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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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WHAT TO DO ABOUT MY DAUGHTER, IVY LEAGUE GRAD, SUCCESSFUL IN

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WHAT TO DO ABOUT MY DAUGHTER, IVY LEAGUE GRAD, SUCCESSFUL IN NEW YORK OFF BROADWAY THEATER, CABARET ARTIST, WRITER, COMPOSER, , LYRICIST, MARRIED TO MUSIC DIRECTOR AND MUSIC CONSULTANT FOR FILM AND BROADWAY SHOWS, HAS 3 SONS..14 YEARS OLD AND 11 YEAR OLD TWINS...AND STRUGGLES EVERY DAY WITH HER CHILDREN WHO ARE VERBALLY ABUSIVE TO HER WHEN SHE ATTEMPTS TO DISCIPLINE THEM..... HER HUSBAND, NOT A DISCIPLINARIAN, AND DIABETIC, TAKING MEDICATION FOR DEPRESSION AND DIABETES, IS NOT COOPERATIVE, SHE SAYS REGARDING THE DISCIPLINE OF THEIR BOYS, BECAUSE HIS FATHER WAS A VERY STRICT DISCIPLINARIAN AND CAUSED ONE OF HIS SISTERS AND HIS BROTHERS AND HIMSELF TO BE DEPRESSED....MY DAUGHTER IS A PERFECTIONIST..WANTING HER BOYS TO BE AS EXCELLENT A STUDENT AS SHE WAS, AND HOPEFULLY TO BE ACCEPTED INTO AN IVY LEAGUE COLLEGE LIKE THE ONE SHE GRADUATED FROM....SHE INSISTS THE 14 YEAR OLD HAD ADD, HAS WANTED TO GIVE HIM MEDICATION,EVEN THOUGH HE HAS SOME ASTHMA...I HAVE INQUIRED OOF MY PHYSICIAN WHO SAID WHEN PARENTS WANTED THEIR TEENAGERS PUT ON MEDICATION (TO GET HIGHER GRADES AND CONCENTRATE) HE HAS DONE IT..WITH MIXED RESULTS: SOME DO A BIT BETTER, OTHERS "FREAK OUT..GET JITTERY...") HE TOLD ME THAT THE MEDICATION FOR ADD IS AMPHETAMINE..."SPEED." SO FAR, MY DAUGHTER HAS NOT GIVEN GHE MEDS,BUT SHE CONTINUES TO MENTION ADD AND MEDS TO ME....ONE OF THE TWINS, 11 YEARS OLD, HAS BECOME EXTREMELY DIFFICULT, FIGHTING WITH HER ABOUT MANY THINGS...HE TOLD ME THAT HIS MOTHER THINKS HE IS A GENIUS, CAN GET TOP GRADES, PLAY THE VIOLA..WHICH HE DOES..WANTS HIM TO TAKE PRIVATE LESSONS AS WELL AS PLAY IN THE SCHOOL ORCHESTRA..MY DAUGHTER SAYS THE BOYS ARE ALL ADDICTED TO THEIR I-PHONES, COMPUTERS, AND VIDEO GAMES, AND DO NOT DO THEIR HOMEWORK AND ARE GETTING POOR GRADES IN SCHOOL: B'S AND C'S OCCASIONALLY... NOT THE A PLUSES SHE WANTS THEM TO GET... SHE SAYS THE 14 YEAR OLD, WHO SHE WANTS TO GIVE MEDICATION TO FOR WHAT SHE SAYS IS ADD, WAITS UNTIL,THE LAST MOMENT TO DO HIS HOMEWORK, GOES TO SLEEP VERY LATE, EVEN THOUGH SHE SAYS HE NEEDS TO GET 10 HOURS OF SLEEP... I SUGGESTED THAT SHE RESTRICT THE USE OF THEIR ELECTRONIC DEVICES, AND SINCE THE 11 YEAR OLD WHO IS REBELLING, '"IS NOT HAPPY IN CLASS, DOES NOT PARTICIPATE, UNLESS THE TEACHER CALLS ON HIM IN CLASS" THE TEACHER WROTE TO MY DAUGHTER... SIT IN THE VERY FRONT OF HIS CLASSES IN SCHOOL.... THE BOYS WDRE NOT HAPPY ABOUT THE RESTRICTION OF THEIR ELECTRONIC STUFF....A NEW PROBLEM: MY DAUGHTER'S HUSBAND, WHO HAD BEEN ON MEDS FOR DIABETES AND DEPRESSION, MONITORING HIS BLOOD SUGAR, IS NOW TAKING LITHIUM....SHE SAID HE HAS MANIC-DEPRESSION....THIS PAST WEEKEND, HE FLEW INTO A RAGE, IN RESPONSE TO SOMETHING SHE HAD SAID..SHE PHONED ME, SCREAMING INTO THE PHONE.. I ASKDED TO SPEAK WITH MY SON-IN-LAW, AND TOLD HIM THAT WHEN HE FEELS A RAGE COMING OVER HIM, THAT HE SHOULD GET OUT OF THE HOUSE IMMEDIATELY, THAT HE MUST NEVER ATTACK MY DAUGHTER OR THE CHILDREN.... I TOLD HIM ALSO, THAT MY DAUGHTER HAS A TENDENCY NOT TO REMIND SOMEONE ABOUT AN ERROR.... THAT SHE DOES NOT ''LET THINGS GO." SHE HAS MUCH TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT.. HE FORETS TO DOM THINGS ASKED OF HIM.. RECENTLY HE FORGOT TO PAY A LIFE INSURANCE PREMIUM..LETTING IT LAPSE... MY DAUGHTER IS HAVING A VERY TOUGH TIME...SHE COMPLAINS ALSO,ABOUT THEIR NOT BEING INTIMATE, THE DRUGS HE TAKES AND S DEPRESSION LIMITING THEIR PHYSICAL COMMUNICATION...
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

I think you realize exactly what is happening here. The real problem here is the dysfunctional marital relationship that exists between your daughter and son-in-law, and the inadequacies of your daughter as a mother---she has dreams SHE wants her kids to fulfill, but the kids don't share the dreams because they do not have the same values she does about school, excelling etc. Much of this mis-alignment of the mother's dreams and her pressures to get her kids to turn out 'like she did' and what her kids want are closely related to failures on her part to spend enough time building deep and meaningful relationships with her kids---she put her career and personal goals ahead of the time her kids have needed.

