Coping with Non GD family members - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 02-09-2013, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just looking for advice here...
How do you deal with family members who don't practice GD?

my husband and I have siblings who all have children around the same as ours. So our daughter has 5 cousins who she see pretty regularly.
Unfortunately some of our siblings don't practice GD. And we have found ourselves in some uncomfortable situations. Usually just yelling at the kids in front of us. But on one occasion cursing at the child and even a slap across the face.

I don't expect everyone to parent like we do. But I get uncomfortable around the derogatory language, and of course more upset by the cursing and hitting. Especially because I want to protect those children too.

Not to mention I don't want my daughter exposed to that behavior.

I'm really torn we are really close with our siblings. But not close enough to tell them we are not comfortable with their parenting style. I know they would not be receptive to suggestions for other methods either.

Any advice?
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#2 of 5 Old 02-09-2013, 07:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenmama1 View Post

Not to mention I don't want my daughter exposed to that behavior.
 

 

Sounds like she WILL be exposed to that behavior if she continues to be around them. And as you mentioned, its unlikely you will be able to get them to change their parenting style.

 

Its a difficult thing to figure out, because your DD is going to be exposed to some of that anyway, even if she didn't have cousins. Kids in the neighborhood, school, etc. So in any case she'll eventually need to have a framework for understanding different parenting styles.

 

But another thing you might want to consider is that if she develops strong friendships with her cousins, it is inevitable that they will be spending time at each others's houses without the visting parents always present. There'll be sleepovers and stuff like that. Would you feel comfortable having your daughter over at her cousins when you are not present? It might be easier to not encourage those friendships starting now, just keep them at the occasional acquaintance level, so that you don't have to deal with having to explain why and set boundaries that will make everyone feel upset in a few years.

 

If you do continue to have interactions with her cousins frequently, it would be good to balance that with friends and parents that have a parenting style more consistent to your own.

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#3 of 5 Old 02-11-2013, 04:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Bellingham. You bring up some good points. I can't protect her from everything. But I can control how much she is exposed to.

I didn't even think about future sleepovers because most of them are boys, but that is something to keep in mind.

Do you think talking to her about what we see will help? She is very young. Just turned 2.
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#4 of 5 Old 02-11-2013, 04:55 PM
 
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You might be surprised how receptive your siblings might be if you sit down and talk to them.  You're not insulting their parenting or questioning what they feel works for them - you are simply stating how you feel.  You know your LO best and maybe she's sensitive and the yelling and cursing, even tho not directed at her, might upset her and they probably aren't looking at it that way.  I'm sure they don't want to intentionally upset her and maybe by taking them outside the box to think about how your LO feels, they may just think about how their own kiddos feel and think twice about it - especially if you always keep your cool in those tough situations.  It can be a learning experience for all. And well, if they refuse to change and the yelling and cursing continues (which btw, how are they going to feel when their kids go to school repeating these things to other kids and if caught it goes back to "oh I heard mom and dad say it"?), then you can definitely control the exposure.  My DD is 15mos old, but we talk about everything.  I know it doesn't mean she understands everything, but just having conversations is good practice.  We have friends who yell, belittle, and hit their kids, and while we haven't been spnding nearly as much time with them as we used to, we are the godparents to their youngest and they refer to us as aunt and uncle so we maintain the relationship with the adults (our DH's work together).  But I certainly don't want DD to think it's ok that those kids are always being slapped and not once have we had a visit with them where someone didn't cry and get sent to their room after much screaming from mom - just a bit stressful!  So I talk about doing nice things and as she gets older I'll elaborate more!

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#5 of 5 Old 02-26-2013, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks sassychick. That's a good way of putting it. I will definitely give it a try.
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