RAD Support Groups:

RAD Support Groups

 Intro:

         Hello to everyone. Laurie here to encourage the parents of RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) foster and adopted children. My desire is to lend my support along the way of this very challenging and lonely path of life with adopted RAD children.

My last post was titled, “RAD and Back to School.” I gave some practical encouragement along the lines of resetting and reconnecting. Please take a look.

Today I am going to talk about support groups. Maybe you can get the help that I have found with support groups too. They are so helpful.

 

Gong to a Support Group:

1)  Find a support group to go to. It is so rewarding to gather with other parents who are going through the same things.

2)  Most of society doesn’t understand RAD and all the symptoms it comes with. It feels good to be with other adults who are experiencing the same or similar things you are experiencing.

3)  A support group is a good place to share with other parents how to navigate certain situations and how it turned out. Parental creativity goes a long way with parenting RAD adopted children.

4)  It is a good place to find a friend who understands the kind of pressure you are constantly facing. Then build this friendship outside the group too.

5)  Maybe you can find a couple you and your spouse connect to. Then the four of you can regularly go out to get a break.

6)  A support group is a safe place to be honest about what is going on in your home. You can dump, be encouraged and then go home knowing someone out there understands.

7)  Parenting RAD adopted children is a lonely path. Support groups solve the loneliness.

 

Starting a Support Group:

It took me a while before I felt in any way qualified to start a support group. But I did and I’m glad I did. There is no qualification necessary except to want to travel through this adoption process with someone other than your spouse. Take the leap!

Points one through seven from the above section all apply to starting a group. Then I am going to add some things which have helped with the support group I have started. My second support group is starting next week and I am so excited to get started with a new group of adoptive parents.

My Helpful Points are:

1)  Have your meeting in a “homey” setting. Atmosphere is key and sets the tone for the parents to feel relaxed and comfortable. They are more likely to share their hearts in this type of setting.

2)  Have a snack of some kind with coffee or tea. Again it is the atmosphere that sets the stage for connectedness and deep communication.

3)  Play some soothing music. I’m pretty sure if the parents have RAD adopted children they need as much soothing atmosphere as they can get.

4)  Have a topic in mind to talk about but if the conversation goes a different way – don’t be surprised. Many of the parents will come with things they just need to talk about or will need some advice from the other parents. This is the reason for the support group – to be there for each other. Put your creative minds together to achieve a solution for a difficult problem, behavior or event.

5)  My support groups are Christian based and many times we have found encouragement in the scriptures. Or a parent might have a revelation about something they are going through that would be beneficial to share.

6)  Everyone’s opinion and input should be honored, encouraged and expressed. Many people are shy or don’t believe their opinion matters. We have made it a point to be real (even if we don’t look good) and not judge each other. This has made our group feel safe to share anything. It is a safe place to fall and/or learn.

7)  Be available to the members in the support group. Some of them will need your support in between the actual support group meetings.

 

Conclusion:

         Whichever you choose – to go to or to start a support group – do one of them. They are so fulfilling in many ways. Then you won’t feel so all alone.

Thanks for listening. Please leave a comment in the box below because I would love to hear from you. Until next week…

Advertisements

RAD and Back to School

RAD and Back to School:

 Intro:

Here we are in the fall of 2016. I’m Laurie and RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) and adoption issues are what this blog is all about. Please check out my other posts on the subject.

My last post was about the atmosphere in your home. I gave some helpful tips to make your home more positive. Take a moment and have a look at my last post.

Today I am going to talk about RAD and getting your RAD adopted child back in school for the year. I know this can be a challenging season. That is what we are going to talk about today.

 

Thoughts on School Starting:

One of my RAD adopted children struggled with schedule changes and going back to school. She needed an IEP set up for several reasons but most of it was because of behavioral issues. All forms of change were difficult for her and she had a hard making and keeping friends. Mainly because she punished everyone around her.

My other RAD adopted child loved going back to school. For her it was another avenue of lying, manipulation and charming in order to misrepresent and triangulate adults against each other. She also tried to triangulate her friends against my husband and me. This was her target audience and she loved the opportunity of playing on people’s emotions so they would feel sorry for her.

 

Permission to Take a Much Needed Break:

         Summertime was probably challenging for your family. I know it was for our family for several reasons. RAD children need a focus and during the summer – you were their focus. All of the anger and revenge your child carries was probably delivered to you (especially if you are the adoptive mother). This is very hurtful and damaging to the soul.

School starting can be helpful especially to the adoptive mother. Getting relief from the abuse that RAD children give out is necessary. Relief happens when school starts so don’t feel guilty about enjoying it.

