Friday, March 20, 2009

Discipline and RAD

Many of my thoughts today are just Brendaisms so take them for what they are worth. They are not professional opinions. Every family is different and you have to use what works for your kids. Remembering that our children are developmentally different then their chronological age is important. I believe that discipline should reflect that. They do not have cause and effect thinking. This is also important to remember. I believe that discipline of all children is to be done out of love and in a loving manner. Harsh, vindictive parenting is wrong for any child.

I also am big on Love & Logic Parenting. If you click on the link and then go to the bottom of the page and click on articles you will find hours of reading material.

So when my 16 year old son, who is internally 4-6, leaves the house and doesn't want to wear a coat I may say "The high today is going to be 46. I think this is just right for a jacket today." Then I leave the choice to him. He will learn more by going out in 46 degree weather without a coat and thinking "I should have listened" then by me forcing the issue. Would I do this with an actual 4-6 year old? No. I'd say "Go put on your jacket." With a 16 yo who is developmentally on level I generally would not say anything because they would check the temp for them selves.

Yesterday Bear smacked Taz. I had Bear come sit down next to me and miss the video they had been watching. He then began to try to pick verbally at me so I had him stand in the corner near me for awhile until he was ready to sit back down and try again.

Disciplining a child with RAD is tricky because they don't see us as loving. They see us a mean. It is so important that we give empathy when disciplining them.
Me: "I see you are really frustrated with Taz. I don't blame you for that. You need to use your words and talk with him and not hit."

Bear: "I tried talking to him and he won't listen."

Me:"It is still not ok to hit. Let's come up with some ways to handle it next time that would not end up with it becoming physical".

Then he needs to come up with a couple of choices. If he uses one of those choices next time something along the lines of

Me: "Bear I see you used the mature choice this time. I like to see you thinking things through and making mature decisions. That was a 16 yo way of handling it. Good job. Would you like to sit down and have some ice cream with me?"

This ties a reward to it without making it into a big deal. It also ties sugar, mom and sweetness to it which is important for kids with RAD.

I would also need to talk with Taz about what hewas doing and how he felt about it. He needs to come with some choices that would be fair as well. We generally allow very little tv so this might not be the best example. Feel free to share any ideas you have on discipline as it is such a difficult thing with children with RAD.


Rose Adoption Journey said...

We are big love and logic fans too and it works so well with our 13 and 14 year old. With 14 yr old, we have been doing it for 5 years and he has improved so much. We have just had our 13 year old a year and he is a tough cookie.. We are starting with natural consequences which ALWAYS work. He hates them but like you said....lots of empathy..our favorite saying is "too bad for you...but we know you will get it one day..we believe in you"

Lots of people dont understand....thanks for being vulnerable and continuing to share! Peace to your and yoour household!

Christine said...

We are currently working on having a "plan." We talk about the lack of cause and effect thinking. When something is missing, you have to plan ahead, since it's not automatic.

The kids write down their plan. We talk about it regularly. When I start to sense the anxiety rising, I remind them in a very sweet, or very entertaining way.

We're actually practicing "thinking things through" ... what will happen if I make the bad choice ... what will happen if I make the good choice.

Granted, we only do this process with about 2% of the behaviors, otherwise we wouldn't have time to eat, sleep or pee. Yet, it seems to be helping in those moments. Will take years of practice.

Today, Mar wrote out a plan for the day. She is working on focusing on just a day at a time (sometimes just an hour at a time).

And for the record - love, love, LOVE "Love & Logic."