RAD and Needing to Win:

RAD and Needing to Win:


Hello again. I hope you are all doing well! I created this blog to encourage adoptive and foster parents. All of my posts attest to it and I am passionate about helping in all the ways I am able. Please read my other posts for encouraging insights.

My last post was titled, “Do you have a child with behavioral problems? It may not be your fault.” I explained the symptoms of RAD and who caused it. Check it out.

Today I am talking about the subject of needing to win. In the business world – being competitive is necessary to make money. Otherwise why did you start your business in the first place? This is healthy competition.

It is not in your adopted RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) child’s best interest to win all the time. They don’t have cause and effect thinking so some of their choices can get them and others in danger. This the subject of discussion in this post. Winning isn’t all it appears to be to our adopted children.


Examples of Winning Which Cause Damage and Sometimes Danger:

Adopted RAD children vow to not allow anyone close to hurt them like their birth mother did by giving them up. They display this vow by sabotaging anyone’s attempt to bond to them – emotionally pushing them away and even at times intentionally hurting them.

Here are some examples:

1)  One of my adopted RAD children always needed to be in the front of anything happening. They wanted to be in control and in charge which wasn’t in her best interest in certain public or traveling situations. It was her way of winning over everybody. Not Good!!

2)  When our adopted children decided to not let their attitude or will be effected when privileges were taken away as a results of behavioral problems. When we took our children to therapy the therapist said RAD children will play with lint in order to win and not co-operate with safety guidelines for anything – including privileges. This got my RAD children into several dangerous situations.

3)  One of our adopted RAD children needed to be removed from our home because she was going to kill me. When we took her to the place where she was to stay she showed no remorse, or emotion for behaving inappropriately or being removed. Her intention was to “emotionally cut us out” to cause as much emotional damage to the rest of the family as possible. We were weeping. This was her way of winning.

4)  My RAD children would physically destroy anything I said I liked or said was beautiful. They had to always win by making sure I couldn’t enjoy something or be happy in any way.

5)  They didn’t like losing at any board game. To them it meant failure to the max. They got angry about their inability to control or be superior in the situation.

6)  They would not accept any help or affection because it was failing in their attempts to keep others at arm’s length. They refuse to bond to anyone who tried to get close to them. They would flair or punish so the other person would retreat. This is raw RAD.

7)  No one was allowed to emotionally out dramatize them. Their drama sometimes caused problems and sometimes dangerous situations.

8)  They would steel if someone had something they wanted. Another way to win.

9)  They would exaggerate in order to have an extreme story. This caused them to lie and misrepresent a situations which was dangerous to them and our family.

10)       One of our adopted RAD children did things on the computer which put all the family in danger.

Many of the RAD symptoms are “winning issues.” Please check out my last post for the list of RAD symptoms. Most are about winning.


The Point:

I could go on with examples of their need to win but I think I’ve made my point. They are desperate to be the “Alpha Dog” in situations on a daily basis. This is probably the results of feeling less than others and their way of remedying the perceived problem. Low self-esteem is enormous here.

The most helpful thing I did for this issue was to remind my adopted children how much damage they caused. I included how much they put themselves and others in danger and were not winning was a result. They don’t like the idea of others not believing they won over them! They need to see their behaviors aren’t having the effect they are intending and learn to make decisions that keep them and others safe.

Laying out the cause and effect thinking timeline sunk in some. They need to know they are the ones who caused the problem. Learning how to make decisions where cause and effect thinking is involved is important – not just winning.



I hope this helped and solidified understanding on the issue of RAD children needing to win ALL THE TIME! Please leave a comment in the box below. See you next time…

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Adoption RAD and Kingdom Perspectives: | Abba Father's Love
  2. Trackback: Adopted and Foster Children and Possible defenders: | Abba Father's Love
  3. Trackback: Adoptive Father Faithfulness When Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) Children are at Work | Abba Father's Love
  4. Trackback: Adoptive Mother’s – Simplify | Abba Father's Love
  5. Trackback: Making It a Win-Win with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) | Abba Father's Love

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