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to tell DS the truth about why he can't stay at his cousins?

(34 Posts)
iceandsliceplease Sun 21-Aug-11 22:23:32

I suspect IAB deeply, deeply, U, so perhaps I want you to talk me out of this, but...
Very long back story here, which I'll try to skip as much as possible. DS (6)& his cousin (also 6) are and always have been very, very close. DP, my brother, SIL & I ran a business together, so shared childcare. 18 months ago, I had a pretty catastrophic nervous breakdown, numerous suicide attempts, was generally in a very bad place (mainly due to pressure from work, and lack of support/bullying from brother & SIL). We left work, moved away, but tried to keep up the relationship between DS & DN as much as possible.
Brother & SIL had no real contact with DP & I, but it all got very messy, with legal action against me. My sister fell out with brother and SIL, my dad no longer speaks to brother & SIL, my mum...it's complicated... Brother & SIL have now sold the business and moved ten minutes away from us.
We had, until fairly recently, still had DN to stay/play quite regularly. He stayed the night only 10 days ago. But more stuff has come out. I found out that SIL has told A LOT of people that the reason we moved was that I stole money from the business and did a runner. She's referred to my being sectioned as 'her little stunt'.
And now that my DN is so close, DS & DN are constantly badgering me to let DS go and stay at my brother's house. I DO NOT WANT DS STAYING IN THEIR HOUSE. So far, I've been very non-committal 'hmm, let me check my diary when I get home, no sorry, we're busy, can't I'm afraid.' DS isn't happy about it, and can't understand why I won't say yes, especially when my brother tells him 'of course you can stay any time you like'.
I wouldn't ever tell DS the full truth of what's gone on, but AIBU to explain that my brother & I have had a falling out, and that's why I don't want DS to stay? DS is a nosy child, so I would have to provide information of a vetted kind.

Sofabitch Sun 21-Aug-11 22:26:42

At that age I would just use distraction. Rather than the truth.

AfternoonDelight Sun 21-Aug-11 22:27:01

I really don't think it would be a good idea to tell your DS anything like that. It's fantastic that he's kept up the relationship with your DN (and kudos to you and your brother for managing to do that despite what's happened), but if you say something then your DS might get a bit uncomfortable around your DB.

iceandsliceplease Sun 21-Aug-11 22:28:31

Gosh, that was much longer than I'd planned. Apologies, and thanks if you've made it this far.

squeakytoy Sun 21-Aug-11 22:30:24

I think it is enough to tell him that you have fallen out, and there will be no more sleepovers. I think you have to do it consistently and not allow your nephew to stay at your house too.

biscuitmad Sun 21-Aug-11 22:30:38

I think the best thing to do is start with baby steps to rebuild the relationship between all four of you (adults). How about asking them out for a drink somewere nice and local and leave the children with babysitters.

Talk about the business and the breakdown and get it all out in the open. Then you can all start to rebuild your relationship. Remember not to bring the children into it. If they mention the children say this meet up is not about them its about us getting on again and putting the family back together.

Good luck.

CailinDana Sun 21-Aug-11 22:30:50

Wow what a tough situation. Sorry to hear you went through all that. It's very hard to say what to do for the best. On the one hand, no one would blame you for wanting to break all contact with brother and SIL but on the other, it seems mean and unnecessary to get a child involved in adults' problems. If you do tell him the full (vetted) story it might make him feel like he has to shun his friend in order to support you, and if he continue to see your nephew he might feel very awkward around his uncle and aunt.

I'm afraid I can't offer much advice. Instinctively I think it's best not to give your DS the details of what happened and to just let him keep seeing DN as much as you can bear. However, it would be totally understandable if you didn't feel up to that at all, given what's happened.

MrsRhettButler Sun 21-Aug-11 22:32:52

Hmm, I don't know.. I think if you have him at your place and they trust you with that then you should show the same courtesy? If that's the right word.

Fwiw it sounds like all of you have done a great job keeping the kids out of it all.

MrsRhettButler Sun 21-Aug-11 22:34:22

I am a hypocrite btw, I won't let dd stay at dss's house but obviously dss stays here regularly. So I do understand how you feel

wannaBe Sun 21-Aug-11 22:34:52

tbh while I can understand why you feel like this I think you are unreasonable to essentially let this affect the relationship between your ds and his cousin.

The children have done nothing wrong, and to make them pay the price for your falling out is wrong.

