why do I still talk????

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Ktllc, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Seriously, why do I still try to talk to my parents??? Litlle chit chat is just fine and seems it is all they really can comprehend.
    I've been struggling with difficult child for some times now and cannot ever get any support from them. They either judge me or when I try to explain the "problem" they just go blank.
    This morning, I've sent them an article explaining difficult child's issues (Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)) since the speech therapist made such a strong recommendation to go see the audiologist. The therapist also tod me to handle it as Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) even if the diagnosis is not yet official.
    So I thought: they could understand the situation better, might be more receptive to the way things have to be done with difficult child, etc...
    NOPE! My mother's answer: "I don't know... I can't diagnose him". No sh**?! Nobody asked her to give a diagnosis!!! Then she goes on "well, will see if he has it..."
    GRRRRRRRRRR. They are coming in a month and I told difficult child's therapist I'm worried. They make things worst with him and ALWAYS intervein in discipline or "save" him when I handle a meltdown. The therapist suggested to have a witten plan for everyone to follow and she said they really need to back off. Sigh... I don't know if they can follow a written plan when they can't even appreciate some helpful information about their grandson's condition... Even after reading the article my mother says "it's hard to believe since his language skill are so good". Has she read anything??? Language is not an issue in Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD).
    I really need to learn to talk about the weather with them.:sigh:
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    My advice is to not talk to them about anything more than chit-chat. That or live like I do and never talk to your parents again. They may have given birth to you but you are not longer their "child". You're the parent of their grandchildren. If they can't respect that, then they can't be part of that.

    At the same time, it takes total dedication on your part. You can not EVER talk to them about your children's problems or anyone who might divulge your children's problems to them. That, or just decide that you don't care what they say or think and let it all slide off of your back.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    For years my mother had no clue what was going on with the difficult children. Well, even NOW, she has little clue. I just pretty much kept it to idle chit chat. Anything else opened up a whole other can of worms that I didn't want to deal with.

    As for grandma interfering, you're going to have to stand your ground and just plain tell her to back off, this is your child, not hers. She needs to respect you both as an adult and a mother, she won't learn to do that if you don't set your boundaries firmly in place. My mom also tried to do such things. She found out consistently I don't put up with it. (as she wouldn't put up with it if my own grandma had tried it) I tried to be tactful, but if that didn't work (and often it didn't) I was blunt and direct. But it can take time for them to get the idea, so be prepared to dig in your heels for a while.

    I work very hard not to interfere with my kids parenting of their own children. IF I feel the need to speak up about something........and I have at times.........it's in private. I am careful to avoid saying anything within a child's earshot.

    That said.......people just often do not get it, even family. My mom is a nurse, and she doesn't get it.......and she has this "my family has to be perfect" syndrome going on which doesn't help. Old stigma's die hard. My son is blind, sees very little, and I was an ogre for not even attempting to get his license. (we did check with those in the know and there is no way he can drive) She can't accept his blindness.....the other stuff just zips over her head completely. These types......you have to learn to ignore, even when they're family. For the most part I was successful at it......but there were times when I'd blow pretty big too.

  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Ktllc, I completely understand. I am going through the same type of thing with my mother (my dad has been dead 13 years). I am no longer speaking to her EXCEPT when the whole family is together because 1) she doesn't understand the info she's read about difficult child's diagnosis, 2) she has been convinced for years that me spoiling him rotten is the only problem he has and 3) she accused me of lying about him having a "problem" to cover for his bad behavior. She says the only way she will believe me is if she talks to the psychiatrist (whom we only see for medication checks and are in the process of changing) herself. I have decided it is better for me AND my difficult child not to have contact with her except for special family occasions and then it is only briefly. I feel bad for my kids because it is the only grandparent they have but she is just too emotionally "hard" on all of us.

