…Buy yourself a cupcake.
The start of this New Year has not been an easy one around our house. With two daughters in full-blown RAD mode, our family life has not been chaos-free.
One prevalent behavior of Reactive Attachment Disorder is lying. All children fib and stretch the truth, but children suffering from RAD have perfected the art of lying to such a level, the lies should be hanging in a museum.
Elle, my 13 year old RADish, is so proficient at lying I’m not sure she knows how to tell the truth. The hard part about the lying is you know they are doing it because your built-in lie detector is flashing red. But how are you going to prove it? Should you try? Should you call them on it, or just let it slide?
Our therapist told us that for every lie we let slide, the sicker they become. If they can get away with a small lie about using their sister’s hand lotion, then they can easily get away with stealing your iPad and using it to text their boyfriend…the boyfriend they lied about having in the first place.
For every lie Bunny or Elle would tell me, my blood pressure became more elevated and my stress level became unmanageable…
…Until I met a very wise, fellow RAD mom.
Around her house, lying is a thing to be celebrated, because every time one of her RADishes lie to her, she earns a point. For every 10 points earned, she gets ice cream, and not just a small scoop of vanilla ice cream from the freezer, but a trip to Baskin Robbins or to Stone Cold Creamery. I thought this idea was brilliant. Why not take a negative and turn it into a positive? Isn’t that the whole point behind the saying, “When God gives you lemons, make lemonade?”
But as much as I loved the idea, I couldn’t get my excitement level up over ice cream. Although I like ice cream, I don’t LOVE it. Now, a brownie with chocolate frosting might get my heart a pumpin’, but my true heart’s desire is cupcakes. A red velvet or chocolate cupcake could send me over the moon. Ten points for lying and a confectionary masterpiece of cake and frosting could be all mine!
Neither daughter was too thrilled to help me earn my cupcake points. Bunny even cried when I caught her in two lies in a row and danced around the kitchen. When I finally earned my 10th point, I yelled so loud my husband came running to investigate.
Nothing was wrong, it was just me earning 10 points toward a coconut cupcake. And as I ate my bakery work of art, savoring every last crumb, my daughters were rethinking their lying strategy.
But, if I start to gain weight because I am earning a lot of points…I might want to rethink my cupcake strategy.