Parenting classes

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Fran, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    At what point do professionals think I am educated enough?
    We are working on services both public and private. 2 have social skills classes and both have spoken that these are to be attended with difficult child!?! He is 24yrs old. I suggested that I am adequately educated and would probably not be in attendance.
    When is it enough for parents to not have to take away from the rest of their lives and kids lives to sit and learn the same things we have learned before?

    It sure doesn't reflect independent adult development if mom has to be in the room.

    Honestly. I hate to sound like an uninvolved or uncaring mom but at a certain age I should be the memory and cue giver to difficult child but not his partner.

    Sorry to vent but I wonder if any other parent of older difficult child's have had the same experience or is it for AS young adults. I'm pretty sure the court system wouldn't expect it.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    My difficult child is nowhere close to 24, but my idea of what to teach the parent of a 24yo is simply this "go on with your life and let difficult child live his/hers the way he chooses".

    That's so ridiculous, Fran, it makes me wonder if they realize that his age is 24, not 2-4 (2 to 4).

    I would not go- I'd respond that I think the most effective thing I can do as his parent is let him take responsibility for himself.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Aaargh! How frustrating. Too many people are pencil-pushers and do not even think about what they are requiring.
  4. KateM

    KateM Member

    My AS son (21yo) has been promised a job thru OVR at a big box store. The big box store has it's own program of job coaching (funded by OVR). It's a wonderful program -But, they required an interview with the parents before hiring! They will also report any concerns to the parent during the 1-3 month coaching phase!

    I agree, it certainly doesn't speak to independence. The job won't start for another month or so;I'll see then how it all works out. In my son's case, he does better with structure and accountability, so I'm grateful for this opportunity for him. I also can't wait for difficult child to be gainfully employed and not hanging around the house all day!
  5. Penta

    Penta New Member

    I can relate to your frustrations with services.

    I remember when my girl was in her early teens and manifesting defiant behaviors which required me to take drastic measures in insure her safety and survival, I dealt with services that asked me to take parenting classes. I was insulted, to say the least. At that point, I had raised 2 generations of children and had been a parent for over 30 years!

    I agree with you that it is your son who needs services, . It's not about the parent at that point....your son needs assistance to live independently. You are a support, but as you say, not a partner.
  6. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    For some parents, I think adult classes might be a good idea. They have just come to realize what their children will need and how much help will be required. A parenting class geared towards parenting an adult child who still needs help might be a good idea. However, I don't think you fall into this category. You know exactly what support to give and not give your son. You've advocated for him long enough to understand exactly what is needed. I think I'd tell whoever suggested this that they could take their job and shove it!
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I think a call to the director of that program would suffice. Explain that you don't want to be seen as the uncaring parent, but also have been advocating for your child at a highly educated level for XX years and feel this meeting isn't for you.

    I would tell you that when I have sat at various such meetings and thought the same thing it AMAZED me at the number of parents who were absolutely CLUELESS - or just starting to get educated with their 17 or 18 year old children with AS or BiPolar (BP) or ODD.

    My thought for you? No, you shouldn't go - your child IS independent you've raised him that way, but there are others out there that aren't like you - and for them? That's what this class is. (best guess)
  8. compassion

    compassion Member

    The thing for me is not to keep too much of the focus on ME. when dealign with thaapists, doctors, attnrenys,etc. i will be taking that slant today with the therapist. She is 15. I want to know how difficult child is dealing with HER anger issues, HER self-seteem issues, HER dealing with day to day stresses. I tend to be way over repsonsible and conscietous and she is very eager to blame me (difficult child) so I am really working on not reacting and continuing to put the focus back on HER. Compassion
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I often feel therapists, social workers, etc focus only on the needs of the client/patent. They feel that EVERY other family member should drop everything and ignore every personal need to make sure that the client/patient gets exactly what they think they need.

    Even if this means disrupting the lives and self-esteem of other children, requiring parents to sit through the same parenting classes over and over and over.

    The last parent class I took they ended up having me help TEACH. And then they wanted me to pay for the pleasure.

    I would say No, I am not going. HE is the one who needs to learn this stuff. I have dealt with it and been fully educated about it by qualified professionals. If you have a problem, take it up with yourself or my attorney.

    It is ridiculous for you to have to go to a parenting class for a 24 yr old man.

