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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't usually post in this forum but my sister and I are at odds and I need another perspective.
Background: My daughters are twelve and nine and go to public school. Private school or home schooling are not an option due to a paragraph in my divorce decree. If I could I would have home schooled them so they could avoid some of this crap.

As things stand I have been really cross with my sister for treating my twelve-year-old like a little kid lately. She freaks out because I let her have a cappucino once in a great while or drink a diet soda now and then. FTR I hate soda and don't buy the crap but when we are out I don't care what she drinks. I would say she has two or three a month. Sis lectures me all the time about how those are "adult" drinks.

Sis also chastizes me for having "adult" conversations with my dd about sex and relationships. Okay so why I shouldn't warn her that a twelve-year-old boy will try to stick a hand up her shirt and ask her how she thinks she will handle it. I am being proactive, she needs to think about these things. A girl her age just delivered a baby last week at the local hospital.

My sister also insists that my daughter's nine o'clock bedtime is too late. She would really freak out if she knew I let the kid lay in bed and read until she gets tired. I am a night person too, as long as she gets up for school in the morning, I really don't care how late she stays up.

My daughter is dealing with bitchy hormonal "mean girls", peer pressure from boys who are trying to get in her pants or at least up her shirt, and girls from her Girl Scout troop bringing booze to school. This is the reality that faces my daughter. I don't like it but I think that the days of treating her like a child are past.
Or am I way off base here?
 

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From your description, your sister sounds like a loony control freak. I mean seriously....on what planet does she think it is any of her business if your child has a pop now and then? Are you kidding me?

And bedtime? Again...not one bit of her business. My 2 YO stays up until 10. My family thinks we are nuts, but it works for us because he daddy gets home late. They would never say anything beyond, "He is still up?"

As for the 'adult' conversations...you know your kids better than anyone. You know when they are ready and where the line is for discussing these things with them. Twelve is certainly not too young to talk about relationships and sex because I guarantee they are talking about it at school. I had a guy try to go up my shirt at 12 and that was 20-some years ago. You are being incredibly responsible about this.

Sis needs a life.....IMO.
 

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Your sister sounds like she has issues, sorry. "Adult" drinks are margaritas and G&T's, not sodas and coffees! Jeez, kids can buy them out of vending machines in schools, I think it's pretty accepted by society that kids can drink them. As far as sex talks go, that's your JOB as a parent. It's been many years since the mainstream of people believed that if you didn't tell kids about sex, they wouldn't have it. Tell your sis to check out a parenting book that's been written in the last 20 years at least.


Is the ex around/involved at all? If he's somewhat reasonable, see what he thinks? Maybe it's possible to renegotiate the schooling thing if he agrees that the public school isn't healthy. I'm not surprised to see no homeschooling, that being controversial, but no private school seems harsh! What about charter schools? I think they fall under public school by definition.
 

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no, most schools are not like this. My kids are in ps, and this is not going on there, at least, not in the elementary school (uhh, the bitchy prehormonal girls are there, definately; but not the booze or the chronic sexual harrassment). Can't speak for the junior high.

Your kids, your story. If your sister has some constructive input, great. I would disagree with you about pop and coffee; but that's small peanuts, and it's none of my business. They are *your* kids, and like the others said, you know them best. I'm glad you have a comfortable, supportive relationship with your children; that's so much more important than what time they go to bed, or whether they get a coffee now and then. No one agrees 100% on how to raise children. I have pretty big differences with my friends on our philosophies; but we do what works for our family, and everyone recognizes that different things work for different families. The main thing is that we all like and respect our kids.

Do what you think is best for your kids. You know them best! You're there mother!

Lori
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Riley is in middle school and I will admit that the boys and booze just came on the scene this year. That is another argument for keeping sixth grade in the elementary schools and away from the seventh and eighth graders. Next year fifth grade will be in the middle school too. Cutbacks you know.
 

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I think your sister should get her head out of the sand. My girls are 16 and 14, and I think you are on the right track. My kids both drink coffee (black) and neither drinks soda at all, they both stay away from sugar so imho coffee is healthier than soda. I think you're sister is trying to control your life. Each child matures at a different age and only you know what discussions are appropriate for your kids. I have had adult discussions with mine since they were around 10 and they are well aware of the challenges out there and are more prepared than if i had never talked to them about drinking, sex, drugs etc. I've always believed that the best thing we can do for our kids is to keep the lines of communication open, and hopefully they will feel comfortable enough to come to us when they have problems. A parent that sticks their head in the sand, will more than likely be faced with a child that sneaks around and hides things. My 14 yo has a freind that came to me because she couldnt talk to her mom about getting on birth control. This girl is already active and she is not on anything because shes afraid her mom will go ballistic if she ever found out. How would the mom feel with a pregnant 14 yo ugh . Talk talk talk and dont let anyone ever try to talk you out of that! Good luck!
 

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Your sister needs to SHUT UP.

I think people who love you/your kids are entitled to express their POV or concern about something ONE TIME but then they need to give it a rest. I wouldn't put up with someone harping on my parenting. I'd hang up the phone, leave the room, change the subject, whatever.
 

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Either your sister doesn't have kids or they are very young.....

