Another great news letter by CeCe! Thanks for all you do for kids!
"If you are the mother of a child with attachment challenges, then you might like a little cheat sheet to help you avoid the pitfalls of trying to manage the behavior of your child. If you are gay, then you can identify which parent is wearing the designated “mother” role by noticing which parent gets the most reactivity from the child—tag, you are it.
As you are probably guessing, there are many strategies for intervening in disruptive behavior and they all work with attachment challenged children some of the time. Well, except the strategies designed for normally attached children—typical parenting strategies--they don’t work at all. So, be prepared to role your eyes at the tips I am about to give. Then, try half of them for two weeks solid and see if you find a couple of discernable changes in your household.
1. Stop being a control freak. I know, I know. It seems like that is what is necessary to keep these little folks “under control.” Unfortunately, adding your control issues to your child’s control issues is an equation for disaster. Control + Control = Power Struggles! Your child really needs structure with love. Let some things go once in a while.
2. Manage your fear. Every time your child steals a cookie and hides it under the bed with the other 59 stolen, uneaten cookies, stop in your tracks and say this: “Stealing cookies is not a gateway to prison.” Honest, it isn’t. It just seems like it is. Breathe.
3. Find your heart. This is a tough one and I know it waxes and wanes like the moon. My best short and sweet advice—Get yourself a truly supportive, support person to listen to your woes; find an individual therapist who gets attachment challenged children; evaluate your own unfinished business, so your triggers are less touchy (that means do your best to finish that business); and spend time enjoying your husband, your partner, your friends (find some), your quiet time (find some), your hobbies (find some), your life (find one). Your child should not be the true center of the universe.
4. Remember that your love matters and so does your sanity. Strive for balance to pull this off. Structure your home, regain your life, take every break you can, seek solace from your spiritual center, and, finally, ask someone trustworthy to physically and emotionally hold you (because you need the neuro-chemicals released when they do).
I have a vault full of behavioral tips, but the four above have the best and most lasting impact.
Because love matters,
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All Rights Reserved by Ce Eshelman 2010.
You may send this to anyone who needs support."