Another Day with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD):

Finding Rest:

 

Intro:

Hi there I am Laurie. I trust you are having a good Holiday season. You’re probably in the middle of the Christmas rush as I am…This blog is for the adoptive and foster parents and parents of children with behavioral issues. Please check out some of my other posts.

My last post was about letting God fight your battles. This seems a good thing to do but how is it done? Check out my last post. It will help you.

Today’s post is about handling the day in and day out of living with a child who has RAD. How is this done? How can a parent handle the RAD symptoms from their children and not go crazy or get discouraged?

How is it done?

Well, if you have the answer please let me know. Living with RAD symptoms from a foster or adopted child definitely wears a parent out. There are days where you probably want to pull your hair out or give up. I understand. I was there at one time.

There are only a couple of suggestions I have for you:

  1. Take regular breaks or nights off.
  2. Go on a “get away” with friends or spouse occasionally without your children.
  3. Steward your children instead of owning them.

Take Regular breaks or Nights Off:

        When faced with a way of life that is grueling and won’t end soon, it is important to alleviate stress as best as you possibly can. Living with ongoing symptoms from an adopted RAD child, as we have already said, is draining. This is not good for your body, soul or spirit and it is ok to need regular breaks. Go out with friends. Laugh and connect with adults who are healthy and supportive. There is no room for guilt when you are doing it for your health and wellbeing. Your body and emotions need the break.

Get Away:

        Then there are times when your body and emotions are crying out for an extended time away from RAD symptoms. Again, there is no guilt in needing to take care of yourself for a while. Your body will thank you and you will be able to come back with renewed vigor and ability to handle responsibilities with wisdom.

Steward Your Children – Don’t Own Them:

I have written on this subject before so I will give a brief description of what I mean. God owns everything on the earth. So, He owns you, me and our children plus all the problems that come with RAD. All the responsibility of or children rests on his shoulders.

We are stewards on behalf of our children. We are to parent our children according to what God wants. How do we do this?

Well I will just give an example. Possibly your children are doing the RAD things which include causing conflict in the family or making decisions which are dangerous. If God owns your children – then tell God what your children are doing and then ask Him what he is going to do about it. He owns everything and is ultimately responsible for them. He will take on the challenge.

It takes the burden off your shoulders and gives God the burden of RAD symptoms connected to our adopted children. Plus, realizing the power to change the heart of an adopted RAD child rest squarely on God’s shoulders. There is no power in ourselves which can produce the change which is necessary to heal our children.

Conclusion:

        Blessings during your holiday season. Talk with you next time. Until then…

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Adoptive Parents – Stand Still and Let God Fight for You:

Fight for You?

 

Intro:

        I’m thoroughly blessed to have this venue (of blogging) to reach out to parents who have children with disorders and behavioral issues. Whether it be adoptive, foster or biological parents, I want to connect and communicate together.

My last post was about adoptive mothers finding their control. I gave three areas of control adoptive mother’s have a right to expect. Please check it out.

Today I am talking about letting God fight for you when you feel you have tried every avenue to connect with your children. Connecting is a hard thing to do with a RAD adopted child. Believe me I have lived this and continue to let God fight for me.

What does letting God fight for you mean?

        If you have a child who has behavioral issues such as RAD, ODD, fetal alcohol syndrome, etc. – I’m sure you know what I mean even before I explain myself. These disorders and syndromes are very difficult to navigate through. Many parents have expressed to me they don’t know what to do next. I have felt the same in the past.

Specifically, I want to address the innate desire of parents to try and fix their children. This is usually based on the fear that their children won’t live their life successfully. Their social skills have so much to be desired, they are immature and narcissistic, and they live in delusional thought processes.

It is obvious to us as their parents that the way they do life won’t work for them. But, our children are clueless on this subject. They think life will work for them just as it worked for them at home.

We the parents need to stop trying to fix them or their lives. We can’t even fix ourselves so why do we feel we can fix them. Only God has the ability to fix what is wrong in anyone.

