Reactive Attachment Disorder Treatments
Reactive attachment disorder appears in young children when they have a hard time trusting other people, such as their parents, due to abandonment issues that have occurred in their life. Reactive attachment disorder is a difficult and distressing disorder for parents to deal with being that their child may not want any type of physical contact with them and may not want any love or affection from them.
Treatment for Reactive Attachment Disorder
There is currently no right treatment for reactive attachment disorder but there are ways that can help a child build trust and empathy again. A therapist is not the only person that can help the child, the child’s parent or caregiver will play a significant role in helping the child to regain feelings of trust and love again in order to overcome reactive attachment disorder.
Tactics parents can do to help their child overcome reactive attachment disorder:
According to www.helpguide.org, a child is distant and distrustful towards the world because they feel unsafe in it. A child keeps their guard up to protect themself, but it also prevents them from accepting love and support.
A parent need to regain their child’s trust and prove to them that they are safe and secure in their care. To do this a parent needs to set up rules of behavior and stick to what they say, but also always be there for the child showing them that they are reliable and will always be there for them.
There are many ways in which a parent can reestablish trust with their child and show them that they are safe. Options include:
Set boundaries: Consistent and caring boundaries make the world seem more predictable and less scary to children with reactive attachment disorder. It’s important that they understand what behavior is expected of them and what is and isn’t acceptable. This also teaches them that they have more control over what happens to them than they think.
Remain calm when the child is upset or misbehaving: The child doesn’t know how to handle what they are feeling and needs the help of their parent. By staying calm, the parent shows the child that the feeling is manageable
Be immediately available to reconnect following a conflict: Conflict can be especially disturbing for children with insecure attachment or attachment disorders. After a conflict or tantrum where a parent had to discipline their child, they should reconnect as soon as the child is ready. This reinforces consistency and love, and will help the child develop a trust with the parent.
Try to maintain predictable routines and schedules: A child with an attachment disorder won’t instinctively rely on loved ones, and may feel threatened by transition and inconsistency.
It is also important for a parent to always display signs of love and affection and not make the child do anything that they are not ready to do. Professional theory can be helpful in dealing with reactive attachment disorder and if a parent and child are not connecting well with trust and affection, family therapy and behavioral therapy may be the best option for the child and parent to go through together to regain trust in their relationship.