Well meaning people who set my kid off ...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lizinmd, May 13, 2007.

  1. lizinmd

    lizinmd New Member

    I wonder if any of you can relate ... my difficult child was awful today ... aggressive, defiant, verbally abusive, you name it.

    I figured out why ... and I just wonder if my kid is the only one who does this ... we went to see a friend last weekend, she is his former daycare provider, she told him that he had to be really nice to me today and do everything I asked because it was mothers day. So he acts like a monster instead.

    I figured it out after a few hours, only after a near meltdown on my part, because I remembered thinking when she was saying it that it was going to mean trouble. Since I got it out of him, he's been his usual uncharming self, but at least tolerable.

    So happy Mother's Day to all ... no matter how it actually went, we are wonderful women all year long, no matter what those around us with special challenges might make it seem like.

    Best wishes and big hugs,
    Liz
     
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I often think our kids "self-destruct" when they feel the pressue to live up to high expectations. That may have happened to your difficult child today.

    I had very low expectations for today, and it turned out wonderfully. All I told my kids was that I wanted to spend Mother's Day with them. We took our dog and a picnic lunch (packed by husband!) to the park near our house, threw a baseball around, played on the swings and sat in the sun. My kids had fun (as did the dog), and I came home feeling relaxed from all that fresh air. Best of all, we had no meltdowns.

    Hugs! I hope tomorrow is a better day.
     
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I understand the "well meaning" comment reactions. It drives me
    nuts when people say to the boys "you don't know how lucky you are to have your grandparents" or "be extra kind to your Grandma
    as she has given her life up for you". Yikes! It makes me want
    to scream. Kids don't need strangers giving them emotional roadmaps. on the other hand, holidays are always rough for and with difficult children.
    Hooray, one more holiday is behind us..lol. DDD
     
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It's not just the expectations that annoy me, it's the emotional blackmail that goes with it. My mother was an expert. I remember visiting one of her friends with her during my school holidays. I was bored, I really needed a book to read or something to do, and was just getting fidgetty. My mother turned to her friend and announced, in a voice I knew also meant, "This is a message to you too, dear,"
    "Did you know, my Marguerite has NEVER, ever been rude to me? I am so proud of this."
    The admiring glance from her friend was probably coupled with, "Yeah, and I just saw a squealing pink thing fly past the window," in her thoughts, but it set up such a strong barrier to me to never, ever argue with my mother, that life was very difficult. The benefit to her of those few words lasted for years and I STILL resent the way it permanently shut off dialogue.
    My kids argue with me all the time. I value their willingness to express themselves and am glad I've taught them to argue appropriately and positively. Emotional blackmail is banned.

    But it still happens outside the home. Scripture teachers have really annoyed me. Remember, in Australia we have the option of religious education even in our mainstream schools. You tick the box yes or no, and also tick the box for the range of options available. As we have always been churchgoers (until fairly recently - we've slacked off a bit lately) we happily ticked the box for Proddy (Protestant) Scripture. Frankly, I wish I'd ticked the Tykes (RC) because what we have ended up with is some very damaging theologies. At least our local RCs think carefully and base their scripture on generations of sound doctrine, and not the latest fad as is happening in a lot of Sydney Protestant churches (hence our recent absences).
    I became disabled when easy child was 3. difficult child 1 was a baby. My disability was obscure and weird. Also worrying, for a young girl. Was Mummy going to die? Nobody had any answers. At school scripture, her scripture teacher told her that if only she prayed hard enough, I would be healed. And so she did - but she never told me about it, I think she wanted it to be a lovely surprise. "Prayers are always answered," she was told. Nobody warned her that sometimes the answer to prayer is "no," or "Not yet". It really brought her faith crashing down when I stubbornly failed to be healed. She saw it as a personal failing on her part, for not being able to pray hard enough.

    And then they did it to difficult child 3. His scripture teacher (someone I really like as a friend, although she's a ditz) sat with him and prayed with him for his autism to be healed. I was furious when I found out - prayer just doesn't work like that, our kids need to understand that it's not Santa Claus in the sky. God is NOT a giant wish fairy whose sole existence is to make our dreams come true. Just think of some dreams you've had, including the ones with big hairy monsters emerging from under the bed - want THEM to come true? Think of all the moral tales where a child's wishes come true but with dire, unexpected consequences because the wishes were not properly considered. These moral tales have a purpose - to teach us acceptance and patience.

    And also with difficult child 3 - I'd spent a long time explaining to him that his autism is an important part of how he is made. His brain works a different way, but it does work, and very well too. To lose his autism might seem to be a good thing to people who don't understand, but to adapt to the difficult bits and rejoice in the wonderful bits is how we were raising him. To tell him that his autism is a bad thing that needs healing was definitely sending him a contradictory, bad message. Besides, life just doesn't work that way.
    difficult child 3 HAS overcome a great deal. Some observers might venture to say his autism has been healed, but it hasn't. He has adapted very well and is using his special abilities to help do even better. He will always need to go carefully and watch his anxiety levels, but his prodigious memory and ability to focus intensely and deeply are a vital part of who he is and how he copes. They're also a part of his autism.

    Where does one part of a person stop and another begin? difficult child 3 is a complex blend of everything that makes him who and what he is. To want to change any of this is like changing the ingredient of a cake from, say, flour to potato. Or cocoa to strawberry. You will still have a cake of sorts, but it will be very different, in more ways than you expect.

    difficult child 3 was very difficult for some time, over his failure to stop being autistic. And while I'd been able to explain things to easy child when she was younger, I couldn't explain things to difficult child 3 because his language skills were not good enough, when this happened. His faith is very concrete, he doesn't cope with abstraction well. He was still thinking that Baby Jesus was born every year, magically grew up to be a man by Easter and other stuff just happened through the rest of the church calendar.

    I understand your rage. really I do.

    Marg
     
  5. lizinmd

    lizinmd New Member

    Thank you all for responding ... you each had something to say that resonated for me. Smallworld - I'm glad your day was good ... you so deserve it. DDD - you nailed it! And Marg -- what can I say ... the ability to see through these kinds of situations and interpret them for our kids are what will do the most good in the end. I wish you all peace and joy ... and we'll talk again soon!

    Liz
     
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