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DH and BIL left on very bad terms after this happened on Sunday and I can see both sides but would appreciate any input.<br><br>
My niece will be 5 in October, the first grandchild in the family, very bright, sweet.....<br>
as the eldest/only child for a while she is kind of used to getting what she wants. Not a criticism really, just an observation.<br><br>
My DS will be 3 in August. Is more spririted, lots of energy but a very sweet boy..obviously!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
Anyway, I'm having another baby this summer and we have temporarily moved back to our hometown (where my Sis and family live). (We live in a country with an unfavourable birthing climate!)<br><br>
DH travelled home with us, stayed a few days and was leaving Sunday afternoon after a family bbq.<br>
It's my birthday next week and DH and DS had gone out and chosen a card for me together. Before DH left he wanted some alone with DS to write the card and just be together.<br><br>
DS was running around the garden with my niece (DN). DH called him in and DN wanted to come too. DH said, firmly, No, I want some time just with DS. DN got upset and my Sis and BIL were telling her that she could join them. In she went, DS got distracted and ran off with her so the card didn't get written etc.<br><br>
DH was really upset and angry. More upset.<br>
He really felt that my Sis and BIL should've respected and understood that he wanted 1-on-1 time with DS.<br>
He's only going to see us for 5 days during the next 7 weeks.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
My BIL left without speaking to DH. Granted DH doesn't always handle situations sensitively but I don't think he's the bad guy in this scenario.<br><br>
Any thoughts?
 

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I think that this is one of those times where adults use a child as a go between. Rather than your DH saying to the family, "I'd like some time with my son, please, I'll only be seeing him for a very brief time." The DN was used as a go between and the remainder of the family didn't understand why he was being, what appeared to them, harsh.<br><br>
I see this happen at public places, where a kid comes up and says, "My mom said I could," and the person replies, "I'm sorry no." Then the kid runs back and forth, until the parents hash it out.<br><br>
I'm sorry that it prevented him from doing your card or your DH having that much needed special time with him.<br><br>
Liz
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dachshundqueen</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15451402"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think that this is one of those times where adults use a child as a go between. Rather than your DH saying to the family, "I'd like some time with my son, please, I'll only be seeing him for a very brief time." The DN was used as a go between and the remainder of the family didn't understand why he was being, what appeared to them, harsh.<br><br>
Liz</div>
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Good point.<br>
DN was with her parents when she asked DH to come along and I can see why it would've been better to address them.
 

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I don't see what's harsh about "I want some time with just DS". I think there is something wrong with your BIL and SIL to not follow up with DN and say something like "DH wants time with DS, you can play with DS later, lets do this other fun thing."
 

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I think your dh was in the wrong. I understand that your neice is not HIS kid, but WHEN he has 2 kids, there will NEVER be a time when you can tell one kid, "NO you can't come in the house w/ ds1 and me".... without hurting your other childs feelings. YOur dh needs to learn skills in dealing with 2 kids at the same time.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jeteaa</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15451942"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think your dh was in the wrong. I understand that your neice is not HIS kid, but WHEN he has 2 kids, there will NEVER be a time when you can tell one kid, "NO you can't come in the house w/ ds1 and me".... without hurting your other childs feelings. YOur dh needs to learn skills in dealing with 2 kids at the same time.</div>
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It makes a difference when those two kids are your own...not your niece.<br>
And yes, there will still be times when you can spend one-on-one with one child. I have four and one on the way and I can do it. Takes some juggling and planning, but possible.<br><br>
Sorry this happened but yes...your husband could have taken your niece back to her parents and explained he needed some alone time with his son.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jeteaa</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15451942"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think your dh was in the wrong. I understand that your neice is not HIS kid, but WHEN he has 2 kids, there will NEVER be a time when you can tell one kid, "NO you can't come in the house w/ ds1 and me".... without hurting your other childs feelings. YOur dh needs to learn skills in dealing with 2 kids at the same time.</div>
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It's not the same when he isn't the parent of both children. Dn had her own parents so she wasn't being left in the lurch. My ds has never had expectations of other adults to be there for him.<br><br>
Dh should have spoken to the parents directly after telling dn that he wanted alone time with ds.
 

