Am I Doomed to Abuse/Screw-Up My Child?

Page 2 of 2 Previous  1, 2

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: Am I Doomed to Abuse/Screw-Up My Child?

Post by reboundstudent on Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:25 am

PintsizeBro wrote: I think your problem here, RBS, is that you're seeing yourself in people who are not that much like you. I don't think that anyone here, yourself included, disagrees that driving your child to suicide is abusive parenting.

I think where my discomfort comes from is that if something does drive a teen to suicide, then there's a backwards assumption that there was abuse. However, thinking back on my own history, I was fairly suicidal as a teen and as a young adult. At the time, if I had actually gone through with my thoughts, you could have probably found a "trigger" either in my parents' or peers' behavior.... However, years later, looking back as a more level-headed adult, I don't think there was abuse. It was more that I was extremely sensitive and already prone to depression and suicidal tendencies. My parents weren't perfect, but they seem pretty average as far as parenting goes; not always amazing but hardly ever flat-out bad. Yet they probably see could have triggered me, because I was riding that knife's edge all the freaking time. So I guess what I fear when I see these sort of stories is that not handling a depressed teen with absolute perfection might result in a suicide attempt, and if something I did as a parent "triggered" that and perhaps was a not-awesome-in-hindsight parenting move, I could be blamed (by myself, by others) as "driving" my child to suicide.

Caffeinated wrote:

I might be talking out of my ass here, since my kids are still very small, but I suspect that when kids get to be teens and the normal punishments don't work, there's probably a lot of history and context going into that. Basically, that the parents haven't managed to create a good framework of rules and discipline in the family in the years when the children were very small and learning how the family works and what kind of behavior is appropriate. But where a parent of a very small child can physically stop or restrain the child from doing things and the very small child has adult supervision around the clock, the teen is getting to be adult-sized and moving toward more independence. So if there isn't a good framework in place, it would be easy for things to get out of hand and for the parent to panic. It's like Andrew Corvero said earlier in the thread about the parent explaining to their child why a kind of behavior is wrong.

I dunno. I think of my own childhood, where I think there was a pretty decent disciplinary framework in place, and we knew why things were wrong. But my younger sister went through a rebellious phase where she just didn't care. She knew something was wrong; she knew there were consequences, and yet none of it seemed to matter. I wonder about how I would handle a teenager like that, where they know what's appropriate and what's right/wrong but they just don't feel it applies to them, or they know better.

For about six months after college, I worked at a local juvenile detention center. It was interesting, watching and hearing kids talk about their families. Some of them came from very broken environments, but some of them came from very average, very normal sorts of upbringing. Like the parents weren't necessarily parenting wrong, at least not initially, until things began to roll downhill more and more and more and it became a prolonged, pointless power struggle between parents who meant well but had reached the end of their rope and a child who just didn't care, and wanted to do what they wanted to do.

That does sound really hard, Eliza. Exhausted and low on spoons, I wouldn't know how to handle that any better.
avatar
reboundstudent

Posts : 458
Reputation : 261
Join date : 2014-10-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Am I Doomed to Abuse/Screw-Up My Child?

Post by reboot on Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:53 am

Your sister sounds just like me. I was a boundary pusher. The big thing my parents did was to stay consistent in their messages and have firm rules (e.g. must pass classes, must have job) enforced by real, but not cruel, punishment (e.g. grounding with supervision, made to work a bunch of church functions). It did not stop me from pushing boundaries, but by 16 I decided playing the game was easier than fighting it and then my parents started loosening up once I showed yes I might cause some mayhem, but I would hold a job, stay in school and be home when I said I would be or call if I would be late.

I suppose you could call it d├ętente with both of us deciding which hills we would die on and negotiating the space in between.
avatar
reboot
Moderator of "Other Relationships" and "Gender, Identity and Society"

Posts : 2514
Reputation : 1005
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Page 2 of 2 Previous  1, 2

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum