Children And Passive Aggressive Behavior

What do you do with children that obviously have passive aggressive behavior?

If you’ve been with me for any length of time, you know that my first advice if someone has children and they are married to a passive aggressive spouse, is to get out and save the children. All too often the children have a tendency to pick up the passive aggressive spouse’s behaviors.

Children also have the ability to take on these behaviors all by themselves when they start resenting the responsibilities put upon them by their parents.  In a way it’s no wonder children will behave passive aggressively, as they feel they have no other choice. In my house I was definitely not allowed to talk back or squack about what I was told to do. As a result, I had to take my little sister (6 yrs. younger) with me every where I went from the time she could walk.

As I was doing some research today, I came across an article by Signe Witson on Psychology Today who talks about a mother who asks her oldest daughter to take the 2 younger daughters to the bathroom while they are having a meal in a restaurant. While the oldest acts obediently, she travels at such a pace, she loses both her siblings on the way. When Mother is upset, the oldest daughter acts in complete surprise and blames her siblings for not keeping up.

This is such a familiar story to me. I can remember behaving in such a manner when I was a kid, and I can remember my oldest daughter on occasion behaving the same way regarding her siblings. Evidently now there is a book to help parents deal with these kind of situations called “The Reality Rub”.

The Reality Rub is recommended for use with kids who manipulate reality to test limits. The goal of the Reality Rub is to help kids re-organize their thinking and clarify reality by discussing their blurred, distorted, or self-serving perceptions of an incident.

This sounds like it may be a perfect place to start if you have kids that are always testing your limits, or who are developing their own passive aggressive behavior habits that would serve them better if they used that energy in more constructive ways.



What Would A Passive Aggressive Father Do?

broken familiesIf you are married to a passive aggressive and are “staying together for the sake of the children”, you may want to read this.  I would venture to say that most families with a passive aggressive parent eventually implode, or explode, but rarely come out well adjusted. Of course I would like to again state here for the record, I am not a therapist or doctor of any kind, and I do not have the statistics to back me up, but I am very opinionated. LOL.

So, what would a passive aggressive father do if he was about to watch his kid jump off  a cliff? You would hope the passive aggressive father would stop the child, right? Isn’t that what any normal parent would do? In the case of a passive aggressive parent, I’m not so sure.

I wrote about one of my passive aggressive boyfriend’s sons in “Passive Aggressive Offspring” the last time I posted. Unfortunately that situation has only gotten worse. He’s up half the night and sleeps half the day. He lives by the TV in the living room as we have no where else to put him right now.

Last week we were supposed to go somewhere and get something done early, say around 9:00am. He had been up about 10 min. after 8:00, and his alarm or phone had gone off a little while after that, and all he did was cover up and go back to sleep. This son is a grown man. Naturally when he did that, I assumed he changed his mind about going with me and I let him sleep. When he finally got up that afternoon, he asked if I had gone without him. When I said I had, he said how I could have got him up. I explained to him that he’s 41 yrs. old. I assumed if he wanted to get up he would have.

There was some excuse for the next couple of days as well. Finally on Saturday when his father was home, I mentioned to my PA boyfriend about getting this thing done. He said he would wake his son up “pretty soon”. By 9:30 am when I had come back from taking care of a couple of other things, the BF said he had awakened him, but I still wasn’t seeing any signs of life. It took until almost noon to finally get going. Obviously I was the only one concerned that the other people involved were doing us a favor, and we might be imposing the longer we waited.

My girlfriend is getting terribly frustrated because I haven’t done anything about it. On top of that, he’s about drank her out of house and home. The father knows all about this, but says nothing. It’s not my son. Why should I be left to do the dirty work? Why do I put up with it? Because he’s been doing us a favor with some work we need done. Would it be different if it were my kid? Oh definitely!

Now it seems that the youngest is on a rampage. He has been getting out of control on alcohol, and been terribly abusive to his mother. The last time he got drunk (and possibly drugged up) he stole his brother’s car and was verbally abusive to his sister-in-law. Their mother has been in really poor health for awhile now, and this added stress has got to be taking it’s toll. Unfortunately the mother just calls the two other sons to do something instead of doing something (like calling the police) herself.

I asked my BF if he didn’t feel like he should talk to the boy, since he was now being so abusive to the mother. The boy’s wife has already thrown him out for abusing her more than once. He said yes he would, unbeknownst to me already having this little talk with his other son already. Will he? It’s been 4 days, 2 of that being a weekend when the boyfriend was off work, and he hasn’t made the call yet.

Like I said, what would a passive aggressive father do if he saw his child about to jump off a cliff? Who knows?

Passive Aggressive Offspring…

Just a quick note here before I get on with the subject- it just amazes me the spam, and the kind of spam I get in the comments section here. Between penis enlargements, hard-core porn links, and other languages I can’t read so I have no idea if they are porn or not, it just amazes me. LOL.  (The end of note)

We have had one of my passive aggressive boyfriend‘s sons with us for a few months while he’s straightening out some stuff in his life. He’s a great guy and been a blessing to us on more than one occasion. The passive aggressive boyfriend actually has 3 sons, and one hasn’t spoken to me in a long time unless he’s just really desperate. (I’ve already told that story) This one and I have always got along really well, but as of late he’s seeming just a bit testy. Makes me think of that old saying “friends, fish and family all smell after 3 days”.

