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Old 01-25-2016, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
6,964 posts, read 5,183,151 times
Reputation: 9395

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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcats View Post
My wife is constantly on her case, and so our daughter rebels against it. I keep telling my wife not to nitpick every little thing, but she does, and not in a nice manner. She criticizes our daughter's clothes, phone usage, how she spends her time, that she is in her room instead of down on the main level with the rest of the family and so on.

For our daughter's part, she has developed an attitude that needs to improve. She has used some choice words against her mom, which are inappropriate and disrespectful. But she isn't a terrible kid. She gets straight A's, takes music lessons, and does assigned chores when asked. But it's like every incident she has with her mother creates another layer on a shell she is building up.
You're making excuses for your wife. A 14 year old developing an attitude isn't exactly noteworthy; its what they do. Handling a kid with an attitude is part and parcel of adolescent parenting. This would be a normal reaction to your wife getting on her case about hanging out with boys, her clothing, or cleaning her room. That your wife is emotionally abusive to her makes it all the less surprising.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcats View Post
There aren't a lot of good female role models close by. My wife's mom lives pretty close, but she's not the most stable person in the world either. I can think of my mom or sister, but they both live far away.

Having my wife live somewhere else, even temporarily, is something I've considered. She couldn't live on her own because she would probably become suicidal. She hates being alone and is unrealistically "clingy", which is one of the symptoms she has right now. Living with her parents would mean living with her mom, who as noted, has issues. Her brother has schizophrenia and lives there too (lots of issues in the whole family). I just don't think it would lead to any improvement.

I don't think her behavior is at the level of what Stagemomma had to endure. But she does need to get better and start acting like a fully functioning adult quickly. Family counseling I guess is where we start.
This sounds really mean, but when you had kids, they became first priority. Your wife and marriage is certainly important, but NOT at the expense of your kids health and well being (not happiness, health and well being; JR doesn't have to play travel soccer if the expenses or schedule causes undue stress.) If your wife was a mean drunk or an addict, you wouldn't have these reservations. Your wife can't help the way she is, but that doesn't really matter now, does it? It isn't your kids fault, and the fact that your wife can't help it doesn't mean that the kids should live in that environment. You think it isn't affecting the other ones. It probably doesn't affect the 2 year old (yet.) The 4 year old? Hard to say. The 12 year old? Just because he is conflict avoidant doesn't mean that you aren't setting him up for a lot of issues.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:10 AM
 
Location: tampa bay
6,449 posts, read 6,457,302 times
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My brother-in-law stood by for years watching his bi-polar wife's illness destroy their two sons...one son has been repeatedly hospitalized since the age of 19 and the older son barely leaves the home and plays video games all day(and is on medication for depression and ADD)...Please take action immediately...your wife is definitely a threat to your kids mental well being and is potentially a threat to their physical safety as well...I don't think I'm telling you anything you don't realize already...you are in a tough spot but unfortunately you signed up for much of this whereas the kids are innocent victims...I know this sounds harsh but I have witnessed first hand the damage of a mentally ill mom can do on her children...my brother-in-law is often called a "saint" by others for putting up with his wife's ways...but he is far from a good dad...he stood by passively for years watching the abuse and did nothing...don't do the same...
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Old 01-25-2016, 02:09 PM
 
6,805 posts, read 3,275,204 times
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Counseling for the daughter would be great. So would group sessions with you, your wife, and your daughter. Maybe same with just you and your daughter.

If it was me, I'd also be having individual conversations with my daughter about her feelings over things going on. I wouldn't be judgmental about her mom or take my daughter's side, but I would listen empathetically to her concerns and feelings. I might also help her to problem solve effective strategies for helping her to have a better relationship with her mother.
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Old 01-25-2016, 03:14 PM
 
2,937 posts, read 1,660,862 times
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Where do you live? What day treatment programs are available for her? Does she have a therapist she sees weekly and a psychiatrist who CLOSELY monitors her medication? Are the medications working? If you're having a hard time finding the meds that work bets there is a genetic test you can have done that identifies what medications will work best for you.

Financially would you be able to pay of out pocket for mental health care?
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:07 PM
 
1,779 posts, read 6,826,032 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeHa View Post
Where do you live? What day treatment programs are available for her? Does she have a therapist she sees weekly and a psychiatrist who CLOSELY monitors her medication? Are the medications working? If you're having a hard time finding the meds that work bets there is a genetic test you can have done that identifies what medications will work best for you.

Financially would you be able to pay of out pocket for mental health care
In the summer, she was in a hospital for 9 days and got out. She went to an intensive outpatient program 3 days a week for nearly a month. After a while it became clear she needed more and went to a different hospital (that was definitely better). She was there for 3 more weeks, until they discharged her, with insurance pushing that.

