Keeping a Few Steps Ahead of RAD

Intro:

 This blog is for all the foster and adoptive parents out there dealing with the very difficult symptoms of RAD in your adoptive child. I would like to include the parents of children with behavioral problems too. I have written many posts on the subject of RAD so please go through past posts and catch up on what I have shared. I’m sure you will relate if you have an adopted RAD child of your own or a child with behavioral problems.

My last two posts were about making Christmas a win-win for everyone. Please check it out. I gave some very helpful hints.

Today’s post is about staying ahead of your child and their need to keep everything in chaos. Constant chaos is difficult. Having a peaceful home is the goal and there is someone who can help you.

 

The RAD’s Need for Someone to be Strong:

        In a previous post I talked about how the RAD adopted child needs to know you are strong before they will let you anywhere near their heart to love them. To recap: The RAD adopted child is so hurt by the birth mom for giving them away – they VOW not to let anyone close enough to their heart to hurt them ever again. To the adopted child – the birth mom wasn’t strong enough to deal with life or provide a loving home. To make matters worse – the birth mom may or may not have made a very selfish decision to give them away. But all the child sees and feels is rejection and being cheated out of the love they deserve and desire. The child’s vow is a wall (around their heart) and showing you’re strong enough to provide and protect them helps in this situation.

 

How To Show Strength:

        Remember you have Holy Spirit to help you. I have written four posts titled “What power is behind you vs. RAD” which talk about the Holy Spirit. Please check them out.

Building a close relationship with Holy Spirit is paramount to showing strength and keeping a few steps ahead of your adopted RAD child’s scheming and chaos. If you ask for His (Holy Spirit’s) help – He will give you inspirational ideas to win your child’s heart.

Plus, the RAD child doesn’t seem to possess the ability to think things out to the end. At least our girls didn’t think things all the way through. This is one of the symptoms of RAD along with the need to lie and create chaos all the time. These symptoms are not acceptable and keeping a few steps ahead of your RAD child’s schemes will help.

 

Examples of Keeping Ahead of Your RAD Child’s Symptoms:

        First, I want to say chaos is the result of RAD symptoms. You are trying to stay ahead of and display strength – for the sake of building trust. Your child has symptoms because of what has happened to them. They are emotionally damaged and hurting! They have lost trust in the one(s) (birth family) who should have been mature enough to create a safe place for them to grow. Now you have the pleasure of trying to transform dis-trust into trust and love. Holy Spirit is very creative and can help you stay ahead of your child’s schemes.

 

Examples:

  1. Our girls went to a school where the dress code was somewhat strict. Our oldest adopted RAD child kept breaking the school rules by wearing a zip up hooded jacket during school hours and that wasn’t permitted because of the dress code. She would sneak it to school and wear it anyway. I decided to let things take their course (allowing it to play out to the end) and she wore the hoody and it was confiscated by the school. (The school knew about our girls and what we were going through. Our principal had knowledge of RAD because of personal experience of his own) So, I went in and got the jacket and our daughter had to use her own money to purchase it back with the understanding that if it happened again – I would cut it up and throw it away. The issue was settled when her hoody got cut up and thrown away. It never happened again.

 

  • Insight: Letting things take their course while your child is still in your home is good and shows them you are strong enough to let the situation happen ultimately for their good. (That didn’t happen with their birth families because nothing happened for their good) The school and I were in the lead (a few steps ahead) and we were strong enough to enforce what was right and for her best. Plus, it was nice to not have to be the initial enforcer but support the school when they were.

 

2. When my daughters were old enough I taught them to do their own laundry. My oldest adopted daughter would wash and fold her laundry and take it upstairs. I would ask her to bring the laundry basket down when she came down the next time but because it was one of the things she decided to use to create conflict and chaos – she would refuse to bring it down. After repeated refusals I decided to go up and get the basket myself except I kept the clothes that were in the basket too. I explained that every time I would have to go and get “MY” basket I would keep any clothes that were in the basket and she would have to purchase them back. My husband and I made a list of purchase prices and showed it to her. She didn’t believe us until we collected $100 from her. Needless to say it never happened again.

  • Insight: Simple respect and cooperation is necessary from your child so they see you are strong enough to be in charge. Strength brings trust and peace into your home. In addition, money worked with our daughter. You will have to find what works with your child. (In severe cases of RAD – it’s sad to say – they don’t have anything that is meaningful to them)

 

Conclusion:

 An adopted RAD child wants a show of strength from someone. When you are in charge – they don’t have to be in charge – and that allows them to relax and trust. Hopefully it will developed enough trust to let you close enough to love them.

Please leave a comment in the box below. I would love to hear from you. Till next time…

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Can You Make the Christmas Season be a Win-Win for You and Your RAD Child? – Part Two:

You Can! :

Intro:

Hi all. This blog is a support blog for all the parents that have  RAD foster and adopted children living with you. You’re not alone! Navigating through the ups and downs of RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) is difficult to begin with and extremely challenging if you’re dealing with the severe symptoms of RAD. I have written many posts on the subject of RAD. Please have a look.

My last post was about a couple of Christmas Season tips to help your RAD child handle the holidays less independently and more engaged with the family. Today I’m going to talk about one more tip for the Christmas Season. Of course connection and communication are the main goasl.

 

Fantasy World:

        Like I said in the last post – a RAD adopted child spends an exorbinate amount of time in a fantasy world dreaming about how life would have been with their birth families. These fantasies eventually turn to a delusional bent if they spend too much time engaged in this fantasy world. This the reason for the tips I’m sharing.

