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AIBU to not let DS speak with aunt?

(23 Posts)
Sleepdeprived123 Thu 21-Jul-16 08:57:15

Both my brother and sister live abroad. My DS who is nearly 3.5 has not seen his uncle for over 3 years so does not remember him. DS has not seen his aunt for over a year and before that only saw her once every 3-4 months.

Despite my best efforts at trying to keep in touch with both of them and trying to arrange SKYPE and FaceTime calls neither are really interested and have not accepted the invites. DS has been very upset about them not being in contact in the past and I have told this to both my sister and brother. This has not spurred them on to call despite my invites. DS did not receive any cards or presents at Xmas from either of them.

At this point I decided that they weren't interested in him, which is their choice and I don't hold a grudge, they don't have children themselves and as I've mentioned were not a close family.

Out of the blue my sister wants to call whilst we are visiting my mother, I am reluctant to take this call as I am worried about the negative effect it will have on DS. Particularly because I have spent many evenings comforting him when he wanted to speak with them and they have been too busy (although I just told him that the phones don't work very well abroad, which totally isn't true and I'm getting a bit sick of lying about it all).

Should I let him speak with his aunt as a one off and then be prepared to pick up the pieces? Or do I tell my sister no and suffer the consequences of being told that I am unreasonable?

EdmundCleverClogs Thu 21-Jul-16 09:00:58

How does a three year old get do 'worked up' about relatives (you say yourself) he never sees? Do you mention them excessively? Let him speak to his aunt, or do you not let him talk to anyone he only sees every so often?

MollyTwo Thu 21-Jul-16 09:01:56

Should I let him speak with his aunt as a one off and then be prepared to pick up the pieces?

Ridiculously Ott. If your ds is only 3.5 how is it that he is so troubled by their lack of phonecalls? He was a baby and they live abroad, it seems like you are the one who is more upset and trying to get this across through your ds.

MollyTwo Thu 21-Jul-16 09:02:43

Xpost, it's clear op you are pushing this issue.

myownprivateidaho Thu 21-Jul-16 09:03:06

Eh? Why on earth would this have a negative effect on your son? He's seen to her three times a year on average up to age two and he's only three now! I can't imagine DS has been upset about the lack of contact unless you've been building it up. It's not like she's been a continual presence in his life and then dropped him. Sounds like you're just being a bit spiteful actually. There's nothing damaging to a child about having relatives you don't see or talk to very often confused

branofthemist Thu 21-Jul-16 09:05:33

Your son is upset about your brother, who he doesn't know not calling him? Really?

I can see him being a bit bothered by your sister because he actually knew her.

I have many relatives that ds (5) hasn't met. He wouldn't think to get upset because they haven't called him. Are you sure he isn't picking up your feelings about it?

I would think about this really carefully. It does sound like you hold a grudge. If you really genuinely think this will upset you child then don't. However I suspect this is more about you being pissed off with her.

Personally I would take the call and tell her that she needs to keep in regular contact as you child misses her. If she agrees, let her speak with him. If she doesn't keep up with regular contact and it is upsetting your child, stop contact.

By regular i don't mean everyday, just monthly or something.

Nocabbageinmyeye Thu 21-Jul-16 09:06:48

I'm sorry I just don't believe this for a second, i have a 3 year old and siblings abroad and no I'm sorry if there's an issue it's one you have made I think. You are being way ott here

Waltermittythesequel Thu 21-Jul-16 09:07:07


He's three.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 21-Jul-16 09:09:56

You're projecting your own feelings of chagrin and disappointment in your siblings onto your 3yo.

I think you should let her speak to him - who is it going to hurt? he's not going to know who she is, so he's going to want to say hello, maybe show her a toy, burble on for a bit and then feck off and do his own thing, if my 3yo is anything to go by when he talks to his grandfather, who he DOES know and recognise, and whom we speak to quite regularly on Skype and see every year when we go back to the UK.

Iggi999 Thu 21-Jul-16 09:11:21

Many evenings comforting him? Does he realise if he says "I miss aunty x" then mum gets a sad face and cuddles him for hours?
I think they should send a bloody Xmas present though, but as to the rest it's box of frogs territory.

HermioneJeanGranger Thu 21-Jul-16 09:13:31

Why does he even know they don't answer calls in the first place? Are you telling him you're calling even though you know they won't answer? I don't understand how he'd be aware of an issue otherwise confused

pinkdelight Thu 21-Jul-16 09:14:28

YABU. Little kids meet new people and have new experiences all the time and take it in their stride. If a 3.5yo is having these ott reactions to lack of phonecalls then it's entirely your doing and not your siblings' fault at all. All these dramatic phrases around picking up the pieces and suffering the consequences, dear lord! Chill out about it, let them see DS when they're over if they want and stop pushing it. Even with close relatives, phonecalls with young DC can be rather trying so much better to see them in person, even if it's only once a year or so. Your DB and DSis may show more interest when DS is older or they may not, but it's okay for them to be who they are, not some idea of an aunt or uncle that you've decided they don't live up to so they're fired.

Sleepdeprived123 Thu 21-Jul-16 09:30:44

Thanks for your comments. The upset came when DS asked if he could FaceTime his aunt like he does with his grandmas. I said I'd try to arrange it. He kept asking and asking and getting upset, that's where the upset has come from. I deflected it as positively as I could and have certainly never said anything negative about either of them in front of him, I never mention them.

My mum mentioned my brother to DS and that started off the wanting to talk to him and all the questions.

Eventually over time he's stopped asking, which is why I am very tentative about starting it off again as I know the contact won't be a regular thing.

DS has had a lot of health issues including with his sleep so I'm quite protective. Probably over so as some of you are (probably rightly) pointing out,

I am not at all spiteful (I've not said he can't) and certainly don't want to come across as so. (I haven't chosen to enlighten you on the awful things my sister has said and done in the past as its not what the post is about). I post on this board for a bit of advice, it hasn't happened yet so I'm just looking for a bit of perspective.

MoonfaceAndSilky Thu 21-Jul-16 09:31:03

Particularly because I have spent many evenings comforting him when he wanted to speak with them and they have been too busy

Really? I find it odd that he was desperate to talk to a couple of strangers (whether they are related or not). Do you talk about them all the time? Is this what he has picked up on?

Sleepdeprived123 Thu 21-Jul-16 09:33:11

Pinkdelight they rarely come back to UK but if they did I of course wouldn't stop them from seeing him. My sister was back in April but she didn't have time to meet with us.

MollyTwo Thu 21-Jul-16 09:35:53

Sorry but nothing you say sounds like it comes from your ds rather your own projection. There's no way at 3 he can be so troubled by this, unless you are making it a bit of a deal.

Sleepdeprived123 Thu 21-Jul-16 09:39:23

MoonfaceAndSilky DS is very clingy with certain people that he meets and talks about them all the time, even if he's just met them once. Paediatrician has said nothing to worry about just a result of us moving house and medical issues this year and hopefully when everything has settled he'll start to feel more secure. Just been told to keep things as constant as we can for a time being whilst he recovers from latest hospital visit and he'll become more resilient in time.

trafalgargal Thu 21-Jul-16 09:44:22

Oh don't be so ridiculous
I'm sorry your brother isn't the kind of uncle you'd hoped he'd be (mine isn't either) but if your child is indeed genuinely upset it's down to you keep going on about it and building an unreasonable expectation. That is cruel to your child so if you are doing this and not just exaggerating in your post you need to get a grip and stop using your child as a weapon.

Thefitfatty Thu 21-Jul-16 09:49:14

I find this really hard to believe. My DS (4.5) and DD (3) love their uncle but they would never realize if we never Sype'd him (which we don't). They only mention their grandparents if they suddenly pop into their head, and they don't get upset if I say we can't talk to them now.

I think you're projecting massively.

snorepatrol Thu 21-Jul-16 09:54:35

I think yabu a bit.

I have a 4 year old and a 2 year old and a brother who lives in France.
My brother comes home for one month every year and in that month he sees the kids, takes them out, and spends pretty much the entire month at my parents with us all calling 4-5 days a week.

All the children (7 including other nieces and nephews) get really attached to him and then he disappears again for another 11 months no Skype no phone calls. We talk on Facebook but obviously the kids aren't involved in this.

I've got to be honest I was a bit worried when the eldest child got to about 2 years old and was old enough to ask for him but if I'm being honest that was me projecting rather than the dc actually being emotionally distressed.

Within a few weeks of him going back he's pretty much forgotten about until next time they ask to see him but when they do I just show them photos of him and all is quickly forgotten.

There have been times I've worried about whether this intense then nothing relationship will cause some sort of emotional distress but they're all fine I think it's more a case of me worrying about it because I don't want them to feel sad when he's not there and miss him.

But that's life it's messy and people to leave and disappear and come back into life again and you can't protect them from that. They need to learn this too.

I think you need to decide would you rather they had a minimal relationship than non at all?

MoMandaS Thu 21-Jul-16 09:57:20

I would explain to your sister what you've just told us about him being clingy and what the paediatrician has said. You can tell her in a calm, reasonable way that he'll keep going on about her and expecting to keep calling her if they speak on this occasion and you'll have to put up with that, so is she willing to be available in future too? If she doesn't get it, I'd just say to her that it's probably best they don't speak at the moment but once he's more settled you'll be happy to sort something out with her.

noramum Thu 21-Jul-16 10:05:15

I have an on-off relationsship with my sister and my adult nieces. Currently we are back to "on". In our case we are the ones living abroad.

We talk to DD about my family but also why we don't see them or skype like we do with the grandparents.

I personally don't see the need to make a big fuss about it. Not everybody is the dream aunt/uncle. I can't remember thinking all the time about my aunts/uncles.

While I like my nieces I never had a huge amount of contact, even when living at home with them just around the corner.

Do your siblings have children? I found single relatives are often not interested in their nieces/nephews at all.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 21-Jul-16 14:09:41

I think that's really sad that she didn't come and see you when she came back to the UK - if she was over for more then 3 days, then she should really have made some effort.

I also hear what you're saying about your DS having some issues, related to his health, hospital visits and other dramas in his life - so can see why he would want consistency.

So under these circs, even if your sister is trying to make amends (which she might be) I change my suggestion - don't upset his routine as it is now. She'll either get over it and understand that his need for security right now is greater than her wish to speak to him, or she'll flounce and fuck off again anyway (which will solve the problem anyway).

Email her to explain it all very clearly, in writing, so there can be no "you didn't tell me!" come-back - ad actually I think I'd copy in your parents as well so she can't give them a sob-story about how mean you are.

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