Sleepovers - prioritising friends over family

(198 Posts)
motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 15:45:11

I'm just feeling a bit upset and not sure if IABU. A few years ago, DCs stayed with their cousins at my sister's house for a couple of weeks due to unforseen circumstances. DCs played up a lot (had just been through some tough times, long backstory) but it became the longest fortnight of their lives due to the hostility to which they were subjected. It was made very clear that we were a liability and we were not wanted there. I even heard a phone message from sibling to GPs telling them that it was too much and we really needed to leave as they could not stand it any more. You would have thought that we had been there for years rather than a couple of weeks in August. it got to the point where we were excluded from their days out and not even offered drinks when they were all having them. We really had nowhere else suitable to go and felt extremely cheap. Even the youngest child became openly hostile and rude and condescending. DCs never behaved well, as I said, but nothing beyond the usual naughty excited occasionally hyper (in bed at a reasonable time and I would keep them out of the house as much as possible to avoid conflict with their cousins). Previously, the relationship had been good it has just about returned to being fine several years on but the wounds have not completely healed.

At the time, sister explained that they were terribly unsociable and the idea of house-guests never came naturally to them and was too much to bear.

Now, one of those children's friends is starting boarding school in the UK as parents live abroad and the girl (13) who was an old friend of one of the children (but haven't seen each other for ages and not exactly inseparable) has asked to spend every weekend at their house. My sister has readily and happily agreed to this even though a long round trip to the home counties is involved.

This is the AIBU bit - we go back a lot further than someone who is (at best) an old acquaintance - am I right to think that sister is rather out of order - she barely knows the parents and whilst I can see it as a good turn on her part, it is quite telling how enthusiastic she is about the whole idea and taking on this regular commitment when my DCs are not considered suitable for sleepovers, parties where their schoolfriends are invited round.

Tee2072 Sun 15-Sep-13 15:47:13

There's a big difference between a weekend, even if it's every weekend, and a couple of weeks in a row.

And how badly behaved were your children really?

Having someone in my house for more than a couple of nights, friends or family, makes me mental.

Yonihadtoask Sun 15-Sep-13 15:50:51


Your dsis can choose who she wants to stay.

What she is offering sounds a little over generous to me. But its up to her.

For whatever reason, she didn't like having,your dc around for the two weeks.

The saying is "you can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family"!.

zatyaballerina Sun 15-Sep-13 15:53:04

There's a big difference between having a few very badly behaved children who don't get along with your own in your house for a couple of weeks with no break and one (presumably) pleasant, well behaved one to entertain your child every weekend.


lainiekazan Sun 15-Sep-13 15:53:33


Guests are like fish. They start to smell bad after three days.

And it's up to your sister if she wants to offer hospitality to someone else. Clearly she finds your dcs hard work.

gobbynorthernbird Sun 15-Sep-13 15:55:04

You say you weren't wanted there. Maybe so, but you were there. I've done the same for people in need, but I wasn't particularly happy about it.

YABU, it's not your business.

Chocotrekkie Sun 15-Sep-13 16:01:40

I think having children's friends are a million times easier than kids they don't get on with - especially if they don't behave well
When mine have friends round/sleepovers etc it's very little trouble and can be easier than having just mine - they run off and play together. Their cousins on the other hand are a different story....

cory Sun 15-Sep-13 16:02:31

Were your children younger at the time? A well behaved 13yo who is used to staying away from home might not be any trouble at all- in fact, can be a useful asset.

Also, it's not just about the children: it is also about the hosting family. The fact that your SIL felt unable to cope with a certain a few years ago doesn't mean she must never feel able to cope with a similar situation for the rest of her life.

For one thing, her own children will be a few years older now and take less of a toll on her.

meganorks Sun 15-Sep-13 16:02:36

I think YABU really. 1 person for weekends versus lots for several weeks is very different. I couldn't handle anyone staying more than a few nights. And with lots of people all on top of each other and your kids behaving badly sounds like a nightmare.
Besides, she may be OK now with someone staying every weekend but there will be times she wishes she had not agreed I'm sure

ZZZenagain Sun 15-Sep-13 16:05:58

How many dc did you have staying at your sister's home and how old were they?


Your sisters house so her up to her is the primary reason.

But also one 13 year old girl who she probably know will be well behaved or fit in well for the weekend is very different to having people for a prolonged period.

Plus maybe your sister feels better prepared for having house guests now, she's experienced her limits and know what to expect, also her own children must be older. Maybe she's making the sacrifice as she think it would be nice for one of her own DC.

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 16:13:26

All that is true - she is more experienced (thanks to the baptism of fire my three provided), children are older and more compatible BUT surely, a friend in need .... etc. One of my DC is a loner who has few school friends. SNs and LOVED the idea of staying with them. He talks about them incessantly and really longs to be accepted. Unfortunately, all we seem to get is forced tolerance. What is such a relationship worth really?

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 16:15:32

Even if it feels as though IABU on the level of social convention, surely IANBU in terms of feeling rather wounded

Bowlersarm Sun 15-Sep-13 16:17:58


I woukd struggle with houseguests staying for weeks at a time. One or two nights a weekend would suit me better.

Also who can say it will turn out well for your sister? She is doing someone a massive favour. It's very kind of her. But who knows whether she will be tearing her hair out after a couple of terms? Only time will tell.

Tee2072 Sun 15-Sep-13 16:27:36

You are always entitled to your feelings and never BU about them.

But they are your feelings. Not anyone else's. And it's not really up to your sister to provide entertainment for your children, unless she wants to. Just because you're related, still doesn't give her any obligation.

Perhaps make some friends instead?

Floggingmolly Sun 15-Sep-13 16:28:12

Why were you staying there? I'm assuming it wasn't just a voluntary holiday? Tbh, I would be pushed to display more than forced tolerance to an entire family moving into my home for a couple of weeks; especially when, by your own admission, your children "never behaved well".
She helped you out when it was needed, you can't say fairer than that.
Why would you be pcted to be included in their trips out?
Sounds like they just got on with their usual lives nd expected you and your family to do the same.

givemestrengthorlove Sun 15-Sep-13 16:28:50

You can't do anything about it... Some people do not want their house to be invaded by children with poor behaviour.

It hurts, but it is their house.

Floggingmolly Sun 15-Sep-13 16:28:52

Why would you expect

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 15-Sep-13 16:30:39


If you recognise your children were badly behaved, just how bad do you think it felt from your sister's POV when you were there and not stopping the bad behaviour?

You sound as though you are resentful that this girl has been willingly accepted. How many were you and your DCs? There is a huge difference between one teenager and an adult and a couple of children. There is a huge change in the dynamic.

How much choice did your sister have in accepting you coming to stay? You say there was no where else for you to stay.

ZZZenagain Sun 15-Sep-13 16:32:14

yes, I was also thinking she may come to regret it. She probably means well by offering to help this Family, just as she meant well offering to help you out but in reality it sounds as if it was just too much for her.

Try not to take it to heart , I don't think she is favouring this girl over your ds with SN specifically, athough I am sure it feels like it. It is just easier for her to have a 13 year old schoolfriend of her dd over to stay. They will toddle off and play together than to have a boy who accoridng to you was one of 3 playing up quite a bit.

My dd has a 12 year old school lfriend over to stay this
weekend and it is an absolute toddle. They are both out of my hair all weekend really and it is no extra work IMO. If I had 3 and none of them were my dd's age or her particular friends, it would be more of an effort of my part to get through the weekend.

littlewhitebag Sun 15-Sep-13 16:32:19

These things appear to me to be completely unrelated. You stayed at your DS's years ago and it didn't work out well and now you are miffed that she is hosting a teenage girl every weekend? I must admit to being a little baffled by your attitude.

ZZZenagain Sun 15-Sep-13 16:35:05

the thing with the days out sounds to me as if the whole family saw them as a means to having a bit of a break from your family. Btw I am sure your family is fine but it does sound as if everyone was stressed living in the same house together for that time. I don't know why they had drinks and didn't involve you, sounds a bit off

Can't you invite your sister and her family to join you and your family on the occasional day out?

Onesleeptillwembley Sun 15-Sep-13 16:35:56

Honestly? You even asking this makes me think maybe your sister was a martyr to have you. YABVVU. And seem either spoiled or entitled.

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 16:39:57

I know I am a BU and the two do not logically invite much comparison. She did volunteer that we stay in the past and I agree that she took on more than she had bargained for. The forced tolerance describes the relationship between the children a few years on. Back then, it had descended into something comparable to street fighting. My DC were terribly behaved but they had been through some trauma immediately before this of which my sister was well aware - NOT that I am saying that it was her responsibility to bear the brunt of this. I just feel that if the situation were reversed, I would have been kinder and far more accommodating.

Tee2072 Sun 15-Sep-13 16:41:42

What did you do about the 'terrible behaviour'? Just because something traumatic happened, doesn't mean a person gets to be horrid and badly behaved to others.

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 16:42:14

Can't you invite your sister and her family to join you and your family on the occasional day out?

Yes, this does happen sometimes but it feels as though the children would rather be somewhere else with other people and see any communication with my SN DC like a grand act of charity.

Bowlersarm Sun 15-Sep-13 16:42:49

OP, don't beat yourself up about it. They are two separate events. Don't look to the past with resentment. Move on and wish your sister well with this 13 year old girl.

Cravey Sun 15-Sep-13 16:44:11

YAbu. It's up to your sister who she has to stay in her home. And your children played up. She may have found it hard work. The reason doesn't matter really. It's up to her. You red to suck it up I'm afraid.

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 16:45:17

What did you do about the 'terrible behaviour'? Well, I would try and stop it, of course but probably not forcefully enough. I was conscious of the fact that the DC were vulnerable (and my own emotions were all over the place) so it was a more relaxed approach then I would objectively endorse with the benefit of hindsight. With SN DC, once again, the discipline is completely different and they failed to appreciate that completely.

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 16:47:07

OP, don't beat yourself up about it.

