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  1. #1
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    Default Feeling like a bad mum

    Apologies for the long post - just want to give a bit of background as am feeling pretty sad at the moment.

    We have 3 boys.

    DS1 is very social, happy and 99% of the time a great kid. Very outgoing and a big chatterbox.
    DS3 is only very young still, but is cheery, funny and a joy to have around.

    DS2 is a wonderful caring kid. But he has always been a bit on the quiet side and it takes him time to warm up to people. He enjoys his own company (I think). I love all 3 of them but I've always had a sofft spot for ds2 because he seems to be the odd one out at times, so I try and make an extra 10% effort because I am cautious of the 'middle child syndrome'. He is 5 yo. He and ds1 are great friends but more and more they fight - both of them can be to blame although ds1 can be quite domineering. He's never had any problems at kindy and the teachers this year say that he's a lovely child.

    So, last year ds2's kindy/preschool said that he should go see a speech pathologist. Then he did a vacation care course and they recommended the same thing - so yesterday I went to a speech pathologist.
    The lady was lovely - awesome. I didnt realise that she isn't just a speech pathologist, but also, (almost) a child psychologist - she is degree trained & came highly recommended by a number of friends.

    DS2 was a bit nervous but he had his toys to show her and after a while he started to be a bit more chatty - standard behaviour for him.

    So then, at the end of the session - she starts to discuss with me her observations.

    She asks the following:
    How well does he get along with his brothers? (they all fight a fair bit now)
    Who does he share a room with? (ds1)
    Has he always been this way?
    How do we discipline him?
    Do I have any concerns about his development (He cannot self regualate and takes over an hour to calm down over things that upset him)

    She tells me that his speech is age-appropriate, but that she is concerned about him as he shows early signs of 'disengagement' (for lack of a better word). He doesnt look at people when he speaks, he has his head down a lot, he is a very 'serious' child. She is very concerned that the dynamics in the family (2 brothers who are very outgoing, dad working ALOT and me who tries the best that i can) mean that he is withdrawing and that we need to work on this asap otherwise he won't develop crucial social skills and so forth.

    She's told us that we need to go on a parenting course (didnt think I was doing that bad a job so I've taken that a bit hard) and then have one-on-one time with her, as well as her with ds2 as well.

    I'm devastated. I didnt think I was failing my kids so much.
    But everything she said hit the nail right on the head with ds2 - so I dont want to dismiss it.

    I'm so upset. I feel so sad for him. What did I do wrong to get him to this point?
    He has always been quiet, even as a baby - he'd fall asleep easily, wake up and be calm - never really bouncing off the walls. We never did controlled crying - there was never a need to because he slept through at 3mths of age, he always got cuddles and I was home with him and didnt work for the majority of his life. Where did it go wrong?

    I'm so so sad. Although Ive always wanted to do a parenting course, having someone else tell you that you NEED to do it makes me feel horrid.

    So I guess I just want some feedback and hugs really. DH is no help - he is a blokey bloke and leaves all this stuff to me to deal with (but she said he needs to go on the course too).

    Tell me that it will be ok please, coz im on the verge of tears.

  2. #2
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    Sorry i have nothing to add, but i just wanted to say that you are not a bad mum, quite the opposite. You sound like an amazing mummy who does her very best and loves her children unconditionally. All kids have different personalities and interact differently and develop social skills differently. Im not qualified in any way to give you any advise but i am a middle child and he sounds very similar to me and there is nothing wrong with me

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  4. #3
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    Oh hon, please don't take it personally

    Some children are just a bit 'different' and in turn they require a bit different approach to parenting to help them develop some of their life skills.

    I am a little surprised she has suggested a 'parenting' course though. I would imagine therapy would be the obvious approach? That way you'll learn tips on how to help him on the areas he needs to work on.

    My DS has ASD, so obviously he has an array of skills that need working on, however we've never had a therapist tell us that we need to take a 'parenting' course.

    I would ask her more about this course and what it entails. Considering your other two children are completely different in personality, I wouldn't assume it's a parenting issue - in other words - do not blame yourself.

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  6. #4
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    Default Feeling like a bad mum

    Quote Originally Posted by Mod-Degrassi View Post
    Oh hon, please don't take it personally

    Some children are just a bit 'different' and in turn they require a bit different approach to parenting to help them develop some of their life skills.

    I am a little surprised she has suggested a 'parenting' course though. I would imagine therapy would be the obvious approach? That way you'll learn tips on how to help him on the areas he needs to work on.

    My DS has ASD, so obviously he has an array of skills that need working on, however we've never had a therapist tell us that we need to take a 'parenting' course.

