AIBU to be upset with Dsis' comments about DS being "young" for his age?(199 Posts)
Ds is 7. Not so long ago turned 7. His favourite show at the moment is Paw Patrol. He also likes Go Diego Go, Blaze and the Monster Machines, sometimes Octonauts and Hey Duggee.
Anyway, conversation last night, Dsis and I talking about Christmas, she asks about what to get DS. I told her that he loves anything paw patrol at the moment, as all the things he has been asking for are paw patrol. I also suggest a few other things he is into, such as play mobile, play dough, Lego, arts and crafts.
Dsis then pulls a face and tells me that she doesn't want to buy him anything babyish, and goes on that I always get him babyish things I am not giving him a chance to grow up and like other things which are more suited to his age.
Dsis does not have her own Children but her partner has a Ds a couple of months younger than Ds, I'll call him Bill, and then another ds a couple of years younger, who is 5, I'll call him Ben. Both these boys have different interests to DS, and like mine craft, Star Wars, games consoles, which are fine for them, but my DS just hasn't shown any interest in those things. He always gets bored on a games console after a few minutes, where as Bill and Ben can play for hours.
Dsis then goes on about Bill and Ben and how she wanted to all get them the same present but she can't because ds is still into baby things, and no wonder Bill and Ben find it hard to play nicely with Ds, because he is too babyish for them, and even Ben who is 5 doesn't even like paw patrol, so Ds must be the only child in his class who likes paw patrol, and I need to get him to stop liking paw patrol because his friends at school will laugh and tease him, and basically how I am a failure as a parent, and it's my fault because he still watches nick jr, and I am not encouraging him to grow up etc etc etc.....
My gripe is that this is not the first time she has been like this with Ds. She is constantly making comments like, "oh can't he get himself a drink yet?" Oh he can read now, so why not let him read to himself in bed, Bill and Ben don't have bedtime stories anymore", or when she invited me to go furniture shopping, and I declined because DS's dad had pre-arranged plans, and I didn't think he would be able to manage being dragged around furniture shops all day, she got really stroppy with me, (oh for God's sake Rainbows, he'll just have to learn to manage, he's not a baby).
She has now even started to say snide comments to DS, telling him he is too big for his comfort toy (even though he very rarely takes it out of the house these days), and telling him he's too big to sit on mummy lap.
She hasn't always been this way - only since she's been with her DP, and has been a kind of step-parent to his sons, and since then its just been comparisons between them all the time.
I guess to be honest, I know that she is right, and that Ds probably is "young" for his age, but thing is, I actually quite like that, and I don't want him to grow up too fast. DS is mine and his Dad's only child (and probably will stay that way) and yes I will be the first to admit we do still baby him, I know that I still do a number of things that I know he could probably do himself, such as washing and drying him, cutting up his food (he dresses himself as he has needed to learn this for school), tucking him into bed etc.
I am just really getting frustrated and upset now with the constant comments of dsis that he is babyish, it's my fault and I need to grow him up or else he is going to get teased.
Sorry it's been long. Just needed a rant.
AIBU? Or is my sister right?
She's being ridiculous. He'll grow up soon enough.
She sounds like a bit of a twat to me.
I have no idea if that's young for his age or not, but even if it is, I don't see why it's a problem. No doubt he'll grow up in his own time.
My son is 8 and likes more grown up stuff but he will still dive in between us in bed and cling to me like a leech if he hears a noise and will quite happily hold my hand round the shops!
Your DS has the rest of his life to 'grow up'. Leave him be and enjoy!
He likes what he likes and there's nothing to be worried about if it is 'younger' interests than many of his peers. I'd like to bet in a class of 30 there will be a few others at least who are also into similar things.
I think in terms of making drinks etc, you're potentially de-skilling him. It's great to encourage children to learn how to care for themselves. I don't agree with stopping bedtime stories just because he can read, but learning how to make a drink/sandwich etc is a life skill and you don't want to be waiting on him when he's a teen.
Your sis said your child is young for his age, you say your child is young for his age - so yes YABU for being upset with that.
You can be upset with her judging your decisions to baby your child and keep him interested in stuff targetted at a much younger age, which you admit you do - that's your decision, perhaps she's looking out for her nephew though.
She is being ridiculous re the Paw Patrol stuff although I do think you should be starting to let him wash and dry himself and cut up his own food etc but then I think you know that already.
Your last section is telling and is possibly what your sister is getting at. If you are purposely babying your DS and 'keeping him young. you're not really doing him any favours. I suspect your sister is rather clumsily trying to address this.
She shouldn't be making these comments in front of your DS certainly, but she's hitting a nerve for a reason with you. It's not about the TV or the specific interests I don't think.
Jesus if he was into that stuff when he was 25 it would still be none of her business!
The babying him over washing/drying/food isn't helping, but I would love it if any child of mine wasn't into consoles until as late as possible
It is absolutely none of her business that he likes what he likes, but as PPs and you yourself have admitted - you are doing him no favours by babying him and not letting him learn perfectly normal skills for his age. There's nothing wrong with a bedtime story, but now is the time to start scaling back on things like cutting up his food and dressing him as your DSis has a point - he will start to fall behind his peers if he never gets the chance to do things for himself.
Yanbu re her comments on paw patrol, that's a bit mean.
BUT it sounds like you do baby him in terms of skills, eg making a drink and cutting up his own food. I'd find it odd if a 7yo couldn't do that tbh.
