I used to be on time to everything. It was a point of pride for me. Then I had kids. Not just kids, but hard kids with some big challenges. Franky, I believe a series of miracles have to occur for parents of special needs kids to make it to their destination. (Maybe with the help of a legion of unseen guardian angels.) Four kids later, it’s not that I’ve given up on being on time. I still try, like REALLY REALLY try, but it rarely seems to work out. If you’re a special needs parent, what exactly does happen in the process of attempting to get your foot out the door? Does it look a little something like this . . .
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There are many challenges and behaviors which are associated with Reactive Attachment Disorder such as: lack of affection, lack of conscience, disobedience, manipulation, temper tantrums, physical violence, destruction of property, argumentative, and so many more. Each child is unique in what his or her cycle may look like. What creates negative cycles of behavior and how can we as parents and caregivers help our children to break out of them?
Letting go of mom guilt when you have a child with ADHD or RAD isn’t easy. When I was a younger mom I carried a lot of mom guilt with me. I told myself if I just tried harder, if I’d recognized “x” sooner, if I just said the right things, read more books about my kids’ challenges, tried one more program, was more patient, was more involved at their schools, was less this, was more that, then maybe my child would be happier, be less angry, have more friends, would get along better with their siblings, would treat me better, and so on. The guilt weighed me down for so long, crushing me and pushing me to work harder, do more and be more, more, more.
A couple of years ago I placed a countdown APP on my phone with all four of my boys’ names and how many days they would be remaining in our home. It was during a particularly rough patch with my kids, two kids in particular, and I needed that countdown to put things in perspective—to know that there would be an end my having to deal with all of the difficult behaviors, a light at the end of the tunnel as it were.