    I would ask her more about this course and what it entails. Considering your other two children are completely different in personality, I wouldn't assume it's a parenting issue - in other words - do not blame yourself.
    Agree with this. The parenting course sounds ott.

    Good luck OP- and you are not a bad mum at all

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  8. #5
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    She's going to email me today re courses. In addition I have a one-on-one session booked in with her soon. I don't actually know what to expect from that. But again, she came very highly recommended by 5 other families who we know.

    She's the 2nd health professional who has said that he's 'serious' - but I think I was the same when I was a kid! Is that a bad thing??

    I guess I'm just shocked. Like I feel like someone has just punched me in the guts. And I'm happy to do a course coz I'm not perfect (who is?!!) but wow, having someone say it to you is so hard to hear

    And I do remind myself that it's not about how I feel, but about his health and development (and I've always been worried about him not being able to self regulate).

  9. #6
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    Fwiw I think DH should do a course, which I would have done with him, but I still feel like s. Hit.

  10. #7
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    Okay, I'm going to talk about myself here not my son but I feel me as a kid is relevant to you here:
    I'm one of four kids, I'm profoundly deaf so it does change the pitch a little. (pun intended).
    I was always very disengaged because of my hearing I'm the one that always had trouble keeping up with my brothers humour, my parents always saw me as the serious one, I always felt like I was the one tagging along in some ways.
    I had a total lack of self confidence, when I would talk either verbally or in Auslan I would rarely look at the person I talked to.
    Some of it also had to do with feeling broken, and being the odd one out in the family an life in general, but my parents - both of them would always try and find a way to engage me and highlight my place in the family and that would sometimes make me feel better I always felt different.

    Anyhow this isn't about me nor is it some sob story just how I felt.

    You are doing the right thing, you ARE NOT A BAD MOTHER this is a learning process for us all, don't feel bad for being suggested you do the parenting course I had to do one to keep my son, it feels like someone is calling you out I know but it's not like that.
    It often takes outside input for me to see something or inform me of something I just didn't understand before I used to hate it because it felt like people suggested I didn't know what I am doing or questioning my intelligence, but again that wasn't their intention.

    Can I suggest one of the things my parents used to do to pull me back in: Find some multi player game or something silly that DS2 can be encouraged to enter into, do it in front of him and I am sure he will engage more.

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  12. #8
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    Perhaps she recommends the course to most of her clients so that she's dealing with parents who've received the same quality information/strategies and it lays good foundations for implementing therapy (?)

    Don't be afraid to ask her some direct questions if you aren't sure of anything, or if you feel uncomfortable with her recommendations.

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    I don't think you are a bad Mum...<3

    When you say she is almost a child psychologist, what do you mean?

    I would read her email, go to the one on one and see what she has to say, but I think she is making grand statements after only one session.

    If after the one on one and looking into the parenting courses you are still concerned I would look into an actual trained and qualified child psychologist.

    Some kids are slow to warm and that is okay, some kids aren't and that is fine as well.

    Sorry I think she is making a huge jump regarding family dynamics.

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  15. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mason98 View Post
    Okay, I'm going to talk about myself here not my son but I feel me as a kid is relevant to you here:
    I'm one of four kids, I'm profoundly deaf so it does change the pitch a little. (pun intended).
    I was always very disengaged because of my hearing I'm the one that always had trouble keeping up with my brothers humour, my parents always saw me as the serious one, I always felt like I was the one tagging along in some ways.
    I had a total lack of self confidence, when I would talk either verbally or in Auslan I would rarely look at the person I talked to.
    Some of it also had to do with feeling broken, and being the odd one out in the family an life in general, but my parents - both of them would always try and find a way to engage me and highlight my place in the family and that would sometimes make me feel better I always felt different.

    Anyhow this isn't about me nor is it some sob story just how I felt.

    You are doing the right thing, you ARE NOT A BAD MOTHER this is a learning process for us all, don't feel bad for being suggested you do the parenting course I had to do one to keep my son, it feels like someone is calling you out I know but it's not like that.
    It often takes outside input for me to see something or inform me of something I just didn't understand before I used to hate it because it felt like people suggested I didn't know what I am doing or questioning my intelligence, but again that wasn't their intention.

    Can I suggest one of the things my parents used to do to pull me back in: Find some multi player game or something silly that DS2 can be encouraged to enter into, do it in front of him and I am sure he will engage more.
    Thank you. This is helpful.

    I do try to spend one-on-one time with him but as a working mum & 3 kids it's not always possible. But I do try & I think he enjoys being with me as I do understand his sensitive side. I'll keep persisting.

    Appreciate the comments.

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