Educating the world about Reactive Attachment Disorder through experience, hope, humor and love.
(Warning: nothing here should be taken as medical advice)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Parenting Zen...?

So yesterday I got *the call* from the Day Treatment Center.  "Your daughter has left the school".  Of course I called back thinking all sorts of crazy thoughts, not the least of which was "how could you let her just walk out?".  Turns out something that was really minor got blown into something huge and she just took advantage of it.  And they let her. 

Yeah, this is the same DTC that for months didn't see any of her issues and were becoming convinced (and even said) all her problems were home based.  Well they don't think that way now.  In the past 2 weeks she has started showing them ALL her glory.  And maybe it makes me a jerk, but I'm happy about it.  It's about time they saw what we see on a regular basis.  Ha Ha.

But that isn't the point. After hanging up the phone, I hopped in my car and drove the 30 miles to travel the 6.5 mile path that *I* would have taken home from the DTC.. of course I didn't see her - she took a different route (RADs aren't known for taking the more direct route.. why should they?  They don't think linear for the most part).  But I had to keep telling myself "she's 16.. she'll be OK.  I did much more at that age". 

Somehow I managed to keep my cool even after not finding her.  It wasn't easy to keep telling myself she'd be ok, but I kept at it.  And when she arrived at home, acting like nothing had happened, the wife and I didn't make a big deal out of it.  We asked what had happened and then just let it go.  If there's one thing we've learned, it's that what happens at school needs to stay at school.  We can't make that part of our problem as well - we have enough of those already!

And instead of a raging 16 year old RAD, we had a calm, helpful teenager who seemed to appreciate that we accepted her decision to do what she did, didn't give her excessive grief over it (we DID explain to her that we were worried, that the cops were out looking for her, and a brief 'mini-lecture' about the dangers, blah blah blah), and let it go.  The afternoon actually went smoothly, and she was not only Responsible, Respectful and Fun to be Around for the rest of the day, but it went even beyond that.  We had a helpful and pleasant teenager.  Now how often does THAT happen?  Plus, we didn't spend our evening all pi**ed off over something we can't control.  We didn't waste our energy fighting or lecturing or anything like that... just let it go..

let it go...


  1. I loved how you responded to the situation. Many times we overreact and it sends our RADdishes over the edge. I find when we have the good sense to respond as you did, things go much smoother.

    Also, I couldn't agree with you more about the staff finally seeing your daughter "in all her glory." Kids with RAD present so well for so makes us, the parents, question if it is just us...something we are doing wrong. When one of my children start a new program, I usually sit back and wait for the honeymoon to be over. Yes, I always hope it happens sooner rather than later so we can let the healing begin.

    Kuddos on a job well done!

  2. Thanks Tammy! I've learned over the years that getting upset only makes things worse - and then we get caught in that horrible downward spiral where everybody is trying to end things their way, on their terms. And we all know how that turns out!

    As for the behavior, they literally said about two weeks ago that the problems "appear home-based" and were planning on transitioning her to general ed in June - I know how that would end up and have been secretly praying for her to show her real self sooner than later... I don't think parents of non-RADs understand how we could possibly be happy when our kids screw up like this.. they must think WE are the crazy ones!