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Borderline Personality Disorder and Reactive Attachment Disorder

Many have asked about Borderline Personality Disorder in adults and how it compares to Reactive Attachment Disorder in children.

People wonder how to support loved ones with Borderline Personality Disorder.

Today I'm going to attempt to answer questions and provide help to those that are seeking it, the best that I am able.

There are people in my life that I care deeply for that have Borderline Personality Disorder.

If you've been following us for any length of time, you know that I am raising two adopted daughters with Reactive Attachment Disorder.


Borderline Personality Disorder and Reactive Attachment Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder and Reactive Attachment Disorder


Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are similar in that both diagnoses are related to trauma experienced in childhood. 

RAD and BPD are similar in that both operate on a spectrum like autism. 

There are extreme cases and there are cases that are much more mellow.

Reactive Attachment Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder are similar in that struggles are related to attachment.

In order to receive a diagnosis of Reactive Attachment Disorder, trauma must occur within utero and/or during the first 18 months of life. 

This isn't the case with Borderline Personality Disorder. Trauma can occur any time in childhood.

Trauma can include an array of abusive situations and can also be due to neglect.

Reactive Attachment Disorder is a diagnosis given to children or teens.

Borderline Personality Disorder is a diagnosis given to adults. 

If Reactive Attachment Disorder isn't diagnosed during childhood and teen years, an adult showing similar symptoms may be diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.

This adult may have had Reactive Attachment Disorder growing up, depending on when the early childhood trauma occurred.

Many diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder as children can receive a Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis as an adult.

A person does not have to have had Reactive Attachment Disorder to be diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.

Those with Reactive Attachment Disorder may not receive a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder as an adult.


Signs and Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder


1. Those with Borderline Personality Disorder have an extreme fear of abandonment.


They may sabotage healthy relationships, education opportunities, career paths, etc. because of this fear of abandonment.  

A person with BPD may display extreme behaviors to avoid feelings of separation or rejection.

150+ Ways Children and Teens with RAD Push Others Away

150+ Ways Children and Teens with RAD Push Others Away


Children with Reactive Attachment Disorder are experts at pushing others away for fear of being loved and creating healthy attachments.

2. Adults with Borderline Personality Disorder may feel extremely positive feelings towards someone one moment and then think the same person is out to get them the very next moment.


There is a push pull factor in relationships with someone diagnosed with BPD. 

Moments where a person with Borderline Personality Disorder feels extremely positive feelings towards someone are very enjoyable. A loved one will feel so special.

Unfortunately, those moments when the person with Borderline Personality Disorder thinks someone's out to get them are very difficult. A loved one can become an enemy very quickly.

Those with Reactive Attachment Disorder feel that those closest to them are the enemy.

They are often very kind to others until they don't get what they want.

3. Borderline Personality Disorder can lead to feelings of being a bad person or even worse, someone that doesn't exist in the eyes of others.


These feelings of awfulness can lead to changing moods, goals, beliefs, values, suicidal thoughts, and behaviors. 

A person with Borderline Personality Disorder will often feel intense shame for her actions and who she is.

Many children with Reactive Attachment Disorder can not accept being called good by caregivers. They struggle with receiving compliments.

Due to their low self-esteem, children with RAD will often give up on endeavors in order to prevent feeling worse about themselves.

4. Those with Borderline Personality Disorder often experience paranoia and a separation from reality when triggered by abandonment.


They hear the words in their heads about themselves, rather than what's actually being said about them or to them by others.

This is one of the main reasons for the extreme changes in mood, push pulls in relationships, etc.

A person with Borderline Personality Disorder struggles so much to believe that they won't be abandoned.

Children with Reactive Attachment Disorder often dissociate and experience PTSD flashbacks that lead to the appearance of a separation from reality. 

Children with RAD can also experience paranoia related to anxiety and trauma they've experienced.

5. Adults with Borderline Personality often engage in unsafe behaviors.


These behaviors are usually quite impulsive and can be similar to behaviors of a bi-polar manic episode.

Usually these behaviors are a response to feeling successful or can be triggered by stress and anxiety.

Worst Cases of Reactive Attachment Disorder

The Worst Cases of Reactive Attachment Disorder


Children with Reactive Attachment Disorder also engage in unsafe behaviors when life feels "too good" or they are triggered by past trauma.

6. Borderline Personality Disorder includes significant shifts in moods that can occur quickly or over a few days.


Those with Borderline Personality Disorder may appear to have a mood disorder, shifting from high highs and low lows. 

Some shifts in mood include:
  • Happiness to Anger or Sadness
  • Confidence to Anxiety and Shame

Other times a person with BPD may simply be irritable.

