to think my sister has a severe case of PFB?(23 Posts)
No matter whether it's kids being picked to be on the stage for book week parade, or kids doing well in ballet exams, or kids getting praised after a music recital, or kids doing better at sport... Dsis comes back from every child-related event with a set of superior comments about "it being an interesting study in human nature" that "of course, the judges picked all the boring little conformist morons/ sassy little types who got in their faces and pushed all the real talent out of sight" "the so-called six-year-olds were all clearly not six, more like 8 or 9, and were a head taller than my daughter, so no wonder they won the 400m and she came last"
I'd be thinking - at school they generally pick the ones who need picking for reasons of self-esteem. Those kids are also the ones whose parents don't invest time in giving them interesting things to read, so they come as boring predictable things for book week (if anything).
At dance recitals/exams, if you dance in time, correctly and with a smile on your face - that's what they're looking for - and if you shamble around at the back picking your nose that's not what they're looking for. That doesn't make the successful ones sassy, necessarily, and frankly who cares much if it does, it's their life. If you don't want your PFB to be like them don't send her to ballet.
And if there's really corruption at the level of putting 8 year olds into the kindergarten running race at school sports day, then perhaps school sport is different from how most of us imagine it is. Or possibly if your daughter is told "oh darling they're all bigger than you it's not fair" every time she gets bored and flounces off from a race halfway through, when the other kids complete it - then maybe that's the problem rather than endemic corruption...
What I'd really like to say is AARRGGGGGGGGGGGH. It is not "an interesting study in human nature" and you are doing untold damage to your child by saying all that crap in front of her. Grow up and parent your child properly.
Also - do I say anything? Or do I just go on with smiling and ignoring Dsis and saying "Oh, dniece, what a lovely costume for book week" and "Dniece I'm sure you prepared well and did your best, didn't you, at the recital/ sports day/ whatever" and changing the subject?
It's sad watching a child get screwed up.
If it was my sister, I'd tell her to stop being so bloody precious! I wouldn't say anything mean about dneice though.
She isn't being pfb, she is being a twat.
Her dd will grow up thinking the world is conspiring against her and there is not point putting effort into anything.
Or she will be one of those people who think they are fantastic at everything but never get anywhere because other people are jealous.
Sister won't listen to anything I have to say, thinks I've been conspiring against her since I was born, 40 years ago. Because everything I've ever done in my life is of course all about her.
DM is still around. She encourages Dsis... and in fact brought Dsis up to be like that. I was like that too until I cut the apron strings, left the country and spent long enough away to look back and recognize them for the loons they are.
I guess when Dniece leaves home I'll be doing my best to help her, but until then there's not much I can do. Grr.
I did attempt to say something a few weeks back when Dsis announced she was looking at changing Dniece's school for the second time since Dniece has started school. I said something about there being a lot of value in a well-suplemented, but successful attendance at an ordinary school, where success was defined as doing everything required, well, on time, happily and with no complaints or difficulty, and that continuity had considerable value as well because Dniece would learn perspective. Of course, this was taken personally as me being mean and critical (as well as conformist and stupid), and Dniece is now being moved to a Steiner school which will apparently suit her creativity better, because teachers in normal schools are mean and unimaginative. FFS.
She sounds horrible and really unpleasant, especially the way she describes other children. "Conformist moron", urgh
I feel sorry for your dn.
I do too. Give how little I see of Dsis and BIL though, I'm unlikely to influence Dniece much until she reaches the phase of loathing her irritating mother and looking around for acceptable relatives with whom to associate (I recognize this phase, having done it myself). Which actually might happen fairly soon, unless my sister magically stops channelling Kate Archer...
Oh dear. She sounds deluded. I don't think confronting people like your sister helps, it just ends up in a row. The only thing that I find occasionally works is giving people like that advice but making them feel as if they've thought of it themselves! Agree it's hard seeing your DN treated like this though.
Unfortuantly I've got a SIL the same as this.
