January 23, 2018

2 Things to Remember with Your RADish (Reactive Attachment Disorder)

When Love Is Not EnoughI don’t know if I am the only one, but my Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) daughter blindsides me on a semi-regular basis. Now I know you must be thinking, “Will she ever learn?” but I am the eternal optimist. Or maybe just get caught up in the break from the fight? I am also a bit of a slow learner but I think this time around I have learned 2 things.

Triangulation is a way of life for a RADish. Even though it seems like everything is going great between you and your kiddo, she is working the other side somewhere. She has to have someone on her side to stay in control and in power. Believe me, there are enough people to join her. I have had go rounds this week with a counselor, a teacher, and a friend. This is not a common disorder known to  most and I spend a lot of time educating people, though at times it feels like defending my actions.

Don’t take it personal. It is so very hard to have a friend tell you that you are not there for your child (don’t they see the bags under my eyes!) and I need to learn to communicate better with her. It is hard not to feel betrayed both by your daughter, who is trashing you, and the adult who should know me better. I think what really got me was that I had forgotten she did this and was under the grand illusion that we were in lovingly in sync. After processing that info for a while, I came back into adult thinking and realized she isn’t doing this to hurt me just to stay in control, then no one can hurt her!

Both these are burden lifting facts. I have a Reactive Attachment Disorder child and this is what she does. We are getting better (see the lovingly in sync part) but we have a ways to go!

If we can get these truths down as their parents, we can help to much better equip them for a successful life.

Want to learn everything there is to know about parenting reactive attachment disorder kids? Then pick up a copy of When Love Is Not Enough by Nancy Thomas today. We call it “The RAD Bible” – we  refer to it 10 times a day, at least. Believe me, it will be the best $15 you’ve ever spent!

About the author: By

Julie is an awesome parent (along with her husband Matt) to five adopted kiddos and the owner of the Parenting Allies website.

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  1. Kim Sherod says:

    Thank you so much! My husband and I are in the process of adopting a 10 year old girl with RAD. It is so hard! We had never heard of RAD until her diagnosis and I’ve been trying to educate myself as much as possible. The therapist she had did not completely understand it herself and fell for everything my daughter said. We’d go to therapy and my daughter would completely run the sessions. Finally I said enough and sought out a therapist who was equipped to deal with RAD. Admittedly, she is better than she was when she came to us, but she often regresses and we feel like we are starting all over again. Recently, we have had a great couple of months and I thought maybe we were turning a corner. Then we started seeing rips in my other daughters clothing, her teddy bears, and other thing around the house. The difference between my daughter and some other children with RAD is that she does not destroy anything of hers, only the belongings of others. She rearranges pictures in the house and yesterday broke a frame for no apparent reason. When she does these things there is no remorse and she completely acts like nothing happens when she is confronted. A couple of days ago, she pooped on herself on the way to school. I felt like I was punched in the stomach because I thought we were making progress. It has been a difficult two and and half years. I was so encouraged to hear someone else say that they feel like they are defending their actions to people. I understand that people have good intentions but most are completely oblivious to how these children work. I’ve basically gotten over the guilt of feeling like the bad guy to others, but there are still times when it is really frustrating. Everything I’ve read and the advice from her therapist is to set clear boundaries and follow through. This seems hard to people because she seems so sweet and innocent to others. This article was such an encouragement to me, especially today. Thanks again!

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