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Do you ever feel like you always sound negative about your child?

(28 Posts)
Bethron Mon 18-Jul-05 13:15:20

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Bethron Mon 18-Jul-05 13:15:54

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KarenThirl Mon 18-Jul-05 14:24:15

Yes, I can empathise with that. And whenever anyone asks how things are at the moment, I usually answer "Oh, pretty awful" which is true, but yes it does sound negative doesn't it? How else can I answer?! He hasn't turned into one of God's own cherry cheeked angels overnight, has he? The trouble is, so few parents of NT children can even conceive of the problems we have ahead - like you say Bethron, there is the presumption that he'll grow out of a lot of his behavioural difficulties - but we know that unless he gets the right help and support the likelihood is that things could get much worse. I'm finding that I spend much less time with NT parents these days, for the simple reason that they don't and can't understand. It's not that I'm angry or frustrated with them, and I certainly don't blame them for their ignorance (after all, that was me six months ago), more that I know they'll never understand our situation and I don't feel part of their world any more.

Merlot Mon 18-Jul-05 14:44:31

Oh yes. I feel like that all the time.

But then what else can people say??

I read an article about Nigella Lawson, where she says that her sister who was dying with breast cancer was always having to put up with people `putting their foot in it' and saying the wrong thing. Nigella asked her sister, how on earth she coped with all these crass things people said. Apparently, she replied that she didnt listen to the actual words, but to the meaning of what was behind the words.

Whenever I hear `but he's very smiley', I try and remind myself that what the person is really saying is this...... `he is a beautiful little boy now, but I understand your worries...I feel for you that no-one can wave a magic wand and make it ok....but I just dont know what to say that can make it alright'

BarefootMama Mon 18-Jul-05 14:50:38

Whats NT parents girls?

Merlot Mon 18-Jul-05 14:52:42

Parents of Neurologically Typical (normally developing) children Barefootmama

aloha Mon 18-Jul-05 14:58:27

I think people really want it to be OK and so say these things. They also want to reassure you. I agree it doesn't help much (my son probably will be fine as he has dyspraxia fairly mildly but can't run properly, or jump or pedal a bike and lots of physical stuff like that) and people say the same stuff to me, that it will just go away, and of course it won't - he'll just have to adapt to his limitations and develop his strengths. The trouble is, their totally uninformed optimism makes you feel like a moaner and pessimist, when actually you know that unless you see and recognise the difficulties you can't do anything to help, so being pessimistic (or rather, realistic) is part of your job description as a parent. I think for parents of children with more severe problems it must be utterly infuriating. They do mean well though...!

Jimjams Mon 18-Jul-05 15:02:17

I was more negative when I used to be faced by those ridiculous platitudes.nowadays people know its not going to disappear and I find myself being more positive strangely enough. (although I hate it when people come out with trite crap about ds3- think he's fine but his chances of being on the spectrum are 75x higher than joe public's so find i'm sometimes negative about him.

BarefootMama Mon 18-Jul-05 15:04:58

I am one of those (NT parent)but do feel i have a tiny scrap of insight as for the first year of ds3 life he was developmentally delayed and we went through a plethera of tests brain scans paediatric appointments and a lot of tears. He now seems fine ...but...

It opened my eyes!

No people dont understand - I would be insulted by people scrutinising him and comments like ' do you think he is normal?' ' does he ever smile' and to add insult - I would have to actually answer the inane questions before going home to blub. I too was terribly guilty of refering to him in negative terms 'grumpy' 'whinging again' ' moaner' I love him to bits and sitting in doctors rooms hearing all the negative things about him made me fiercly protective but I dont think parents of Nt's will ever really understand.

Merlot Mon 18-Jul-05 15:23:12

so on your behalf at the `do YOU think he's normal?' comments Barefootmama.

And of course NT parents wont ever completely understand...I didnt until I had ds2. Its just a case of if you haven't walked a mile in someone else's shoes you dont know what its like to be them..even if you are the most well meaning person in the world. Same goes for having true empathy for people with debilitating illnesses, cancer, minority groups etc..

coppertop Mon 18-Jul-05 15:49:29

I find myself being very negative about ds2's behaviour. I get a lot of "It's just the terrible twos" comments. Sometimes that can be a relief when people make those kinds of assumptions as it means I don't have to explain his SN when we're out and about. At other times I find it annoying because ds2's behaviour is so much worse than NT toddlers. See, I'm being negative again.....

heartinthecountry Mon 18-Jul-05 17:16:22

I read that article about Nigella too Merlot and thought her sister's response was great. I am going to try and do that too. I do think most people do not mean to be dismissive.

