Where We Are Today with RAD
Tyler’s been out of school for over a month now and things have gone really smoothly. I worked out of town one week and he went with me. Another week all three kids and I volunteered for VBS at our church. He’s been polite and respectful.
Until today…I asked him to clean up his room. It just wasn’t what he wanted to do at that moment. The arguing began. His anger elevated very quickly. He was rude, sarcastic, and disrespectful. He yelled, stomped, and slammed his door. Statements like “you’re pissing me off”, “nobody in this house likes me” and “you don’t care” were hurled at me. This is my bipolar, attachment-disrupted, 14-year-old son’s temper tantrum.
When the temper tantrum is in full force there will be NO rational conversation. I told him, “I’m sorry you feel that way” and “you are welcome to come down for supper when your room is clean”. Then I left him to his thoughts.
Where We Were Before IACD
No, these little episodes aren’t fun. But I welcome his outbursts when I stop and think about how far he’s come. Before Tyler went to the Institute for Attachment & Child Development, this same incident would’ve escalated into something like this:
Tyler may have thrown, broken or burned things in his room, cut his arms and legs, banged his head against and punched holes in the walls, tried to choke himself or swallowed cleaning chemicals. He may have threatened to kill us. And that’s just the beginning.
Yet, today…Tyler came downstairs after 20 minutes. Calm. I asked him if his room was clean and ready for inspection. He replied “yes”. And, it really looked great! I told him, “good job” and he said “thank you”. The family had already started eating. He filled his plate and sat down at the table. The rest of our evening was easy-going as if nothing had happened.
Our time at IACD has helped me too. I now understand and accept my son’s disorders. I know how to get through the hard times. Tyler’s not allowed to use his disorders as a crutch or excuse for his behavior though. We hold him accountable for his choices and actions and model polite and respectful behavior at all times.
So, was it a good day? Yes, I’d say it was a great day, with a 30-minute hiccup. And for that, I’m grateful.
Please share your RAD days below. Have you come any further or are you still in the trenches? We’re here to support you.