Parenting the Attachment Challenged Child Part 1 of 6 by Bryan Post

There is much literature on how to parent challenging children these days. Unfortunately much of that literature does not typically address the child with special parenting needs and a special parenting understanding. A child that has been diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, or even depression, requires an understanding not of the behavior itself, but rather of the underlying dynamics driving the behavior.

Take for example the analogy of an iceberg. Typically when we refer to an iceberg we are referring to what we see above the surface. However, 90% of every iceberg is invisible, lying under the surface. What you consider to be an iceberg is really only the tip. It’s an overwhelming thought when considering how enormous an iceberg is above the surface. Imagine the other 90% lurking underneath.

Negative behaviors demonstrated by children are much the same. Whereas we may attempt to remove an iceberg by hacking away from the top down, we will only be spending endless time and energy focusing on the smallest aspect of the iceberg. When we encourage parents to only focus on alleviating behavior through simple behavior modification charts, boot camp tactics, or logical consequences, we are actually missing the most important part of the behavior. Typically a focus just on the behavior may eliminate the behavior for a while to only see it return another day with greater intensity.

The next series of articles will detail specific parenting steps that can be taken to effectively help reduce problem behaviors in a rapid period of time with a specific approach to end the frustrating habit of lying. The steps will not be easy to implement, however with a firm resolve to stay the course the effectiveness of each approach is guaranteed to be effective.

Do you have a child with challenging behaviors? What is your greatest challenge?

Choose Love,

Click Here for Part 2
Click Here for Part 3

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A Parenting Must-Have for Adopted, Foster or Biological Children - Honestly, it's the best parenting handbook I've seen for someone with a child that has difficult behaviors... Even if you aren't into reading, this book is a must have. If you are thinking of adopting a child, please read this book. If you have adopted a child, please read this book. If you yourself have been adopted, please read this book. If you're a parent and have nothing to do with adoption in any manner, please read this book." -- Book Review By Literary Litter

You'll never believe how it simple it can be until you understand what really drives your kids.
To read more, just click here.


For more of Bryan Post’s unique truly love based family centered approach for managing children with challenging behaviors, visit his websites:

  • – A Radical New Understanding of Difficult Children resource site. Lots of free stuff and training materials.
  • – A Parenting “Hands-On” Home Study Course for parents & professionals with RAD kids.
  • – Resource site for the latest info and research on Oxytocin, the hormone responsible for attachment and bonding.
  • www.postinnercircle.comYou Are Not Alone. If there were a way to personally interact with Bryan Post on a regular basis, would you be interested? If there were a community of other parents and professionals who wanted peace and harmony in their families as much as you, and you could learn from them, would you be interested in joining them?


  1. Wait. What? You mean you should actively lie to your children because it makes them feel better? “You aren’t ever going anywhere,” not true. “…everything will be okay” likely not true either, but you wouldn’t know that because you can’t see the future. What makes this deceit any more correct than theirs? And what do you do when they remember what you have said and find out that you were full of it?

    I keep my children safe because I’m a parent, that’s my job I have a son who is currently in an adolescent group home because of his escalating pattern of behavior. I don’t worry that I can’t keep him safe. I KNOW that I can’t. That’s why he isn’t living here.

    To reduce the complex interaction between self and other and self and world to a binary axis of fear and love is a grave misapprehension. It assumes much, and among those assumptions is that a person is essentially ignorant of their own motives and processes. And while that may be true of some individuals, others know better. Allocating all of our deeds and misdeeds under the prime-mover of fear is simply a form of apologism, and alleviates the burden of personal responsibility which is crucial for us to be able to live together as a society.

  2. I certainly agree that focusing on behaviors rather than the underlying cause can be fruitless. But what is the underlying cause? One of the most overlooked aspects of parenting in our modern society is the role played by child predators. Parents do not understand the sophisticated techniques used by predators who seek to access children for personal power, pleasure, and profit. When a child is lying, is troubled, is upset, is acting out — it is possible that the child has been accessed by a predator — perhaps at a sleepover, perhaps at a friend’s home, perhaps at a camp, or perhaps at the hands of a relative who stayed in the home overnight. What might that predators have done? Whatever it was, it might have certainly been physically painful or traumatizing to the child. And the predator could well have made threats to prevent the child from telling. If so then lying isn’t the central issue, especially if the child has been intimidated beyond his or her ability to cope. Is a child “lying” when a predators has said “If you tell your parents I will kill your sister?” Parents can no longer be quick to trust everyone in their neighborhood, in their Church, in their local youth camps, in their school, or even in the doctor’s office. It’s time to get realistic. Most of the predators in America have not been caught.

  3. Perhaps we should have a follow-up article on “challenging parents”.


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