Why is it such a hard concept?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mstang67chic, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    This is something that has been on my mind for.....well, honestly, for years now. After reading some recent posts, it's come back to the forefront and I thought I'm see if I could get it out in a post that may or may not make sense.

    So....why is it that we as parents are expected to tolerate, put up with and live with all kinds of behaviors, attitudes, threats and abuse simply because the person exhibiting said behaviours are our children? If a spouse or significant other were doing these things we would be encouraged to contact the police, seek help from a domestic abuse shelter, leave, do whatever we need to do to protect ourselves and our children. But if it's our child doing this to us, others and our other children, we're supposed to wipe the slate clean, do a few family counseling sessions, listen to the "experts" and take the child back into our home only to be put in the same situation as before.

    Why can't we parent from afar or even, in some situations, cut ties? Sometimes our children are extremely ill and/or dangerous. But because they are our CHILDREN, we have to live with it? I'm sorry, that doesn't float with me. I don't see how people can look down on parents for trying to keep their family safe. Don't get me wrong, I"m not talking about getting the child out of the house and completely breaking off ties and having absolutely no contact (unless the situation really calls for that) but getting the child into a situation that is good for all involved. What is so bad about that? Why are we as parents, called into question for doing that type of thing? Dangerous behaviour doesn't just happen overnight after someone grows up. It starts young.....why can't people see that? And not even just dangerous behaviour. husband and I for example, have stated that difficult child will not be living with us again. He's not dangerous or abusive but we simply can't taking living under lock and key anymore. We like being able to live in our own home without locking our possessions up.

    People are starting to realize that changes need to be made in the mental health system. Maybe they will eventually understand this too.
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I've been thinking about this a lot, too.

    I feel like the LEAST qualified person on the planet to deal with some of these difficult child issues....and yet, I am the one "in charge" because the so-called experts 'cannot handle her' or 'do not have a space for her right now' or 'do not have the funding available'.

    I have been begging for help, for years.

    Yet, if difficult child were to go out and seriously injure someone - I'd be liable.

    I don't get it.
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Boy do I get how you feel! difficult child 1 is in a residential program that allows him to remain in his zoned school. I went to parent/teacher conferences in the fall and let me tell you - I felt like a piece of **** just from the demeanor of some of the teachers. The point of the community residence is for me to retain custody and maintain a relationship with the school. The residence sent a Social Worker to attend as well.

    I'd say about 1/2 of the teachers, as soon as they heard "Social Worker" literally looked me up and down and physically turned from me to address her. I was made to feel like a pariah. Like ACS had taken my kid away. I ALMOST made the remark that CLEARLY I'm not a crack head or heroin addict (I'm somewhat plus sized) so I must have beaten him OR do you want to ask me what happened. I never felt so "less than" than I did that day. So many people had been supportive up to that point that it caught me completely off guard.

    So much for doing the right thing for as many people involved as possible.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    The almighty dollar. I am convinced of it at this point. They only send difficult child back to me because it ensures the least amount of money has to come out of any other funding source or pocket. Never mind that they think they are justified in micromanaging everything difficult child and I do when he's living at home- obviously it isn't so he'll be "raised" by a parent. Their idea of holding me accountable for everything does because he's my son (never mind that his 2 worse offenses were against me) equates to ONE thing ONLY to them- I'll foot the bill, I'll drive him wherever they order "him" to go, attend all necessary school meetings, I'll do his laundry, provide a roof over his head, pay the bills, and put food on the table in the meantime. Mind yyou, I wouldn't mind doing those things if I felt supported by the system instead of being treated like I'm the one who broke the law.
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I completely agree. One of Kanga's tdocs added a goal "family shall decrease fear of Kanga". I asked her, if she had a cliet whose husband was beating her, smashing her things, and threatening to kill her, would she consider that an appropriate goal?

    It is so frustrating.
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    -Heinlein, Starship Troopers

    Because as the parents it is seen as our duty to raise them to become self-supporting law-abiding citizens. Outsiders don't see the handicaps these kids work with because they're not physical handicaps. A better understanding among the masses would be greatly helpful. No one looks at an obviously handicapped kid in a wheelchair and tells the parents to punish him until he gets up and walks, or that he needs to pull himself up by his bootstraps and work like a man when it is so glaringly obvious that such will never happen in this lifetime. Until there is a better overall understanding of "emotional disabilities" or whatever term you want to put on it, all most people see is a kid that won't behave rather than a kid that can't (or can't always).
  7. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I'm curious....what was her response to that?
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Very true. I noticed in my old jurisdiction, almost all GALs and POs were young, inexperienced, idealistic people who were just in the phase of getting married and starting a career- I never met ONE that had a child of their own (as in bio-child, not step-child), much less had raised one thru teen years. Why? Probably because when they get to that point, they figure out how bogus this approach is and change to something else for a job. You know the saying- the only people who know everything there is to know about raising children are the people who have never had one.
  9. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Very deep thread mstang.

