Ten Ways to Support To A RAD Mom.

Reactive Attachment Disorder, RAD is one of those things other people don’t really notice. The reactive part is usually seen and felt the most by the primary caregiver–or the mom in most cases. What a RAD Mom needs the most is support from others in ways you may have never thought of.

  • 1. A RAD Mom needs help teaching her child with Reactive Attachment Disorder that mom’s are in charge of taking good care of their children. And that their mom is a good mom who takes care of her children.
  • 2. A RAD Mom needs friends who don’t hug her RAD Child. The best way to help a family dealing with a child who has reactive attachment disorder is to help the child learn to get his or her hugs for mom and dad. The same is true for other intimate things the child might want to do, like sit on laps or give you a neck rub.
  • 3. A RAD Mom needs friends who can support how we respond to our child. No matter what the situation looks like the parents need to be considered the ones in charge especially when it comes to discipline.
  • 4. A RAD Mom needs people who have suggestions, ideas or criticism to talk to us privately when our child is not around. Triangulation is a natural behavior for children with Reactive Attachment Disorder and questioning the parents in front of the child empowers the child.
  • 5. A RAD Mom needs friends who don’t fall into the trap of hearing the child say, “I wish you were my mom, you are much better then the one I got.” Children with Reactive Attachment Disorder often shop for new, improved and better parents.
  • 6. A RAD Mom needs an occasional hour to take a shower or paint her toe nails. A great way to be supportive to someone who is parenting a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder is to offer her a break once in awhile. Even if it’s just to come over and supervise the child while mom gets a break.
  • 7. A RAD Mom needs time alone with a RAD Dad. Often one of the most important things parents of children with emotional or mental health disorders are told they need is respite. Families who adopt children from the foster care system often receive adoption subsidy funds for respite care. RAD parents need a regular break, but they also need a respite provider who can deal with the issues of a special needs child.
  • 8. A RAD Mom needs friends who can remind her about why and how it came about that she is the mother of a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder. We need to be reminded that our child came to us this way and that the best we can do is love the child and provide them with the best we can.
  • 9. A RAD Mom needs to be reminded that many children with Reactive Attachment Disorder heal and become healthy adults. We need to remember what the goals are with our children and like other parents we need to hope for the best.
  • 10. Most of all a RAD Mom needs friends. Parenting a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder can be isolating and defeating. RAD mom’s often withdraw and feel alone. The number one thing we need is a friend willing to listen and maybe have coffee now and then.

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For more information about parenting special needs children you might want to visit the Families.com Special Needs Blog and the Mental Health Blog. Or visit my personal website.

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