Avatar
Please consider registering
guest
sp_LogInOut Log In
Lost password?
Advanced Search
Forum Scope


Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
The forums are currently locked and only available for read only access
sp_TopicIcon
Worried about my nephews
November 5, 2006
11:46 pm
Avatar
lovetocrochet
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 27, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I need some feedback on if I'm being oversensitive about some things I'm seeing with my nephews.

Yesterday a local Christian store did a Veggie Tales DVD promotion. SIL (DH's sister) and BIL brought their boys, ages 4 1/2 and 3. They looked at some stuff and when the store played the new DVD, SIL told her kids to sit down and watch. Her older boy talked a little more then started watching. He sat on my lap and was quiet the rest of the time (he's quiet by nature anyhow).

Her youngest kept talking real loud, whining he wanted this, he wanted that. Pretty typical for a 3 year old, at least I think... DH and I looked at each other and smiled, we know we'll deal with this in a year. Nephew also seemed irritable, like he was feeling off or something.

My SIL started lighting into him. Barking at him "You're the ONLY ONE who's not watching the movie. So sit down and be quiet!" Every time she wanted him to move somewhere she'd grab his upper arm and kind of jerk or push him.

He's quiet for a minute on her lap, then starts asking for candy. She keeps shushing him real loud, barking at him to be quiet, and he starts whining and crying. People are starting to stare.

She barks at my BIL to take him to the back of the store. Instead he takes my nephew aside, puts his arms around him and asked him in a soft voice what's the matter, while holding him. Nephew starts quieting down... BIL also tells him "Everyone's watching the movie BUT YOU."

I just cringe every time they do this - it's like, why point out what your kids are doing compared to others? I have NEVER seen that work. Oh and my SIL kept telling her kids every time they asked for a toy, "If you're really good and watch the movie then you'll get it for Christmas."

Just as my BIL got my nephew calmed my SIL gets huffy, grabs my nephew by the upper arm again and drags him off. My BIL says what? I was just talking to him to see what he wanted. My SIL says something b*tchy to him about not doing what she asked and takes my nephew to the back of the store where you can hear him start up again and then screaming and crying.

My BIL stood there and sighed, really exasperated, then walked off. My older nephew got off my lap about that point, said he was done watching, and went over to his Dad. After the DVD was over we each did some shopping in the store and then left.

DH and I talked later. He told me two other things I wasn't aware of:

1. Her sons wanted plush Larry Boys. She asked DH how much they were since we were buying one for my son. When DH told her she yanked them out of her boys' hands and went oh no, that's too expensive! My older nephew then went up to DH and said in this real sad voice, "Mommy took away my Larry Boy." DH said he was speechless.

2. It turns out her younger son had *strep throat*. Well geez, no wonder he was so irritable! So on top of all the other stuff she dragged him out while he was getting over being sick... AND IT'S CONTAGIOUS. Meaning my son and all the other kids there have been exposed. SIL didn't say anything about it until we were already letting our kids interact. Might I mention my son just got over a stomach virus? We were going to take him to the doctor anyway but now I'm wondering if we shouldn't request a throat culture to be on the safe side.

I told DH I think his sister was mean to her kids - he didn't exactly disagree, and usually if he thinks I'm out of line he'll say it. So that bothers me too. I mean every parent has bad days and makes mistakes, but she seems to be like this to them all the time.

So am I being oversensitive, or is this stuff overboard? I just know I cringed the entire time for her boys. I feel like there's nothing we can do but just be as kind to those boys as we can. Talking to my SIL would start a major poo storm in the whole family and at the least my MIL would stick up for her.

November 5, 2006
11:53 pm
Avatar
Randomwomen2
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 9
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

It sounds like to me that she needs some anger management classes. With me ofcourse I have my bad days. But I also dont take my kids out of the house while they are sick. I might run to the store with them If they just have a cold but I try and limit that also. You are not being oversensitive hunny. My heart goes out to those kids too

November 5, 2006
11:55 pm
Avatar
lolli
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

oh lovetocrochet,

that is so tough. i struggle all the time with watching other people do nasty things to their kids.

when does it cross the line into abuse? and when is the abuse the kind you are obligated to stop... or the (equally damaging kind) that society as a whole still doesn't recognize and thus your thoughts will fall on deaf (or even hostile) ears?