Thanks, it just makes me feel so crap and rejected. I never tgreated her children any differently to mine and liked to imagine that they were almost like siblings in the early days. I guess I was naive.

Cravey Sun 15-Sep-13 16:47:32

But it doesn't matter if they appreciate the way you deal with your kids. It's your sisters choice. Nothing more to say. You can't do anything about it.

MissStrawberry Sun 15-Sep-13 16:50:30

Maybe your sister has grown up and realised that it is much better to treat people nicely and help them than treat them like shit.

Lizzabadger Sun 15-Sep-13 16:50:55

Yabu. It's not prioritising friends over family. It's two completely different and unrelated situations.

Can you build bridges with your sister?

Retroformica Sun 15-Sep-13 16:51:51

A pleasant 13 year old will be nothing like have naughty toddlers to stay. Worlds apart. How badly did your kids behave during the stay?

hermioneweasley Sun 15-Sep-13 16:52:27

3 DCs plus you is at least 4 people (you didn't mention a DP) for several weeks. If she started off nice then there's no difference to what she's doing for the friend's daughter. After 2 weeks I'd be sick of having you make you drinks etc, and woukd just go about my normal life.

Retroformica Sun 15-Sep-13 16:52:44

I agree start building bridges with your sis. Have her kids to sleep over etc

ZZZenagain Sun 15-Sep-13 16:55:48

if the children's behaviour descended into something approaching street fighting, you know it wasn't within the normal range of what people expect from guests in their home - even from family. I think what is done , is done and they have made their judgements about your children on the basis of that. It is a shame since as you say they are family but I think you can only really leave it to time and continued positive experiences to get past that.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 15-Sep-13 16:56:46

Reading your subsequent posts it seems that you are wanting your sister to force her DCs to have a relationship with yours. Why? Why should she and why should they? They are cousins not siblings. You are wanting to impose a relationship on them to suit you not to suit them which is very self-centred.

We got this from my DM trying to guilt trip me into forcing my DCs to have sleepovers with their cousins. They didnt get on, so that was an end to it.

She gave you a roof over you and your DCs heads at a time of need. You should be ever grateful not resentful about some slight which is in your head only.

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 16:57:02

They were VERY badly behaved, sometimes almost uncontrollable (previously they had always got along well during short visits so completely unexpected all round. However, the bad behaviour never went as far as causing damage to fixtures and fittings, or interfering with their normal family routines or meals.

I thought we had rebuilt our relationship but these feelings make me realise that there remains some work to be done.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 15-Sep-13 17:00:03

Have her kids to sleep over etc

Why? They dont want to spend time with the OP's DCs and why should they? I have always hated this idea that DCs should get on just because they are cousins.

These are teenagers now, they are old enough to have a choice about who they spend time with.

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 17:00:39

It just hurts that mine were the ones being crappy and antisocial. I have put as much effort into their upbringing as the next person and I really wish I had something to show for it. I almost feel that (given lack of other friendships) if my sister had made more of an effort to help me in socialising them, then they would not become so hyper and excited by the rare/one-off opportunities to socialise and treat it as normal life rather than going off the rails. I don't expect class parents to go the extra mile but a close sibling, possibly.

Hawkmoon269 Sun 15-Sep-13 17:01:11

I grew up with a cousin with sn. 4 years younger than me. I absolutely hated being forced to play with him - we had nothing in common and his sn meant he got angry, frustrated, destructive easily.

All the adults explained his sn to me and as adults we get on really well and I appreciate and accept him for who he is.

But as children I really resented being forced to spend time with a child who was absolutely no fun at all (wrecking my things, hitting me etc).

I'm just trying to put things from your sisters children's point of view. It's very hard to share your home with children who are "challenging" in any way - whether they have sn or not!

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 17:01:43

I would add that they are generally lovely at home and behave well at school.

Cravey Sun 15-Sep-13 17:01:51

So you couldn't control your kids and are wondering why your sister doesn't want them there. Are you for real ?

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 17:03:44

Thanks for your insight hawk - I am sure that the cousins definitely see DS exactly as you describe. Did you ever find out how your cousin felt about the opportunity to socialise with you. I am sure it meant a lot to him and if so, surely that makes it worth it and made you a better person for having endured those playdates?

Floralnomad Sun 15-Sep-13 17:04:09

YABU , friends you choose ,family you are stuck with . Just because you are related that should not oblige your sisters children to 'like' your children .

ZZZenagain Sun 15-Sep-13 17:05:08

Can you find a way of socialising regularly with the children as a family - perhaps at the weekends so it becomes more of a regular and normal thing for them? I don't know what you could imagine doing but perhaps something connected to sport?

You say they don't have many friends. This seems a shame. I suppose you could focus on building up school friendships atm and think a little less about your sister - take the edge of it.

alpinemeadow Sun 15-Sep-13 17:05:41

Mol, have you explained to your dsis about your dc who would love to go, and asked if she can help out as a favour by having that dc to stay for a night? May just be that she doesn't realise how important it is to you/your dc? Could be worth a go - though apologies if you already have and she's refused!

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 17:07:33

So you couldn't control your kids

Cravey, I don't think that is fair as kids who become wired as a result of the novelty and exhilaration of a rare experience are pretty uncontrollable until the novelty wears off? An that is before I throw the Sn into the mix

Tee2072 Sun 15-Sep-13 17:10:08

Even kids with SN, and I have one, need to learn how to behave to the best of their ability. It seems you are using it as an excuse. What's you excuse for your NT kids?

And I think Hawk is lucky that she's now friends with her cousin. Many would have continued to resent being forced to play with them and not have anything to do with them when older.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 15-Sep-13 17:11:27

So, you think that your sister's children should be forced to spend time with your children even though your sister's children dont want to?

Why do the wants of your children trump the wants of your sister's children?

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 17:12:05

Thanks Zzen, we are at that stage but school friendships inevitably end up one-sided as DC refuse to go to other people's houses and I don't push it knowing what could happen, based on past experiences such as described in my OP. I have tentatively suggested sleepovers at our house but she (rightfully) points out that we dont have enough room to accommodate 5 more people and in any case, I think she has mentally chosen where to draw a line on that one.

insanityscratching Sun 15-Sep-13 17:14:57

My dsis and I are like chalk and cheese, she is very strict I'm more laid back, her children are quite demanding whereas mine are low maintenance. I find it hugely stressful to have them stay here and I don't doubt she finds my visits there stressful too. We stick to two nights at most as by then the tolerance levels are stretched to the limit.
Funnily enough having the odd extra teenage friend has never been a chore because they tend to be out a lot and can entertain themselves.
My dc don't particularly get on with their cousins although there is never friction but because we don't visit more than once a year they don't have a close relationship.
I think you need to accept that you and dc aren't going to have the relationship you would have wanted and move on really.

Cravey Sun 15-Sep-13 17:16:31

You sound very self entitled op. you seem to think your kids needs should come before your sisters and that she should allow you to stay no matter what the behaviour of your children. Maybe instead of moaning about your sister you should be looking at ways of sorting out your kids so they learn to behave.

Floggingmolly Sun 15-Sep-13 17:16:41

Why do you think your sister should have helped you socialise your kids? confused. And, no, sorry, kids do not normally become uncontrollable until the novelty wears off a new situation hmm
It sounds as if your children have some pretty severe issues and you imagine other people can share the blame for not helping you deal with them. Even your sister who has her own children. Why do you feel that way?

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 17:17:06

What's you excuse for your NT kids?

Well, I personally doubt any are quite NT. They behave well in most places (SN one included). It does not come naturally by any means. Maybe, I was having a tough time and I relaxed the discipline more than I should have because I never wanted to add fuel to fire. perhaps it was unreasonable to do this while we were guests at their house.
I just despair of the way in which SN kids are not seen as valuable friends, more learning points for NT families or acts of charity (those are the nice ones who do not ignore them altogether). I wish mine were like the impeccably behaved friend who will be coming down at weekends and (most likely) be the perfect house guest and someone whom they welcome back.

Cravey Sun 15-Sep-13 17:17:45

Also my kids had plenty of experiences which were different and exciting. I could however control them.

Cravey Sun 15-Sep-13 17:18:44

Again op. just because your child has special needs it doesn't mean his / her cousins have to like them.

ZZZenagain Sun 15-Sep-13 17:18:47

I wonder why all 3 of your dc refuse to go to other people's houses although as you say they were so excited to be staying at your sister's. Maybe the oldest at least could start going round to a friend's now and again. Do you think the oldest child would Play up if s/he went to a friend's house without the other siblings?

I'm baffled by this thread!

Your dsis took you all in for some weeks years ago. Your children were extremely badly behaved and you didn't do much about it.

Now you have a problem with her having a school friend to stay (years later) in her own home, and you also feel it's her responsibility to help socialise your children?

Have I got that right?

Do you really need to ask if you are being U???

ZZZenagain Sun 15-Sep-13 17:20:24

I think she is just finding it all hard and would like some help.

alpinemeadow Sun 15-Sep-13 17:20:27

Massively cross-posted.
If there are probs about going to school friends' houses, could you meet up elsewhere with them - in town for pizza, cinema, or museum?

Could you do the same thing with your dsis - or is it just that her dc don't want to see yours? I'm not sure how old they are, but beyond a certain age it's difficult to make them, even if your dsis wanted to! I can understand why you're so upset by the way - it's natural to hope cousins will get on, and horrible when your dc are rejected - so this is a double blow! You want to think of family as a refuge, so even more upsetting when it's not.

Cravey Sun 15-Sep-13 17:21:44

Zzz I don't think she is finding it hard. I think she is going to go on and on until her sister caves to what she wants.

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 17:22:22

Well, we tried it a while back with the oldest and he apparently broke loads of toys and ate nothing, you get the idea. The other child never so much as invited him to a whole class party ever again. When the same child had played round at our house, DS1 had behaved impeccably. On a different occasion involving a different child, he apparently threw things at the family pet because he was afraid of it.

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 17:26:27

I think she is just finding it all hard and would like some help.