I’ve always thought he had a great heart and was pretty up front about everything. I’m starting to do a lot more thinking about passive aggressive offspring. I asked him if he was angry with me over anything, if there was something I had done, but he says no.  I’m wondering if he figures whatever he is upset with me about is so small it’s not worth bringing up, or if he’s not upset with me particularly, I’m just the one that feels it? Or I guess it could just be me, but I don’t think so.

Does any of the above sound familiar? It sounds like just what we all have been through before we realized what we were dealing with, yes? Second guessing, wondering what we did wrong, blah, blah, blah. Which is one of the reasons I’m starting to think that he may have picked up some traits from his passive aggressive father, versus me being nuts. LOL. Although, unlike his father he does have a good understanding of what passive aggressive is.

Which, parents of young children, if you’re living with a passive aggressive spouse, you may not know the effects on them for years. Guard your children’s emotional and mental health. It only goes to figure that passive aggressive parents would produce passive aggressive offspring.


Effects of Passive Aggressive Parenting

If you are wondering what kind of an effect your passive aggressive spouse/partner is going to have on your children, let me give you an example.  So many times we stay together for “the sake of the children”. Let me show you why you may not be doing them any favors.

My passive aggressive boyfriend had 3 boys when I met him, all grown. The oldest, who is doing quite well, and the middle one were from a previous marriage. The youngest was his biological. Due to her having an alcohol problem in his previous marriage, he wound up pretty basically raising the three boys on his own. (One of the reasons I thought he would be so good for my son).

The youngest is 30 now. He’s having a hell of a time in his marriage. He’s been in and out of rehab for alcohol and needs to go again, and he gets drunk and blames his father for everything. His biggest complaint is unanswered questions. Usually the BF just lets him rant on and on. Finally after this last call the passive aggressive boyfriend says he is going to tell his son the next time that he’s a grown man now, and he needs to take responsibility for his own actions. Amen!

To tell you the truth, I can sort of understand where this kid is coming from. If living with a passive aggressive makes us crazy, imagine how confusing it is to a child. And since a child needs nurturing and a loving relationship from their parents, and all they are getting is confusion and mixed signals, what do you think we are raising? More passive aggressives.

I can only imagine some of the conversations that take place between my passive aggressive boyfriend and his son. Son asks a question “why…?” BF hangs his head but gives no answer. Or, BF hangs his head and says “I know. I wasn’t the best father…”. Son walks away wondering why he never saw the brick wall he just ran into.

As I said, he’s also having problems in his marriage. Personally a lot of us think he married the wrong girl, but pushing that aside, I find myself wondering how passive aggressive he is toward her. How much of their problems he brings on himself by clamming up, just like his father instead of having an open and adult discussion.

I think when we allow our passive aggressive partners to have such a huge influence on our children we are sentencing them to a life of doomed relationships, just like the one their parent is living. I don’t think they develop coping skills so they self medicate with either drugs or alcohol, and they are constantly trying to fill that void in their hearts from being hurt or feeling unloved.

If you have children and are staying in a passive aggressive relationship because you think it would be harder on them to go through a divorce, then for God’s sakes, do everything you can to pick up the slack of your passive aggressive partner. It’s up to you to constantly reassure your children that they are loved. That the way the passive aggressive parent is acting is not the normal way to be in a relationship. It’s up to you to work double-time to make this child secure. And I don’t mean spoiling them out of guilt or any other reason. I just mean by letting them know as they can understand, how good, healthy, loving relationships with others should be.

How Does Someone Become Passive Aggressive?

a child

Isn't It So Sad?

How does someone become passive aggressive? Anyone who is involved with a passive aggressive has had to ask that question, among the many others, like “how can I help” or “how can I fix it” or “what in the Sam Hell did I do wrong?” “How do I cope with this?”

I am here to tell you I saw a prime example of how the men we love end up being the men we hate.

I had to take my mother to the hospital lab today to get some blood drawn. I thought we went at a time that there would be relatively few people. I forgot how many people are out of work these days and obviously are taking the time to make up all their blood work from the past. LOL. Anyway, this place was packed.

In the crowd I spied a young woman with two young boys, one I would say is probably about a year and a half, the other maybe 3 or 4. The oldest child was very good at entertaining himself, no gadgets, no reading a story to, he was extremely well behaved for such an environment and such a long wait. The young woman was with a man, who as I watched was not her husband but was evidently her father (now a-days you never know). He was holding the younger child who was going in to get his regular childhood “shots”.

In the time that I observed them, I would say that the older child 1) reached for the mother’s hand and was totally rejected. She completely withdrew her hand 2) He had begged for her attention after she had been holding the younger sibling and she rejected him a second time. She put on this “play” (like you would see in a theater)like she was too tired now. The child gave up, almost like he was used to this ploy.

A little while later, as the line progressed and we were moving closer to the front, the little boy went over to some strangers in the front of the line ahead of the grandpa. That caught her attention. She apologized to the people from the chair she was seated in, for her son disturbing them, and then called her son over by acting so sweet and clapping her hands for him.

He was on to her game! I watched as this darling little boy looked over at her, and proceeded to totally ignore her and keep his stance in line. You wonder where passive aggressive behavior comes from? It starts Here! This child at 4, maybe 5 years old is learning the passive aggressive game. Who is he learning it from? From at least one of his parents! This absolutely darling child that any one with any feeling would have wrapped up in a minute in your arms, was learning at the age of 4 how to be passive aggressive.

I hope this young mother learns “more better” before her children get to old.

It’s amazing where you find passive aggressiveness once you learn how to spot it. Feel free to leave your stories of what you’ve seen. When you see something like this, it’s a little easier to understand. Maybe not easier to live with, but easier to understand. LOL