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Unthinking relatives and critical comments

(14 Posts)
Hopelesslydisorganised Wed 12-Jan-11 13:58:24

Agh! I have had a dreadful Xmas - been offline for much of it as I moved house.

DS has an ASD, ADHD and Dyspraxia. As a result of these things his behaviour can be unpredictable, he is anxious about things (noises etc) and cutlary is a closed book to him hence I cut up his food and leave him with a fork and spoon.

Boxing Day was a nightmare. We went with my exH to his sister's home. SIL and BIL are childless (not by choice) and as such are unused to children apart from assorted nieces and nephews. BIL's eldest nephew is the same age as DS and THE prefect child who is held up as a shining example (I titter that perfect child's younger brother is an explosive nightmare who pushes the boundaries at every opportunity).

While we were there my BIL and my FIL made several comments which irritated and annoyed me. They criticised (in no particular order)
-his eating skills (he can be messy)
-his inability to use a knife and fork (BIL actually said "we could teach him now" - obviously thinks I haven't bothered hmm).
-the fact that DS has temper tantrums (FIL suggested not letting him play computer games all the time - because like - yeah - that's what I let him do)
-the fact that DS needed me with him to fall asleep (he was in a strange house and felt insecure).

The final straw was a meltdown from DS where he attempted to slam the door (he was unable to). I went to him and spoke to him about this - in someone elses home, this behaviour (ie slamming doors was NOT acceptable and that he should apologise). BIL then asked to talk with DS on his own and even now I don't know why I agreed apart from ther fact that they get on well usually and I felt he might be able to get through to DS. I left the room and then BIL shouted really loudly at DS, I intervened to comments of "he doesn't listen to you and whatever you do with him doesn't work does it"?

Left me feeling really shaken - will not be allowing DS to go there again. Needless to say exDH was useless in backing me up, supporting me or attempting to manage DS.

I know DS's behaviour can be challenging but generally when he is with me and in his npormal routine he is NOT challenging or difficult - it's in different situations like this one that he becomes a problem.

purplepidjin Wed 12-Jan-11 14:43:41

<cheeky lunchtime wine>

<essential chocolate knickerbockerglory>

Sorry I can't be more use sad

milou2 Wed 12-Jan-11 15:11:56

Last visit there for a few years...?

I think sometimes relatives feel they can fix something even though they have no experience, expertise or rapport with the child. They and we don't quite realise how unskilled they are until it is way too late.

corns Wed 12-Jan-11 15:17:06

how horrible for you sad

BialystockandBloom Wed 12-Jan-11 15:31:07

Poor you.

Maybe you could ask BIL if he'd like to come to stay with you for a week to see if he can sort out ds. Or even ask if ds can go and stay with him? I'm sure he'd come back 'cured' wink

Silly man.

NorthernSky Wed 12-Jan-11 16:00:27

Message deleted

kissingfrogs Wed 12-Jan-11 16:05:03

My elderly mother has perfected the Art of Inappropriate Comments:

"I have a feeling she'll be really good at languages."
(refering to dd2 who has a language disorder and is presently struggling with English...)

and, when suggesting (sensitively)to mum that she could maybe get hearing aids for her worsening hearing:

"good Lord you wouldn't catch me wearing those things!"
(whilst standing next to dd2 who...wears hearing aids)

Sometimes people are just unfathomable.

purplepidjin Wed 12-Jan-11 16:28:58

Kissingfrogs - your mum sounds just like my gran. My mum walked out of a visit on Sunday after repeating her comment three times cos granny refused to wear her hearing aids. Mum asked her to put them in as the noise of everyone shouting was giving her a headache. Granny then said "Don't be ridiculous, there's nothing wrong with my hearing!"


Granny is nearly 90 so we give her a lot of leeway - but some things are just unacceptable!

Hopelesslydisorganised Thu 13-Jan-11 06:26:23

Thank you for your comments and thoughts. Sufficient is it to say that DS will NOT be visiting there again for a long time. I have told exH that the comments were inappropriate and that I felt my parenting was being judged. ExH says I was being over-sensitivehmm.

purplepidjin Thu 13-Jan-11 07:12:30

Meh. XH can fuck off or get to know his own child properly wink

ohmeohmy Thu 13-Jan-11 07:12:39

Had my dad staying from abroad. He is full of helpful comments from suggesting medication (won't help) to tutting about how my ds's behaviour is totally socially unacceptable and has to be stopped! accompanied by lots of pitying 'don't know how you cope' comments. No wonder ds would come home from school and ask if he'd left yet! Few times ds voluntarily approached him excited at his performance and looking for a high 5 my dad completely blanked him, no ackowledgement whatsoever. Glad he's gone home! Some people just don't want to learn how to relate to kids who are different. Guess they challenge their world view a bit too much

Davros Thu 13-Jan-11 10:10:12

Thank god I don't have to stay with relatives or have them to stay here. I like the idea of sending him the Tony Attwood book. One Xmas I joined several relatives to the NAS so they would get all the magazines, newsletters etc. I don't think they have a Friends scheme although I have suggested it in the past. I suppose your BIL was being naive and insensitive but that's not an acceptable excuse.

Hopelesslydisorganised Thu 13-Jan-11 17:04:24

I think the hard thing is that DS looks so normal and is very verbal but his communication skills despite that are not good. The dyspraxia makes his probs seem much worse so he appears clumsy, hyperactive and emotional. All in all people tend to look in amazement at hime and then at me - it's hard not to feel judged by them all.

ihavenewsockson Thu 13-Jan-11 17:09:12

Try to ignore them. It's hard , I know. You are doing great with your DS and as you said, he was out of his routine. BIL was out of line to shout at him.

Keep your chin up. <hugs>

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