Did you know that caregivers raising children with trauma often face significant challenges when it comes to their children urinating in unconventional places? This can include vents, carpets, toys, baskets, their clothes, mattress, cooking appliances and even their drinks. Unfortunately, many caregivers find themselves in a difficult situation with little support.
When caregivers reach out for help due to their child's behavior, they often encounter a frustrating response. Instead of receiving assistance with the child's needs, they may find themselves blamed and under investigation. People may suspect that the child is being sexually abused or harmed because such behavior is seen as a sign that something is very wrong and something traumatic has happened to the child. They are right, something happened: the child’s brain is not wired properly, they were exposed to trauma in their previous home, the child has not dealt with their trauma, is angry and does not have the capacity to navigate their trauma as an adult would. They act out.
Caregivers endure this challenging situation for years, dealing with the smell and the damage caused by the urine. There are often limited options for residential care facilities to address the issue, and professionals don’t care to treat the enduring abuse that caregivers experience leaving caregivers feeling isolated and unsupported.
Imagine waking up every day to sticky floors because your child has urinated in various places and feeling helpless to do anything about it. Caregivers are told to stay calm and regulated, and if they express their frustration or distress, they are sometimes told that they haven't dealt with their own past trauma, and they are shaming and not supporting their child.
This becomes the daily reality: caregivers must remain calm and composed as their child's actions destroy their house, disrupt their lives, and jeopardize any financial investments they've made or their hopes for an emotional healthy life. Meanwhile, visitors may notice the persistent smell of urine and the unusual behavior, which often results in misunderstandings. When caregivers try to address the issue by providing alternatives like a bucket in the child's room, a potty or anything so the child may not urinate on the rugs, inside vents or in our cookware because the child refuses to urine in the bathroom they might find themselves facing allegations of abuse or neglect. The child will then report that the caregiver did not allow them to go to the restroom because they are embarrassed, don’t want to look bad, or take responsibility for their actions.
This is the heart-wrenching reality of parenting a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), and it highlights the urgent need for better support and resources for both the child and the caregivers.
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