Glass Children: The Impact of RAD on Siblings #NAVRAD22

I’m in Atlanta at the Navigating RAD 22 conference with RAD Advocates this weekend. For those of you who couldn’t make it, this is your place for the highlights from the amazing speakers!

Glass Children: The Impact of RAD on Siblings

Monica Badgley, RAD Sibs with a panel of young people

Highlights & Take Aways

  • See Them: Help them recognize their value apart from their sibling with RAD
  • When your bonded child comes to you with a hurt, don’t listen for the facts of what happened. Trauma minds don’t always remember all the details. What they’re really saying is that they were blamed for something their RAD sibling did and the details don’t matter.
  • Bonded children who grow up with RAD siblings need to process their trauma so they don’t bring it into their own future families.
  • Bonded kids often come to have this mission to help their parents with the RAD kid. They aren’t able to rest in their role as a kid and they grow up quickly. As parents we need to be mindful that our child sees themselves as a teammate.         
  • As parents we have to learn how to set our bonded kids free. It’s not their job to protect us and to take care of their RAD sibling.
  • Bonded kids with RAD siblings also can develop amazing skills of independence, resilience, self-sufficiency, and the ability to find the silver lining.
  • A lot of bonded kids with RAD siblings use humor to cope.
  • In a household that is high pressure kids can start to shut down. Arts can help kids to express themselves, feel and heal.
  • When our kids expose how they are feeling it is their way of decompressing. Even if you feel that you have no idea what to “do,” that doesn’t matter. Just let them talk. Talking allows them to process their feelings which is the step to healing.
  • Having alarms on your RAD kids door can help your other kids cope if they are afraid at night.
  • Your bonded children can also benefit from fidget toys and a safe place.
  • After you are finished managing a rage be sure to check in on the other kids and make sure they’re okay. Let them know that they’re not a burden.

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Monica Badgley, RAD Sibs

Monica Badgley is on a mission to create a community of support for siblings of those with RAD. After several years of focusing on her children with RAD, Monica’s eyes were opened to the traumatic impact it was having on her child without RAD. To bring a platform to these often overlooked children, Monica founded RAD Sibs, an organization supporting siblings of people with RAD, helping them to feel less isolated and no longer seen through like “glass children.” RAD Sibs offers community and validation through Sib Shops, videos, interviews, and encouraging mail.

Find Monica at RADSibs

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