January 23, 2018

So Many Things Swirling Around

Thinking MomThere are so many things swirling around in my head that I wanted to share about Reactive Attachment  Disorder. Then I noticed that most of my posts lean heavily from the parents’ perspective (and rightly so!). However, lately my heart is filled with looking beyond the behaviors of my kiddos and into their hearts. Here are a few things I see.

  • “I have to believe in my son, because if I don’t, he can’t believe in himself.” (quote from awesome mom Toni Bowser) They are so used to thinking they need to take care of themselves. Or actually needing to take care of themselves. This leads to the belief that no one thinks I am worth taking care of. I am a throw away child, with no one to believe in me and consequently, I don’t believe in myself.
  • “I put on a fake smile so no one will know I am hurting”. (Postcards from a RAD, Nancy Thomas) When we learned that our kiddos were RAD, we also learned about what we thought was always their goofy smiles in photos. Looking at pictures, they grimaced, grit their teeth (smile of choice!) as if saying I am going to grind you up and spit you out, or outright frown. And never, NEVER, did any kind of smile reach their eyes. The hurt and fear were dominate here.
  • “When you never had a family, how will you know when you found one?” (Postcards from a RAD, Nancy Thomas) This struck me the deepest. Often, I had asked them are you being part of the family?  It never occurred to me that they had no clue what being part of a family looked like. Let alone what a mom or dad who cared for them looked like. We are only scary people who hate and want to hurt them, or at very least ignore and neglect them  (as if the definition of “least” is applicable!). I was even able to apply this to my mantra “are you being fun to be around?”. How would they know? How enlightening.

Please hear me – these are not excuses for not keeping the course on this hard, confusing, amazingly rewarding journey of healing for these children. In fact, if you look into each of these heart cries, you will find parenting tool gems!

Do you have RAD kids? For many more ideas, tools, and techniques make sure to check out When Love Is Not Enough by Nancy Thomas. This is the most important book you can buy, and it’s only about $12. Get one today!

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. This is so touching. You’ve given such a gift to your kids, Julie. And you give so much to others here. I pinned your post to my Special Needs Pinterest board at http://pinterest.com/debchitwood/special-needs/

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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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