I also empathised with what she said about being at a dinner party and someone saying "there is nothing worse than watching your parents grow old" and wanting to shout "yes there is" (Nigella's mother died when she was young). Reminded me of situations where people say things like "its a shame they grow up so fast isn't it?" and wanting to shout 'If only".

Sorry a bit OT there.

I actually often find myself being quite positive about dd to spare others feelings/discomfort and then really kicking myself for it.

Fio2 Mon 18-Jul-05 18:07:13

I think Nigella is wonderful, isnt she

werm anyway yes and no. I think i am very negative but also quite positive too. I find it really difficult to be friends with alot of my sons friends mothers for this very reason. One of them seems to just ignore dd completely which I find quite, well, fascinating...........................

Jimjams Mon 18-Jul-05 18:23:34

fio I've binned anyone who is shifty around ds1. If they can only cope by pretending he doesn't exist then they can take thier embarrassment and bugger off. (mind you I'm having fun with one long term friend- we keep in contact my email- have a few exchanges until I mention ds1 when he clams up and doesn't reply.- must admit I'm quite enjoying this very odd reaction- and am now doing little tests - wouldn't like it in my own living room though iykwim- by email its funny).

coppertop Mon 18-Jul-05 18:26:44

They actually ignore dd/ds1??? OMG!

Fio2 Mon 18-Jul-05 18:29:27

ansd also when we are out with just my ds she acts as if I have no other children. Infact she does act as though ds is an only child


i have to make an efort though as it is ds's friend not mine

Jimjams Mon 18-Jul-05 18:32:00

well avoid talking about them- so if you say "oh ds started a new school" for example they say "err" look at their feet then "nice weather isn't it?" (you get the idea). Sometimes they go red as well. Weird.

coppertop Mon 18-Jul-05 18:37:24

That's just so bizarre! Would it really be so difficult for them to ask how school is or how ds1/dd are??? Strange people.

Bethron Mon 18-Jul-05 19:06:56

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Saker Mon 18-Jul-05 19:55:54

I do think people find it hard to know what to say and in a funny way I think they think it's worse than it is. It might be easier for me to say than others because Ds2 is quite manageable in general and I try not to worry too much about the future. Of course I wish he didn't have the difficulties he does..... but I think some people think that you should be in permanent state of depression or about to give up living all together, because that's how they think they would feel. And then at the same time they just don't have any idea of what is difficult and what's okay. Some people have the gift of saying the right thing, other people find it hard and if they are embarassed at least it means they are trying to understand how not to upset you.

I do agree though that when faced with those type of platitudes, I get deliberately more negative almost in rebellion.

Davros Mon 18-Jul-05 21:54:42

I read an interview with Nigella in a recent Radio Times, all about her new daytime show. A lot of the article was spent trying to press her into admitting that her programme (and she) is all fluff and fun. I just thought, this is someone whose husband died a painful death, I also knew about her sister. She'd hardly rank as a flitertigebit in experience but is able to come across as warm and friendly. It annoyed me that they totally ignored what her experiences might also bring to her "fun" programme.
I have to say that I'm immune mostly to these dismissive/"kind" comments. Last year someone asked me how DS was "fine" I said as usual. "Is he looking forward to his birthday?", you should have seen their face when I said "oh, he doesn't know its his birthday", ha ha, sorry made me laugh!

Jimjams Mon 18-Jul-05 22:07:42

that's what I hate most about xmas all the "bet he's really looking forward to xmas". Stunned silence when I say he doesn't knnow its xmas.

Fio2 Tue 19-Jul-05 11:43:12

i know, why do people say that? apart from anything else it is completely ignorant

aloha Tue 19-Jul-05 15:59:12

If I say anything about my ds's dyspraxia to my mum she leaps to his 'defence' as though I am saying something critical and cruel! I have said to her, "look I love him too you know!'

dinosaur Tue 19-Jul-05 16:07:48

I know exactly what you mean, aloha, my mum gets very uncomfortable when I bring up the things that my DS1 finds difficult.

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