Our children need to experience age appropriate life situations and fail at what they are doing. While they are still living in your home they need to fail and fall in a safe place. This HAS to happen over and over so life can teach them in preparation for the real world.

This is how God will fight for you. Acknowledge you don’t have the power to fix anything in yourself or them – then turn them over to a loving God. He will set things up to teach our beloved children so they can absorb what they need to learn.

God won’t control them because He doesn’t trespass a person’s will. But in collusion with us as the parents – He will hear our prayer requests and work in our children’s lives. He will fight for us on behalf of our children. He will provide life lessons we don’t have the ability to set up. We need to stand still and trust God will work on behalf of our adopted RAD children.

Of course I am talking about older children but this can work for our younger children too. Turning our children over to the hand of the Lord at school, sports, or anything they are in gives God many opportunities. Please let God fight for you in this way starting today.

Conclusion:

        If we learn to let God fight for us – it also relives the stress we carry to parent effectively or (for some) perfectly. Stress can cause many physical sicknesses. We need to stay healthy if we are to parent these difficult children into their adulthood.

Well, that’s all for today. Please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

Adoptive Mothers Find Your Own Control:

Find Your Own Control:

 

Intro:

        Hi there. I’m Laurie the creator of this blog. This is the paragraph where I talk about helping foster and adoptive parents and parents of children with behavioral problems. Please have a look at my posts.

My last post was about empathy and sympathy and which is the one to use. One causes a fight and the other one doesn’t. Check it out.

Today I am going to talk about the control an adoptive mother is to have. This is a healthy control and is not to be confused with being controlling. Instead, it commands respect.

An adoptive or foster mother’s control:

        There are three areas where you as a mother and wife (adoptive mother or not) you’re supposed to have control:

  1. You are the only one who has control over yourself.
  2. You and your husband have control over what is going to happen in your home.
  3. You have control over how you are going to be treated in your home. Whether the treatment is from your husband or children.

You are the only one who has control over yourself:

        If God isn’t controlling you then no one else should either. God gives us a free will and we all need to respect one another’s free will. If anyone is controlling or abusing you (any kind of abuse) – it is not ok.

If any abuse is happening to you then I encourage you to get some kind of help. There is too much domestic violence now a days. Women need to be able to protect themselves especially if the husband is refusing to protect you or is a narcissistic abuser.

Because many adopted children have some level of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) they have an uncanny ability to manipulate the adoptive father away from the adoptive mother. Adoptive father’s wake up and quit blaming your wife for your adopted RAD children’s symptoms and behaviors. They came with them. Protect your wife and recognize that your adopted children need help because they are very sick. Then apologize to your wife and show her the respect she deserves.

You and your husband have control over what is going to happen in your home:

        Your adopted children do not pay the house bill. They may have a room in your house but they do not own their room. They are just using it till they move out.

The parents are the ones in a household who decide what happens in your home. You set the house rules and your children are to respect them and do what you and your husband decide. They need to learn this because when they get a job their boss will not care what they want because their business come first. If our children don’t cooperate then it is bye-bye.

You are in control over how you are treated by your husband and children:

        I already said what I wanted to say about the husbands in the above paragraph. So, I will talk about the adopted children. Many adoptive mothers need reprieve from the destructive behaviors of their RAD adopted children.

Too many times adopted RAD children take their aggressions out on the adoptive mother. The adoptive mother can and should stand up for herself and not accept this behavior. But, it usually takes the adoptive father stepping in (drawing some lines in the sand) to shifting their behavior in the right direction.

Many adopted children who have RAD want to get the adoptive mother out of the house through divorce, separation and in some cases murdering the adoptive mother. Adoptive fathers wake up and see the manipulation and defend your wife. She deserves this kind of honor and respect. Wives – this is not too much to expect.

Conclusion:

        Please comment on this post. I would love to converse with you. I’ll be here next time. Until then…

Empathy or Sympathy – Which Causes a Fight?