I don't find it hard to look after them at all - I find them easy to control, I just despair at the way thay are viewed as abnormal and horrible by others, particularly family.
That time was a low point in our life as a family and it coincided with having to stay at the house of a family member. Such a situation is unlikely to arise ever again. Yes, I agree that I always saw family as a source of refuge and it was something of a rude awakening.

ZZZenagain Sun 15-Sep-13 17:26:38

I see . It is a bit unusual if they behave so well at home that they all cannot cope with going to a friend's place. I wonder what it is about the situation that causes so much unease. They don't all have SN to some degree? It is just the one ds?

I think they could do with socialising in a small group. My dd (12) goes to a church youth group once a week which is a lot of fun but church isn't everyone's thing. THey go out sometimes in the group - bowling etc which is I think a nice, reasonably safe way to get started going out. That might be a bit overwhelming for your oldest still. Does he do scouts, sport, DoE anything like that in a small , regular group?

Floralnomad Sun 15-Sep-13 17:27:49

Your children sound like a nightmare , surely even children with SN know that you don't go to other people's houses and break things and throw things at animals . You seriously need to get some help to get them under control ,perhaps you should ask your sister for some parenting advice .

Floggingmolly Sun 15-Sep-13 17:27:59

Does ds1 have special needs? What about the other two? hmm
And sorry for all the questions, but what exactly do you mean when you say your kids have never been socialised?

ZZZenagain Sun 15-Sep-13 17:28:17

you can genuinely care about people but find it tough going having them live in your house. I feel this way about my brother, not that he does anything drastic when he stays but perhaps I am less tolerant of him than I would be of someone more distant - a ex-colleague or an old schoolfriend etc

Hawkmoon269 Sun 15-Sep-13 17:29:28

Op, I feel for you.

My cousin really did appreciate playing with me and I don't think it was bad for me long term! What would have helped would be if an adult had played with us both. Instead, it was more a case of grown ups talking and me having to play with him on my own which was hard. And I would have found it annoying with any boy 4 years younger regardless of sn!

But I do understand why you feel hurt. You are slightly bu but your feelings are valid. Having your children "rejected" on ANY level is painful.

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 17:30:10

Well, personal, 1-1 friendships are the problem. They attend scouts and other small groups and thrive there. But they have never had close friends, best friends, groups of friends. The socialisation they have had (in spades) is a bit hands-off and impersonal.

alpinemeadow Sun 15-Sep-13 17:30:43

Good suggestions, zzzzen.
How about a local drama group - weekly getting together with other dcs which is sociable, and not too high pressure?

insanityscratching Sun 15-Sep-13 17:30:59

Oh two of mine have autism but that's not the reason they aren't close to their cousins it's that they are very different and don't live close by. Funnily enough they are better behaved than their cousins who are all NT and if I'm honest dsis's constant disciplining of them stresses me out more than a lot of their misdemeanors would.
I think you have probably burned your bridges with dsis and to be fair two weeks of badly behaved children and an ineffective parent would probably have pushed most relationships to the limit really.
If your children need help to socialise then I'd suggest looking for links in their community and for the child with SN try clubs aimed at children with SN sometimes run by MENCAP or Barnardos.

Your putting rather a lot of thought to this.... Give over. It's done, dusted. Move on.

mynewpassion Sun 15-Sep-13 17:31:54

Sounds like your children don't behave well when you are not there. Other children will quickly drop friends, who break their toys or hurt the family pet.

Your sister just finds your children to be a bit of a nightmare. She might have given them the benefit of the doubt after the long stay but their current behavior has just cemented the idea that it was not a one off after a traumatic event. That in fact it is their usual behavior all the time.

Have you given the children an opportunity to receive some counseling?

intitgrand Sun 15-Sep-13 17:34:37

Houseguests are like fish, however nice after 3 days they stink!

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 15-Sep-13 17:35:00

I always saw family as a source of refuge

Cant you see that your sister took you in at a time of need?

You should be singing her praises from the roof tops not whining about her years later because she doesnt force her children to welcome yours when by the sounds of it their behaviour is intolerable away from home.

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 17:36:20

Other children do not want to seem to take the friendships to the next level. they would be invited to whole class parties but not small group outings and sleepovers (which increasingly dominate and become the norm as they get older). Nobody seems to like them enough or feel comfortable enough in their company. I invite my friends round and they get on brilliantly but these are childless (mainly single) friends. All the friendships I invested in since birth (via NCT groups and countless similar) have come to nothing. The other children have become great friends for the most part and whilst the parents seem to prefer talking to me rather than to each other (in many cases), this does not extend to their children. Early playdates were great but as time went on, the pulling away would begin until it was very much a matter of deciding if I wanted the parents as adult friends in a child-free capacity.

Cravey Sun 15-Sep-13 17:36:22

But the pint is your children aren't seen as monsters because one has special needs. They are seen as monsters because they are badly behaved. You can't expect kids to like others if they are being rude and breaking toys. Also I'm sure many special needs children aren't naughty. In fact I'm sure the parents of those kids maybe have a go at controlling them. You are slightly odd op. it's your sisters home. It's her choice who stays there. Not yours.

Cravey Sun 15-Sep-13 17:38:29

So it's not just your sister then op who doesn't want the kids around them. I think in the nicest possible way that it might be time to take a step back and look at how you are parenting etc. or maybe get some outside help. I have to be honest I wouldn't want kids around who break stuff and are uncontrollable. And that would be my right. Not yours. Or your kids.

defineme Sun 15-Sep-13 17:39:12

Op, I feel real empathy op. I have 3 kids and 1 has sn. I love my dbro and we get on well-he has 1 nt child. However, they clearly find our family visits utterly exhausting and the same when they come and stay with us... I would love it if we were a delight to host, but apparently not!

I remember I had tears when this became obvious, I felt that if my own family can't embrace us -who can?
I got over it though, it's a shame your dsis has obviously drawn a line with your family, but what can you do except get over it?

What cheers me up is that we go away camping with a group of families and no one finds us unbearable, same when we went away with dh's family (separate hotel rooms). So obviously, when people don't have to actually share accommodation with us, they can cope with my family!

Not everyone will feel this way about your family.

zatyaballerina Sun 15-Sep-13 17:41:38

Why do you think it's your sisters responsibility to socialise your kids?confused Pre school children are easily socialised with regular trips to the park to play with other children, playgroups etc... Once they get to school there are plenty of potential friends available.

Children aren't going to naturally know how to behave properly, they need to be taught. It's the parents job to teach them manners and consideration for others, how you need to be nice to the other kids if you want them to play with you etc...

Your sister is not responsible for your kids social issues, you are.

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 17:43:38

Well, i would not describe myself as an ineffective parent and I am not blaming SN for this situation. It is just the fact that it is completely alien to me to deal with their rejection and I worry about how they will cope in the future once the safety net is removed.

I don't really expect my sister to put up with them. There was an occasion after our stay when we visited, it was getting dark and she actually offered to put us up for the night. SN child attends SN clubs and activities but as I said, they are really no problem at school or when attending those types of activities. They are rude sometimes but not physically robust enough to make others feel threatened.

givemestrengthorlove Sun 15-Sep-13 17:47:12

So what's the real problem then OP? What do you want to happen now?
How old are they?

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 17:49:07

Thanks defineme - the idea about going away in a group of families is great - my DCs love camping and so do one of their cousins so it may work.
I could have posted this in SN but I chose to post it here as I wanted the NT perspective on the matter. I am dismayed that people cannot understand that you can try as hard as you can to teach the social rules to children with behavioral issues but you could still fail abysmally BUT this is not necessarily because you are a crap parent. Maybe I see my sister as being more culpable than a random class parent because she is my sister and these are the only children in the family so I had high hopes even though these may now seem unrealistic in themselves.

alpinemeadow Sun 15-Sep-13 17:50:10

Mol, would it be worth asking the school if they think they could help with the friendship issues - whether there's anything they can do to guide them towards dcs they're likely to make closer friends with, and foster those friendships? It sounds as though maybe they could do with some help,

Cravey Sun 15-Sep-13 17:50:40

How do you know what makes others feel threatened ? You say you it's alien to you yet in other posts state it happens all the time and has been for a while. Make your mind up. At the end of the day is other kids won't play with yours then there is maybe a reason. If I was a child I wouldn't play with someone who broke my toys. Your children and you need to learn boundaries and behaviour control. Special needs or not. It's not down to your sister to correct things. It's up to you. Sop being self entitled and do something about it.

defineme Sun 15-Sep-13 17:51:00

motheroflight I have to say I have better experiences socializinjg wit the parents of kids from sn groups-have you tried that?

i would move to the sn board, I think you're getting an unfair flaming when you're in a sad situation.

Cravey Sun 15-Sep-13 17:51:47

And stop harping on about the special needs thing. Yes we know it can be hard. But you can still control your child and supervise them so they aren't breaking stuff that belongs to others.

gobbynorthernbird Sun 15-Sep-13 17:53:45

You seem to be very all or nothing about this. There is a middle ground to the relationship with your sister.

And as far as parenting skills go, why do you think your kids behave sometimes and not at others? It's not as if they don't ever behave well. They can when it suits them.

insanityscratching Sun 15-Sep-13 17:59:21

I think you just have to let go of the idea that your dc and their cousins are close although they may be in the future when they have all grown up. We can't choose our children's friendships and even blood relatives don't have to like each other.
I understand you feeling sad that your dc don't have what you want for them, you can help them a little with that by perhaps hosting playdates at your house and keeping on top of their behaviour when their friends are around so that they are happy to return.
I think the rudeness needs addressing if that is what makes children not want to be friends or their parents not want them about. I think maybe you need to stop seeing your ability to control them as being enough, you need to instill in them behaviours and manners that are present in all instances and when you aren't there so that you feel less afraid of when you aren't there and your dc are seen as an attractive proposition for friendships and relationships.

I still have no idea about what exactly you want from your sister, I'm afraid.

