I did a search & can't find what I need. I need reading material on what the likely outcome is for a child who has been overly criticized.
Someone very close to me has 3 kids, 2 are grown. It has been obvious for years that she favored the older 2 children. I have softly & gently tried to make this more apparent to mom & at times she seems receptive.
Despite mom seeming to hear me, the situation has continued to escalate to the point that recently she said some things about her child I found shocking as she would have never said this about the others. The child is a teen now & mom was telling me that she can't wait for her to move out, doesn't even care if they become estranged, it seems she even hinted that she believes her health issues are due to this child & the stress this child has placed on her life. Now mind you, I love the mother. Very much. She is by all accounts in all other ways an amazing person. Her kids are adopted, but that hasn't seemed to hinder bonding with others, so I can't say that is why she is this way with this child. I am really concerned for the well being of the child. I know there is no direct abuse (such as hitting) nor has there ever been. I do feel the child has not received the love & support necessary to flourish. It appears to me that this child doesn't feel it's worth trying, as nothing will be good enough, so much of her behavior likely stems from a combination of no longer seeking approval at all (since she is certain she won't ever get it) and some amount of seeking to inflict pain & stress as she feels she has suffered. Likewise the mom has told me that she "gives up" as she has "tried everything". I am not even sure how to interpret that one.
I am at a loss on finding if there are books or other materials, or something I can find to offer the mother in this case where she might have any chance at realizing that her child's problems are in part due to her own critical nature. I do not feel there is an acknowledgement at all on her part that she has helped create what is now happening (poor behaviors) and that she could make changes in herself & her approach that might help heal some of this. She does admit she doesn't feel bonded to the child, but again, blames that on how "difficult' the child has always been in nature. The child has 4 more years before she is grown. I know it's late, but I feel like I should at least try. As it is now, her path is very very worrisome & my sideline love & guidance can only do so much for her.
I would love suggestions on reading. The mother always has been open to reading it seems, and may be willing to read something if I can provide it. I just can't seem to find anything that will help her understand that she has been harshly critical & what the fallout with a child's behavior is when they feel they can do no right in your eyes. If you can provide any reference that actually spells that out would be awesome so perhaps she would recognize the symptoms in her own child. I can find blips about it. I am seeking something more in depth as I think it will require something more thorough for her to see the connections. She is very eager to diagnose her daughter with something versus see this as a relationship problem. A few sentences on the impact of harsh criticism isn't going to bring about any awakening as I have tried that route.