Empathy or Sympathy:

 Intro:

        Hi all. I am Laurie and I want to help parents. Mainly parents with children who have behavioral problems, and foster and adoption issues. This is the basis of this blog. Please check out some posts.

My last post was about the difference between an owner and a steward. Along with the difference between being in control and being controlling. Of course I am referring to parenting and the position we are to take in our homes. Check out my last post.

Today I am talking about the difference between empathy and sympathy and which one causes a fight. In this post, empathy and sympathy are in reference to foster and adoption children. Understanding the difference will sometimes help create the right kind of fight.

Empathy and Sympathy Definitions:

  • Empathy = the ability to identify with or understand the perspective, experiences, or motivations of another individual and to comprehend and share another individual’s emotional state.
  • Sympathy = a feeling of pity or sorrow for the distress of another, commiseration.

Empathy:

When relating to a foster or adopted child it is important to always use empathy instead of sympathy because of the difference in the two definitions above. Empathy gives the ability to comprehend and share your child’s feelings. It’s important to identifying and understand where they are at and how they feel.

Your children need to know you are looking at their perspective, experiences and motivation as you walk with them through the events they are facing. But please stay in a state of empathy so they will not emotionally manipulate you. Don’t let them draw you into enabling them from being responsible for their wrong behaviors. We’re not to be their enablers.

Sympathy:

        Sympathy on the other hand draws us into their self-pity state which is not good for you or your child. To commiserate with anyone I’ve come to understand is wrong. Each person is to have their own feelings and we are to have our own. When we cross this line, we get into trouble. We are to identify and share with understanding but not take on the feelings of our children or anyone else.

If your child is RAD they intend to emotionally manipulate others. They live in self-pity and sorrow and want others to commiserate with them. Wrong! Please don’t do this because it keeps them in a place of brokenness and teaches them to get what they need in the wrong way.

When they emotionally manipulate, it gives them power to control anyone who is sympathizing with them. They learn to live life through manipulation which isn’t productive or healthy. It will be counterproductive on all levels of their life.

Which Causes a Fight?

        I have to say it is empathy that causes a fight inside our children. We want this to happen because they need to be mad their self-pity and sorrow doesn’t emotionally manipulate. They can’t continue to emotionally manipulate if they are to mature and succeed. Then maybe they will stop and choose to be responsible for their own behaviors and emotions.

When the fight that is raging inside of them comes out because you’re using empathy instead of sympathy – don’t engage the fight. Let them engage their own fight so they have to deal with their own stuff. This is the goal because no one gets healed when someone else takes responsibility. They have to engage, take responsibility and feel their own feelings for themselves.

Conclusion:

I’ll be here next week. Blessings!! Until then…

Adoption Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and Control:

Control and Stewardship:

 Intro:

Greetings everyone! I am glad to see there are more and more views to this blog. I want to connect to as many adoptive and foster parents as I can. Please check out some of my other posts.

My last post was about the delicate balance between biological and adopted children in a family. It takes discernment to meet the needs of all the children in a household. Please take a look at my last post.

Today I am talking on the topic of control. Control can be a tricky avenue because parents are to have control of the household. But how does that work when no one likes a controlling person?

Two Thoughts about Control:

  1. Owner vs. steward
  2. Controlling vs. Control

Owners vs. Stewards:

        I wrote a post which talked about the difference between ownership and stewardship. I discussed how God owns everything in the world including all the gold and silver of the earth. This is understandable because He created it.

So, if He owns everything, then He owns you, me and our children. Yet, He has given everyone a free will to make their own decisions. He also owns the animals of the earth and yet some are free to roam as they please.

If God owns us and our children, we can ask the Lord to move on behalf of our children if they are doing something wrong. I respond to God by saying something like: Lord, your child (child’s name) is misbehaving by doing ______. You own her/him. What are you going to do about it? Then turn the child over to Him. It is God’s power that changes a person from within – not ours. We need His power to change our adopted RAD children because they think they are in charge and know everything.

