This post is one of our Family Friday series when we give you a peek into our family treatment homes. Each Friday, we’ll show you a picture, along with a description from one of our treatment parents. Learn more about our unique treatment model for children with reactive attachment disorder and meet our treatment families.
“Here’s a picture from our birthday celebration for one of the boys in our house this week. It was a nice, simple evening. At our therapeutic family treatment homes, we certainly celebrate with children on their birthdays. Yet, our celebrations revolve around family togetherness and values, not gifts. We have a family dinner together, have a cake, sing happy birthday, give a reasonable gift like games we can all play together or clothing, and play some board games as a family. The child feels special but not overindulged and learns to recognize the value of family, not things.
We see a lot of adoptive parents go overboard and overindulge their adopted children on their birthdays to “make up” for what their biological parents did or didn’t do. However, that’s exactly the opposite of what kids with trauma backgrounds need. Children with reactive attachment disorder lack the developmental maturity to think beyond themselves. Just like two-year-old children, they focus on their needs and what they can get from others. When adults overindulge them and place too much emphasis on material things, the child’s sense of entitlement is reinforced. As a result, parents have an even more difficult time setting limits, even after the birthday is over.”
-Chris Roosma, therapeutic treatment dad at the Institute for Attachment and Child Development