A poll for everyone.....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by welcometowitsend, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. When my children were younger and so well behaved I had absolutely no problem discussing parenting styles and ideas with people. I didn't mind giving thoughts or ideas to people if they asked for advice or were curious about how I handled things.

    Now that I have a full blown difficult child and our lives seem to be off the rails I have zero confidence in that arena. I often wonder why people would even bother to ask me - obviously I don't have the answers, given our situation. That's not to say that I think his behaviour is because of the way we parented. I think husband and I did a great job overall with some mistakes scattered here and there over the years. And of course we are still actively parenting easy child.

    I guess because I can't pinpoint a "where we went wrong" scenario and I can't say that what we did "worked well" with difficult child then I really don't feel like I'm the kind of person that should be giving advice. Does anyone else feel like that? Does that feeling fade as you learn more and develop more skills in dealing with difficult child's? Just curious as to what everyone thinks.
  2. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I have gone back and forth on this during the years and still go. First when difficult child was a baby and toddler, I wouldn't like to talk about topic, because I felt myself such a loser mom who couldn't even make her baby content for the smallest moments. Later easy child came along and I thought i found an answer and I was happy to tell it everyone. I even believed I would solve my difficult child's issues over time. difficult child proved me wrong and back to being a loser mom I went. Slowly I became sure that it was a difficult child who was a problem, not our parenting, after all easy child was doing amazingly with same set of parents. I started to believe that parenting didn't affect difficult child really, he was what he was. I started to take more part to those conversations. Slowly I also started to recognize more of our parenting mistakes and those I felt like talking to warn others. Now that difficult child is older, I have again changed my disposition.

    Now I in fact think difficult child was more influenced by parenting than easy child. I do believe that easy child would had turned just fine with almost any parenting method, if you discount the gravest abuse and neglect. With difficult child every error we made left a mark. Then again, I have begun to see, that some of our good parenting choices left a mark too. As stubborn and unparentable he felt as a kid, I believe that in fact he was more sensitive for especially parenting errors. So I talk about parenting again.

    I do however feel myself quite unable to give anything worthwhile to those people who come to me to look for support. This is mostly about gambling (okay, I can point them to some resources) or sport parents having trouble with their kids. I certainly still don't have the answers and still at times feel myself such a loser mom that I hate to be in certain situations. In fact I'm such a loser that I have very secretly (and only inside my mind) been feeling some relieve that difficult child struggling with sport may cost him his biggest goal of the season because if that would happen, I would be saved from one situation I fear already because I feel such a loser mom there.

    I don't know if I can give any good advice to anyone, but I do believe I can warn people about my mistakes. And I probably should do that. And of course I know it is often important to others, that they don't feel like being only loser moms out there. And if it helps, that some can feel themselves better and superior because of me, I guess that is good thing too.
  3. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Wow, SuZir, I should copy out the second paragraph of your post and put it on my fridge, or record it and play it to myself daily, or something... I suspect that that is very true.

    Advice comes cheap and is mainly meaningless. Holding back judgement and offering compassion instead, where one can, is more powerful. All parents of difficult children attract mass judgement about their parenting... over time, one learns to see and shrug off the ignorance of this.

    The more I go on, the fewer answers I feel I have, like you, wtwe. That's probably a good thing.
  4. SuZir - Some really interesting observations.

    I think you are definitely on to something. I think every parenting mistake affects difficult child more than it affects easy child. I wonder if they feel the pain of our mistakes acutely while at the same time don't respond to or accept the good parenting we've done. I would guess that is how our difficult child feels. Every mistake I've made is amplified into a huge thing and all the wonderful, good things we did were not wanted, appreciated or given any credit.

    Reminds me of the award difficult child won for baseball when he was 5 or 6 - Most Improved Uncoachable Player. LOL. He improved despite the coaching not because of it because he didn't listen to a word his coaches said. LOL

    Malika - I'm so lucky in that we haven't received a lot of judgement from people due to our difficult child's behaviour. Most of our friends and family have nothing but good things to say about our parenting and they are in as much shock as we are with regards to the path difficult child has taken. There may be people at the school or even some friends that are judgmental but they aren't saying anything to my face.

    I think it is so important to be as open as I can with people about the realities of my life. I've always felt this way, from the time my kids were babies. I hate it when people paint a pretty picture of a perfect life and let others feel like 'loser mom's' because they think they aren't keeping up or doing a good enough job. We do ourselves as women and parents a disservice by doing that. So, while I don't think I have much to offer in the way of advice, I guess I can still offer a compassionate ear and not pretend to have a pretty peachy life.

    SuZir - Please don't ever feel like a 'loser mom'. You have been the best parent to your difficult child that you can possibly be. Are you perfect? No. Is your difficult child more difficult than the other parents easy child's? Most definitely. So, hold your head up high - you are another Mom on these boards that I admire and have a lot of respect for - and you deserve it!