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Fallen out with mum, she says my kids are spoilt....

(26 Posts)
Mrshumptydumpty Fri 09-Jan-15 10:21:29

Really need some perspective....

I have two Children ages 4 and 8.

The youngest has been extremely difficult in the of behaviour since he was old enough to speak/move about! He has some extreme, behaviours but in most ways is NT. He is surrently under The Paediatrician who when she saw him last summer seemed to be ready to diagnose him with Aspergers, however as he was improving in some areas she held off.

Oldest son - very bright, in top of class, scored as highly as possible to get in SATs last year. Has extra Englsih and maths coaching at his primary school to keep him interested. I mention this as I am not sure of some of the issues stem from him being so bright/ switched on or if it is indeed just behaviours. At school he is a perfect pupil.

At home oldest son is extremely reactive and will start to scream and shout and sometimes hits and kicks me, if something 'goes wrong' . Eg his ipad has not been charged, his brother has touched his sponge, it could be anything. He is cheeky and doesn't listen or do as he is asked. Last night his Dad took him to his once a week sports activity and because I had forgotten to pack one item he had a meltdown in the changing room, DP says it was so extreme he thought they were going to call the police!!

I feel depressed and at my wits end with all of this.

We have tried a range of strategies to improve things but as yet not hit upon anything that works.

Anyway, the relationship issues is that I rang my Mum last night in tears, it's has been a dreadful week as my youngest has been to ill to go to nursery. Hence I have had to take time off work ( in reality what happened is I still need to respond to calls and emails sie nd up multitasking to hype point of having palpitations). I have a job interview today which I have had no time to prepare for. Then DP and DS come in and I get the full force of the incident to contend with.

So I ring my mum, just asking for support. She then launches into a tirade about how spoiled my kids are, why does DS 1 'have so much' and why do we 'pander to him' citing several activities he has tried since the age of four, didn't enjoy and hence didn't peruse, no big deal in my book.

She then said he doesn't need x activity as he is already better than her at it!!?

She the. Went on to say we 'let the kids rule us' which may in fact be somewhat true, given that Ds2 is extremely hard work and it is very difficult to rust anyone else to have him to give us a bit of grown up time.

I really lost my temper as I had not asked for a critique of my parenting, what Inwanted was five minutes of support, a very very rare occurrence.

My Mum seems to think she has all the answers when is fact she only has me to judge on, I was by everyone's standards an exceptionally easy and well behaved child, probably due to the crappy and stressful life I had, which I have never spoken about with Mum or judged her for in any way. My mum also had her Mum who looked after me all the time, after school, holidays and weekend, therefore giving my Mum the freedom to peruse her own life.

I just feel so angry and disappointed with her!!!!!

Pootles2010 Fri 09-Jan-15 10:26:44

What punishments do you children get when they behave like this? Do you see through consequences etc?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 09-Jan-15 10:27:45

I'm sorry but if you go to someone with a problem, you can't get offended if they come back at you with an opinion or a solution you don't particularly care for. Did you actually say up front... 'I only want you to sympathise rather than judge?' or did you just launch into a tale of woe?

a2011x Fri 09-Jan-15 10:29:08

It does sound that there is a small of amount of fact in what she says, but theres a time and a place for the 'cruel to be kind' talk. I think you may also be a little sensitive as you sound very stressed. My advice to you would be to talk to your husband properly and have a proper discussion and plan put in place in dealing with these behaviour issues. I do think the activities your mum was complaining about could be a good thing if used the right way. I have a child similar to yours and it wasn't until we discussed with everyone who has close contact with her how things will work, what's ok, consistent discipline we didn't see a change. I suggest you let mum call you and apologise if she feels the need, or you can phone her back and tell her what you have just said. Either she will stick her ground or apologise for upsetting you regardless of whether or not she meant it. Good luck for your interview, you need to slow down a little bit by the sounds of it, it's not easy but if your anything like me you need to take ten minutes to yourself, write yourself a list of what needs to be done today and what doesn't . Tell dh you need to have a talk and try to chill out for now , I hope everything gets resolved.

Mrshumptydumpty Fri 09-Jan-15 10:30:12

Cogito what I wanted was five minutes of her time to be listened to, and maybe an acknowledgement that it's tough, and that DP and Myself are not totally crap parents which is what she seemed to be saying. It just felt like she was kicking me when I was already down!!

