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I need advice please

(28 Posts)
mytwopenceworth Sun 15-Jul-07 14:35:50

My neice. Oh dear, I love her but she is a diva! She is only 9. She is very selfish.

The main problem I have is that she does not like to share. She wants everything her way, and expects everyone to bend over backwards to ensure that she is pleased.

The worst part, is her parents (my sister and bil) facilitate this.

They tell her she doesn't have to share if she doesn't want to. Fair enough in itself, but she won't share HER stuff, but expects -no, DEMANDS that my kids share with her, give her lots of turns on their things.

for eg, if she has a toy, she will most likely say she doesn't want my boys to touch it. She gets very upset at the thought that they will go near it.

My sister may, sometimes, say to her why don't you, oh go on, but if my neice starts to stress (as she does) my sister says oh well, she has the right to say no. My bil will say she doesn't have to share if she doesn't want to, or tell the boys to not touch something because it is X's, or he will put stuff out of reach against the possibility that the boys will touch it.

But then my niece will go to my boys, after refusing to allow them to touch something of hers, and stress for a turn of what they are on. She will come to me and complain that the boys aren't letting her have a go. I then make them give her a turn. Because the concept of sharing is SO important to me, and I do NOT want my kids to be selfish like she is.

plus I feel mean if I don't make the boys share, plus my sister looks at them and me WAITING for me to make them share!

So like I say, I encourage (actually, I insist) that my boys share, but my neice then turns round and is selfish with her things and won't let the boys near stuff. If she ever does, she does it as SUCH a big deal - Oh look how fab I am, praise me, kind of thing.

But I feel increasingly resentful that they work to make everything so 100% in favour of her and expect that from me. Expect me to be happy to stop my kids from touching her stuff, while making them share their things with her.

It hurts me when I see my boys confused why they can't go near her things.

I want to start saying to her, when she stresses, that the boys don't have to share if they don't want to.

But I know I am going to end up with my sister asking me about this.

I also don't want to confuse my kids by telling them they don't have to share with her, yet trying to keep up the sharing message, as generosity and thoughtfulness are, to my mind, essential characteristics that I want my boys to have.

I also feel that getting the boys to not share with her in retalliation for her mean nature, is spiteful on my part. But I am getting so resentful.

I don't know what to do. I am mad as hell that my neice is selfish yet expects generosity. I am mad that my sister and bil encourage and reinforce her selfishness, yet require me and my kids to bend over for them and give her priority, like she should matter more to all of us than my boys.

On the other hand, I do love them and I don't want to fall out with them, but I can't stand their meanness any more.

Please give me advice.

ahundredtimeturners Sun 15-Jul-07 14:52:46

Why don't you just say it how it is.

Say 'Neice, I can't make them share with you. You can't make people do things. They normally share their things very happily, but when we were at your house you didn't let them touch X and that's why they don't want to share with you now.'

mytwopenceworth Sun 15-Jul-07 15:01:20

I would love to be so straight, but I know my sister will get huffy, plus do you think they will think I am being petty? You don't share so we won't share?

I mean, basically, that IS it, isn't it. I sound very petty.

Do you think I am petty to be pissed off? It annoys me because it feels like they are sticking 2 fingers up to my kids.

hippmummy Sun 15-Jul-07 15:03:21


You put that so completely rationally, fairly and without judgement that I can't possibly see how your sister and bil can argue with your point.

Is there any way that you can just explain this to them?

CarGirl Sun 15-Jul-07 15:04:14

how old are your dc? I would try and run with what ahundredtimes said after all your children are young and that probably is how they feel and you are just saying it for them surely your sister can't complain about that?

SquareSausage Sun 15-Jul-07 15:06:01

You sound so lovely.
Can you explain that your boys are getting mixed messages about the sharing issue as thier cousin doesn't seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet as them.
So, in short, could they get her to share for the sake of the boys, and how they learn about the concept of sharing?

mytwopenceworth Sun 15-Jul-07 15:07:53

my kids are 8 and nearly 7. my neice is just turned 9.

My boys are autistic though, and there's history there - ds1 used to hit her a lot. plus they don't really talk and interract 'normally', which she gets frustrated with. Also she acts like they are such a pain just being on the same planet at times! But at other times she plays with them, but it is all on her terms and has to be managed so she is in control, so she wins, so she gets what she wants.

Sometimes I think she's more autistic than either of them!!

hippmummy Sun 15-Jul-07 15:09:34

and you aren't being petty. If it's happening all the time it is not a good trait developing in your niece (although that is her parents issue to deal with).

But it's not nice to watch the injustice to your children and not be able to rationalise it to them.

mytwopenceworth Sun 15-Jul-07 15:10:36

I have tried before - very much a gentle hint, not an actual opinion (good lord, I'd get crucified for an opinion!)