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I don't think your DH was wrong at all. His niece and family should have been able to deal with the fact that he wanted a few minutes alone with his son to write your card. Perhaps he might have explained the situation a bit better, but it was an entirely reasonable request.
 

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Huh. He handled it nicer than I would have. I'd have said, sorry, I'm spending time with DS right now. Go find your mom/dad. And then I would have shut the door.<br>
But I'm a bit of a meanie sometimes.<br><br>
Where were the niece's parents anyway?<br>
They shouldn't have even put your DH in that situation. I mean come on, if I knew that it was my BIL's last day to see his kid for a while I'd be hightailing it out of there, and taking my own kid with me, and given him some peace and quiet with his own child.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jeteaa</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15451942"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think your dh was in the wrong. I understand that your neice is not HIS kid, but WHEN he has 2 kids, there will NEVER be a time when you can tell one kid, "NO you can't come in the house w/ ds1 and me".... without hurting your other childs feelings. YOur dh needs to learn skills in dealing with 2 kids at the same time.</div>
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I disagree with this. It is important to my 7 y/o that sometimes I leave the baby playing on the deck or at the park with dh, and have one on one time with her. Likewise she knows that sometimes she has to play alone because the baby needs time alone with me. I would imagine that the baby will understand, appreciate, and value this arrangement too as she grows up.<br><br>
I also don't allow others in the bathroom while I am showering, or in the studio while I am working. And they all deal <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
OP, I'm sorry your DH wasn't able to get what he wanted.
 

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So, I don't get it. What was your BIL so mad about that he left without talking to your husband? Did something else happen after this? Did your husband put your niece off in a mean tone of voice or something? I don't understand why BIL would be upset. I do understand why your husband would be upset with your sister and BIL if it happened the way I'm picturing it - dh told niece she couldn't come with them within hearing of sister and BIL, and they just said "Go ahead, yes you can" ? That would bug me. However, was this your house? If it was, your dh probably should have picked you your son and taken him into the bedroom or something, locked the door, and had the time he wanted. Or, he could have said more firmly, after sister and BIL told her to go ahead, to the parents something like, "I'm sorry. Normally I would love to have niece come hang out with us, but right now I need some time with just my son. Could you please find something for her to do while we do this? We'll be done in a few minutes, and then ds will be able to play again."
 

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I read and reread your post...and I'm sorry, but I think your DH could have handled this much better. Kids get excited when they're playing together, they get excited to see cousins. Would it really have been terrible if DN was in the room while the card was being written? A 3 yr old cognitively (and obviously, as seen from what he did - run off with the card) does not quite 'get' the writing of abstract sentiments on a card. Or maybe for the 3 seconds he's focussed. I'd be a little po'd if I were your DN's parents. It really could have been handled adult-to-adult.<br><br>
OTOH I don't really see her coming into the house as that big a deal <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">
 

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Three year olds are distractable - and that's why he didn't want the niece there distracting his son. I don't get why it would be a big deal to parents if an adult asked their kid not to follow them somewhere, and why ANY parent would tell their kid to go ahead and do it anyway, even if they didn't understand the reason the person was requesting space.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jeteaa</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15451942"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think your dh was in the wrong. I understand that your neice is not HIS kid, but WHEN he has 2 kids, there will NEVER be a time when you can tell one kid, "NO you can't come in the house w/ ds1 and me".... <b>without hurting your other childs feelings.</b> YOur dh needs to learn skills in dealing with 2 kids at the same time.</div>
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Does a child always have to be protected from hurt feelings? Never be disappointed? It's a mighty huge expectation to think that a parent must always defer to a child's feelings - especially a child who isn't his own. Where does that end? I have 2 children and I've always carved out individual time for each of them - and alone time for myself. I suppose from time to time they have had hurt feelings about it, but they have also appreciated their individual time with me, so they are understanding.<br><br>
How do you resolve the conflicts when you have 2 children who want different things? Someone is going to have hurt feelings. I imagine in this case, the boy who didn't get time alone with his father had "hurt feelings" too. The father certainly did, and I'm not sure why the child's feelings get to take precedence.<br><br>
The other child could have been distracted with some other activity while the father and son shared a personal moment together. Any injury to her feelings would have been minor and fleeting, compared to the father and son.<br><br>
I think the father could have spoken directly to the parents of the girl and explained the situation, if they were too insensitive to comprehend it themselves. Then, if the girl persisted in following them, I think he would have been entitled to say no, leave her behind and close the door to her. It could have been done gently but firmly.
 