I guess you are right that all you can do is be as kind to the kids as possible. I feel kind of helpless about this stuff too. Maybe someone else will write in with helpful suggestions of ways to confront SIL without really *confronting* her?

sorry you had to see that nastiness in the store. sorry it goes on at all in this world. it's so nice to know though that those boys have such a loving aunt who cares and will be nice to them. that will mean a lot to them one day when they are old enough to understand.

(((love)))

November 6, 2006
12:15 am
Avatar
southgoingzax
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 79
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

lovetocrochet,

unfortunately, you can't do much unless there is physical abuse going on...some people just weren't meant to have kids....or need parenting classes. I would continue to kepp talking to your husband, maybe he can approach BIL on the subject, or maybe you can - it sounds as though he was unhappy with the situation too...

Another thought - do you normally get along with SIL? Could you maybe approach the subject from a "you seemed really stressed out the other day" approach? Maybe if you can get her to talk about what she is so angry about, you can get her to see, without saying anything directly, how badly her behavior is affecting her children...maybe not, I don't know what your communication level is with this woman, but if she's at all open to you, it might be worth a try.

November 6, 2006
12:09 pm
Avatar
lovetocrochet
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 27, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thanks everyone for your feedback. It's good to know that what I'm seeing is really what I'm seeing. Both my SIL and my MIL are pretty wrapped up in themselves and it comes out by getting angry when they can't control the world around them.

SIL is very much a Cleopatra - queen of denial. If anyone tries to raise something by asking if she was stressed out over a situation she'll say oh no, I'm fine, just fine.

Of course there's the joke that FINE stands for F'd up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional.

I get along with SIL at a surface level and she was supportive and reassuring when I had bleeding at the beginning of my pregnancy with my son. But she can definitely get pushy.

My son had mild reflux as a baby that the doctors repeatedly stated did NOT need treatment, caused no problems other than having to change his outfits a few times a day. He was just a "happy spitter."

But she and my MIL would not stop jumping on our backs about it - they kept telling us do this, do that, you have to switch him to soy, etc. There were a couple of times it got ugly, even after telling them several times the doctor stated there wasn't an issue. They didn't drop it until my son stopped around the time he started walking. Same with some other issues like when to introduce certain solid foods, discipline, etc. My MIL has some, uh, old school ideas for discipline that we made clear if she implemented on our son she'd never see him again.

Needless to say we don't have MIL watch our son very much anymore. DH switched to swing shift so we could have him home with us... my son also got wiped out and overwhelmed around my cousins being around them all the time (MIL watches them too).

My nephews can get really aggressive with each other, the younger one has left bruises on the older one from biting him so hard, and deep scratches on his face and neck all the time. The younger one has also pushed my son around and tried to hurt him a couple of times - they're only 8 mos. apart so the younger one gets jealous easily. It's better now since they don't see each other as much.

November 6, 2006
1:47 pm
Avatar
lolli
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

oh ltc,

I LOVE your definition of F.I.N.E. I MUST remember that! lol

It sounds like your SIL is a clone of your MIL. I've been reading a book about mothers and daughters lately... and I think I might have a clue why. But the most important thing,I think, is that your DH detached. GOOD FOR YOU AND HIM that you were able to set strong boundaries with your MIL re: physical discipline. That is often so hard to do... I really admire and commend you for doing it!

Hmmm... about the MIL babysitting for your nephews and all the bruises and cuts, etc. I know kids fight, and fall down, etc... but I just wonder if the MIL is using her physical discipline with them and they are modeling her behavior by beating up on each other?

oh i do wish there were stronger abuse laws that included psychological, verbal, and the all too common "spanking." maybe one day... sigh.

i do feel for those boys... but at least they have you. and they have your son's healthy behavior to model too. i'm glad, at least, that he is not in that situation... and really, it sounds like that's the most you can do. (unless you can pinpoint something physical on the part of MIL or SIL).