7. Those with Borderline Personality Disorder struggle with anger issues. 


A person with BPD tends to lose their temper often, quickly and in big ways.

They may respond to the words and actions of others in very sarcastic and unkind ways.

In some cases anger may lead to property destruction and physical abuse towards others.

4 Steps to Managing Aggressive Behavior in Children

4 Steps to Managing Aggressive Behavior in Children


Children with Reactive Attachment Disorder also struggle with anger issues which can lead to aggression towards property and people.

8. Adults with Borderline Personality are victims of childhood trauma.


Borderline Personality Disorder is most often linked to childhood trauma, though there are also possible genetic links.

No person wishes to experience trauma, especially trauma that alters the ability to have relationships so much.

Let's end the stigma. 

Instead of being cruel to those with this disorder, let's help and support them.

Healing is possible for some.

Children with Reactive Attachment Disorder are also victims of childhood trauma.

Through continued work over a significant period of time, healing is possible for some.

Tips for Loved Ones Wanting to Help an Adult with Borderline Personality Disorder


1. Acknowledge childhood trauma.


In order to heal from Borderline Personality Disorder, it's important to understand where it came from and help the brain understand that it doesn't need to respond to situations in the same ways it did before.

Talk about trauma following the lead of the person with Borderline Personality Disorder.

If you are one of the causes of trauma, apologize and accept responsibility. 

Seek help for yourself. 

Show the person with Borderline Personality Disorder that you're working to be better.

2. Choose to Care while Setting Safe Boundaries.


A person with Borderline Personality Disorder fears abandonment more than anything else.

When it is safe, choose to continue to care. 

Caring about someone with Borderline Personality Disorder may look different depending the the severity of the case. 

Be sure to set very clear and safe boundaries for yourself in the relationship. 

If those boundaries are violated, continue to stay healthy and safe. 

Sometimes consistency in maintaining healthy boundaries is the best way to show that you care, when it's not possible to do anything else.

3. Support Mental Health Therapy.


Mental Health Therapy with an excellent counselor is crucial to improving Borderline Personality Disorder symptoms and eventual healing when possible.

There are many forms of talk therapy that are recommended for Borderline Personality Disorder.

When Traditional Mental Health Therapy Doesn't Work

When Traditional Mental Health Therapy Doesn't Work


After observing the benefits of Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) in those I care about, I highly recommend this approach.

It is a less threatening and nonpathological approach to working through trauma and all things personality disorder related. 

Individual therapy appears to work best for those with Borderline Personality Disorder, until they are at a point where they can feel safe and comfortable adding others to a session.

If a loved one with Borderline Personality Disorder decides to do IFS therapy, ask to learn about her parts.

Consider IFS therapy for yourself so you can communicate more effectively with your loved one with Borderline Personality Disorder and better understand what's going on in the moment.

4. Remember that Adult Choices Have Adult Consequences


There is a difference between raising a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder and caring about an adult with Borderline Personality Disorder. 

At times it can be challenging to remember that an adult with Borderline Personality Disorder isn't a child. 

An adult with Borderline Personality Disorder needs to make the choice to accept that she has a problem and seek help.

If the adult with BPD doesn't accept that there is an issue and refuses help, the relationship is not, and will not, be healthy.

It is not okay for another adult to treat you in unhealthy ways.

5. Help Separate Fiction from Reality


When an adult with Borderline Personality Disorder accepts her struggles and is seeking help, it can often be beneficial to help separate fiction from reality.

Ask the person with BPD to repeat back what she heard you say when triggered.

There is a good chance the adult with Borderline Personality Disorder heard something completely different and often the opposite of what was said.

Help her realize the difference, if she is willing,

After a lot of work in therapy, it may be possible for the person with Borderline Personality Disorder to start recognizing when she's interpreting things you're saying incorrectly and start asking about fiction versus reality.

Encourage these questions!

Support this process without being offended, knowing the person you care about with BPD is working really hard to grow and heal.

6. Promote Healthy Interdependent Relationships


Help your loved one feel safe and cared for as you promote a healthy relationship and attachment style.

Give reminders and reassurances that it's okay for each of you to be healthy individuals who choose to be together and support each other in all separate endeavors.

Learn how your loved one with Borderline Personality Disorder prefers to be cared for.

Share your preferences.

Accept that there will be mess ups, but if your loved one with Borderline Personality Disorder really wants help and is going to therapy, the relationship can and will improve.

Borderline Personality Disorder is very similar to Reactive Attachment Disorder. 

One could say it's the adult equivalent of the childhood disorder.

Despite the stigma surrounding both of these diagnoses, healing is possible when all parties are willing to put the work into it. 