So, when RAD adopted children start school in the fall it is OK to like having a break from constant RAD issues. It’s also OK to take a day off to reset and relax or do something you love to do. Plan a break ahead of time and make it meaningful. Maybe include a friend in the plan.

Whatever you come up with – enjoy it to your hearts content. Make it an annual event. Your body, soul and spirit will thank you and you’ll receive the health benefits of rest.

Maybe your spouse needs a break too. Set up the sitter if you’re taking longer than school hours and go and be with your spouse. Recoup and get to know each other again. Talk about what you are dreaming for when the children are grown and out of the house and encourage each other.

 

The Point:

         The point is to reconnect with the whole of your life – not just the portion that carries the responsibility of parenting. You have a destiny beyond children. Dreaming of the future with your spouse is beneficial. It allows your heart to believe there is still good events and relationships ahead.

The only thing about taking a break is when the break is over – life is still moving on and you need to join back in. So, savor every morsel of your break. Drink in all the positives and restful recouping. Then come home refreshed and ready to move forward.

 

Conclusion:

         Well, I hope this was helpful!! Please leave a comment in the box below so we can connect in positive conversation. See you next week…

 

 

Adoption RAD and the “Atmosphere” in Your House:

Adoption RAD and the “Atmosphere” in Your House:

 Intro:

I continually desire to help others out there who have foster and adopted RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) children and who are struggling with constant adoption issues. I completely understand because I have been there and done that. Check out my other posts and you’ll see.

In my last post I talked about how to stay true to yourself during the journey through adoption RAD issues. There are avenues you can travel to not lose who you are during difficulties. Please check out my last post.

Today I am going to share some of the applications I used in order to keep the “Atmosphere” in my house positive. I hope it will help you and your household too. It is my desire to help as much as I can!

 

Steps to a Better “Atmosphere” in the Home:

1)  When you wake up in the morning declare to the Trinity (Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit) they are your supply for everything – including for your adopted children.

2)  Decide they (the Trinity) are the owners of your children and you are the steward only. I wrote a post a while ago on this subject. Please read it because it relieves the stress of life (in general) and produces an atmosphere of change towards the positive.

3)  Put the Holy Spirit in charge of your day because scripture says Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth. He is the ultimate Spirit so why not follow Holy Spirit to a truthful end.

4)  Put happy music on in your house ALL the time. I feel worship music is the best. Sing along and have a good time doing it. One symptom of RAD is being miserable. They don’t like it when anyone is happy or happier than they are – especially the adoptive mother. They want everyone as miserable as they are and the “atmosphere” of misery and hate in YOUR house. Happiness goes against all their efforts to influence your household atmosphere towards the negative. This may not change your child’s personal atmosphere but it should help with the rest of your house.

5)  Ask Father God to send His ministering angels to minister to everyone in your house. The Bible scripture says angels encamp around and minister to us.

6)  Regularly ask Father God (Father of Jesus) to bless your house to be a house following Him and free of conflict and chaos. Pray He mends and heals the hearts of your adopted RAD children.

7)  Pray for your adopted children while they go through their day and night. Ask God to release them from deceptive thoughts, feelings and motivations which keep them from forming good bonding relationships. Ask God to remove the harmful relationships which lead them in the wrong direction and get them into trouble.

8)  Focus on the Trinity and how good they are and be thankful for all the good things in your life. Troubles keep us distracted while thankfulness broadens our perspective.

9)  Ask God to minister to you during your days and nights. RAD symptoms are very difficult to continuously live with. They can do some internal soul damage so stay open to the Trinity’s healing touch. It is always good for you. This prevents your soul from getting hard or staying wounded from the constant emotional abuse from your adopted child.

 

Conclusion:

         I hope this was helpful. I understand I may be talking about some things you have never heard about. That’s OK. Make a comment in the box below if you don’t understand. I would love to talk to you about it. Until next week…

How to Stay True to You When You Have an Adopted RAD Child:

How to Stay True to You When You Have an Adopted RAD Child:

 Intro:

         Here we are again to talk about adoption and RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) issues. It’s why I created this blog to begin with. Please check out any of my other posts because most of them are on adoption or RAD issues.

My last post was about deciding what to do when your family or friends don’t understand RAD. It is a difficult situation to be in and I gave some suggestions which might help. Have a look.

Today I’m going to talk about staying “true to you” amongst the barrage of RAD behaviors from your adopted child. This is difficult but necessary. I hope you discover some answers for the situations you may find yourself in.

 

Staying True to You:

         An adopted RAD child (especially the more severe cases) love to intentionally cause frustration to the people around them. They seem to delight in repeatedly pushing emotional buttons all day long. My adopted children were gleeful when they could get any emotional response out of me. The delight was so obvious and they learned very well what worked and what didn’t.

