This doesn't make me look very good...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Chaosuncontained, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. Chaosuncontained

    Chaosuncontained New Member

    Several times per week (ok, sometimes every day) Carson acts up. Disrespectful, aggressive, depressed, tantrums. Non compliant. Chaotic. Bouncing off the walls. Demanding.

    And then...

    Almost every time he goes to his Dad's there are ZERO problems. He usually only spends one night a week with his Dad. But he spent Sunday night until Thursday this week. ZERO problems.

    What is up with that??? Can't help but feel...like this is all my fault. But I am loving, attentive, I disipline when it's needed. I tuck him in, fix his favorite foods. I am not mean. Abusive. Scary. I don't scream at him or discipline him too harshly.

    Yet he misbehaves here. And acts OK there. And I don't understand...
     
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    To be honest? It's probably because he knows you love him unconditionally - so he feels safe enough to do it.

    :hugs: I know how hard it is...
     
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hmmm.....how do you know? Are you sure the person telling you this is telling the truth?
     
  4. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    My difficult child is a saint in school and then comes home to me and the devil in him comes out. I've been told it's because he knows that at home he is loved no matter what. At school he has to behave so that the teachers and other kids will like him.

    I know how you feel, though. It's incredibly frustrating.
     
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Chaos,

    A gazillion years ago, when my difficult child could hold it together at school or in psychiatric hospital, but then would absolutely unleash at home, it was explained to me that difficult children tend to lose it in environments where they feel safe/comfortable, while they appear to be comparative angels in other settings. Made me want to make him a bit more uncomfortable at home.:devil: ;)

    Just one of the fun paradoxical gfgland rules.

    Do *not* beat yourself up over this and don't you dare think that it reflects poorly on you. If anything, it reflects well on you.
     
  6. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I had two thoughts as I've read this. 1) what klmno already asked and 2) does dad place the same expectations on him as you do or is he a "Disney Dad"? That alone could be a HUGE difference. I agree with everyone else, it is absolutely NO reflection on you. You are doing what a full-time mom does and you are doing it well.

    Go easy on yourself. There could be a LOT of different explanations and NONE of them reflects on you. You are doing it RIGHT.
     
  7. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I do know where you're coming from, Chaos (as they say). This is a regular occurrence in my life also - J will be with someone, apparently good as gold all day (well, relatively speaking, I am sure) and then I turn up and he becomes this hyperactive, wild creature who will follow no laws known to man. Of course it creates a gap in which all the accusations (and self-accusations) of weakness, lack of authority, general dissolution can be driven...
    I really don't know why it happens. But I don't think it's personal.
     
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Obviously this is not your fault so don't "look in the mirror". A factor that nobody has mentioned before is that there are male bonding experiences that even with easy child's can be extremely important. Little boys seek alot of verification from Dads (and sometimes Father substitutes) because inherently they "know" they are male. So many of us have ended up single parents..usually because of difficult child issues making our marriages dysfunctional. As primary caregivers we accept the load of responsibility as Mother's jobs. I understand your confusion and uncertainty but if he can function well with his Dad it will help him develop an extra dimension to his development....and it may make life easier at your house, too. Hugs DDD
     
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I was thinking exactly what TeDo was thinking.... (and thus klmno)... how do you know that is really the story??? and if anything like my nieces and nephew's dad, that is free time even if it is day after day....all the online or gaming time they want, whatever movies, anything they want to eat, dont have to clean up, etc.....

    And he may think that some of the things he does that for you are not ok ARE ok, sometimes guys have different standards. AND since he is not with dad very much he may in a child's way feel like that is his fault so he is doing whatever he can (but could not say that) to make sure he doesn't screw up and not get to see dad even more (the insecure theory but secure with you theory) and all of the above...

    Tony Attwood says that it is like a spring.... while they are at school or someplace where they have to perform more, the spring becomes compressed and holds its form and then when they get back to homebase .... spring! it pops back.

    I know it stinks, because in theory at the very least it would imply you should have some days like that too! Anyway, as everyone says, dont let it reflect on you at all. It is what it is. He does have issues at school so that should say something about those that are pushing him to reach his potential and working on skills, etc. Just a theory, I dont know his dad but could be.....
     
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    DITTO ion all that.

    Plus, as a pediatrician once told me about difficult child, kids take their worst behavior out on the person they feel most comfortable with and less threatened by- just like when we have a bad day at work and hold it in, then hold it in at the grocery store or wahtever, then go home and 'let it all out'. And he used that very example.
     
  11. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    What slsh said....seen it a million times with Matt. Or sometimes I have seen the reverse, but rarely. Usually it is acting good when he feels he is on display, and then crumbling when he has the space and acceptance to do that.
     
  12. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    What the other ladies have said. And it used to drive me nuts.
     
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Another one who says it is because he feels most loved and accepted no matter what with you. IT HOOVERS. But it is the way it is. The worse they are with you the more tehy trust your love. Drove me NUTS because for a long time I was teh ONLY one that Wiz was violent with other than Jessie. We lived wtih my mom and dad for 3 years and they saw almost NONE of it. Then he went to live with them and tehy had to enforce rules and all hades broke loose and I can't count the number of "OMG I had NO idea he did THAT" calls I got from my mother. WHen we lived with them he would wait until they were out or in one end of their very long house and couldn't hear him in the part he was in when he did whatever (attack, hoard knives, whatever).

    Heck, even when he was younger and it was just husband and I he would be awesome with husband and awful with me.

    It sure isn't any fun, is it?

    I do question if things are as good as Dad says they are, and if Dad lets him do waht he wants whenever or if Dad makes him shower, eat his veggies, do his homework, go to bed on time, do chores, etc.... My kids would never be mad if I let them do what they watned all the time, Know what I mean??
     
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree. No way to do fact-checking.
    Plus, if it's true, dad probably doesn't make difficult child do anything. He's just the fun guy. What about homework, chores, keeping elbows off the table? I bet it's nonexistent.
     
  15. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Maybe he is scared of his father? Just a thought.
     
  16. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I suspected this was maybe not an issue because you didn't mention it before, but I had thought that there could be some of that behaving out of fear of harsh punishment and then you would even get it MORE at home after his visits. Like when I tried to explain to school psychiatric, that strong arming Q ended up in Q's strong arming ME. Dad's methods may work for the short run in his home, but they make it so everywhere else the kid falls apart when he talks in a tone that Dad uses, or pushes his will on others in the way he perceives Dad is acting to him??. Could that be happening at all?
     
  17. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Or, what if he's afraid that if he misbehaves with his father, he won't see him anymore. Does he view time with his father as a privilege, and that he really lives with you? Is there a step-mom there? I wonder what that relationship is like. Are there siblings there and maybe he models them so he doesn't stand out as the 'bad kid' there?
     
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