Parenting Children with Attachment or Reactive Attachment Disorder
Every kid is a “rad” kid. By rad, we mean special and precious. From the first time that a parent sees his or her child, a special attachment is formed, a bond of love. This bond is important as it also defines how a child builds bonds and relationships with the rest of the world. However, there are some instances when a child is unable to form these bonds – the child may have RAD or reactive attachment disorder.
Attachment disorder: An Overview
An attachment disorder is marked by an inability to form meaningful and lasting relationships or even express affection towards others. It may be rooted in events during a person’s early childhood. This may include:
– Being a child of an unwanted pregnancy
– Experiencing chronic pain resulting from medical problems
– Neglect from a caregiver (when a parent is chronically depressed, the child is moved from one caregiver to another, when a child’s cries and needs are ignored)
– Being a victim of child abuse
As a result, a child with attachment disorder exhibits a lack of trust on others. There is also a need to be in control since the child learns that there is no one to depend on but him. The child may also have issues with anger and demonstrations of affection.
Admittedly, it is hard to parent or take care of a child with attachment disorder when your efforts are met with indifference or resistance. But with love, patience and some family counseling in Provo, you are able to manage this condition. And the earlier you start with your efforts, the better. Dealing with a child with attachment disorder will prevent more serious problems in the future.
Here are some tips to help you parent a child with attachment disorder:
– Be patient, calm and firm with your child. This indicates to the child that you can be trusted and that he is safe in the care of his parents. This is particularly true when the child starts misbehaving. Be calm and matter of fact to demonstrate that emotions and feelings can be managed and controlled.
– Be realistic. Managing (and overcoming) the problems brought about by an attachment disorder will take time and much patience. Thus, it is helpful that you have realistic expectations. You can’t rush the journey towards wholeness for your child and the rest of the family.
– Build a family environment that feels safe, relaxed and joyful.
– Manage your stress. Parenting a child with attachment disorder is especially challenging. That is why you need to learn how to manage and cope with stress. This can be done by getting enough rest, feeding yourself with the right kinds of food and taking some time away to recharge and unwind.
– Lean on family and friends for support. Don’t go through the ordeal alone. There are family members and friends who can help you build the ideal family environment for your child.
– Get professional help, when necessary. You may need to go into Utah family therapy to help all the family members to know what to do to provide your child with the care and love he needs.
– Set up rules, expectations and boundaries. A child with attachment disorder has issues about feelings of safety. This can be done by providing clear and reasonable expectations for the child to fulfill. These rules of behavior help to make a child feel more secure and safe since he, too, also knows what to expect. It is important to note that you must be consistent in your dealings with the child to help him feel more in control.
The bottom line is that the child needs to feel that he is accepted and loved. Over time and with consistency and patience, the child can learn to develop trust, as well as accept love and physical expressions and demonstrations of it.
Family Therapy for treatment of attachment disorder
For more help, you can turn to individual therapy and family therapy in Provo. This will not just help the individual but also the other family members who need to cope with the situation as well as come to an understanding of the disorder and how they can properly respond.