My issues affecting my child? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 07-02-2013, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! I'm really new here but have been struggling with something and found this group, which has been great! Our three year old is bright, no doubt about it, but I have a hard time with keeping a balanced approach. I am always afraid I come across as boasting. I admit that I want desperately to be able to acknowledge him as "gifted" but I am worried that a lot of that is because I feel that my husband's family looks down on us and I want to prove somehow that we are worthy people. I find myself wanting to talk about what's going on with our son because I want people to see how advanced he is as a way for us to be taken seriously. I know it's awful! We are thousands of miles away from my family so my in laws are the only family and that might be why I am so sensitive. I know that it is wrong, I do. Since I never talk to them anyway, it is rarely an issue, but is this something that others have struggled with?
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#2 of 9 Old 07-03-2013, 04:11 AM
 
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I can relate to this, as I have been through something similar. My husband's family didn't seem to see or value me or anything about me after he and I first got married. They made a big fuss out of one of his sisters marrying a man who had graduated from an elite Ivy League school, even though I also graduated from that school! It was like they conveniently forgot that I had gone there as well. I so badly want them to like me.

When we had kids, my parenting came under attack. When we decided to homeschool, the attacks really increased. I wanted them to see all the neat things about my kids, but instead it seems like they only focused on the negative.

It took many years to resolve the situation. One of the things that we eventually had to do was to limit our contact with them in a certain way. We made that decision together, my husband and myself, and we implemented it with as much calmness and kindness as we could.

I also had to do some work. I had to realize that I couldn't be dependent on them liking me. I would tell myself over and over again that life is long. I'm gonna know these people for a long time. And I figured that eventually they would see me for who I am. I'm not perfect, but I'm a basically kind, decent person. I'm a good wife to their son, and a good mother to their grandchildren. I had to really let go and trust that the truth would out eventually.

I'm sure you know this at some level, but it would be a great mistake to deliver your child up to their judgment by identifying him as gifted in front of them. They'll find a way to refute what you say, and will probably even put him down in the process. Right now, they believe what they believe. Their beliefs are probably pretty impervious to input from you.

On the bright side, I do think that these situations generally tend to improve with time. If you can find a way to stay in relationship with them without sacrificing yourself too badly, over time, they will see how bright your son is. You won't have to convince them that he is gifted when he's winning academic competitions, or becomes a spelling bee champ! Over time, unless they're truly awful people, they won't be able to help seeing the value of your husband's career, and how admirable it is that he managed to recover from addiction.
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#3 of 9 Old 07-03-2013, 07:36 AM
 
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This was not the issue I expected. 

 

I wanted my son not to be identified as gifted, because I saw it as something affected me negatively. Being told I was smart or good at things was an obstacle for me trying more difficult things. I also expected to master certain kinds of knowledge or skills right away, and I think that still hurts my development as a person in adulthood. I do brag about him a lot and I think that's also a problem. 

 

 

But this is not your issue. Your issue is that you have people in your life who are making you worry that you won't be a good mom, or that you and your husband won't be good parents. 

 

This is a job for friendships. You need to pick new family--other parents who want to hear all the fun cute things your son is doing, who will see how great you are at this. You are the perfect people to help this little guy realize his potential. Mental illness that you treat and addiction that you overcome are helpful pieces of your history that can make you better at parenting than the average couple of parents. 

 

I'm not saying you should dump these relatives. I just think you can find more support for your joy in your child elsewhere, gifted label on or off. 


Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#4 of 9 Old 07-03-2013, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you both. You are both right. I am surprised by my feelings sometimes because I struggled with things later in life. I was never labeled gifted, nor tested because my mom refused, but I went to an alternative school and just did my thing. But hearing from others about how smart I was hurt me because I thought that was all there was to me. I want my son to be himself and to work hard and try things he's not good at instead of just doing what is comfortable. My reactions and feelings surprise me. It's just awful and because I feel left out. I'm lonely. He's lonely (best friend is an 11 year old in our neighborhood). I have to watch what I put on Facebook because while my family loves the solar system painting, they would probably think I was trying to brag and how annoying! And it's not just about "bragging" because we do have a lot of stress when it comes to where to put him for preschool and his behavior and also what to do about some of the asynchronous learning????