Mrshumptydumpty Fri 09-Jan-15 10:31:57

I haven't had a proper nights sleep for 4 years as DS 2 has a sleep disorder ( behavioural strategies useless, as it's neurological). This is another things she thinks we should be able to magically make better!!

Gautami Fri 09-Jan-15 10:32:43

Your mum isn't a source of support to you. Is there someone else you can sound off to? A friend who will listen and not judge?

You have a lot on your plate at the moment and need a listening ear not someone to pull you down. Don't add to your load by involving your mum.

Are you and dp supporting each other?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 09-Jan-15 10:35:41

But did you say explicitly that you wanted five minutes of her time and to be listened to? We're all parents... When our children come to us in tears our instinct is to leap to the rescue and try to fix the problem rather than sit on our hands and say 'there there'. She's been very blunt in her assessment and her timing may have been off but I'm sure she doesn't think you're crap parents

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Fri 09-Jan-15 10:37:23

It's not uncommon for GPs to be absolutely shit at supporting parents, especially when there may be additional needs factors at play. I don't know why it's like that, but it is - just have a tootle round the SN boards and you will see lots of threads about GPs who just don't get it, who think things like Asperger's and autism are made up and 'if you were just firm with him and gave him a smack it would be OK'.

I think you need to write your DM off as a potential source of support. She doesn't get it, well, that's that. There's no point you getting wound up about it, you just need to accept that's her bag and find someone else to sound off to.

But you really need to get some sleep! Couldn't you and DH do a swap over a weekend, each spending one night in a Travelodge or similar? Everything will feel better after a good night's sleep, I promise!

sugarman Fri 09-Jan-15 10:41:24

That's got to hurt and definitely the wrong time for brisk talking.

I think it must be very hard and quite lonely to have a child like yours who kicks off about the smallest things. To me it sounds extreme to the point of a disorder and I really hope you get good help with him so you can all relax a bit more.

I wonder if it is worth posting in special needs to see if anyone recognises his behaviours and can point you in a helpful direction?

With regard to your mother, it might be time to hold back on what you share as a means to protect yourself. Do you have good friends who you could talk to instead?

Bilberry Fri 09-Jan-15 10:42:19

I do think you should repost on the SN chat boards. I know you haven't a diagnosis but you will find similar folk there with similar experiences of family telling them they need to discipline more and not understanding other issues.

Do you think your older ds might have some of the difficulties of the younger one? I understand it can be quite common for children to mask their anxieties at school and then let it all out at home where they feel safe.

steppeinginto2015 Fri 09-Jan-15 10:45:07

Well, they may be hopelessy spoilt, or there may be other reasons.

Kids with aspergers find any change very distressing. It isn't temper or being spoilt, they get distressed by change. Think of it more like a panic attack or extreme anxiety.

So when he finds that something he is expecting hasn't happened, he doesn't have a coping mechanism, he has a panic attack. The logic that actually it doesn't really matter if the ipad is charged now or later is irrelevant. The point is, that he was expecting it to be charged, in his framework it was 'supposed' to be charged and then it isn't. For him this is like the floor suddenly not being solid and leads to panic.

extreme anxiety and being obsessive over things is often linked to aspergers too.

Think of it like this.
normal child - something goes wrong, they kick, you give consequence, they understand the boundary has been reinforced.
aspergers child - something goes wrong, they panic, you punish, this has no effect at all, only increases their anxiety and makes the panic worse.
OR - you treat it as a panic attack, offer calm, reassurances, remove stimulii (eg go to quiet/dark room) until child has calmed down, then deal with the problem.

Even if they don't have aspergers, many of the tricks and strategies that work with aspergers kids would work well with kids having these kind of melt downs. There are lots of strategies for learning to cope with change and unexpected and so on.

Other people with judge, until they grasp this fundamental difference.

DishwasherDogs Fri 09-Jan-15 10:45:45

With the issues that you've had with dc1, and a possibility of ASD I would wonder if there were similar issues with your oldest. He sounds very similar to my 9 yr old, who is being assessed for ASD next week.

Going by this, first thing is to read The Explosive Child by Ross Green (or Greene, not sure). With children like this punishments can often make the problem worse, so you need to approach it in a different way.

Second, ignore your mother. Everyone's an expert, close family think they have a right to comment and judge, which is shit when you're on the receiving end of it. Close family will minimise and dismiss problems, thinking they're doing the right thing, when right now it sounds like you need a moan and an understanding shoulder to cry on.