    {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}} to you and to difficult child. It is soooo hard when the people we go to for support do more damage than good and don't leave the parenting to the parents. I feel for ya hon.
  5. keista

    keista New Member

    This was reminding me of me and my big sister. She could not understand the concept of being supportive WITHOUT trying to fix a particular situation. (this was not just with kid stuff either) I finally had a frank chat with her and told her I wasn't looking to her for solutions. This was stuff going on in MY life and I was sharing MY life with her, and if it was bad stuff all I was looking for was a compassionate ear, and if it was good stuff I wanted to "celebrate" with her and ultimately she knew what was going on in my life. PERIOD. Over the years, she's become my pillar of strength. She now gently offers advice and ideas I may not have thought of, and backs off when I tell her I've been there done that.

    Little sister, on the other hand, still does not get it. I let her do what she does, and if it ends up not so great, then Oh well. Kids need to get used to ppl that won't always understand their issues. Fortunately, I don't see either more than once or twice a year (if that often).

    I remember one time my Dad criticizing me for indulging the kids while he's pulling out the ice cream right BEFORE dinner. 1, he was behaving as I think a grandparent should - 'spoiling' the grand kids. 2, Dad, it's MY job to raise them, I'll do it as I see fit. Things I allow at his house are much different than what I allow at home BECAUSE I was allowing him to 'spoil' them.

    Anyway, remind your mom that she's the GRANDPARENT, not the parent. She should enjoy her grands, 'spoil' them, and leave the parenting to you. Also, let her know that when you say to do xyz with one of the kids, it's NOT a suggestion it's what needs to be done. If she doesn't listen, don't forget "I told you so" after the meltdown ensues.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I know how frustrating this is. It could be worse. your mother could read the info, do some online research and find some other diagnosis she thinks fits better (esp attractive to moms like this are diagnosis's that basically say the problem happened because the parent abused them in some way when no abuse occurred) and then she could decide to contact the docs and psychiatrists herself and send her "info" and "history" to them. been there done that and luckily had each professional she sent her letters to give them to me and say that they hoped I had some support for myself too because she was so far out of line and logic that she might as well be trying to give ET a phone call.

    Do you have a copy of Parenting your child with Love and Logic by Fay and Cline? Or the teen version? If so, read up on those techniques - they work quite well on parents as well as children.

    I hoep you can get through the visit with as few upsets as possible.
  7. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Susie, I do not have those books but I might very well get them. Actually makes me smile to get such books for handling tough parents! lol
    Last time they were here, after 2 weeks of bs, I finally blew and told them to BACK OFF! I'VE HAD ENOUGH!. The nice way would not work... talk about an explosive situation after that. I was so upset I did not sleep for 3 days. Since they were still with us for an other weeks, I tried talking to my mother but she simply would not listen. At the end I stated that we obviously don't agree, I heard her opinion on parenting MY kids and now I was making the decision on what I thought was best. She was shoked I was not doing what she told me to do. She went on telling me I sould change my ways. I finally said that they are MY kids and I will do what is best for them and I will simply not back down because difficult child needs to be protected even if she does not see/understand it. She had the nerves to respond "you might be their mother, but they are not yours, they are not your property". GRRRR I just said that it was my role to protect them and decide what was best and that it was not a negotiation, simply a statement for her to accept.
    They will be with us for a whole month... I am worried. On the other hand, there is no way I can tell them not to come. I love them and my kids love them. The situation gets explosive because we have a difficult child and I'm tired (and probably less patient) from parenting a difficult child.
    I need to come up with a plan to handle my parents so they learn on their own since they disregard what I ever I say. What I really wish is for difficult child not to honeymoon too long and show the real difficult child real fast. When he gets to that stage, it is usually time for them to leave and they only get a few days of it. And, just for the record, they seemed caught by surprise by it! My mother is like "Oh dear! I can't believe he just spit on me". And me, in my head "welcome to my reality".
  8. keista

    keista New Member

    Who does she think they belong to? Sounds like a very difficult and stubborn woman, and am sending you more ((((HUGS)))) and strength.

    Again, when she's surprised by how difficult child acts, a few "I told you so"s are in order.

    For some reason, this also reminded me of a conversation I had with my Aunt (about religion, not kids, but the concept still applies) She accused me of the sin of PRIDE - that I insisted I was right and 'refused' to accept and look at things the 'conventional' way. Much too easy to turn it around, so I did, and accused her of the same thing. I was amazed that she actually backed off.

