Dealing with extended family

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tictoc, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    Just wondering how all of you deal with extended family when it comes to difficult child issues.

    My mother, who lives across the country from us, is coming for a visit next month. We see her maybe one or two times a year. I have tried to keep her updated about Bug's issues, but I think she is in complete denial. She has been mad at me lately because I failed to call her on an important day in our family. I feel terrible about that and have apologized several times. However, I've also explained to her that on that day, Bug vomitted in the middle of the kitchen as soon as he got home from school, we spent the afternoon at the pediatrician for a medication check, Bug vomitted again when we got home, then he developed a new (painful) tic and spent the evening asking me to make it go away, and then we topped off the evening with Bug having a panic attack and thinking he was dying.

    So, I think most people can see how I simply forgot to call her. Anyway, my mother has barely spoken to me since this happened. It has been a full month since that day and I have spoken to her only twice. She doesn't return my calls and the two times I've spoken to her she has completely avoided the question of how Bug is doing.

    Obviously, I'm annoyed. I really don't understand how she can not call to see how Bug is doing, even if she is mad at me. My therapist says that having her visit and see first hand what our life is like is the best thing that can happen. I hope it will help.

    Anyway, just wondering if any of you have advice on how to deal with family.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    This subject comes up a lot- is it any wonder?? LOL! Maybe it will help as your therapist suggests. Prepare yourself just in case- some family members never seem to get it and I have no idea why. Some just stay in complete denial that there is any problem, some blame the parent(s), and some just want everything focused on them no matter what. Keeping yourself emotionally distanced usually helps- and reminding yourself that it isn't your fault, you know what you need to do to take care of your child and that's what is important.
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I agree with- klmno - some family members just don't get it. I don't think it's intentional, it just that unless you live it 24/7, some folks cannot even begin to comprehend.

    When my difficult child was 5, 6, 7, my mom thought he should go to live with- her, that she and her hubby would be able to "fix" him. Tempting as the thought was ;) , there was no way I would do that to difficult child. And honestly? I'm not sure even if she had lived with- him for an extended period of time that she really would have changed her tune, but that probably has more to do with- the fact that my mother and I are polar opposites and have zero common ground anyway.

    Pretty much, we've just don't talk about our difficult child to extended family. When they ask how he is, our answer is "Oh, you know... he's working on things" and that's it. They really don't want or need to know the truth.

    husband and I have been dealing our special needs kids for over 20 years now - most of those years, there has been one crisis after another after another. Throw in the "normal" needs of our younger 2 and... we've forgotten birthdays, holidays, anniversaries in the extended family. We're trying like crazy to hold it together, and if someone gets bent out of shape because I didn't send a card or call in the midst of the latest crisis... oh well.
  4. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    While my family is more understanding than some; less so than others unless someone lives 24/7 with a difficult child or two it's beyond comprehension.

    Our reality & the reality of the "real world" are miles apart. Trying to explain to your mom about having to restrain your 7 year old to keep them from hurting themselves or others is easily misunderstood. We haven't disciplined enough or have over disciplined, yada, yada, yada.

    Do the best you can while family is in town. Invite them over if you want them to see your day to day when dealing with a difficult child.