Any suggestions on how to handle family members?


New Member
I was wondering if anyone else is having problems with family members understanding my difficult child's disorders. I had a conversation with my sister just the other day, doing some venting about my difficult child. She actually told me that to many parents are BLAMING their children's behavior on all these new disorders when we just need to be more firm with them. /importthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif It took all of my recently learned patience(thanks to my difficult child) to calmly tell her thank you for your comments but I have to go now. :rolleyes: Then a couple of days later my mother called and said " Is he still being BAD in school?" How do I get them to understand that my difficult child's disorders are just as much a health issue as measles or chicken pox and he's not acting BAD just to get attention?!?!


Former desparate mom
Oh do I have experience with this. You will get so many suggestions and advice to the point of ridiculous.

I do not share the specifics of my kids behavior,disorder or anything anymore. It is very hurtful and undermining to have someone who doesn't have a clue to constantly tell you what you are doing wrong.
I don't offer any info unless they ask and I keep it to the basic facts.
Don't use your family as a support. They do not walk in your shoes and assume that you don't know what you are doing.

The truth is,you are the parent and the buck stops with you, whether they agree or not with your choice of intervention with your kids.

You OWE no one an explanation or justification. Use a sympathetic friend or spouse to discuss your kids.

I have been there done that and have the tire marks where I got run over by opinions and hurt.


Well-Known Member
While my mother has seen more GFGness in my difficult child lately, she still sometimes says - ITS NORMAL. I think I know what other kids typically do in certain situations. I have coached cheerleading and am currently director for 130 cheerleaders. I see alot of interactions and I know my difficult child is different.

It is so frustrating to hear. But, maybe I need to take Fran's advice and just stop talking about it. I guess people just will not understand or refuse to believe what I tell them.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts

Family is not necessarily a good support option. I get comments that are way beyond arrogance and bordering on cruel. Unless family and close friends are willing to get involved in the day to day chaos that our difficult children bring into our lives they cannot speak with any authority.

Given that, I have quit looking to my family (other than my older brother). I give them only the facts and learn to vent to others (like here). Take care of yourself.



Active Member
I agree with the others. While I think there is a natural desire to discuss our difficult children with siblings, parents (depending on our relationships with them)- just as you would any other sort of griping - when it comes to difficult child discussions ... well, it just doesn't seem to work.

I have basically stopped all discussions about difficult child with family. If they ask how he is doing, I just point out the positives and stick to that.

Mitchell's Mom

New Member
I am in complete agreement. I simply don't discuss my difficult child issues with much of anyone except my husband. You would think that my best friend, who is a pediatric RN would understand, but she really doesn't. Her adopted 2 year old is having some behavior difficulties as well as some health issues. She is beginning to get an inkling of what we've been going through with our difficult child's, but still really doesn't understand.

So, having said that, I discuss most of my concerns and frustrations right here on the board because I know this family DOES understand.


Active Member
I vent here. It's better that way.

You see, when you explain to ONE family member, they pass that on to ANOTHER family member who passes it to ANOTHER family member, and somewhere along the way vital parts are left out and the results are-strange! :eek:

SOMETIMES I will talk about a little something with my younger sister, who has a child that I think is ADHD. She is not much on venting to family members, either, and she has said nothing about him being diagnosed but I see the signs in her oldest son and in how my sister treats him.

We know that when we talk what gets said won't get passed around: we have both been bitten that way and we have learned. Even so, we don't vent, just brainstorm a little.

Venting is for here and sometimes to husband. I don't vent to husband unless something major has happened, because he cannot fix the minor things and it is a burden for him to see me upset and not be able to fix it. Venting to husband is for things like the school really mucking things up. THAT, he might be able to fix....... /importthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif


New Member
Woah girl two sets! I thought one set was bad, but geez, two! Dont have any real words of wisdom, I just started bombarding my mother in law with-email & links to different places. Sending you comfort and understanding.
My family was never supportive. They ranged from the blaming to denial ("nothing is wrong"). I too chose to stop talking about my children's difficulties with my family.