(((LTC)))

November 6, 2006
2:25 pm
Avatar
lovetocrochet
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 27, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I'm not sure if my MIL uses any physical discipline on my nephews. I think they're just taking out the chaotic environment they're in all the time on each other... and they're only 17 months apart. I totally know how much friction being close in age to a sibling can be, my brother's only 20 months older and we NEVER got along.

They're also shuffled back and forth between day care, MIL's and home all the time. Lots of running around on the road. SIL also frequently pushes off her boys on MIL or day care instead of staying home with them when something comes up. Her husband has his own business but won't take time off either because of high demand, meaning he's gone a lot. So it wouldn't surprise me if they felt neglected or resentful.

November 6, 2006
2:36 pm
Avatar
lolli
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

here's a thought ltc...

it sounds like your concerns about your nephews are very real and valid. but i have been going through something similar recently too... so here's a question for you...

do you think part of the reason why you are so empathetic to your nephews is because you can somehow relate to what they're going through? i.e., maybe you have some personal pain surrounding those issues that you haven't yet explored fully?

i know that happens in my case. somehow i have the sense that if i work through the issues it brings up for me (seeing children suffer from effects of bad parenting) that i will either
a) be able to better help them because i will have a more balanced "adult" perspective on what is happening
and/or
b)feel less urgency to help them because i will have a more balanced perspective and see something about it that i'm not able to see now.

anyway, that's what is going on for me... so thought i'd bring it up in case it sparks something for you too. but i'm still in the process of working out my issues, so i can't tell you yet if it really does lead to a) and/or b). Just somehow what i hope/think might happen. oh, i wish it weren't so confusing and difficult!

hang in there, ltc. i know it is SO hard to watch others (especially children!) suffer from the ignorance of others who haven't yet worked through their issues (and maybe never will).

((ltc))

November 7, 2006
11:14 am
Avatar
lovetocrochet
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 27, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Oh I know part of it is about reminders of my own childhood. The stuff my SIL spews out at her boys are almost an exact tape recording of the stuff my parents used to say to me sometimes to put me down and shut me up.

However my concerns aren't over trying to resolve the pain left behind in me. My concerns are over my nephews being crushed and pained by their mother's words.

I just want so bad to shake her by the shoulders and yell, don't you see what you're doing to those boys??? You KNOW I don't speak to my bio-family anymore, and it's partly because they did to me exactly what you're doing to your children! I want to warn her that she needs to straighten her act out before it's too late and she turns her kids bitter and resentful... there's a reason the Bible says "Fathers do not nag your children, lest they lose heart."

November 8, 2006
4:55 pm
Avatar
lolli
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

hmmm... here's a thought. is there any way you could bring up in casual converation with her- her relationship with her parents?

maybe, just maybe getting her little by little to be more introspective (and less in denial) about her past will help her work out her own issues that are obviously spilling over onto her children.

obviously, you can't MAKE her do anything she's not ready to do... but you could introduce the topic in very subtle ways. if she's even remotely ready to start dealing with her issues, your subtle references will start to spark a new awareness in her.

i have been reading this book lately, "what to do when you and your mother can't be friends" - it is so enlightening about the different types of mothers and how their children often react by mimicing or doing exactly the opposite in their parenting (which leads to opposite but equally damaging problems). the book is framed in reference to mother-daughter relationships... but it still has good info on how boys react to their moms too.

i dunno... maybe if you can converse with her as comrades... could you say how you've been exploring your own issues lately... tell her about a great book you read... etc? if it is framed more about "you" she will be less defensive... and maybe it would even let her know that there is someone willing to talk about these things when she is ready to start exploring her family of origin issues.

November 8, 2006
5:43 pm
Avatar
Guest
Guests

The nicest thing about little kids is how resiliant they are. Those little guys may be able to get over some of this just fine. They have a good auntie for back-up.

It's really nice your husband backs you up and you are feeling the same things raising your son.

And it's too bad the BIL seems to be more empathetic to his boys and the SIL does not feel any unity in their parenting. It sounds as if they may not be getting along well.