I do agree with whoever it was that said you need to build on the relationship, but I also think you would be being unreasonable to say that he can't go for a sleepover based on your falling out.

iceandsliceplease Sun 21-Aug-11 22:36:25

biscuitmad, it's a non-flyer. There is no way on earth I want to rebuild a relationship with brother. TBH, I want to cut him out of my life completely, but it is very very awkward when DS & DN are so close.

One thing I forgot to mention is that our parents (DS & DN's grandparents) are helpful in pickups & drop offs, but are not here very much.

squeakytoy Sun 21-Aug-11 22:37:42

Children can still be good friends without having sleepovers.

Tricky. But if you can have DN to stay and not mention adult troubles can you not let DS stay with them and expect the same? Or do you think they will tell your DS tales? Is the problem with your SIL and the rumours?

Try not to ruin the cousins relationship.

iceandsliceplease Sun 21-Aug-11 22:41:20

The reason I don't want DS to sleep at my brother's house is that both my brother & SIL have been completely indiscriminate talking about me - teachers, other parents, hairdressers... have all been told that I stole money, that I faked my breakdown to get out of a difficult situation, etc.

I just feel if they can say that about me to strangers, what will they say to DS about me?

ravenAK Sun 21-Aug-11 22:45:01

Are your brother & SIL equally capable of looking after your ds, though, & keeping your estrangement out of it?

Could you regard your relationship with your brother as similar to an acrimonious divorce - you guys don't get on, but you behave civilly to each other for the sake of your (respective) kids, & allow them to spend time together at both houses?

If not, I think you just need to cut all sleepovers etc & explain to your ds as you suggest in your OP.

Very difficult situation for you all.

iceandsliceplease Sun 21-Aug-11 22:45:03

Just to clarify, I'm happy for DN to come here, I'm happy for DS to go to their house to play when a GP is present, but I do not want DS there unsupervised. And DD will never go there as they were at their worst when she was born, and they have never expressed the slightest interest in her.

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 21-Aug-11 22:46:04

How do you currently communicate with your brother & his wife?

iceandsliceplease Sun 21-Aug-11 22:46:24

ravenAK, I trust myself! I don't trust them - that's what I have an issue with.

ravenAK Sun 21-Aug-11 22:48:01

Ah OK, x post...

Could your mum (or anyone) mediate - say that you want ds & dn to maintain their friendship, but you need to be reassured that they will not discuss the fall out with ds if he's in their house? Or is that totally unrealistic...you know them best?

A1980 Sun 21-Aug-11 22:48:23

No don't tell him. he's too young to understand. Children fall out and make up very quickly and he wont understnad why you can't make up. He's also likely to say something while playing with DN.

I'd just tell him he isn't going and that's it. Why must parents have to explain everything to their children. When i was a child it was "No, because I say so" no other reason.

I would try and limit contact tbh even with Dn as they get older. Do you honestly think that DN won't get wind of it from her paretns when she's older and say something to your DS.

bibbitybobbityhat Sun 21-Aug-11 22:49:53

Have you said anything to the adults about them telling people you stole from the business? You need to get that issue straight first and foremost I'd have thought.

ChippingIn Sun 21-Aug-11 22:51:36

sad

Frankly, if the situation is never likely to be resolved between you and your brother I would stop contact between the kids now. DS is 6 - it would be better to do it now than have him gradually dragged into all of the stuff that will happen/come out. Also, DD is soon going to want to know why she's no included as it's her cousin too. Messy, very messy. Start encouraging your DS to play with other children and have them stay over.

I'm sorry it's all so awful for you.

iceandsliceplease Sun 21-Aug-11 23:00:30

bibbity, if they were asked straight out, they would deny it. That's how they are. There's a lot of back story there too. TBH, the 'stealing from business' stuff is just one in a long, long.looong line of awful things they've said & done.

ravenAK - I dunno. SIL specialises in the snidey by-shooting. Saying something nasty and pointed that's non-specific, but clearly a dig. I hate the idea of DS being told something that he doesn't really understand, but know is aimed at me.

Portofino Sun 21-Aug-11 23:05:50

Surely you need to sort out he accusations? Why do your family think you did this?

iceandsliceplease Sun 21-Aug-11 23:11:58

Portofino, my family know I didn't do this (even brother & SIL know it, because it isn't true ). SIL said it because she wanted to paint me as a the baddie, and bluntly, she hates me. Always has done.

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