After two more incidents with Mea during her third-grade year that really surprised us and almost rose to the level of being reported to the school, we took her to talk with someone.
The therapist was able to share with us that Mea does talk about us a lot – that we are her people, so to speak.
But her seeming unaffected-ness after making poor choices, her ability to become best friends with anyone, even after a short period of time, and her skill (which we can see is a coping mechanism) of “resetting” after a negative experience – almost forgetting it occurred, sounded like disinhibited reactive attachment disorder to the counselor.
I’m sort of obsessed with putting a name to everything. Yet, this term allowed me to learn (like I had done so many years ago with both boys), about how to better respond to Mea’s behaviors.
Most importantly, it has helped me not take what she is doing personally, which was my reaction.
I can say that this past summer all of the way through to this current time has found us parenting her more appropriately, and differently than we do the boys.
While I cannot say that the behaviors have stopped, it feels like we have longer periods of rest between episodes. I think (and hope) that she feels more loved and supported by the consequences as well.
We don’t feel torn apart as a family after she makes a mistake.
And she seems to be learning along the way.