Goldilocks(7) started falling apart on Monday. It started off with some back talk and quickly turned into mean-spirited play with her siblings and hitting them. Then she started putting herself into unsafe situations. She also -- in a blink of an eye --completely "forgot" how to obey me. This is a normal cycle with a child suffering from Reactive Attachment Disorder, and it means that they need their world smaller, tighter, and safer feeling. RAD children crave structure and a very strong adult (even though they act like they want the opposite). So here is a look at Goldilocks having a tight day with lots of structure. She started her day with strong sitting (first photo). Strong sitting is not exactly a time out, but more of a time to collect herself and think about how she can have a strong heart. She ends a session of strong sitting with telling me her six jobs. The six jobs are to (1) be respectful, (2) be responsible, (3) be fun to be with, (4) doing things fast and snappy, (5) doing things right the first time, and (6) doing things the adult's way.
Next, Goldilocks moved onto a chore. She actually really enjoys chores and always responds well to these extra tight days. On this particular day, she cleaned both bathrooms, her bedroom and folded several loads of laundry with me. Then it is back to strong sitting whenever she is done with a task.
She stays in a strong sit until you see her attitude change by showing a more relaxed manner.
This goes around and around until I think she can handle some play or school time with just me. She is then allowed to play on a blanket. I pick a few toys for her to play with on the blanket. Everything that she is playing with stays with her on the blanket, and she can play by herself or with me for awhile. (In the photo, she has a bowl of Legos to play with.) There is no play with siblings on these days. However, her sibs can be near her and can occasionally talk to her but must stay off her blanket.
The standard rule for Goldilocks is that she must stay in the same room as me unless she is in her bedroom. But on special days like these, she stays within a few feet of me. It still amazes me how quickly she responds to this tightness and how much she obeys. There are no spankings or yelling -- just consistent and tight parenting. We also have several cuddling times with conversations to get her feelings out on days like these (and every day, of course). The hardest part of a day like this is getting everyone else through their school work and chores. However, keeping peace in my home is more important than getting through my To Do List.
We did have some Easter fun this week, and I will be posting that later today. I just thought some of you may be interested in the day in a life with a RAD child.