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4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

3/23 Interactive Board: He's Changing... I'm Not...

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

12/12 Interactive Board: What if He Could Have Changed?

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

8/24 Interactive Board: Quandary! What's Going On?

7/20: Dr. Irene on cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

12/29 Interactive Board: There Goes the Wife...

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

5/1 Interactive Board: I feel Dead - Towards Him

4/26 Interactive Board: Why is This So Hard?

4/19 Interactive Board: I Lost My Love...

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

Doc@DrIrene.com

Comments to End 4 Generations of Abuse

Comments to End 4 Generations of Abuse

Material posted here is intended for educational purposes only, and must not be considered a substitute for informed advice from your own health care provider.

Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos  Copyrightę 2000. The material on this website may be distributed freely for non-commercial or educational purposes provided that author credit is given. For commercial distribution, please contact the author at Doc@drirene.com

 B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 27, 2000

S1

Keri,

My son is 11 and I have also faced problems that come from raising a child in an abusive situation. I used to feel I had to make up for what he had been through and was too permissive. My own co-dependency was interfering in my ability to not rescue my son and not let him grow as a healthy young man. Because I didn't want him to be trapped by co-dependency and abuse, I knew I had to do something different. I am dealing with my own issues, which has made it much easier to be a healthy parent and teach my son to be respectful and not be co-dependent or abusive. A couple of years ago, I couldn't even ask my son to hold the door for me or be more helpful around the house. Now that I realize that I am teaching him how to treat other women, and I am worth the respect too, I have been much more effective in helping him learn these important lessons.

I went to an excellent seminar and purchased the workbooks. "Smart Discipline" works in a similar way to what Dr. Irene was describing. The system has been so helpful in my home and it has set very clear expectations and consequences for my son.

I think his dad could also be very influential in helping your son see that abusive behavior is unacceptable and why it is important to treat people with respect. Take care,

S

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 27, 2000

S1

Here is a link to "Smart Discipline" if you're interested:

For more information about Smart Discipline, parents are encouraged to call 1-800-255-3008 or visit their Web site http://www.smartdiscipline.com/.

S

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 27, 2000

S1

Keri,

You sound like such a wonderful and devoted mother who wants the best for her son. You are doing all the right things, however it seems that you are taking on too much guilt and responsibility for yourself. Your husband has to take responsibility as HE is also your son's parent and you are trying to fix what it seems HE has destroyed. Try to get the support of your husband in helping your son correct the behaviors he taught him, or you are going to look like the bad guy in trying to change how your son has been jaded. Perhaps now that your husband is "seeing the light", you will be able to work together to create a healthier atmosphere for everyone. Good luck, you are doing great things but you shouldn't have to do all of this yourself!

LHW

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 27, 2000

S1

Keri-

I won all the battles with my parents that I shouldn't have won. It set me back years. Dump the guilt. Focus on a healthy gameplan, with your husband. Agree on how you will handle what you rightly perceive to be a problem in your child. For children it is important to be consistent. So, so true.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 27, 2000

S1

Thank you all for such helpful advise. I know I have to drop the guilt but the codependent side of me keeps saying, "this poor kid had to mature beyond his years, for many years did the same thing and never knew if his father would yell about it one day and then not the other, had to witness the yelling day in and day out, at 7 years old begged me to leave (which I did for a year), suffered from TENSION headaches, tried to defend me when his father discredited me even when I tried to keep him out of earshot, etc. There is a lot of guilt here that I feel if I put any more pressure on him, he will just burst! 

Even though his father is much better he still does "past" things and still expects too much perfection from a child his age. He gets annoyingly nit picky and it drives my son nuts. I am sure, like Dr. Irene has said, that there he is "punishing" me for staying all these years with my husband. That just adds to the guilt that he already feels abandoned in some way by me no matter how hard I have tried to shield him and literally jumped in the middle to never let my husband use him as a verbal punching bag. But my son had to watch me and that is enough to hurt him. As far as my husband, we still do not see eye to eye on raising children, even if he isn't ranting and raving anymore. I still believe children should be independent, allowed to do things like stay up to watch their favorite show sometimes or roll around in the mud. Yeah! He thinks they should always be neat and never say what they feel. Yuk. The old..."children should be seen and not heard". This is the way he was raised. That's why he's the way he is... So we are on either side of the spectrum here, and it has to be confusing for the children. 

To this day my son is always riding him with being more then a 10 year old should be and just very rigid about things. I want them to feel freer with limitations. I just pray that I can re-teach him how to respond as opposed to the way he was taught a man should. I will cry if I get the same phone call down the line from my daughter in law who is mistreated by my now adult son. I just want this cycle to stop!! So, take your power and teach your kid how you did it... Enough is enough! Yeah!

