You need a safety plan

If you’re raising a child with RAD you almost certainly need a safety plan.

Our children’s dangerous behaviors can include suicidal ideation, self- harming, violent outbursts, serious property damage, and physical aggression towards others (especially siblings).

This is shared from a blog post by Renae and Jason who are grappling with their daughter’s violent episodes.

This story could be mine, and probably yours too:

It was a Monday when everything came to a head.  Sunshine couldn’t be reasoned with.  She was not functioning.  What would normally be a calm exchange of words turned violent.  Sunshine started to throw any items she could get her hands on.  She even threw a dining room chair, almost breaking a window.  And then she verbally threatened to kill me with a knife.

That’s when I knew, my dear sweet Sunshine was horribly manic.  She had become a danger to herself and to others.  The medicine had been working more than we knew.  We were in trouble.  I had to initiate our safety plan.

They also share these important steps of their safety plan:

1. Immediately remove others from harm’s way
2. Stop the child from endangering herself or others
3. Call and report
4. Lower expectations
5. Follow through with recommendations made by doctors and specialists

Renae and Jason say their daughter “had become a danger to herself and others.” If you reach this point, it’s always time to get help. Also, be sure to tell mental health professionals this – “My child is a danger to themselves and others” are ‘magic words’ that will help you get your child the acute care they need. (See my post on why I use the word “rage” and not “tantrum” for the same reason.

[bctt tweet=”‘My child is a danger to themselves and others’ are ‘magic words’ that will help you get your child the acute care they need.” username=”RaisingDevon”]

Read more details on Renae and Jason’s safety plan in the full post here: A Safety Plan for Mental Health Emergencies 

What steps do you take to keep your family safe in a crisis?

Laying blame will not help heal the child.

The feelings of guilt and shame the parents are burdened with, as the child injures other children and pets, defies authority and is destructive to things around them, are very painful and destructive to themselves. The community looks for someone to blame rather than a solution to the problem. Finding someone to blame does not help! It is vital to let go of the guilt, let go of the shame and resolve to solve the problem. Whether another parent is the one that broke your child’s heart or you made the errors yourself is of no consequence anymore. Laying blame will not help heal the child. Carrying guilt and shame wastes a tremendous amount of energy that could be put to much better use healing the child.

— Nancy L. Thomas, When Love is Not Enough