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Should I feel a bit patronised?

(11 Posts)

My older sister is a lovely person and I look up to her a lot. I'm always taking her advice (and there's a lot of it) and asking her opinion. She's significantly older than me (I am in late twenties) and has teenage children. I have one young toddler. She regularly comes over to visit and for the most part she's really good, helpful and kind, but sometimes she says things that really get to me.

The latest one was when I told her ds had bitten the cats tail- she said "You don't want to encourage that, her tail will have been in the litter tray, covered in germs" - Why on earth would I encourage my toddler to bite the cat? hmm

I feel like she doesn't trust me, that she thinks I'll make every mistake in the book unless she warns me of them. She flaps and fusses around ds like... like she feels sorry for him, and it makes me feel so insecure!

I know she has a lot of parenting experience but I'm not doing too badly, ds has only been poorly once, only had a few bumps and scratches, he's happy, friendly, outgoing and spot on developmentally. Should I stick up for myself next time she points out the bleedin' obvious like I'm stupid? Or am I being an oversensitive first time mum? Be honest.

whomovedmychocolate Sat 11-Oct-08 21:51:30

No. She's using clumsy language but I don't think she's trying to be patronising.

whomovedmychocolate Sat 11-Oct-08 21:53:07

Maybe you should say 'I'm really proud of little DS, he's really coming on' and this will encourage her to reply 'yes you've brought him up really well' or something equally positive.

She's trying to be helpful. Perhaps her kids had worms a lot as a child?

Spero Sat 11-Oct-08 21:53:21

It might just be her manner. I've got a friend like that; our daughters are only six months apart so she doesn't have aeons mre experience but every now and then she will say something EXACTLY like your sister - o I wouldn't encourage her to run across the road like that/juggle knives etc, etc.

a red mist descends momentarily and then I try to ignore it because in every other respect she is a good friend.

Your sister does sound in a bit more of a flap, but I wouldn't take it personally. Remember, its been a long time since she looked after such a young child and she might be more nervous than she lets on to you.

newgirl Sat 11-Oct-08 21:53:46

you need to have a cool line ready for if it happens again, or at least be ready to laugh - best way to deal with a daft/or patronising comment eg 'you must think we are bonkers' or something

sure she didnt mean to be paptronising but that would help to nip it in the bud

geraldinetheluckygoat Sat 11-Oct-08 21:57:29

My sister is a bit like this, but she doesn't mean to be, like Spero says, it's just her manner.
But it does drive me insane, especially when I'm dealing with a ds1 tantrum and she wades in and does it her way. But I think she's trying to help, and I take offence because it makes me feel like she thinks the way I'm doing it is crap! I think this may be a sister thing, as it sounds similar to your situation.

No advice really, as I still get annoyed with it, but I do feel your pain! grin

Thanks, yeah she probably doesn't mean any harm but christ it's annoying when she asks me if the bath water I've just run is cool enough, if the bottle is too hot, if I'm going to put a coat on him before we go out in the cold etc. <sigh> I'll try not to take offence then.

onepieceoflollipop Sat 11-Oct-08 22:27:16

My sil does this as she has one slightly older dd (I have two dds) and she thinks she has masses more experience. It is hard, but I just smile non-committally and kind of tune her out when I get more advice from her.

Rofl at your "encouraging" your ds to eat the cat's tale. grin

ButtonMeUp Sat 11-Oct-08 22:28:27

my older sis does the same, just smile. They mean no harm grin

whomovedmychocolate Sat 11-Oct-08 22:29:05

Perhaps she was nagged in a similar way and is simply repeating the pattern. Try to be kind. She's trying to assert her superiority in an area you are clearly excelling in

onepieceoflollipop Sat 11-Oct-08 22:41:06

tail I mean - I thought it looked wrong.

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