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…

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Adoption RAD and Their Aggressive and/or Passive Aggressive Behavior | Abba Father's Love

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