And, in the nicest possible way, if nobody wants your dc around maybe it's time to start really looking at their behaviour and figuring out what's going wrong.

FWIW I do feel very sad for you and them. But the situation won't improve by expecting other people to change IYSWIM.

PresidentServalan Sun 15-Sep-13 18:05:18

YABU - it's none of your business who your relatives have in their house.

GrendelsMum Sun 15-Sep-13 18:12:06

I get t impression that the children are different ages - is that right?

If so, I think that it is hard to get real friendships between cousins when they're children and in their teens. I get on very well with my cousins now were adults, but even three years was enough of an age difference when we were young that they weren't friends to me then.

defineme Sun 15-Sep-13 18:12:42

So Cravey do you see yourself as being wise enough and perfect enough to deliver the op some kind of cold hard reality shock?
Or are you just getting a kick out of being unpleasant?

Your advice is pretty bloody useless too.

Her dc are fine at home and group activities.
They weren't at her sisters when they'd experienced a recent trauma

So how exactly do you supervise a child when they're at someone's house and you're in your own?
Yes I know've trained them at home to behave, but op's kids do at home...the mind fuck of new situations when you have sn means you may well have extreme reactions, but if people can have the insight to see that, it usually gets better little by little ,visit by visit.

I'm sure you have experience of sn Cravey -the patronizing tone of your posts suggests that, but there's a distinct lack of empathy or indeed any can you really not imagine that life is not always as you have experienced it?

defineme Sun 15-Sep-13 18:15:08

Having read subsequent responses I think you need to leave this thread motheroflight , there is an astounding ignorance of other people's realities on this thread.

Cravey Sun 15-Sep-13 18:21:03

Define me. I'm telling the truth that's all. My advice may be useless to you and the op but I damn well bet her sister would appreciate it. Oh and go be rude to someone else. Plenty of other comments on this thread the same as mine. And don't you dare surmise what I do and don't have experience of. You know nothing of me or mine. I know plenty from reading this thread. The op thinks her sister should give into what she wants. IMO. Now be a dear and go surmise on someone else's life. There a love.

Cravey Sun 15-Sep-13 18:22:12

Also while I'm having a rant my twins lived through a huge trauma age 11. One which not a lot of children have to see, however they certainly didn't go around breaking toys and being rude to people afterwards.

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 18:42:00

Thanks defineme - I think that some NT people such as Cravey have a rigid view of what is the acceptable face of Sn - the type in whose name / condition it is worth running marathons and raising money for, the type you see on Something Special. In all honesty, even those running SN groups obviously favour the good humoured, uncomplicated, giggly SN kid.
They do not understand that there are Sn children who behave negatively because of their issues, not because of their parenting and I think it makes them feel uncomfortable to confront the fact that they would find them intolerable and unloveable if they were in my position.

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 18:43:40

FWIW, My child who was breaking toys was three/four at the time, not eleven

gobbynorthernbird Sun 15-Sep-13 18:44:34

MOF, but they don't always behave negatively. Why do you think that is?

MOL, I have 3 DC, two are very calm, very obliging and mostly very well behaved. All due to my wonderful parenting, no doubt. The other has SN and can be very challenging, can be very rude and energetically clumsy. Of course, that must also be down to my parenting. hmm

I'm sorry you have had such negative responses from some posters. I can understand how hurt you feel. You expect it from friends but you had hoped family would be more sympathetic and tolerant. Unfortunately, as others have stated, you can't choose your family.

Some posters have given you good advice, you always get a mixed bag on AIBU. smile Some posters need to remember that we are all just one accident or illness away from having disability in our own families and be less intolerant.

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 18:51:57

Well, because other than GPs and childless friends, there is no longer a single family with children who is willing to have a usual, sustained give-and-take kind of friendship with us. Clubs and school are all very well but those skills are different and don't translate. The situation of visiting other children at their homes has become some kind of grand event like visiting Disneyland and those families wont put up with it for the duration of the time it painfully takes to adjust. They just ditch all possibilities of a friendship or stick to park visits or trips out which are not the same as sleepovers.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 15-Sep-13 18:52:31

You posted to ask if you were being unreasonable. The vast majority of posters have said you were being unreasonable. Even with your subsequent posts you have, in lots of people's opinions, been unreasonable.

Dont sulk, if you dont like answer, dont ask the question.

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 18:54:35

we are all just one accident or illness away from having disability in our own families and be less intolerant.

Wise words Ellen, but I know they are so difficult to appreciate unless you find yourself in this situation. I despair for them because I know the value of close friendships in my own life and I wonder if they will ever develop the skills to gain acceptance and intimacy.

Trigglesx Sun 15-Sep-13 18:58:45

And stop harping on about the special needs thing. Yes we know it can be hard. But you can still control your child and supervise them so they aren't breaking stuff that belongs to others.

Well, there's the voice of compassion then. Charming. Not.

MOF, but they don't always behave negatively. Why do you think that is?

You could say that about all children, those with SNs or NT. What's the point? hmm My DS1 (7yo) is currently being very quiet, wriggling around a bit, but relaxed (for him) - an hour ago he was running around the house screaming because a voice on the television was high pitched and upset him. Children with SNs can change their behaviour dramatically depending on the circumstances - how they're feeling, what sensory input they are coping with, and any number of other variables. DS1 can be ticking along just fine and then completely meltdown because the hum of the lights in a room are upsetting to him - something that a lot of people wouldn't even hear, but he cannot shut it out. Add personal stress or trauma to it, and he will come unglued at almost every little bump he comes across. But right now... he's got very little sensory aggravation and I've set up this evening time for him as a pattern to allow him to wind down (a healthy dose of melatonin doesn't hurt either!).

Not sure what you're getting at with that question, really.

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 19:07:43

Thanks Triggle - well if that is the NT consensus then I am obviously very very unreasonable. Infact, it is morally reprehensible that I even dared to pose the question. I should have my rights to leave the SN sections revoked with immediate effect. How dare I!

Cravey Sun 15-Sep-13 19:10:58

Mother of flight. While I do appreciate how hard it can be your attitude has come across as not very nice. You continued to drip feed when posters refused to back you up. You have to suck this up. Or join a group where you feel your kids can be accepted. Have you thought that maybe the problem lies with you and not others ? You may find behaviour acceptable that others don't. I also don't need to be told I am one accident away from illness or disability. Been there done that. You need to accept you cannot control your sisters views.

DeWe Sun 15-Sep-13 19:13:38

I think I'd have had enough of any visitors by 2 weeks, even if they were impecably behaved.

I suspect you've also underestimated the effect of your dc's bad behaviour may have had on their cousins.
I had a friend whose children had been through a very traumatic (and totally unexpected) 6 months. The little girl went very introverted, but the little boy would do things like deliberately break things for the sake of it. Mother did discipline well, for each incident, but there was always one point where this happened.
Dd1 who was only about 4yo at the time, was a very careful little soul who hated things to be damaged. So you can imagine her distress as she saw her things deliberately broken. She got to the point that if I said they were coming round she would be found hiding and shaking.
I spoke to my friend, and we agreed that one of us would stay absolutely by his side the whole time. And this worked well, but not perfectly.
But she'd be coming round for the afternoon, not two weeks.

PolterGoose Sun 15-Sep-13 19:16:59

Can I just draw people's attention to MNs This is my child campain?

motheroflight flowers

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 19:22:03

I agree \\\\\DeWe and mayn=be I have been coming across as self entitled and I need to accept that those are my sister's views (she is prob a lot more accommodating than some on here!). I respect her right to invite whomever she likes without justifying her decision to me. I regret the loss to my DCs for whom I believe that no amount of good discipline would bring them in line with their peers to such an extent that they would win the approval I might have hoped for. Maybe there was a learning opportunity within the safety of the family network and maybe this has been lost forever. We outstayed our welcome, I wish things had worked out differently.

I hope I haven't been rude MOL. I don't think I have been.

I don't grasp how one SN child translates to none of your dc having friends especially because, from what you've written, the friendships seem to fail based on your dc's behaviour, which is why I suggested really taking a long, hard look at them and figuring it out!

It's either that or keep grieving for relationships that are more than likely never going to exist between your family and your dsis'.

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 19:24:27

Thanks Polter, it did cross my mind but it would have been inappropriate coming from me! I regret the way the campaign seems to come up within threads in a coercive capacity time and time again or maybe those are the only ones I end up reading.

DIYapprentice Sun 15-Sep-13 19:25:42

I'm sorry, but you seem to be so focussed on sleep overs. If your children are unable to behave at sleep overs, then they shouldn't be doing them - whether they are invited or not. YOU know what they are capable of, and should adjust acceptances in light of that. You allowed them a sleep over when they couldn't cope and now you have to deal with the consequences of that I'm afraid.

As an adult, with a good relationship with one of my sisters and a wish to do the best by my nephews and nieces I would agree that I would do far more for them than I would a friend. HOWEVER, if my DC's lives were too disrupted then I would not put up with it, and would tailor get togethers to suit that.

As a child I vividly remember being forced to spend time with a cousin who I loathed, and who used to cause me no end of trouble. I have nothing to do with her now, and have nothing to do with my aunt who used to try to 'punish' me if I wasn't treating her child as nicely as she felt I should be.

All in all though, I think 2 weeks in a crisis, is something that you should be able to rely on them for. It's not like you were staying there indefinitely, and I'm sorry that you didn't get that.

Trigglesx Sun 15-Sep-13 19:27:24

It's difficult, motheroflight as I know that DS1 would be an absolute basketcase alternating with being a nightmare if we had to stay somewhere else for 2 weeks - even if it was a well-known and loved family member. It would just be so far out of his comfort zone that he'd be all over the place and his behaviour would be extremely difficult to contain.

However, I know that my sisters (who live abroad, and thankfully I've never had to face this issue) would be very critical of his behaviour if we had to stay with them. Even though their children (now adults) were not that well behaved when they were younger. I think family can sometimes alternate between being the most tolerant and the least tolerant - often because of the familiarity as well as being more comfortable saying things bluntly that an acquaintance or friend might be more subtle about.

