Seriously? What is so hard to understand?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by cmfout, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. cmfout

    cmfout Guest

    difficult child and I are moving. Right now we live in a home owned by my father and brother, and they seem to think they have the right to come into it and stick their noses in. That's one of the biggest reasons we're moving to another town, 20 minutes or so away. That, and I can combine my work and home in one place - saving on rent, time, and travel expense going back and forth.
    Due to the nature of my business, I need help to get it set up in the new place - my brother and dad will be helping out. BUT they don't own the place, their names aren't on the lease, and I'll be paying them for their time and work. So WHY in the world would my father think that it's ok to tell MY son what he can and can't do with the new place? The building owner has some things there that we'll have to store for him for a while, while he figures out what he wants to do with it. My son and I were talking about where we can put his things that will have the lowest impact on our lives and home. No big deal. difficult child commented that he thinks we should get a little off rent while the owners things are there. I agree and it's being worked out. My father, who wasn't even a part of the conversation, started telling difficult child that it's not up to him and he doesn't need to involve himself.
    That, of course, set difficult child off. My father engaged him in the argument and ended up being told "get out of my face or I'll remove you" by difficult child. Yeah dad, that went over very well!
    I do not understand why it's so hard for them (all of my extended family) to understand that engaging in arguments or telling Jacob what he can or can't do is not how you get along with him! I don't let him walk on me, and he does have limits, but I choose my battles AND I respect his opinions and wants - even if I don't agree with them. I really, honestly, don't understand why that's so hard for the rest of the family!
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    One - HUGS.

    Two - yes, and I know just how annoying parents can be. We've pretty much cut off contact with father in law right now for the same sorts of things...
  3. cmfout

    cmfout Guest

    I used to think I had the most amazing dad in the world. Now? Not so much. He and Mom raised 4 kids and 2 of us turned out ok, the other 2 not so much. My sister and oldest brother have some serious issues. He just can't understand why I won't raise difficult child with the same rules and limits that we had, or even the same as I raised my oldest with. He doesn't understand and he's not willing to learn. Instead, he thinks confrontation and absolute control are best - when anyone with a difficult child knows that's not true.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I had to deal with extreme criticism and this is what I decided:

    What they think doesn't matter. They raised me the way they wanted to and I will raise my k ids the way I want to. If they start on me I politely but firmly say, "This is not up for discussion. If this continues, you will have to leave or I will have to leave or I will gently hang up, but we clearly can not discuss this. And I WILL not discuss this." Then (and t his is the hard part) you have to stand your ground.

    It would probably be better if you could find non-family members to help you with your house. There is absolutely nothing you can do to make them understand your son unless they want to (then there is a lot you can do).

    Keep your chin up and ban any topics that involve your son. If they try to discipline your son, ban that too. He is your child, not theirs. They may get angry, but they are not listening to you so maybe a break is a good idea.

    Please take care...this is common.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    What do YOU do when this happens? When your dad or bro start arguing? At time I change the subject and have gotten my difficult child to simply ignore what they are speaking about (usually by asking questions about his latest obsession or what he wants to eat, lol) and talk to me instead. My father was FURIOUS the first time and then was told that I warned him - he was NOT to start in on Wiz or I would not allow Wiz to discuss the matter with him. And I didn't, so what was HIS problem? It worked. Other times I leave iwth difficult child. We simply walk away. I taught difficult child to "go to the bathroom" when that sort of thing started. I got through to him by keeping books in the bathroom and giving rewards when he did this calmly. By the time he got out my dad was distracted.

    I also, with certain issues or at certain times, simply said, "dad, this isn't a problem for you to handle. You need Occupational Therapist (OT) stop now or leave." If we were at his house I put in that we would leave. I was always calm and said it in a voice that conveyed absolute confidence that what I said was right, and that it would happen. NO wishy washy would you please stop questions or we don't want to talk about that stuff. Just a statement of fact, said matter of factly, and then did what I said. Wasn't easy, but it was effective.

