When an adult won't take responsibility!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by hopefloats, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. hopefloats

    hopefloats New Member

    My oldest sister has a son with huge behavioral disorders, has been labeled at school, put in a ward at hospital for a while, been tested for ADHD and tested positive, ect... The problem is that my sister won't do the work at home it takes to "deal" with her child but then gets all upset when she has to rush him to the hospital when he's out of control. While she's there, she plays the concerning mother card but a week later at home, things are back to the same old thing. The only thing she does speradically is the thearpy sessions. He's my nephew and I can't stand to see him that way when I know personally that way more could be done for him. My sister really loves her son. Unfortunately, she puts her wants and needs first because life has just been so cruel to her and she deserves a little happiness. I'm sorry, going out to concerts, bars, and drinking with friends are fine but your child comes first. Just curious to see what you guys have to say. Family has intervened several times but does not help.
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, dear.
    Sounds bad.
    Unless she changes her behavior I don't see how he can change his. Does she leave him home alone while she's gone? You don't say how old he is ... I'm guessing he's a teenager?
    I go out most Friday nights with-friends, but husband stays home with-difficult child. Sat. husband has to work, so I'll take difficult child to his baseball game.
    She doesn't have an arrangement like that?
  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    That really is a shame.

    The sad truth is, sometimes irresponsible difficult children grow up to be irresponsible adults. Or adults who do not want to face the truth because they are afraid that it is a bad reflection on them.

  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I hate hearing stories like this but they are so common. And a lot of it is about control - she is trying to control her environment so she has time for herself - but it's ALL her way, and not enough for the child, by the sound of it.

    I've seen the outcome - easy child 2/difficult child 2's exBF has a mother like this. His parents separated when he was five. When we met her I was surprised at how young she seemed - not only in looks and dress, but mannerisms. She was a café queen, knows her way around the various entertainment venues of Sydney (and other cities) and is at home there. I call it the "Sex in the City" lifestyle. We had arranged to meet up with her at a job the kids were involved in, exBF's mother met us at a nearby café to give him his allowance. He was 18, still at school and he had to ask his mother, "when are you going to be home?"
    Her answer was, "I'm not sure. Maybe later tonight, maybe early next week."
    easy child 2/difficult child 2 would tell me of times she was staying at their apartment in the city and the mother breezed in through the door after work, disappeared into the bathroom and remerged dressed for a bar. "I'll be back in a few hours," she said. They didn't see her for five days. Meanwhile, who prepares the meals? Who pays for groceries? Who handles the phone calls from the landlord about the overdue rent?
    This mother used her son's allowance to control him. With no money to buy groceries, he couldn't travel to visit friends or buy food, he had to stay home and live out of the cupboards. He could always walk to school. But when he got home he never knew whether to cook for one, or two. He never knew whether to call the police and register his mother as a missing person, or to simply not do anything and hope she was OK.

    ExBF & easy child 2/difficult child 2 went interstate to visit his father. They got on really well with him. They had gone to attend a family wedding, easy child 2/difficult child 2 said that compared to his usual life, the interstate mob seemed refreshingly normal. I asked why he had stayed with his mother and not gone with his father - his dad is a musician, he travels a lot. It was thought he would get more stability with his mother. My opinion - she wanted him so she would continue to have a hold on the father. And something he didn't have - their son. it was a control thing, a matter of possessions and territory, nothing more.
    She got evicted eventually, because she lost her job and couldn't afford the rent. She moved in with a friend and they were allegedly planning to set up house together, renting a flat closer to the city. Meanwhile, her son had to sleep on the living room floor of the friend's house - friend didn't like the son there. So he moved in with us. Luckily he had by this time finished school, but her promises of paying for him to attend college and setting him up in his own flat - no chance.

    Just as the mother would make rash promises and pipe dream claims, so did the son. How could he have any grip on reality, after an upbringing like that?

    I saw him about a year ago, his mother had moved interstate looking for work, she had insisted he move too. By then he had broken up with easy child 2/difficult child 2 (very messily) so he had no ties to hold him. He was telling me all about his wonderful job in graphic design and how he was going to work in Japan in the near future. And yet judging by his clothes and his demeanour, this was all bragging, to make himself look good in my eyes - a sort of, "Look what your daughter missed out on, she should have stayed with me."
    His mother taught him that fantasy talk will get you out of trouble, it's how you cope. And if you can let yourself believe the fantasy, you will be happier. At least until the truth catches up, when you simply spin another fantasy.

