I am reaching out to you to make sure you were invited to this year’s conference. As we have done in the past, we will have a different theme this year than previous conferences. Our conference is also in a different location this year! This March 2-3, 2018 the annual B3 (Bearing One Another’s Burdens Biblically) Conference will be held at Faith Community Church in Kansas City, Missouri.
The theme of this year’s conference is Train Up a Child. We have constructed it to help counselors, teaching professionals and parents who deal with the next generation every day. We are bringing in a variety of speakers to help parents raise godly children in a world that is increasingly moving against biblical standards and principles. Every parent knows someone whose child has been affected by the behaviors associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Christians who foster and have adopted children are faced with raising children who are often labeled with Reactive Attachment Disorder, ADD/ADHD or both. They want to approach these diagnoses biblically, but find there are few biblical places to turn for wisdom and help.
We are bringing together some of the individuals who are dedicated to meeting these needs.
Dr. Daniel Berger II is an experienced teacher, counselor, pastor, and school administrator with undergraduate and advanced degrees in counseling/psychology, pastoral studies, and holds a doctorate in pastoral theology. He is the author of a five-volume series on the mental illness construct. In addition, Daniel has spent many years researching ADHD as well as teaching and counseling children of all ages. I worked with Dr. Berger to specifically design his talks to be a practical help for couples and parents, not just counselors. We want counselors to attend, but we know that many people who are on the front lines need good practical biblical advice. He will present answers that produce genuine hope and lasting change.
In concert with the main sessions that Dr. Berger has been working on, I am excited to tell you that we have a broad spectrum of workshops that will be presented by leaders in these areas of biblical counseling. Some of the topics include ADD/ADHD, The Insanity of Madness, Parenting the Adopted Child, Self-Esteem, Teens and Substance Abuse, Teens and Pornography, and we will have a Christian child protection expert present to present information on keeping kids safe. We will have 6 workshops available for you to choose from in addition to our plenary sessions. See the complete list at: b3conference.org/schedule.
We are currently in our early registration phase, that ends on January 31st. On February 1st, prices will increase by $10 per ticket. Register at: b3conference.org. I am looking forward to seeing you at our conference in March. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Serving the King,
Director, Reigning Grace Counseling Center
Reactive Attachment Disorder: How to Parent
Based on understanding the label Reactive Attachment Disorder, we move into practical parenting in light of the fear, anger, and brooding that underlie control battles and other characteristics. When parents are first established in three important principles for themselves they will be better able to lovingly instruct and discipline their child according to Ephesians 6:4 in regard to desires, thoughts, and behaviors. We will make particular application to one characteristic to see how parenting principles can be applied in detail.
Reactive Attachment Disorder: A Biblical Understanding, with Linda Rice, Biblical Counselor and Author of Parenting the Difficult Child: A Biblical Perspective on Reactive Attachment Disorder
What Led to the Writing of Parenting the Difficult Child
From Linda’s blog: SeedSown Press
Thanks be to the Lord that although we don’t see the road ahead, He is good and trustworthy to graciously work His character into us through the mountains and valleys of our travels through life. When we adopted two precious children between the ages of two and six years from outside the U.S.A., we knew that we were taking a risk and did not expect it to be easy. The risk proved out. They displayed behaviors that, to us, were inexplicable and extreme beyond what we had ever encountered or imagined. We originally thought that if we just loved them enough, including a well-ordered lifestyle and appropriate discipline in addition to generous doses of affection, eventually they would accept us. We were headed for disappointment.In researching for answers, the only explanations we could find were those that pointed to what was, at the time, called Attachment Disorder. For diagnosis, the DSM-IV describes it as a disorder involving disturbed social relatedness that begins prior to age five and is associated with maltreatment in infancy. The theory is that when the child’s needs are not met, he grows angry and even stuck in rage. He fails to attach to a primary caregiver. Due to lack of attachment, the child cannot (or will not) trust or attach to others. Therefore, lack of attachment underlies the alienated, antisocial behaviors and prevents the child from developing a conscience. The solution is for the child to achieve attachment to at least one caregiver. If he does not, then he will never trust and never be able to have a positive, loving relationship with anyone. It is common for attachment theorists to weave theories on brain development and neuronal disorganization into the explanation. To us, attachment theory was appealingly logical, seemed to fit our child, and “everybody” believed it.As time went on, though, the psychological explanation did not adequately explain what I observed. For example, when sweetness and sullenness can be turned on and off like a switch when entering and exiting the church, it is obvious that those attitudes and behaviors are choices, not a psychological “disorder” nor a “mental illness.” When revenge is being audibly planned, a person is not helpless to some disorder. In addition, the Bible was contradicting the theories. For example, if the Bible says, “Do not steal,” then theft is a choice, not merely a symptom of a psychological disorder. We grew persuaded that the Bible must hold the true explanation and solution.
Eventually, the day came when I learned about something called “biblical counseling” and had the opportunity to study it at The Master’s College. Understanding my child was not on my list of reasons for further education. I was fine with leaving that aspect of life behind. Nevertheless, as coursework progressed, I couldn’t ignore the growing number of “Aha!” moments when increased understanding of biblical truths also made sense of our child. Theology pieced together a much more accurate view than did the psychologies.
I decided to write my thesis on a biblical perspective of RAD for two primary reasons. One, I wanted to clarify my understanding of how biblical principles apply to it. I especially still had questions about the reports of behavioral and brain research. Two, I wanted a biblical view made available to other parents, some of whom might be experiencing difficulties similar to what we did and be searching for answers.
As I researched for the thesis, I discovered only one biblical resource. In an age of Google and Wikipedia, only one! Even the big-name Christian psychologists propound attachment theories. Also, I noted that no book offers help for the siblings. The RAD books all focus on the alienated child. What can a parent do to help children who live in close quarters with a brother or sister who incessantly attempts to manipulate, betray, bully, terrorize, endanger, or even plan their demise?Parenting the Difficult Child begins with a composite case study to which it returns periodically to illustrate principles. It describes and explains RAD behaviors through the grid of a biblical worldview to build understanding of children and counter false teachings, such as claims about emotional needs, and that some children are unable to trust, lack a conscience, and are unable to show remorse. We need to know God’s truth before we are able to understand our children and apply His solutions to them.The second section of the book offers practical applications for parents to apply to themselves, the difficult child, and the siblings. This includes direction on rightly handling fear, anger, and other emotions. It instructs on structuring the home, what to teach the children, discipline, handling manipulation, and handling one’s own temptations. Practical ideas for implementation are listed where appropriate.
The last section explains the dominant attachment theories that parents are likely to hear in adoptive or RAD circles, exposing their historical and philosophical foundations. It brings Scripture to bear upon those theories and upon behavioral and genetic research presumptions, processes, and conclusions. With this knowledge, parents can more wisely assess proposed therapies as well as theories.
I absolutely believe that God’s Word is the authority on RAD. It doesn’t just hold counsel, it is the relevant, accurate, perceptive, comprehensive, clear, explanatory, solution-oriented, authoritative, and sufficient counsel on RAD. It deals with the roots of the issues. I also absolutely believe that although God does not give us guarantees about the choices of our children, He can transform parents and children through the power of His Word and the Holy Spirit. Thanks be to the Lord for His abundant grace.
Parenting the Difficult Child is intended to provide a useful handbook for applying God’s Word to ourselves as parents, to angry, alienated children, and to siblings of a difficult child. The goal is that every family member would be aided in seeking God’s glory and living in a God-pleasing manner. I hope and pray that it will be so for you.