struggles with the kids

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sonto92

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struggles with the kids
« on: May 27, 2018, 04:40:13 AM »
It was a long day.  My 15 year old is floundering in school and not getting his work done.  BPDx is no help - most of his missing work is completed with me over the weekend.  My dilemma - I had to be the heavy today about his schoolwork and he proceeded to light me up with a 20 minute tirade about how I was a horrible father and his step-dad is the better guy and all of the problems with out family have been my fault.  I really just sat there and listened - it is always interesting because he seems to always have more information than I know that he should - he accuses me of keeping secrets and is thankful that his mom tells him everything.  I have been through this several times in the last year or so and I am sure part of it has to do with the fact that he is a 15 year old and knows everything.  It wasn't much longer after that event that my 11 year old daughter - in a roundabout way - was asking me questions about how to change her last name.  She started off by talking about "it was a friend" and this morphed into "like i could change my last name to (insert stepdads last name here).  I have been divorced for 9 years - I have been lucky to have built a relationship with my oldest now who is 18 and out of the house (he chose to leave BPDx's midway through the school year his senior year).  This sort of behavior that i am seeing in my son was very much present when he was the same age as my 15 year old. 
We are working with a family therapist right now and she has been very helpful with helping the kids to process through this stuff.  I am just tired because I feel like in their eyes they see me as doing nothing right.  Really just venting - again it was long day

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mdana

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Re: struggles with the kids
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2018, 06:08:25 AM »
I understand how difficult it is.
I’m a mom of 3 and their dad (ASPD NPD) has done a number with my (our) kids similar to yours. We are divorced now —5 yrs. He’s remarried, I focused on finishing raising the kids. He’s Disneyland dad, not me...

I lost my daughter in it all—-she believes everything her dad says (so far) and when she was a teen, said I was the worse mom ever. I too had boundaries (more than their dad), made them eat healthy, finish their home work, focus on building a solid character, values etc...read every night to them stores from the book of virtues. They were required to do chores (with me), say please and thank you, work hard etc...My old son got goofy for a while, now he’s back and understands. My younger son never bought into his dads BS.

They’re kids, after all, and will often take the path of least resistance. They often push until they get their way or hear what they want to hear.

You are the wiser parent whom is tasked to do what’s best for them, and not necessarily what they want. Loving them means ...preparing them for the world. Teaching them how to survive, build relationships, persevere, cope with losses, stay in reality and build character strengths—-that’s loving.  Hopefully, they will thank you later. For now, they don’t have the wisdom and depth to see what love really is...Imo.

Hang in there ...! Seems you are on the right path...

M
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. The Dalai Lama

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Associate of Daniel

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Re: struggles with the kids
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2018, 08:10:44 AM »
I'm right there with you.  Although I only have one ds (11).

So far he seems to still enjoy being with me.

But he does struggle with the 2 VERY diffrrent lives he has.

His u/npd father and his nwife have about 6 times my income so they have everything money can buy.

I can't afford the internet, let alone to pay ds any pocket money.

I struggle with that. So it's even harder for ds.

When the melt downs come the best thing we can do is stay calm, validate their feelings and stick to boundries.

I can only hope that ds will understand and appreciate my actions when he's older. Probably a lot of the understanding won't come until he has his own family though.

AOD

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sonto92

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Re: struggles with the kids
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2018, 02:01:51 AM »
Mdana - funny you should say this :They’re kids, after all, and will often take the path of least resistance. They often push until they get their way or hear what they want to hear. I called a close friend who had similar struggles with his now adult children and he said exactly the same thing - they will take the path of least resistance.  I am scheduled to meet with our family therapist on Saturday (this was requested by my son) and he hinted at what is to come next Saturday - he wants to be sure the therapist knows how difficult and hard on him I have been with getting his school work done (he has been failing classes at school).  Should be fairly entertaining - he also wants to let the therapist know about the next steps he is going to take to have custody changed - yeah - he is all of 15 and full of himself.

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mdana

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Re: struggles with the kids
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2018, 03:00:27 PM »
Sounds familiar...

My daughter begged to go live with her dad as a teen. He let them drink soda and chips for breakfast (even as toddlers...!). My 2 year cameb home once barfed orange stuff (flaming hot Cheetos for breakfast). Never had to finish any homework, stayed up till 1am, watched rated R movies on tv. He even let our daughter drink beer (come to find out)...!!! Can you believe that??? (My daughter is a serious alcoholic/addict now in her mid-late 20’s). And he talked to them as if they were friends, sharing confidential info as if they were his advisors. “Barbaric” ...comes to mind!

He never wanted her, and wouldn’t take her. It broke her heart.

I used to tell her “I’m your mother, not your friend... it’s my responsibility to teach and guide you towards becoming a functional adult”... and I reminded her (and the others) that while they believed they knew it all, they knew only what they could understand given their experience and maturity in life. That probably wasn’t the “right” thing to say. But, it was true. I felt it was important to always stick with the reality ...listen to them, of course because mixed in there somewhere (for them) are important truths.

Maybe what you kids are telling you is that it is too much (too difficult) to live under 2  conflicting set of rules. No one really has the maturity to handle it...kids and adults need consistent, predictable and stable boundaries (in order to integrate growth and feel safe). When boundaries are a moving target it’s overwhelming and kids become unstable (ungrounded). And of course it’s easier to live with  an adult that has NO expectations of you (no boundaries)... but, the life long consequences of that are staggering!

You are in a difficult position.

Good luck! Keep your feet on the ground ...and lead by example is my best advice ...

M
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. The Dalai Lama