So, what do you do to stay true to you? To be clear – I am not saying a parent is supposed to react negatively to your child’s punishing behavior. Let me say it again – I am not saying a parent is supposed to react negatively to your child’s punishing behavior!! But, when the option of responding appropriately in ANY way to their punishment is out – this can be very emotionally destructive to the parent.

You are created to have emotions and two of those emotions are anger and frustration. It is wrong for your adopted RAD child to gain such pleasure from what they are doing to you. Their delight can emotionally wound a parent to the core. So, what do you do?

 

RAD and Staying True to You:

There is a delineating line which divides reacting and responding. In normal relationships when your emotions surface you can respond appropriately to the other person. Responding is the correct type of behavior – not negatively reacting. You have control of yourself and this is being true to yourself. The results is a better relationship.

With RAD adopted children it is very different. Reacting and responding are both out of the question. This is what I am referring to when I talk about being true to yourself. There is no option of responding which allows your emotions to be communicated – resulting in no emotional outlet (for the parents). So, how can being true to yourself happen?

 

But There is an Outlet:

         To your adopted RAD child you need to keep your frustration or anger to yourself. Keep your cool. Give short little phrases such as “maybe so”, “what are you going to do about that?” or “that’s a bummer.” To Father God, Jesus or Holy Spirit you can unload all your feelings until they are all out. If you don’t unload – it may create health and emotional issues. Stuffing your feelings will never be the correct decision.

You can unload on a friend or spouse. Eventually it may get old and your spouse is probably feeling the same frustrations and anger you have. So, learn to communicate with the ones who have the ability to handle all that you are going through. They are Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit and they can handle all you send their way. Unload to your heart’s content.

 

Conclusion:

         Please comment in the box below. I would love to hear from you on this post or any of my other posts. Or maybe you have a question you would like to ask. I will be here again next week with another post. Until then…

What to Do When Your Extended Family or Friends Don’t Understand Adoption RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder):

What to Do When Your Extended Family or Friends Don’t Understand Adoption Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD):

Intro:

         Hello again! I want to encourage as many adoptive families as I possibly can with this blog. It is why I created this blog in the first place. I hope it encourages you!

My last post was about dividing what is yours and what is your adopted RAD child’s issues. It is helpful to pre-empt family conflict by dealing with your own personal issues beforehand. Then when conflict arises in your adopted children, you’re only dealing with their issues. Please take a moment to check out my last post.

Today we are going to talk about when our extended families don’t understand adoption RAD. It is a difficult subject especially for the adoptive family. Many times regular parenting tools don’t work for adopted RAD children and different tools are needed instead. This is so hard to explain let alone implement when friends and family don’t understand adoption RAD.

 

Extended Family and Friend Parenting Conflicts:

         In many ways it would be helpful for extended family and friends to read this blog or take adoption classes about RAD symptoms. It would be nice but as far as I know family and friends aren’t included in the adoption process. Maybe they were when you adopted but not when I did.

Here are some suggestions that may be helpful concerning your extended family and friends and explaining RAD. Some may work and some may not:

1)  Google the RAD symptom list and print it out to give to your family and friends. Maybe they will listen to professional information. It is an extensive list with some very unusual symptoms.

2)  Find and go to an adoptive parents support group. It is so rewarding to be around other parents going through the same or similar adoptive issues. You can glean from each other about how to deal with difficult behavior, etc. Some very creative ideas have come from the support group I lead. Maybe take some family or friends to one of your support group meetings. Hearing others say the same things you are saying could be helpful and eye opening.

3)  Find friends that believe you when you need to vent about what is going on in your home. Not everyone will believe you because your adopted RAD child may not display difficult behavior in front of them. They might not understand the parenting tools you are using because your tools are so different from the tools they use. But there may be friends you can find who will encourage and support without judgment.

4)  I feel the most important relationship in the family is the one between spouses. It is necessary to have a united front (between spouses) with friends and family especially when they don’t understand adoption RAD. If both of you are saying your child is behaving in a certain way – it is difficult for others to argue the contrary. Sometimes family and friends think they are the authority on parenting adopted RAD children when they are not. If that is the case you may need to ignore them. They may not listen no matter how hard you try to explain.

 

Conclusion:

         It is always good to learn who you can and can’t confide in when it comes to your life. The same is true when you have adopted RAD children. It is such a diverse and complicated disorder and these RAD children are masters at manipulation and narcissistic control.

Build the emotional support which will benefit you, your spouse, and your RAD children as a whole. That sadly doesn’t always include everyone who is in your extended family or friend’s circle of relationships. Strong support for your family is important.

Thanks for listening. Please leave a comment in the box below. I will be back next week with another post. Until then…