Not all adults with Borderline Personality Disorder display extreme symptoms. 

Many adults' symptoms are much more mild than expected.

And in the end, it's all trauma.

Let's support healing from trauma!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the resources below.

Famous Cases of Reactive Attachment Disorder A Caregiver's Fears When Raising a Child with Reactive Attachment Disorder RAD Treatment for Children 6 Ways to Help a Family Going through a Mental Health Emergency The Cost of Raising a Child with Severe Mental Health StrugglesFrom the Mother of a Bully


Borderline Personality Disorder and Reactive Attachment Disorder



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Pi Day Activities for Preschoolers with Free Printables

 Pi Day can be celebrated by children of all ages, including preschoolers, with these fabulous activities and printables!

Whether you want to focus on pi or pie, activities include options for each.

These Pi Day activities are designed with all children in mind no matter their skills and abilities.

There truly is something for everyone!


Pi Day Activities for Preschoolers with Free Printables

Pi Day Activities for Preschoolers with Free Printables


P is for Pi Do-a-Dot Page


P is for Pi Do-a-Dot Page


Do-a-dot pages can be used in so many different ways!


In this activity I use simple wooden circles and a set of tweezers.


Children use the tweezers to place wooden circles in the correct spots on the printable.


A do-a-dot page is the perfect way to introduce the symbol for pi when working with young children!


Source: The printable for this activity is from our Pi Day Printable Pack.

P is for Pie Do-a-Dot Page


P is for Pie Do-a-Dot Page


If your kids aren't quite ready to learn the symbol for pi, you can simply use the do-a-dot activity that introduces p for pie.

Like the activity above, I chose to use wooden red circles and a set of tweezers to encourage the development of fine motor skill.

Source: The printable for this activity is from our Pi Day Printable Pack.

Pi Counting Clip Cards


Pie Counting Clip Cards


I LOVE pie. I can think of no better way to practice counting than with pies.


These clip cards are fun and easy to use. 


There are multiple kinds of pies included in the activity.


I have chosen to have children place a clear glass bead on the answer.


Source: The printable for this activity is from our Pi Day Printable Pack.

Which Pie is the Same?


What Pie is the Same?


Identifying an object that is the same from a group of objects can be very empowering for young children. 


Discriminating between objects is such an important skill to learn!


In this activity a child finds the matching pie and marks it with a clear glass bead. 


Source: The printable for this activity is from our Pi Day Printable Pack.


Which Pi Symbol is the Same?


Which Pi Symbol is the Same?


For children who are up for a bigger challenge, they can find the same pi symbol.

You may want to include a magnifying glass for some extra fun.

Source: The printable for this activity is from our Pi Day Printable Pack.

Pi Color Nomenclature Cards


Pi Color Nomenclature Cards


Children can enjoy learning, practicing and reviewing colors with these cute pi cards. 


Cards can be used in simple nomenclature style, as matching cards, or as a memory game.


Source: The printable for this activity is from our Pi Day Printable Pack.


Pie Color Nomenclature Cards


Pie Color Nomenclature Cards

For kids who may not be ready for pi symbols, there is also a pie version of the same activity. 

I personally love these pie cards as there are so many delicious kinds of pies highlighted.

Source: The printable for this activity is from our Pi Day Printable Pack.

Pie Size Sorting Activity


Pie Size Sorting Activity

Going along with the theme of pies, this activity provides the perfect opportunity to sort by size.

You can choose to use all sets, or just one.

You can choose to present five different pie sizes or three.

You can choose to have children put pies in order from biggest to smallest or smallest to biggest.

There are so many possibilities!

Source: The printable for this activity is from our Pi Day Printable Pack.

It's Party Time!


It's Party Time!


This activity is a fun way to invite creativity.


Children can decorate the table using dry erase board markers anyway they'd like. 


Once they're finished. they can lay out the pies how they'd like.


Source: The printable for this activity is from our Pi Day Printable Pack.


Pi Day Patterns Printable Pack


FREE Pi Day Patterns Printable Pack


Once your preschooler is ready, these patterns can be so much fun.


After printing out pattern sheets and cutting them in strips, cut off the last image of the pattern.


Children will then match up the images with patterns.


Source: This printable is a Subscriber's Only Freebie. For your free copy, follow the directions below.


Directions on How to Obtain Subscriber Only Freebies



1. Click on the Subscriber's link at the bottom of this post.

2. Subscribe to our free newsletter.

3. Open the thank you message you receive in your e-mail, after subscribing. (Be sure to check your spam folder, as sometimes it ends up there.)

