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grandparents in denial?

Forum: Children with Special Needs


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January 29th, 2012, 12:17 AM
acupofjoe's Avatar Proud mama of three!
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Has anyone else gone through this? This is a nightmare. Our DD (4) has so many issues and we are still trying to figure everything out that is going on with her. She has been in counseling since she was 3 years old and we have finally gotten her into a new counselor. I was not thrilled with the old one since she had gone there for a year and still no diagnoses except "mental problem". Anyways i have never posted here before and i hope you dont mind me just jumping in like this but i need to vent and maby hear someone, anyone tell me everything will be ok. So a little back story on our DD..She is 4 and half years old and we have had so many issues with her from sleep to behavior problems. We had a sleep study done and got our results back the other day which were not good at all Hoping her new counselor will give us some answers as for the behavior problem but its hard to know if its just behavioral or if its from her major lack of sleep. Anyways when we got the sleep study results i made sure to tell my mom (for the millionth time) if she can not be there as support for us then we dont need her around period. She attacks me and my hubby any chance she can get and blames us for the way dd acts etc. She can do no wrong and it all must be our fault, we must be horrible parents or neglect her as she puts it. That is not true, if that were the case our son would also act the same way as her. Its gotten so bad to the point i am literally about to cut off ALL contact with her because when i do talk to her is our daughter comes up she starts pointing fingers at us...she even told me the other night when i told her about the sleep study results that it doesnt matter what the machine picked up that she knows Raleigh so well that there is nothing wrong with her and the machine along with us were just lying. I swear she is a crazy nut for saying a machine that picks everything up is "lying". We have our results printed out and i told her the next time i see her i will GLADLY show her so she can see we are not lying. So sorry this is so long but just looking to talk to someone else who might be going through the same thing. The one person you would think that would be there for you no matter what in life you would think it would be your mother but apparently not with her. I just feel so sad, depressed and lost. We have been going through so much with her for so long and i feel like i have literally no one except my hubby. It also doesnt help that my mom acts this way because our daughter needs as many people as she can to help support her in life and i feel like all she has is her father and myself.
Nessa proud married working mother of three kids in Washington state. Trying to raise our family of five as LDS. Taking life one day at a time.
Jordan - 6 yr; Stan - 4 yr; & Tyler - 2 yr.
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January 29th, 2012, 06:51 AM
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I have been there... Danny's wasn't behavioral though. He has 15 food allergies, lots of GI issues, lots of Hematology issues, and no one knows why he has any of them. When I say issues it means that we know something is severely wrong but we don't know what it is... :/ When Danny was 18 months old he only had 5 food allergies. My x-dh's family thought I was lying about his allergies from the time he was 3 weeks old (when we found out about the milk allergy) just to get attention. They finally exposed him out of spite for me and guess what?!?! He reacted! I was FUMING!!!! At least they got it though. I haven't told them about the GI, Hematology, or other issues because we don't have answers and they won't believe me until we do (and still likely won't at least for a while...)

My former SIL had the same problem. Hers was/is with a behavioral child but she really does use the diagnosis as an excuse for his behavior (his sister is following right in his footsteps). She has no structure in her house, lets him stay up until whatever hour of the morning he wants to watching movies and if he doesn't go to bed and misses school because of it than it isn't her boy's fault...it is the ADD. She lets him get away with everything because she has to "pick her battles" however, she just picks no battle so he literally does whatever he wants. I tell you that because it will emphasize my point. Her MIL (also my former MIL) was the exact same way yours was but worse. She was trying to split her and her hubby, threatened them if they didn't "straighten out her grandson", etc. It was a very bad situation... She finally just didn't let my MIL or anyone else in the family see him for a full year. They finally caved or it would have been longer. They agreed not to discipline him, let her do whatever, etc. When she is gone he behaves perfectly for the MIL and her hubby and they don't physically discipline him. (Another point that she is the problem and not the ADD.) :/ Anyway, their relationship is 100% better. Even though they still talk about each other's habits that they don't agree with behind each other's backs they are civil and don't talk about his behavior in front of one another... I would hope that since your son is not this way and you will likely have more tests and results that you will be able to convince her that your DD really has a "problem" of some sort rather than being subject to bad parenting. They will either accept it eventually or they will decide to ignore it so that they can see their grandchildren. :/ I hope that helps dear. ((((HUGS))))

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January 30th, 2012, 09:50 AM
challowell's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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It is hard for grandparents to see actual mental illness in a child because when they had kids it really wasn't diagnosed. They were told it was bad parenting and dicipline would fix everything. We now understand mental illness better and do diagnose but older people do not see this as anything different and know what they were told as their kids were growing up.
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January 30th, 2012, 03:13 PM
mamma_anna's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Welcome to the board. Of course we don't mind you jumping in.

I'm sorry your having such a hard time with your mom.

