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Children being funny with their uncle ...

(48 Posts)
Chickendipper12 Thu 23-Mar-17 16:28:41

Okay so dh and bil have never been very close. Theres is a 12 year age gap which never helped.
Dh was close to dn but sil was always funny about dh because of ridiculous reasons (dh had long hair, listens to rock music) and she suddenly stopped dh seeing dn.

Anyway fast forward a few years bil and sil are no longer a item. Bil had a massive melt down and me and dh are trying to be supportive. Dh and bil are now very close!

The problem is for no reason both our kids are scared of him? We started going to see bil daily because he needed help with bits and bob and both dd (2 years) and ds (nearly 7 months) will not entertain him at all unless saying goodbye?
They have never been on their own with him, he has never done anything to hurt or frighten them but they just wont entertain him?

I suggested maybe a play date with our two kids and bil two kids.
Dh thinks its a bad idea and that we shouldnt keep trying to push the kids to have a relationship with bil even though dh get upset that the kids are like that and bil has done literally nothing wrong.

I on the other hand think the only way the kids will over come this is if they see their uncle.

Any suggestions? Should I just not take the kids to see their uncle?

CiderwithBuda Thu 23-Mar-17 16:32:04

One of my nieces was like this with a BIL. She wouldn't even look at him. It just took time but we didn't push it. She's fine with him now but is in her teens! Can't remember how long it took.

We couldn't figure it out. He is very tall with dark hair. We thought it might be that.

ZigZagIntoTheBlue Thu 23-Mar-17 16:32:31

They're so young, they'll get over it in their own time. My dniece was frightened of my dad for ages because he once made a too - realistic monster noise. Just be brisk that the 2 yr old has to say hello goodbye Thankyou etc but I wouldn't bother pushing it beyond that.

Stormwhale Thu 23-Mar-17 16:33:34

I think you should respect your children's wish to stay away from him and not force it. They should be allowed to make decisions about who they want to interact with. The best idea would be for bil to back right off and allow the children to come to him if they want to. The more you force the issue, the more frightened they will be of him. I'm not too sure why it is such a big deal that they interact with him directly. It clearly isn't what they want, so why are you so bothered?

Chickendipper12 Thu 23-Mar-17 16:41:08

I dont force them to be directly involved. My youngest just looks for me so I dont think that's anything but dd can kick up such a fuss! We once had to leave mil early because she was being so awkward. Like literally would not be in the same room as him.
She does say goodbye and wave to him no problem tho. Bil and dh could be twins despite the 12 years between tho so I can see the look of him being a issue.
We have helped him alot as he has struggled with the break up between him and ex sil.
I just didnt know if this was "normal" and certainly dont feel bil should be cut off because dd is having a phase.

Could the kids be picking up on how unsettled he is maybe?

Chickendipper12 Thu 23-Mar-17 16:42:25

Cant see the look of him being an issue*

CiderwithBuda Thu 23-Mar-17 16:45:39

Maybe it's because he looks so much like your DH that unsettles them. It might confuse them. They know their dad and bil looks like him but isn't him.

I saw something online once about a toddler meeting his or her dad's twin for the first time. I remember thinking that must be confusing!

Chickendipper12 Thu 23-Mar-17 16:53:52

I didnt think of that but you could be.right.
But for the last maybe month we have seen him daily as he needed the support.
Bil dad died (dh does not have the same dad) a few month later the bitch (exsil) ended thing with him, he was then made redundant and final blow exsil randomly stops him seeing his children and then when it suits her she lets him see them.

Dh goes round often to see bil just crying his eyes out but he always says how glad he is when we take the kids to see him.

My initial thoughts were they are picking up on his anxiety but since they see him often I thought they would be more comfortable being there?
The fact some other little ones have been like that does make me feel somewhat better

SasBel Thu 23-Mar-17 17:14:11

They will get over it. When they were babies my 3 were terrified of one of my friends, who is tall, dark and handsome bespectacled and has shoulder length hair, they adore him now. grin

fairycakecentral Thu 23-Mar-17 17:15:47

Does your BiL interact with your kids in anyway? My dD tolerates all the grandkids but nothing more - no walks, no playing with them, no asking them about their day etc? None of them like him very much and I can't say I blame them. He's also a grumpy sod so that further adds to the not wanting to go and see grampa.

However your bil is going through a hard time and little kids don't understand emotions (they see him cry, not really understanding why, so they get uncomfortable so their way of dealing with it is to not want to see their uncle).

If he likes the kids coming round, but they feel uncomfortable, maybe everyone could go out for a walk. All out together but not necessarily in each other's space and the outdoors might help with your bils state of mind. Kids can go and find 10 huge big leaves and show him, they can go marching, sing songs, look for birds a million things tha might distract them but help with some interaction.

geordiedench Thu 23-Mar-17 17:27:26

My DC who were very laid back socially screamed their heads off at a friend's girlfriend. She was a tall thin Goth with loads of dark eyeliner. they screamed so hard she had to give up and go home. She's a primary school teacher and gentle as a lamb.