4. Click the confirmation link in the thank you message.

5. Once the confirmation is complete, you will receive another e-mail message with the Subscriber Only Freebies.

6. Click on the link.

7. Select the Minimalism, Montessori, or Mental Health Printables Library.

8. Find the printable pack you are looking for listed in alphabetical order, click on it, and voila!

We hope you enjoy your free printable.

Note: If you are already a newsletter subscriber, open your most recent newsletter. At the bottom you will find a link to the Subscriber Only Freebies page, along with the password in case you forgot it.


If you enjoyed this resource, you may also like the resources below.

Pi Day Activities and Free Printables Pi Day Activities for Elementary Learners with Free Printables Telling Time By The Hour Activities with Free Printables Penny Activities for Kids Prime Number Printable Pack Place Value Printable Pack Math Bead Bar Activities Geometric Solid Sorting


Pi Day Activities for Preschoolers with Free Printables


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10 Summer Smoothie Recipes: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Corn Free, and Refined Sugar Free

Here are 10 summer smoothie recipes that are sure to please!

All are gluten free, dairy free, soy free, corn free, and refined sugar free.

My oldest son is autistic and experiences significant sensory struggles when eating. 

Fruit and vegetables are his biggest hurdle.

He has found that if he blends fruits and vegetables into a smoothie, he enjoys the meal experience.

Over time my oldest has come to love smoothies.

We serve them everyday in our home to ensure he's eating the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables each day to stay healthy.

After trying several recipes, these are our favorite smoothies for summer!


10 Summer Smoothie Recipes: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Corn Free, and Refined Sugar Free


My oldest also struggles with probable Ehler's Danlos Syndrome. (We're waiting for genetic testing to confirm which type.)


Part of staying as healthy as possible with this diagnosis is eating a gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free diet.


All of the smoothies on this list meet his dietary needs with a few minor adjustments.


We hope you enjoy these smoothies as much as we do!


10 Summer Smoothie Recipes: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Corn Free, and Refined Sugar Free


Pineapple Coconut Smoothie from Evolving Table


This smoothie reminds me of Piña Colada. It is SO good!


When we make this smoothie, all fruit included is frozen.


Our family uses So Delicious plain coconut yogurt.


We use agave as a sweetener.


It's tradition in our house that we add a tiny bit of shredded coconut too.


Mixed Berry Smoothie from Delicious Little Bites


We love berries. This smoothie is the perfect way to get our berry fix when we want it.


When making this smoothie at home, we use frozen fruit and omit ice. Either way works depending what you have on hand.


We use So Delicious plain coconut yogurt, and usually cut down the amount of yogurt mentioned in the recipe. Our kids usually prefer more berries and less yogurt.


If we find there's not enough sweetness to this smoothie we may add agave.


Mango Smoothie from Kristine's Kitchen


Mango tastes so delicious in the heat of the summer! 


As with other smoothies, we make sure all of our fruit is frozen, including the banana. 


So Delicious plain coconut yogurt is used to ensure the smoothie is dairy free.


Green Passion Smoothie Panera Bread Copycat from Sip Sip Smoothie


This is the first smoothie that our oldest son tried and loved. 


His first trial was actually at Panera Bread. I was desperate to find a recipe that tasted the same. This recipe worked!


The only issue we ran into is that there is no passion fruit to be found where we live. 


Instead we mix half orange juice and half pineapple juice together. It works beautifully!


Blueberry Pineapple Galaxy Smoothie from Dole


This smoothie is so good and so refreshing! 


Instead of using fresh or canned fruit in this smoothie, we choose to use frozen fruit.


So Delicious plain coconut yogurt is used instead of Greek yogurt.


Aloha Tropical Smoothie from Lil' Luna


This smoothie is one of my personal favorites. I just love the flavors.


We use frozen fruit in this smoothie and omit the ice cubes.


So Delicious plain coconut yogurt is used in place of Greek yogurt.


Our family prefers to use lite pineapple juice over apple juice.


Raspberry Peach Smoothie from Deliciously Sprinkled


There's nothing that screams summer more than raspberries and peaches! 


This smoothie is absolutely delicious.


When making this smoothie at home, we use all frozen fruit.


So Delicious plain coconut yogurt is used instead of Greek yogurt.


We use unsweetened vanilla almond milk and add a little agave if needed.


Pineapple Orange Smoothie from Love Bakes Good Cakes


This smoothie reminds my husband and I of eating orange creamsicles growing up. 


When we make this smoothie we use So Delicious plain coconut yogurt and add a little agave if needed.


I can't say enough about how creamy this smoothie is. 


Everyone loves it!


