January 23, 2018

Don’t Let Your Kids Use Your Brain

One of the worst things we’ve done over the years is to let our kids use our brains. It happens all the time! It’s just a natural thing to do – they ask a question they can very easily figure out on their own and without thinking, you answer it. Argh!

So what am I talking about? Here are a few examples:

  • “Mom, where’s my DS?”
  • “Dad, where are my shoes?”
  • “Mom, is it raining outside?”
  • “What should I wear to school?”
  • “What are we having for dinner?”
  • “Mom, I don’t understand my homework!”

And on and on!

You know what we’ve found out? That if we let our kids use their own brains, they are remarkably intelligent – much smarter than I’ve ever given them credit for!

One of the things we do with our Reactive Attachment Disorder kids is when they break one of the house rules, we have them strong sit, do 5 strong jumping jacks, or jump on the trampoline. This helps them get “unstuck in their brain”. This process involves having them do the activity, then tell us what happened (what they did wrong). Lots of the time they’re doing something stupid and we start the process when we’re sure they don’t even know they’re doing something wrong. But about 99 percent of the time, when we ask them “What happened?”, they’re able to tell us exactly what the offense was! “I lied”, or “I wouldn’t stop talking”, or “I was arguing with you”, or “I was being annoying”, or “I didn’t obey”. They can be very articulate and spot on almost all the time.

To tell you the truth, I couldn’t believe that they would know what they did, because I don’t think like a RAD kid. I think “I’m not going to do that because it’s obnoxious”. They think “I AM going to do that because it’s obnoxious”. They think exactly the opposite from us most of the time. Our job as loving parents is to train them to think in the right way, using the front of their brain and not in a faulty way, using the back of their brain. So forge on, RAD parent! You’re awesome!

Do you have a RADish in the house?

The best book we’ve found for parenting our RAD kids is When Love Is Not Enough by Nancy Thomas. For parents of children with Reactive Attachment Disorder this is a must have.

We’ve also had much success with Total Transformation by James Lehman. Though it’s not written specifically for RAD kids, the techniques we’ve learned in it have worked very well for ours.

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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Disclaimer: We are not psychologists, counselors, or therapists. We are parents of children with special challenges, and the techniques, tools, and programs we recommend on this website have worked for us on our parenting journey.

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