I had a horrid "meeting" with my parents Saturday.
Without going into immense detail and history, lots of things happened with my controlling, domineering mother (with my father following in her wake) and my family, mainly about mine and Dave's parenting (or lack thereof in THEIR eyes), we took an extended "vacation" from visiting them, and ended up in a family counselor's office; things went much more "our" way than my parents expected or wanted. I suspect that is the *main* reason they cancelled the sessions, but they *were* expensive and that was the reason they gave US for discontinuing. While discussing this change in plans, they agreed to the 3 of us (my parents and me) having continued meetings to further discuss things and situations and try to resolve some of the ongoing conflict. [Look at that! I summed it up in ONE paragraph! One SHORT paragraph!! I am SO proud and amazed!! LOL]
Okay, the first meeting went more smoothly than I expected and even though I was so, so nervous without a "moderator" and there were tears and upheaval, it still turned out pretty well, and we all agreed to another meeting soon. Things came up and schedules got busy and when I next mentioned another meeting, I got, "ANOTHER meeting?.... Well, we don't really have anything else to discuss... do YOU?" I should have known... So, schedules got full again and by the time the second meeting actually HAPPENED, it was around 3 months after the first.
(Shoot. I've forgotten the original point I wanted to mull here!) So, we met at Denny's, they ate, I wasn't hungry-nor did I want a bunch of greasy food sitting on my belly while I was trying to convey my point of view to a couple of deaf brick walls. ;~) It did not go well. It even got to the point where I was afraid we were going to be yelling at each other in the restaurant. (we didn't) My mother had asked for a list of books to read so that she could "see where we were coming from" in a parenting standpoint. From what I can tell, she really just wanted the list of books that I had given the counselor-which would be different than any books I'd recommend my parents read, anyhow. When I gave her the 2 books I had gotten recommended from my radical unschooling mentors, the point came up that I hadn't read them yet, but that I intended to. She was quite adamant that she wasn't going to read any books that I hadn't read myself, even though they were recommended by the people who have gotten us to this point in our parenting and I trust their recommendations implicitly. There was even a DVD they could watch together! So, anyway, basically we went round and round on "you don't really know me" (from my mother), "children NEED discipline" and a huge go-round on thanksgiving/family/preparation and hard work/showing appreciation. I did not foresee most of the "subject matter" beforehand, and my brain does not think well "on its feet" while in confrontation, so all my good answers came to me on the ride home. Sigh...
Basically, my mother thinks she can tell me that my ideas and my parenting are "wrong". Not "wrong for you" or "wrong for some people" or "wrong for me", just WRONG. :~P They both bring up stuff that "might" happen because of my parenting. When I say that we can't really discuss it until they understand some about how we're parenting and that is in the books, mother refuses to read them. (My Dad won't read much of anything) When I say that reading them could help alleviate some of her concern/worry she says she's NOT concerned or worried!! And it starts all over again.... I am SOOOOOO frustrated!!!!!!
They also just don't GET the point that they still treat me like a child-that I am an exception to every other adult they know. They make up stories and LIE about suggested scenarios or things that we remember differently just to MAKE THEIR POINTS. Basically, they expect all the obedience and "good for them" stuff from me that they'd expect from a child but none of the "good for me" stuff of being an adult. Did that make sense? I don't think so... I'd really like to go into the Thanksgiving part of it, but its really just too long and too much venting for this late.
So, at any rate, I've been jotting down thoughts as they come to me these past few days and will compose a "wrap up" reply probably this weekend. Not that it will likely make any difference, because I'm nearly 30 years younger than they are and thus my experiences, thoughts and knowledge don't count when they conflict with theirs'. But I'll have my say. I also have to call the counselor and see if he'll do freebies for us... Or something ridiculously cheap like 25 bucks a visit. Like my life isn't complicated enough without having to hold my mother's hand and lead her kicking and screaming along a path she doesn't want to go on, but in order for my kids to have the grandparents they adore in their lives, she HAS to go on.... :~P
Likely more on this (sooner rather than) later....