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!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Books and Methods Review - Therapeutic Parenting - Nancy Thomas

Nancy Thomas

Nancy Thomas is the parent of many adopted RAD kids.  She has helped many RAD children and their families through her books, seminars, and camps.  She is often considered the resource for parenting a RAD child, and she really gets it.  Her methods really work, but it is important to remember that nothing works for ALL children ALL the time.  -

Marythemom:  I find Nancy’s books to be intimidating because she is a therapeutic parent working with children with severe RAD.  Her techniques can seem a little harsh and punitive, but they work for severe RAD kids– especially with non-teens (although they work for her teens).  I was unable to make it work for my personality type from the beginning.  I was unable to enforce the concept of “strong sitting” (Strong Sits and other techniques at our home, but our children were older, dealing with severe mental illnesses, and my teenage son was already much bigger than me when we got him.

She has some REALLY good articles too, including the Frozen Lake story (see the end of this post) which really helped me understand why my kids act the way they do - which helps me with empathy.

Just be aware, that if you read the books, it comes across very militaristic. But that wasn't her intent, and the books don't relay her intent very well. So it's very easy to eff it up if you don't use the soft tones, loving voice, etc etc to do the things she says to do. I couldn't do it, by that point I was so pissed off at my kid I couldn't do it. We did take some of the ideas and use them in our household. ~~ A Trauma Mama 

Dandelion on My Pillow, Butcher Knife Beneath: The true Story of an Amazing Family that Lived with and Loved Kids Who Killed by Nancy L. Thomas, Terena Thomas, Beth Thomas 
Product Description
This is the true story of an amazing family that lived with and loved kids who killed written by the mother and two of her daughters. This shocking and thought-provoking account is the story of emotionally lost children and how some found their way back. Through the work by this courageous family comes this spellbinding metamorphosis of nine children. Their stories of survival and triumph break the unwritten code of silence about children without a conscience. Although it stems from the deepest of human suffering, each shining triumph will leave you uplifted and celebrating life.

Marythemom:  This is the book I started my parenting a RAD child journey with, I decided at the time it would be extremely difficult to start my newly placed teens with concepts like strong sitting.  I have seen her methods really work with younger children. 
Product Description
Newly updated and expanded, this book is power packed with parenting techniques for guiding challenging children back on track! Part I includes understanding Reactive Attachment Disorder, it's causes and symptoms. Part II has the solutions! Praised by parents throughout the world as saving their sanity and their families. Used by many agencies and professionals to train parents to help emotionally disturbed youth. If you want to make a difference in the life of a hurting child this clear, focused plan will do it.

Building Brilliant Brains Through Bonding – DVD - This 50-minute DVD by Nancy Thomas brings laughs and understanding to a weighty subject. We can make a powerful difference in helping our hurting children when we understand their brains! Shows PROOF that they can heal!
A Better Brain= Better Behavior!
Building Better Brains Through Bonding is filled with ideas to understand and activate the brain. It is especially geared toward children with emotional illnesses such as Reactive Attachment Disorder and Attachment Disorder. Humor and insight combine to make this film clear and compelling. Come join Nancy Thomas and her special guest the late Lawrence Van Bloem, LCSW, master neurofeedback practitioner, as they share their insights gained from a combined 50 years of working with difficult children with broken hearts and wounded minds. Learn the secrets to success in healing the brain of a traumatized child.

Healing Trust -This CD set has many hours of listening that can be enjoyed at home or as you drive (for busy parents). Laugh along with Nancy Thomas as she explains Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and the twelve powerful parenting techniques she has used successfully for many years to guide disturbed children toward emotional health and happiness. Many parents have shared with us that they enjoy listening to these CDs over and over to renew hope, gain more encouragement and fine tune the specialized parenting skills to help their child.

Mastering Steps - 8 DVD Set & Manual
Nancy Thomas takes you on a laugh-filled journey to heal the heart of a challenging child. This collection is power packed with unique and insightful ideas to meet the challenge! This Eight DVD set and manual are custom designed to encourage and empower parents and professionals working with hurting children. This collection is all wrapped up in a message of hope that can change your life forever!

More Than A Thread Of Hope - 2 DVD Set by Beth Thomas
Beth Thomas, RN, BSN, was once labeled "The Child of Rage" by HBO. She is now a phenomenal woman. She is the daughter of Nancy Thomas. Her amazing story offers hope and encouragement.
She is no longer a child of rage but an award-winning registered nurse and an amazing speaker. Beth has received standing ovations from London to Los Angeles. Her healing from Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is a powerful story. You will never forget it!

Taming The Tiger While Its Still A Kitten - 2 CD Set & Booklet


Let me quote you something out of the book, "When Love is Not Enough"....this is on page 15, so when you get the book, you can reference it.

The Frozen Lake Story
"In order to understand what an unattached child feels like, one must understand his perspective. Imagine that you are the young child who must cross a frozen lake in the autumn to reach your home. As you are walking across the lake alone, you fall suddenly and unexpectedly through the ice. Shocked and cold in the dark, you can't even cry for help. You struggle for your very life, you struggle to the surface. Locating the jagged opening, you drag yourself through the air and crawl back into the woods from where you started. You decide to live there and never, never to return onto the ice. As weeks go by you see others on the ice skating and crossing the ice. If you go onto it, you will die."
"Your family across the pond hears the sad news that the temperature will drop to sub-zero this night. So a brave and caring family member (that is you, the parent!) searches and finds you to bring you home to love and warmth. The family member attempts to help you cross the ice by supporting and encouraging, pulling and prodding. You, believing you will die, fight for your life by kicking, screaming, punching and yelling (even obscenities) to get the other person away from you. Every effort is spent in attempting to disengage from this family member. The family member fights for your life, knowing you must have the love and warmth of home for your very survival. They take the blows you dish out and continue to pull you across the ice to home, knowing it's your only chance."
"The ice represents the strength of the bond and your ability to trust. It was damaged by the break in your connection to someone you trusted. Some children have numerous bonding breaks throughout their young lives. This is like crashing them into the ice water each time they are moved, scarring and chilling their hearts against ever loving and bonding again." By Nancy L. Thomas

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