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

Yes You Can!!


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.



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!!…