Lemon Blueberry Avocado Smoothie from Walder Wellness


I admit, I was a little hesitant to try this recipe at first, but it has ended up being one of my son's favorites. 


The avocado adds such a creamy flavor and texture.


My oldest daughter says this smoothie reminds her of lemon blueberry cake.


We use frozen blueberries and frozen avocado in this recipe.


So Delicious plain coconut yogurt is used instead of Greek yogurt.


When making this recipe our family does not use vanilla extract, chia seeds, or cinnamon.


Tropical Smoothie Sunrise Sunset Copycat from Sip Sip Smoothie


This smoothie has a kick to it that is perfect for boosting energy levels.


We follow this recipe exactly with the exception of using agave instead of sugar.


It has such a delicious taste that we all enjoy savoring.


What else do you add to your smoothies?


My oldest son has been working with his physical therapist and doctor, while consulting with a personal trainer regarding Ehler's Danlos Syndrome.



Creatine Monohydrate


All have recommended that he add Creatine Monohydrate to his smoothie each day to help with muscle growth and recovery.


Everyone on his team agrees the best way for Dinomite to stay healthy, is to develop as much muscle as possible to help hold his joints in place.


Despite special dietary needs and sensory struggles, we've been able to find a way for Dinomite to receive the nutrition he needs through smoothies.


When we first started making smoothies each day, I thought for sure I would eventually get sick of them. 


Instead the opposite has happened. 


Everyone in the family craves them more.


My guess is that you will love these summer smoothie recipes as much as we do and have the same thing happen! Lol.


If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the resources below.


40+ Breakfast Recipes: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Corn Free & Refined Sugar Free 10 Summer Desserts: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Corn Free & Refined Sugar Free 40+ Summer Dinners: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Corn Free & Refined Sugar Free 10 Fall Desserts: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Corn Free & Refined Sugar Free 40+ Winter Dinners: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Corn Free & Refined Sugar Free Halloween Candy: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Corn Free & Refined Sugar Free


10 Summer Smoothie Recipes: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Corn Free, and Refined Sugar Free


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How to Celebrate Canada Day When You're Not in Canada

 

Canada Day celebrations in Canada is similar to 4th of July celebrations in the United States. 

I grew up on the St. Lawrence River right on the border between Canada and the United States and experienced both.

Part of my family is from Canada.

It's always been my goal to share our family heritage with my children. 

This can be challenging as we live in the state of Virginia.

Here's how our family has chosen to celebrate Canada Day when not in Canada.


How to Celebrate Canada Day When You're Not in Canada



How to Celebrate Canada Day when You're Not in Canada


Since there are no Canada Day parades, fireworks, and parties where we live, we have decided to celebrate Canada Day a little bit differently.

Canada Day Breakfast


Canadian Pancakes with Maple Syrup

We started off with a delicious breakfast of pancakes and maple syrup.

Everyone enjoyed it.

Canada Day Attire


Our Canada Day Celebration: Canada T-shirts

My kids love shirts to celebrate holidays, so we were sure to make sure they each had a Canada Day shirt. 

These specific shirts were from Eddie Bauer.

Something different about Canada Day in these pictures is that the smoke you see in the background was actually from the fires in Canada. It had made its way all the way down to Virginia.

Canada Shirts for Everyone

My husband and I also enjoyed our own Canada Day shirts!

Our youngest went a step further and was sure to create accessories to go with her outfit.

Canada Day Necklace


Making a Canada Day Necklace

Sunshine made a beautiful Canada Day necklace from red and white pony beads as well as red maple leaf buttons I found at our local craft store.

Canada Day Bead Necklace

The necklace was absolutely beautiful! 

Canada Day Meal


Canada Day Meal

Since we save our grilling for the 4th of July, we make our favorite traditional Canadian dishes for Canada Day.

Sunshine decorated our table with fabric maple leaves.

Canada Day Meal

Our meal consisted of Poutine and Tourtière. I was so excited to be able to find cheese curd, which is rare where we live.

Canada Day Dessert


Canada Day Dessert

For dessert we made Nanaimo Bars. My kids love this dessert. 

We usually only make it once a year, special for Canada Day.

The rest of our Canada Day is enjoying all things Canada related, whether it be a book, movie, music, or some other source of entertainment.

We talk about our family history.

Though we're not in Canada, we still have so much fun celebrating Canada Day and honoring some of our family heritage.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the resources below.

Montesssori Canada Geography Activties with Free Printables Montessori-inspired Continents and Oceans Printable Pack Bundle Montessori-inspired North America Unit Printable Pack Bundle Canada Printable Pack


How to Celebrate Canada Day When You're Not in Canada

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