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AIBU to ask where I went wrong?

(44 Posts)
MummyStruggles Mon 08-Apr-19 15:37:57

Okay, maybe I know where but more of a how can I undo the damage.

My daughter is 10 years old and she has been an absolute dream from birth, always slept really well and very well behaved, polite, friendly and bright, does well in school and has a good group of friends.

She was off for the first week of Easter holidays last week (even though it's nowhere near Easter yet - don't get me started - that's a whole new thread) and I tried my best to keep her entertained all week. It was very expensive but we had fun and a good week off.

One of the days, early in the morning, I got a call from my Mum telling me that my sister had been rushed to hospital, in an ambulance, with severe bleeding and vomiting. We were all really worried about her and rushed around to help with childcare etc. Turned out to be very serve food poisoning.

I left my daughter at home with my husband and when she woke up she asked my husband where I was, naturally. He proceeded to tell her that her Auntie had been rushed to hospital very poorly to which she replied "Oh, so I get we're not going shopping today then"!! I had said that that day we could go and do some shopping but obviously I didn't know this was going to happen with my sister.

I mean, how selfish can a 10 year old child be? There was no "Oh, I really hope Aunite X is okay" or anything like that. Just such blatant selfishness that she wasn't going to be getting what was promised.

I don't know where I went wrong. All week I tried to give her fun things to do and tried to have a nice week off.

Don't get me wrong, she is very grateful, always thank yous and telling me how much of a good time she's having, very appreciative but ALWAYS looking for the next thing, ALWAYS waiting for what's next, like what she's already had isn't enough.

I know I only have myself to blame because I've allowed it to happen but how do I now undo the damage of her being so selfish?

I just keep thinking about her immediate response when finding out her lovely Auntie was very poorly and I'm disappointed. I just want her to grow up a nice, kind person.

S1naidSucks Mon 08-Apr-19 15:43:45

Seriously? She made a factual comment. I doubt she was being selfish, just being a typical child. You’re stressing too much over this. She sounds like a lovely little girl who just made a thoughtless comment.

MummyStruggles Mon 08-Apr-19 15:44:50

Do you think so? Maybe I am over thinking it. I just didn't like that her initial reaction wasn't concern for her Auntie.

AryaStarkWolf Mon 08-Apr-19 15:48:14

She's a kid, relax

CaptainJaneway12 Mon 08-Apr-19 15:48:55

She was just processing the information and as children, and some adults, the first instinct is to think what the information means for them and how it will impact them.
She is unlikely to know the severity of what being in hospital means, especially if she has never experienced someone being very unwell in that way.

Drum2018 Mon 08-Apr-19 15:50:06

Total overreaction. Your dd is 10. She really won't have the emotional maturity to be upset or worried about her aunt. My kids barely shed a tear when their grandparents died (teens) and they were very close, however they were more excited about seeing cousins at the funeral than being upset about the deaths. It's not a reflection on her upbringing or what you did or didn't do.
As regards her wanting more, pull back on days out, costly activities and her expectations will lessen over time. A trip to the local park costs nothing for instance. As you say, it's possibly your own fault - seems you have been indulging her too much.

ATowelAndAPotato Mon 08-Apr-19 15:50:31

I think at that age (and probably for a few more years) their first reaction is about how it affects them , so no shopping today. But later on when it’s had time to sink in a bit, she will probably realise that Auntie is truly quite poorly, and may be upset.

The initial reaction is totally normal I think.

Junkmail Mon 08-Apr-19 15:53:07

Damn. She’s a 10 year old child. I think maybe your own worry about your sister is perhaps dictating your reaction here. She’s only a kid. I don’t think there’s “damage” to repair just maturity to come as she gets older.

UCOinanOCG Mon 08-Apr-19 15:54:00

Totally normal and logical response from a 10yo. She is processing the information you gave her and measuring against her own immediate future. Then she will be able to process that her aunt has been ill. She doesn't have the emotional maturity yet to be immediately distressed or worried for her aunt.

MummyStruggles Mon 08-Apr-19 15:55:00

Thanks everyone. I think maybe I have overreacted, I didn't realise.

BlueCornishPixie Mon 08-Apr-19 15:55:31

I think this is quite an unpleasant post to write actually. It's all my selfish child, her lovely auntie. It's a total overreaction, and a bit self absorbed, whether she's had a nic3 week or not, or what you've given her is irrelevant.

She's 10, she has no idea what really poorly means. To a 10 year old really poorly is a bad sickness bug. She doesn't have the experience to know how to deal with that situation properly or what it could mean.

cloudymelonade Mon 08-Apr-19 15:58:57

Jesus Christ, she is 10 years old!
She won't have the requisite skills yet to always say the 'right' thing. A lot of adults would probably think the same thing but just not say it because they know it might come across as insensitive.

Lizzie48 Mon 08-Apr-19 16:01:20

I'm quite shocked at your post about your 10 year old DD TBH. Basically, she acted in the way I would expect a 10 year old girl to react. She won't have processed the news about her auntie yet, all she'll have taken in is that she's not going shopping.

