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"Only child syndrome"

(40 Posts)
Curlywurlysue Tue 20-Oct-15 15:58:56

I'm feeling a bit upset after a conversation with my sister in which she told me that my child has "only child syndrome", just want to know how you would feel if somebody said this about your child? When I questioned her on what she meant by that she said that my child acts spoilt and it's obvious that she is an only child. I'm upset for two reasons, the first being that I don't think that's a nice thing to say about my dd (she's 3 and yes can be bratty sometimes but can't all three year olds?) especially seeing as she always finds fault with my DD. She has a son who is a couple of months older and whenever they play together my sister only finds fault with what my dd does and never notices her sons bad behaviour. In my opinion they can both play well at times, and also be bratty and not want to share etc. at other times.

The second reason I'm upset is because it would have been my due date this week but I lost my baby earlier this year. I've generally felt like I haven't had much support from family after the miscarriage but this really feels like she's rubbing salt into the wounds, talking badly about my daughter for not having siblings?? She has made other insensitive comments in the last few months about my dd needing siblings / don't I feel broody? Etc. I would love for her to have siblings but sadly it isn't to be just yet. But I'm not sure if this is making me overly sensitive on the matter? I left shortly after the conversation because I could feel myself getting upset and wanted to come home. Now I feel like maybe I should send her a message to explain how much I'm hurt by what she said but AIBU and should I just leave it?

Cookiecake Tue 20-Oct-15 16:04:00

She sounds a bit of a bitch, very insensitive as well given you lost your baby. I've spent time around other people's children and thought they'd behaved badly but I'd have never said anything, all kids have their moments.

NorthenFeminist Tue 20-Oct-15 16:05:24

I think she sounds horrible tbh. I wouldn't spend time with someone like that unless I couldn't avoid it.

HirplesWithHaggis Tue 20-Oct-15 16:06:17

I'm sorry for your loss. This must be a really difficult time for you. flowers

Your sister is talking shit, but I'd leave it. By all means write down your hurt feelings, it helps to get it out, but don't send it.

My ds1 was an "only" at three, then ds2 arrived. I don't think he was any more bratty than any other dc!

Bejeena Tue 20-Oct-15 16:07:51

Oh I don't know the best answer but just wanted to say sorry for your loss, I know how you feel as lost a baby may and am.dreading the due date. I would just keep quiet for now in my experience is best with these things because otherwise she might make you feel even worse flowers

bumbleymummy Tue 20-Oct-15 16:08:09

That sounds horrible sad I'm so sorry for your loss. thanks Your sister sounds incredibly insensitive. Don't let her get to you. Clearly having a sibling didn't make her a better person!

Sleepybunny Tue 20-Oct-15 16:11:48

Your sister sounds very cruel. How can a three year old have "only child syndrome"!? They're just about grasping the concept of playing co-operatively.
Also if she is aware of your recent miscarriage -sorry for your loss- then why would she think it's ok to say anything relating to siblings for your dd?

The real question is, I suppose, why would you spend time in her company?

OurBlanche Tue 20-Oct-15 16:11:52


There is only one thing you really can do, text or email:

"Dear Sister Mine,
Many thanks for your comment regarding DD being a spoiled brat and only child. Your comment, coming, as it did, during the week her sibling would have been born had I not miscarried, has really hurt me, more than you can possibly know. Though you may have noticed I was upset as I left shortly after you spoke, unable to speak without crying, unable to believe that my own sister could so unthinking and hurtful.

You will have to forgive me for putting this in a text/email, I find myself unable to contemplate speaking to you without crying, screaming and demanding an apology.

If I were to be able to speak to you calmly I would point out that you too have a blind spot where your child is concerned, XX is also a badly behaved 3 year old at times. No, he really is. Your apparent belief that he behaves perfectly at all times when with DD is misplaced, and somewhat irritating.

Now that we both have that out of our systems, I look forward to seeing you [whenever/wherever] and being able to get on with being both sisters and mums.

Lots of love, curlywurlysue"

LovelyBranches Tue 20-Oct-15 16:13:49

That's awful, your sister sounds horrible! How insensitive. Sorry for your loss.

OP, I'm an only child, I often don't recognise any of the assumptions people make of only children. As an only child you have to make friends, you don't have an automatic companion. In my experience only children are often much more likely to play well with others as they seek company and friendship. My DH spent his childhood trying to escape his brat of a sister, to this day she still acts like a spoiled brat and she's far more likely to not share than any only child I know.

AnyoneButAndre Tue 20-Oct-15 16:14:00

That would be bad manners from anyone. From someone who knows you miscarried last year it's genuinely vile.

AnyoneButAndre Tue 20-Oct-15 16:14:27

And thanks very best wishes for the future OP.

WineSpider Tue 20-Oct-15 16:15:06

What an insensitive bitch. Some people just don't stop and think about anything beyond their own narrow perspective of what is going on.

Sorry to hear you suffered the loss of your baby - I have also had a miscarriage this year and unless you've been through it you really can't understand.

Deep breath and enjoy your DD flowers

gleegeek Tue 20-Oct-15 16:17:15

I'm so sorry for your lossflowers She has been super insensitive, but even if you were only ever planning to have one her comments were unnecessary.

