Monday, December 26, 2011

All Oppression Shall Cease

In this holiday season, that song is stuck in my head. There is mild bullying in our home. It is nothing outrageous, but it is something I keep an eye on. I talked briefly in this post about oppression.

Bullying and manipulation of people smaller or weaker than you is oppression. I think it is best to always identify the biblical terms for the wrong doing. Certain wrong choices aren't just unkindness. They are oppression. They are red flags for me. Because the form they take coming from a little girl turn into pretty yucky and destructive actions in teenage/adult form. Mean people don't have friends. Controlling or oppressive people cause much larger collaterall damage.
For instance, when a little toddler is smacking Mommy or other kids, we are swift to come in and talk about gentle touches and how hitting is wrong. Why? because soon they will be stronger and that hit will hurt a lot more.

That's how I see oppression.

What does that look like, you ask?

RADish, out of my sight/hearing, makes a younger person do something she is capable of doing.

"you get out of your bed and get my socks that fell on the floor."

"take off your scarf and give it to me"

doing anything (taking a toy from or blaming something on, e.g.) a toddler that cannot defend or protect themselves

You get the idea. Here is why it is dangerous.

1) it gives the child control over something they do not have the authority over

2) it gives them a sense of power and temptation to try larger areas

3) it takes away power from the other child who probably does not know how to defend themselves

4) it takes advantage of the kindness of another child

It is super yucky. And not emotionally safe for anyone involved. Get to the bottom of that quickly, teach them God's perspective through Scripture, discipline/disciple always.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Getting to the Root with Smaller Kids

I love love love Dawn's post from last week. I think it is super helpful to have real life examples. The healing it shows in her daughter is awesome. She has come so far and is doing so well at ID her triggers and sin! It is a testimony to Dawn's consistency. Thought I would share a moment from this last week. My daughter is much younger and isn't processing as clearly as her girlie is. It is similar defenses but my girlie doesn't know herself or her Mommy as well as Dawn's does.


Hubby and I are watching a show and wrapping presents. Not far from the kids room, but all seems quiet. Two hours past RADish's bedtime, she comes out, clearly having not slept yet and addresses Daddy (of course).

"Daddy, I am soooooooo itchy. I am itchy all over."

being a great dad, he hops up and looks at her skin. No rash. No fever. Hmmm, probably faking.

"I don't see anything here, honey, I think you are okay. If you need us, you can come back to us. Try and get some sleep."

She heads back to bed. We exchange the "we know that she is just trying to see all the presents and is a faker" look.

The next morning, I know we need to get to the bottom of the lie the night before.

What was up with you being itchy last night? Where were you itchy?

(changes story 2x in 5 min)

Oh, thank you for letting me know you are lying. Were you really itchy?

I was. I mean maybe. Ok no.

What was the real reason you came out of your room last night?

Well, I knew you and Daddy were doing stuff and eating a snack and watching a show. I wanted to know what movie you were watching.

Huh, you've never been curious about our shows before. What was the real reason you came out of your room last night?

Um, well, Daddy said I can have my snowglobe on. So I was going to ask him to turn it on.

Yeah, but you didn't ask. So that doesn't make sense. What was the real reason you came out of your room last night?

(this goes on and on and on and on and on and on. Depending on the level of commitment she has to her lie, I may give her a variety of disciplines or consequences because lying is never tolerated).

FINALLY, she says:

I knew we were wrapping presents and I wanted to see if any would be for me. Since I have made lots of wrong choices, I thought they were all for (her siblings).

She is then disciplined for lying about itching and we talk through why that is an inappropriate choice. (ie it is totally appropriate for kids to be excited and curious about Christmas gifts. It is however, inappropriate to lie to and manipulate your parents). It is not over until she can not only say what was sin but also repent from it (which could add hours to this). Lots of hugs, affirmation of using words and doing the hard work to move closer to us and the Lord.

There has never been one single time that I walked away thinking, "what a waste of time." It has always been worth it. The times are getting shorter and over and over she sees the fruit of making right choices and choosing to submit to the authority the Lord has placed over her.


So, I guess the take away is at a younger age is that I usually do not acknowledge any nonsense answer or I will tell her I know why it is a lie. Then I just ask the same question over and over. I want to be careful not to give her any answers. I don't want her to say something just because she thinks it is what I want her to say and will get her out of going deeper. I want to keep her attention on dealing with the core issue and help her to identify it herself.

I don't know how much is really getting to her heart. She still seems pretty robotic in her repentance. I can't tenderize her heart. I can only pile the kindling around it and pray the Lord ignites that fire.

