Young DS defensive of exNPD- suggestions?

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anxiousmom

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Young DS defensive of exNPD- suggestions?
« on: January 26, 2020, 10:47:35 PM »
Hey all,

DS is 7 and since weíve gradually been moving to standard possession, Iíve noticed DS being extremely defensive/protective of his dad. Mind you, Iím NEVER negative about his dad, always talk up his visits and get excited, things shouldnít be ďtenseĒ from my perspective unless there are things happening at his dads house I donít know about.

Hereís just an example (there are many, but this is the latest):

I picked DS up from his overnight. He told me about a bad dream he had because they went to a restaurant with skeletons he found to be creepy. He said that his dad wouldnít sleep with him or lay down with him (he was comparing it to me, because I usually do when heís either very very sick or extremely scared). I told him I was sorry to hear that he had a bad dream. He said, ďdonít blame my dad though. He needs sleep.Ē

Now, it shouldnít throw me for a loop because like I said, itís happening with more frequency lately. But it always catches me off guard. ďDonít blame my dad. HE needs sleep.Ē Well thank God Iím a cyborg with the inherent ability to stay awake at all times and I certainly donít need sleep, so gee, apparently I canít relate.

Itís like this with a lot of things. Anytime he says anything remotely negative about his dad, itís quickly followed up by an excuse for his dad. My inclination is that he already sees his dad has major shortfalls and wants to protect him.

How can I get this under control now so it doesnít turn into a real issue in the future? I try to explain to him he can tell me anything and his dad doesnít get in trouble from me, but something obviously isnít clicking, and knowing everything I read here, I worry about the future and need for therapy for him.

Thanks in advance
AM

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notrightinthehead

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Re: Young DS defensive of exNPD- suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2020, 05:10:10 AM »
I don't know if you have reason to worry. Sounds to me like your son starts to see dad for what he is and then sees the situation from dad's perspective. If he is allowed to feel his own feelings, and if you validate his own feelings and don't comment on dad - other than, maybe point out that everybody needs their sleep in the example given - he might develop a healthy understanding of what kind of a man his dad is and draw healthy consequences.

I was often amazed how clearsighted my kids were when it came to their father. More than me, actually.
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

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PeanutButter

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Re: Young DS defensive of exNPD- suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2020, 02:55:47 PM »
This is obviously based on my own experiences so take it or leave it
Painfully Ive felt I was unable to protect my child from the effects of my unpdxH and ubpdM actively alienating him from me. I didnt realize it was happening untill it was too late.
First I would ask myself 2 questions
1) did my ds thinks that his dad not sleeping with him after the nightmare was something negative? ( or was ds just worried that I would think it was negative)
2)did the comparison happen at d's house when ds ask his d to sleep with him after the nighttmare or did the comparison happen when i asked ds if d got in bed with him after his nightmare
One of the feelings I got when I read your post was this : maybe D is defending himself after comparing himself to you to your DS.
These things that ds is saying to you; could they be things d is saying to him?
 Is it possible that the comparisons of you and ds's d are coming from d?
My DS was 7 also when he started verbalizing to me things that just did not fit or make sense to me.
If there is a hidden seed of evil inside of children adults planted it there -LundyBancroft  Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong good or bad -DebbieFord The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none -Thomas Carlyle

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Stepping lightly

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Re: Young DS defensive of exNPD- suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2020, 03:13:01 PM »
Hi Anxious,

I think kids just have a specific set of survival skills when dealing with a PD parent.  I don't know that it has anything to do with you really, but he noticed a difference and he feels like he needs to explain/justify his father's behavior.  We went through something similar with my teenage SD.  She said, "Mom isn't allowing me to start driving until I'm much older, and I totally understand her reasoning as a parent."  I asked, "what reasoning is that?".  Something about brain development of teenagers.  I was struck at the firmness with which she was standing by BM's decision, even though she admitted disappointment.   There was no teenage "but it's SO UNFAIR" comment.   I think there is a risk of disagreeing with a PD, or challenging them on their actions/decisions. 

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Free2Bme

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Re: Young DS defensive of exNPD- suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2020, 02:38:30 AM »
Greetings Anxious...

I'm sorry to say, but I too have experience with this.

I agree with peanutbutter ,  "These things that ds is saying to you; could they be things d is saying to him?
 Is it possible that the comparisons of you and ds's d are coming from d? "

...and also the input of others here.  It most likely has nothing to do with you, at all.
I too did not disparage updxh to kids, however my DS has exhibited behavior similar to your DS.  Because of what I experienced i would encourage you to get your son the best counselor you can afford.  I also regret not understanding parental alienation when I was divorcing. 
Check out Warshack's 'Divorce Poison'. 

IME,  pre divorce my DS would ask me if his father had mental illness or a demon (this was between ages of 11-14),  he was 14 when I filed.  For a year afterward he remained clear in his thinking, all 4 kids understood something was very wrong with D.   But DS15 would return from visitation and tell me verbatim "dad is trying to brainwash me mom, and sometimes I have to go along with the way dad is and I'm afraid my brain will go there and get stuck in that place and I won't be able to come back".   :aaauuugh:

DS and I have always been very close, I began to see a transformation.  He became very critical and disrespectful, spouting all sorts of lies/phrases that I knew came straight from D.  I found a great counselor but updxh talked DS out of going, I was too late.  Updxh then relocated 6 hours away, took DS for summer visitation and had total access to his mind.  At the end of the summer I received a very curt,  formal email from DS (?) saying he wanted to live with his dad; a couple of weeks later I was served, he's lived with updxh for 1 1/2 years, no resources to fight him in court.  :sad2:

During all of this DS defends D in turn D pays him off (money, clothes, car, approval).  He is the GC and the only one to drink the kool-aid.  DS gave me 6 shades of hell for 1 1/2 year, hurled all sorts of things at me.  I set boundaries and enforced them on the big stuff, and let a lot of stuff go.  I had to remind myself that DS was now in the FOG.  I kept showing him love even when he rejected me, and prayed... a lot. 

