Monday, August 17, 2009

The "How Dare you leave" MAD RAD!

I just got back today from being out of town since Friday. I took Taz and we took Dancer back to college. Bear is madder than a hornet and has been in a rage most of the 3 hours since I have been back. At one point he said "YOU ARE NEVER HERE FOR ME. YOU NEVER BELIEVE IN ME AND IT IS ALL YOUR FAULT I AM SO MAD."

In the beginning this type of thing hurt my feelings, now I run it through the translator. Pretend you have one of those voice changing machines they use at Halloween. Translated it means "Please tell me you still are here for me. Please tell me you believe in me. Let me know it is OK." Now I do believe the first step is regulating my own emotions. Once I am calm the next step is regulating his. I believe he is about at that point. I will go and tell him the words his heart needs to hear. He, or course, has lost privileges for today.

Kids with RAD don't get consequences but he needs to have them just the same. Life gives them out. It is only fair to the other kids. Presentation of this is key. "Bear I see you are hurting because I was gone. I always come back because I love you. You have shown me you need some time at home near me by yelling your fear today. So I'm going to keep you close for at least today." He will protest. He will say it is not fair. I will just respond. "Everything is OK Bear." and leave it at that.

By the way, my daughter is beginning her Junior year of school. She is doing so well. We are very proud of her and her accomplishments.


Julie said...

Have any of your children been obsessed with food? Example: taking other children's food, taking food without asking (our house rules - ask first), etc.

Brenda said...

Absolutely. Many people give them goody bags to keep in their room. I have the most success making sure we have plenty of desert around that I give them freely in a loving manner. VERY HARD for this healthy minded mom. BUT very necessary. Much more. I'll blog about it again. You might check some of the labels down at the bottom for some old posts on it though.

Julie said...

What do you do about when the kids are at school?

Thank you for answering . . . I will check down the labels.

I am feeling a bit discouraged about the food obsession.

Brenda said...

Taking food at school? Grade school? I just notified the teachers that it was a problem due to extreme neglect in the early years. I kept some snacks at school and had him eat them in the nurses room.

waldenbunch said...

I never understood why I could go away for a girl's weekend and I would get "punished" when I got home. It almost made me not want to go. Almost.....! It's just so hard to not take it personally. You do a great job of keeping it in perspective.

Brenda said...


I'm not sure it is actually punishing us but it really feels like it. I talke with him again this evening and he said he knows I will not leave him but he was afraid I'd be in a car accident and be killed. I think it still boils down to "I left and he was so afraid."

Julie said...

Yes, getting into another child's lunch after arriving at school. He had a full lunch box and had just eaten a full breakfast. (this was last year - he was five and in kindergarten)

I have sent a letter to his teacher and the principal of the school. My kids go to a Christian School and we are blessed to have understanding teachers and principal.

School started 1/2 day today and will be a full day tomorrow. Yesterday he (now 6) tried to talk his younger brother (age 3) out of his lunch . . . his full lunch was in front of him. Last week we discarded some sweet bread that had gone stale . . . there was about a quarter of a loaf. He went to throw something away and decided to eat the discarded sweet bread (it was in an aluminum tin with plastic lid in the garbage.)

He did very well over the summer with limited instances. Do you think his starting up again is because school has started?

Brenda said...


If he is starting back up an old behavior I'd say something is triggering his fear. Could very well be school. Empathy is more important for this than consequences. Something like "Are you feeling afraid about going to school? You will be safe. When you start to miss me you can...." and then come up with something that does not involve food. Maybe draw you a picture, or you could sent along a picture or card to look at. I usually have to try a few things before I find the one that clicks. But empathy is very important.

Julie said...

That totally makes sense. I don't know about you, but there are days I question if I am doing the right things. I am so thankful for your blog and that you answer your comments.

Thank you so much . . . I have read through many of your past posts as you recommended.

Thank you for your encouragement, you are a blessing.

William said...

Our 15 yo RADish blew up at me Saturday evening, and said some very hurtful things. Then she apologizes the next day so she can get what she wants, meaning going swimming and computer time. This was in response to me becoming more of a disciplinarian and my wife and I sticking together as a team.

Brenda said...

Julie~I hope some of the things you read will help. In a few years you will be the one helping the newbys! : )

William~Those blowouts and hurtful words are difficult. Just remember they are driven by fear. Fear of losing control, fear of closeness, fear of going without.

I hope you and your wife are getting time to yourselves. I know it is hard to find people who can watch our kids but it is so important to do so.

the Hardy's said...

hello, thank you so much for blogging about your experiences with your kids! my husband and i are in the process of adopting 3 brothers (ages 3, 7 and 9) and we are currently living in nicaragua. they have been in our home full time for about 2 months. we've dealt with some extreme behaviors but nothing like i expect if they have attachment issues (which of course they will) i'm wondering if we are still in the honeymoon phase. we've had months to develop relationships with them, maybe that circumvented some of the problems? anyway, i am writing to ask what do you do when you give a consequence and then the rage starts? we have had to hold our boys before and dont like doing it, though it ends up in a great resolution of hugging and talking. what do you do when they are destroying things or generally disrupting the family with their screaming, throwing things, and slamming doors. i have so many more questions but this is at the forefront right now and nobody seems to address it in books and blogs i read. thank you!

Brenda said...

The Hardys,

Congrats on your adoptions!! Leaving their country and moving to the US to a new home is going to be such a big change for them. There are some great websites that deal with a foreign adoption transition. I will have to look them up.

When our kids were having rages there are a number of things you can do. Their own safety and that of the rest of the family are most important. I would not get physical unless personal safety were an issue. Stay calm and dp not gett sucked into being a part of the problem are key.

I find varying the response to be most effective. Talk about the rages at a calm time. Let them know they are very afraid when they rage and are not using their words. So encourage using their words. Sometimes I use humor and rank the rage. Look at the labels on the right and click on those that say rage or anger and I cover some of those.

This really requires a whole post. I'll address it soon.