Chickendipper12 Thu 23-Mar-17 17:34:31

See dd is dead laid back socially aswell! Its so strange shes being like this

The ourdoor idea is brilliant I think ill have.to arrange that xxx

PurplePidjin Thu 23-Mar-17 17:48:27

Ds2 is odd with MIL, cries as soon as she tries to say hello. It's incredibly embarrassing, as she's actually lovely and a brilliant granny.

He's 18 months. Little kids are weird.

contrary13 Thu 23-Mar-17 18:18:19

One of my younger cousins had an issue with my father when they were around the same age as your eldest, OP - and, like your DH and BIL, my father and his brother (younger cousin's father) they looked identical. It used to confuse the heck out of my cousin when he'd wander up to the man he thought was his Daddy... only to discover that not only was it not his Daddy, but all of the adults in the room were chuckling (laughing) at his mistake. He's in his thirties now and admitted last year that he really resented the similarities between our fathers (who aren't twins, there's a four year age difference between them). His younger siblings, my siblings and I never got the two brothers confused, so I'm not sure why he did, but... I can remember him being a year old or so and crying because he was frightened by the realisation that my father was his uncle instead of his Daddy - and all of the adults (I was 7 or so at the time) laughing about how cute it all was. It wasn't cute. It was awful.

I think all you can do is not make an issue of it, really. They'll either decide they like him... or they won't. But don't force a relationship between them, if they are reluctant - because it might end up backfiring somehow.

Chickendipper12 Thu 23-Mar-17 18:35:41

Its madness bil is so good with them.
Ds like I said is a clingy and nervous boy anyway so it doesnt really bother me that he looks for me often and other days not at all.
But dd is so chilled out. She the kid that talk to anyone and is everyones best friend. Bil always spoils them rotten special nibbles he knows dd likes, always has.something new for her. Really does try to get involved I feel so bad for him.
He doesnt push it tho like he doesn't try to pick her up or anything he just talk to her or if shes drawing will bring her more colours and stuff but she just so funny with him.

I say say we go see uncle and shes dead excited and then as soon he speaks she wont have any of it.
He has got one of them booming laughs tho to be fair haha maybe its that?

I just dont know haha

Chickendipper12 Thu 23-Mar-17 18:36:51

I say shall we go*

RaymondinaReddington Thu 23-Mar-17 18:38:53

Seriously? Why is this an issue? They are 7 months and 2. I think you are overthinking this.

IgglePigglesDildo Thu 23-Mar-17 18:40:37

I would take something from the children's instincts. They can sense bad vibes. Was you bil Jack the Ripper in another life?

Lules Thu 23-Mar-17 18:42:25

I remember being scared of my uncle when I was little because he had a beard and was tall. It's odd what small children can be scared of. I got over it eventually!

Chickendipper12 Thu 23-Mar-17 18:47:05

RaymondinaReddington

Im not over thinking anything im literally asking if anyone has had something like this in the family and ways of over coming it. It is an issue because when we go to see family and he is there is cause problems.
Or when dh nips to see his brother it causes problems.

IgglePigglesDildo

That amused me hahaha. But im pretty sure he want XD

Whiterabbitears Thu 23-Mar-17 18:48:14

I was terrified of my uncle at that age because he was bald, I didn't understand why he didn't have any hair. I got over it and we laugh about it now. Give them time they will get over this phase, kids often have irrational fears.

lalalalyra Thu 23-Mar-17 18:51:49

It could be because of the similarity. My 14yo twins are not identical, but are quite similar (well to most, I don't think so much). They sound very, very alike and it terrifies my friend's 3yo DD. She is fine with one of them, cannot deal with two of them.

AlPacinosHooHaa Thu 23-Mar-17 18:56:34

I really dont thnk you should push it dc change am sure they will be fine soon

NorksAkimbo72 Thu 23-Mar-17 19:11:34

I was like this with my mum's youngest brother...absolutely screamed the place down if he was around...for no apparent reason. We laugh about it now...we're really close!

Madcats Thu 23-Mar-17 19:13:30

DD(9) is a laid-back, smiley child.

Age 3-4 She took a passionate dislike to one of the staff at her nursery (the lady seemed quite normal to me and none of the other kids appeared to have an issue) to the extent that she would spend all her time out of that free-flow room if she had a choice.

I can't think of anybody else since that she has had an issue with in any school/social circle.

Could it be that your two are sensing you tense up when you meet your BiL (because you are worried they will be upset). Almost a self-fulfilling cycle?

You mention BIL has a booming laugh; would it be better if you all went somewhere outdoors (I'm just thinking he might sound less like a "giant in a fairy story")?

I hope you manage to sort things.

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