Me too - I'd keep him off consoles forever if I could. He has the right to like whatever he likes - she should keep her nose out of it. It's literally nothing to do with her.
You're not being fair to your son, though, in not letting him learn basic skills such as cutting up his food and washing etc. He is old enough to do that as you're treating him like a baby in that respect. You want what's best for him, so teach him the skills he'll need in life.
I have to say I think he's old enough to go furniture shopping, too. He's seven, not two or three.
I think TaliDiNozzo has hit the nail on the head. You've admitted you baby him, which does him no favours at all in the long run. Consciously keeping him young and helpless (unable to cut his own food!) because he's your only child is rather selfish and I agree that this is probably what your sister is really trying to get at.
Poor old Bill and Ben sound like they're left to get on with it.
IS he a bit of a drip though?
Is it that he is and she is the only one saying?
Cutting up his food and washing him ( aprt from checking he is vaguely dong ti) is VERY odd
The TV shows, hobbies etc. aren't a problem. Not all kids like Star Wars or video games. There's also nothing wrong with a bedtime story and tucking him in at night.
But why on earth are you washing and drying him? And cutting up his food? Surely he feeds himself just fine at school? I think at 7 he should be getting his own drinks, cutting up his own food and doing his own basic care. I can understand making sure he's brushing his teeth properly, but surely he's capable of washing his own hair and getting dried after a bath?
TaliDiNozzohas I think, she is trying to tell you something but managing it badly, I think you are being really unfair to your ds for your own selfish reasons, I don't think it's intentional but trying to keep him as your baby is unfair, but she is handling it very badly
Don't worry about paw patrol etc, my very mature in other ways 8 year old dd has a real taste for watching anything on CBeebies still and loves paw patrol and all those other shows- playing and tv wise just always go with what they're into.
Skills though- that's different. You need to let him take some responsibility for food, clothes etc.
My dd1 is 8 and her class seems split between dc who act like they're 13 and wearing crop tops and hot pants to the school disco and those who wear party dresses and still quite like Peppa pig. Dd is in the peppa pig category. She can be very grown up and taking extra responsibilities etc but as far as what she enjoys? I let her enjoy what she likes. Parents seem desperate for dc to reach the next stage (I saw this with the car seat races my friends used to have - putting 18mo on booster seat as they're so grown up ffs). Life isn't a race. Take the lead from ds.
My SIL is like you with her nearly nine year old. Also an only child. She cuts up his food, he drinks out of lidded cups, he even wears a bib (a napkin tied round his neck) while eating. She won't take him anywhere like family parties or weddings (including ours) because he won't manage it. When he was a baby she used to physically stop him from crawling because he was too little and might hurt himself.
She won't allow him to play with small toys in case he chokes on them.
It's very sad but she won't be told.
Maybe your sister is rightfully concerned that you do baby him too much. Seven is still very young though.
I can't talk really as my five year old still sleeps in my bed...
I don't get why it's better to like consoles than Paw Patrol - and I don't believe the five year old doesn't have any interest in Paw Patrol and Octonauts. Five year olds aren't cool - they like kids' stuff and that includes programmes like that. DS (7) has only quite recently moved on from them though I'm sure he'd watch them if his older sister wasn't always watching CBBC instead
So your sister is being odd. And weirdly judgemental. But as others have said, you need to let DS wash and dry himself and cut his own food up. But keep on tucking him in - those are important moments in a child's day.
It does sound like you should be encouraging him to be a bit more self sufficient in some areas but overall your dsis sounds like she's one of those irritating instant experts on parenting. Not all children like the same things. DS is a bit young for his age I suspect but he is popular, kind, one of a big group of boys at school, has out of school friends of a wide age range and wwould rather be outside than on a console.
It worries me that children are expected to grow up too soon, but the comments about babying him does potentially open up why your SIL has made these comments as maybe you are taking that too far?
It is not just the skill of dressing themselves that a child needs for school. They need to be able to dry themselves (e.g. at swimming lessons) and to cut their own food (e.g. eating school dinners, preparing food in cookery sessions, exploring foods in science). Maybe your SIL was hinting at those skills and the fact that shared interests with his peers is useful for friendships? I've had to intervene with children commenting to a peer because they still watch particular TV programmes in Y2/3 - its not right for them to be unkind, but it is understandable that they comment when someone is still in to CBeebies or the like. Children's own made up playtime games often centre on their experiences and one child can feel left out if they don't understand the TV programme.
Some children grow up too fast (IMO), others take longer. DS1's best friend is 9m younger than him but in some ways is "older" - because his parents have pushed him on from stage to stage, telling him that stuff is "babyish" and he doesn't need it any more. DS1, at 8, still likes to watch the Octonauts, but will also watch Pokémon, Transformers and other things. DS2 is only 4 and also watches a wide range because his big brother does (I do keep a lid on some of it, I hasten to add!)
DS1 still tries to get onto my lap these days, but he's a bit too heavy and Ds2 always bashes him off - I wouldn't dream of telling him he's too big, you only get a few years of your children actually wanting to sit on your lap and cuddle you, I'm not hastening the end!
They'll all get there in the end - so long as they're allowed to grow and not actively held back (or forcibly advanced) - it doesn't matter if they're a bit behind or ahead.
I'll quite happily watch Octonauts and Ben & Holly - I like the shows! Not so keen on many of the other children's shows, though. And I'm well and truly "over" Pokémon!
Tell your sister to butt out - your child is not the same as her DP's children and you'll parent your child how you see fit, thanks.
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