Wednesday, January 16, 2008


According to "them", you know, the experts who write all the books, there are 3 key ingredients to bonding with our children. First we need to connect with them physically through touch and eye contact. Remember how your baby locked eyes with you when you fed her/him? That was a part of bonding. That is why kids with attachment disorder have so much trouble with eye contact unless they are lying. When my boys were little I'd rock them at night and sing to them. We'd play a game where they tried to look me in the eye while I sang to them. It started as simple as "Row row row your boat." That little phrase was too long at first. If they made it I'd high five them or hug them and try a little longer. If not, I'd laugh and say "Oh to hard. Try again." It was fun for us to do. Second, they need to feel an emotional connection to us. Children with RAD lack empathy because they did not experience it themselves as babies. They need to know that we understand and care how they feel. So when they complain for the 15th time in a day about their toe hurting we need to give empathy instead of rolling our eyes and saying what we really think. And the last one is a home where there is safety, consistency and parents in charge. The lack of this along with the chaos they experienced when they were small explains their need for chaos now. It is actually more comforting to them then quiet! Bonding is a lot of work. I try to think of it as having their hearts in my pocket. It is my job to take care of it and give it the TLC it needs to heal and get strong. I can't ignore it or just hope for the best. There are specific things we need to say and do!


Renee said...

I have the hardest time with giving empathy repetitively. I need to work on that.

Denise said...

Rolling my eyes. That's hard for me to stop. How do you not roll your eyes when you know that you are getting served a platter of "crap"? (please excuse my French) LOL Anyway, I know I gotta work on that one!

Brenda said...


Tell yourself she is hurting on the inside. When you take care of the fake outside hurt you are helping her inside aching.