    My heart and gut tell me that I am going to have to cut all ties someday with my difficult child (I just feel it)

    If he is so difficult at 10, I can only imagine what we have face later on down the line.

    It makes me sad. I love him so much and hope my fears don't become reality. Shelly :eek:(
  10. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    When Eeyore was younger, we feared the same thing. He has settled down so much. At 10, there is still hope.
  11. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    She was clearly uncomfortable and didn't really answer.
  12. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    See, that is what I'm talking about. Suddenly it's so different when it's a spouse/significant other than when it's your child.

  13. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Because in reality they still all think deep down (or right up front) that it is OUR fault our children are the way they are. I know - not everyone, but even the ones that are educated start there. Want to know what the family schedule is, try to correct our parenting, etc.

    I do not think anyone can change this. I DO believe that if the professional has had a difficult child - they get it.
  14. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Of course she didn't answer. If it were an abusive husband you would be counseled to walk away and that you deserve better. When it's an abusive child we are expected to take them in hand and lead them off to the promised land of better behavior. I'm sorry, but for some difficult children, that place just does not exist.

    I know that my mother in law, on more than one occasion, has made it very clear that she thinks that difficult child behaves the way he does because of me. It's all my fault. It's the way I parent him. Of course, she doesn't bother to remember that her son parents this child too, so if it's my fault why isn't it his fault as well? Honestly, for the most part I have a very good relationship with my mother in law, but this is the ONE topic that I refuse to discuss with her for that very reason. I'm tired of being blamed.

  15. cboz

    cboz Guest

    This sums up what I was going to reply. Well said!
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    GRRRRR. Just lost a long post. Will try to re-create.

    What you are all saying is true. We don't get anything near the help we need and deserve. Part of it is that the docs/social workers/etc... don't know what to do. Our kids are NOT a problem they have ever seen except for very rare occasions in the past. They are far more clueless than they, or we, want to admit. Society plays a role in the sheer number of difficult children that exist by allowing so many many things to be "okay". How are kids to learn acceptable behavior from a society where schools have to send letters home telling parents that it is not appropriate for kids to wear pimp and hoe costumes to school for Halloween celebrations. Or the school just bans the costumes completely because they don't know how to handle accusations of discriminating or being somehow racist because they won't allow these costumes. I have heard people arguing this, passionately, at school - ELEMENTARY school!

    In a society where that is accepted, how are we to NOT have huge numbers of difficult children? Can you IMAGINE a parent saying that back when WE were kids? Or would most parents have tanned our backsides orwashed our mouths out with soap for ASKING to be a pimp or hoe for Halloween? That is at 18 or so, imagine what your parents would have done if you wanted to wear that at age 9?? Not pretty, is it??

    So it isn't any wonder that what the so called experts know to do isn't effective. But this is NOT just for abusive, violent kids. Until VERY recently in our history, women who were abused were given NO HELP either. It was a marital or family issue. Cops didn't help. They either didn't see why they should or they got worn down because all the people who refused to press charges. This is why cops in many states have NO CHOICE if they see signs of DV like bruises, cuts, etc... Then the state takes over and presses charges just like it does in cases of murder. This is a NEW thing for our society. It didn't happen until those who were being abused started the DV centers and started being politically active. Even then it took decades to see real progress.

    Why is it that so few of us seek help at DV centers. Yeah, unless we have someone to send the child to we cannot just go to a shelter, but we CAN get other kinds of help. After I opened my eyes and realized that my son was abusing me, that I was a battered woman even though my abuser was my child, I went. I was the first parent to ask for help at our shelter. They were willing to try if I was. Both in individual and in group therapy. It truly was an amazing experience and life changing.