 

A RAD Child Needs to be Busy:

 I know it is nice to have the holidays to slow down, recuperate and rest – but for big Holidays – it poses a problem for your RAD child. They are grieving a life they have always wanted to “make” manifest in the natural but don’t have the power to do so. They want their birth families. This causes them to sabotage the holiday season for you and yours and that is not alright.

 

Tip Three:

 Tips one and two are in my last post. Please check it out. Tip three is to keep your RAD child busy. I can suggest a few things here but you will have the best ideas because you know your child and what they find interesting and fun to do. Sometimes giving them strenuous things to accomplish will not only keep them busy but wear them out. So, when they are in their rooms – it is to sleep not to fantasize or think of ways to sabotage your day or season. There is nothing wrong with planning some activities that don’t include you – therefore your husband can be in charge of requiring your RAD child to do an activity. If it is strenuous work – it is best that your husband iniciates so your RAD child doesn’t punish you emotionally or mentally for their extra activities.

In general, this principal of wearing your RAD child out with activity should be applied. It applies to other school breaks and summertime too. It will keep them from being “reactive” especially to the adoptive mother because they don’t have time to be so absorbed in their fantasy life – dreaming of what will never happen.

 

My Suggestions for Activities:

  1. My girls liked making Gingerbread houses. Graham Cracker Gingerbread houses are fun because they can make a little town if they wish. This keeps them busy for quite a while.
  2. Decorating sugar cookies
  3. Shoveling snow (If you get snow in your area)
  4. Snow ball fights
  5. Sled riding
  6. Making Christmas ornaments
  7. Setting the table, and talking the trash out, etc.
  8. Taking cookies to the neighbors
  9. Building snow forts
  10. Help with the house cleaning
  11. Cleaning out their closet
  12. Walking your dog
  13. Folding their clothes and putting them away
  14. Washing the car

 

Conclusion:

        The point is to wear them out – not wear you out. If all their energy is being expelled – they are not contriving ways to punishing or abusing you emotionally or mentally. Ultimately, they won’t get the time or have the energy to think or do things to ruin you or family’s Christmas Season. Then your holiday is more enjoyable and you can rest and relax and enjoy the season for what is supposed to be – Jesus’ birth, Christmas and family. YEAH!!

 

If you have a comment please leave it in the comment box below. I would love to converse with you on any subject pertaining to this blog. I hope this post helps your Christmas Season run soother! Have a Wonderful Christmas and God bless you and yours! Until next time…

Can You Make the Christmas Season Be a Win-Win for You and Your RAD Child? Part One

Yes You Can!!

 Intro:

This blog is my heartfelt expression to the families out there struggling through the intense effects of RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder). I have written many posts on the subject so please look at past post entries. You will find many helpful topics to help you in your time of need.

I haven’t posted a post in the last two weeks because I’ve been a bit under the weather. My last post was titled, “Does Joy Wreck the RAD Child’s Intention to Win by Rejection?” Please check it out. Today I’m going to give some tips and insight for the Christmas Season that I found makes the season memorable and run more smoothly.

 

Christmas Season:

Laurie here with some tips and insights for your Christmas Season. I have written in past posts about how a RAD adopted child will fantasize about their birth mom and family. During the Christmas Season (or any big holiday) your child will ramp up their fantasizing because they are mourning for a life they can never have. In other words – all holidays are “Trigger Points” for your adopted child and they will imagine what it could have been like if they were never adopted. Or they will pretend the reason for their adoption never really existed and fantasize having Christmas with their birth family. Their intention is to connect with their birth family in their imaginations but it ultimately sabotages your efforts to have Christmas with them and ruins the Holidays. This happened over and over with our adopted girls. Although this is heart breaking yet understandable – here are some tips and insights to could make this season be a win-win for all concerned in your family.

 

Tips and Insights:

Tip One:

 1)  To help our adopted children include their birth moms in our Christmas celebration we bought a smaller second tree. We also purchased empty “picture ornaments” along with tree decorations. We set up the tree in a perfect place in our home – but not in our child’s bedroom. (The tree is to be in a place where it can be a topic of discussion if the child wants to talk about it. Communication is always to be a goal) We made copies of the birth mother’s and birth families pictures to fit into the “picture ornaments” and helped our child decorate the tree. (They may want to decorate it themselves)

Insight One:

Our girls seemed to like this new tradition because it communicated honor to their birth mother for giving them life. But it didn’t allow them to isolate themselves in their bedroom to focus on their birth mom only – thus preventing them from joining in our family festivities. This way their birth mother could be part of Christmas but in a less destructive venue. Hopefully it will also teach your child there is room in their heart for two mothers and families – all in one big celebration of Christmas.

 

Tip Two:

2)  My husband is a good writer and he wrote stories of our girls and how they came to be with us. All children love to hear stories about themselves. So, on Christmas Eve we would read the Christmas Story of Jesus together and then my husband would tell the stories of how our children came to be in our home. (This included our biological child too) We would laugh and laugh, and feel sorrow in the telling. (Some parts of our adopted girl’s stories aren’t funny at all) But the girls seemed to stay engaged and I felt it helped our adopted girls stay in reality instead of fantasy.

 

Insight Two:

This was good for all our girls because grounding our children in their roots was foundational and made them feel secure and included. Our adopted girls needed to be reminded of the truth – whether good or bad. Their made up “fantasy reality” was never healthy for them to marinate in to the point of festering. These stories created an avenue for the girls to ask questions producing good concrete communication and not made up imaginations. Fantasy always veers off of reality – and that is never healthy.

 

Conclusion:

I hope these tips and insights are helpful. I will have more tips next time. Please leave a comment in the box below. Talk to you next week and God’s blessings on your Christmas Season!!…