The only way to change the toxic stress that may be poisoning your family life is to get on board a huge parent self-care regimen for yourself, that I wrote about yesterday, and a daily felt safety diet for your child.
Felt Safety Diet:
- First and foremost: Well regulated parents who have an establishedSelf-care Regimen.
- A slow pace. Pretend you live in a small sleepy town where no one feels the need to speed. Then, don’t speed, rush, hustle, bustle, race, multi-task, or try to live three lives at once.
- Attune to your child’s needs for connection, engagement, attention, playfulness. Play with your children. Watching them play is not the same thing.
- Lose the concept of punishment and consequences. Use structure and gentle correction instead. If you use punishment and consequences, your child will fear you while continuing to do the things you don’t want them to do.
- Set the behavior bar low, so your child is successful. Praise like crazy for achieving it. Setting the bar too high will cause behavior like giving up, throwing in the towel, defiance, opposition, or not even trying.
- Accept your child for who they actually are, rather than for who you wish they were. This is a big one. Stop working so hard to make them different. Imagine someone doing that to you every day, all day.
- Never forget that your child probably has some kind of sensory integration issue because children from difficult beginnings usually do. Give them a steady schedule (every two hours) of physicality, healthy food/snacks and big hydration.
- Finally, work very hard to be sure your child’s school is trauma informed, so your child isn’t inadvertently emotionally harmed.
And there you have it: a healing Felt Safety Diet.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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