This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Integrity Study - The Game

As part of a FAIR Club assignment, we did a study on Integrity.
Integrity Study Day 1
Integrity Study Day 2
Integrity Study Day 3
Integrity Study Day 4
This was a game I created to practice what we learned about integrity.

The Integrity Game

Rules 
1) Roll the number cube (die) and pick up a card. Read and answer the card aloud.
2) If the group decides you answered with integrity, then you can move the number of spaces on the die.
3) Two or more players can be on the same space.
4) Continue to play until someone reaches the finish, then see who will finish second, third, etc.

Integrity Cards:
  1. Your friend’s parents give him permission to be at your house.  He goes to the park instead.  He asks you to lie about his whereabouts if they call.
  2. You are alone in your classroom.  You are standing near the teacher’s reward box.  It would be so easy to grab that cool reward trinket you’ve been wanting.
  3. You buy a burger. The cashier is distracted and accidentally gives you too much change.
  4. A group of kids is picking on a kid you really don’t like.  They want you to join in.
  5. You have a really hard question on your homework.  You know you can just write the wrong answer and will be allowed to make corrections before it’s graded.
  6. Your friends dare you to ask out someone you don’t really like.  (You aren’t allowed to tell the person it’s a dare).
  7. You agree to sell your old MP3 player to a friend, and someone later offers you more money.
  8. A friend is wearing an expensive new outfit that she really likes, but you think is ugly and unflattering.  She asks you for your opinion.
  9. Your friend asks you to find out if a boy likes her.  He says he likes you better.  Your friend wants to know what he said.
  10. You left at home all the research for your rough draft which is due today and a big part of your grade.  You could copy something off the internet on the school computer and fix it later before turning in the final report. 
  11. You’re thirsty but have no money.  A friend offers you a Frappuchino (cold, sweet coffee drink), but it has caffeine and a lot of sugar.  Mom would never know.
  12. You’re at a party and find out there will be no adults there to supervise and some people are drinking.  Your friends want you to stay.
  13. It’s fun to tease your siblings and they tease you right back.  Mom tells you that one of your siblings is really upset by the teasing, even though they don’t say anything and they tease you back.
  14. You discover that if you stand next to a certain air vent you can hear your parents talking about you.  You really want to know what they are saying.
  15. Mom’s told you and your sibling to quit roughhousing, but you don’t and your sibling accidentally gets hurt.  Mom asks you what happened and you know you’ll get in trouble if you tell her you were roughhousing.  Your sibling says, "let’s not tell."
  16. A big, mean kid purposefully spits on you in the hallway between classes.  You want to yell and scream at the kid, but you know the kid could really hurt you.
  17. You’re pretty sure your teacher gave you a bad grade just because she doesn’t like you.  You think your parent’s won’t believe you, but they might let you get out of her class if you tell them you’re afraid of the teacher.
  18. You left a big mess in the kitchen but a sibling is going to get blamed for it.  The sibling always makes messes and never gets in trouble for them.  If you say nothing the sibling will finally get in trouble for making a mess.
  19. You really want some cookies, but there are only a few left.  Mom would say no, but if you don’t take them now there won’t be any more later.
  20. Everyone cusses and would think there is something wrong with you if you don’t.  You think they might stop being your friend if you’re a goody two shoes.
  21. It’s a holiday and you want to sleep in, but for some reason Mom says you have to get up early.  You could go back to sleep and say you didn’t hear your parent say it was time to get up.
  22. You know you can’t get out of doing your chores, but if you do a bad job maybe they won’t notice.  
  23. Dinner looks really gross.  Your parents ask why you’re not eating.
  24. A friend says something really mean about you to all your friends.  You know a secret about the friend that you could tell.
  25. A person tells you that you made a mistake and it reminds you of a really upsetting event in your past.  You want to yell and scream at the person in the past, but the person who criticized you is the only one there.
  26. A sibling may have told people at school about something private about you.  You’re so mad you want to hurt your sibling.
  27. You don’t feel good because you stayed up late reading.  There’s nothing really going on at school today so you probably wouldn’t miss anything if you stay home.
  28. A kid in special ed likes you and keeps putting notes in your locker telling you how great you are.  Your friends are teasing you about the notes and you want the kid to stop.
  29. You’re in a bad mood.  You want to tell everybody to leave you alone, but your sibling is in your face being silly and obnoxious.
  30. Your friend asks you to come over, but you know your parents won’t let you because you’re in trouble.  Your friend will want to know why you can’t come and will tell everyone if you say it’s because you’re in trouble.  

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Books and Methods Review - Stop Walking on Eggshells

Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder by Paul Mason MSRandi Kreger
Do you feel manipulated, controlled, or lied to? Are you the focus of intense, violent, and irrational rages? Do you feel you are 'walking on eggshells' to avoid the next confrontation?

If the answer is 'yes,' someone you care about may have borderline personality disorder (BPD). Stop Walking on Eggshells has already helped nearly half a million people with friends and family members suffering from BPD understand this destructive disorder, set boundaries, and help their loved ones stop relying on dangerous BPD behaviors. This fully revised edition has been updated with the very latest BPD research and includes coping and communication skills you can use to stabilize your relationship with the BPD sufferer in your life. This compassionate guide will enable you to:

  • Make sense out of the chaos
  • Stand up for yourself and assert your needs
  • Defuse arguments and conflicts
  • Protect yourself and others from violent behavior
There is a part on using coping strategies for self-care, how to seek support and validation, how to seek out Internet help and community groups and above all how to keep a good sense of humor.  Taking care of yourself, detaching with love, taking your life back, not allowing yourself to be abused, taking the heat out of the situation by gently paraphrasing and reflexive listening, creating a safety plan for imminent self-mutilation, how to bolster your own self-identity and self-esteem, taking responsibility for your own behaviour and remembering that sometimes, “… splitting and other BPD behaviour can be catching.” ~PsychCentral Review
    Marythemom:  This is an excellent book written for family members of people with BPD, but I feel it can also help parents of RAD kids. I read an older edition, so my review might not be as accurate. The first half of the book explains how the person with BPD feels.  The second half addresses how to live with a person with BPD.  It is assumed that everyone is adults, and that we cannot change the person with BPD - treatment is their choice.  This book is NOT written to help the person with BPD.  It is how to cope as a sympathetic family member.  I plan to review some of the concepts from the second half of the book at a later date.