One of the behaviors that kids with reactive attachment disorder may use for power and control is to make false accusations towards their parents. When they are angry with their parents, they may tell adults outside of the home such as teachers or neighbors that their parents abused them. They may even call 911 on their own.
When authorities step into allegation charges
By law, police officers or child protective service workers investigate all allegations of child abuse, as they should. Child abuse allegations need to be taken seriously. On the other hand, it’s also harmful for children to falsely accuse adults of abuse charges. When authority figures interview children alone to collect information, children with reactive attachment disorder can view such situations as means for power and may create stories to get parents in trouble. Children with reactive attachment disorder may also use such situations as threats against parents at later times. It’s very upsetting for a parent to watch his child blatantly lie to someone in authority. Parents often get very emotional, become animated, and say something like “You tell the officer the truth right now.” To the authorities, parents can look guilty in this emotional state.
What we do to protect against false allegations at IACD
In our treatment program at the Institute for Attachment and Child Development, we’re proactive in protecting our therapeutic treatment parents from false allegations. Furthermore, our model revolves around teamwork. If a child were to spit the team via false allegations, the child doesn’t have optimal opportunity to heal. Perhaps you can use our ideas for your own purposes as a parent or professional working with children with reactive attachment disorder.
Institute for Attachment and Child Development guidelines:
1. We ask placing parents, case workers, or therapists who have witnessed a child make false allegations to sign a statement about the behavior. Our treatment parents have this statement on file in case they need it to protect themselves legally when faced with false allegations by a child.
2. Our parents carry identification cards with our agency logo to identify themselves as professional treatment parents. Our contact information is listed on the back of the card.
3. We provide training for caseworkers, law enforcement officers, and teachers to explain the child’s behavior.
Please call and invite Forrest Lien to speak at your parent and professional groups worldwide at (303) 674-1910. When we learn together, we can work together to fight attachment disorder.