I could talk for hours about this issue and I could give thousands of examples! I have reached out and recently seeked the advice from a councilor. Our first visit was between myself and the councilor only in order to her to gain a sense of our situation. In this visit the councilor advised me that I can not help my son until I help my self.
I am very where of this, but not sure where to "help myself". For the last 8 years I have avoided my issues and thought I could suppress them enough and raise my children. I have a 8 year old who is everything I wish I could be. Honer roll, popular, kind, athletic, gorgeous.. EVERYTHING! My son who is 2.5 years younger then his sister is the complete opposite. Withdrawn, shy, academically slower, low self esteem and needs a lot of attention!
Last month I reached my breaking point and placed him on a ADHD medication. After doing even more research I think he might just be depressed.
I am a open book. If you need to ask very specific questions i am not offend to answer! I am investing my time in a councilor, but that is only one opinion! If i can get the opinions of other parents in similar situations, it would only benefit my children. I only want the best for my children, but would like to know who else is going threw limbo and trying to fix themselves to help their children??
Well, I cant connect on a parent level, but I am a kid who grew up with a depressed mom.
I am depressed today..I have been since I was 12. And to blame my mom sounds cruel but geneticlly and the way I grew up I think has a lot to do with it. My mom has always been very shy and unconfident. SHe always said things like "yeah cause I suck", "im so fat", "im so ugly", "How ugly do I look in this?". I have read a lot of books and stuff..and I think a lot of those negitive and degrading things she has said has effected me more on a subcontious level which is the root of a lot of my depression. I am always unsure of myself and am more self contious than anyone can even imagine..even when people tell me Im beautiful I still always think im ugly.
Once in a while, I hear my mom say things like "I just want to kill myself" and "you guys would be much better without me". That doesnt happen often...but when I hear it, it makes me feel awful about myself and like im not good enough for her. She also is always complaining about how awful my dad is of a person. He verbally and emotionally abuses her so I understand why she is so mad and upset about it...but she vents to me about how it hurts her...and even though I want to be there for her...its hard to hear my mom say that stuff and it really effects me negitivly.
I dont know you, so I dont know how you act or what you say around your kids...I just know that as a kid myself, a lot of what my mom does and says REALLY effects me in ways that sometimes Im not even aware. Just watch what you say infront of them, and make sure you are very positive around them. thats something I really wish i could grow up with..and now that im 17 and leaving in 3 months for college...i can never get back...and its something I need to carry with me the rest of my life.
You sound like a very loving and caring parent. I think you are doing the right thing and I can tell you love your kids a lot, just make sure they know that. Good luck to you!
I completely agree with jcook144! I think that you just need to make sure that your problems are not visible around your children, because then it may affect the way they feel about themselves. I grew up in a similar type of household that jcook144 speaks of, and I have and still struggle with depression because of it. I think just trying to boost your son up as much as possible, and be there for him is one of the best things that you can do. Like she said, you can tell how much you truly love your children. It's heartwarming to see you reach out for him like this =). I am so sorry that he is struggling right now though. I am sure it is really hard for you. I think there is probably some sort of reason why he feel the needs for so much attention though (could be depression/self esteem). Try to give him as much attention as possible though, and see how that affects him. Have you ever tried to sit down and talk with him about the way he feels? Maybe trying to get him to verbalize to you what he is feeling, why he acts a certain way, will help him a lot. It seems like you are a very strong person though, and just know, it will get a lot better =). Stay strong.
Thank you guys for taking the time to at least read my book..
To answer a couple questions I want to say I am not a negative person, and very aware of what my kids see, and how it effects them. I grew up in a very unstable house hold with parents that should of been sterilized! i vowed I would never be like that, and I feel I have succeed. I was telling my father last week what was going on with my son, and he told me that he stood my by decision to put him in counselling, and wished he could of been half the parent I am, and then apologizes for not taking his job serious.