It is highly doubtful her son has ADHD as he sounds quite 'normal'. The central, core problem in this family is the marital relationship problem. I would coach you to advise your daughter to take whatever time is necessary to get into marital therapy with her husband as a first step. She can certainly have her kids evaluated by someone who can do the proper assessment and testing----which would be someone called a Clinical Psychologist. They can advise her whether her kids have ADHD and help her more consistently use good parenting techniques, set realistic expectations for her kids. As it stands, she risks damaging her relationship with her boys. She places great demands and expectations on them, but isn't sacrificing the personal time, relationship-building time that is necessary to help them increase their behavioral effort. So there is most definitely, historically, an unwillingness to really spend the necessary time with her kids; this theme or problem is reflected in the fact that if she sees the kids not achieving as she expects, she believes there must be a problem other than her relationship, other than her own actions as a parent that must explain it. So, she expects that medication will take care of the problem, a solution that is external to herself.

If her husband has not been diagnosed with bipolar disorder until this late age, it would be surprising if he actually had bipolar disorder. Bipolar like behavior can be caused in many people by taking antidepressant medication for long periods of time, and utterly frustrating marital relationships can cause mood swings and emotional eruptions that 'look like' hypo manic episodes. So again, this couple needs marital therapy in a serious way.

In reading your post, I have to say you show tremendous insight into what is happening here; your advice to your daughter has been wise and sound. I'll pause here and solicit your feedback about these ideas. It may take many hours before I can respond again as I have other appointments today and will be on/off this computer. I appreciate your patience.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I THANK YOU FOR YOUR RESPONSE... MY DAUGHTER AND HUSBAND ARE IN MARITAL COUNSELING..AND NOW, SHE AND HER HUSBAND WENT WITH ONE OF THE TWINS...11 YEARS OLD FOR COUNSELING, SINCE HE HAS BEEN VERY DIFFICULT, FIGHTING WITH HER , BEING VERBALLY ABUSIVE..KICKING AND SCREAMING, SHE SAYS... I AGREE WITH YOU REGARDING MY DAUGHTER'S UNFULFILLED DREAMS OF BEING HUGELY SUCCESSFUL... SHE RECENTLY WROTE A SHOW TOBE BE PRODUCED WHICH WAS BASD ON A FILM..SHE WORKED WITH COLLABORATORS WHO SHE REGARDED AS AMATEURS .. AND WHEN HER WORK WAS NOT SELECTEDD..THE PROJECT NOT MOVING FORWARD..,THE GRANDSON 11 YEARS OLD TOLD ME, SHE CON TINUED TO SAY THEY WERE AMATEURS..OTHER THINGS... HER HUSBAND WAS IN EUROPE, CONSULTING FOR A SHOW, ANAD APPARENTLY, SHE TOLD THE BOYS WHAT HAD HAPPENED... I ADVISED MY GRANDSON TO TELL HIS MOTHER HE FELT BADLY ABOUT WHAT HAD HAPPENED...HER WORK NOT ACCEPTED..SHE HAD THOUGHT IT WAS VERY GOOD... BUT THAT HE WAS JUST A KID AND COULD NOT HELP HER VERY MUCH...I DO N OT KNOIW THATVHIS VERBAL ABUSE HAS TO DO WITH HER UNHAPPINESS ABOUT HER WORK NOT BEING ACCEPTED.. SHALL I TELL MY DAUHTER WHAT I BELIEVE IS HAPPENING? SHE IUS EXTREMELY OPINIONATED BELIEVES SHE IS ALWAYS RIGHT... SHE IS VERY BRILLIANT, BUT VERY UNHAPPY.... ... AND I AM CONCERNED ABOUT HER HEALTH AND THE CHILDREN AND HER HUSBAND.... AGAIN, WHAT IS MY ROLE HERE? CAN I HELP MY FAMILY ?
Your proper role here? Well, I would tread lightly and offer advice only when she complains to you again, and seems to be fishing for answers. THEN, you can offer advice. You can also share some of the ideas I shared here with you----adopt all of them as 'your own' ideas if you wish. She obviously is quite insecure and creates a facade of confidence, self-sufficiency and 'competence'. She may be competent in many ways but no one is perfect---yet she tries hard to portray she is. Unconsciously, she is living out her unfulfilled, personal expectations by pressuring her children to fulfill them instead---as their success will validate her personal sense of value or worth and prove she is the perfect successful mother---again, more manifestations of fundamental insecurity. I think you are quite right in that her anger and externalization of blame for the failed show she wrote is a clear indication of personal insecurity.

I wish you well with this. I'm glad they have started marital therapy. You are quite wise and can decide exactly when, and how much feedback to share. and how to do so diplomatically so as to not damage your relationship with her. Let me know if I can be of further help. Please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the page. Thanks.
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