life on the funny farm

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Two Cents Worth of RAD Parenting Advice

Lately my 18 year old "RADish" (my son with Reactive Attachment Disorder) has been going through some rough times.

And I have a perspective that has been of great help to me when dealing with his "issues" (nice word for often not-so-nice behaviors).

Because it's easy to tell yourself to keep emotions out of things and not get drawn into the drama, but it can be pretty difficult to put that into practice when you're in the thick of things; when you have gone through years and years of stress and love and angst and hurt and worry and uncertainty and highs and lows of every kind.

What I do when he's being hurtful, is to remind myself that when I brought my babies home from the hospital so many years ago, they didn't love me. I loved them, cared about them, was able to gladly provide for all of their needs. I did not need for them to love me or show me love in any way in order for me to meet their needs.

So I just remind myself that it's no different now. I can provide for his needs because I am his parent. It is not conditional on whether or not he loves me. Just as with my babies, there is no price he has to pay in order to receive my parenting "services". Love came with my babies in their time. Love will most likely come in his time, though the two timelines bear absolutely no resemblance to one another. But even if it never does, it should not affect my ability to be a parent.

There. That's my two cents of RAD parenting for you.


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  1. Great insight and beautiful writing (as usual)...also painfully true. Sending you hugs and my admiration for your strength and calm.

  2. Thank you. It's just what I need.

    1. You are so very welcome Babajeza. Thanks for stopping by....

  3. Hang in there. My RADish is a few years older than yours, and is a completely different person than a few years ago. The late teens are tough years, and my RADish certainly had "issues," too. I hoped for, but never expected, the turnaround that has happened. Sending warm thoughts and well-wishes your way!

    1. Kristi, that helps me immeasurably. Thank you so much.

  4. Thanks, I never brought any babies home.. Mine "babies" were 9 & 10 when I met them.. and I struggle a lot of days.

  5. Yeah, mine were older, too, at 6, 10 and 13. But having three by birth gives me a helpful perspective. Thanks for stopping in, Pam!



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