Are people with Aspergers more critical of their parents?

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MannyBoo
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03 Apr 2015, 10:52 pm

I find that I can easily find many faults with my parents. They can't hide their weaknesses from me. I can easily see their true faces, and see everything meticulously.

Sometimes I directly confront them about their personality flaws and bad habits. Simply, I have no great respect for my parents and sometimes I can't believe I came from these people. They don't abuse me or anything like that, but I can easily notice their flaws and stupid behaviors and it disappoints me.

Is my thinking normal? Or is this caused by Aspergers?

Some times I think my parents need their own parents still. My mother has some redeeming traits such as punctuality, but she is also hypocritical and bitchy. As for my father, he is full of personality flaws such as laziness, rudeness and childish irresponsible behavior. I especially think my father is useless as a father, and my mother is the real father of the house. Sometimes I wish I could replace my parents with better people.



Nepenthe
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03 Apr 2015, 11:09 pm

You are not alone. I too find many flaws in my parents, especially my mother. In my case it's a combination of my highly rational and focused nature, and their actual flaws.



ASDMommyASDKid
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04 Apr 2015, 4:57 am

I think NTs also have a multitude of issues with their parents. I also think they are -more likely- to be socialized to be ashamed when that happens, and they are less likely to discuss it publicly. I think that is less true in the more recent generations than prior ones, but it still exists to some degree, I think with a greater percentage of NT kids than AU/AS kids. In addition, many people -out there- would look at a lot of these complaints as whiny and self-indulgent because if it is not out and out abuse. That is how many people view it. NTs are better attuned to this, (and care) and so will keep thoughts like this to themselves more often, so they do not appear this way.

I also think kids on the spectrum notice more details and have more sensory issues and therefore are annoyed by things that NTs would consider minor because they don't have the same responses to these things. For example, my mother is a loud eater, she says due to dental issues, which I always thought was super gross. From a sensory perspective it may have been worse for me and my sibling to put up with than purely NT kids. Also she would curtail it in public because she cared more what other people out there in public thought than about annoying us. I think an NT kid would be more understanding of wanting to be more comfortable at home.

Those of us who grew up without a diagnosis, or are older with a diagnosis also had parents who were not educated about how to parent a kid with AS/AU which can be very different than how to parent an NT. Even spectrumy parents who -may have- had better gut instincts, were strongly encouraged to parent in a way that is often wrong for us. Heck, this still happens, as I routinely get terrible advice from the peanut gallery of the general public/relatives etc. that is just terribly inappropriate for many kids who are on the spectrum.



B19
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04 Apr 2015, 5:52 am

I think it's more a case of different styles again - people with Aspergers are often direct, rather than indirect communicators; and when you have a very aspergian son or daughter with very conformist NT type parents, that is probably going to cause some misunderstandings that are interpreted as conflict, - especially if conflict is defined globally as simply disagreement. Conflict is a small word but it has myriad dimensions, to some people it means criticism, to others angry relating, and to yet others it means "anyone who disagrees with my opinions in any way". My caregivers were very much in the last group, and so it was not safe to offer any viewpoint other than theirs until myself and my foster brother were out of their 'care'. You could turn your question around, and ask "Are parents of Aspergers children more critical of and to their children, more inclined to find fault with them than parents of neurotypicals?" To me, that would be a far more interesting debate.



Aspie1
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08 Apr 2015, 4:01 pm

I think the reason is twofold. One, as people already pointed out, aspies are more direct. Two, aspies tend to view all people are mostly equal, rather than seeing and following a social hierarchy. So here's what happens.

Many aspies show off-the-charts intellect at a very young age. They may learn to read, tell time, count, memorize science facts, etc., at a much younger age than their NT peers. All without having the corresponding social skills to match. (This is important!) Because of their such inordinate smarts, parents may start holding aspie children to a higher standard than they would hold their NT brethren. "Holding to a higher standard" often comes with a side of criticism for misses, failures, "not applying yourself", etc.

As a result, and because aspie children see themselves as equals, they start mirroring the same type of criticism toward their parents. For example, an NT 5-year-old will not be scolded for leaving out a few letters when reciting the alphabet, but an aspie 5-year-old might be. Similarly, an NT child will try to adopt an "it is what is is" attitude (without knowing that term) when it comes to punishments, but an aspie child will try to evaluate their fairness.



ChristianSmith
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08 Apr 2015, 4:28 pm

My Birthfather killed himself and my birth mother is a racist tunnel visioned fool.

My adoptive mum left when I was 17 and is a waste of oxygen and I haven't spoken to my adoptive father in 2 years.

So yes parents can be s**t and yes I am extremely critical of them.

Also having children of my own and knowing I would lay down my own life for them, makes me hate all my parents even more.

