What is a glass child?
Nov 27, 2017
Here it is, the TedTalk on Glass Children by Alicia Arenas that had the underground world of Reactive Attachment Disorder aka RAD moms in tears. Someone understood us, believed us, believed that our "healthy" children were having a tough time. We were thrilled and...guilt ridden. It was never our intention to "look through" our healthy children. I think my mom put it best, "You are stomping out fires (some families are literally) trying to keep everyone as safe as possible--there isn't time for much else when the family is in danger."
I've since heard many other RAD moms describe a similar way of life.
It always makes me think of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. During the 6 years my daughter with RAD lived in my home, I rarely made it beyond the orange level of Safety and Security. I had our Physiological Needs covered but was only managing Safety and Security by the skin of my teeth. It was not too bad when she was in school and my healthy son wasn't yet--we had time to love each other. Life got a lot harder when they were both in school and my daughter would lay into us in the morning and then the moment they both got in the car from school in the afternoon.
Here is a short synopsis of Alicia Arenas's TedTalk:
• Glass Children have siblings who are mentally ill, disabled, present challenging behaviors, etc.
• Glass Children are looked through by their parents. The sick child gets most of the attention.
• Glass Children are “the good kids” who go out of their way to not disappoint. They are seen as the child who needs less and this is a Godsend to the parents who are constantly stamping out physical, behavioral, emotional, and sometimes literal, fires from the unhealthy sibling.
Do you know a family in crisis?
Do you know a glass child who could use some attention? Invite them to your home to hang out with your kids and keep them for dinner. If you're a family member with no children, ask to take them out for ice cream or a movie. Ask open ended questions to draw them out and get them to talk about themselves. If you're able, take the sibling who is sick for a few hours. You are giving the glass child and his parents precious time together.
Love to all from the Mother Ranch,
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