How to handle judgements...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by flachic, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. flachic

    flachic New Member

    After lots of reading of these threads & pulling my Explosive Child book from the shelf & figuring I may end up doing some serious changing to the way I handle my difficult child, I had this question:

    What do you guys do when people question your parenting methods, especially if it's family you're child(ren) spend time with???

    I am anticipating this from my cousin (MSW, child therapist) and mother. We will soon be moving close to them & I get alot of direction in my parenting from them both. I have looked to them for advice before so I've opened that door myself.

    Input greatly appreciated!!!!!
     
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Hi & welcome.
    Most of us have discovered that we need to keep things on a need to know basis with our child's extended family. You really don't want to get bogged down in the blame game when these folks don't necessarily understand the complex issues your family faces daily. I personally have become pretty adept at changing the subject when questions about my child-rearing come up. I have one relative in particular that likes to nitpick me so I just turn it on her when she starts in on me.
     
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Marg and I both posted about this topic on your other thread.
     
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I posted on your last thread. What I suggest - write your own summary of "The Explosive Child". Do it as a book review. (If you get stuck on this one, I'll give you a copy of mine). Then give them copies and ask them to be on board with you, to use this method, because for this child, the usual tried and true techniques are not only not working, they're making him worse. It's not that their methods are wrong, they're only wrong for him and other kids like him. And once the whole process is underway with him, there may be some fine tuning that their expert knowledge could help identify and put in place, but within the framework of Ross Greene's described methods. (I'm assuming here, from what you said, that you're at least starting at this point).

    Also, keep detailed notes in some sort of diary, and ask them to contribute to it. Observations, thoughts, concerns - good things bad things, it all needs to be written down. We called it difficult child 3's "Communication Book". When they're writing it down for posterity, people either get their own impulsivity off their chests, or they consider their words more carefully. It's also very valuable to go back years later and read it all, to see how far you've all come.

    Anything more - just nod and smile.

    Marg
     
  5. flachic

    flachic New Member

    Thanks...I realized I wanted to separate the 2 threads after I already had written on the first one. Forgive my newness...I'll figure this out as I go along!!

    Marg...thankyouthankyouthankyou.

    To top it off, my cousin has no children of her own...she's been unable to conceive, has been trying to adopt for a year, and it's a very sensitive issue.

    What about when difficult child spends time with-these people & they need some type of system? Once, during a road trip with-the cousin & I, difficult child got angry at his video game & yelled repeatedly at it...then got angry with-us (not violent, not even name-calling...just loud & obnoxious). My cousin called me later to 'follow up' on my consequences, saying that she felt something 'needed to be done', because that behavior shouldn't be allowed. After this situation, we had a huge gulf between us & she put up 'boundaries' because she couldn't handle the way I handled my difficult child. This is where I start feeling unsupported and it just sucks. The pressure becomes great & then I feel like I am not a good parent or I am doing the wrong things.

    Blah! That's how it feels!!!
     
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    My philosophy (based on the "Positive Discipline" approach by Jane Nelsen) is that consequences should be used to help children learn for the future instead of pay for the past. In the example above, a simple removal of the video game (because difficult child wasn't using it appropriately) would suffice. As soon as he is able to use it appropriately, he can have it returned to him.

    As far as your cousin goes, simply tell her you took care of it. She doesn't need to know the specifics of how you discipline. While I know it's a sensitive subject for her, the only "perfect" parent is the one who doesn't have children of her own.
     
  7. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    You feel unsupported because your cousin was unsupportive.

    I find her actions very disrespectful to you as a parent or fellow adult. Does her degree make her a better expert on handling your child? Does her (unfortunate) conception/adoption situation give her free reign to make your already difficult life more painful? You need to politely say something along the lines of "this topic isn't open for discussion" or "I can assure you that my son's behavior has been adequately addressed by myself & husband.". That's it.
     
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Your cousin has her own problems, from her longing for a child and then seeing you apparently mishandle yours. Of course, she would be a perfect mother with a perfect child. She's a professional and her longing for a child is so absolute that it would make sure she was perfect.

    Don't be too hasty to assume she is upset with you, or angry at how you do things. There is a lot more going on for her, that she is having trouble coping with.

    I remember wanting a baby so badly that I really was in trouble. A good friend was pregnant and I couldn't look at her. For some months I couldn't visit or even talk to her. I wanted to stay friends with her and I was scared I'd say something thoughtless and offensive, primed by my own longing. Fortunately I was pregnant by the time her baby was born, so I was able to cuddle her baby without bursting into tears.