Sorry to hear about your sister, though, OP. thanks

Hubblebubbletripletrouble Mon 08-Apr-19 16:02:29

As others have said, she’s just a child and doesn’t have the capacity to process everything as adults do.

Saying that, if you think she’s possibly getting used to having her own way (separate to this), it might be worth introducing ways for her to earn her treats or pocket money so she can learn in life you don’t just get handed everything to you on a plate. Perhaps you could post separately about this asking for advice when things are better with your sister flowers

peachgreen Mon 08-Apr-19 16:02:42

Yeah, she's 10. Hopefully Dad pointed that out to her in the moment ("I understand you're disappointed that you can't go shopping but Auntie X is very poorly so Mum needs to be with her. Maybe we could make her a get well soon card today instead?" etc etc) but I wouldn't make a bigger deal out of it than that.

Happyspud Mon 08-Apr-19 16:03:15

You’re wayyyy overreacting. She’s 10 and empathy or understanding of loss and seriousness is still very low (thankfully). Just tell her you’re disappointed she went straight to a selfish thought rather than concern for very sick relative. That will make her stop and evaluate better next time, it’s all learning at that age.

2 incidences I remember (forever).

When I was 10 going home from school the teacher stopped me and said ‘your mum is fine but she had a car accident today’. I went on home and mum was hobbling about and first thing I said was ‘is the car ok???’. She was very upset with me and said ‘do you not care if I’m ok’. I was confused because although she was hobbling about I’d been told she was ok by teacher and could see her with my own eyes, not in hospital and talking away to me. But her reaction made me ashamed. Actually she’d flipped and rolled and totalled the car on ice. I didn’t compute how scary and upsetting that was for her.

The other was when she told me my aunt, her beloved baby sister, had breast cancer. I was late teens. And again didn’t really get it. But did ask ‘is it hereditary type, are we (sister and mum) more likely to get it’, I’d read something about the brca gene recently, and my mum snapped and said ‘that’s your selfish first thought’. So yes, it was. But I simply didn’t get what it was like for my mum and what she was hoping for from me. Shared grief and fear for my aunt I guess. But I wasn’t hugely close to my aunt and as a teenager had pretty underdeveloped empathy and understanding of loss. I now know how I’d feel with that news of my sister. It’s horrific.

But I’ve always remembered both those incidents with shame.

Help her learn and don’t expect her to feel your feelings or understand fear of loss when she presumedly hasn’t experienced grief yet.

Aardvarkitsabloodyaardvark Mon 08-Apr-19 16:04:21

It's ok Op, welldone on being able to see it now. I'm sure your reaction is from the stress of your sister. I hope she is ok flowers

MummyStruggles Mon 08-Apr-19 16:06:41

It just took me aback is all. I shouldn't be so hard on her. Thank you for your responses.

Raspberrytruffle Mon 08-Apr-19 16:07:20

I'd not worry that's kids for you she won't of meant anything by it, my dd 10 is the same

Hidingtonothing Mon 08-Apr-19 16:07:57

My DD is also 10 and fits your description of your DD, well behaved, polite and never been a minutes trouble, and I can well imagine her reacting in much the same way. PP's are right in that it was a normal reaction for a 10 year old. I think the problem might be that we expect more of kids who, in the normal run of things, do generally behave with more maturity than is usual for their age so it comes as a bit of surprise when they behave 'normally' for their age. I have to remind myself to cut DD some slack sometimes, she's not an adult despite sounding like one a lot of the time blush

MummyStruggles Mon 08-Apr-19 16:09:48

Yes, Hidingtonothing, that's exactly it I think.

She's always been beyond her years and I think maybe this is why I expected something "nicer" from her. She's a good kid, just wants, wants, wants but that's all kids I suppose.

Widowodiw Mon 08-Apr-19 16:13:13

My husband was in a coma with serous risk he would die that weekend. My children were devasted but didn’t stop my son being in a grump because he couldn’t participate in a race he was due to compete in. Still gives me flares about it now- his father has since passed away.

MummyStruggles Mon 08-Apr-19 16:14:22

Oh, Widowodiw, I'm so sorry for your loss. Hugs xxx

PeachesAndMayo Mon 08-Apr-19 16:21:03

It's like this - I was 14 and we were due to go to the zoo. Gran was taken to hospital with a stroke. I said, "Will she be ok?" My 12 year old brother said, "Can I see her? Does she look bad?" My 10 year old brother said "I suppose we're not getting to go to the zoo then?" and my 6 year old sister said "Can I have a lollipop?"
Kids just process differently at different ages. Maybe there was something in particular she was looking forward to. I wouldn't be too down on her. Empathy takes a while to develop.

BlackPrism Mon 08-Apr-19 16:22:23

Kids state facts and sometimes just say what first comes to mind. You're judging far too harshly! She's 10!

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