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Sister snubbing my children, not working for her

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

My sister really wants her 2 girls to be popular. She has had them in cheerleading since 2 and 3 yrs old. (which, toddler cheerleading is not the same as high school or college cheer, which in many places really is a sport). One thing she has been doing for years, which I think is rotten, is she only lets her daughter invite kids who she thinks are popular, therefore, will help her daughter be popular. Therefore, she does not invite my almost same aged (just months a part) daughter to anything, even though her daughter has asked to invite my daughter. She used to say "but these girls are popular, you know how important that is, you understand." No..I don't! I have even tried to point out to her what kind of friends can they possibly be if she is so afraid of them rejecting niece if niece invites her own cousin to her birthday party? The only thing "wrong" with my daughter is she is smart, in to symphony, and that sort of thing. She is not obnoxious about it, nothing. My sister just does not want to risk having my not-popular daughter at a party with the popular girls. I feel like I am watching some sort of movie about junior high in all this. Niece has invited my daughter before only to have my sister come forward and tell me not to bring my daughter.

 

This has completely not worked for them. Because niece ends up with no good friends, my sister has transferred her schools many times. She has not transferred schools yet this year, but most years, she transfers mid-year at some point. I heard from my sister a few months ago, all upset because none of niece's "friends" showed up at her birthday party type celebration. My daughter had not been invited. Niece transferred schools midyear last year because she was not popular at the old school. My sister said that all the kids at that school were snobs because niece wanted to be friends with a specific "popular" group and they were not interested in her, therefore, she transferred her. 

 

When that niece was 12 yrs old, a boy asked her out. My sister called me like it was the best thing ever. Then niece went out on a date with him once (movies, just the two of them) and decided she wanted to break up. My sister felt having a boyfriend was too important and told her daughter she was not allowed to break up with him. Niece defied her mother by breaking up with him on their very next date anyway. I think niece has a decent head on her shoulders, her mom is just a problem here. 

 

When my sister called me today, she was upset over some issue she was having again with some of these new friends she has. I said back to her that maybe if she let our daughter's do things together, maybe they would end up being true friends that actually come through for each other. My sister did not expect that response from me and immediately started making excuses. She said our girls were too different, her daughter is "popular" and my daughter is not interested in being "popular" so she just thinks they could not get along. Ohh kay..she has not given them a chance and they have gotten along just fine in the past when they did stuff together. It is my sister who gets in between them. 

 

About younger niece....she does not have a good head on her shoulders like older niece seems to. Younger niece is 10 yrs old and already dating and wears tons of makeup. These are one on one dates. My sister actually thinks I would be excited to hear about 10 yr old niece's unsupervised 1-on-1 dates. I would rather if she were not doing this, but mostly, I just do not want her to tell me about it! Last week, on Friday night, my sister invited me to eat out with her. Once there, my 10 yr old niece had tons of makeup on, including heavy eye make up. She was on her cell phone through much of the meal. I asked my sister to maybe have her put it away, but my sister informed me she had a hard night because her boyfriend stood her up! To top it off, while this is so minor compared to that, niece talks baby talk to my 9 yr old. When he went to butter his bread, she jumped up from her seat and grabbed his knife from his hand and said "nooo, sharp, knife is sharp." All in babytalk! I made her give him the knife back and reminded her that he is only a year younger. The law requires kids be in car seats to 8 yrs old here. So last year, when she saw my son in his booster seat in the car, she babytalked to him and told him when he is older, like her, he won't have to have that yucky ole car seat. She has been out of a car seat since she was 2 and she was forward facing by a couple months old. Her mother always claimed she was too mature for a car seat and to be rear facing.

 

SO...next time my sister calls me, frustrated and complaining about older niece being rejected by the popular kids, or younger niece being stood up on a date, how would you handle it? Would I be out of line to just lay it out there that I do not approve of what she is doing so I cannot talk about it? I have tried to be nice about it for years, but I think the whole thing is sick and I am tired of her calling me about these things. BTW, my sister is married (but her dh is always off fishing or hunting with his buddies it seems) and she has a college degree and is a public school teacher. 

post #2 of 36

I think I'd tell her I have no interest in her drama whatsoever and hang up. 

post #3 of 36

I would not be able to talk to my sister about those things. I would not be able to watch my neices being trated like that. Just my two cents. It would be too painful for me. Sorry you are dealing with this.

post #4 of 36

Wow, I had no idea there were people this vapid outside of the movies!