It is hard for grandparents to see actual mental illness in a child because when they had kids it really wasn't diagnosed. They were told it was bad parenting and dicipline would fix everything. We now understand mental illness better and do diagnose but older people do not see this as anything different and know what they were told as their kids were growing up.
I agree with this. Even a lot of doctors and therapists still don't fully understand mental illness in children.

I feel like We've been really lucky with our family understanding my dd's issues but when it comes to her anxiety, we do get occasional comments from them and from others like "Shouldn't she be over that by now?" or "I thought you said she was getting better." Sometimes they'll chime in with 'advice' or tell me to stop babying her. It's frustrating but I know they mean well.

My only advice for you....maybe bring your mom with you to a couple doctor's appointments. Have the doctors talk to her directly about what's going on. In my expirience, older people tend to trust a doctor's word over a parents because..... "They went to medical school. They must know what they're talking about." (we know this isn't always true.)

I'll be praying for you. Hope things get better soon. Keep us posted.

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February 8th, 2012, 05:29 PM
C&K'sMama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I think you're in a harder situation than most of us because most of our children have a physical sign/symptom of their problems. My parents and the ILs were in denial for a while but in a much more mild way (never attacked me, it was always "she'll grow out of it". If your DD doesn't have physical problems, it's going to be so much harder to convince someone that isn't a big believer in mental disorders. I'm sorry to say that I have no advice on how to handle it other than that you shouldn't have to. You are doing what is best for your child. She needs to understand that, or you don't need the stress.

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February 10th, 2012, 10:54 AM
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I have never posted on this board but when I read what you wrote, I kept finding myself going "Uh huh. Uh huh."

First of all my son is 2 & is undiadnosed. He's been working with a special instructor for nearly a year now & an SLP & behavioral therapist for 6 months. His therapists, his father & I & his doctor all believe there is something going on whether it is a straight neurological condition or possibly another medical condition affecting his neurology.

My son has behavioral issues & sleep problems as well. He also has a speech disorder. My in laws refused to believe anything was wrong for the longest time, and even now, they believe it one minute & the next they are back in denial. They do not blame us for my son's actions though, but my mother in law (a generally sweet lady) has laughed at me before for pointing out an oddity in my son's behavior. (The ped thought he was having seizures, when we showed my mom in law what my son was doing, she laughed & said "He's just playing!)

My mother knows that something is wrong now, but in the past, she did blame us, saying that "He's just a brat." Her solution is that, if we'd spank him, he wouldn't have problems. So I know how you feel. There's nothing like being told that you're a bad parent & that's what is wrong with your child, when you are doing all you can to try and curb your kids behavior.

People that don't have a child with issues don't understand just what it's like. It's not their fault, but it is their fault to be so closed minded to refuse to believe there is something wrong when the test results are staring them right in the face, like your childs sleep study was.

I don't know that there is anything you can do to get her to understand. Hopefully in time she will see. Good luck!
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February 15th, 2012, 12:19 PM
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Yes, we have a big issue with it with my in-laws. B has physical signs (cerebral palsy) but they refuse to work with her in a way that is safe. For example, she has trouble with her swallowing mechanisms, so we feed her in more of a reclining seat to help things go down, my MIL informed me the other day she had been a parent and not to tell her how to hold the baby as she leaned her forward because the noise she makes when eating is a bit gaggy, well of course everything came right up. She also as weird muscle spasms and we always ask that people who hold her do so where there is nothing she can hit, well my MIL refused to do so. It's so frustrating but at this point if they won't listen I just limit contact and don't share information or put B is a position where they would ask to hold her or feed her.
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March 16th, 2012, 04:15 PM
Doralovinmomma's Avatar and hell is just a sauna
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since my sons special needs arent always apparent (high functioning autism-aspergers and most likely ODD)alot of people have commented he is just spoiled and a brat(the tantrums,hitting,throwing and yelling-growling). obviously us at home(me,dad,sister) see the brunt of it and his teachers also. since headstart actually. we did have some issues with my in laws,just because theyre convinced he's just being a kid. my mom has accepted it with no questions and when he stays over i always lay out his routine so it can be close to normal and she sticks to it. she's actually been a great help which is weird for her. maybe because both her and i have mental disorders so we understand there may be things wrong on the inside even if it doesnt show outside(bipolar for us both and added ADD for me). my dad,sister,stepsister,and stepmom took a little while and still think you can discipline them normally which in their opinion is a spanking but i've made it clear only in dire circumstances(running into the road etc.(no comments,my opinion)) and i can understand being in denial because i was. in headstart everyone said it was one thing or another,usually aspergers and i would just make excuses. i even blamed myself!!!but finally in kindergarten we realized there was something going on and took him in to get diagnosed. obviously thats not the end of our battle... by far it seems but at least we can sort of understand and explain to others
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