  10. lillians

    lillians lillians

    they will never think yu know anything ,when they decide we know stuff then what will they do for a job,,, the jobs were created to give someone employment right,,lol,we have as parents taken several sets of classes sexual ones Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/nas/ behavoiur modification classes,,, for 6 months had a phsycologist coming 3 days a week to our home,, and never ever did i satisfy anyone do yu know that once as our daughter used to spread feces,, he told me to not shower her but sit her on the bathroom counter and bathe her in cold water and be slow,, make it very unpleasant so she would associate it with the smearing,,, omg!! i tried it,, her hair was down to her waist,, full of sh-- try getting that out with her screaming from cold and well it will not wash out with cold water,,, grrrr i think sometimes we know more what to do than them as we know our child--well almost
  11. Jena

    Jena New Member


    I'm jumping in late and totally agree with the others, you have done your job and done it well. As Star said it maybe be good for other parents with whom did not attend those classes, yet for you there is no need.

    Yup, frustrating. I'm sorry
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Fran, I would go.

    They would benefit greatly from meeting you. You might even teach them something about Warrior Parents. It sure sounds like they need to learn.

    If it were me, the course would rapidly change permanently after I attended. It would be an experience they wouldn't want to repeat!

  13. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Aaaarrrrgh. Until they develop a cirriculem for classes for parents of difficult child's....personally I think these things are worthless for us. (and some parents of easy child's too) We were court ordered to take one during one of difficult child's legal stints. It didn't matter that we had: been licensed theraputic foster parents at one time, had difficult child in counseling, had difficult child seeing a psychiatrist, was involved with his school, his services, etc. None of that mattered. It was just....juvenile X has been in court X many times so we need to send the parents to a class.

    And the woman teaching the class????? I was apparently the stupidest parent ever to walk the Earth because she told me I had obviously not done all of the various techniques right or else they would have worked. And HER techniques??? Pure common sense with a bit of (too much, in my opinion....for ANY kid) "boost the child's self esteem, reward them for EVERYTHING, and always, ALWAYS talk in a soothing manner" carp mixed in. Whatever town the Stepford Wives took place in is where I think this woman lived in her mind. Faced with a difficult child she would have no clue.

    While I didn't teach the class, the agency who sponsored them (we were very familiar with this place) DID have me view a dvd set by some child psychologist to see if I thought it would be helpful to other parents. I think they also pulled the parenting class instructor to the side at some point and explained what I was up against to her. After a certain point (basically when I almost went off on her for once again telling me what I was doing wrong) she basically ignored me.

    If you think you could contribute something to this class, by all means, go. Personally though, I agree with you. difficult child is 24 years old and you shouldn't have to "hold his hand" for the rest of your life. At some point he will have to do things on his own and I think 24 is a good point to start.
  14. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    I like Marg's idea - go & take over the class. You teach the instructor on dealing with difficult children.

    I've taught every professional that's walked in our home; some with years of experience on dealing with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) & severe PTSD. The biggest thing I've taught was patience & flexibility. Without either of those you're toast. AND you know this already.

    On the other hand, at this point I'd be totally incensed to be asked to attend yet another "parenting" class. Especially since the child in question in 24.
  15. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    For crying out loud. What are they thinking?

    That's like the mom who's oldest child is TWO trying to tell me how to parent my 13 year old difficult child. I could teach her a thing or two. And I'm sure you could teach them a thing or two, also.
  16. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    "I often feel therapists, social workers, etc focus only on the needs of the client/patent. They feel that EVERY other family member should drop everything and ignore every personal need to make sure that the client/patient gets exactly what they think they need."

    I feel as Susiestar has so well described that they think that difficult child is the center of the universe. If I don't put 110% into the class that I am somehow negligent to difficult child's needs. difficult child is but one cog that makes up this family. His needs are not more important than any other of the 3 of us. We fully intend to continue having a good family life with or without difficult child.

    Frankly, I gave difficult child years of my life and I don't really want to anymore. I love him and I hold some hope but I don't want to be in a holding pattern because I need to weld myself to difficult child's life.
    He can learn and come along on our family's journey, or he can do the same things over and over. If he chooses the latter he will not be able to share all the same experiences and he will feel somewhat left behind. It is his choice.

    I find I am weary of all the information and talking heads. They mean well but I am skeptical that they really know what our lives with difficult child is really like. I don't want to have to justify my decisions to anyone and probably won't. The professionals in Texas have seen difficult child grow up. They know what state he was in and how much he has grown and improved. Here we are unknown, Yet! LOL

    If there is something out there for difficult child we will find it but it isn't going to be something that I have to be the one to volunteer time anymore. difficult child needs to volunteer time and do the work required.

    It will be interesting to see if he will attend the classes or if he actually learns things that he applies to his life. I already have some suggestions and thoughts on how the facilitator can help difficult child. (can't change my spots no matter how much I try).
  17. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    klmno- I think your suggestion is close to what I did yesterday. Thanks.