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I think it was fine for your dh to want to spend time just with your dc, but I think he could use a lesson in diplomacy. Like walking your niece to her parents and explaining nicely to them that he's making a card for you and just the two of them are going to work on that together and then they'll come back for the niece when they move on to something else.<br><br>
And no, children don't always have to be protected from hurt feelings, but part of living in society and in a family is being thoughtful and considerate of other people's feelings. It's always important to take how other people will feel into consideration, not necessarily always in what you decide to do, but in certainly how you communicate what you decide to do.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Would it really have been terrible if DN was in the room while the card was being written?</td>
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I guess it kinda was since the two kids were too distracted to focus on card-writing. Besides, the issue seems less about the card and more about a daddy who wanted a few moments of special time with his son before being separated for quite some time. DN could have been made to wait. So you're right, DH did handle it badly: I would have more firmly told her no AND clarified to the parents that I wanted alone-time with my son and that the kids could play together some more afterward. If she had followed me inside I would have put her out again with a reminder that we would be back later.<br><br>
For what it's worth, both of my parents set aside one-on-one time with each of their children and we loved it! If one sibling was momentarily disappointed at being left behind s/he was reminded that their special turn was coming soon. It's part of learning that the world doesn't revolve around you.
 

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I'm not clear enough on how this actually played out to comment. My initial impression was that your sister and BIL knew that your dh had told your niece she couldn't come in with them. If that's the case, then your BIL should apologize to your dh. Your BIL and sister can rear their child in whatever way they want, but they don't have the right to speak for your dh's time. If he said, "no", then it's "no". If this is the way it played out, I don't see both sides at all.<br><br>
That's all assuming they knew that your dh had told her not to come in. Was your niece being the "middle-man", or did your sister and BIL hear your dh tell her not to come in with him and your ds? That makes a difference.
 

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I think both men completely overreacted. Your DH was well within his rights to want time alone with his son, but he could have calmly walked DN over to her parents and explained the situation rather than getting "really angry and upset." And BIL didn't need to leave in a huff. I think it's odd that both men got so upset over such a little thing.
 

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Just to clarify... did you invite the relatives over? How much alone time did your husband want? I think inviting guests over and then not spending time with them is rude. If your husband wanted 10 mins to get the card signed and put together that's cool but if he ment a half hour or more of hanging out then I find that extremely rude. Either way he may have been able to communicate better. Regardless your relatives telling niece to disregard your husband were differently wrong.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>reignbelle</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15452776"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Just to clarify... did you invite the relatives over? How much alone time did your husband want? I think inviting guests over and then not spending time with them is rude. If your husband wanted 10 mins to get the card signed and put together that's cool but if he ment a half hour or more of hanging out then I find that extremely rude. Either way he may have been able to communicate better. Regardless your relatives telling niece to disregard your husband were differently wrong.</div>
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Extremely rude? Really? If my relatives thought dh was being rude for inviting them over and then "not spending time" with them (he was leaving, anyway, from the OP?) so that he could have half an hour - or whatever - with his son, who he was only going to see for 5 days in the next 7 weeks, I'd think my relatives were...okay, can't go there. I wouldn't be very happy with them, and would be very unlikely to invite them back for a long time.<br><br>
There's a big difference between inviting people over and then blowing them off in usual circumstances, and having family over for a BBQ, then wanting a bit of alone time with your own child before leaving for an extended period of time. OP's dh was <i>leaving</i> that afternoon, which I'm assuming wasn't a secret from anybody present, yk? If I'm over at someone's house while they're preparing to leave - for any reason - I fully expect that travel arrangements, packing, etc. may end up impinging on my visit. That's just life.
 
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