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serpico

Have you ever been called out?

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I feel like I addressed this in a previous post but I can’t seem to find it. Has anyone - family member, friend, etc - ever called you out on your post-loss parenting? I assume the answer will often be ‘yes’ but I’m more interested in how you took it. Did you get mad, brush it off, discontinue contact, take stock and make changes or ignore it? Or any or all of the above?

 

Please, I’m not looking for sympathy as I’m not getting called out, but someone else is, and quite frankly, it’s deserved, and I’m considering adding my two cents but I’m not sure how much good it’ll do.

 

Hopefully a good thread will ensue from these questions, as I’d like as much input as possible. 

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I have not BUT, to me, it's not just a widow/widower related issue. 

 

What I mean is, if one is failing in some area of parenting, no matter what circumstances that person is in, isn't it a proper role of a good friend, relative, or, if you are REALLY screwing up, the role of CPS to help one see it and help as much as possible to get that parent back on the right path? 

 

Without a doubt, there can be hell to pay. Part of my family is going through this now - no one likes to hear they are messing up. But if you don't say something the poor parenting may not be corrected to the detriment of the children. 

 

Good luck, Mike 

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I have a couple of perspectives on this....  

 

First - if it's important enough to approach them, then you can't worry too much about how they'll receive it.....  (If you're worrying about how it will be received, perhaps you're not the right one to deliver it...?)

 

If the parent is being irresponsible, they need to be called out - but maybe not called out, but offers of support need to be made.  I know I have had times of inappropriate parenting (setting a bad example, being selfish, making poor choices) when I needed support - when I felt the most lonely, the most desperate....   But the bottom line is..  I needed someone to not JUST point it out, but to support me through it..  help me see another way... 

 

If the parenting issue is putting a child in danger (any form of abuse including sexual, verbal, physical, neglect, hunger, etc.) then the parent should first be confronted but be told that CPS will be contacted if the issue doesn't improve.  But again... if you care enough to get involved, be part of the solution, as well.  

 

I have received a lot of feedback about how I raise my son.... Crap shoveled on me because I don't make him "man-up" and do chores like mowing the lawn, or other stupid things...  But what the world doesn't see is what he DOES do for me and our family.   I've given him a lot of leeway emotionally - removed a LOT of stressors from him (pulled him from public school, delayed learning to drive, etc.) because what others don't know is that he has previously made suicide threats and has extremely intense anxiety issues....  

 

So... recognize that there may be more to the situation than you know.....  

And if you get involved.... Help all the way through to the solution - don't just criticize... 

Because the person probably knows they're failing.. but they don't have the knowledge, or energy, or resources, or strength to fix it.... 

 

Jen

 

 

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First, I like RAM's response, as she stated there are so many things you may not know and assume, so being prepared to help the person out is important. It's like a having a teacher that is known to send many kids for office referrals. HE/she likely needs help in her classroom, not that he/she is a  "bad" teacher.  Resources.

 

Relationship matters, of course, in being able to constructively criticize and offer support.  Many of us were told how to handle things with our love one's death.  It was not always helpful to hear.  Audience and timing matters, right?

 

Third, as a trauma treatment and kid therapist, the law in the US in most states is:  If you suspect abuse or neglect, you report it.  Let the experts investigate. You are not trained or have the ability to do so, especially if you are in a relationship with them.  You are not able to be non bias.  

Sexual abuse - YOU report. You do not talk to them about it.  It is anonymous.  PLEASE report.  Churches and schools cannot handle this or families nor should they. It is illegal for them to do their own investigation, and it happens ALL the time.  "The parent should first be confronted but be told that CPS will be contacted if the issue doesn't improve. "  NO, you don't confront them. This gives them time to investigate, tell the victim overtly or covertly to keep it secret, change the story, prepare for an investigation , etc.  And how do you know if it improves?  NOT your role.  And the victim suffers.  Domestic violence as well. IT is the law. And mandated and needed.  May not be the threads intent, but putting this info. out there.

 

Good luck.

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Thanks for the responses so far. Just to be clear, this isn’t a CPS sort of thing. Stuff that needs addressed, for sure, but nothing sexual or criminal.

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I sure hope that if somebody makes the effort to call somebody out on what they consider to be inadequate parenting, they'd be willing to step up and be supportive.  As if widowed parents don't have enough going on.   My kids were 14 and 16 when DH died, a bit older and somewhat independent.

 

About a year after DH died, I was called out in group therapy - for ignoring my daughter's needs and allowing her to dally into some drug use.  I was mad - here was a group of therapists - none of them parents - telling me that I was doing it wrong.  And I wanted to scream that I was trying my best.  Ultimately they helped me and my daughter, we were provided attention and support for what we were going through.  It was tough but worth it to go through this, I'm not sure if the outcome would be as good as it is today if we hadn't gone through therapy.  Maybe a different scenario than what your friend is going through - but my 2 cents.  

 

 

 

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Surely the devil in the detail here -  it really depends on what's going on and how much people really know about the situation? As in, there is a difference between criticizing someone's parenting because the kids have untidy rooms, just as an example, and mum or dad collapsing in a booze- or drug-addled heap every night and neglecting them? I guess if you are thinking of making a comment, it must be pretty obviously bad?

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Yes. My Mom called me out numerous times in my early days. I needed it, but was too out of my mind and took offense to it. One friend called me out (when I was using pills, because on the surface most couldn't tell except the people who really knew me)- With her I felt embarrassed and ashamed. 

 

Usually, anytime someone is called out on their parenting, expect them to get defensive and be pissed off. Whether or not they are widowed.  9 times out of 10 though, it needs to be said. I would rather someone call me out to my face as opposed to behind my back. So actually, in the long run- they will respect you for it. (except it may take a while, possibly years)

 

Of course some folks will always stay in denial if they are a shitty parent and look to blame others. So some people it never helps. 

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