Have you spoken to your GP about ds2’s sleep? There may be something they can prescribe that would help (melatonin?). Functioning on little sleep is very difficult.

There's a lot of misunderstanding around ASD, and assumptions that because he's fine at school he is capable of being fine everywhere so he's choosing to be horrible. That's rubbish. Many children mask how they're feeling in school and let go in a safe place (at home or with parents).

He doesn't sound spoilt at all to me, it sounds like he's letting out his frustrations of the day.

steppeinginto2015 Fri 09-Jan-15 10:47:59

sorry that all sounded a bit cold, was just trying to say, I understand the problems, and have lots of sympathy. SEN boards with have lots and lots of tips

SaucyMare Fri 09-Jan-15 10:50:42

she might think your crap parents, my mum thought this about my sister, and her now diagnosed son of type aspergers.

Theoldhag Fri 09-Jan-15 10:51:09

Op you sound stressed and worn out, is there any way that your mum can babysit for you and your dh, or could they go to hers for a night? I would phone her back and say that she may be right to some extent re spoiling the dc, but you and your dh really need her help so that you both can have some regular adult down time together to charge up your batteries.

You do need to get on top of your dc behaviour, it is a hard thing to do but with perseverance and support you will get there. I find giving out household chores an effective way to disapline dc, if they take your energy then they have to give it back in a useful manner. I also try to maintain a 'I am not going to argue with anyone' stance. Anger is a bit like a fire, it needs fuel, take that way and the fire goes out.

I do hope that you will find your way through this issue and that harmony blesses your home.

DayLillie Fri 09-Jan-15 10:51:35

I think you need to post on SN too. I have a son with ASD-type problems with no diagnosis, and have had similar from my mother when things were hard. It is no support at all, being kicked when you are down! It is known as a hidden disability for good reason.

Also, what bilberry said - my son was very good at school, so no one saw the need of any educational support, so it got left until it was too late.

Try the NAS help line too.

Theoldhag Fri 09-Jan-15 10:56:48

And yy to the sen boards, lots of fabulous tips there smile

coppertop Fri 09-Jan-15 10:57:02

Another one here who thinks you'll find the SN board a big help.

It's very common to be accused of having a spoilt/lazy child and letting them get away with murder. Even more so when your child holds it all in at school and then erupts like a volcano when they get home.

Sorry you didn't get the support you needed from your mum. flowers

DishwasherDogs Fri 09-Jan-15 10:58:56

"Anger is a bit like a fire, it needs fuel, take that way and the fire goes out."

Yes, love this, but be aware that for some children the fuel is different and can be harder to spot. Some of the things that phase ds are completely off our radar and take leaps of imagination to get to the bottom of!
(Eg. Going to a panto this weekend, ds has been kicking off left right and centre about it, turns out he thinks there will be a real giant goose wondering around the audience confused)
Think outside the box. He's not doing it on purpose.

BlackeyedSantaStuckUpAChimney Fri 09-Jan-15 11:55:31

my child has ASD with a diagnosis. he is now a model child at school. at home he has major melt downs.

dual exceptional children learn to mask ASD in school and learn coping strategies, does not make them any less ASD.

DishwasherDogs Fri 09-Jan-15 12:06:23

Just found this link in another thread! it explains about behaving well in school! quite an interesting read.

Bilberry Fri 09-Jan-15 13:29:23

I am very concious of the fact that op thought ds2 might have ASD but not her ds1 and now we are all saying ds1 may have it.

MrsHumpty I hope this is not too much of a knock for you. None of us have seen him and have only your post to go on. If you think there might be something in it you need to be referred to someone who can actually see your child and speak to you rather than us. But either way, your brilliant, clever ds1 and ds2 are still the same wonderful children.

DayLillie Fri 09-Jan-15 13:48:05

I agree - it is a lot to take on board.

When my mother gave me her diatribe, I only thought that she was a. being unreasonable (which she was) and b. favouring my sister (which she was). It was only later down the line that I began to question why she was doing this and came up with the answer.

My DS is a lovely, kind, quiet person and I wouldn't be without him. Just wish he would get a job sad

DayLillie Fri 09-Jan-15 13:49:31

I was also picking up vibes that she did not like my son in some way, and was seeing red angry

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