Parenting a child/ren with RAD

I despise this.  Absolutely 100% despise this.  

It is the hardest thing to deal with, for me, as a person, as a mom.  

There is not enough education on it and those around you, when you state that your child/ren have RAD, they jump to “reactive airway disease”.  Which is real and 3 out of my 6 children have that too.

There is no medication.

There are not many “professionals” on the matter.

It is sleeping on a cloud, in a quiet place and then opening the doors to the inferno of hell.

A sleeping dragon.

The “signs” or “symptoms” of RAD (we have all those that are in red):

1 Is unable to give and receive love 
2 Is oppositional, argumentative, defiant  
3 Is emotionally phony, hollow or empty 
4 Is manipulative or controlling 
5 Has frequent or intense angry outbursts   
6 Is an angry child inside 
7 Unable to cry about something sad 

8 Avoids or resists physical closeness and touch 

9 Cannot be trusted
10 Has little or no conscience 
11 Is superficially engaging and charming  
12 Lack of eye contact on parental terms 

13 Indiscriminately affectionate on parents’ terms 
14 Not affectionate on parents’ terms  

15 Destructive to self, others, and property 

16 More disobedient toward mom than dad  
17 Cruel to animals 

18 Steals  
19 Lies about the obvious (crazy lying) 
20 Is impulsive or hyperactive 
21 Lacks cause and effect thinking 
22 Gorges or hoards food 
23 Has poor peer relationships 

24 Preoccupation with fire, blood, or violence 

25 Persistent nonsense questions or incessant chatter 
26 Inappropriately demanding and clingy 

27 Sexual acting out 

28 Bossy with peers 

So, as you can see…..we pretty much have them all.  We are thankful that a few, that I did not highlight, have been resolved, over time.  We, at one point, had them all :/  

Our daughter with RAD has been with us since she was, newly, 6.  She will be 11 in Feb, so over the last few years, we have been able to “un”highlight some things.  For that, I am sincerely grateful.

As for the rest……*sigh*……it has been hard.  It is hard to have 3 “normal” kids (I use that VERY loosely LOL), 1 that is new to America and has lived in an orphanage for most of his life, 1 that is reminding me A LOT of our 10 yr. old son, with RAD and then our daughter with RAD.  My parenting style is more of an “oh crap, which child am I dealing with and which hat do I need to wear”.

It is almost too much to bear.  I have horrible thoughts of “if I had only known, would I have chosen to parent her?”  I didn’t know.  If it was known, then it wasn’t divulged to us.  We knew something was wrong, but we thought that the trauma of being in foster care for so long and having no stability was it.  We thought we could “love” her out of her issues.  

The fact of the matter is, we can not love her out of it.  It is what afflicts her.  It doesn’t define her, though.  That is a distinction that I have a hard time to make. I tend to hold onto to things.  I have tried to parent her like I parent my other children.  That doesn’t work, nor will it ever work.  She isn’t the same as the other children.  Plain and simple.  She isn’t the same.  What works for kid #1 doesn’t work for kid #6.  What works for kid #3 doesn’t work for kid #4.  I have to parent each of them a bit differently, but, on the other hand, I must love them all the same.  

Love, that is a struggle, as well.  I have moments when I simple don’t like her or want to be around her.  Then, I feel guilty for feeling like that.  I have moments where I just want peace and until she is 18 and out on her own, we will never have peace.  Then, I feel guilty.  I do things, say things that I don’t mean, but they come out of me.  Then, I feel guilty.

I have been told that love is not a feeling, sometimes…it is a choice.  I must choose to love her.  Regardless of if I knew what her “issues” were, God entrusted her to me.  He chose me to parent her.  Why, I have no idea…why did he choose me to parent the other 5 children?  He chose me.

I struggle, on a daily basis.  I wish I could find the magic cure.  I wish I could snap my fingers and live in the land of normalcy.  I wish she could be “normal”.  I am scared for her future and for her future choices.  I am scared for my sanity.  I am scared for my other children and for my marriage.  Raising a children with RAD affects EVERY aspect of your life.  Every.single.aspect.

I have stumbled across a blog I am reading it, comprehending it, soaking it in and hoping to glean from it.  We shall see.

Until then, I pray.  I pray for the love that the Lord has bestowed on me, I will bestow on her.  I pray that I can let go of the past, not focus on the future and live in the present.  I pray that I can focus on the TODAY and how was she TODAY, on what she did yesterday.  I pray that I can relearn to discipline her, effectively.

Blessings to those who struggle with me, who walk down this miserable path of RAD and who choose to take the road less traveled by parenting one of these kiddoes.

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  • this raising kids stuff isn't easy…nobody tells us that part do they?

  • I have a few students with the RAD diagnosis. I learn more and more each day I work with them. I coudln't imagine living with them. It has to be very difficult. Some people tell me I'm a saint for dealing with the students I do for 7-8 hours every day. I turn around and say, I call their parents saints. I send them home. I am only responsible for their education. Their parents are responsible for them their whole lives. I love my job and what I do. I respect the parents of my kids more because they do what they do. Not all the parents are great, and some are the cause of their student's behaviors.. but a RAD kid.. there is nothing like them. I have tried to do a lot of research on them, and there just isn't much out there. What we do at work is try to work on a few of the "symptoms" at a time.. and keep adding when we think one has improved…..

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