is okay with me, but I want you to do one thing first, which will be required before a sex change anyway.  Go online and look up transgender groups at the GLBTQ office.  There is one for people just like you who are researching gender reassignment–that’s what it’s called, I think–that meets right down the street. That is the first step.
 
Child:  While jumping up and shouting back, Okay, I’ll do that.
 
Two days later.
 
Child:  I’ve made a decision Mom.
 
Me:  About what?  
 
Child:  You know.
 
Me:  Hint?  Oops, bad Mommy, I should have remembered.
 
Child:  I am not going to get a gender change.
 
Me:  While continuing to brown the meatballs, Oh? You are not going to go to the group first before deciding?
 
Child:  No, I looked it up and saw how painful the whole thing is, so I made a different decision.
 
Me:  Okay, thanks for letting me know.
 
Child:  Yeah, I also looked up Kendo classes and I found one I want to take.  Do you have a minute to look at it?
 
Me:  Secret wry smile, Sure.
Transgender group. Kendo group. Either one works.
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 October 14th at a NEW time–5:30pm. Join us.  Online RSVP each month required especially if you need child care.
The Attach Place offers a 10-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course every other month.  Our next course dates are October 10th and 24th.  Child care provided for an extra fee. 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.

It’s a good thing to have a sense of humor 
or your life might seem down right scary.

High Road Parenting

High road parenting requires skills.  What are those?

  1. Ability to acknowledge your own feelings.
  2. Keeping the big picture in the foreground at all times–your child is developmentally delayed due to trauma.
  3. Facility with regulation techniques for yourself and your child.
  4. Patience to wait until your child is regulated before speaking.
  5. Patience to wait until you are regulated before speaking.
  6. Knowledge of therapeutic parenting practices.
  7. Consciously accessing respite, rest and relaxation on a regular basis.
  8. Willingness to forgive yourself when you drive off the high road into a ditch.
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 Octorber 14th at a NEW time–5:30pm.Come join us.  Online RSVP each month required especially if you need child care.
The Attach Place offers a 10-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course every other month.  Our next course dates are October 10th and 24th.  Child care provided for an extra fee. 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.

When you fall off the high road into a ditch, take your foot off of the gas.

Be Careful With The Healing Heart of Your Child

When our hurting children start to heal and they have a streak of positive behavior, beware.  YOU and your child are in very different places. 
 
Our children are not able to use “meta-mind” to step outside themselves and look back at how they are behaving. They may be seeing themselves as “doing good,” rather than “doing bad.”  They may be feeling safer, but their trauma is lurking right there below the surface.
 
Parents may be waiting for the next shoe to drop, as it were. While others may feel relief when there is a break from the shenanigans. That relief may trigger YOU to take a vacation from therapeutic parenting.
However YOU feel, be careful with your child’s healing heart. This is not the time to start traditional parenting, leaving your child to self-soothe,  using consequences, stop engaging.  Actually, this is the time to step it up.  Be even more engaging, more attentive, more available. Reward your child’s positive shift with the gift of more, not less.
Your child’s brain is better attuned to taking your therapeutic efforts in during times of peace.  If you go back to traditional parenting because you think your child doesn’t need it so much now, you will be unconsciously drawing your child into shenanigan behavior to get the therapeutic goodness back.
Make a commitment to be a therapeutic parent for a lifetime.  First of all, it is the most loving way for parents to be for any child. Secondly, traumatized children will always need you to be careful with their healing hearts–that means in good times, and during the emotional shenanigan times.
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 September 9th at 6pm. Come join us.  Online RSVP each month required only if you need child care.
The Attach Place offers a 10-hr. Trust-based Parenting Course every other month.  Our next course dates are October 10th and 24th.  Child care provided for an extra fee. Sign-up online atwww.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.

Be careful with the healing heart of your child.