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Awesome Grandparenting for RAD

Grandparents are Important

Grandparents can be a powerful force on the healing team! Their support and encouragement can lift a heart and spur a weary parent on to tackling another day helping to heal a wounded child. Grandparents’ message of love should be clearly focused on the parents – as the mother and father must head the team to help the little ones.

Powerful Outreach of Support

Grandparents can provide encouraging cards, filled with uplifting words, for the parents. Hugs for mom and dad are a simple outreach of love that mean much more than words. Grandparents’ ears and eyes tuned in to see and hear a struggling parent (who needs to vent) can be the release valve that is a turning point for the family. A casserole or baked goods filled with nutrients, love, and compassion can fill-up a drained parent as they struggle to provide healing opportunities for their child. Hiring household help can be a gift much appreciated by these loved ones.

Doing it Wrong

Unasked for advice, criticism, and doubt have no place on the healing team. Grandparents who have been successful helping to heal children with RAD should, of course, be available to answer questions asked. Grandparents who have raised ‘normal’ healthy children must trust and encourage their children (the parents) to seek counsel with those who are experienced in the field.

Doing it Right

As the parent is the ‘surgeon’, working to mend the broken heart, the grandparents can stand at their side throughout the stress-filled, intense time. Not as a distraction, but helping the parents to focus on the life-saving task. The demonstration of love that the child sees from the grandparent toward their mother and father can become an unforgettable learning experience about relationships and love.

In the beginning stages of bonding, the child’s nurturing must be focused between the mother and the child. As the child gets healthier, the child can then accept love from others in a beneficial way. Before that time comes, the grandparents’ powerful love must be shared through the parents’ hearts. Grandparents make a difference!

Nancy Thomas

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