Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD

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Insecure Attachment

Hi L.,

Please look for my comments where you see these arrows: =======>

Dear Mark,

I'm writing again about my adopted girl now 14 years old. As you know we have been having problems with her since she was around 10. We have been through the whole counseling routine, where she manipulates and all, but now are involved in a so called family counseling service and for the most part I think they have been very good at not letting her call the shots and call her on things they see, instead of everything being the parents fault.

I not saying we haven't made mistakes, the main one being as parents we do disagree on some of the accepted behaviors. Since we cannot agree on how to discipline even when we agree on the rules, this has left her open to manipulate one of us, usually my husband.

She basically knows what I will accept and since I have tried to remove the emotion from my statements and have tried to put the ball in her court as far as relationship goes, she has been better with me, but then sets her sights on my husband. He can't do what I do, he states he just has to be himself and if he cares about someone he can't pretend he doesn't when they are making mistakes or hurting his feelings. I get this too but that doesn't help her.

============> Keep in mind that a weaker plan supported by both parents is much better than a stronger plan supported by only one.

Her latest psychological evaluation states her diagnosis as insecure attachment. Different from RAD I'm told but very difficult to find information on.

===========> “Insecure attachment” is a “problem with relationships” – it takes two people (e.g., child and parent). “RAD” is a disorder within the child. The purpose of labeling a parent-child relationship “insecure” is not to blame parents who love and intend the best for their children, but may be products themselves of insecure attachment, trauma or depression. Separation can also be a factor that contributes to insecure attachment. Insecure attachment and the developmental disruptions they can cause are often passed from one generation to the next unless steps are taken to repair what has been damaged. And it sounds like you are helping with “repair.”

She is very bright and is a good student who likes school and did excel at athletics until recently when she seems to exhibit very little interest into things she used to at least do and enjoy. She seems perfectly happy to spend as much time at home being non-compliant and lie in front of the TV.

===========> Watching TV doesn’t involve “relationship” – thus it is a “self-soothing” behavior for her to engage in. (She could be out doing worse things.)

My instincts tell me to not get involved with the sports situation as long as school is going well, and we have the other issues at home to deal with and let the natural consequences occur with sports but my husband feels she is wasting so much talent and ability and this could only help her in her future. My question is how far should we go to encourage her in sports and should she earn it and could you please check on some information for me of her new diagnosis.

==========> Go with your instinct. I think you have bigger fish to fry than worrying about sports. Encourage? Yes. Insist? No. If she decides to pursue sports, the “practice” that comes with any sport will be how she earns it.


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