Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fake It Til You Make It Continued

Let's see. First, I want to make sure you all know this is just mom's opinion stuff. Not professional advice. OK.

The first way I work at staying calm is that "I" go to therapy. I have not been for 3 weeks. I am feeling it. I start back with our EMDR therapist on Monday. She is near where I go to college so I can go a couple of hours before class. Have an hour to eat and regroup and then go to class. I will try every other Monday and see how I feel. I may be able to go to once a month but I don't know. I need that time to vent, air my deepest feelings and receive feed back on what is balanced and what is out there.

The second thing is that when they are raging we have to be very careful. To me the main objective at that point is deescalation. So find what works for that child. For both of my boys softening my voice, a gentle touch and allowing them a few minutes alone on the couch to calm themselves is good. If they go to their room it cannot be for long. There is a difference in calming yourself and isolating yourself. It can turn into that if they stay too long. If they absolutely cannot calm themselves here are some things that have worked for me. I will say calmly, with no sarcasm (if you know me, the no sarcasm is hard) "I am setting the timer for 10 minutes, an hour whatever (a little longer than however their rages usually last). I would like for you to scream and yell and let all your anger out for that amount of time". Mine absolutely refuse to yell after I say that. Forget whatever the topic is at that moment and go back to it when they are calm if it is important.

For calming yourself: Go easy on yourself. You are going to mess up. Get over it and move on. Do not over estimate the importance of their rages. Tell them at quiet times you are glad they are letting all their rage out. Do not criticise or discourage the rages because it will actually encourage them. If you need to put them some place safe and put yourself in a quiet place do so. It helps me to look at it analytically. I tell myself to use my logical mind and not my emotional mind. When I feel the emotions welling up I say "Stop and think logically." My husband is an accountant so I tell myself to think like him. I am not saying he does not get angry. I'm saying much of the time he is the most logical thinking person I know.

Last I would look and see if you can find a pattern to the rages. Are they are certain times each day? After or before a certain event? My boy's often have it before or after I leave. The separation anxiety is huge. So it helps to talk about me leaving and coming back before I go. I have them think of some sweet way to let me know they were thinking about me while we were apart and I try to bring them some small thing, like a pack of gum when I get back. I go on and on about how I missed them and am glad to see them. This really helps them. I now sometimes come home to little signs that say "Welcome Home Mom".

I'm so glad you all are giving me your thoughts and asking questions. You are an encouragement and an inspiration to me.


Brie said...

thank you for another great post!

i have a question - my daughter will be going to stay with her grandparents in another state for a week. they aren't on board with the whole RAD diagnosis, so they pretty much give her total control and let her do whatever she wants. needless to say, it gets her disregulated as it reminds her of when she was a baby and wasn't taken care of and had to be in control. do you or anyone else have any tips on getting her prepared for this separation? of course, she is acting overly excited to be going, and is faking her excitement so no one thinks anything is wrong. any thoughts would be appreciated! thanks!

Brenda said...

Awww. Scary for her and for you. I think I'd write up a very simple fact sheet for grandma and grandpa. You never know they might read it. I'd call her often. Give her some things to do when she is nervous. Send some candy or sweets for her that you are sending with love for her to eat when she needs to calm herself. Be prepared for some major set backs when she gets home.

Karen Deborah said...

I think maybe Piglet has this. I'm going to talk to her counselor about it. She gets mad constantly and was seriously abused. She also isolates herself a lot. She just dyed her beautiful hair BLACK! Just killed me, talk about faking it.

Brenda said...

Karen Deborah,

I'm sorry to hear you think she has it. My daughter dies her hair all the time. I just consider it an accessory.

Denise said...

brie -

I feel your pain and will pray for you and your daughter. For the past year most of our entire family has turned away from us because they simply don't understand how difficult RAD is to deal with and assume they could be doing a better job. No matter how much we try to explain and give them tips on how to better provide our daughter with the love she requires, they do the opposite. We have learned to not say anything to them anymore because the more we said the more they strived to meet us with opposition. We have four other "normal" happy, healthy children - but apparently in their eyes we have changed our parenting style for just this one. ? I don't get it either. Anyway, be cautious when it comes to families. We thought we had the greatest families in the world, but when push came to shove; they deserted us.

Take heart in Brenda's advice. Do whatever you can to keep the connection between the two of you regardless as to what happens with the grandparents. Keeping her close in as many fun and creative ways that you can will help (hopefully) when she returns home. RAD is a very complex thing and not everyone "wants" to understand because then the work that is required of them becomes to difficult. In my extended family, "Ignorance is bliss". And, right now, that is fine with me because too much information otherwise becomes very detrimental to my daughter. I pray that your family will not overdo, that your daughter will not get too disregulated, and that you will have the ability to keep the connection close while she is away. Blessings!

Brenda said...


Brie said...

brenda and denise - thanks for the great advice and support! i appreciate it so much. The candy idea is great, i didn't even think of that. and i think i will send a list of "helpful hints." i'll keep my fingers crossed that they read it. :) i was also planning to send along a brag book with pictures of us and my parents and the house, her bedroom, etc. i am also going to make her a cd of the songs we sing together in the car and a list of phone numbers for her dad and i and my parents in case she ever wants to call. thanks again, you've both been a huge help!

Brenda said...


You are welcome and those are some awesome ideas you have!