    It is HARD to walk in to a DV center and admit that you are being abused. It is HARD to open your eyes and see that this child that you love so dearly is beating, battering, abusing you. Whether it is verbal, physical, emotional or sexual, it is so much harder to admit to abuse when it is your child doing it. We moms think we are God and we are responsible for everything about our child. If he is a difficult child then it is our fault. We didn't see it, we didn't teach him better, we didn't nurture her enough, we should have gotten more therapy for him, yada yada yada. If we admit that they are abusing us, we have to admit (we think) that we did it wrong. This is EXACTLY how many abused women think about their spouses.

    We are not God. We did the best we could, and it is time to accept our limitations - to accept that we CANNOT make a difficult child do much of anything unless they want to. The same is true for PCs, they just WANT to make us happy.

    If we want this to change, we are going to have to make it change ourselves. I believe if we start going to DV centers for help we can use their methods and progress to help with this issue. LOTS of money has been raised to help those in abusive relationships. When our parents were young there was none of this $$ available. There were no federal grants and corporate sponsorship of this, but that has changed. Lets bring this to a forum that can actually HELP us rather than keeping it limited to the psychiatrists, tdocs, phosps, etc... where the focus is on how sick the abuser is rather than how unacceptable their actions are and how the victims need support.

    Until we start doing this, NOTHING is oging to change much. The tdocs,psychiatrists, etc.. have no real investment in helping us because it means admitting that everything they are doing is USELESS with our kids. They get little reward for fighting this battle with a difficult child. Social workers, etc... don't have much reason to really help. It would wreck their budgets and they would have to stop blaming us, which is really easy.

    I DO think the way things are handled now is idiotic. Esp when you can PROVE to a new therapist/psychiatrist/whoever that you have done the contracts, stickers, tokens ten times each and they will STILL insist you do it "their way" before they try anything esle. We need to look for other ways to handle things. DV centers are at least closer to understanding the thoughts and feelings behind abuse perpetrated by adults. Seems logical that they are closer to figuring it out in difficult child kids too.

    This is NOT meant as criticism of any of you or things you have tried. It is NOT trying to blame us, the parents, for going to the only sources of help that are findable. It is just meant as a different way to approach the problem.

    We are going to have to accept that the blame from those who don't have a clue isn't going to change soon. I am so sorry for all of the times any of us were made to feel small or awful because we had a child palced somewehre. It hurts. Bad. I still get it from people who find out that I refused to let my teenage son live with us and abuse us. Heck, my FAMILY is still angry with me for it (cause they think I "exaggerated" everything). It hurts, badly, but we have to put our rhino skin on and do what we need to do to protect ourselves!
  17. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Thanks JJJ. :bigsmile: I needed that ! I would love nothing more than for difficult child to calm down and get it together. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger ( I know it sounds cliche)
  18. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I agree with Susie...and when you toss in the "single parent" factor, those in charge are absolutely positive it's because of your parenting...because what else could it be? I got the attitude from Miss KT's school early on, until I finally jumped down the asst principal's throat. Got the attitude from the various docs/therapists, too. The only doctor that listened to me was Miss KT's current doctor...and even though I think he's an arrogant poop a lot of the time, he has impressive experience with adolescents and addiction medicine. I found him when she went on Medi-Cal over ten years ago.
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I obviously never got the single parent blame thing, but I have repeatedly got the "It's because you're disabled" line. Well, my mother was disabled, but none of us were problem kids.

    I think part of the problem is, people look for handy excuses, plus are overly focussed on blame rather than solutions. Also, when it's a child we see them as unfinished, as possibly still able to be changed to 'fixed' compared to an abusive adult which we see as unlikely to change.

    So if we have an abusive child - we should fix that. It's seen to be our job as parents. And if we try to say, "I need help to do this," it's easier to shove the blame back on us and this absolves the person from having to care, or lift a finger.

  20. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I also think that a large component of the problem is today's child-centered society...

    Not too long ago, you as a child, were NOT the center of your parent's world. Even stay-at-home Mom's had a life besides their children. Children knew their place or by golly were soon put into it!

    Now granted, not every family was "Leave it to Beaver"...and I'm not trying to pretend that there were some glorious "good ol' days"...

    But I AM saying that a child's self-esteem was NOT the end-all, be-all that it has become today. So we ARE seeing difficult children in epic proportions because parents and teachers are so hesitant to correct a problem lest it harm a child's precious self-esteem. So no wonder that therapists are quick to assume that number one, this cannot be the fault of the CHILD - who left unfettered will naturally develop into a "perfect" human being...and number two - it must be parents that are mistaken in their parenting approach because children, in their perfect state, cannot have these types of problems unless they are being raised in an utterly inappropriate way.