A RAD child with sexualized behavior seems to be the worst diagnosis for an adoptive family to relate to. I know I’m in the minority when I say we need to be open to having a conversation about sex with our adopted children, but it’s true.
A lot of adopted foster kids or kids adopted internationally have experienced being sexualized. We need to let our children know it’s okay and teach them that it’s all right to discuss their issues.
Does talking about sex make you uncomfortable? With children who have, what I call, reactive sexualization, families need to come to terms discussing sexual issues with their children.
I’m a single adoptive parent and a former foster parent. Both my daughter, Kara and my foster daughter, Susan were sexually abused as little children. I know the case workers in my foster kid’s situation didn’t believe her, but I did.
Neither child’s story made me uncomfortable. My parents were very comfortable discussing sexual relations. My sister and I grew up being able to discuss our sexuality with our parents any time we needed to. I’ve always been grateful for their maturity and openness.
Other kids in our neighborhood didn’t know anything about sex until they were in their teens and then sex was a “hush hush, don’t talk about it to others!” Yet kids in high school were having sexual relationships and girls were getting pregnant.
The “sex” topic needs to have the stigma attached to it removed. We’re not living in Queen Victoria’s time, we’re in the 21st century and the “sex” topic should be acceptable in homes with children who have been sexually abused because being able to discuss it without being condemned is important for the victims to feel safe.
As a social worker, I want to help families get more comfortable with discussing reactive sexualization in their adopted children. Maybe I should do a course on how to react to a child with sexual issues.
Anyone who is reading this post who wants to know more about parenting a RAD child with sexualized behaviors, please feel free to email me. I believe it’s important to help new or existing parents understand what these children need.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading my blog. I’d love to hear from you.