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To not want to take my children to Australia?

(256 Posts)
Andro Fri 04-Jan-13 19:48:42

I never thought I'd say this, but I really need the views of someone not connected to my situation.

Background: My DH and I are the adoptive parents of his sister's children (DS 9 and DD 5), we took them on after their parents were killed in a accident and the adoption was finalised just over a year ago. I couldn't love them more!

Problem: My in-laws live in Australia and are demanding that we take our DC to visit in the summer holidays, I've said no and now we are heading for war.

DS has a serious phobia of flying; not long before is DP died they were on a flight that had to make an emergency landing, he was bumped around pretty badly and he now has some serious problems. We didn't realise how bad his fear was (I don't think he knew either tbh) until we tried to take a flight to Ireland, the panic attack he had was so bad he had to be taken to hospital by ambulance, sedated until his vital signs stabilized and spent a few days there for observation. DS is now having treatment for his phobia, he is making progress but it's slow going and his therapist agrees that any flight right now would be counter-productive. My in-laws know all this, it has been explained to them in detail and both have acknowledged that over 24h of flight time for a phobic child is, and I quote "less than ideal".

Let battle commence: They have suggested that I should drug DS for the duration of the journey...I just about hit the roof! I have no problem with an adult choosing to take medication in order to travel, but to suggest I do that to a child? I don't even know if a doctor would agree to but in truth I don't care! My DH is in a lousy situation, he really wants to support me but is being emotionally blackmailed by his parents. I feel sorry for him really because his Mother really does know which buttons to press. She had tried everything from 'we haven't seen them since the funeral and we miss them terribly, we might not see them again if you don't bring them over' to 'it's not as if they're her (my) blood family, why should she have any say?' and just about everything in-between. DH is trying to hold strong but his Mother is getting to him and it's causing some heated discussions between us.

Summary: AIBU to refuse to consider drugging my DS in order to take him on a long haul flight?

(sorry for the mammoth post)

Andro Sun 06-Jan-13 00:21:30

frogspoon - I'm not Mira.

I am new to the forum though and lurked for a while before joining and asking my original question. I have no reason to troll.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 06-Jan-13 00:29:35

I think it is sad that you have been accused of being a troll.

You have come across as very honest in your posts. It' s hardly unusual that people disgree on this part of MN.

You sound like a wonderful Mum OP. I am glad you and your DH are standing your ground.

HildaOgden Sun 06-Jan-13 00:48:36

Mira won't come up with a better solution,because there is none.

The child is too traumatised to fly....they (GPs) are now left with the compromise of a second location to have a family holiday in.If they refuse it,they prove that they are being unreasonable.It really is as simple at that.

catsrus Sun 06-Jan-13 01:33:36

I've been thinking about this - and having read lots of threads on MN over the years I know that some GPs (particularly GMs) see the children of their daughter as somehow 'closer' to them than the children of their sons. Lots of daughters -in - law posting about how the GM never babysits for them etc.

This is odd to me - and not my own experience as my totally wonderful MIL treated all her gcs equally and while I am not her daughter we have certainly been very good friends, I love her to bits and I know that I am 'family' to her (even after her DS decided he wanted a divorce). It may be that your dh's mum has this bias and she is feeling totally conflicted by the new relationships as well as devastated by her daughter's death. Somehow she may perceive her GCs as now being taken over as part of "your" family and not hers? so it's a double sense of loss.

Your own family sounds wonderful - and if they have taken your DH to their hearts then she might be picking up on this - and being overseas adds to her sense of loss and distance.

Your priority in all this has to be your children and what is best for them - you and your DH are best placed to make that judgement call - I do think that children are able to understand more than we give them credit for - so talking to your son about his GMs grief and how that is making her angry is probably a good idea. As a family unit you can have compassion for their GM and talk about how to handle it - including talking to your DS about his travel phobia. Honesty within a context of safety seems the right way to proceed. You can be kind in relation to your MIL without bowing to her desires.

good luck!

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Sun 06-Jan-13 08:01:03

Re your last paragraph CatsRUs - I think great care would need to be taken around 'talk about how to handle it-including talking to your DS about his travel phobia'.

The danger in discussing the 2 issues together would be that OP's DS might feel that the difficulties are somehow his fault because of his phobia. This would be most unfair and may also upset the progress of his therapy.

Personally, I would want to keep the two issues as separate as possible but I expect the psychologist who is working with the child would be the best to advise abaout this.

Homebird8 Sun 06-Jan-13 08:29:39

MusicAndDance I think you're right. Grownup problems need to be handled without risking DS feeling responsible in any way. Talking about GM's grief is likely to put his own in context and is in no way dependent on his ability to travel by air.

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