Sisters Parenting(5 Posts)
This will not be a normal post but I was looking for some advice...
I do not have children, I am 22. My sister lives at home with her 2 and a half year old, she recently broke up with her partner around 2 months ago and he moved out.
Myself and my partner will not move out for a whole year and I am struggling to watch the way my nephew is being bought up.
Firstly, his dad is very incompetent, he has no understanding of responsibility and now my sister has ended it with him, he tries to make it as difficult as he can for her including cancelling visits and will not have him over night (apparently his mum won't let him stay) so I cannot count on him to show my nephew how to act etc
I have never agreed with how they have been parenting, they both swear infront of my nephew and used to argue infront of him a lot. They also direct swearing at him.
She works really hard and has the baby the majority of the time (his dad has him one evening in the week for a few hours and one weekend day) she never stops and has a part time job too etc, in this sense I really do think she is a good mother and I do not doubt she tries her best.
On the flip side... myself and my parents will look after my nephew when she needs to run out and do things and if she wants to go out we will have him if we are available. She recently met a new boyfriend and after their second date he started staying over EVERY night and has been for the last month. He met my nephew after a week and I think it is irresponsible and just wrong.
He is a difficult child and she shouts at him, and sometimes she swears at him, she doesn't hesitate to swear around him either we will regularly say the C word... that is as far as it goes in regards to telling him off. She actually lets him get away with so much until it becomes inconvinient for her.
She has a fixation on going out. She goes out at least once a week drinking and I just don't get it, when I try and bring her up on her parenting and try to suggest changes she just says I cannot judge as I don't have children, which i completely get and I understand is hard for her but I don't need to have my own child to know it's wrong to call them the c word because they frustrate you, it makes me feel sick and is embarassing, I mean she never shouts that in anger, says it more as a joke, I just don't get how that's ok?
She says I judge her and that lots of mums go out once a week drinking and that it's normal.
I guess I just would like for someone to tell me if I am being judgmental, or if I have every right to keep telling her this is wrong? Its so difficult to sit there and watch something that you would do so differently, he still isn't talking either and I am wondering if it's partly to do with what is happening.
Thank you x
Oh gosh - what a position to be in.
I think firstly - hats off to your sister for managing all she is: a child, a job and a troublesome relationship with her child's father. How old is she? Is she young?
I think you are right to be concerned with the swearing TOWARDS the child - this isn't very fair and at his age he will pick up on that. And use of the C word in my opinion is a definite no no! Children develop differently, but perhaps speaking in a kinder, less confusing way towards him may encourage him to use his words more. It's worth a shot. Or even suggesting part time nursery - being around different people in a different environment is highly beneficial to a child's social development.
Does anyone ever remind your sister of the good things she is doing before pointing out negatives? People tend to act defensively and put their guards up if they believe they are being attacked: particularly when it comes to parenting! I think with all she does it is perfectly natural to want to go out and breath for a while - perhaps suggest other activities she could do too?Go out drinking every other weekend and the ones in between do something else - maybe try something together to build bonding? That way she may take your advice more?
In terms of her new partner - PERSONALLY I agree, for your nephew it may be too soon for serious introductions. However have you thought why your sister may be doing this? Maybe she sees goodness in this new guy and wishes for him to be what your nephew's biological father cannot be - in her own way she may mean well? Even if you disagree?
Try approaching it differently. Even if you don't mean to be judgemental, it may come across that way. I definitely take others advice a bit personally sometimes - I think it is natural. Make an attempt to outline positives. It may be challenging for you as you are worried for your nephew, but changing these behaviours won't happen overnight. Although just to highlight again - swearing like that towards a child is not right. If she can limit her swearing at work (which I am sure she can) she can limit it towards her child.
She isn't exactly young, she is 28, but she acts a lot younger than me in a lot of ways, I am definitely more serious than her and I think that is where our difference of opinions start.
I hate the swearing, it is so wrong and I tell her so many times but she carries on doing it, sometimes I wonder if she thinks
Just because he cannot talk that he cannot understand things but I think this is hostile behaviour and will ultimately influence him in a very bad way.
He does go to nursery 2 days a week (in the mornings) so I think it is good that he is interacting with other children and they encourage him to do things my sister does not (drawing, reading) etc.
My sister has a tendency of sticking him infront of the TV to keep him quiet because he misbehaves otherwise, i don't agree with this either.
I don't want her to think that I am attacking her because I think in a lot of ways she is a great mum and she does have it tough, but it's so frustrating to see so sometimes I just cannot hold my tounge!
The thing is with her new boyfriend, he told her the reason he broke up with his ex is because she never went out (she also had a child) so I think now she is trying to make him think she is fun, he is only 22 so quite young, and doesn't have to worry about responsibilities, but she does!
Sometimes I feel like she wants to be young and not have the responsibility she has, but she literally goes out more than me and I get she has to have some sort of release, but she also has horses and goes to the stables every day, she doesn't have to take him with her every day either so I think that is free time.
Thank you for taking the time to come back to me though, I think I am just going to step away from it and try and advise her in ways that are not so direct.
Some things I agree with you some i don't.
Going out 1 night a week is not terrible, she works hard and is responsible for her child's well being 95% of the time - I get that you and your parents sometimes babysit but she still needs to arrange her work and other responsibilities around this. If she chooses to spend this night drinking then that's her choice to make as an adult.
The swearing at her child is quite frankly disgusting and inexcusable.
Also I agree introducing a new bf to her child so early on is wrong and will be confusing for him. As it's your parents house they could say that they aren't happy for this albeit stranger to be staying over especially so regularly
The swearing is completely unacceptable and otherwise the parenting sounds pretty poor. I also think that her being on a rebound and bringing the guy over all the time is appropriate. However, I don't think there is a problem with her going out once a week - I actually think that is a very good thing to have friends and life beyond children and once a week isn't too often.
Not sure what I'd do in your position as she is so defensive is probably almost impossible to get any sense out of her... You could just make sure that when you spend time with him, it is better quality. It could also be good to encourage more nursery time - perhaps if she gets some time to herself, she'll be less frustrated and nasty around her dc.
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