Damn, hate is such a strong word.....


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08 Apr 2015, 5:06 pm

If your parents aren't physically or psychologically abusing you with malicious intent, then the chances are they're doing the best they're capable of with what they have to offer and you should cut them some slack and stop being such a judgmental critic.

You think raising someone who thinks they already know everything and trying to teach them to be a respectful and compassionate human being is easy? Remember the parent's curse:

"I hope when you grow up, you have children who behave exactly like you." :twisted:



B19 wrote:
"Are parents of Aspergers children more critical of and to their children, more inclined to find fault with them than parents of neurotypicals?" To me, that would be a far more interesting debate.



I think the answer to that is generally a resounding "yes," because they see us struggling with social interaction, convention and decorum and have to verbally correct us and explain in painstaking detail, over and over why certain behaviors are expected and others are taboo and it does begin to feel as though we are being unduly and excessively criticized - this is one of those things that drove me crazy about my parents when I was young, but as I got older (and especially after raising kids myself) I came to understand it, and even appreciate it. Thank gods my parents drilled me incessantly about my aspergian behaviors, because I hate to imagine what kind of boorish lout I would seem to others today if they hadn't. I'm still unmistakably odd as it is, but I'd probably really look the freak if it hadn't been for my parents constantly reminding me to straighten up and act civilized.


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lostonearth35
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09 Apr 2015, 10:12 pm

I love my parents a lot and we're very close. Of course they're not perfect, no one is. I've complained probably more than I should sometimes about them. But when I read about other people's parent's on this site they nearly sound horrible. They either don't accept or are in denial that their children are on the spectrum or they're just generally not being Parents of the Year. And that's sad, and scary when I think I could have been born to parents like that.

I can forgive my parents for not knowing I had Asperger's and forcing me to me to do or not do things that made me unhappy or uncomfortable, but I can't forgive teachers, other students, doctors, and staff in homes for making me go through horrible experiences that they sued or in jail for, and didn't give me so much as an apology.



Ajk
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11 Apr 2015, 4:50 pm

Having both NT and aspie kids and being atypical myself I think they are I find my parenting challenged by my eldest aspie child an entirely good thing
Because I said so is not enough and never should be and a lack of respect for any heir archly and a desire for logic and consistency makes me think all the time about my parenting choices in a way in which I think I might not have otherwisr



momsparky
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12 Apr 2015, 10:02 am

I think my son and I have a pretty good relationship - and I'm pretty sure we are both on the spectrum (he has a diagnosis, I am still pursuing one.) My parents and I, on the other hand, barely spoke - and I was frankly relieved when my father died; I had not realized how much time and energy I spent being afraid of him until he was gone.

Still, I do wonder this all the time: how much of it is them and how much me? It's a very difficult question - and I think (making a gross generalization) it is one that many NTs don't really ask - they either put their parents in the category of wonderful or of abusive and leave it at that.

I am guessing I was a very difficult child, and hard to parent, and my parents had nowhere near the resources I have. Of course, my parents also did nothing to find resources - I remember this clearly; concerned teachers reached out to them and were rebuffed. In fact, when cleaning my Mom's papers I found a newspaper article from my teen years about teen suicide prevention (I was suicidal, and fit the profile almost exactly. She knew.) All my mother did was call me "crazy" when I went to her crying and bury that article under a decades-deep pile of junk. Knowing that I was given the entire responsibility for being "difficult," and essentially abandoned to my difficulties, combined with the fear I had of my father's volatile temper - which is coroborrated by his colleagues - make me believe it couldn't ALL have been me.

Abuse is different from little irritating foibles. My family now has all kinds of little personality quirks and things I sometimes find mildly irritating; we often disagree and fight - but I would never, never call them abusive and I consider myself to both have a happy and stable marriage and a happy family life. I work hard to adjust myself so that I'm not irritated as easily - because I want to.

Sometimes it helps to compare things, to have some kind of constant so you can measure what is you and what is them.



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13 Apr 2015, 9:49 am

O think it depends on whether or not their parents are being honest with them about who they are as opposed to being in denial about it. I mean, that is not the sole factor, but it has a lot to do with the extent to which those on the spectrum view their parents and whether or not they are able to recognize that their parents did what they could. I mean, those on the spectrum are always going to at least mentally have more criticisms on average than NT children but if their parents were open and honest about spectrum disorders and how to really deal with them, then they could more easily live with their flaws and the fact that they would get impatient and angry and frustrated at their lack of mastering basic social and living skills. if their parents were in denial and insisted the kids were just being assholes for the sake of being assholes and did not accept their being on the spectrum because they did not want to deal with that reality, well, that is going to be way harder for those kids to make peace with.