 

OP, what was your sister like when she was a teen?  Was she popular?  Did she strive and fail to be popular?  I wonder if she is trying to relive her teen years through her daughters.

post #5 of 36

I can't imagine how hurt I would feel if my sister implied that my kids were not good enough to hang out with hers. I think I would really distance myself from her, just because I would be too hurt and insulted. This is not some mom at the school yard, it's your sister! The cousins should play together, hang out together, have birthdays together... what a sad situation. I am sorry you are dealing with this, I would be just heartbroken.

As for all the kiddie boyfriend drama (wtf??), I would just say that it is so beyond the scope of my parenting values and ideals that I don't even want to engage in conversation about it. I would also say that there are other things that you hope your kids find in their friendships other than who is "popular". Her views are just mind-boggling to me, I'm sorry.

post #6 of 36
Thread Starter 


Our mom lost custody of me so I did not live with my sister from when she was about 11 on. I know they moved when she was in high school, but I was gone to college by then so I do not know exactly what was up with her during that time. It was really after college we reconnected. But, maybe we did not really reconnect. Maybe we really are just worlds apart. We were so close when we were much younger. I am the older sister.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamashtu View Post

Wow, I had no idea there were people this vapid outside of the movies!

 

OP, what was your sister like when she was a teen?  Was she popular?  Did she strive and fail to be popular?  I wonder if she is trying to relive her teen years through her daughters.



 

post #7 of 36
Thread Starter 


You know...I think I will word it like this next time. I will just tell her that I think it is rotten that she thinks my children are not good enough to hang out with her children and both sets of kids are really losing out on what could have been a good relationship..over her hang ups.

 

Ironically..at holidays, my sister does come around and demand that I go to our mother's house and hang out. (our mother did not have custody of me and I am not close to her at all). She will say stuff like "my girls want to see their cousins." I tell her she is welcome to do things with us at other times, but she just does not quit. My dh got quite ticked when we went on vacation one Christmas and my sister texted us several times a day that I need to come right back and quit the vacation because I belonged there and I am hurting her daughters by taking their cousins away. Funny how my children are their cousins when it is convenient, but not the rest of the time. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuba'sMama View Post

I can't imagine how hurt I would feel if my sister implied that my kids were not good enough to hang out with hers. I think I would really distance myself from her, just because I would be too hurt and insulted. This is not some mom at the school yard, it's your sister! The cousins should play together, hang out together, have birthdays together... what a sad situation. I am sorry you are dealing with this, I would be just heartbroken.

As for all the kiddie boyfriend drama (wtf??), I would just say that it is so beyond the scope of my parenting values and ideals that I don't even want to engage in conversation about it. I would also say that there are other things that you hope your kids find in their friendships other than who is "popular". Her views are just mind-boggling to me, I'm sorry.



 

post #8 of 36
Thread Starter 

You know, when I think about it, I think our mother was this way a bit. Perhaps my sister grew up feeling pressured and insecure by our mother and now does it to her children. Our mother was quite unstable so I don't really know what went on when I was no longer living there. She did not practice her visitation either.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post


Our mom lost custody of me so I did not live with my sister from when she was about 11 on. I know they moved when she was in high school, but I was gone to college by then so I do not know exactly what was up with her during that time. It was really after college we reconnected. But, maybe we did not really reconnect. Maybe we really are just worlds apart. We were so close when we were much younger. I am the older sister.



 



 

post #9 of 36

That's a horrible situation and my heart breaks for your nieces, but...

 

You have to put your own kids first.  I'd spell it out clearly to your sister "You are being hurtful to your family.  I feel like you think my children are not good enough to hang out with your children.  I will not allow you to treat them in this way.  Either change, or we will not have contact with you."  And hold her to it.  It is just not okay for your kids to be getting these messages about themselves all the time.

post #10 of 36

Oh my gosh, that is horrible! Can you adopt your nieces? I'm only half-joking.