    Obviously she's having a difficult time adjusting to the fact that you are not her obedient little girl any more. Your family is still young. Over time she may get accustomed to her new role as GRANDPARENT and mellow out a bit - we can hope, right?

    So I've got a million dollar question. Do you usually go through the usual parental spiel of "Grandma is coming, I expect you to be on your best behavior."? If so, DON'T do it. Let him know they are coming, but don't comment on the behavior. Keep things going as normal as possible so the grands can see how things usually go at your house.

    I know it's a terrible catch 22 situation. You want a pleasant visit without any difficult child drama, but at the same time, you NEED your parents to see and UNDERSTAND the issues you deal with on a day to day basis. Unfortunately, you can't have both. More (((((HUGS))))
  9. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I can relate! Reading your post made some things pretty fresh. We set boundries very clearly with my parent in-laws. They have chosen to stay away because they could not live by these. They call husband every week still, and continue to invite us to everything and complain how they miss him and the kids. Sadly, we don't miss them, but feel relieved. It was hard at first when we had to not be around them. Felt guilty. Sounds like maybe you need to have the talk and let them know that these visits are too hard on your family. Your little family is your family and you are right to put them first.

    I was wondering if putting your mom in charge of the baby or cooking would keep her out of your son's hair? Distract her with the others. Maybe if she felt useful and occupied??? I know this is hard because you don't really trust her.

    I had a counselor say something to me I have never forgotten and has stayed with me-" Your mother- in- law (substitute mother here) cannot give you what you need or want. She's not capable." Finially realizing where the problem lied helped me to let go. She knows I will not be attending any of their family functions or be around her anymore. My kids and husband have made the same choice. We feel free. They still try to get us to "join" the family through my husband who speaks to them shortly every week. Your parents may hang on for awhile, or they may do what many do, decide to respect their daughter, whom they raised so well and they love. Perhaps it will sink in-keep setting limits and expressing your feeling. Hugs and good luck!
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    This time don't just think it, say it out loud. Also, if Mom chooses to leave when difficult child starts normal difficult child behavior, you might want to add that YOU don't get to leave when gfgdom gets unpleasant, you're left to deal with it day in and day out. Makes a huge difference in how someone looks at such things.

    Good luck

  11. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

    First off, make a plan. And this plan does not include the grands. It is a plan between you & H only. Plan ahead for different scenarios, such as time outs-not for difficult child, but for everyone else. If difficult child throws a rager, the plan could be that H takes the grands and other two kids to the park, to mcDs, for a hike, out to swim, whatever, but be prepared....have an escape plan in place. That way, as you're handling difficult child your way, you won't have your mom interjecting her opinions and advice.

    If dinnertime is a usually difficult time, how about planning a picnic night every Wednesday so difficult child has something to look forward to while the grands are there, have him be your helper or have grandpa play jacks with him, etc. Iow, give everyone a job to do, keep them busy, but in fun easy and be sure to leave slack in the schedule for some downtime, just not too much.

    Plan your menus NOW so you're prepared and don't need to make constant runs to the store. Do you have a pool? Buy some pool toys that will engage both the grands and the peanuts, such as pool volleyball.

    I used to have a mothers helper when mine were little and that REALLY helped me out quite a bit in terms of keeping to my schedule, keeping difficult child occupied, etc. Maybe there is a local jr high student from your area that would like to earn a little money?

    Above all, stick to your normal routine-nothing can trigger a meltdown like a switch in the daily routine, and having company just makes it crazier. When your mom starts to intervene, hold up your hand as if to stop her and simply say, "Mom, we will talk about this later. For now, you can help me by playing with baby, ect, prepping for dinner, whatever". ALWAYS, when she intervenes, give her a job and portray the job as helping you.