I suspect that part of this is simply that you're hurt that your sister (and her family) couldn't see past the behaviour to see the recent trauma and upset that she couldn't be more tolerant or supportive, even though you recognise that the behaviour was poor.

Her invitation to this young girl to stay weekends, however, has nothing to do with your stay - it's not comparable as it's miles different circumstances. I wouldn't give it another thought. I would imagine it's a novelty that will wear off relatively quickly - I certainly wouldn't want to commit to someone else being in our house every weekend.

DIYapprentice Sun 15-Sep-13 19:27:37

Also, I think that if there are SNs involved and not just spoilt brat behaviour (like my ever so delightful cousin) then a LOT of leeway needs to be given for that.

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 19:27:43

walter - there are SNs which are readily obvious, more hidden ones which can get diagnosed with the requisite time and money and finally those which are quite obv to closest family but not priority for schools and doctors. One of min e falls into the second category and two in the third which is why I mention the former's special needs whilst acknowledging that all three have behavioural issues outside the norm - many posters on this thread would readily agree.

MOL, I hope my question wasn't insensitive. I didn't realise that all of your dc have SN.

I admit that I have no experience of it bar the daughter of one good friend, though I suspect the son of another friend has SN.

I do stand by the point though, that much as you'd like to be able to change your dsis' behaviour and opinions, you're wasting your energy and your time would be far better spent concentrating on the people who are supportive and more understanding of your dc and the situation you are in.

shouldistayorshouldagonooooooo Sun 15-Sep-13 19:36:33

Is this for real ?
Op I don't think your being honest. If you had been through a tough time and you kids were being uncontrollable and being very badley behaved while you were sitting back .... Relaxed hmm if that was years ago it would have been forgiven and forgotten and put down to that they were traumatised.

Unless it was something so unforgivable OR the dc behaviour is still bad. People don't generally hold grudges against children.

Your sister sounds like she should have had an apology and maybe the fact you never gave her one might be the reason she is estranged from you.

You sound terribly entitled. They are your dc and if they cause offence to people and you don't stop it people will avoid them. You have created this situation .

The fact that you are jealous over her daughter having friends over is statement about where you are in your head.

Blinkard and entitled.

What was the terrible thing that happened as that could go to done why explaining why their behaviour was so bad.

Trigglesx Sun 15-Sep-13 19:47:41

People don't generally hold grudges against children.

You have obviously never met my older sister or my parents.

What was the terrible thing that happened as that could go to done why explaining why their behaviour was so bad

I don't think the specifics are necessary, are they?

Trigglesx Sun 15-Sep-13 20:05:08

if that was years ago it would have been forgiven and forgotten and put down to that they were traumatised.

Just because something traumatic happened, doesn't mean a person gets to be horrid and badly behaved to others.

Also my kids had plenty of experiences which were different and exciting. I could however control them.

Your children sound like a nightmare , surely even children with SN know that you don't go to other people's houses and break things and throw things at animals

Also I'm sure many special needs children aren't naughty. In fact I'm sure the parents of those kids maybe have a go at controlling them.

Your children and you need to learn boundaries and behaviour control. Special needs or not.

And stop harping on about the special needs thing. Yes we know it can be hard. But you can still control your child and supervise them so they aren't breaking stuff that belongs to others.

And as far as parenting skills go, why do you think your kids behave sometimes and not at others? It's not as if they don't ever behave well. They can when it suits them.

Also while I'm having a rant my twins lived through a huge trauma age 11. One which not a lot of children have to see, however they certainly didn't go around breaking toys and being rude to people afterwards.

Have you thought that maybe the problem lies with you and not others?

I don't grasp how one SN child translates to none of your dc having friends especially because, from what you've written, the friendships seem to fail based on your dc's behaviour, which is why I suggested really taking a long, hard look at them and figuring it out!

sigh... sad Really must ask MNHQ for a [head - desk] smiley.

To repeat Polter's advice....

Can I just draw people's attention to MNs This is my child campaign?

Cravey Sun 15-Sep-13 20:10:04

Oh triggles do take off your rosé tinted glassed love. You don't know my life. The op asked for opinions. I have mine. Her children special needs or not behaved badly enough to be excluded from someone's home. That person has the right to do that. Special needs or not. The op needs to address the issues that are occurring and realise she cannot tell otherwise they have to interact with her kids. Special needs or not. And don't presume anything about my children. When yours and the op kids have lived through what my kids lived through then come back and quote me. Yes my kids were naughty however I disciplined them rather than get onto a forum moaning about others treating them badly.

Triggles I'm not sure why you've highlighted my post at the end of your essay of quotes there.

Mine being the one about one child with SN. What exactly was wrong with me questioning it?

OP subsequently explained that she believes all of her dc have some form of SN. I understand more clearly now the struggle with forming and keeping friendships.

Confused by you needing a desk for your head about it tbh.

Floggingmolly Sun 15-Sep-13 20:13:20

So all your children have special needs? Why didn't you simply say this earlier in the thread, you might have gotten an entirely different response? confused. You mention sleepovers in almost every post; I doubt they're as important as you seem to imagine, and in the light of the revelation that all three have additional needs of one sort or another, you will probably have to accept sleepovers are not for your children.
I don't get why, if your children behave impeccably when you're there, you feel such a need to farm them out?
Invite children over for playdates; they may then be reciprocated.
Stop imagining anybody wants to take all three overnight.

hermioneweasley Sun 15-Sep-13 20:15:57

OP, why do you have a focus on sleepovers and how old are your kids?

Trigglesx Sun 15-Sep-13 20:30:23

No rose coloured glasses here. None at all. Don't I wish. hmm


>>> When yours and the op kids have lived through what my kids lived through then come back and quote me.<<<
>>>You don't know my life.<<<

Right back atcha.

waltermittymissus It wasn't a personal insult to you or anything - just highlighting things that have been said that show that people could use more information about how having a child with SNs can affect an entire family - including siblings. There are quite a few things that my DS2 cannot participate in or attend due to complications arising from DS1's disabilities. Not saying there was specifically anything wrong with you asking it - but at the same time you have to realise that one child with SNs is going to impact, to varying degrees, everyone else in the family.

shouldistayorshouldagonooooooo Sun 15-Sep-13 20:32:09

It's taken 4/5 pages for op to start suggesting all her children now have sn. I'm sorry but I'm very dubious when people drip feed in this manner almost to win the thread over when it takes an against approach.

Also it does matter what happened to the children in some aspects... I don't think op is being honest.

Her sister sounds like a good person , would a good person encourage her children to be hostile towards sn children. I don't think so.

Triggles you know, you're right I am glad to be ignorant of the impact.

I apologise for my insensitivity to OP and anyone with SN children posting here. flowers

TheLightPassenger Sun 15-Sep-13 20:41:06

this all sounds like a very sad situation. I think you have to come to terms somehow with the fact that your sister's kids and yours aren't good friends. You can't make kids be friends - sure you can manipulate situations a bit, but you can't force friendships. As mother to a child with v mild SN, I realise it is painful to feel that your friend's kids are outgrowing your child but it's best to not to waste energy feeling bitter about it.

Is there no way you could build on on any playdate type situations to build up to a longer stay at another's house, initially with you supervising? or invite children to your house more?

gobbynorthernbird Sun 15-Sep-13 20:48:34

I'm amazed at how some people can diagnose children as being NT by the words that the parent has typed on a computer. Maybe some of you should be looking at working for ATOS.

CoffeeTea103 Sun 15-Sep-13 20:48:54

Yabu, your tolerance for your badly behaved kids might be better than the next persons. Also with so many people staying for weeks no wonder your sister felt and reacted the way she did.

What she does for her friends doesn't have anything to do with you. A 13 year old just over the weekends seems an entirely different situation to yours.

Cravey Sun 15-Sep-13 20:55:38

Triggles the difference is. I didn't put my life on an Internet forum. The op did. Also another huge difference is you are not moaning about your kids being excluded from someone's home etc. also maybe op shouldn't drip feed in future. Her kids are her responsibility and so is the kids behaviour. Special needs or not. The point is I'm pretty sure if your child behaved badly then you would do your best to rectify it ? Not sit stewing about your sister allowing someone to stay over, rather than your child.

Hissy Sun 15-Sep-13 21:08:11

My sister is an absolute godsend to others.

But a complete bitch to me. She's disregarded rules that we BOTH agreed on with my son, just to get at me.

Forget your sister, she treated your DC cruelly, to get to you.

If your kids are challenging, then you do have to take responsibility for that, in that you know it's a big ask. But still, there's no excuse for her being out and out mean.

She's probably trying to impress her friend, or blag an invite to wherever they are for a Freeby holiday. She doesn't need to impress you, only shame you into a subordinate role.

Distance yourself. Your kids are worth more.

zatyaballerina Sun 15-Sep-13 21:13:40

One child has sn, fine but the other two? No diagnoses but 'behavioural issues outside the norm', there isn't necessarily anything wrong with your children, if it's all of them and there's no medical evidence to suggest otherwise then it's most likely your parenting. I say this because it seems like all their social problems stem from your social problems, you can't teach what you don't know so you need to educate yourself first.

Children need to be taught how to be likable to others, most won't figure it out for themselves. It's not just about consistent discipline but explaining to them how their behaviour effects others. Some kids may need a lot more attention but you have to keep on top of it. You can't just shrug bad/scary/anti social behaviour off with 'oh, they have problems...', the majority of kids would have behavioural problems if their parents let them behave badly, you have to find ways to deal with them and teach them to be nice to others because otherwise they will continue to be rejected.

Could you try look into some sort of family therapy or parenting classes?

Trigglesx Sun 15-Sep-13 21:13:41

Cravey Goodness, so people are not allowed to discuss something that upsets them on an internet forum? I'll alert MNHQ to shut down - after all, that'll pretty much take MN out, won't it, If that's not considered okay anymore? Oh, and she's not perfect either - is that an issue too? Gosh, that wipes out the rest of MN, doesn't it? hmm

Cravey Sun 15-Sep-13 21:17:36

No you're right triggles in that respect. But in the same vein I am allowed to have my own views.