Because of my childhood, I live vicariously threw my kids. We send so much time at parks, museums, and festivals. I go to every school function, and actually spend time every night on homework with them. Its therapeutic for me to be involved. I know how embarrassed I was growing up with a single parent, and was bounced from grandparent to grandparent.
I am only 27, but hearing from a 17 year old how important it is to watch what we say to our children is a little reminder we all need to hear. Thank you for that.
I know the year my husband was going to school, he was gone 5 days a week. To make up the difference in income I had to work evenings doing janitorial work to put him threw school. I know that year of my life was one of my darkest! I did drink a lot to cope. I look back and am very embarrassed for it. My father watched the kids, because I could not afford day care or a nanny. I love my dad, but he does not have the greatest of patients. After my husband graduated and he had the job offer 3000 miles away, I was so excited to get away from my toxic family that I tried to avoid.
As far as the attention goes its such a fine line to walk. If I give him the attention, I dont want him to think doing bad things will get him what he wants. I do try to talk to him, but it wasnt until he started to take his concerta that he would actually talk to me. I did find out that he worried that when his mom and dad died that nobody would take care of him.. it took about a hour to get threw this discussion with him.. We started talking after he had to take a time out on his bed for something he said. I asked him why he was talking like that, and he said "if you die, NOBODY will take care of me"! I told him that if I died he would stay with his grandma Tay. It was like a lightbulb that went off! He ran to the living room to get a piece of paper! He wanted to wright it all down! We made a list of all the people that would take care of him. He then wanted to add all of his friends to the list.. by the end of the 2 hour talk he said.. i wont even ask the cops to shoot me anymore when you die because I will have my puppy.... A little milestone was reach as awkward as it sounded coming from a 6 year old! He was okay with anybody dieing...He wanted to hang the paper on his wall to remember..
Yesterday just him and I had a "lego picnic"! Seriously the best moment I had in a long time. We spent about a hour on a sheet making airplains! (the plain I made him was the plain that broke and he punched himself in the face over it today) half way threw it, he just wanted to snuggle, so we laid down and watched the birds! He can be so sweet and lovey! But today, his anxiety got the best of him, and he spent about a hour in the dogs kennel because he felt it would of been the safest place if a tornado hit... Its like we take 2 steps forward, and one big one back!
Thank you for writing all of that, I really appreciate it. It helps for us to better understand your situation. I just want to say how proud I am of you for being such a wonderful mother to your children. I am so sorry your childhood was not that way, but you definitely have broken the pattern--great job!! It's really good to hear that you are married, and it seems like you have a really strong family base (you and your husband). I think that your son will be alright in time, it is just going to take a lot of small steps to get there it seems (which is ok! as hard as it is for you=/). It seems that he might have a lot of fear about death? I was just thinking that with worrying about you guys dying, and then hiding afraid of a tornado. Most kids aren't even aware of these types of things at his age. I think maybe he is just more in tune with what is going on around him than most children. I'm not sure though, but you will find an answer soon! I am SO glad that you enjoy your time so much together! The Lego thing really made me smile=) I completely understand about the attention thing too--that makes a lot of sense as how it can be really hard to balance. If he is misbehaving you are right, you shouldn't reward him with the attention. Maybe he misbehaves sometimes though to get attention? I hope you can find a way to make the balance more even soon though!=). Just so you know, my fiancées brother is 12, and he has a lot of attention issues where he feels the need to have a lot of the attention when he is in a room with his parents, brother. They said he has always been like this (I think it has gotten somewhat better), but I just wanted to let you know that you are not the only one! They still struggle with it too, but I think it is a little bit easier because he is older now, so he understands more about what he is doing. He does misbehave at times/doesn't listen to his parents at times, because he wants attention. I am not sure why children do this though, when they are not lacking attention from their parents. Maybe some kids just require way more attention than others? Possibly more insecure children? Just know that we are all here for you if you need anything...and it will get better..hang in there=)
Thank you NLK..
