On a scale of 1 to 10 how hard is it to raise a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)? The obvious answer is 1,432 because it is MUCH harder than you think, however each day could be rated differently. No matter the number though, it is always HARD.
There are days that fall into the 1 – 5 category. Days full of shirts not tucked in, fingernails dirty, teeth not brushed, food spilled, dirty dishes, homework battles, inappropriate remarks, small things broken, lies, arguing and small time defiance. These are a given. These are EVERY day. Every. single. day. Then there are days that a scale of 1 to 10 doesn’t even touch the surface. These include behaviors like fits of rage, breaking banisters, pulling wall paper off of walls, reporting parents to authorities, stealing money, cutting arms for attention, stealing weapons, punching holes in walls, throwing furniture, ripping cabinets off of walls, lighting matches and dropping them inside the house, threatening classmates, shoplifting, pornography at school, etc. These things don’t happen every day, but they happen more often than most RAD parents let on. Generally speaking, I would say that parenting a RAD kid is usually a 5-6 with a 10+ thrown in here and there. It is hard. Always hard. Chronic.
When a doctor asks you to rate your pain and you have to try to figure out a number you want to just scream, “I don’t know, it’s pain!” We wonder why we have to rate it at all. The same is true for why you would even struggle with trying to rate your “hard” as you parent your kid with RAD. “I don’t know, it’s hard!” It’s for perspective. It’s to see things a little differently. Maybe objectively instead of emotionally.
I can tell you that yesterday was a 10+, my house & heart have the scars to show it. But, today he’s in the shower, he’ll go to school and I have hope that it might be a 2 or 3. More than likely it will be at least a 6 or 7, but I doubt it will be a 10. That’s something. That’s progress. We wake each day with a new scale, yes, there is some leftover “hard” from the day before, but generally, we get to start again. May there be some relief. May you have a “good” day….shoot for an under 5!