    And this young man was easy child. Or should have been. He is bright, gifted, has amazing potential - but no idea of follow-through. Somewhere inside his head, he is still the scared five-year-old boy waiting for his mummy to come home.

  5. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I hate, absolutely hate, hearing that a parent cannot/will not accept & address their children's issues/diagnosis's, etc. :grrr:

    I consider it a form of neglect - medical neglect. However, there is really no way for force a parent to adhere to a child's treatment plan. The parent needs to be motivated enough to advocate & work on their child's behalf.

    I feel for your nephew. :sad:
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The truth about what you can do?
    Very little. She is the custodial parent. You can be there for the child, but you can't force her to take care of him in a way you find acceptable. Nor can your entire family. In fact, if she's the rebellious type, a family intervention may cause her to thumb her noise at all of you and ignore the problem even more. Perhaps she doesn't believe his problem is that bad or she is in denial. Sadly, she's hardly alone.
  7. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    Unless you're willing to file a formal complaint with CPS or file for legal custody, there isn't much else you can do.

    My difficult children bio mom never did anything for them where doctors were concerned. Including taking them to the doctor when they were sick. My husband would have to take off time from work when he was married to her, even if she wasn't working. She partied all the time and never put the boys first. We now have full custody of the boys and her rights have been terminated. For many reasons, but mostly because she showed the judge that they don't come first to her.

    For now all you can do is be there for your nephew and sister, unless you are willing to take it further.

    My heart goes out to you and your nephew. I know how much it hurts to see a child you love in pain and not feel like you can do anything to help them. (((hugs)))
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    "when are you going to be home?"
    Her answer was, "I'm not sure. Maybe later tonight, maybe early next week."


    That makes my stomach go in knots.
  9. SnowAngel

    SnowAngel New Member

    I am sorry I don't have advice. You are right, the children come first. I have been single for 3 years. My kids are first. I haven't dated,gone out with friends and I can't tell you when I had my last drink. I get lonely for adult conversation ( I don't even have friends), however I can't imagine putting my needs in front of my childrens.

    I will keep your nephew in my prayers and his mom. I am sorry that is all I can offer, I wish there was more.
  10. hopefloats

    hopefloats New Member

    I'm sorry I depressed you guys. It's just that I feel so frustrated. We have all talked to her about it and she like "I know, I Know!" And then it goes back to the same old thing. The child's father is a bum and has deserted him after the divorce. My sister has always been the rebelious type. Got pregnant when she was 15 married babies daddy at 16. He ended up an abuser who manipulated the judge to get custody of their daughter. This destroyed her. I have to say that she has had a very rough life but most of it were from choices she made. My nephew is now 8 years old. He is hurting so bad inside but she's hurting from her divorce also. Her answer has always been to go out a party when things get rough. She doesn't use drugs, drinks but not too much. She's a good mom as far as food, clothing, ect.. Her view is that she's a single parent, she works all day picks him up from school, they go home and go their separate ways. She gets on the internet for the rest of the night and he's playing play station, watching movies, skateboarding in street at apartment complex ect... The weekends are spent out partying for her and him at a babysitter. He doesn't get the emotional aspect he needs. I'm just worried because he's already way out of control, I couldn't imagian what he's going to be like in ten years.
  11. SnowAngel

    SnowAngel New Member

    My mom took my nieces away from their mom. She was using drugs and walking the streets with the girls all night. It is hard to watch loved ones in pain. I can only imagine how you feel, stuck between a rock and a hard place. I wish I had the right thing to say, but I dont. I do understand and I am praying for your family.
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    It's a shame, and I hate to say it, but in all likelyhood this is all gonna come back to bite her in the rump in just a few years. Just wait til difficult child nephew hits puberty.

    It's certainly a hard thing to watch, as well as frustrating.

    Sounds like your sis has difficult child issues of her own.

  13. hopefloats

    hopefloats New Member

    Thanks for listening!!!
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    Would another family member be willing to take the child for the weekends, and to therapy, etc.? Maybe that way at least he might grow up healthier?

    Otherwise this is going to come back to bite her tushy.

    So sorry, it is hard when you see kids hurting.

  15. hopefloats

    hopefloats New Member

    No, we all live too far away. We keep in touch with cells and internet but she's at least two hours one way depending on traffic. She would also take that as a complaint against her. It's frustrating!