Give it to Mikey, he’ll eat anything.
April 1, 2013 1 Comment
I come from a large family that celebrates all of the traditional holidays for this part of the world. That means, a few of us and some of the kids got together for a big Easter dinner last night. My oldest sister is always the hostess since she always has the biggest house (among other reasons). My kids weren’t with me this time but a few nieces and nephews were there as well as my mom and dad.
We managed to fit all the adults around one large extended table (the small kids always eat in another room unless they’re in high chairs) and there are often numerous conversations going on at once.
My oldest sister has three boys. One of her boys was a real problem child for her. He has a few different diagnosis and I think bipolar is his main one but I’m not sure at this point. They spent many years going from one doctor to another. Now don’t get me wrong, this boy struggles. He came and stayed with me for a while when he was a teenager (doesn’t every teenager that knows me???) and he definitely has OCD, as well as possibly Tourettes. He struggled quite a bit growing up and was always very angry and his behaviour sucked. But, he’s not alone in this. His parents really struggled with figuring out how to raise him and one of his parents have employed parenting techniques that run the risk of getting your kids taken away and likely did not help this kids brain development in any way.
This kid was in trouble A LOT. Some of it was his impulsiveness; some of it was his choices; some of it was his lack of ability to fit in with his family. Their lifestyle and parenting and interests were not conducive to this kid feeling stable or secure or being able to regulate his behaviour. Many years have passed since then (they’re all adults now) and things are definitely much better than they used to be.
At one point near the end of the meal, my sister jokingly raised her voice at this kid because someone changed the music and she obviously thought it was him. I mean, really, he was always the one in trouble. But it wasn’t him. I think his uncle was the guilty person at that time. My other nephew (his brother) made a comment to some of the guests that his brother ‘A’ was the default ‘in trouble’ person since he was always in trouble so much.
You know, this kid will never outgrow that reputation. He will always be the default “in trouble” kid in that family and will always struggle to feel accepted and a part of that unit – like he’s on the fringe or maybe he doesn’t really fit. Unfortunately, even as an adult, that is likely to still hurt him on many levels and cause more struggles. From what I’ve seen, that is the norm for most families.
For whatever reasons (there are probably quite a few) one thing families are often not really good at, and that is seeing a family member in a different light. We all take on roles in our family units and patterns of how we interact form and opinions and feelings about the intent behind another person’s behaviour is formed and sometimes, they never change. This is really not fair to a kid who does change or simply grows up and isn’t the angsty little trouble maker they used to be. I know this family unit won’t change, I hope I have enough sense to not do this to my own kids as they all hit the adult world.