I'd have to say the meds are not working completely. She was on one med for almost ten years and it was effective. But it started to wear off last spring, as can happen. The new ones definitely do not have her back to where she needs to be. We go to a psychiatrist every two weeks. Honestly it all seems like a guessing game. He put her on a particular anti-depressant that didn't help at all. Then he decided maybe it was actually making things worse, so he had her get off of it. That kind of "try this, try that" has happened all the time since last summer.

I can pay for counseling a few times a month, but definitely not hospitalization. That's over $1,000 a day. I'd love to be able to do everything, but there are a lot of obstacles for sure.
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Old 01-25-2016, 09:14 PM
 
2,937 posts, read 1,660,862 times
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I'm not sure what your insurance covers but if you feel like she's unstable and her medications are not working, I would consider talking to her psychiatrist about making a medication change and if they do it if it might be possible for you to get insurance to cover her being inpatient while they get her medications sorted out.
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Old 01-26-2016, 04:18 AM
 
33,031 posts, read 12,488,458 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcats View Post
Having my wife live somewhere else, even temporarily, is something I've considered. She couldn't live on her own because she would probably become suicidal. She hates being alone and is unrealistically "clingy", which is one of the symptoms she has right now. Living with her parents would mean living with her mom, who as noted, has issues. Her brother has schizophrenia and lives there too (lots of issues in the whole family). I just don't think it would lead to any improvement.
Many children grow up with a parent who struggles a with mental health issues. The key seems to be having others around who can provide the nurturing and guidance the parent is unable to provide and everyone being on the same page about how the mental health issues are the parent's problem.

Many people with bipolar disorder think they are doing just fine and blame everyone else for their troubles. This is hard enough to deal with an adult. Nearly impossible to keep straight when you are the kid.

You have young children being cared for by a mother who is unstable, "clingy," even suicidal at times. This needs to stop. Regardless of her mental health needs, you need someone stable and nurturing caring for the kids.

If the wife needs inpatient hospitalization at times, it will be difficult to convince Child Protective Services that the children should be left in her care.

Your wife needs your support right now. No doubt about it. But not at the expense of your kids.
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Old 01-26-2016, 07:21 AM
 
2,581 posts, read 3,140,332 times
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Your wife needs to go back into counseling. She clearly should not have stopped.

This is an incredibly toxic environment for your daughter. Horrible. Your wife is being cruel and unreasonable, although her mental illness is likely responsible. I don't blame her 100%.

Can you imagine how scary it is to be a child, and have your parent hospitalized for a month for mental illness? Then add on top of it, have your mother come back at the ?mental age of a teenager (your implication?) and to criticize how you look. As a young teenager.... this is very very cruel.

Your daughter is a straight A student, who is good to her sibs, takes music lessons, does her chores.... sounds like an angel. You can't blame her for trying to defend herself when terrorized by her mother.

I have mixed feelings about your daughter going to see your Mom's counselor. Actually, I'm sure your daughter needs support that you cannot give. Maybe it would help her? And maybe it would convince the counselor that your Mother needs to resume care. I suspect family counseling will be a nightmare....

Remember.... kids see and hear everything. You can't get words back. They last in memory forever....

I am proud of you though for helping your wife through this hard time. But you must protect the kids.
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Old 01-27-2016, 08:43 PM
 
13,008 posts, read 12,434,284 times
Reputation: 37265
Look, I realize you're in a bad spot, but your first job is to protect your daughter. You cannot just sit idly by while your wife emotionally abuses your daughter and then talk about your daughter being "disrespectful" for using "choice words" with her mother.

Protect your child. This "united front" idea is crap if one of the parents is being an abusive jerk. Actually, protect your CHILDREN. Your wife is modeling terrible behavior and that is not good for your kids.

Get your whole damn family into counseling and give your wife an ultimatum - either she addresses the issue through therapy, medication and a changed attitude or she will have to go elsewhere.

Your daughter is at a vulnerable age. Your wife is being a horrible parent, and "bipolar" is not an excuse. Step up and do your job since she won't act in her children's best interests.
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Old 01-27-2016, 09:21 PM
 
6,013 posts, read 2,695,607 times
Reputation: 5215
I just scanned through this thread, but the one thing I didn't really see is whether or not you have had a frank discussion with your daughter about her mother's illness.


No, she shouldn't have to deal with it, but she is old enough to understand it, and it might go a long way to helping her avoid confrontation with her mother. I think you have to ditch the backing your wife plan, because she is not a fully functioning parent. Instead, explain with a counselor what is going on and what is being done to resolve things. A counselor could also help your daughter by giving her tools/ways to deal with her mother when she is out of line.


Also, if your mom and sister are rational/stable people and your daughter has any relationship with them you need to enlist their help to support your daughter even if its only by phone, text, email. Ideally she could go and stay with them for a while, but that may be so disruptive it causes more problems than it solves. She needs female love that is unconditional, supportive and encouraging since she is not getting it from her mom. Someone to tell her shes ok as she is. Does she have a close girlfriend where she might be able to stay locally until things calm down. Its a lot to ask someone but you never know.
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