    The reason I taught difficult child to go to the bathroom was because no one else can know if you have to "go" even if you just went. They may think you odd, but they cannot say you are lying because they are not inside you. It is a non-confrontational way to handle things and that is a good skill to have even if you are a kid.
  6. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    been there done that (actually there now, doing that). I have tried MWM's advice and it doesn't work with my MOM. Instead of trying to learn about his diagnosis, she repeatedly tells me everything I am doing wrong (anything she doesn't agree with or that she didn't do with us). If I am not there to say anything to, she makes a point of putting my kids in the middle of it. As a result of this, I am no longer talking to her. We have cut all ties, even if it's only temporary.

    I do agree with MWM in that it appears there can be no middle ground with yours either. In order to get the point across, you might also have to sever ties until they realize what they've done and apologize (I know, in my case H*** will freeze over first and pigs will fly too).
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We've had to correct the grandparent in front of the child sometimes. Where we can, we will send the child out of the room, mid-argument if we have to. I plan ahead, I prime the child ahead of time. "If I stop you mid-argument with grandma, and tell you to go outside to cool off, you must do so. It is not just you who needs to cool off, we will be talking to grandma while you are outside, to tell her what NOT to do with you. And you are not to admit knowing this."

    Grandma likes to tease. She no longer tries to correct him in front of us (well, not so much) and he has learned to tolerate it more, although he's getting tetchy again with her which tells me she's been saying things when we're not in earshot.

    Example - every evening before he heads home from grandma's, difficult child 3 asks if he can have a couple of sweets from her jar. Now, husband helps himself to the jar, it's mostly us eating these anyway and so we supply most of them. But we've encouraged difficult child 3 to ask grandma, because we are in grandma's house. So he does. But last night grandma said, letting me know (good!), "I'm just going to tease him a little. That's okay, isn't it?"
    I was a bit guarded, but I observed. Grandma said to difficult child 3, "Of course you can have a couple of sweets. But you are eating a lot of them too; you have your own money, it would be good if you bough a packet now and then."
    difficult child 3 nodded and said, "I will have more money on Friday. Can you wait until then?" He then left.
    Grandma didn't understand, said that he was stalling. I corrected her, I said he was not stalling, just letting her know when he would be able to do it. I then corrected further - "That was not teasing. Teasing generally is risky with him. But what you did was a good thing - you were teaching him about personal responsibility, and it was entirely appropriate. Why did you label it as teasing?"

    I was fairly sure I knew the answer anyway, I just wanted to hear how she would respond. And in her mind, 'teasing' is low-key, it's a fun way of communicating and de-fusing an interaction. The trouble is, her kind of teasing will actually greatly escalate a situation and she doesn't get it. She is often inappropriate and if it happens when we are on a long car trip, there is no way I can send difficult child 3 outside to cool off! It has at times been very difficult, because having both of them sitting next to one another verbally sniping, has not been good.

    The most effective lesson has been to explain to difficult child 3 that grandma is also a bit difficult child herself. Also that her expectations are very different from ours, because things were done differently in her day (which is one reason she's a fair bit difficult child!).

    If an adult difficult child will not back down or shut up even if you prime THEM ahead of time (which you have done) then you are entitled to say, in front of the child if necessary, "You are in the wrong here. I am perfectly happy to have difficult child discuss these things with me; it is teaching him to understand negotiation as well as financial matters. How else will he learn how to eventually live independently? And it is my job to correct him if he is breaking my rules. And he is not. I welcomed his input on this matter. Your objections were unwarranted and misplaced."

    It would be interesting to see how your father reacts to this. If he gets angry at being corrected in front of the child, point out that he left you no choice. "When you behave like a child, I will treat you like a child. I have told you to back off and stop correcting him, especially if I am there to do it. What else do you call it when a person does the wrong thing repeatedly, after being told not to do it? You left me no choice. And I will do it again if I have to. I want you two to have a good relationship, and this is the only way to make it happen."