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Cousins and growing up

(26 Posts)
Home77 Fri 12-Apr-19 20:30:39

SIL is very keen for DC to keep in touch as she didn't have a cousins relationship herself and feels it would be nice if they were friends.

It's a bit of a struggle now they are getting older as different sexes/ages and mine are not really bothered. They also live a long way away. I feel guilty though.

AIBU to say no to keep meeting up? I am NC with other family (due to past abuse from parents) anyway so not keen to visit the area which results in them coming here and they seemed a bit fed up with that last time and that we should visit them

I never really say my cousins growing up and don't feel any loss from that.

sweeneytoddsrazor Fri 12-Apr-19 20:37:02

I still see all my cousins not regularly but enough to keep up a good relationship. I like it we all get along.

Home77 Fri 12-Apr-19 20:39:13

Well, yes if you all get along I can see that's great. Bit what if it is one sided?

Boom45 Fri 12-Apr-19 20:47:01

My aunt is a bit like this, we're all adults with family of our own and spread across the country so it's difficult to meet but she keeps proposing crazy plans to meet st expensive holiday places. She is proper minted tho so doesn't really understand i don't have a few hundred quid to spare on a holiday with my cousins, i like em but it's not a priority.
All that said, brothers and sisters all live close and our kids all get on really well and its great for them to have that close relationship

chillpizza Fri 12-Apr-19 20:51:46

My sil is like this. Hers is the baby of the family and one of mine is much much older and just not interested. She seems to see it as a personal snub and it quite horrible about it even pointing out that said child is a good cousin to others who we might see once every couple of years forgetting that they are around the same age.

I don’t see the point in forcing a relationship just because familyyy however she grew up with her cousin relationships being heavily micromanaged as the adults where all always arranging to be together.

GruciusMalfoy Fri 12-Apr-19 20:56:54

I don't think there is any point in forcing these things. Two of my cousins are my best friends, I have others I wouldn't recognise if I passed them on the street. You can't force a connection.

Fiveredbricks Fri 12-Apr-19 21:00:13

Cousins should get on when in the same room, they should be best friends if they want to be, or silently hate eachother also if they want. Or just totally not give a shit about eachother, like most cousins...

Cousins only tend to be close if their parent's are close siblings.

Cranky17 Fri 12-Apr-19 21:09:55

I think it’s really nice of you can have a big loving family, I’m keener for my my children to see their cousin than sil is.

Yabbers Fri 12-Apr-19 21:13:04

I have about 20 cousins. I can’t remember the last time I saw any of them. We were forced to spend time together with a few of them as children. I didn’t like them then and don’t like them now. I expect the feeling is mutual.

museumum Fri 12-Apr-19 21:15:32

I try to stay in touch with mine. My aunt & uncle on my dads side both passed away quite young so their children (my age) have no older relatives except my parents.

HairyToity Fri 12-Apr-19 21:19:39

I'm close to mine, even the ones over a decade youger. Especially my mums side. It helped that my mum's best friends are her sisters, and we all lived locally.

I don't think there is a right or wrong answer though. Perhaps encouraging a relationship isn't a bad thing, but being too pushy and involved is.

Weebitawks Fri 12-Apr-19 21:20:05

Growing up I lived far away from my many cousins and we were different ages and didn't have loads in common. We saw eachother at family events a few times a year. Now we're all adults, we get on really well. Mostly through Facebook but we see eachother every now and again. I think, if you're families not toxic to maintain links were possible.

Home77 Fri 12-Apr-19 21:32:01

It was Ok when they were little and just played together, it's now they are pre-teens and teens the age gaps and difference in sexes is changing things a bit.

Mommaof2x Fri 12-Apr-19 21:40:31

I think it’s a shame in this country how the western culture isn’t family oriented

I see my cousins, 2nd and 3rd.