    Your cousin's boundaries are probably more complex than you realise. Just don't take them personally. And if by chance your cousin IS intending you to take her criticism personally, your refusal to is STILL healthier for you. Keep telling yourself, "It's her, not me." And give her a copy of the book, or at least your review. Or a printout of the Early Childhood thread on the book.

    One final thing - if you begin to try this, and it works for you, she should see improvement. But if she continues to use old-fashioned methods on him, while others around him are using the basket method, she will find him rejecting her in a BIG way. And when she complains to you about tis, tell her why - she's refusing to use the alternative method that IS working for him, with other people. And until she comes on board, she'd better get used to him being oppositional with her.

    I know, because this is exactly what I saw with difficult child 3. And when the 'heavies' finally came on board, it took time but they eventually made headway with him too.

    Good luck!

    Marg
     
  9. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    When it comes to raising children, a parent has to do what is right for their child regardless of what.

    In my opinion if your child is 10 and your cousin and mother had all the answers in guiding you, your son would be progressing instead of floundering. When it's not working, it's time to take a new direction.

    I took a lot of flak from family until they a) got a first hand taste of his behaviors and b) I ignored all their advice and found a parenting style that worked better than the one that I was raised on. They don't love it but they aren't dummies--they can see the proof of how it's worked in how well my son is doing now.

    Personally I wouldn't be taking advice from a family member who is in or near the field I was having trouble with my child in. There are plenty of sources who aren't so close to the situation. Cousin needs to stay totally out of your parenting and limit her business to her own clients.
     
  10. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    Hi,
    Those of us who have been around some time on parenting boards can tell you about parents who professionaly worked with challenging children , were totally powerless and lost when they had to deal with their own children. In my experience it has been the been there done that , been there , done that , parent who has helped. The message here is that there is no magic bullet , but there is hope , education is a long process , so you need to nurture yourself.
    I would say that you are following profesional advice , or being supported and advised by parents of challenging kids whose problems are neurologically - developmentally based. You are willing to share the book , articles etc with her and maybe she could help you get the most out of it. You are also recommended to have a buddy-tutor or other more democratic relationships for your child with older teenagers or young adults. By they becoming his confidants , he will open up , be more responsive to their words , and also develop important communication and cognitive skills. Most therapists were not trained this way , they need to make a paradigm shift.
    Of course you can decide how much , you want her involved.
    The less you complain , the better you cope, the happier and in control of your feelings , despite what is happening , she will interfere less.
    Allan
     
  11. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The fact that she has no kids is a big clue into why she is telling you how to do it. Everyone is a perfect parent until they have kids of their own.

    I think most people get the shock of just how hard parenting is after the first few years of being a parent. A non-parent just can not understand that. You probably even knew how you would parent before you even gave birth - is it anything like that now? Probably not!
     
  12. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I had a good friend who as a single, childless woman with a social work degree taught parenting classes for a local social services organization to parents struggling with difficult children. Some years later she adopted a child and moved away and when I caught up with her later found she had her own difficult child on her hands and felt absolutely contrite about the things she had said and suggested while teaching those classes. I don't blame her as she was only doing her job but she knew she'd not done those parents any favors when she saw things from their side of the fence.
     
  13. lordhelpme

    lordhelpme New Member

    i guess i want to answer the title of your post.

    my attitude is who gives a f*%& what anyone thinks. it is not about 'us' and our egos now it is about doing what is best for our kids.

    granted that is easier said then done but really what does it matter what others think unless they are directly involved in the care of the child(i mean psychiatrists, teachers).

    people are shocked about how open i have been about what is going on with-my son. truth be told i have to be cuz many of the other pta moms see my difficult child being put in a room or classrooms cleared. there is a power in letting people know what is going on and not caring about what they think. the hush hush of the Special Education system is good for privacy but just makes it that much more of a stigma!

    if i were you i would look forward to her comments so you can turn it into a learning experience for her. don't get mad but inform. who knows maybe you can both take bits from each other that can help your difficult child and the clients she works with, Know what I mean??

    take heart in that you don't have to have a difficult child to have people question how you parent!
     