I don't think mothers and daughters need to be this close, frankly. Healthier would be MORE friends for each of them their own age! SIL sounds like she'd rather runn off and let mom raise her kids.

All you can do is spend less time with them and get your child involved in OTHER little social groups -- Teeny Tiny Tumbling class was a crack-up and I met a couple of friends because of it. Try to arrange for the children to be together when YOU are the one supervising. Hire a babysitter instead of MIL.

It doesn't sound like anyone is being abusive. Just angry and tired and frustrated and easily irritated.:)

November 8, 2006
10:01 pm
Avatar
lovetocrochet
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 27, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Lolli - SIL and MIL are super-enmeshed. They even all attend the same church "as a family" - don't even get me started on THAT.

I couldn't even come close to broaching what you suggest without it causing a MAJOR problem, or they simply wouldn't get it. They honestly think there is nothing wrong with the way things are.

Brynnie - the only time my MIL sees my son now is when DH takes him over once a week for a couple of hours, and he stays there to help her with the boys as well until they go nap, and then they leave. At that we've had to cancel those for almost a month because of everyone being sick or something else coming up.

When she's just one on one with my son she actually does really well with him. She once confided my son's the easiest for her because he just entertains himself and he's pretty laid back for a toddler. Even DH and I wonder where he got it from with our personalities, LOL.

She's going to sit my son Friday night while DH and I do date night for a couple of hours. The nephews will be gone by then... and my FIL should be home as well. He's really good with all the grandkids. Maybe that's where my son got the laid back part!

I think you're onto something with my SIL and BIL not getting along. They ran into a major crisis a few years ago that I honestly don't think they resolved. I think she is still resentful over what happened and she's let it spew out this way. It was a situation where she definitely should have gotten counseling or gone into a support group, and she never did.

November 8, 2006
10:18 pm
Avatar
lolli
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

hmmmm... then i don't know what else you can do really.

my mom is in super denial and SUPER sensitive about talking about "issues" even if i try to bring up things in a non-defensive non-blaming way. however, i have started to have some luck recently in getting her to talk about feelings... but only about things that are SO far off the mark. (e.g., "oh, I bet that soccer game was really exciting?! did you feel excited to be there?!" "oh... that sounds frustrating. how did you feel about that?")

in my case, it makes some sense for me to skirt all around the issues because i have a lot at stake in trying to get our relationship to a point where i can talk to her about the abuse that happened to me.

however, in your case... would it be worth it or even possible? i don't know. you don't really know for sure unless you try. but i still don't know what the "line" is here... i.e., is it codependent to try to subtly bring up topics in an effort to change her (even tho it would help kids)? or is it not considered "abuse" but rather some of the "normal" bad parenting that is inevitable because nobody's perfect?

i'm at a loss just like you. tough situation. i guess if you feel like there's absolutely nothing you can do short of turning them in to child protective services (which obviously you can't do because it doesn't really "qualify") then... just be there for them as they grow and give them an example of how a kind even-tempered adult acts. since you really can't depend on SIL or MIL ever changing (although it would be great if they suddenly had an epiphany), then I guess you can just work really hard at being the "kind mentor" figure in their life.

i know my mentor figures really helped shape my life in a positive way almost as much as the abuse shaped it negatively.

(((LTC)))

Forum Timezone: UTC -8
Most Users Ever Online: 349
Currently Online:
29
Guest(s)
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Top Posters:
onedaythiswillpass: 1134
zarathustra: 562
StronginHim77: 453
free: 433
2013ways: 431
curious64: 408
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 49
Members: 111155
Moderators: 5
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 8
Forums: 74
Topics: 38716
Posts: 714574
Newest Members:
Ntaryanka, kokyman, qvcreditsg, freyrobert332, maamazama7, bojo2112jon
Moderators: arochaIB: 1, devadmin: 9, Tincho: 0, Donn Gruta: 0, Germain Palacios: 0
Administrators: admin: 21, ShiningLight: 572, emily430: 29

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Health Disclaimer | Do Not Sell My Personal Information