I have an only dd (12). Lots of people have told me she doesn't act like an only child - whatever that means - she is kind, caring, empathetic and will often end up with nothing for herself as she has overshared her things! I've no idea if being an only has made her how she is, or whether she is just made that way, but she is great how she issmile I think the only child/middle child/last child syndrome is massively overplayed, with lazy people seeking to label behaviour rather than just agree all dc are different and develop at different rates.

Ignore your sister's comments - sounds like her son is no angel anyway!

WallToWallBastards Tue 20-Oct-15 16:22:18

That's disgusting oh my God, I'm sorry for your loss flowers
However, as an only child myself, I can vouch for the fact we're not a creepy hive mind and I'd argue I'm a well adjusted adult. I do get "you don't act like an only child" comments though hmm

Pangurban1 Tue 20-Oct-15 16:28:08

Wow, she knows you had a miscarriage this year and is pointedly going on like that to you. It is like saying to her that her son is being brattish because he is feeling insecure having to vie for her attention because of competition with other siblings. Or that she can't focus properly on his manners because she is distracted with her other children and shouldn't have had any more.

A miscarriage is sad. I have had a few. However, whether you go on to have more or not, you have a family in your beautiful dd.

Sister sounds horrible.

YakTriangle Tue 20-Oct-15 16:29:58

People really can be utterly thoughtless shits at times. For a sister to say something like that is truly nasty especially at this time when you're already feeling low. thanksbrew for you. I like the letter above, maybe you should send a version of that and she might wake up to how cruel she's been.

TheXxed Tue 20-Oct-15 16:31:25

I'm so sorry for your loss flowers. No idea what to say about your sister I don't understand why someone would be so cruel.

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Tue 20-Oct-15 16:35:24

OP I'm so sorry for your loss flowers

And really sorry your sister is being so awful too. I'm quite shocked tbh.

The only thing I can suggest is just totally ignoring any future comments. Seriously, act like she hasn't spoken. Bitchy comment about your dd's "behaviour" - either ignore and speak to your dd "oh have you got the train darling, let's see" or just continue the conversation you were having before that/say something innocuous and unconnected "wow isn't this year flying by, can't believe it's nearly the end of October already!" or don't say anything at all. Or suddenly realise you left something in the car/need to take dd to the toilet/need to leave/make a quick phone call. Every. Single. Time. Works quite well on my FIL wink

Can't say I'd be in a rush to spend masses of time with her though. She sounds very insecure.

ILiveAtTheBeach Tue 20-Oct-15 16:38:21

OurBlanche ....perfect text to send. I am surprised you didn't tell her to shut the fuck up, tbh. I would have. That comment, given your circumstances is truly DISGUSTING. Regards your DD, just keep an eye on it...I've seen quite a few badly behaved toddlers recently and the parents do nothing to chastise them. I find that quite irritating as mine would have been told off (and they turned out great). But given the background, I think your sister is probably just a fucking cow, and your DD is fine. angry

squoosh Tue 20-Oct-15 16:43:31

I think this is one of those times where a simple 'fuck off you insensitive cow' will do.

Bakeoffcake Tue 20-Oct-15 16:44:39

You poor thingflowers

My BIL and Sil used to say this to us before dd2 was born. They were constantly saying how spoit they thought dd1 was and I found it really hurtful.
I don't mean to be a bitch but I will but now they've had their own DC and they are so hard/strict with them that I understand why they think mine were spoilt. It's a stream of "no" "behave" "don't do that" "do as you're told" etc etc etc. and I do actually feel very sorry for their children. They are both lovely girls but have zero self confidence.

Ignore your sil. How you choose to being up your child and got nothing to do with her.

Trooperslane Tue 20-Oct-15 16:44:48

Nasty piece of work she is.


(my due date was last Friday, feel free to join my pity party, OP x)

There's something wrong with both of them. It's called "being 3".

Your sister should be bending over backwards to support you rather than attempting to score points. Agree she seems very insecure, but you shouldn't have to put up with that.

Oldraver Tue 20-Oct-15 16:50:01

Dear Sis, You suffer with bitchy sister syndrome. Bugger off until you can be nice

Paintedhandprints Tue 20-Oct-15 16:59:30

She is being massively insensitive if not deliberately hurtful. I would call her out on it. I don't think getting into a slanging match about who's dc is the worse is the way forward however. Either send her a message now saying how hurtful you find her comments or next time she says something just tell her how incredibly insensitive you find her comments. The only thing I would wonder is she projecting her own insecurity or jealousy? Doesn't excuse her but may provide an insight. (trying to be kind). Also I don't buy into this only child syndrome. All children are different as all adults are. I was one of four kids. We were vile to each other at times. My oldest sis acted like a spoilt brat generally. Having sibs didn't change that. When you meet an adult or child for the first time you don't recognise them as spoilt only.

LumpySpacedPrincess Tue 20-Oct-15 18:12:38

People are only ro eager to slap labels on children, girls are "bitchy" but when boys exhibit the same behaviour it's called "banter."

If an only child has an off day it is because they don't have siblings, not for any of the other millions of reasons that are applied to other kids when they misbehave.

Your sister has been cruel, is she always like this? Would it be worth calling her on it and letting her know how upset you are?

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