Unattached Child – How Does His Brain Work?

When Love Is Not Enough

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If you have an unattached child, here’s a little hope.

I thought it would be cool to share with you what I have learned about the brain. If my previous blog post caused you a sense of hopelessness, this might cheer you up.

The Nancy Thomas videos I’ve been watching actually show PET scans of the brain. This is where the picture highlights what areas of the brain the energy is coming from. Frontal lobe (logical, processing) or rear lobe (fight/flight). Guess where my kid camps? You got it, back of his brain. In fact, he feels more comfortable there since this is where he has functioned from most of his life. Don’t get me wrong, he is a straight A student. He just handles life from the back of his head. And since life is safer there, he will do whatever he can to keep himself there, like freak out so I get mad or threaten him. This is just hunky dory living the good life for him. He knows how to operate and function and can be in power and control here.

The cool thing here is that I can bring him to the front of his brain. How, you ask? By not operating out of anger or threatening him for starters. Threatening – like “If you don’t clean your room by 1pm, you can’t play video games”. Or “If you get an F, you can’t have a sleepover”. So now I am trying “You can play video games when your room is clean”. Not sure if that will work better, but seems less threatening!

Also, keeping my anger in check when talking to him. Actually joking helps a lot, not hurtful teasing but joking keeps the humor level up and the tantrum level down. If he really makes me mad, (which surprisingly after learning some of this I don’t take his behavior so personally and am getting less angry), I give myself a timeout until I can talk calmly.

And the very best part of this is reprogramming the brain. Starting by doing the things above and learning how his brain is working has helped me to feel less hopeless and helpless as a parent.

Do you have an unattached child? It’s not easy, but there is hope! One resource we use is When Love Is Not Enough by Nancy Thomas. It offers tons of help in dealing with your Reactive Attachment Disorder kiddo.


  1. Good for you!

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