Never settle for the walls they put up around their hearts. It might be peace-ful but will not help them heal.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Oh, Just like Mine

It really isn't until you are living it and seeing it that you know that a child with RAD is nothing like any other kid's behavioral issues. It is not strong willed or undisciplined. It is its own beast. Case in point. I am pretty sure my girlfriends' kids do not do this to their sweaters when they spill hot chocolate on themselves.

This moment was followed up the next day by my little girl's absolute astonishment that any adult ever talks to or asks help or advice from their parents. She sees me talking to my mother and in-laws, but I guess somewhere in her little head she thought she could be done with us in a few short years. Sigh.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Send Love

Sunday, December 18, 2011

what i mean by "digging deeper"

What I mean by digging deeper. It goes something like this....

Parent: Why are you spiraling?

Child: I'm not spiraling.

Parent: Yes you are.

Child: I don't want to talk right now.

Parent: Well, that's not an option. Why do you think you're spiraling?

Child: Because he/she/it did so and so.

Parent: But you were spiraling before that. Remember earlier when such and such happened?

Child: This sucks! Just let me do my chores/homework/(code for...anything in the world other than going deeper.)

Parent: No. Your chores and your homework will be there when we are done. They are not going anywhere and neither am I. What's bothering you?

Child: I don't know.

Parent: Yes you do.

....................loooooooooooog pause.................(like an hour maybe)

Child: Well....I'm sorta upset about A.

Parent: I can see how you might be...but I don't think that's your core issue.

Child: What's my core issue then?

Parent: That's what you're trying to figure out. And, I'm trying to help you.

Child: I don't want your help.

Parent: Too bad. You got it.

..........................long pause................................( could be an hour long or longer)

Child: Well, mayyyyyyybeeeeeeeeee................... it's B.

Parent: Try again...I don't think so. Cause you were the reason B happened in the first place. You were the cause of B. Remember? We've already worked thru B.

Child: Oh yeah.

Parent: Try hard. Calm down and think about what you are feeling.

Child: I don't know what I am feeling.

Parent: Well, let's stand here talking about it together until you do. I have nothing going on that's more important than helping you figure it out.

About this point in time ( especially after you've done something similar a few dozen times) your child realizes you are not going anywhere...not it for the long haul...not moving an inch.

Eventually your child gets to a point where they can say something like this (with eye contact & authenticity)...

Child: I'm pissed off/upset about/angry/hurt/scared of this or that.

Parent: Now we're talkin'. That's what I'm talkin' about.

Then you get to work thru the issue together.

Hugs afterwards and move on.

If you've spent lots of time away from your other kids/spouse/housework etc. during this might want to have your child think of a way to make things right.

Most definitely...they should come to a place of recognition. They have been the center of attention & monopolized the household.

Hopefully repentance & forgiveness follows.

And, then restoration.


There is not an easy fix.

I talked about this same thing a while back. You can see that post here.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Dig Deeper

HUGE growth over here. Praising the Lord for authentic and transparent communication.

Here is my not settle for the easy answer. The robotic answer. The one without eye contact.

Always go deeper.

Dig. Dig Dig.

Even if it exhausts you. And him/her.

Dig deeper.

For hours on end if necessary.

Day after day if necessary.

Search for and find the heart of the trouble.

Honor the red flags given to you by the Lord. They are His whispers.

If you do not feel as if the core issue has been probably hasn't been.

And then....not to be can it be rooted out...if it hasn't even been identified?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Social Workers.

Just out of curiosity, how many of you feel your social worker knows about RAD, understands RAD, equipped you for RAD, etc?

Reply anonymously if you'd like.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Choose Your Words Carefully

RADish's do not process language the same way typically developing healthy brains do. You actually have to think about the words you use and how they can be interpreted. Here are a couple of examples.

When a child has done something wrong, do not let any child or adult say "it's okay." This is true of all believers and conflict resolution but especially true of kids struggling with attachment. It is anything but okay. When they have damaged relationships and sinned against others, they need to be told "I forgive you" not "it's okay." As you help the child learn, accompany them on reconciliation moments. If the injured party says it's okay, gently correct them and say, "No, Bobby, it was not okay. Do you forgive her, though?" I have actually seen rages happen when verbiage is changed. They've lost control over the person.