    Terry, the thought that our time is "free" is very offensive to me.

    KateM, good luck with the job. It sounds perfect for your difficult child(and mine). I am so with you in terms of getting them out of the house. The lack of initiative to get out and do something other than his version of play makes me pretty annoyed. I'm working on self direction followed by a kick in the pants. LOL.

    Thanks Penta, I'm sure you were outraged at the suggestions for classes. I think they must have pat answers instead of looking at each family individually.

    meowbunny, I have been surrounded by the members here who are all warrior moms. I would be, as Star mentioned, astounded to find parents who hadn't advocated for their kids or done their homework. It probably is a good class to offer.

    Star, read above.

    Compassion, I agree. I learned my social skills. It's about difficult child. I did my work to be this whole person. I did my work to parent difficult child to be where he is today. It's time for the focus to be on difficult child.

    lillian- I can't imagine that professional suggested you virtually torture a young child with cold water for a long time to make her suffer. I'm sure it didn't make one bit of difference to difficult child but you have to deal with the fall out for a long time.

    jennifer, thanks for the input. It helps me to know I am not off track.

    Marguerite, part of my concern is that I will get sucked in to the working to make their program more relevant. My life is quite full and I don't need another area to focus on. Maybe in years to come.

    mustang, doesn't your blood boil when you are dismissed as just a dumb parent? I want to shake them and scream "you have no idea what we have been through or done for this child" I tend to walk softly and listen but I don't suffer fools lightly when it comes to difficult child or easy child. I keep the big stick for when it's seriously needed.

    timer, I so get that you have taught every professional that has walked in the door. I feel the same way. I feel like I teach, explain, and advocate anyone who comes in contact with us.
    If one more fool tells me they can't speak to me but to difficult child since he is over 21, I'll scream. I put difficult child on the phone. It's a hoot. They soon ask for me to get back on the phone. How is it I'm responsible for all the work and financial responsibility but I'm not good enough to ask about a program criteria for difficult child? Frustrating is an understatement.

    You are correct wynter. You can't know what our lives are like until you walk in our shoes.
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Follow-up thoughts - I can see the need to educate a family about an illness and things to look out for, ways to help, etc., if a diagnosis for any type of serious illness has just been made, but that is not the situation here. And I'm not so sure that would be called family therapy anyway.

    When I was doing a little research about different types of therapies I read some articles online that were for professionals, in preofessional magazines and such. It does say that a lot of times, family therapy is specificly to help the "identified patient" by concentrating on change from the whole family, the entire family structure, instead of concentrating solely on the client. There were even forms for the therapist to use to log down the "problem area" of the family that effeected the identified client. Clearly, it was an approach to helping a dysfunctional family.

    That's fine if it's being a dysfunctional family that is causing the problem. But I really believe that those of us here have changed our family dynamics to make things as easy as possible in dealing with kids who have issues. I believe it is the kid's illness that needs to be dealt with, and we would all LOVE to get our families back to more normalcy. Going back to normalcy without dealing with the kid's issue leaves us back to where we were when problems were first exhibited, in my humble opinion, which is why most of us end up feeling like we're teaching the therapist. So, for me, my first goal anymore is to make sure that therapist accepts and understands what problem we are in there for and finding out if that is going to be the focus of the therapy.

    Getting back to Fran- (I'm rambliing and don't want to hijack your post)- I'd feel exactly as you do. It's almost tempting to call them up and start asking questions about this therapy just to get them backed in a corner about exactly why do they think you need it and what would one hope to gain from it as a parent of a 24 yo? If you were trying to contrrol and take responsibility for everything in your son's life at his age, you would have much more need for therapy, in my humble opinion (unless he was mentally incapable of making decisions for himself).
  19. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member


    I agree, I don't think you need any more parenting classes. I just wonder if maybe these are set up to help parents let go more and help difficult child's get more independant?
    I know I have seen parents of grown difficult children who still treat them like children and haven't let go at all. Just a thought.
    If I were you I probably would not go to this one. I think it's enough. He does need to be able to do these things on his own.

  20. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    if it was me I would not go. My difficult child is now living far away from me but if she was here and someone wanted me to go to a parenting class for her (she is 20) I would be so unwilling to do it. After all those years of anguish I do not want to be that involved with her and certainly not in a parenting role. She's an adult, she will do what she wants as she always has. I just don't have to deal with the fallout anymore.

    I would not want to be using it as a way to teach either. I feel like I am so done with all that, I want to live a "normal" life that has nothing to do with difficult child kids.

    Just my 2 cents....