Progress with Reactive Attachment Disorder moves at a pre-global-warming glacial pace. But you have RAD stamina.
What More Could You Possibly Do?
You have been firm. You have been kind. You have been consistent. You have shown empathy. You have been a rock. Well, maybe not behind the bedroom door, when you scream into a pillow and cry your eyes out. But you get yourself back together before you go back to the front line. Of course it’s making a difference, even if it doesn’t seem like it some days. But progress is slow. No. Snails are slow. Progress with Reactive Attachment Disorder moves at a pre-global-warming glacial pace. But you have RAD stamina.
Do you know the difference between someone with RAD stamina and a powering locomotive? Superman can stop the locomotive!
I was talking with one of my oldest and best friends the other day about Reactive Attachment Disorder and the difficulties it has brought into his home. Of course I “waxed eloquent” and gave all sorts of sage advice. It was all stuff that he, just like you, knows every bit as well as I do. “But it takes forever!” he said in frustration. “What can we do that will accelerate the progression?” So much for sage advice. My friend’s frustration reminded me of the Greek myth of Sysiphus, who was relegated to an eternity of pushing a boulder up a steep hill, only to have it roll to the bottom, where he would perpetually repeat the task. There is little, if anything we can do to speed up the process of helping children with Reactive Attachment Disorder to improve. All we can do is to stick to what we know to be correct with RAD stamina. I’m not too worried about my friend. As a former champion wrestler, someone who has built and sold an international business, and who has eleven children (I thought nine was too many), he has loads of stamina. Do you know the difference between someone with RAD stamina and a powering locomotive? Superman can stop the locomotive!
The rewards are too great and the consequences too severe for us to consider not focusing all of our RAD stamina on helping our children to learn love and be loved.
Like any other person on earth, we parents of children who suffer from Reactive Attachment Disorder do not like doing hard things. That’s only human nature. But we CAN do hard things. And we should do hard things. Our society has become confused. Because the United States Declaration of Independance mentions our “unalienable” and “self-evident” right to “the pursuit of happiness” we have somehow misinterpreted the phrase to mean “a right to have uninterrupted and ever increasing happiness.” And Heaven help the sorry soul that interrupts it! Well… not so fast. You aren’t in heaven yet! (Lest your life with a child who has Reactive Attachment Disorder had let you forget.) The rewards are too great and the consequences too severe for us to consider not focusing all of our RAD stamina on helping our children to learn love and be loved.
My children who have Reactive Attachment Disorder will use their RAD stamina to fight their own success. I will use mine to develop it.
I don’t pretend to know how heaven and hell in another life work, nor even who will go where. But I have seen hell in this life and that hell almost always entraps children. Often, those children, unjustly claimed in that earthly realm, drag undeserving adults in with them. I, like you, have walked the lava flowing path of that hell. But I have also seen heaven on earth. And I will tell you that I’ll walk that burning path for the rest of my life (but not without complaint) if I can only lead a child out of that hell and into the heaven of a family where they can finally learn to love and be loved. My children who have Reactive Attachment Disorder will use their RAD stamina to fight their own success. I will use mine to develop it.
As I told my friend, there is no way to accelerate the program beyond the “one foot in front of the other,” day to day grind of consistently applying the principles that we have all learned. There is no quick fix. Depending on the child, there may not be a cure. It takes RAD stamina to fix RAD stamina. And sometimes, even that isn’t enough. But one thing is sure. Their lives are better with parents who try to help them than they would be without them. And my greatest respect is reserved for those parents who go to an earthly hell with only the promise of a chance; to bring a child out.
Often, readers receive as much help from other readers in the comments section as they do from the blog article, itself. Please be generous with your thoughts and experiences in the comments section. There are lots of people who need what you have to share. This is your chance to help them.
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