I dont know what it was that brought me to tears.. maybe just being completely open and vulnerable is really tough to swallow..
I think in 10 years the only time my husband has seen me cry was when i was in labor..I seriously had to hide my tears just now.. I dont know why i cant cry in front of him, but i guess that is another issue.
maybe it was that you said you where "proud' of me, or the fact that he will be okay..
either way thank you!
=) That really warmed my heart...thank you. I think being completely open and vulnerable is definitely good reason for tears =). I have been trying to help people more than deal with my own problems on here (as of right now), but I know if I delved into my own issues, the tears would come out. I don't have a problem crying around my fiancée, because I love the comfort I feel from him, BUT I do totally understand how you feel. Around my parents for some reason I hate crying in front of them...I always have felt embarrassed if I can't hold back my tears around them, so therefore I am always trying to hide my tears. I am not sure why I do this either, because I love them so much, but I just do. I commend you for being such a strong person though, and not crying in front of your husband other than in labor =). I think I cry too much in front of my fiancée, so I wouldn't say that the way that you deal with your hurt is a bad thing =). I guess maybe we both just need to find a happy medium hah. You are very welcome though...I really am proud of you. I am actually so glad I met you, you are such a nice person, and your drive to help your children, and just how willing you are to be open about all of this, really inspires me for when I have a family...thank you for that=). But I can promise you that he will be alright...I just get this feeling when people go through rough times, and I always tell them this...and then months, years later...everything turns out alright =). I have great faith that this will be the case with your little boy. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts =)
I wish those words where enough sometimes! But the always seem to lack something :)
Its funny how our other half's can balance us out! My husband has chocked up more times then I can count! Not that he is a week person, but more of a concerned partner. I guess thats why even being married at 18 years old we have made it. He makes up where I lack. I love him to death for that. He came from a stable family, and his parents are still married! I talk to my mother in law more then my parents. I actually cut off my mother last year because she couldn't stay clean.
Talking to others with dysfunctional family's makes me feel normal! I almost think mine could take the cake!
Sometimes I dont feel like a great parent, but reading peoples thoughts of how I am doing good makes me only try harder! Thank you for the little push!
=) I know exactly what you mean. It's always kind, but just not quite the problem solver hah.
That's really sweet about you and your husband!!It's so nice to hear of a good stable relationship!! (you are always hearing of divorces these days--it's almost become the "normal" thing). I am so glad that his parents are still married too though, it seems like they have a great relationship as well! And that's really wonderful that you are close with your mother in law =) kind of makes up for what you were missing in your own family...I'm truly happy for you =). It is funny though how our other halves balances us out--that is so true! My fiancée has really helped balance me out since I have met him. He is a lot more positive and calm than I am, and I am more anxious, depressed, and worrisome (I am a really positive happy person but just have a lot of anxiety). He helps to balance me out, and I strive to be more like him in so many ways =).
haha I totally know what you mean about talking to other people about their dysfunctional family's and feeling normal--it really does help so much!! Because your whole like you grow up thinking that you are the only one going through that...when really you are not! I do have a really good relationship with my mom and dad (more so mom), but my parents fight a lot and always have, and my mom has struggled with self-esteem issues and depression, which made life hard for me for awhile. They are really great though, they have been wonderful parents, but I know what dysfunction in a family feels like.
I think every parent feels that way at some point...I am sure I would feel that way if my child was going through something rough like this (not because it is your fault by any means), just that you want so badly for him to get better, and you won't feel completely satisfied until he is. But just know, you really are a wonderful parent, don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise =). You are so welcome though!
my mother had 5 kids by 4 different dads. I am a twin, and at 3 years old our mother walked away from us. It wasn't until we where 14 years old that our mother tried to reach out to us! My father was a logger and spent many years in Alaska working in logging camps while my twin and I stayed with who ever had room. When we where 14 my sister was excited to have a mother, and I felt she had abandoned us, and felt loyal to our farther. Our 8th year I stayed with my dad in WA state, and my twin moved with our mother to FL. That was the last time I lived with my sister.
