Reactive Attachment Disorder Family
Table of Contents
Bonding with your Reactive Attachment Child is difficult but possible following bonding techniques, keeping a structured environment, and if necessary with RAD therapy.
Love alone will not help you bond with your RAD child. But with patience, acceptance, love, RAD parenting skills and RAD therapy bonding can take place.
Keys to Bonding
You must take care of yourself or you cannot effectively parent your RAD child. Good health is a necessity, as you need to have the energy to take control of daily issues consistently and effectively.
Be affectionate. Give hugs, caresses, and kisses. These most likely will not be reciprocated in the beginning, but hopefully in time. RAD children are very self-centered. It never occurs to most to say things like ‘Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, I Love You, etc.’ Repeatedly showing affection will help your RAD child learn what affection should look like. A RAD child often shuns affection as they don’t want it, understand it, or feel it. If nothing else, you are giving a good example of a loving, caring human being.
Interact with your child with activities (singing, playing games, shopping, chores, etc.) and encourage your child to participate.
Have your child ask you for assistance and permission for everything (food, drink, picking out clothing – basically all needs). When your child must ask you repeatedly for their needs to be met, you are working towards restoring the bond between parent and child that was missing during the first years.
Children should also be instructed to make eye contact and add ‘Mom’ or ‘Dad’ when making any requests.
Set a Family Time – Where, if at all possible, it should be all-inclusive, interactive, and non-judgemental fun.
A controlled environment for RAD children is very important – such as mealtime, homework time, bedtime, and set times for privileged activities such as TV, games, and computer.
Keeping control – keep your child busy – with chores, strong (quiet) sitting, and physical activities (example; sports).
Let extended family members (grandparents, aunts & uncles) know there is a reason for this different style of parenting and that this is more effective than traditional parenting for your child.
Do not let other parent’s criticism or advice bother you. Unless they have a RAD child, they cannot truly understand where you are coming from or even why you feel the way you do.
Join a RAD support group, either locally or on-line.
The goal of therapy is to help your child grow into a healthy, well-adjusted adult. They need to resolve early loss issues and develop self-respect, internal control, appropriate social responses, and give-and-take relationships.
Traditional therapy does not work for RAD children, as building a trusting, sharing and genuine relationship is virtually impossible.
Attachment Therapists are trained in RAD to work as a team with the parents, using methods such as re-parenting, role-playing, supervised parent holdings, modeling behavior, cognitive restructuring, family therapy and Gestalt Therapy,.