My avoidant son

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Dots

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My avoidant son
« on: January 08, 2017, 04:16:41 AM »
I am new to the site and to this diagnosis having thought my son at first was adolescent/difficult, then typical avoidant, then depressed, then social anxiety. I have made just about every mistake in the book over loving, over nurturing , being codependent and thinking I could and should help everything!! Having realised this and still having a close relationship with my son I am hoping it's not too late to change and try and help my son to make his life better for HIM . I would appreciate any stories that may help me to change my ways permanently and have been reassured by finding OOTF ....

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kiwi

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Re: My avoidant son
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2017, 09:04:23 AM »
Dot- you are not alone.  Difficult children are a set-up for parenting "mistakes".  Though I always say "walk a mile in my shoes..." to those parents (who judge) who don't have one of these types of children.  And, yes, some of us are predisposed to being co-dependent, overly empathetic and to making all of the mistakes that go with that.  I relate totally. 

In my journey, I have seen many therapists who have helped me improve my parenting skills- it's never too late to work on yourself.  I also think James Lehman's program can be helpful.  I would say do whatever you need to do to take the emotion out of your parenting (which means steeling yourself to your son's inevitable pain/mistakes) and remember that you are in the business as Lehman says of making an adult who can fend for himself.  Whenever I try to do too much for my kids, I remember that I'm an adult factory- that is my job.  Teach them how to become adults- which equals tough love much of the time and letting them sink or swim. 

Sometimes we mistakenly put our own autobiographies on our kids too.  Therapy and maybe journaling may help you tease out if you are doing that.  (ie. trying to spare your son the pain of his life because you relate to his pain all too well from your own upbringing).   Parenting is a journey, and all parents have room for self-improvements. 
"This is my family. I found it, all on my own. Is little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good."- Stitch

"There is no excuse for abuse."

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Latchkey

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Re: My avoidant son
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2017, 10:11:56 PM »
Hi Dots,
Just wanted to add my welcome here. I'm glad you found us. My former step sons have some pretty serious psychiatric diagnoses though no PDs dxed  at this point as they are only 18,13,and 12. I learned in parenting them that it was a lot more difficult than parenting my bio kids who don't have the same kinds of issues.
Don't be hard on yourself. I agree wholeheartedly with kiwi that it is never too late.
There is one book that I read a while ago and really helped me to be a better parent. I don't know if you've seen it yet:
"I Don't Have to Make Everything All Better" by Gary and Joy Lundberg

Please join in the discussions here and also be sre to get support for yourself IRL as you go along.
Latchkey
Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.
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There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
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When we have the courage to do what we need to do, we unleash mighty forces that come to our aid.