She's also an idiot!
:

You are doing a great thing. You are on the right track. I think it's wonderful that you can say those things to your dd. It's obvious that you have worked hard on your relationship with your child.

My sister freaks out that I speak the word fart to my 10 year old son!

Whatever. Just gather comfort in the fact that you are raising your child the way you see fit.

 

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I must agree your sister needs to open up her mind a bit, or at the very least mind her own business. If the worst things she can find to compain and lecture you about are that your daughter sometimes has soda, is getting a healthy understanding of sex & relationships from a responsible adult (you!), and stays up till just before 10 pm.... well, then she should be counting her blessings instead, IMO. So many far worse things could be happening. You could be neglectful, abusive, and unloving but clearly you are not.

Your sis would just faint dead away at my house where my kids make and drink coffee at their leisure, have no bedtime whatsoever (other than their own choosing), often discuss sexual topics such as masturbation, and adultery. You're doing fine, and I hope you can find a way to deal with her strange butting in.
 

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How does your sister know all these things? I consider my sister and I close, but she doesn't know what my kids eat on a daily basis or what our private conversations consist of or what time they go to sleep.

I agree with other posters that this is all none of your sister's business, but I have to wonder how she knows these details--maybe you could save yourself some grief by not discussing certain hot topics with her--or put her off with, a chuckle and a "I'm sure we have differing opinions on that, so let's not go there." Why get into it with her?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We live in the same town and we see each other on a fairly regular basis. I watch her youngest daugther sometimes. The girls stay all night at her house on occasion. She has two younger daughters ( 7 and 4). We probably see each other three times a week. The soda issue came up during a scrapbooking party at my other sisters house last week. There are four of us sisters in a twenty mile radius, I have no privacy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa

Your sis would just faint dead away at my house where my kids make and drink coffee at their leisure, have no bedtime whatsoever (other than their own choosing), often discuss sexual topics such as masturbation, and adultery. You're doing fine, and I hope you can find a way to deal with her strange butting in.


Yes, she would have a fit. We say the word "vagina" around them. That almost put her over the edge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Joan
That sounds like my sister and I.

I'd set some boundries--make the point that she does things her way and you do things your way and you don't appreciate her criticism.
We do get into it sometimes. I popped off at her about treating the twelve-year-old like she was two the other day. Riley politely asked my other sister for another diet coke (we were at her house) and this sis butted in said "that's up to your mom you've already had one." I kind of snapped at her and said "she's old enough to know if she is thirsty, I think."
I told Natalie that as soda is a rare treat and we had been there for several hours, I thought Riley would survive. She went off on me about my daughter's developing brain cells and stunting her growth.
I think her big gripe is that if I let Riley then she hears it from my niece.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mom2radata
I think her big gripe is that if I let Riley then she hears it from my niece.

ooohhhhh yeah. That happens all the time with us. Lots of times the kids will ask us something, and my response is (usually) "sure" and my sister will say "no" or put a condition on it for her kids. It can get uncomfortable, like when we were at the pool and I said yes to ice pops, and sis said "after dinner" so my kids were sitting there eating ice pops in front of their cousins. (I would have suggested waiting for the cousins, but sis and I were asked separately and didn't know the other's response.)

Anyway, I guess we just bite our tongues a lot around each other--she does things waaaay differently than I do, but I still like her a lot. I figure, if I start telling her how I feel about the way she does stuff, I'll open myself up to hearing how "wrong" I am, so we just let it be.
 

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See I don't really bite my tongue much. If I feel the situation is definately not appropriate then I suppose I do, but otherwise I absolutely say what I think (especially if it's about my kids) and I do so with a smile.
 

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Yep! Even when I'm gritting my teeth inside! (Me-not you Unschoolma) Anyway, I have a suspicion Sis is very controlling with own kids, too. That would be hard for me to watch! As for her comments to your dd-I would tell her(nicely)how it is(like, your dd has own brain and acknowledging that in no way makes you a bad parent- said tactfully, of course while smiling, smiling, smiling!) I think I would talk to dd and help her come up with some resposes for her dear auntie-like "That's a decision I feel comfortable making for myself, thanks!" Anyway, good luck!
 

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Totally NOT defending the sister, but since you mentioned her kids, it does seem to make a little more sense. The worries that you have about the 5th and 6th graders being with the middle school are the same worries that she may be having with her kids. They see your older girls, look up to them and want to do the same things that they are doing. Things that they may or may not be ready for or things that she is not ready for them to be ready four. I had a cousin who was four years older than I was--what an education!! We spent a lot of time together, and she was just old enough to be doing all the cool things that I wanted to do, but was too young. I remember when she had a hickey--man, I thought that was awesome. I think I was 11. I wonder if your sister's concerns are not so much about your kids as hers.

Just a possibility.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
See I don't really bite my tongue much.
I mean, about each other's parenting.

She doesn't tell me that I should make my kids wait until after dinner for a desert, and I don't tell her that she should lighten-up. Same with more major issues. The op indicated that these confrontations with her sister are a two-way thing though. I was just suggesting a sort of truce. (Although, re-reading the op, no advice was actually requested, so I should probably just shut-up.)
 
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