Who Reigns in This Household? It’s All About Control!

One thing I’ve learned, of the many things I’m learning, is that RAD kiddos want “control” of their environments…TOTAL control. This is not out of a deep desire, rather it is out of survival. Survival from their traumas. The Rad kiddos have been so hurt and had little to NO control over anything in their lives….that now, in order for them to “survive,” they feel a need to control the very thing that want you and I to control.


Sounds contradictory, yes, but it is just like the RAD kiddo wants to feel close and love us….but they cannot yet, they cannot out of survival, what if they lose us as well? Their hearts can only take so much. Their brains can only process so much.


The signs and Symptoms of RAD are as follows:

~Superficially engaging and charming, particularly around strangers or those who they feel they can manipulate

~Indiscriminate affection, often to strangers; but not affectionate on parent’s terms

~Problem making eye contact, except when angry or lying

~A severe need to control everything and everyone; worsens as they get older


~Argumentative, often over silly or insignificant things

~Frequent tantrums or rage, often over trivial issues

~Demanding or clingy, often at inappropriate times

~Trouble understanding cause and effect

~Poor impulse control

~Lacks morals, values, and spiritual faith

~Little or no empathy; often have not developed a conscience

~Cruelty to animals

~Lying for no apparent reason

~False allegations of abuse

~Destructive to property or self


~Constant chatter; nonsense questions

~Abnormal speech patterns; uninterested in learning communication skills

~Developmental and/or learning delays

~Fascination with fire, blood, gore, weapons, evil; will usually make the bad choice

~Problems with food; eiher hoarding it or refusing to eat

~Concerned about details, but ignoring the main issue

~Few or no long term friends; tends to be a loner

~Attitude of entitlement and self-importance

~Sneaks things without permission even if he could have had themb asking

~Triangulation of adults; pitting one against the other

~A darkness behind the eyes when raging


As you can see in the list above, there are many that your child may exhibit, and yet others they don’t. MM has a great majority of them….but not all. The one I want to point out in this post is:

~A severe need to control everything and everyone; worsens as they get older

When I very first went through the list…I was shaking my head “yes” and thinking, “Wow, someone has all this together and knows what the heck they’re talking about because that sounds exactly like my son! Discouraging as it is, it was good to know what we’re dealing with so we know where to go from that point forward.

CONTROL…..wow…..does MM ever try to control every aspect of his daily living and the environment around him. There was one particular time that I honestly cannot remember what it was about…..something trivial I’m sure……that I told MM, “You’re not the one in Control, Mommy and Daddy are.” MM immediately retorted with, “Oh YES I AM IN CONTROL!” I calmly….that is key….to remain calm…it not only doesn’t esculate the situation, but teaches your child who is actually in control and also how to act in a given situation….told MM that he “is a kiddo and you can just be a kiddo, you don’t need to be in control anymore. Mommy and daddy have this covered. You can trust us. We won’t let anything happen to you, honey. You’re safe with us. You can just be a kiddo and have fun. Ppl who are in control have so many things that need to be done and you don’t need to worry about that yet.” You won’t believe what happened next….mind you, MM is only 4…..He said to me, “I can’t let it (control) go. I’m too scared to let it go!” I held him immediately and reassured MM that it was going to be ok and that Mommy and Daddy would help him to let go of it. He cried and cried. I’m telling you…..this is amazing that he was able to articlute this!!!!


It is easier said than done, right. I can say all I want…..”It’s time to let go…..(it will be ok)” and I can believe it to my very soul…but the one that really has to believe it is our kiddos. Be patient with them……their traumas were so much so that they don’t know how to live any other way……it is up to us to teach them…..all along the way to healing.


Blessings to you and your children….