  14. flachic

    flachic New Member

    Great input & feedback! As I've read every reply on my 2 threads (more than once), I have cried several times, mostly feeling relieved & understood for the first time in forever. I want you all to know I read 151 pages of 'The Explosive Child' after I got off the computer this morning! Even though I'd read it before, something has clicked that I don't remember clicking last time. Also, I'm planning on getting another assessment done by a psychologist or neuropsychologist, as the book also suggests. I am still looking for the paperwork from his other assessments to figure out the credentials of those who did the assessing. It's a little overwhelming, but no more so than the actual recurrance of the behaviors and nothing else has really made too much of a dent!! It all makes so much sense...he's so easily frustrated & so, well, Everything the book talks about is him!!! And god, the consistency, the consequences, the praise..we've got a reward system in place too...we do it all!!!!!

    Your empathy for the situation with my cousin/family also feels very good. And remembering to separate it (it's not about me) is good advice.

    So I have a plan, which is good. I have a support system (which I've needed). And my husband is going to read the book as well.

    I'm so glad I'm here =)
    I will update you as I get further with everything. And now, I can breathe a little easier--my difficult child is calm, relaxed, sweet. And tomorrow he will go on a 2 day trip with-husband, which will allow me the much-needed time to recharge (I never get that!).

    And I'll keep reading with interest. You have given me such good advice.
     
  15. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    We're glad you're here, too. Please keep reading and posting. We're here for each other. Hugs!
     
  16. kris

    kris New Member

    flachic, i mean margaurite no disrespect but i completely disagree with-her advice:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I posted on your last thread. What I suggest - write your own summary of "The Explosive Child". Do it as a book review. (If you get stuck on this one, I'll give you a copy of mine). Then give them copies and ask them to be on board with you, to use this method, because for this child, the usual tried and true techniques are not only not working, they're making him worse. It's not that their methods are wrong, they're only wrong for him and other kids like him. And once the whole process is underway with him, there may be some fine tuning that their expert knowledge could help identify and put in place, but within the framework of Ross Greene's described methods. (I'm assuming here, from what you said, that you're at least starting at this point).

    Also, keep detailed notes in some sort of diary, and ask them to contribute to it. Observations, thoughts, concerns - good things bad things, it all needs to be written down. We called it difficult child 3's "Communication Book". When they're writing it down for posterity, people either get their own impassivity off their chests, or they consider their words more carefully. It's also very valuable to go back years later and read it all, to see how far you've all come.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    while it sounds good in theory this will only give the family more opportunity to get involved with-you choice of behavior plan & make you feel even more under fire.

    the less they know the less they can criticize. usually our advice to people in your situation is to say as little as possible & put the focus back on them by asking them something about their life. by the way, do you give your cousin advice on how to get pregnant i'm sorry she's having issues conceiving, but that doesn't give her the right to tell you how to parent your child. we've had psychologists, social workers, Special Education teachers, all manner of people who work professionally with-troubled kids. they end up here because their kids have brought them to their knees just like the rest of us mere mortals.

    as you've already said, you've opened this door, but that doesn't mean you can't strar slowly edging it closed. talk about your son's positive points & less & less of the negatives. it will take a certain amount of discipline on your part because you are so used to confiding in them. you'll find yourself falling into the old pattern. count to three before responding to their questions. it's like we tell the kids, "think before you speak."

    i would definitely arrange a neuropsychologist evaluation as soon as you can. it will help greatly to have a more accurate diagnosis.

    by the way, has any suggested you start pulling a Parent Report together. the PR is a great tool to share with-those who eill be working with-you son. great help at intake interviews as it helps you get everything in chronological order & help you to focus on your goals for your son.

    kris
     
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm not at all offended, Kris. I think it's good that you raised an alternate view - we each handle our own situations using our own judgement, because we're the only ones on the spot. What I suggested works for my family, where they insist on getting involved to that extent. But that is MY family, it may not be the case for everybody's. It is best to have a range of views, for just this reason. And one thing this site is about - it's sharing a range of views, sometimes even opposing ones, in a spirit of supporting each other. You made some good points in terms of allowing doors to remain open when perhaps they should be closed. I think that in the end, the decision has to fall on the ones who are there, after we've all made suggestions.

    The Parent Report is very good idea. I tend not to think of these things because I had to work most of these things out for myself, in isolation, since our health care system and education system is very different.

    The Parent Report sounds like a very useful, more formal way of documenting - all very useful in trying to cut through a lot of dross.

    Good luck with it!

    Marg
     
Loading...