 

Yes, I would lay it out for her, that she is creating shallow, neurotic, mean little girls -- just like their mother. Maybe she won't talk to you anymore, but she won't let you come around anyway, at least not with your daughter. The only thing that bothers me with that is that your nieces might not have your stabilizing influence anymore. 

 

I really didn't think this happened in the real world either, although I have heard of it. And what with the slough of "fantastic" female role models, like the latest Housewives of Wherever, I guess I'm not completely surprised. 

post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post

My sister actually thinks I would be excited to hear about 10 yr old niece's unsupervised 1-on-1 dates.

 Where would two 10 year olds go on an unsupervised 1 on 1 date?

post #12 of 36

If she wasn't rejecting your kids, I'd tell you to cut her off when she starts in on her wanna be a queen bee's mama rants.

 

Since she IS rejecting your kids, I'll tell you to cut her off when she starts on the rants, but do it by expressing hope that she isn't so desperate to make her girls popular that she's going to give them drugs, alcohol, and lessons in fellatio.

 

OMG, she's thrilled about 10 year olds having one-on-one dates?? So she's already planning how to make her girls popular with the boys? Eeeeeeewwwwww.

post #13 of 36

That must be so painful for you. I don't know how you sit through dinners with her after she treats your DD so horribly, and I think I would have to laugh in her face when she has the audacity to try to guilt trip you about "family" at Christmastime when she demonstrates over and over throughout the rest of the year just exactly how important family is to her. 

post #14 of 36

Honestly, I would be very tempted to say something like, "I'm sorry, sis... you guys are just too popular for us.  I'm just not popular enough to be able to give you any kind of advice on this situation.  Maybe you'd better call up someone who understands popularity and ask them for help."

post #15 of 36
Thread Starter 

The movies. I do not know which one, just that they were supposed to go to the movies.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post



 Where would two 10 year olds go on an unsupervised 1 on 1 date?



 

post #16 of 36

I think bean dip would be good when she starts talking about her daughter's whoas. You need to go fix the toilet, put your finger in the light socket, anything to not talk about her children. 

 

I would slowly cut her off and out of my life.  More and  more, I can't talk right now.  

 

Just seeing them at the holidays might be a good thing.  

 

Sometimes you have to be firm, "You are not going to listen to my opinion so we are not going to discuss it." 

post #17 of 36

wow, with the 10 year-old dating, I would ask her if she's so anxious to be a grandmother or have one of her girls get an STD. 

post #18 of 36

Honestly, though, do you really *want* your daughters hanging around girls that are being brought up like that?  Because if dd had someone at school who acted like that, I would talk to her about avoiding such people.  I would definitely not have a friend like that.  I don't think the axiom, "You can choose your friends, but not your family" is true.  You can choose to not interact with her.  I think it's important for everyone, not just kids, to surround themselves with quality people who are positive forces in their lives.  This sister and her daughters sound like horrible negative influences that should be avoided!  I'm just not sure why you'd want to even have your daughters hang out with them.  TBH, I don't have a good relationship with my siblings and the reason is similar to your situation, but with the same root cause... their selfishness and self-centeredness.  I don't let them or their kids (or grandkids) be integral parts of our lives because they consistently model behaviors that are diametrically opposed to our values.  I'd cut her off for the most part and deal with her with a good dose of brevity when you are forced to be together at family events.  She sounds toxic!

post #19 of 36

Wow!  I do know a couple of moms who have invited "the right girls" in an attempt to jockey for popularity positions.  But not to that extent.  That is amazingly unhealthy.  I'd tell her that my kids and I need to back away from that relationship for a while because I think it's damaging for my kids.

post #20 of 36

I wouldn't make an effort to be friends with someone like that and just because it's your sister there's no reason to try and be her friend.  She sounds insecure and pathetic and like she's gone a bit around the bend.  If you think you can say something that would make a difference, please try for the sake of your nieces.  But I'm pretty sure from what you've written that it won't make a bit of difference.  Those poor girl :(

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