It seems to me that in such a situation you will have to play the part of the mother AND father of those kids. One thing about being a father is asserting physical dominance - we are not that different than animals in many ways, especially as children - and you will have to ensure that they do not threaten your authority. On the other hand, my opinion is that when the child becomes an adult at 14-15 you need to take a step back and let them deal with their own successes and failures. A success awarded to you because of someone else's work diminish the pleasure, or, worse yet, teaches you take advantage of people. A failure not endured is a failure that doesn't teach you consequences fully.
My nephew is turning 15 in May and I'm often haven the conversation with my sister that she needs to "cut the umbilical cord". He loves hanging out with me because I treat him as an adult, as he is. Most important of all: Children aren't dumb, they're just inexperienced.
In today's society we tend to be positively encourage to dwell on negative experiences and I don't think that necessarily helps overcoming trauma. A few years back I was assaulted and beaten to a pulp, but my instinct was to get over it and compartmentalize it way far back in my mind. The bad things that have happened to me over the years, and I've had some bad shit to deal with, is neatly packed into small bundles and minimized. This strategy has not bitten me in the ass, it has helped me.
You have to learn from trauma, not get consumed by it.
You get to screen them thoroughly and meet them before taking them in yes? How exactly does the process go?
Hi Belle, never heard of RAD before, but single mothers of boys all inevitably have to deal with controlling young men who are physically stronger than they are. My advice would be this: be strong, be fair, be consistent. You can do it.
Why are you doing it? Money?