Another that I am acutely aware of lately is saying "I'm sorry?" when I don't hear my daughter. She is quite purposeful in mumbling and whispering when she speaks to me. Saying "I'm sorry" may seem polite in other situations, but here, however, it is misleading. I am not sorry for her actions. I am not sorry that she is mumbling and trying to push me away with her words. I am not sorry that she is trying to control me by getting me to say, "What? What did you say?" I've started ignoring her. I told her calmly and kindly that she needs to speak to me in a clear, big girl voice. When I do slip and say something like "I'm sorry?" to her mumbling, I will stop and say, "Oops, I shouldn't have said that. I say I'm sorry when I have sinned. I have not sinned here. If you have something to tell mommy, I want to hear it!! :) But you must speak clearly and in a big girl voice!"

Little things that I would have never thought I would have to think through as a parent, but have been helpful in shepherding her heart.

Remember, every day is a day closer to healing. It does get better. Slowly. And yes, I am telling myself that tonight.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Stress in Every Corner

I am laying back in an awkward chair with goofy red tinted glasses on.

"I need you to sit up, look at me and listen carefully to my words."

Oh, great, I have cancer or something.

"There is too much stress in your life. It is too intense. I need you to take one minute out of your morning and one minute out of your evening to focus on yourself. Literally one minute. You can carve out one minute. Be gentle with yourself. Do not think about anything else. For one minute. Is there any way you can reduce the stress?"

hahahahhahahahaha. Nope. Sorry lady. Probably not going to happen.

"I'll do my best."

"Ok, because if this intensity and wear continue, I will have to send you to an oral surgeon."

This was the interaction I had yesterday with the dentist I had met for the very first time 7 minutes earlier. She can tell by the way I am brushing that I have worn off the enamel of one of my teeth. I can't believe it. This is not the first time I have had a doctor suggest I reduce the amount of stress in my life. Not easy when it's in your home. :( I had to chuckle to myself, though, because here I am worried about RAD ruining the CHRISTmas season. It was that gentle reminder that it really does seep into every inch of your life. It takes intentional, active decisions to prevent the constant struggles and behavioral issues to become idols, to break other relationships and to eat away at your health. It's not easy, but can be done. We've put some good safe guards in place. My teeth, however, were not on my radar. ;)


Home-education was the right choice for our family. Nothing like having the kids around all day long every reveal problem areas. In their hearts and ours.

Especially good for kids coming home thru least in our case it has been.

Oh the hours of togetherness we would have lost over the years. Bonding time.

We are currently doing a Bible Study of Stepping Heavenward. Great for girls. It's taken forever to get past Chapter 2 though......because there's so much amazing info being revealed layer by layer.

We move on to Chapter 3 with this Biblical truth. If we are in Christ...then we are all adopted!!!!!!!!!!!!

Celebrate Adoption!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Peace in the Season

So, it's day six of advent. Anyone else screaming into pillows yet? Why does RAD ruin EVERYTHING? I have kept my cool---most of the time ;) but it is getting a little crazy around here. I hate that there is constant tension all day long, especially during this season where I want traditions and peace to abound. And nothing ever makes sense. Their little minds are all twisted and awkward. Last night, for instance, I was going to let the kids stay up late (I know, bad idea to push a RADish) to watch a movie and have hot cocoa. Totally fun, right? But the sabotage queen must come out. Fun, joy, peace, family time, snuggles. They are like hot buttons for a RADish to have a total meltdown. I keep thinking at some point she will let the good in and enjoy us on some level. Not yet, clearly.

I make everyone hot cocoa, put on the movie and then go to put the baby down for the night. While I am gone, of course, conflict arises. While one sibling was in the restroom RADish drinks said sibling's cocoa. Now, most people would think, "oh that's just a mean-typical-kid-thing." Here's why it's not typical. Once you dig deeper into the thought process behind the emotion behind the action, you find things aren't close to being typical. Their entire worldview and framework from which they operate under needs to be altered. It is deeply rooted in entitlement, self protection, and a desire to control others.

It is not okay. I hate bullying/unkindness of any kind. Oppression is always disciplined. A desire to be the idol of our home is always disciplined.

Here is what RADish said. "I saw that when you gave us our cups, she (sister) was disappointed because we had more in our cups than she did. She was already ungrateful and sad, so I drank hers to discipline her." WHAT?! So, you know you have more and that your sister is sad and that she didn't complain even though she was disappointed and you decide to be the boss of her and steal her blessing and have more of what you already had more of?!

(Insert me banging my head against a wall here)!! So, here's my question for you. We have a loooooong time til CHRISTmas. How are you maintaining peace and joy for your other children this season? Me, I took my other kids on a date the next night. Just us. Dinner, hot cocoa, book store browsing. It was AMAZING. Great conversation, lots of giggles, lots of fun. It reminded me how fun being a mom is and how much I truly enjoy my kids. It was just the break I needed. . . that I need more of. :) How are you intentional about the season with attachment issues in your home?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Brie Heart