Trigglesx Sun 15-Sep-13 21:21:40

No diagnoses but 'behavioural issues outside the norm', there isn't necessarily anything wrong with your children, if it's all of them and there's no medical evidence to suggest otherwise then it's most likely your parenting.

Actually, children can go for years without an actual diagnosis and still have SNs. The OP has already stated that one child definitely has SNs, so saying it's most likely her parenting is not helpful. There are families, you know, that have more than one child with disabilities or SNs. It also is helpful to remember that whole "children learn from older siblings" thing - so if one child has SNs, the younger children can often pick up behaviour traits from them that can be difficult to get around and can often take longer to fix.

I think the OP is just struggling to come to terms with a less than ideal relationship with her sister and wishing that it was a more supportive and closer bond than it is. The other child staying for weekends has simply brought it to the forefront. As is often the case when children with disabilities are involved and parents already feel isolated, difficulties in family relationships can seem devastating and hurtful.

Trigglesx Sun 15-Sep-13 21:22:40

Cravey Of course you are. I just don't agree with them. grin

Cravey Sun 15-Sep-13 21:26:35

That's fair enough. World would be boring of we all agreed. Op I think you have to face facts though. You can't control who your sister has to stay. It might hurt your feelings but there's nothing you can do.

cees Sun 15-Sep-13 21:27:55


motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 21:38:55

shouldistayorshouldagonooooooo - you are utterly vile.
AIBU is not always about boorish bunfights so don't try and force every thread in that direction.
There are people who object or disagree but don't adopt that kind of attitude.

zayta, your comment "all their social problems stem from your social problems, you can't teach what you don't know so you need to educate yourself first" might have been an attempt at being helpful but it is completely misguided. I am very sociable, have loads of friends in my own right and my children are brilliantly behaved in most places. Perhaps you don't know much about SNs but it can happen that owing to their SNs, they can suddenly switch to appalling behaviour in other environments. I never knew this when I accepted her kind offer to put us up. They had been fine in hotels, not so fine at foreign relatives houses but I put that down to problems adjusting to a different culture/not understanding the language. If I had known it at the time, I would have run for the hills. I have never accepted her offer for us to stay a night since that day. I probably never would.

We are not "estranged" as somebody wrote, we meet up and talk often. This is really more about my DC and their feeings.

I don't think I have drip fed on this thread. Maybe I was hesitant to mention their difficulties for fear or it becoming the dominant theme of this thread (which of course, it did immediately) whereas the real issue was beyond that.

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 21:42:47

I could have confined this to the SN board but (though it may be news to some), SN people are a part of society and I think that there are still are too many barriers in place which result in the isolation and rejection that parents of SN children know so well. There are many difficult conversations we need to have with those lucky enough to have escaped having such children, or these barriers will never be broken down, not even within families.

PresidentServalan Sun 15-Sep-13 21:49:50

It sounds like the sister's comment about not being used to visitors was supposed to be a way of sparing your feelings. If she saw the behaviour of your child as unacceptable then at least she didn't come right out and say it. Your DC may have SN or it could be your parenting - no one on an Internet forum is going to know and presumably you have either had a dx or not. But I have a relative who brought their 7yo NT child to someone's house where she proceeded to kick off about everything and she is no longer welcome back in that house. Your sister has every right to decide who stays in her house.

PresidentServalan Sun 15-Sep-13 21:53:44

And you can't actually change people's minds so you may only be able to get 'forced tolerance' from your family. Unfortunately you can't force someone to like your DC behaviour regardless of the reasons behind it.

PresidentServalan Sun 15-Sep-13 21:55:52

Just realised that this incident was a few years ago - perhaps you need to get over this - it is pointless holding onto the resentment.

shouldistayorshouldagonooooooo Sun 15-Sep-13 22:04:07

mof I'm not trying to turn this or every thread in to a bin fight hmm

You have drip fed.
You did indeed turn this thread in to a thread about sn so it should have been out over there.

But from your last posts it seems as though you only did to high light sn needs/ relationship with others...hmm getting stranger by the minute. actually thought you said you didn't want it to be about sn

Cravey Sun 15-Sep-13 22:07:22

But op, you were the one who made it about special needs. I for one don't care. My point was that ywu expecting your sister to put your kids up again. She doesn't want to. Because of the behaviour they displayed. And you did drip feed. Yu went from one sn child to all three over the course of your posting. Sorry but you did.

MrsMongoose Sun 15-Sep-13 22:08:41

YABU. Your family was a nightmare in her house, she doesn't have to have you back. Who else she brings is irrelevant. Friends/family doesn't come into it. This friend is obviously easier/nicer to have in her home than you were.

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 22:14:11

I dont want to have to go through my reasons for not putting every single detail in my first post. In discussions online as well as in the course of conversations in RL, details are revealed gradually - my other two are not universally recognised as SN - their behavioural issues are just something that I know about as a mother. Not what I'd call drip feeding as there was some great advice at the start and once I mentioned the SNs, the direction of advice and feel of the thread changed completely. If I wanted advice restricted to the fact taht they have Sns I would have posted on SN to begin with. Am I meant to start all my posts with a disclaimer in the future. How about if all SNs parents wore sandwich boards advertising the fact in RL just for the benefit of people like you?

motheroflight Sun 15-Sep-13 22:15:20

Thank you to all those offering useful advice on this thread. I'll check out now.

PresidentServalan Sun 15-Sep-13 22:16:46

shock at throwing things at a family pet - no wonder that people are not queuing up to invite your DC to their houses....

PresidentServalan Sun 15-Sep-13 22:18:10

my other two are not universally recognised as SN - their behavioural issues are just something that I know about as a mother

Really??? hmm

Morloth Sun 15-Sep-13 22:19:00

What do you actually want from your sister?

Cravey Sun 15-Sep-13 22:19:15

No sorry op you are making excuses . You drip fed. And now are trying to make those of us who said ywu look badly. Sorry. I missed the bit about throwing things at a family pet. I have to say of that happened here special needs or not you wouldn't be welcome in my house either.

PresidentServalan Sun 15-Sep-13 22:21:18

Cravey Spot on. Any child in those circs would have been removed from my home immediately and not welcome back.

givemestrengthorlove Sun 15-Sep-13 22:25:27

I think OP feels that her children were being difficult, for reasons as yet unclear but that her sister could have felt more for her rather than being annoyed about it. It's a difficult one because everyone has their own personality and tolerance levels of what they expect and can put up with.
By her sisters admission she finds house guests hard, but OP was a bit dismayed to find she is willing to give up every weekend for a stranger yet never have her kids in the house again to stay.
YANBU to be hurt and disappointed but YABU to feel you can change or influence this, and sad though it is, you have to take it on the chin.

Your sister is happy because the friend is her dc friend and they get along and will be happy together .

shouldistayorshouldagonooooooo Sun 15-Sep-13 22:27:32

not universally recognised as SN just something you know as their mother [shocked] hmm

Lady you are strange !

Trigglesx Sun 15-Sep-13 22:34:25

*not universally recognised as SN just something you know as their mother [shocked] hmm

Lady you are strange !*

Is that necessary? Really?!?! If you took the time to read the "This is my child" section of MN, you'd see that actually there are LOADS of children that do not have an official diagnosis that actually DO have SNs to some degree that can affect their lives. Some people struggle for years to get the right help needed to get a proper assessment so they can get a diagnosis - one that can again take a long time. It's not like going in and getting a diagnosis for diabetes or a broken arm or something, where it's fairly straight forward - most take months of evaluations and assessments as well as observation.

Educational support as well as DLA is based on demonstrated needs, NOT on diagnosis for this very reason.

Floggingmolly Sun 15-Sep-13 22:38:25

not universally recognised as sn
I didn't want advice restricted to the fact that they have sn. hmm. Well, do they or don't they? Because it is actually relevant.
Have they been diagnosed as having special needs, or do they simply have behavioural problems ? You said earlier "the bad behaviour never went as far as causing damage to fixtures and fittings"... That sounds pretty bad hmm
They don't appear to have any friends, nobody wants them around, and you seem to be looking outside your immediate family for reasons why that is, and imagining things would be better if only they had sleepovers.
Is that the real issue, op? You don't mention a partner; are you actually in desperate need of some respite? It's so hard to get the full story from your disjointed posts.

Mumsyblouse Sun 15-Sep-13 22:49:21

motherofflight it's quite hard to tell what's going on here, but clearly you are upset. I have a few suggestions. One is to let the thing go with your sister. I understand that she was not how you wanted her to be, I guess what happened was that she imagined she could be kind and take you in, but the reality of two weeks with three out of control (understandably so, but still out of control) children was just too much for her. Don't be too harsh on her, she failed to be a perfect sister, but perhaps you were also not the perfect guests, lesson learned and I think your feelings about her being the last refuge of acceptance are just again too much to put on her. This doesn't make her a bad sister, or you, try to mend the bridges on this one.

Secondly, it's hard to tell but it sound like all your three have behavioural issues of one kind or another, or perhaps the two non-sn children are just really very lively and this is too much for others. You talk a lot about families withdrawing from you, but I wonder whether this is because, en masse, you are rather too much as a group. I think supporting individual friendships, such as asking children round to your house (not theirs if they are liable to flip out) and on an individual one at a time basis might be the way to go. No-one will have a sleepover with three older behaviourally challenged children! But that doesn't mean they can't have good friends, or always meet at the park, or as they get older, go off and socialise individually by themselves. I think coming as a pack and always interacting with families is not the right way to approach this- and one reason people may be backing off.

I hope you can make sense of this, I think your posts are just driven by the emotions of what was clearly a difficult time of crisis for your family, and that sense of disappointment (even though your sister is human just like you) when you were a bit let down and excluded. But I think now things are calming down you need to move on from this two week thing, rebuilt the relationships with your sister, accept perhaps the cousins won't be close, and work on how the children can individually be encourage to build closer friendships on a one-to-one rather than you as a group. I hope it goes ok.