Its crazy to think that even after so many years I still fill like I dont know how to be a "MOM" because I never had one. At some points I even felt jealous of my daughter. Especially in the mornings before school when I would be doing her hair. It lasted for seconds, then it would hit me how lucky I felt to BE DOING HER HAIR! . My daughter and and I a great relationship, and I love her to pieces! I look at any jealousy and turn it to pride because I AM the one that I am jealous over.
You are right NLK, I fell 100% guilty over my son! I second guess everything I have ever done and wonder if it has effected him.
At the same time I also credit his intellegance for being so aware of his surroundings! I know he will bounce back!!
wow...I am so sorry that you had such a rough childhood...I can't imagine going through all of that. You are a very strong woman to be able to talk about it like you do, I'm seriously so proud of you. You deserved much better, but I think that you gained a lot of your strength from your experiences, and sometimes that makes what we have gone through some what worth it (if that makes any sense).
I think that it is completely normal for you to feel like you don't know how to be a mom still. I think that is how anyone would feel if they did not have a mom around for pretty much their whole life. But honestly, from what it sounds like, this is just a feeling that you have from your past, and you really are a very wonderful mother =). Don't feel bad for the jealousy feelings that you have had, that seems only normal, and you are so smart to of sorted out why you feel this way, and to turn it into pride! That is truly amazing! I have seem a lot of mother's that are truly jealous of their daughters, and they do not act like parents to them, because they are trying to re live their childhood. But you have a wonderful grasp on what you are feeling, and turn it into something great. You truly are a wonderful mother. =)
Try not to feel guilty over your son if you can though! It is not your fault...I know you feel like it might be, but it's not. I am sure if your son was older, he wouldn't want you to feel that way. I think what he is going through is more of a personal issue he is having, and even if it is related to something you have done, that doesn't mean that it is your fault that it affected him this way. I know it's hard not to think that because he is your son, and you love him so much, but you have been through enough, and don't deserve to be blamed. He seemed very intelligent though (as you said) to be so aware of his surroundings! He will definitely bounce back soon! In the meantime...stay strong =). Things will get much better. And if you need to talk I'm here for you.
Giving him these risky phychiatric drugs should only be done if he is completely not funcioning. It sounds like he is doing OK, you are looking for a perfect kid?
Accept him, Accept him, Accept him. I have been there, my son is 19 was considered a 'mental case' at age 8. He is now a relaaxed happy young man. ACCEPTENCE.
Give him attention before he has to look for it. Talk to him about everything he is doing, thinking, etc... give him confidence, treasure him.
It is no joke having the 'perfect sibling', do not put them in roles, they are just different. I saw it before my friend had 7, one was the perfect one, and in the end he ended up doing time. The other 6 are highly successful. It is also a presure on her to be the 'perfect one', if nothing works, go for therapy your self.
You only notice your children's problems when your own life is not good.
I wish you the best, i learned all of the above the hard way. It i not easy being a parent but you will get there ! HUGS
I guess your advice is the hardest to accept.. Do you really think it could just be me? I want to just "accept" him, but I am afraid that he wont succeed with the behavior he is expressing. He has already been coming home with negative conduct reports weekly! He has threatened his life, the minute he is told no, he shuts down!
It honestly seems like the more attention I give him, the more he needs! His father is on the same page as I am, and plays with him uninterrupted. The first concern I had was giving him any kind of drugs because of my family's history of addiction. I honestly tried every resource before accepting a prescription. THIS WAS NOT MY FIRST OPTION! We honestly try to give him all the confidence he needs, but when he needs "help" feeding himself, or putting on his pf's where do we draw the line?? To us he is looking for MORE attention! Even after hours of playing legos, he will still need one on one attention.. Do you honestly think this is normal?? I do not want to reward his negative behavior with positive reinforcements.. Half the time be is fine, and finishes before his sister.. the other half, its a constant stock of his ego to get him to do it on his own! The minute his sister is ahead of him, he gives up! Not that we encourage a contest between him and his sister.. but his teacher has noticed the same thing!
