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DS phoning granny mid-confrontation

(13 Posts)
roundwindow Wed 06-May-15 10:18:00


Didn't know whether to put this in parenting or here, but it's a tricky one and I'd be really grateful for any thoughts.

DS (10) is a lovely lovely boy. He also has AS and is struggling at the moment with school/friends/the fact that his Dad and I are separated and various other things. He has a lot on his plate and he's generally a trouper and my heart goes out to him.

Unfortunately a big part of how he deals with his anger/frustration about life is that he tends to 'kick off' a lot towards me - becoming very hostile, rude, verbally aggressive and very occasionally physically so. I do my best to maintain a calm but unaccepting stance towards these behaviours. His Dad and I have a great co-parenting relationship/friendship so are very much working as a team on this and applying consistent messages about which behaviours are unacceptable, discussing what would be a better way of dealing with the feelings etc.

And of course within this there are times that I have to assert boundaries and make myself unpopular with DS in the process. Like leaving the room when he's saying nasty things and saying we'll discuss it when he's calmed down, etc. So far so normal, I guess.

What I'm finding difficult is that he has a tendency to phone my mum right in the heat of the moment. She lives just round the corner and although we generally have a good relationship I have struggled at times with feeling like I have healthy boundaries with her - she can be quite overbearing and critical. I have found over the years that it's better to have my struggles in private and present a self-contained face where she's concerned. I therefore almost feel undermined when DS does this - like he's not accepting my authority and deferring to a 'higher' one, or like he's showing up how 'crap' I am to someone who'll always be an audience for that negativity.

On the other hand, I don't want to get in the way of his accessing valuable emotional support when he needs it. I have said to him that the rule is that he needs to check with me before phoning, unless it's an emergency or he ever feels unsafe. But I'm worried that in doing this I'm maybe being a bit controlling and putting my own needs before his. I don't ever want to do this!

What do you think? WWYD?

Ifyourawizardwhydouwearglasses Wed 06-May-15 10:28:07

He's 10. He would be using the phone to call anyone without asking in our house.

Ifyourawizardwhydouwearglasses Wed 06-May-15 10:29:07


Crucial error there...!

roundwindow Wed 06-May-15 10:34:58

Aaargh! Thanks - would have gone with both but preferred the second :-) Yes, good to know though. At the moment we say that he can always phone either parent but anyone else he has to ask. As he gets older this will change of course. Feels like a bit of a children's rights quandary...

blankgaze Wed 06-May-15 18:22:39

he has a tendency to phone my mum right in the heat of the moment

Absolutely not on, make it crystal clear that you and he have a problem, you and he need to sort it out between you.

Afterwards, that is after a resolution has happened, he may wish to whinge to Granny about how unfair you are, but at the time you are both trying to resolve something, it has to be just the two of you.

And Granny ought to back you up when he does whinge, it's not up to her to undermine you when you've made a parenting decision, whether she agrees with it or not.

I think you need to reinstate a lot of boundaries, they seem to have been ovedrstepped on all sides.

Joysmum Wed 06-May-15 19:53:22

Went through this with my DD too.

I talked to my mum about it, explained how DD was going through the testing the boundaries stage and I expected her to back me up and ask DD questions to highlight how her behaviour was inappropriate so she'd come to that conclusion without being told.

I also had a template text set up to be sent at the touch of a button to warn mum of an impending call from dd because she'd been told off! Mum could then ignore and call back later or go through the pertinent questions depending on whether she could be bothered!

roundwindow Wed 06-May-15 21:16:27

Wow, thanks blankgaze. I thought maybe it was just me being too controlling but you're right about the boundaries being overstepped.

Sadly, Joysmum, this means that I wouldn't have a hope in hell of enlisting my mum's cooperation in the ways you did. What an excellent way of handling it, though and thank you for sharing. I rather feel my DM milks the situation to her advantage - it makes her feel like the 'higher power' and then she lords it over me later. Oh well sad

Handywoman Wed 06-May-15 21:40:27

My dd2 has AS. Can you explain that 'The Rule' of your disagreements is that he can ring your mum, yep, but you won't factor her input into the argument.

Would that work??

roundwindow Wed 06-May-15 22:01:33

I really like that, Handywoman, thanks. It feels like a very empowering way of doing things. I would then just need to work on my thick skin when I get my mum's gloaty-pants "feedback" after the event.

Handywoman Wed 06-May-15 22:08:19

Yeah, just put your fingers metaphorically in your ears and sing 'La-la-la-la-la' sounds like you doing just fine and can employ the same rule!! smile

JemimaPuddled Wed 06-May-15 22:12:08

OP I could have written your post. Ds1 (also AS) did this often. He's now 14 and has just about made the leap to reasoning in his own head instead.
We did what handywoman says too, yes discuss it on the phone in the heat of the moment with granny, use it to make your mind up what you're saying, but the rl "conversation" aka confrontation, usually him in the wrong would be based on his own views alone. My mum got much better at sitting on the fence and more or less repeating stuff back to him, rather than getting involved as such (mainly because she didn't want to fall out with either him or me) and he learned valuable skills by her doing that. DS always felt that someone whose face he couldn't see was going to give him a more unbiased view. There's aspie logic for you grin

Joysmum Thu 07-May-15 00:16:43

I don't suppose changing granny's number on the phone memory and in the address book would work would it! grin

roundwindow Thu 07-May-15 21:22:07

haha, sadly not. He is blessed with the gift of an AS memory for numbers grin

And thank you, Jemima. Really useful to hear of others' similar experiences (and a possible light at the end of the tunnel)

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