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Stonewalling - how can a DC deal with it from a parent?

(35 Posts)
NotaDisneyMum Tue 18-Dec-12 18:51:02

What advice can my DP give his DD (15) to help her deal with her Mums stonewalling?

DSD is trying to sort out her post-16 choices, and her Mum (who she lives with) refuses to discuss it with her, or with DP - she has told them that DSD is going to have to do as she is told - but hasn't told them what that is!

What communication tips/strategies might help when it is the parent who is stonewalling the child? I'm all out of suggestions - and can see DSD aspirations drifting away with the constant effort required angry

allnewtaketwo Thu 20-Dec-12 09:45:30

Izzy I think you have it right there. My DSS1 is very much conditioned to please his emotionally abusive mother (who uses similar techniques to those the OP mentions, as well as shouting, and he is 17 and towers over her physically).

I personally think that some people ( children or adults) have a more passive personality and that they lack either the will or ability to stand up to bullies. I do not know however how to help a child in that situation who resides with the bully.

I guess it help a bit NADM that the daughter knows her mother is trying to stop her doing what she wants ( is this the case?). In my DSS1 case, she has conditioned him so well to please her that he would not even think about what he wants. He even lacks the notion that he can have wants that are separate to hers. She speaks, and he does. Thinking or wanting doesn't come into it. He's at a total loss when she's not around to think for him.

As for your question, you're right, people find it hard to get past the notion that a mother could be so cruel. It goes so far against how we believe that mothers do what's best for the child. Do attention focuses on that unfortunately rather than the situation the child is in. Yet read the 'stately homes' thread and there are do many adults who have been damaged by their patents in this way. Would anyone have listened to them as a child, or would the cruelty have been to hard to believe?

pinguthepenguin Thu 20-Dec-12 11:51:01

Does her school have a nurture centre? Your DP could ask for a referral there.
Also, job centres offer careers advice?

NotaDisneyMum Thu 20-Dec-12 12:42:55

pingu DSD has access to loads of careers advice; it's not that she needs. What she needs is for her Mum to show her enough respect to at least discuss the issue with her, even if she disagrees.

As far as the school are concerned, they won't engage in any direct contact with parents unless the parent initiates it; they have offered DSD limited emotional support and provided practical careers advice, but they can't/won't intervene on DSD behalf with her Mum, they have basically said that is DSD and DP's problem!

DSD Mum has admitted that her parenting style consists of yelling, nagging and bribing, and she blames DSD for that; DSD won't do as she is told, DSD doesn't appreciate how difficult her Mum's life is, DSD doesn't realise how much her Mum has sacrificed. That's not hearsay from DSD; DP's ex has told him this directly! It's her default position every time he tries to talk to her about anything to do with the DC's - "oh, woe is me, I'm a poor, struggling single mother" who had an affair and refused to end it when DP found out.

What child doesn't want their parents approval when making such a significant choice/decision? DSD Mums attitude is undermining her self-confidence, which is low anyway - if it wasn't, she would have rebelled long ago.

pinguthepenguin Thu 20-Dec-12 12:46:50

It a real shame for DSD.
The reason I ask about nurture centre is because a parents permission is not required for a referral there. DSD could get the support she needs to stand up for her choices there.

NotaDisneyMum Thu 20-Dec-12 12:57:01

No, nothing so forward thinking - there's not even an on-site school counsellor the DC's have to self-refer to a local charity-run service provided off-site, and DSD is not yet quite at the stage where she is ready to deceive her Mum by setting up something like that herself and not telling Mum about it - the retribution would be far worse that the current situation if Mum ever found out.

exoticfruits Thu 20-Dec-12 17:02:14

Izzy has it right. She is emotionally abusive and so successful that DSD won't see it. I know you want an alternative but I can't see one because she is backed into a corner- do as mum says or defy her. It takes a very strong 16yr old to do the second.

pinguthepenguin Thu 20-Dec-12 23:23:22

Disney, you've advised me yourself on plenty of occasions that when one parent is doing something you abhor, all you can do is counter the effects of it.
I've long since realised you were right- as much as it hurts to see it happening, if you can't change the behaviour, allyou can do is be there to be a buffer and equip her with skills to raise her self concept x

exoticfruits Fri 21-Dec-12 07:29:09

Pingu really has the only option- it is very frustrating, but true.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 21-Dec-12 08:20:12

I know. Detach detach detach!

Actually, there's been progress in the last couple of days - since DP tried to discuss it with his ex, and told her that regardless of her involvement he was going to continue to support DSD, she (DSD mum) has changed her approach.

She's now telling DSD that there's no point in discussing it with her because she'll do what she wants to do with her Dads support anyway, so she's washing her hands of it and told DSD not to go running to her when it all goes wrong!

DSD seems to be more comfortable with the idea of proving her mum wrong, so is now a lot more determined to make it work grin

I'm sure there will be bumps ahead - but at least it's a start.

exoticfruits Fri 21-Dec-12 19:18:10

That sounds as good a result as you could hope for. She needs to make the plans quickly before she has a change of tack!

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