You are right when it comes to noticing my child's problems when "life" isn't good. That has only been in the last 2 years, that life has sucked for us! Since then, he has not "been himself. I see your point, but I also see the circumstances directly effecting him. I am not trying to avoid blame, but it is a hard pill to swallow when I KNOW I have done everything I can. Regardless of how much I have tried to hide our current outcome to our kids, and carried on as if nothing has happened, we have always put them first. They have not noticed how much we went with out because it has been myself and their dad that has felt the effects of NO money!
I appreciate your advice, but I do not think you are give us any credit... It is easy to assume. If you only knew me, you would know how great I am at hiding my true feelings! I have learned at a early age not to let anybody know what I was thinking. In the 10 years I have been married I think the only times my husband has seen me cry was when I was in labor!
I agree! My son is very sensitive! I have cut out any kind of stimulant that could cause a upset!!
You can "accept" someone for who they are, but when they are predisposed to depression, anxiety, and self harm I will not turn away and let them try to figure it out on their own. A 6 years old to me is too young to be referencing "killing themselves to be with family in heaven", and "hurting themselves to avoid chores". Especially from parents who have from day one avoided any kind of violence in tv and reality! We do not fight in front of our kids, or allow them to watch any fighting!
Deep down, I feel he is only acting out from not having his close friends and family around. I pray he will out grow this. A divorce can be more traumatic to children! In the mind of a child we just moved down the road and we are seeing grandparents less.
The more I respond to your post the more aggravated I get! You are telling me to ignore his issues, and let him be his self.. To me, what he is doing is not normal compared to any other child, and I will not sit buy and hope it gets better.
My mother in law had lots of things to compare to my son and her youngest who is now 18 8 (almost 10 year younger then myself and her brother). I told my MIL that I did not want to have a suicidal 15 year old and hope for the best. This was my in-laws reaction to a out of control teenager who got what she wanted including dropping out of school. My MIL also thought I wanted to "Produce perfect" kids. This offended me because she had no clue how much sleep I lost wondering if I did anything right!. Both my parents left when I was young and I was raised at the hands of who ever could afford me! My intentions where not to be perfect, but just to have kids who didnt hate me at night! How could i be a parent with no previous example!
Currently my sister in law has been suicidal, addicted to "bad guys", and regardless of what is right, she only cares about herself! I see that! I am not my 18 year old selfish sister in-law!
I don't mean to criticize, I only speak from my own experience. My own son was classified as ADHD, aggressive and depressive. He was suspended form school 17 times. However bad your guy is, I don't doubt that mine was worse. He made a noose to hang himself, ate his clothes, i could write a list. It is a struggle. He is known as the boy who made the greatest turn around. He is University now. My Dad has schizophrenia, so I really thought that was where we would end up with my boy.
A very good book is 'Transforming the difficult child, the nurtured heart approach' it was my turning point , I was lucky . I live in Europe the medication is unacceptable here in Austria and we met some very good counsellors. Parenting courses etc..
The behaviours that you focus on the most will grow, he may never be an easy individual, I dont know, please choose whatever path suits you best.
I went to a psychologist and through drawing etc, tests, she told me that my Sons problems were central to the family dynamic. Family Therapy gives very good insight. Once my own Career took off, I found my son also improved, ?? Who knows what the Answer is? I do really really wish you the best.
If I lived near you I would take him from you, so that you could have a night out. Believe me I know these types of kids, my boy also has the 'perfect; sister 18 months older (+ 2 younger) good luck to you.
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