But, anyway, thank you. I will remind myself that time will help and also that I need to focus on other relationships. We are starting to make more friends and I am thankful for my family even though they are far away.
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#5 of 9 Old 07-03-2013, 12:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayoubunch View PostI have to watch what I put on Facebook because while my family loves the solar system painting, they would probably think I was trying to brag and how annoying! And it's not just about "bragging" because we do have a lot of stress when it comes to where to put him for preschool and his behavior and also what to do about some of the asynchronous learning????

 

Use the filters on FB--some of your old friends from the alternative school will like hearing stories about you as a mom. (That has been my experience of my not-alternative public school classmates!)  I definitely hear you about the asynchronous learning and the stressing out! I think that's why there's a forum here, because of the stressing out part. There's not a crying need for a forum to get advice about how fun and cool your kids are--there's a need for a forum to get advice about what to do when educational options don't fit, or when you need to enrich in a curricular area that wasn't part of your own strengths and interests growing up. (And also for when people don't believe your stories about your kids, but mine isn't one like that. I don't think.) 


Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#6 of 9 Old 07-09-2013, 05:24 PM
 
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While I was waiting for my son's IQ results, it became apparent to me how invested I was in the idea that he was gifted. It was a combination of things- insecurity about my parenting, validating some of his more difficult behavior as quirkiness of the very smart, and some left over self worth issues from a difficult childhood. I also didn't want to be incorrect because I had told my family and close friends how smart he was- and I might have felt embarrassed. During those few days, I had major regrets about having this test, because of the emotional turmoil.
It was no way for a mature person to react or even think, but you are being honest and so am I. What would I have done if his test had come back normal? I would have discarded the fantasy and moved forward with parenting the joy of my life. What am I doing now? Parenting the joy of my life. Do I love him more and think more of him because of his intellect? Absolutely not. Nothing has really changed- no one thinks any more or less of me because of my smart kid. We still have to teach him adaptive ways to handle life, and I'm not a perfect parent, but I'm pretty good most days. Being gifted will be a part of your child's identity, but it shouldn't be a part of yours beyond meeting their needs. Your husband's family sounds awful (not sugar coating it)- possibly they will be more welcoming, but they're not going to be less awful because of your son's abilities. And if some day he has difficulties, will they give him the same bad treatment?
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#7 of 9 Old 07-09-2013, 06:54 PM
 
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mama if you are in the doghouse - like you are - your son is not going to rescue you from it. instead he will put you more in the doghouse. any attempts by you will look like you are trying to redeem yourselves. there is no need for that. you have done what it takes to make sure both of you are working on your individual clean up. if they cant appreciate that then i dont know what to say. look now she is showing off to compete with the others. i dont believe her. i dont think she is lying but just embellishing the truth. 

 

you just mind your life and go on with your own life. dont let his family get under your skin. if they cant see how bright your boy is - its their loss not yours or your child's. dont waste your energy trying to live up to their heights. it might be an unattainable one for you. instead you focus on what it takes to move on. 

 

absolutely time heals - if not full healing but maybe lightning up a little bit.

 

stop bragging. because that's how it will come off. dont offer unless you are asked directly. 


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#8 of 9 Old 07-10-2013, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the feedback. I am thankful.

Meemee, I'm confused about how I'm in the doghouse. Do you mean because of my diagnosis? I married my husband after we had both been doing really well for a couple years and we've flourished since. I don't know what I could redeem. I haven't spent enough time with my husband's family to offend them and we have not been a burden in any way, rather we are the only help to my husband's parents who are in poor health. Are you saying that they might have misconceptions about me because of my mental health? Or are you speaking of my husband's past? He did not live anywhere near his family while he was addicted and never brought it to his family. They didn't know he had a problem because his brother was so needy and still is. My husband has had to recover on his own and they know about his issues but it was sort of after the fact. Perhaps he is in the doghouse because he used to have a problem. I guess if that is the case, then it is what it is. I never thought to see it that way. Regardless, I am still ashamed of myself and hope to get over it.
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#9 of 9 Old 07-10-2013, 05:31 PM
 
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I think what meemee meant is that for whatever reason your dh's family doesn't seem to demonstrate much caring and understanding in your direction. You feel ostracized, and undeservedly so. They don't include you; they don't seem to value you the way they do some of the family. That's the doghouse thing. Rather than trying to win their approval and prove that you're just as good as they are, just take the high road: quietly be yourself, be better than whatever petty values they attach to "social success." 

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

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