If DNs don't do well at anything it's because of countless reasons such as the other children being older or the teacher only ever picking certain kids etc, etc, etc rather than, actually this time they weren't the best or it's not their thing. This is despite the fact both children are actually very talented at things and one in particular is very successful at a sport.
I've given up trying to counter what she says because she doesn't listen at all.
I agree with a PP - she's not PFB, she's just bitter and unable to accept her own (and by extension her daughter's) limitations. It's a particularly unattractive trait to be constantly making excuses for yourself and never acknowledging that you just haven't got any particular ability in some areas, so hopefully your niece's rebellious phase will cause her to rail against that attitude and be a bit better-rounded.
Hiccupgirl yes - Dniece could actually be quite good at music and sport if she were given the opportunity instead of having all this idiocy put in between her and a bit of useful self-examination, reflection, and hard work.
I kind of wish there were almost a form of social services who could swoop in and intervene when parents are being perfectly fine in a material sense but unmitigatedly twattish in a maturity sense. It would save so much on mental health bills for depressed young adults dicovering that life isn't like what mother said...
DoJo & Spartans - you're right about it not being PFB (I hadn't really thought this aspect through before posting). It's more using Dniece vicariously to relive childhood the way it "should" have been, without all this pesky interference from the real world. She used to talk about how great it was that Dniece didn't have a younger sibling and thus would never have to share...
Bring on Dniece's rebellion is all I can say...
(BTW I'm not thinking I'm definitely the person Dniece will turn to when she rebels, or that i should be that person. Just as long as whomever she does turn to, teaches her about not being exceptionalist, and to not make excuses but self-examine, reflect and work appropriately, then she should turn out OK.)
Yanbu. Even if there was massive injustice towards her, only a twat would insult the other children or discuss it with their child. And nothing you say makes me think there's any unfairness.
As the parent of a leggy child who has occasionally had achievements brushed off by the odd parent as 'well of course she's several years older'. No dickhead she's actually younger. And apparently not unfair when it's something height is a disadvantage for.
Unfortunately the option of telling her that mummy is a moron isn't open, so I think you have to satisfy yourself with exposing dn to normal opinions, even though she's unlikely to listen, so at least in future it's something to fall back on.
I think all you can do at this stage is working on having a good relationship with your DN so that she's more likely to turn to you when she's ready to move on.
I don't see anything productive here in criticizing your Dsis, no matter how much you disagree with her.
Based on the total lack of success any times I have tried to say something - such as about Dniece attending 3 schools in 3 years, and switching extracurricular activities every few weeks for years, all because my sister doesn't like the teachers/parents/whatever - I agree there is probably little point saying anything much other than being nice to Dniece.
I don't criticise Dsis in real life - noone in my day-to-day life, other than DH, has ever met my sister or my family, thank goodness. DH agrees she's pathologically bonkers, but really what can we do - Dniece is safe, if learning all sorts of attitudes that will make her life quite hard.
There isn't much you can do unfortunately. It will have a negative impact on dn. if she keeps moving schools, she will find it difficult to make long term friendships.
Dd has been to 3 primary schools. The first time was in year 1 when we moved. The second time when she was being bullied in year 5. The bullying was so bad we had to home school her for a couple of months as she was scared to go to a new school. She is fine now, but it wasn't easy to slot into an already established class. It's certainly not something I would choose lightly.
I think you're spot on about it being down to DSis trying to relieve her childhood but in a better way. It's certainly true of my SIL.
Like you, I really worry about the impact on my DNs when they are older and haven't been helped to learn that you can't always win or the best at everything, and that if you're not the best it's not because it was stolen from you in some way. I'm all for giving your kids confidence to try things and believe in themselves but letting them think they are gifted and special at everything isn't healthy.
Your SIL will at least fit in with other Steiner school parents. My absolutely barking mad parents sent me to one. I lasted a term because even my lentil weaving dm said the parents were mad (one dad used to pick up his kid from school having commuted by unicycle).
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.