Mumsyblouse Sun 15-Sep-13 22:54:47

And I do get what you mean about having children with some issues who are not diagnosed. One of mine has certain traits which mean that sometimes she's really inappropriate, I have considered and dismissed the idea of seeking a diagnosis as she functions really well most of the time, has good friends, great at school and so on, but every now and again I am cringing at her behaviour/things she says because she has real difficulty with being socially appropriate (although at other times this is not the case). I can't leap in and launch into a long explanation about how she's a tiny bit like some diagnoses but basically happy and functioning but on this one occasion is being weird, it's too much. I know what's going on and so does my family and we all just wince a bit and know she's loveable but needs more guidance than some other emotionally very intelligent children. It is perfectly possible to know your child is not quite the same as some others but not seek or think you would get a forma sn diagnosis.

2rebecca Sun 15-Sep-13 23:09:35

Your first post is confusing as initially it sounds as though your kids were staying with their aunt and uncle unaccompanied but it then sounds more like you ? and their father were there as well. In that case the kids weren't badly behaved, they were inadequately parented.
Upset and emotional children need firm parenting as much as happy ones. Playing up and being a pain in the bum doesn't make anything easier.
There are 2 seperate things here.
Your sister doesn't want you and your children staying in her house because she thinks you can't control your kids and she does want a well behaved 13 year old staying with her.
If you want your kids to be invited for sleepovers then it's up to you and their dad to teach them to behave politely in other people's houses. Your sister shouldn't be expected to never invite anyone to her house just because she doesn't want you there.
You said this happened several years ago so I'm surprised you are connecting the 2 events. If things have been frosty between your kids and their cousins for a few years I'm surprised your kids now they are older still want to go for sleep overs there and wouldn't rather play with their friends.

MidniteScribbler Sun 15-Sep-13 23:45:11

OP, you seem very fixated on sleepovers. Is it that you are struggling with your children yourself and feel the need for a night off? You don't mention a DP, and dealing with children children with behavioural issues is tough for any parent, let alone one on their own. You also mention a trauma, and I'm wondering if you should see your GP for a referral for counselling which may help you. MN is great, but it's not a substitute for professional help when you are struggling.

Getting back to the friendships, are you expecting people to invite your children over and you drop them off? Unfortunately, your children may just simply not be ready for this type of interaction yet if they are damaging property and hurting animals. Friendships are a two way street - have you invited anyone that your children seem to be making a connection with to your own home for a playdate? Or go with the other parent to the park or other location where things are on neutral territory and you can supervise your child. Ultimately, ensuring your children are not damaging other people's property, hurting their pets or being rude is your responsibility, and that means for now, that unsupervised playdates aren't really an option. Also, if other parents think that you just want to drop your kids off and get a break for a few hours (which lets face it, we all love to have the chance to do), then they'll feel that the relationship is one sided, and that you are using them, which means invitations will dry up. If you are seen to be reciprocating, being around to supervise your children and their behaviour, and really working hard to develop friendships, then people will respond to that.

Please do seek some help if you feel that you aren't coping right now, or just need a break. There's no shame in it, we all need someone to talk to and a night off occasionally. Good luck OP.

Isetan Mon 16-Sep-13 05:35:01

YABU to feel hurt that your children were slighted. They are your children and you worry about them and their development and are naturally protective/ defensive of them.

However, YABVU about your sister and her children. She put you and your children up in an emergency situation. Your expectation that it would be a great opportunity to socialise your children in the light of their challenging behaviour was unwise.

You have learnt, naturally, to see beyond their poor behaviour because there are many other positive facets of their personalities and you're their mum. However, it is very unrealistic to expect others, especially children (family included), to do the same.

I know you are upset but try and look at it from their point of view. I don't think you are a bad parent but parenting styles differ and I for one find it very difficult being around poorly behaved children and parents whose parenting styles are 'less hands on'.

Your children were not rejected but their poor behaviour was and as their mum you find it difficult to make the distinction. The teenage friend of your niece staying is not comparable to your stay, you are comparing apples with pears.

It sounds like your stay with your sister was out of necessity, immediately following a trauma. A time when you were probably at your most vulnerable and sensitive and when you wanted you and your children to be looked after for a bit.

Being upset is natural but a waste of your energies, It was a challenging moment in time for everyone, let it go. Focus on the now and the achievable goals that will help your children socialise better when outside your home, you may wish to seek professional support. It is our job as parents to prepare our kids for the world, not the other way round.

Isetan Mon 16-Sep-13 05:38:53

MidniteScribbler talks a lot of sense.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 16-Sep-13 06:22:17

Tbh, I would only entertain sleepovers up to age of 12 where the children get on predominantly without incident during a play date, and where I knew the child reasonably well ( i.e. where I felt they would be comfortable telling me if something was wrong, they're scare of the dark, they want to go home etc). There are many children I'm totally happy for DC to play with where I would not do a sleepover. It's not a reflection on them- it's a reflection on the dynamic. Just thinking back to my own experiences, the number of arguments at sleepovers was probably about 10 times the level at a normal playdate, so they test friendships, plus everything seems worse in the night, so you get tears over really trivial spats.

On that basis, I think you need to give up the sleepover obsession- it's a step too far for your children to cope with. To summarise, it seems that you feel your children typically behave well (home, school, large gatherings etc) but can be unpredictable in one-to-one situations in unfamiliar environments, and that this can lead to aggression and destructive behaviour.

Are you telling the parents of these issues in advance of one to one playdates at their houses? I would be pretty peed off if something let me look after a child without telling me that there could be behavioural challenges? If I didnt know, then of course I'm going to interpret that as just bad behaviour and not want to repeat the experience.

I understand that you dont want to label your children but it seems you flick-flack between 2 of them being NT to the stage where you cant understand why they cant go to sleepovers, and that they have SN so people need to cut them some slack, and there's an inconsistency between those 2 viewpoints.

'I have never accepted her offer to stay another night since that day. I probably never would.'

I am so confused. I have just read this thread from start to finish and on page SIX you say your sister HAS since offered to have you to stay?

Wasn't the point of the OP that you were upset that she was having another child to stay but didn't want yours as she didn't like overnight guests, but six pages on she has apparently offered to have you all stay at some point since?

I think maybe your emotional response to your children's perceived treatment by others is preventing a more objective view. It's understandable, but it is causing confusion.

Personally I would only want to have Close Friends of my children sleepover so I knew the dynamic would work. So if our children weren't close friends I wouldn't be offering to have your child overnight, anySN wouldn't even come into the equation.

If they were close friends and my child wanted a sleepover with yours it is at that point their SN would come into it. I would be asking myself if I felt capable and comfortable offering overnight care to your child in the light of their specific needs. The decision depends entirely on what those needs are. I like to think I would be as accommodating and accepting as possible, but if I felt I couldn't keep everyone in the home, including your child, safe and happy, or wasn't sure I could effectively manage your child's behaviour then at that point the answer would be no. If I had strategies to manage your child's behaviour, then it would be different, but you struggled to manage your own children's behaviour at your sisters, and they have also been challenging at later playmates, so expecting others, without your knowledge or experience, to manage your children's behaviour without you there is unfair and unrealistic.

*play Dates not playmates.

My suggestion would be to have children over to your house, so in your children's comfort zone, for playdates and that their parents come too.

I would explain to the parents when issuing the invitation that your children have sn and that you are trying to help them build friendships. Having the parents there would enable them to see how well behaved your children are at home, and over time give you the opportunity to build friendships with the parents, explain your children's behaviour in new situations and because they know you and your children and you will have had the opportunity to explain potential behaviour and strategies if they visited, they may be more inclined to offer to have your children over, feel more aware of any potential behaviour, feel more equipped to manage it, and be more tolerant than a parent who doesn't know your child or you well being suddenly faced with challenging behaviour on a playdate They would be more inclined to persevere as they will have seen their good behaviour for themselves rather than inviting over a child they don't know very well and only experiencing the negative.

Because your children have additional needs you

Gah - phone posted too soon.

Because your children have additional needs you will need to accept that their friendships may need a lot of groundwork and input by you to help build them you a point where they are strong ones, and part of that will involve you befriending the parents.

It's a shame that things have to initially be so much hard work, but it isn't insurmountable.

2rebecca Mon 16-Sep-13 09:10:06

I've not found sleepovers to be that common. Some kids' parents seem very keen on them and I think a minority of kids have alot but many of my kids' friends have both parents working like us so the parents don't want the hassle of extra kids at the weekend. My son had no sleep overs at primary school and only a handful over secondary school usually for parties. My daughter's had one or 2 a year since mid primary school. We reciprocated the same number but I never had more than 2 kids round at once and preferably just one.

Floralnomad Mon 16-Sep-13 09:38:33

So in summary the OP has one child with SN ,and 2 with behavioural issues .She wants her sister to invite them to sleepover but wouldn't accept an invitation if she did ask them to . trigglesx apparently thinks ( by highlighting my post in hers) that its acceptable for children with SN to mistreat family pets . I think that sums it up .

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Mon 16-Sep-13 10:26:40

Whatever else has gone on here, there has certainly been drip-feeding. There is also inconsistency as RichMan says in whether the OP wants a response based on her children having SN, or whether she wants to have that completely disregarded for the purposes of this thread (which she said at one point). I'd also agree with the posts just above that sleepovers are not as common as they might seem to be, and fo quite a few children - whether SN or NT or somewhere in the middle - sleepovers really don't suit them and are therefore not a practical option. OP, you need to think about how best to build your children's friendships in ways other than sleepovers. And given that, as Coola says just above, your sister has since offered to have you again in an emergency, I think you really need to let go of the resentment about the earlier incident. It's not helpful and things have moved on since then.

shouldistayorshouldagonooooooo Mon 16-Sep-13 11:39:34

I honestly don't know how op can feel resentment tbh! Her sister and dc were the ones mistreated !

