Please Stop Saying, "All Kids Do That."

 We all take turns being the "stressor" in our house. Sometimes I neglect my self care and start getting cranky, yelling and stomping around the house like a child. Sometimes Husband forgets to take his medication and starts getting incredibly scatter-brained and wonky. Sometimes Oldest's hormones go wild and she regresses into age-inappropriate behavior. And, sometimes, something triggers Middle or Little and we have weird behavior and meltdowns all night (or, occasionally, all week)....more

Sweet Peppers and Mustard Sandwiches

All young kids have trouble with big concepts like empathy and the true meaning of love. They're abstract concepts you learn in infancy and toddler-hood through reciprocal relationships with human beings (especially parents). When the relationships are good, when Mommy and Daddy manage to treat Baby with kindness and empathy most of the time, kids develop an understanding that families and friends treat each other kindly. By the time they reach kindergarten, they start to think about how their actions impact the lives of others, but this skill isn't fully developed until much later......more

The Strange World of Therapeutic Parenting

In 2013, my husband won custody of his children (my stepson, "Little," age six; my stepdaughter, "Middle," age 7). Before they came to live with us, they endured a lot of early-childhood trauma and neglect, and they were soon diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)....more

Orchestrating Chaos... An Example

I know I sound absolutely paranoid and borderline insane when I talk about my kids sometimes. I mean, before I learned about Reactive Attachment Disorder, I know I'd have questioned someone's sanity if they'd told me how their extremely young child could manipulate almost anyone and could orchestrate chaos out of thin air.But kids with traumatic histories can do these things! And they do them so well that it is almost awe-inspiring... but it's not, because it's so damn frustrating when you are trying to parent them!...more

Empathy and Morality in Children With Disordered Attachment

The other day Little and Oldest were playing a "game" together. The game consisted of running as fast as they could into the wall.That was it....more

What Does Superficially Charming and Engaging Mean?

This article by the author of Rescuing Julia Twice does a good job of explaining this trait. This passage in particular described how it feels parenting children with this behavioral symptom:...more

Drowning With My Hair On Fire: Insanity Relief For Adoptive Parents Book Release

Look for Ce Eshelman's Upcoming Book Drowning With My Hair On FireInsanity Relief For Adoptive Parents Expected Release Date: Februar...more

Therapeutic Parenting Tips for Adopted, Attachment-Challenged Children

1.    Be safe parents to attach to for your children.  Relationship over compliance is important in therapeutic parenting. Keep your faces and eyes soft.  If you are upset, give yourself a time out to someplace kid free until you can get your soft face back.  If the child insists on talking, insist on space for yourself first.  If the child badgers you, sit silently and read a book. Offer the child a seat beside you. Promise to talk when you have calmed down.  This model impacts (emotional) regulation....more

Parent Bashing

I have no room in my personal or professional world for parent bashing. This is likely because I am a parent. I am not perfect. And I have been bashed by professionals, CPS, law enforcement and family....more

5 Essential Facts For Parents of Adopted Children

When we adopt children, we are usually told that there is a likelihood of issues.  You can put money on the fact that the impact has been downplayed or framed in the best light.  After all, who would adopt children if they really knew the bumpy ride ahead?  Okay, some of us would because we are like that, but we are a select few--some would, and have, called us masochists.  I call us loving.Here is my take on the five essential facts for parents of adopted children:...more