    Moms need to feel needed and when chaos ensues, make her feel needed by giving her a job to do. Best of luck!
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    H&R gives excellent ideas. Have a list of things that gma can do with the other kids. Make a sort of "safety plan" that when whatever comes up, gma does this and/or that. Include gpa if needed. Think of it as a "sanity plan". Many of us make safety plans for what happens wehn difficult child rages. Make the plan for what to do when gma gets up in your face. With kids around there are ALWAY things to be done. She can fold laundry, check the paper for movie times, read to the kids, whatever.

    Did I dream it or did she come in from another country? maybe she could use some of those times to teach the other kids some song in another language or about customs of another country. If I dreamed it, ask her to tell a story about when seh was little.

    One thing that we now do with any older relatives is to record them telling family stories. My parents did this when my great gma was alive. Just a couple of years ago we managed to find them and get them transferred to mp3 files - and they are precious to all of us. I bet being asked to tell some family stories would make her feel important and valued. If being recorded makes her nervous, try having it set somewhere she can't see it.

    I was serious about using the techniques from the Love and Logic books on your parents. They work. Esp having the standard responses that just roll off your tongue naturally - ones that show empathy but don't fix it or let them go on and on. The library should have the L&L books and you can also check out their website" www.loveandlogic.com . I have found this to be extremely helpful with my kids and parents. Don't skip the teacher stuff - it can be helpful too sometimes.

    When my friends and I all started to get married my mom gave us some advice that I found works on her also. The basic rules for training a dog work on kids and spouses and grandparents. Simple 1 word or 2 word commands. Lots of praise. be very consistent. It isn't foolproof, esp with a difficult child, of course. But it does work with pcs pretty well.

    (NOT insulting anyone by saying kids are dogs, just that this simple set of rules can be very helpful!)

    Last time you tried to ignore things or smooth them over and your mom got more and more upset and so did you until things blew. this time, don't stuff those feelings down. I did that with visits for a long time until I finally shocked the snot out of my mom by asking her exactly what I was doing that made me the horrible mom she treated me as? Why was it that NOTHING I did was right - seh had to tell me how to fix every single thing I did. She thought she was helping, trying to contribute ideas to help make things better but the only message that got through was that nothing I could do was good enough. That trip I actually stopped and let her have the kids for a weekend. Told her that since I clearly had NO idea how to parent them or run my home, she was the mom and I was the guest. Just the OFFER was enough to remind her that even though she was my mother she was also my GUEST.

    I have a feelign that your mom forgets she is your guest. maybe reminding her of that would be a good thing also. Would she treat any other hostess the way she treats you?

    Whatever you do, I hope this visit is better than the last ones. IT is YOUR home and YOUR husband and YOUR children. Speak your mind and if needed let her know that she is being disrespectful to her hostess.

    You have us rooting for you!!!
  13. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I agree, I think moms are moms for so long and so fiercely (many of us here in included) that it naturally carries over. For this reason, they think they are helping or pitching an idea you hadn't thought of (based on their own mom experience) and because we're adults ourselves now, coming from our parents it sounds like they don't believe in us or have faith in our ability. Mom may have to stop doing that to you, but the change will begin with you. You have to stop taking it personally and as both Susie and I (and perhaps others) have said, give her things to make her feel needed and useful. I am telling you - this works. I do it even now, evennow that my kids are grown, with my mother in law, friends of the family, sisters, everyone. The bottom line is that people, all of us, just want to feel that we can play/be a part of things.

    Of course, easy for me to say, all this BS is behind me now...and it only took me forever to figure it out!!! As my kids became adults, I had to teach myself to be very mindful of when a "mom" statement is about to come out of my mouth...hold my tongue instead of telling them what I think (without being asked by them, of course, in which case, I let her rip).
  14. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    i APPPRECIATE ALL OF YOUR ADVICE. Let me tell you a funny little episode about how my mother still thinks (very revealing on how confused she is about her position!):
    We are all around the dinning table and there are several dishes in the middle. Someone (my mother?) had served everybody with a bowl of soup and I ask my mother to please pass me the potatoe dish that was right next to her. She looks at me and says "finish your soup first!". I grinned trying not to fall off my chair and said really slowly "ok, let me ask you again, can you please pass me the potatoes". Everyone was just laughing!