On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Saturday, March 13, 2010

does time out for your RADish = hell for mom?

The Dad is laid up in the bed, sick.

I've done a preliminary count of Sissy's behavior numbers. If she's spot on with every thing on her list, she'll narrowly meet a yellow level. But she'll be coming home in a little while, which means she'll have a little acting out session and consequently lose behavior and attitude points.

Sissy is with my IRL RAD friend, giving the rest of us respite. I asked my friend to please use RAD friendly language. "Sissy, your mom said you can have this/do this" My friend was on board with the plan. She understands. If the RADish thinks they are getting something their mom doesnt' know about or might not approve of while when with friends, she'll act out when she gets home. Kind of a see?! You're horrible! I got to do cool stuff when I wasn't with you! And consequently, it's an evening of pain and hurt for us when Sissy returns. BUT, if I'm omnipresent because my friend is always tossing the thought of me into conversation while Sissy's away, particularly if it's in expressions of permission, Sissy won't feel like she's getting away with something. Cheeky, ain't I?

And this is why it is so important to leave our RADishes with people "in the know". So many wonderful people offer to watch Sissy for us for a brief while and I genuinely appreciate their support. But for people unaware (or should I say, not cynical from experience?) Sissy will take advantage AND give me h-e-double hockey stix when she returns. It's an issue of boundaries and my lovely friends that want to help aren't always versed in the strictness of boundary required for RADishes.

Even worse, some blogging RAD moms have reported being rebuffed for their boundaries. Others have been told that their specific requests when caring for their RADishes have been directly defied once the door is closed behind them, including conversations with the RADishes that Mom's rules are unreasonable or unnecessary.

Agreed, RAD rules ARE odd, seemingly restrictive and on the outset, might appear as abuse by reason of depravity. In our materialistic society, it's hard for our non RAD parenting peers to understand that food, shelter, education and clothing are all that are required to raise children adequately. Wii, Nintendo DS, XBox, free access to sugary foods, unlimited TV - especially programs that blur the culturally acceptable images of young girls or address sexual issues in overt ways, too many toys, excessive purchases of "stuff", ALL of it is unessential. NONE of it creates safe boundaries for RADishes that are away from home, if even for a few hours on a Saturday.

Psychologists did a study showing that children that played in unfenced areas were so uncertain of their boundaries that the essentially were afraid to play. They stuck close to the house/building and didn't engage in regular active play. But when the children were placed in a confined space with set boundaries, they played with abandon. what's more, the smaller the confined space, the more actively the children played without adult interference. It is the set boundaries that make the difference, an issue of safety and expectation guiding a child's trust in adults and unfamiliar situations. This is thousands of times more poignant for our RADishes.

If you can find a friend that isn't afraid of RAD savvy rules and boundaries, treat them like gold. And take advantage of their generosity as often as possible. And be sure to return the favors!

I'm picking up the phone after I click "publish post" to call D~ so I can retrieve Sissy. I'll be bringing a loaf of freshly baked bread as my "thank you!" because I already know that D! will have made Sissy's visit a RAD friendly one.

With any luck, it will have been safe enough to make a transition back home seamless and easy for Sissy to get those last 8 points and a yellow level status instead of red.


GB's Mom said...

I am rooting for those last 8 points!

Linda B said...

Spot on mama! With any rule changes 2 of my kids lose it when they get home. You are very fortunate to have a golden friend. I'd tell you to treat her well, but you already know that! Hope your evening goes well~

Lisa said...

I have one wonderful friend who is literally the ONLY person who still offers to take my RAD son - and yet it's always a disaster when he goes there so I can't take her up on it. His drug of choice is overeating and he has a field day at her house. After 2 short visits, he started begging his psychiatrist to let him live with her. It was an absolute mess. I love her like a sister, but she really doesn't get it and I know what a witch I end up sounding like when setting boundaries with him and those who watch him (including teachers and his behavior aid). The worst part? We need him to go with his behavior aid so my other kids can have respite from him, but every time he's gone, I worry every minute about him shoplifting or worse. I feel like I'm always choosing between two bad choices and I'm never going to be happy with either one. My other kids really NEED a break from him (as do I) and I have to give them that if humanly possible, but I know being with people who don't support my guidelines (and pretty much no one does since I am - the witchy mother who only wants to limit him and his fun) makes him worse. Every time he gets away with something, he gets cockier and takes bigger risks. I am so jealous you have someone in your life who can give you respite in such a positive way!! You are very blessed!