Sunday, June 22, 2008

God, RAD and the Child's View

I would like to talk a little bit about how the lack of attachment in early years shapes our view of God. I am not a professional and can only share opinions and give the opinions of professionals. I will do both and make sure you know which is which : )"Since God created us for bonding, it's part of our very essence. . . We are created to bond in either a growth-producing or a death-producing manner. If we cannot bond to loving relationships, we will bond to something else that is not so loving. This is the root of the addictive process. " Dr. Townsend.

In other words Dr John Townsend believes lack of bonding and attachment in early years can lead to addictive behaviors. I would believe our children's impulsiveness and lack of conscience would also play into this (my opinion)

"Freud has written, they tend to project onto God the thoughts and feelings they carry toward their own father or mother or toward some idealized version of a parent who might function as a divine surrogate for their own. When a child's parents take care of them lovingly and dependably the child will find it easy to imagine a divine parent who is at least as loving and dependable as its father and mother. If the child' s parents are unavailable, uncaring, cruel, or abusive, either the child will find it impossible to trust that God should be any different or the child will fantasize a god who is everything its parents are not."This article is from

Think what you may of Freud he has a point. So what does all this mean about our children with RAD? Many were born into families that were abusive, neglectful or abandoned them. They do not trust us and are sure we are going to abandon them. So how do they view God? If we ask them they will most likely say what they think is the "correct" answer. What child would ever answer "I don't trust anyone including God."? As they get older and want to shock us they may say similar things. As I have seen my youngest heal and he has begun to love and trust I have seen his conscience develop. I have seen a desire to please God. It seems to ebb and tide as do his feelings of safety. Parenting our kids is a challenge. It is easy to think this is too much responsibility and ask ourselves all the "What ifs?" The bottom line is as they grow it will be their choice to choose their views on God and about us. We can pray, educate ourselves, find support and do our best. We then have to turn it over to them. We do this to our healthy children as they grow. We have to do it with our unhealthy children as well. Tough stuff. Oh. And this last paragraph is my opinion.


Christine said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this.

I have learned so much in this past week, about my kids, and I'm balancing the "We can do this!" and "Oh dear God, help me to be a healing mother to these kids, because the big picture is so overwhelming."

I really appreciate you!

Brenda said...


I appreciate what you bring to us all too. It is too hard to do alone. I'm glad I have you guys.

Kathy said...

Amen. I am changing my thoughts that my RAD teen was saying hateful things about God and our church just to "get me back" to thinking that it's pretty much a fear. She was orphaned and and it's been a rough road all around. Especially landing in such a RADical family such as ours.

Kathy said...

Also, what are your thoughts about maintaining hope and faith among other siblings when one is so rebellious? thanks