DS is now 17 and over the last several months there has been improvement, but I tread very softly. 

I also think a qualified counselor could give you guidance as to how to respond to your DS.  I know many times I was at a loss for words and had a hard time dealing because I was going through my own stuff.  Most importantly, don't shut him down, even if it is uncomfortable for you.  PD's don't accept their children expressing feelings/thoughts, DS will need to feel mom is safe to vent to.  Try not to take what he says personally.





 

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athene1399

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Re: Young DS defensive of exNPD- suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2020, 11:57:17 AM »
SD would do something similar, like she would make excuses for BM even though we never expressed that we doubted her or were suspicious of her intentions or whatever.

Maybe it's best to focus on how DS feels about dad not staying with him if he had the nightmare. Maybe he's the one upset by it and is trying to make excuses so he isn't mad at dad. Maybe next time he defends dad, ask DS how he feels about the situation. That way he can feel safe with you with expressing his feelings. Let him know even if dad has his reasons for not doing x, DS can still feel disappointed and it's ok to let you know.

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Penny Lane

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Re: Young DS defensive of exNPD- suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2020, 05:34:26 PM »
My stepkids make similar sort of bizarre pronouncements about their mom. Like, out of the blue, "mom tells the truth." (She does not, but no one had suggested otherwise). They especially did this a lot when they were younger.

I had a couple theories about it and I think they were both true in different ways at different times:
1. Their mom says it, defensively, and kids repeat what they hear so they're saying things in a defensive way. It's even possible that your son said something to his dad about how he wants him to lie down with him, his dad got defensive and said "I need my sleep" and you're only hearing that part of the exchange repeated.
2. The kids know in their gut that the statement is not quite right, so they're repeating it to hear if we'll correct it or not. (They used to repeat to me something their mom had clearly said that was critical of their dad, and then look at me expectantly like they wanted to know what the real truth was. When I explained the situation as I understood it, they usually went away satisfied. No one mentioned that this came from their mom.)

I think this particular example is in category 1. But if you're not seeing category 2 now, you will soon as his understanding of the world gets more sophisticated, probably in a few years and definitely around the tween years.

With #1, the best strategy to keep in your back pocket is to ask questions about what he thinks about that. He's repeating what he hears blindly. Get him to use critical thinking! Bonus points if you can do this in a variety of situations, not just when the topic is his dad.

With #2, especially if their mom is not mentioned, I always did feel like we should provide them accurate information. Like if a kid implies that DH was deficient in not doing something that I know he did, it's OK to say that he did it. If that makes sense. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut on which is which.

Bigger picture, the more you can work on his critical thinking, trusting his instincts, speaking up for himself, etc., the better equipped he'll be to deal with his dad. You can't MAKE him see how his dad really is. But if he's trained from a young age to have those skills, in a few years he'll be applying them to his dad. (To you as well - it's sometimes alarming! But it's a sign that your efforts are paying off). And of course don't make too big of a deal out of any one instance otherwise he won't feel like he can tell you stuff.

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PeanutButter

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Re: Young DS defensive of exNPD- suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2020, 11:51:11 AM »
My stepkids make similar sort of bizarre pronouncements about their mom. Like, out of the blue, "mom tells the truth." (She does not, but no one had suggested otherwise). They especially did this a lot when they were younger.

I had a couple theories about it and I think they were both true in different ways at different times:
1. Their mom says it, defensively, and kids repeat what they hear so they're saying things in a defensive way. It's even possible that your son said something to his dad about how he wants him to lie down with him, his dad got defensive and said "I need my sleep" and you're only hearing that part of the exchange repeated.
2. The kids know in their gut that the statement is not quite right, so they're repeating it to hear if we'll correct it or not. (They used to repeat to me something their mom had clearly said that was critical of their dad, and then look at me expectantly like they wanted to know what the real truth was. When I explained the situation as I understood it, they usually went away satisfied. No one mentioned that this came from their mom.)

I think this particular example is in category 1. But if you're not seeing category 2 now, you will soon as his understanding of the world gets more sophisticated, probably in a few years and definitely around the tween years.

With #1, the best strategy to keep in your back pocket is to ask questions about what he thinks about that. He's repeating what he hears blindly. Get him to use critical thinking! Bonus points if you can do this in a variety of situations, not just when the topic is his dad.

With #2, especially if their mom is not mentioned, I always did feel like we should provide them accurate information. Like if a kid implies that DH was deficient in not doing something that I know he did, it's OK to say that he did it. If that makes sense. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut on which is which.

Bigger picture, the more you can work on his critical thinking, trusting his instincts, speaking up for himself, etc., the better equipped he'll be to deal with his dad. You can't MAKE him see how his dad really is. But if he's trained from a young age to have those skills, in a few years he'll be applying them to his dad. (To you as well - it's sometimes alarming! But it's a sign that your efforts are paying off). And of course don't make too big of a deal out of any one instance otherwise he won't feel like he can tell you stuff.
Im so glad that you are able to be such an empathic/intuitive mom to your LO. Each of these points were EXCELLENT pennylane. Thank you for sharing your wisdom! As moms it is never too late to learn different.imo
If there is a hidden seed of evil inside of children adults planted it there -LundyBancroft  Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong good or bad -DebbieFord The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none -Thomas Carlyle

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anxiousmom

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Re: Young DS defensive of exNPD- suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2020, 02:46:27 PM »
Thank you guys. Your input is invaluable.