We are to steward our children. This means God owns them and we are to teach, lead and protect them. But sometimes, we need to allow them to learn the life lessons they should learn while they are still in our home. This takes surrendering to God’s plan to teach life lessons which may be hard. This allows them to learn about life while they are home and have a soft place to land.

When they are out on their own – life isn’t so soft. Therefore, we are given the awesome task of stewarding the children we have been given while allowing God to lovingly teaching them. Trusting God to be the owner helps us to be at peace and our children to come into maturity.

 Controlling vs. Control:

        If God is the owner of everything then He is in control. But, as I said in the above paragraph God gives us a free will to make our own decisions. Therefore, we have choices and are free to follow our own decision making process. This gives us some control in our lives and shows God to be in control but not controlling.

Now, life is always better if we include God in the decision making process. But, if we don’t, we are still allowed to decide as we please. The decisions we make with God’s involvement usually end up bringing blessing to our lives. If we don’t – the opposite is usually true. So, including God is the optimal way of living our lives while still being allowed to have choices.

Choices and Our Adopted RAD children:

God is a good example of parenting by giving us control by choice options and we should do the same for our adopted, foster or biological children. This is being in control without being controlling. I know I like to have choices and don’t want to be controlled.

Our children should have some control without allowing them to control us. It is very common for adopted RAD children to be amoral and controlling. They buck at every controlling decision that is made on their behalf.

So, choices are an adoptive parent’s friend. Give choices as much as possible. God does it and we like it when He does. Our adopted, foster and biological children like it too.

Conclusion:

        Giving choices doesn’t mean we are not in charge as parents. We do need to lead our children. Including God in the process helps things go better. We are to love, protect and prepare our children to go out into society to be productive citizens. Giving choices help them to learn to make the choices that will be productive in their lives producing maturity.

Thanks for listening. I hope you have a great week. I’ll be back here next time….

The Delicate Balance Between Adopted and Biological Children:

Adopted and Biological Children:

 

Intro:

        It is my honor to write this blog. I want to help foster and adoptive parents and parents of children with behavioral problems in any way I can. This is what I mainly write about.

Please take a look at my last post. It is about inner healing for parents. When the adults heal from their emotional wounds then they can help their children heal too.

I have had the honor of parenting biological and adopted children. I’m sure there are many out there in the same scenario. To meet all the needs of the children we have been given can sometimes be a very difficult balance. Especially when there are both biological and adoptive children in a family.

 

Biological Children:

My husband and I purposely adopted children who were younger than our biological children. We wanted to make sure our biological children were as safe as our adopted children would be. Our biological children needed to be old enough to communicate to us if an adopted child would act out aggressively towards them.

Many adopted children can have an assortment of behaviors which aren’t appropriate and are abusive. Biological children need to be safe and protected. It is not a biological child’s final decision to have adopted children as their siblings. The final decision rests on the parents. It certainly wouldn’t be a biological child’s decision to be abused by their adopted siblings.

Even if the biological children are a few years older, an aggressive younger child can act out towards them and this can be a problem. I have heard other families in this situation say their biological children eventually begged for the adopted children to be sent back. This is usually after the biological children received extended times of aggressive behaviors from the adopted children.

Adopted Children:

        It is a delicate balance to blend an adoptive family together. Usually if the adopted child has bonded to a care giver and doesn’t have any other disorders with aggressive tendencies, the blending happens relatively painlessly. Therefore, bonding in the family happen as it should.

If the adopted child has a disorder such as fetal alcohol, RAD, or ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) then the blending and bonding will be much more difficult. Aggressive behaviors can manifest rather intensively with these disorders and the biological child may need protection.

On the other side of the coin is the fact that orphaned children need homes. In your decision making process, ask yourself the right questions.