You don't have to 'like' family members, it's not the law.

motheroflight Mon 16-Sep-13 12:21:15

Thanks for your comments - we do all like each other, this is a good family relationship, not an estranged one by any stretch of the imagination. I actually agree that my family is the problem rather than hers and her children were stressed and upset by what happened - perhaps disproportionately so at times as they have had quite a sheltered and privileged upbringing. I still think that it is character building to experience/observe a wider variety of people and problems than she would like her children to be exposed to. There is no knowing how their lives will be in adulthood and a little pain and acknowledgment now would ensure that they are not reaching for the smelling salts every five minutes once they leave home.

Floggingmolly Mon 16-Sep-13 12:29:55

So you want her children exposed to your children's extreme behaviours as a life experience? hmm. You're not at all clear or consistent as to what the actual problem is, tbh, or what role your sister should have in sorting it all out...

gobbynorthernbird Mon 16-Sep-13 12:36:46

So you're still trying to turn it round to your sister/her DCs?

jacks365 Mon 16-Sep-13 12:42:12

Mof in your posts you have mentioned yoyr children breaking toys and behaving badky but not to the point of damaging fixtures and fittings. Your child throwing things at a family pet. Your children being rude but not violent enough to scare people. I'm afraid that I wouldn't want to welcome children who behave like that into my home whether they are nt or sn. Why should I have to worry about my possesions, my children or pets in their own home. I'm sorry but you need to accept that if children behave in that manner unchecked for any reason they will not be welcome.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 16-Sep-13 12:42:35

Um being exposed to stressful and violent experiences as a child doesn't actually make you a more emotionally resilient adult. You know that, right? That's why there's no ' get sworn at and beaten up' module on D of E.

PresidentServalan Mon 16-Sep-13 12:45:39

Oh right - so exposing her children to your DC's challenging behaviour is you doing them a favour?? hmm

You seem to be on a slightly odd crusade to force people to spend time with your DC because its 'character building' and a bit of pain now will do these people good. You need to learn to either manage the behaviour of your DCs so that people will want to spend time with them or accept that whilst they behave like this, they are not going to have many friends.

Morloth Mon 16-Sep-13 12:51:36

Actually after your last post, I would be actively avoiding you.

She did you a massive favour, she doesn't owe you anything.

OTheHugeManatee Mon 16-Sep-13 13:04:25

Sorry, but whatever the additional needs of your DC there's no way I'd tolerate rudeness, violence, attacks on my pets and possible damage to my house for two weeks straight, let alone see it as 'character building' for my family. OP, you sound very strange.

shouldistayorshouldagonooooooo Mon 16-Sep-13 13:08:05

grin op you had me for a while there! Well done!

DIYapprentice Mon 16-Sep-13 13:23:32

they have had quite a sheltered and privileged upbringing

And that is your sister's choice, isn't it?! You don't get to decide for her that her children should be exposed to a 'wider variety of people and problems', you really don't.

By exposing them in such a way, and thinking that it is 'character building' you have effectively driven a wedge between the cousins, well done!

There MUST have been ways to minimise the effect of their behaviour, such as making sure your DC never went into their rooms so that your DNs had a chance to have time away, etc.

That is probably why they started excluding you, because you didn't arrange things so that they could have a break from you so they did what they needed to to just take it.

kali110 Mon 16-Sep-13 13:38:32

Sn or not, family or not i would subject my kids or pets to rude or potentially violent behaviour(throwing things at kids or pets). Just because your sisters kids may have had a sheltered life doesn't mean they need to be subjected to this.
You need to accept that people raise their children differently and that even though you two are sisters, she
And your dc friends parents don't feel they can let their children be around bad behaviour.
You say that it wasn't enough to damage fixtures, but thats bad enough to other people.
Yes it is a real shame to your dc, but you will just have to accept it.

friday16 Mon 16-Sep-13 14:11:12

The problem is, OP, that you appear to think that "they have special needs" overrides other people's freedom to act as they want. There's a spectrum: for anyone whose child's behaviour is challenging, for whatever reason, people pass through supportive, sympathetic, tolerant, grudgingly tolerant, hostile, having nothing to do with you.

Depending on how guilty they feel, how good a friend they are with you, their own experience of special needs, how well you are seen to be mitigating the issues, how old their own children are, etc, etc, the rate at which you move along that spectrum will vary.

But eventually, if your children's behaviour is sufficiently challenging, people will put their own children ahead of yours and exclude you from their lives. There is only so much that they will put up with. And as their own children get older, they will make their opinion clearer, and it will become harder and harder to convince their parents to upset their own children for your children's benefit.

Rightly or wrongly, you appear to have moved up that spectrum with all your friends, to the point that no-one is prepared to tolerate your children. That may be entirely wrong of them, and it may mean that they are bad people. But to each of them, the effect of excluding you is small, but to you, the effect of them all excluding you is huge. You have much more incentive to fix it than they do, because they simply don't care enough to try. Terrible people, perhaps, but thinking that doesn't help you.

And even if you could appeal to the better nature of parents, it sounds like your children are reaching an age where friendships are determined by children, not well-meaning parents. It doesn't sound like other children would get a great deal out of the relationship; the argument that adversity is good for their souls is not, I'm afraid, going to convince anyone, especially a ten year old whose toys have been broken.

So you have a choice. You can either lament the fact that other parents aren't as sympathetic to your plight as you think they should be, which is going to achieve precisely nothing. Or you can try to consider what it is that you could do to stop people from thinking "oh fuck, it's MoL, let's pretend we're out". Because it sounds like you've used up your allocation of sympathy, tolerance and guilt.

oldgrandmama Mon 16-Sep-13 15:04:02

A few years back, I had a close relative and her family stay for a week - their house was being renovated and was not finished at the time when they'd planned to move back in. Four of them - two adults, two small kids. They were all lovely, kids fine apart from occasional naughtiness as all small kids do and the grownups chipped in with cooking, cleaning etc. You could say they were perfect guests. But I was absolutely exhausted by mid week, even eying the chardonnay bottle at breakfast time (no, I didn't). One thing (sounds silly, I know, but it was so awkward) was I had to keep my bad tempered cat away from everyone, as she loathes children ... hell, she loathes everyone apart from me! So I was forever juggling where cat was and where kids were, making sure they didn't collide!

I symathise with OP's sister, but wish OP would just let it go now. Dwelling on it, letting it seethe around and around in her mind, is not healthy or helpful.

Trigglesx Mon 16-Sep-13 15:25:40

trigglesx apparently thinks ( by highlighting my post in hers) that its acceptable for children with SN to mistreat family pets . I think that sums it up.

floralnomad um... okay... if that's what you got out of that.... <shrug>.... wrong, of course, but hey, don't let that stop you from blasting it about. hmm

Cravey Mon 16-Sep-13 15:46:27

You know what op ? After you're last couple of posts it's becoming very clear that you think your sister is in the wrong. It's also coming across that you think it's acceptable for your children to behave whichever way they do. And that's nothing to do with special needs. It's o do with your attitude. You did drip feed no matter how much you argue the point that you don't. I'm bowing out and thanking god that you are not my sister.

After your last post, all my sympathy is with your sister and her children. It is not up to you to decide that they have had too privileged and sheltered an upbringing, and to theorise that a bit of pain - pain, for God's sake - provided by your children, will do them good!

Floralnomad Mon 16-Sep-13 16:23:21

No actually trigglesx ,I made a point and you chose to highlight the whole of it in your post about how many of us don't understand children with SN ( or I assume that's what your point was) . I do have a child on the autistic spectrum and also one with long term health issues both have been bought up to respect other people ,animals and people's belongings including their own .

kerala Mon 16-Sep-13 20:24:32

Beginning to feel really sorry for the sister...

HangingGardenofBabbysBum Mon 16-Sep-13 21:13:30

I read this thread this morning, and planned to catch up as I felt a bit sorry for the OP.

Then I read quite a sheltered and privileged upbringing. I still think that it is character building to experience/observe a wider variety of people and problems than she would like her children to be exposed to. There is no knowing how their lives will be in adulthood and a little pain and acknowledgment now would ensure that they are not reaching for the smelling salts every five minutes once they leave home

This is frightening and really makes you sound unhinged. If you were my sister and genuinely believed this, I would strenuously encourage professional help.

That's really not a healthy or fair way to look at your nieces and nephews, you sound dangerously jealous of their 'priviledged' situation.

Please concentrate on getting some help to make the necessary domestic changes of your own that will enable your DC to live in the same peace as their cousins and which it sounds as though they need.

This is nothing to do with blaming your sister and everything to do with taking control of your DCs emotional health and happiness.

I wish you well in your endeavour.

givemestrengthorlove Mon 16-Sep-13 21:36:49

Try and improve things for your dc in your own home and with parenting strategies to make them happier and your parenting more effective..

You sound very very jealous of your sister and her family.

She does not have to help you. And why should she when you don't want dc to change, just want everyone else to put up with them better?

All very strange

Oh dear, you're really not doing yourself any favours OP.

ZZZenagain Tue 17-Sep-13 11:29:18

If her children were "stressed and upset" by what happened. I think it is honestly quite natural for her to want to protect them from that again. I would do the same. You say you feel their reaction was at times disproportionate but then other families you know have reacted in a similar fashion to your dc so perhaps the reaction of the cousins was not really unusual or down to a sheltered upbringing but fairly standard.

"a little pain and acknowledgment now" tbh is not anything I would be inflicting on my dc.

givemestrengthorlove Tue 17-Sep-13 20:42:29

Your last post makes no sense! Is this for real ? !

if so you are in cloud cuckoo land that's for sure

Cravey Thu 19-Sep-13 15:31:53

I came back to this to add that o thinks her sisters children should suffer a little pain now in order to make them better adults. Turn it round op apply it to your own kids. Problem and issue solved. They are suffering the pain of being excluded ( according to you anyway ) so it's all good. It will make them stronger adults in life. You need some help you really do.

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