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dealing with my alcoholic mother and ds1

(6 Posts)
shrub Sat 29-Jan-05 20:00:23

for the past 25 years i have been coping with my alcohlic mother and her binges, doctors, hospitals, drying out clinics and the police. i managed to move away 14 years ago.
this will sound very strange but my main worry now is that my ds1 who is nearly 5 sometimes demonstrates similar behaviour to my mother - he can be the most gentle sensitive, creative and loving boy but other times he can be very loud, activie, clumsy, twitchy and can have explosive tantrums where he just glazes over and babbles and it reminds me so much of my mother. i worry about the genetics on my side of the family and what potentially his behaviour could become or already be some chemical inbalance in his brain. i am too scared to admit this to a doctor and my dh has now admitted he also finds many of his mannerisms similar to hers and it scares him.
has anyone had similar feelings/worries and what did/can you do?

Shimmy21 Sat 29-Jan-05 20:09:32

I can completely understand how you feel as we have the same worries about our ds2 (not alcoholism in our family but some mental illness.) I am also sure that you really really don't need to worry. All 4 year olds are fairly loopy off the wall creatures and because we love them so much we look for things to worry about. A brief comment in the guardian the other day made us feel better - that most mental illnesses that are passed down a generation are learnt 'bad coping mechanisms' rather than genetic inheritance. You've broken the chain by moving away from your mum so your ds is growing up in a healthy loving family. He'll learn from your example how to deal with the things that life throws at him - not from his genes.

foxinsocks Sat 29-Jan-05 20:12:51

Message withdrawn

moondog Sat 29-Jan-05 20:13:09

I was going to say that it sounds just like my dd!
ALL kids are like that.You sound like you have had a dreadful time with your mother but you are NOT condemned to live the same sort of life,just remember that, even though it is natural to worry.
I think we are ALL fearful of undesirable traits being passed down to our kids.

shrub Sat 29-Jan-05 20:39:34

shimmy21 -a big thank you - especially for highlighting the guardian article. that is the crucial thing really isn't it - how we deal with stress whereas my mother took up drinking when she feels overwhelmed i took up meditation!
i have tried this with ds1 but he just put his hand over my mouth and said goodnight mummy
i think trying to teach them how to handle their emotions is the key but its trying to remain calm yourself in the storm - 95% of the time i do but its those other times when i shout back louder or slam a door that it comes back to haunt me.....its trying to be a better person despite childhoods/backgrounds. it took me a long time to realise despite all the parenting books i've read that i can't be a perfect mum.
foxinsocks- you are right - i must realise that alcohol can be a postive thing too- for years i use to think of it as poison. if i could just relax my outlook then i wouldn't blur the personality and the drinking - on a positive note so many people have said she could have really been something had the drink not been the most important thing in her life. i just have to learn to let go and try and channel all ds1's energy into something
moondog - thank you for your kind words and letting me know others can feel the same about passing on traits. its not the sort of thing i would share at the school gates! i felt guilty voicing my worries even on mn (i have only confided in dh)

weightwatchingwaterwitch Sat 29-Jan-05 21:06:59

Hi Shrub, I don't have any advice but I just wanted to say that your boy sounds like a normal 5yo, really he does. Do you have friends with children or do you know many 5yos? If not, try searching on the behaviour/development topics here, you'll find plenty to reassure you about 5yo behaviour I'm sure.

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