Sunday, February 28, 2016
Things To Consider When A Child With RAD Makes False Allegations
RAD, or Reactive Attachment Disorder, why is it so scary and isolating? Why are the parents and caregivers of those diagnosed with this terrifying mental condition, so odd? Why do they stick to their guns no matter what? They make rules and will not make any exceptions, not even for grandparents and close friends. Don't they realize their refusal to allow people to interact with their child, is causing a rift in their relationships?
I can answer those questions in a few short words, "It is because the parents realize what is at stake." Most people do not enforce rules that inconvenience themselves and drive wedges in their relationships because they enjoy doing so. If someone is doing some of the things I mentioned above, rather than think they are trying to hurt you or are being unreasonable, step back and think about why they might be putting up walls around their family.
What most people fail to realize is that children with RAD are willing and capable of doing whatever it takes to prevent relationships, especially with their parents, particularly mom or other primary care givers. You may think, isn't saying they will do anything a little extreme?
Let me explain it this way, if one of your children was in a burning house, wouldn't you do anything to rescue that child, even going so far as putting your life at risk? These children honestly believe their lives are at risk if they allow anyone to get close to them. They will do whatever it takes to keep that from happening.
The next question that usually comes up is: "Then why was he so nice to me? I have a bond with him."
These children are super manipulators, they have to be, that is partly what kept them alive in their previous situation. So if the child can get you to believe he loves and trusts you, he succeeds in two things, conning you into thinking he is a sweet child and hurting mom. If he refuses to let mom read him a story but will cuddle up to you and allow you read him a story, mom will be hurt and that is what he wants. Mom hurting = one more wall between mom and I, which means I am in control of the relationship.
Back to my original question, "Why do the parents of these children make such rules, even if the rules hurt relationships?" Because they have to. If your 8 year old niece came up to you and shared that a family member was hurting her, what would you do? Wouldn't you believe her? After all she was crying and begging for help. What you aren't aware of is that last night for the first time she allowed her daddy to kiss her good night. Last night she let down her guard, but today she is terrified, she needs to find a way to protect herself. If you believe the story and report it, CPS will take it seriously and the children may be removed from the home. A family is torn apart, because they tried to help a hurting child. Can you see why parents are very careful?
"But how would a child know to make such accusations, especially if she/he never experienced this type of thing?" Think back to the scenario of your child in a fire, quite likely you would come up with some pretty drastic idea's to protect that child. I realize the fire story isn't a very good comparison, but I wanted to get you thinking. You also have to realize these children have been honing their self preservation skills for a long time, many of them for their whole life. They "go for the jugular," as some would say.
Many of these children prey on those smaller than them, it is a power thing. It makes them feel strong, in control. They are very good at doing these things right under their parents noses, this is one reason why parents do not allow their child to play with his peers. They are protecting you and your child as much as their child.
Parenting a child with RAD places parents in a very vulnerable position, their child is highly likely to make false allegations and who are people most likely to believe, the child or his parents? That is one of the biggest threats families face when trying to help these children.
The flip side is the child who truly is in a bad situation, and finally gains enough courage to ask for help. How can you know the difference? I don't think there is a cut and dried answer to that question. The first thing I would recommend doing is praying, God will not fail you in such a situation. Second, think of the child's history, is he known for lying? Has he made false accusations before? Does the child have RAD? If so, I would encourage you to speak confidentially to the parents and get their side of the story. Often times when a child who has RAD, does something like this it is because he feels threatened by a relationship. Quite likely, the parent will be able to go back and say, "Yes, _______ just happened and we had a break through with our child. He is terrified and this is his way of protecting himself.
I encourage all parents to have a good attachment therapist on board, someone who documents all false allegations, as the parent you should as well. Include, dates, witnesses signatures and the exact situation, that way, when these situations come up you have a history. Of course, there is always a first time but typically, a child will not make the "worst allegation," the first time he accuses someone.
RAD is such a sad, twisted illness, if I may call it that. The children turn on the very people who are trying to help them and they are so good at getting people to believe them that entire families are at risk. Their actions also make it difficult for children who are truly in danger to get help because, people hesitate to get involved. If faced with such a situation, proceed with prayer and caution.
Shared on: http://fdeanhackett.com/2016/03/tell-it-to-me-tuesdays-link-up-party
I am a daughter of the King, wife to Dean and mother to four. 1 biological, 3 adopted through the foster care system. I enjoy reading, writing, coffee, research and caring for my family. Blogging is another hobby of mine, you can find my blog at: talesfromourhouse.blogspot.
com also follow me on FB Tales From Our House Blog. I blog about daily family life, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) and adoption. I would love to have you follow my blog so I can share the amazing things I am learning.