How would you feel if your kids kids just didn’t bother to see eachother it care to, wouldn’t you rather your kids are close enough that their kids know eachother? confused

Mommaof2x Fri 12-Apr-19 21:41:52

I her age gender making it difficult- make keep to special occasions or keep in touch virtually, but my response is more aimed at some other responses here

Drum2018 Fri 12-Apr-19 21:45:31

I wouldn't force it. I'm not in contact with many of my cousins. We are spread across the world, different ages. Not having a close relationship with them has not affected me in the slightest. My own children don't see cousins much either and are varying ages so I can't see that they will all be close as grown ups.

FactsOfLife Fri 12-Apr-19 21:46:38

Stop being so self obsessed and spend time with family 😒

MsSquiz Fri 12-Apr-19 21:47:10

Growing up I was an only child and I was very close to my older cousin who was 4 years older than me and male. We were close because both our DM's were single parents so we would stay at each other's houses regularly, as well as being at my grandparent's house together.

My younger cousin is 4 years younger than me and female and we weren't close at all. Her parents were together and so we hardly spent any time together.

Now that I am 32, my younger cousin is like the sister I didn't have - my DM died 2 years ago and she has been there for me more than anyone (along with DH). We text most days and see each other once or twice a month.

My older cousins and I have drifted apart, we have very different lives.

You can't force friendships just because you are related. Maybe encourage them to spend time together at family events/occasions, but other than that, don't force the issue, and don't let SIL do it either

LL83 Fri 12-Apr-19 21:47:13

I am close to my cousins. We were close as children. Saw each other once or twice a year as teens and less in common but kept the connection. Now one of my cousins is one of my closest friends, dont see her brother so much but care about him and all our kids all spend time together.

My children count their second cousins as they would first cousins. I love that they are all close. And nobody understands your family's craziness like your cousins.

chillpizza Fri 12-Apr-19 21:49:29


I see my siblings once in a blue moon we have our own very different lives. It will be upto my children how much time they spend with each other when they are adults with their own lives to live.

PookieDo Fri 12-Apr-19 21:50:58

I grew up super close with my cousin the same age. We were in the same school class and used to sit on the loo together to do a wee blush. I was closer to her than my own sister

Then we grew up and I didn’t like her as an adult now we don’t really speak and I am very close to my sister

I have a huge family of cousins but only one sibling

My DC are much older than their cousins but they all adore each other and we make sure they all spend time together to have a good bond. But this is because I am close to Dsis and we all love spending time together
You actually have to want to and live it but I had such good cousin memories I did want my DC to have that too

Don’t rule anything out completely!

sweeneytoddsrazor Fri 12-Apr-19 22:06:17

I think a lot of people nowadays are far more insular than they used to be. Many people have very little to do with family members, sometimes justifiably and sometimes for stupid petty reasons. I think an awful lot of people will have a very lonely old age.

Kahlua4me Fri 12-Apr-19 22:25:35

Well said sweenytodd.

I think as teenagers they will move apart for a while but it is good to keep the contact, even if it is less often. Can you meet up half way and do something with them? Do you like seeing your sil?

I have several cousins and only saw them sporadically during my teens and early adult life. However when my mum died a few years ago they were fantastic and kept me upright. They were so supportive and it was easy being with them in my grief as they got it.

It doesn’t always work though...

venusandmars Fri 12-Apr-19 22:54:32

Agree with much of what kahlua said.

Growing up, various cousins spanned a 20 years age gap so although we knew each other we didn't have much in common. But the age gap importance lessens as we grow older, and as parents (the original siblings) die, it feels good to have a family connection and a web of support, and lovely to chat to people who have their own memories of my Mum from years back.

One cousin recently had a 70th birthday party. We all gathethered, from distant places for an occasion that wasn't a funeral and had a ball. Will be years before we do it again, but it was good.

DontCallMeCharlotte Fri 12-Apr-19 22:55:05

I wasn't close to my cousins growing up - distance and age gaps - but now we're middle aged, we try to meet up as often as possible and get on brilliantly (sadly getting together more often originally arose from our parents' funerals but we made a point of meeting up for happier occasions).

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