Such as:

  1. How much older should my biological child be than my oldest adopted child? Our biological child was four and a half years older than our oldest adopted child and there was still aggression and abusiveness from the adopted child.
  2. Do I want to put my biological children through the emotional and physical difficulties of adoption?
  3. Can my biological child handle this change and come out on the other side mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically safe and a better person? This decision isn’t only the parent’s experience – it is everyone’s.
  4. Do I as the parent have the ability to see that everyone is successful in the adoption experience?
  5. Do I have the ability to help all my children talk through their feelings? If I don’t, am I willing to get help if we need it?
  6. How will I handle the abusiveness, aggressive symptoms or disorders towards anyone in our family?
  7. Am I living in the delusion that everyone will just love each other and if I just love longer and harder all will be ok? Of course love concurs all! This is deceptive thinking. Too many adoptive parents just want to try harder or don’t think they need help. Therefore, too many adopted children don’t get timely help.

Get Help:

Please don’t fall into category number seven above. RAD adopted children won’t accept love or bonding so therefore you will need help from someone. Bonding is so important if your adopted child is to grow and mature the way they should.

Conclusion:

        Ask yourself the questions above if you’re considering adoption. Get help if you have adopted and find yourself in an aggressive or abusive situation. It is not too late to get help.

Thanks for listening. I’ll be here again next week. Until then…

Authority to Maintain a Protective Cover for Our Adopted Children:

Maintaining a Protective Cover:

 

Intro:

In this paragraph I always introduce myself and encourage adoptive and foster parents to read some of my posts. In addition, I want to emphasize connection and my desire to get to know my reader. So, please comment on any of my posts so we can connect.

Please have a look at my last post. It is about treating Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) before a crisis arises. If an adopted child has RAD a crisis will eventually arise. It’s important for you to get the help your child needs before their behavioral issues flare. Please find help from someone who understands RAD.

Today I’m going to talk about a subject that is near and dear to my heart. Mainly because I am a life coach. I love what I do. Please read further to understand what I’m communicating.

 

Adoptive Parent Wounds:

        Adoptive and foster parents can experience many avenues of wounding from an adopted child. If the child has Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) their need to inflict wounds can be intense. The help for inflicted wounds is emotional healing.

I have written on this subject in other posts promoting the emotional healing the Trinity provides. This healing is so needed because our adopted children know full well how to inflict the pain that causes emotional wounding. But if you are healed and their wounding doesn’t go into your soul – your RAD child would lose the avenue of causing additional emotional wounding. This is to your benefit.

Emotional wounds from anyone’s childhood lay negative foundation wounds in the soul. If our adopted children touch the same wounded spots it causes the wounds to go deeper and spread wider. It is important to recognize where the first wounding came from so the soul can be healed from the beginning. This assures full and lasting healing and prevents any further infliction from penetrating the soul.

 

Authority to Help Our Foster and Adopted Children Heal:

        In our society we have many structures set up which have authority. Take for example our Government. Each person in the Government had a process of training, and college, etc. Then they were voted in and set in place.

Fathers and mothers have a different process of obtaining authority. The parental authority I’m talking about is an emotional healing authority. We gain this through our own emotional healing process.

Our children need us to achieve our own emotional healing. When we emotionally heal, this gives us authority to help our children heal in the same or similar areas. As we become more and more healed we also gain the authority to maintain a healing atmosphere in our homes. This then enhances healing opportunities for our children.

Our children don’t have the ability to accept healing from someone who has some of the same wounds. If our adopted children somehow heal and we don’t – how does that help? We will be stuck and they won’t have the support system in place to enhance their further healing. We as parents need to take care of our own emotional wounds first so we can help our children do the same.

 

Conclusion:

        How is this done? If you can’t or don’t know how to help yourself or your children then I am a life coach. I would love to help. I can be reached at Laurie@getrealliving.com We can set up an appointment.

If you don’t want my help then please get help from a trusted counselor, doctor or therapist who understands RAD. The important thing is to start the process of emotional healing for all concerned. Life on the other side healing is so good.

I’ll be here again next week. Hope your week is good!! Until then…

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