RAD Kids Love To Lie

When Love Is Not Enough

When Love Is Not Enough - Purchase From Amazon.com

I want to view each day as an adventure with my RAD kiddo. I don’t want to wake up depressed anymore dreading the day ahead. I want the challenge of helping this child become successful in coping with life in a healthy manner be what motivates me. So why can’t I? Oh, there is another person in this equation.

And right now this one does not want to participate. She so boldly stated to her daddy and I that it is her life and she will do what she wants. Never mind the consequences, she will take them! While this is okay for a 10-year old (usually!), when you are a middle teen (with an emotional age of 10) the stakes get immeasurably higher for this attitude.

Living her life her way, right now looks like lying about everything. She does it so frequently that I believe that it is more natural than telling the truth. Why do I say this? Because she even now is lying to her friends about things that no one even cares about. “I will only have a small piece of meat because I really don’t eat meat”. Yes she does and who cares?! Certainly not the friend who was not only unimpressed but that statement didn’t even register on their “care to know meter”.

Of course, what goes with the lying but sneaking. Wanting control of her life, there is nothing she won’t sneak to do. And most of the time, if she asked (or I’d be happy with even telling us at first), we’d be okay with it. However, telling us makes us in charge of her life.

So the trust in our relationship with her is gone. So much so that I can’t believe anything that comes out of her mouth. Even when she gets caught and goes through her honeymoon period to manipulate us back to sleep (so she thinks), I don’t believe her. And my fear level for a phone call from the police or a positive pregnancy test is off the charts. And by the way, she says that this is our problem, too.

I have spent all of her life knowing and working with this child with abandonment issues. And intensely so the last 2 years. We have had her (and still do) in counseling. Read, listened and watched everything that we can lay our hands on. Formed support groups and starting counseling for us. Implemented, reworked, backed up and tried again over and over again. And she will not budge.

Maybe tomorrow will be the day?

Do you have a RADish? It’s not easy, but there is hope! Oe of the resources we use is When Love Is Not Enough by Nancy Thomas. It can give you tons of help in dealing with your Reactive Attachment Disorder kiddo.


  1. Oh, yes, those RADishes do love to lie. And they do it so well! Mine certainly does, although over time we have learned to tell when she is lying (most of the time). As I see it sneakiness is only a different version of lying. Instead of looking you in the face and telling you a lie, kiddo simply acts it out. And later lies about it! The saving grace is that our RADish is definitely healing, getting stronger, lying less and less, being less and less sneaky. We see this in many ways. What began to turn things around for us in a big way was attending a week long therapeutic intensive with Nancy Thomas and James Dusmenil. I see that you are familiar with Nancy, and as good as her recorded material is, working directly with her can’t be beat. I would be happy to talk to you about the intensives if you are interested. Good luck!

    aka Mr. Mike

  2. Matt Hellstrom says:

    You’re right about sneakiness – just another form of lying. Experience that just about every day. We’ve been working with our kiddo, though, to show her it gives her power to tell the truth. She then gets more responsibility and perks. I think she’s starting to get it. One thing she’s finding out is that most of her friends don’t like her sneakiness either! Puts her between a rock and a hard place.

    Just got to keep on keepin’ on! That’s the plan!

  3. Jessica says:

    For so long, I have been trying to find resources to help my family and myself deal with our RAD child. She lies constantly about everything, steals, sneaks food and anything else she can get her hands on, manipulates like you wouldn’t believe, smears feces all over things (She once pooped in a heating vent in my house, in the bathroom sink at school, and in the bathroom sink at church. Talk about embarrassing!), and she has made herself vomit all over her sister’s belongings, for her own reasons. (We cannot get into her head, and I’m not sure I want to…)

    As you all know, raising a RADish is no easy feat. Rather, it is the exact opposite. I wake up everyday, dreading the obstacles that day will bring me. I am constantly hearing about how my little one decides to act out in school, and is causing a disturbance in the classroom. It has happened so many times, I have come to think something is wrong if I don’t get frequent calls from the school.

    Please, let me know I’m not alone. She is going to be 8 years old this year, and if it’s already this bad, will there ever be a break?

  4. Matt Hellstrom says:

    Jessica, it’s not easy, is it. They do make you wake up and dread every day. I know what you mean about the calls from the school. I think we’re on our school’s speed dial!

    Have you checked into Nancy Thomas’s DVD’s or book? She’s given us many good ideas. Here’s the link: http://www.attachment.org/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=attachment&Product_Code=137&Category_Code=ALL

    I hope for the best for you. Sometimes I think God gave me these kids to keep me humble!


  5. Thank you for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I am waiting for your next post thanks once again.

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