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Hi. I read your post a couple months ago and am just getting around to responding. Sorry so slow. I have two kids adopted from Russia 9 years ago - DS is 18 now and DD is 15. DS is sweet and easy. DD is full of intensity and has reactive attachment disorder. How could anyone find so many unique ways to be annoyingly defiant? We had some very, very hard years but I can say that the last year has seen much, much improvement. When everyone else is telling me their teen daughters got so hard to live with, I can think that mine is getting better. I think she is getting old enough to process some of her reactions and choose a different course instead of just having the old, instinctive "I don't trust you. You don't love me" response. These RAD kids feel the urge to be in control in so many ways. She loved to boss her older brothers around, and me! And she still wants to be served, waited on. Can you bring me a drink Mom? Can you fix me a snack Mom? No dear, you need to do those things for yourself. Then I get the glare - but not nearly so much as before.
Today I listened to Gary Chapman about the five love languages - her need is for is gifts. That spells love to her. I've decided to try harder to bring home gifts to her more often - just little things like a pack of gum or can of iced tea. That seems to make a difference for her - a very physical, tangible reminder that she is loved.
We sometimes struggle with attachment issues, though with teens, it is hard to tease out what is usual attitude and what is attachment problems. One of my biggest frustrations is having to remind my girls that I am the mom. I make decisions, I parent their brother, I co-manage this household with my husband, not with them! Does anyone else struggle with these things?
Mama to three fabulous kids
Co-leader of International Adoption Spark Team -- adoptive parents, join us at: www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i