My sister and bil get very cross if anyone says anything that could possibly be less than praise and admiration, so conversations that sound as though they are likely to go on to contain criticism are met with a brick wall!

ahundredtimeturners Sun 15-Jul-07 15:10:41

I wouldn't go to the parents, I'd go straight to the neice. Nicely, with a smile. Say 'But neice, if you don't let them look at that, you can't expect them to let you play with their stuff can you?'

ahundredtimeturners Sun 15-Jul-07 15:10:42

I wouldn't go to the parents, I'd go straight to the neice. Nicely, with a smile. Say 'But neice, if you don't let them look at that, you can't expect them to let you play with their stuff can you?'

ahundredtimeturners Sun 15-Jul-07 15:11:01

And yes, you may need to say it twice. lol.

mytwopenceworth Sun 15-Jul-07 15:12:59

As an aside, my dh has taken to saying to the boys, "don't be like X" if they are ever mean or kick off! I tell him that it is going to come back and bite him in the bum!

SquareSausage Sun 15-Jul-07 15:13:09

Could you approach it in such a way that your sister and BIL feel they are doing you a favour, for the sake of the boys, rather than what could be percieved as a direct criticism of their DD.
Then you still get what you want, but they feel all magnanimous and stuff!

cornsilk Sun 15-Jul-07 15:13:42

You need to explain to your sister. You will be doing her a favour in the long run!

hippmummy Sun 15-Jul-07 15:14:21


Is it possible (not meaning to slight your sister/bil at all) that they've made her more protective of her stuff because of your boys' autism?

Maybe they've said things along the lines of 'the boys may be a bit rough with that'. Maybe thats why she's a bit precious about her stuff?

Or do you know if she's generally like this?

MarshaBrady Sun 15-Jul-07 15:16:22

I don't think you are being petty. I would find that fairly irritating tbh. I'm feeling annoyed for you!
I think the advice to speak from your ds' point of view - they are feeling upset because .... is fabulous. It's true, and allows you to be less emotionally involved.

mytwopenceworth Sun 15-Jul-07 15:17:30

I might just print out this thread and post it to them and wait for the fallout.

I don't want to be petty, but I am going to have to say something to her.

Or maybe to my sister, because she does not like anyone else disciplining her daughter, and telling her she is not going to get her own way would in my sisters eyes, be telling her off.

It's mad I know!

Do you think I am just being mean myself? Maybe a better lesson for the boys is that we should always treat others how we would want them to treat us, but that some people don't live up to that, but it should not make us less kind towards them.

Or is that too namby pamby?

Oh, I can see my sister shoving dog poo through my letter box after this.

EscapeFrom Sun 15-Jul-07 15:20:13

I would take toys with you when you visit, but do not make your boys share them. She won't share, she cannot expect other people to share with her.

Plus, do we want to give our children the message that we will put up with crap treatment and still keep giving?

cornsilk Sun 15-Jul-07 15:21:49

One of my friends chn used to be like this with my ds. It used to really irritate me to the extent that I didn't want to see them. She would also just look at me and ds waiting for them to give stuff to him, which he'd then want to take home and same thing would happen! He grew out of it thank goodness. Doesn't sound like your neice will if she's 9.

EscapeFrom Sun 15-Jul-07 15:22:58

Don't actually say anything to your neice. Do the passive aggressive thing, and refuse to intervene in her favour. So if your sons won't share something "Oh, well, it is everyone's right not to share."

Don't let her set the games up so she wins, if she does that, distract your boys with lego or something.

She sounds a brat, TBH.

SquareSausage Sun 15-Jul-07 15:23:05

I'm afraid your sister is being petty if she cannot stand anybody else disciplining her daughter.
Anyway, this situation is not about you being petty - it's about how children learn things - like sharing. And your sister is seeting a bad, and dangerous, example.
Please don't beat yourself up. I'm getting annoyed on your behalf too!

mytwopenceworth Sun 15-Jul-07 15:23:17

thanks all.

Yes H, the boys used to be very distructive, but not any more. They still use that as an excuse, even though at the same time they say how much the boys have come on!

She is like it with everyone. Always has to win, always has to be the best, always has to get her own way, centre of attention, etc.

She used to be such a lovely little girl, but she is becomming more and more rude and selfish. She talks to folks like they are something you scrape off a shoe and my sister says it is spirit, individualism and oh, sarcasm which is great because she is so ahead of her peers intellectually who can't be witty like her. And you can't tell her to not talk rudely-which-isn't-rude-it's-humour, because it upsets her and you got the wrong end of the stick she wasn't being rude anyway....

and so on and so forth.

I guess now I am thinking about it, this is more than selfishness. She is turning into a brat. God knows what she will be in 5 years.

MarshaBrady Sun 15-Jul-07 15:24:12

Agree with Escapefrom. It is hard doing something about it, but saying that your dc must share, but your niece doesn't have to, and they must accept it and be nice about feeling rejected (because sharing is giving after all). Its too much to have to deal with.

cornsilk Sun 15-Jul-07 15:25:29

They are making a rod for their own backs and will regret it.

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