How many more lives have to suffer with this? I think I also suffer with guilt from CONTRIBUTING to my son turning into a possible abuser. I secretly was mad at my mother in law for not saving my husband...talk about the pot calling the kettle black. UGH! Put the UGH to good use. Do what mom in law did not do,,, Dr. Irene

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, June 28, 2000

S1

WOW! Sounds just like my 10 year old son. I found a good book to help with this same issue. Its a book by Townsend and Cloud called Boundaries for Children. I highly recommend this book as it has helped me so much to deal with my child and set appropriate boundaries with him. Check it out! I think it will help you too. I can't find that book. Do you have an ISBN number? If yes, email here. Thanks, Dr. Irene 

 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, June 29, 2000

S1

Such great advise!!!! It seems like, as with others I have read, the magic age for this behavior to start to surface is around 10 or 11. I guess it is a part of them trying to become little men. I am having trouble with one thing in the event that someone reads this. I notice that he will say things that are in a different reality and is not really true even though he perceives it to be (sound familiar? Wonder where he got that from!) Like the other day I was on the phone with a friend, he wanted my immediate attention (never bothers with me when I am off the phone, only the few times I pick it up to chat with a friend). My husband use to do that all the time and then act very rude until I would hang up only to find it was for something that certainly could have waited. So I told my son, wait just a few minutes until I finish my call and I would be happy to help him. With that, he goes "ugly". His face is contorted and mad and he says to me (the exact words his father use to use), "You have time for everyone else but me. The only time you talk to me is to yell. I wish I had a mother who didn't have a big family because then I would not have to wait when you are on the phone". This is so far from the truth and deep down inside he knows it but he had to lash out at me. Why? How do you teach them to see things as they really are and not the distorted way they are just parroting from their father? He often blurts out hurtful things that when he is not angry he admits that he doesn't really feel that way and just said it at the time. It is just rapidly getting worse and the blurts are coming more and more. How do you reprogram them at this stage of the game. I feel like I failed as a mother. My greatest job has crashed before my eyes. Please tell me it is not too late to help him become a healthy thinking young man! It is never too late!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, June 30, 2000

S1

Listen to how to dispense "Reality Discipline" on Family Life Radio, a nationwide Christian radio station network based out of Phoenix, Az.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, June 30, 2000

S1

An insight for the guilt. I have found that the struggles and trials I went through as a child have been springboards for success as an adult. Yes, they set me back. That's tough. Everyone has their own setbacks though. The childhood life of privilege and ease is a hardship I would not want to have to deal with as an adult. I would not have empathy, work ethic, or discipline - or the ability to gain these skills. It would be terribly, terribly hard.

Set those limits. Love him and hug him. Teach him by example, but trust his maturity -- he can understand contrasts and comparisons, right and wrong. He'll be just fine, as long as you stop mourning the loss of the fantasy childhood we all wish for our children - give him the boundaries and teach him the why's.

TC

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 03, 2000

S1

Dr Irene wrote 'it is scary for children if you don't set limits - they don't no where to stop'. The same is true of abusers I assume. Yes. Cuz they didn't learn about sane limits when they were kids...

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, July 03, 2000

S1

GREAT POINT!!! I GUESS, BECAUSE THEY NEVER LEARNED IN CHILDHOOD HOW TO ACT/REACT...WE ARE STILL DEALING WITH THE "CHILD" IN ADULTHOOD. Yes. I MADE THIS MISTAKE WITH MY HUSBAND FOR ALL THOSE YEARS THINKING I DIDN'T WANT TO UPSET HIM, (POOR HUBBY.. IT'S NOT HIS FAULT) AND NOW I AM DOING THE SAME THING WITH MY SON. THIS TIME I WILL NOT TAKE 15 YEARS TO REALIZE MY "WAY" IS NOT THE RIGHT WAY! 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, July 04, 2000

S1

Dr I,

Anger is power. Getting attention through winding up your partner is power.

Setting boundaries stops power. Dr I in the book " You Can't Say That To Me! " Suzette Elgin says be neutral; answer the preposition and not the attack. Though, Dr I how does this relate to boundaries? You answer the question; you ignore the attack. This is about boundaries because you are not giving the other person the power to hurt you. You limit their inroad into you. At least that's how I see it.

Suzette says walking away gives them power, pleading, counterattacking, logical argument gives them power. Correct. Nobody will argue with that. You never defend yourself. You don't argue because you will never win.

This is somewhat confusing, how can you set boundaries but be neutral at the same time? To set boundaries, the more neutral you are , the better. You do not want to personalize the attack. Recognize your partner's anger is about them, not you! 

Thanks Jody

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, July 06, 2000

S1

Dear Jody:

I read your post. I use to be very confused about walking away thinking that this would give them power because you are "not able to stand up for yourself" and are just "running". But I found in the past that what I would do when my husband would rant and rave and start his demands, I would look him square in the eyes and say "I am not speaking to you until you can speak to me properly. I will not stay near you when you are behaving like this". Then I would walk away. Yippeee! And that is power. I would state what I wanted and not wanted and then would leave. He was no longer in control! Just wanted to share that with you. Good stuff!