I think either way, those on the spectrum eventually find the need to correct where they went wrong and make things better for themselves and everyone around them in the future. I do think they have an understanding, deep down, of the fact that interacting with them can be highly draining and grueling for everyone around them too.



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14 Apr 2015, 3:49 pm

I have been mad at my mother in the past and saw her as my enemy but I have forgiven her for her mistakes. She didn't know any better then and she has done a lot of good stuff for me. She could have back down and decided to quit and say "Aw screw it, if this is how you feel about me, I am done advocating for you so this is all your problem now, don't come to me if you are having troubles in school and with other kids because you're on your own now since I don't like how you treat me and this is how you feel about me so you're on your own." But she didn't do that despite my abuse or how I was treating my brother. But when I was 16 she threatened to put me in a hospital and I shaped up. She told me it was very tough for her to decide that but she and my brother have a right to a safe environment.

I do think it does depend on the parent like did they do their best, did they try hard to understand them, did they simply not know, were they in denial and they knew there was something different but they just were in denial, were they ever alerted by teachers about something being wrong with the kid and suggesting they may be autistic or something and the parents refused to knowledge it and continuing ignoring the issue, I am sure there are some people out there who are treating their parents unfairly over innocent mistakes because they didn't know then so they resent them and disown them but I don't know. Sometimes the person doesn't even want to tell their parent about their AS diagnoses or finding out that they may have it because they don't want them to feel guilty. One of my aspie friends was diagnosed 11 years ago and he told his parents and his dad felt soo guilty. As a child, he did some tough love with him so he was afraid of his own dad so he dared to not have a tantrum or try and get his way or act up or do anything naughty. He was like a little angel instead because of his father. But his dad didn't know then so my question is what would be different if he knew then? Would my online friend be acting up and having a tantrum (I am calling them tantrums since he was in control of them and meltdowns are out of their control) and would he have been a spoiled brat because of his diagnoses? So I think there can be advantages to a parent not knowing because it teaches the kid to be in more control of their condition and to accept responsibilities and take responsibility because their parents didn't know so they didn't have an excuse then. But it doesn't change the fact that his dad felt he was too harsh with him because imagine what my friend must have been going through to be a good boy because he was so afraid of the old man he called his dad. But today they have a relationship and he doesn't hold anything against his dad. My mom will just get defensive if I bring up any mistakes she's made. I am sure she feels guilty too and doesn't want to be reminded of it so she prefers to keep it under the rug and not have it be brought up because she doesn't like how it makes her feel so it's better if she never thinks about it or is ever reminded about it.


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My blog: https://mynoneabdlthoughts.wordpress.com/


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25 Apr 2015, 12:42 pm

For me, I absolutely think so. I don't see the "position" that they have. Of course, both my parents were terrible and dcfs got involved for abandonment and drug use, pretty early (I was age 2)... so maybe that might be part of my disillusionment. I mean, both my siblings would call other women "mom," to women other than our bio mother. She was not a mother at all to us and I don't accept the thing where everyone is like "well, she was your mother, so you have to love her." Um, NO! I do not. She was not a mother to us- she considered us a burden and made sure we knew it.. She once tried to drop us all off at the orphanage but we were turned away since I was too old. Terrible. Terrible. She chose any guy who would sleep with her, to be more important than us. But anyway, as an answer to your question, I absolutely do but that's because I don't put them on a pedestal above everyone else- they're just people, to me.


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B19
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25 Apr 2015, 4:56 pm

nyxjord wrote:
For me, I absolutely think so. I don't see the "position" that they have. Of course, both my parents were terrible and dcfs got involved for abandonment and drug use, pretty early (I was age 2)... so maybe that might be part of my disillusionment. I mean, both my siblings would call other women "mom," to women other than our bio mother. She was not a mother at all to us and I don't accept the thing where everyone is like "well, she was your mother, so you have to love her." Um, NO! I do not. She was not a mother to us- she considered us a burden and made sure we knew it.. She once tried to drop us all off at the orphanage but we were turned away since I was too old. Terrible. Terrible. She chose any guy who would sleep with her, to be more important than us. But anyway, as an answer to your question, I absolutely do but that's because I don't put them on a pedestal above everyone else- they're just people, to me.


I understand completely. The dismissive sentimentality of "you have to love your mother" (or she did her best) is an offensive denial of reality in histories like ours (yours and mine). Where do those people get off? Are they so stupid as to think that because they had wonderful mothers so did everyone else? B19 shakes head in exasperation and grits teeth.. just as well perhaps that we can't carry handguns in this country :lol:



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25 Apr 2015, 7:50 pm

We're often more critical of everybody. Why would parents get off the hook? lol

(Nine months of body-sharing, and 18 years of free rent, free food, and all the ABA you can handle not withstanding. lol)