Okay so I am going to put forth that puberty is the great brain eating monster. It just seems that for some reason as soon as the hormones hit that brain that has already been affected by Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) that everything they ever have possibly learned just disappears. I know that all manners and niceness seems to take a bit of a holiday and it is back to the drawing board as far as getting respect. The thing to remember is while it may be hard to deal with there is an end…right? Oh please tell me there is an end! No seriously puberty does end and the attitude with it. The issue is dealing with it in the mean time. It takes a stubborn spirit but those of us parenting RAD and FAS already have that. So we remember who is the parent and who is the child?
What is the number one rule in RAD parenting? Well it is that the parent WILL receive respect. So the fact is that in a very concrete way we remind our child that while they may feel angry…which they do at this age, we are not the enemy. The real issue here is that this is the age where life becomes much harder for a child with Fetal Alchol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). They are starting to deal with a life that is more abstract and having lots of worldly expectations put on them. The person with FASD is feeling their differences and also at times feeling the lack of acceptance of people in their world. This is extremely stressful for anyone…I think we all remember that the fact is that puberty sucked. It sucks and is stressful even in the best of world’s. Add in the stress of having any sort of mental health issues (not just RAD or FASD or both but truly any) and you have a combination that is at times a time bomb just waiting for the trigger. And as the parent we begin to feel as though we are the ones sitting on this little time bomb.
Breath…seek support and go back to your parenting basics. It is possible to not only survive but thrive. Take breaks and make sure you are taking care of yourself. The one thing to always remember in parenting is that if the parent is not taking care of themselves mentally and physically they will have nothing left to give to their child or their family. So the old saying “if mama ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy” isn’t that far off truly. So make sure that mama gets to have a break and that she is getting support from the people around her.