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Relative only acknowledging one child.

(31 Posts)
Cheeseaandbiscuits Sat 23-May-20 11:27:09

DP and I had two children, DS(2yo) DD(newborn). DP also has adult daughter (I will refer to as DSD for sake of post but I don't have a relationship with her).

When DS was born DSD nose was very out of joint and took nothing to do with him, basically didn't acknowledge and when she did it was fairly nasty. She since has had quite a distant and strained relationship with DP.

DD was born little over a month ago and her attitude has been very different. She sent two gifts, one clearly for a baby and one which could be for a baby or toddler. More I think about it I think they were both aimed at DD. Over past few weeks she's showed a lot of interest and has been texting asking about children, or so I though.
It's now quite clear to me that she's over ever been asking about DD and still isn't really acknowledging DS.

Any advice? DP is so pleased she's now having some involvement I think he may have rose tinted glasses on and don't see what she's doing, I know I need to tread very carefully with what I say because it is his daughter. Although anything I say he'd deny on her behalf and insist it's not the case.
I was happy to give her a chance but no way am I allowing her to hurt my son like that (he's too young to understand now but it won't always be the case)

mummmy2017 Sat 23-May-20 11:31:01

Spike her guns.
Message her and thank her for the gifts.
Tell her DS adores the gifts she sent, and you know both children would want to thank their big sister.

In other words refuse to let her ignor your son.

Bunnymumy Sat 23-May-20 11:47:22

Google the narcissist scapegoat vs golden child.

Sounds like she intends to favour your daughter and treat your son like shit going towards.

Trust your instincts. Keep her at a distance.
A long distance.

longtompot Sat 23-May-20 11:50:17

How old is dsd? How long since her dad and mum split up? If she is still quite young, it sounds like she wasn't ready for her dad to move on, maybe even hoping they would get back together? But two years on, sounds like she has grown up and has understood that her parents have moved on and is happy with the new baby.
Do you think one of the toys was meant for your ds, and she knew she had been rubbish towards him but didn't know how to go about it to make amends.

Gutterton Sat 23-May-20 11:56:46

Adult daughter! I would give her one chance to behave. I would ask your DH to observe and agree on the consequences.

She needs pulling up if she hasn’t changed her ways

dancinfeet Sat 23-May-20 11:57:59

How old is DSD? There is a big difference between someone who is mid to late 20s or older, and say age 20, (who would have been18 when your eldest was born?) My eldest DD is 20 and has grown up so much between the ages of 18 and 20. Unlike what some of people suggest on here, older teens do not magically become fully formed mature adults on their 18th birthdays.

TheMotherofAllDilemmas Sat 23-May-20 11:58:47

She may have simply realised that the way she reacted in the past was not adequate and is behaving like a normal person now that she has dealt with the shock of the first kid.

I can see why you are reluctant to trust her in her intentions but I think that you are reading far too much in her trying to ignore your first kid when she sent two gifts and one is suitable for a toddler.

I would also be wondering if it would be good to try to put what happen back then behind you as your partner is not going to welcome you taking what is obviously a nice gesture from his DD as offensive and underhanded.

Choose your battles.

GreyishDays Sat 23-May-20 12:00:40

I’d probably wait until she does something noticeable in that your DS will notice. But it’s your husband who needs to deal with it.

Jessbow Sat 23-May-20 12:17:25

Giftd- One for a baby and one that looks like its for a toddler.

She's trying, isnt she?

Strikes me as she cant do right for doing wrong.

Maybe you need to move on

1Micem0use Sat 23-May-20 12:23:37

You have two children. She sent two gifts. One is appropriate for an older child.
It makes some level of sense that she is cooing more over the tiny newborn.

AnneLovesGilbert Sat 23-May-20 12:30:15

anything I say he'd deny on her behalf and insist it's not the case.

This is your big problem. All 3 of his children are of equal importance and he’s failing all of them, and you, if he refuses to acknowledge her divisive behaviour.

Cheeseaandbiscuits Sat 23-May-20 12:41:38

She's mid to late 20s. So wasn't in her teens when DS was born. Her parents had split a long time prior.
I do appreciate I may be looking to much into it and my protective maternal instinct are kicked into overdrive

NoMoreDickheads Sat 23-May-20 12:45:07

She may be more into the idea of a girl/sister for some reason. Now she's got into the idea of one she might get into the other one.

I think it's clear she's trying to make an effort to be involved with her dad and his family.

CuriousaboutSamphire Sat 23-May-20 12:58:06

Take it at face value but always, as others have said, phrase any invitation, thank you etc, from both of your children. She is trying... Leave it to her to make it a success, or a mess.

SugarSpiceAllThingsNice Sat 23-May-20 13:03:50

What were the gifts?

PotteringAlong Sat 23-May-20 13:09:58

Late 20’s?! She’s sent 2 gifts, one for a baby and one for a toddler.

I’m not going to lie, if my dad has had another baby when I was in my late 20’s (presumably with a woman who is pretty much the same age as her) I would have been pretty pissed off too.

I don’t think this is about your DS. I think she was annoyed with the whole situation and is now trying to build bridges. She sent 2 presents, one for a baby and one for a toddler. What more do you want her to do?

Cheeseaandbiscuits Sat 23-May-20 13:48:17

@potteringalong
Mid to late 20s. Why would you assume I'd be pretty much the same age as her?
DP was late teens when she was born, he's now mid 40s and I'm early 40s. I'm not sure where your presumption has come from

I have also mentioned in my OP that she sent 2 gifts one definitely aimed at a baby, one could be for baby or toddler but I now think it's more baby aimed.

MellowBird85 Sat 23-May-20 13:50:07

Pottering Why on earth would you be pissed off?

FizzyGreenWater Sat 23-May-20 13:57:56

You need to box clever.

Make sure you take control of the narrative. YOU reply. With a minimal mention of the baby and LOTS of 'DS loved the present!' 'He was asking about his big sister, we can't wait for you to properly meet him at last' (you cleverly underline that she has, so far, behaved shittily).

She comes to meet the baby - YOU make sure there's a lot of feeding/changing time out of the room and a biiiiig plan for your DS to be showing her his new toys/drawing pictures for her - etc. DS all the way, baby quickly met but mainly swept off with mum.

She will either show her displeasure or will start to behave.

To your DP - 'It's great that she seems to have come around, let's hope she's willing to be equally welcoming to DS now - it would be so sad for her brother and sister to be shown unequal treatment and end up disliking her as a result, she would lose out on so much if they felt treated oddly by her.'

'It's great that she visited, it's a pity she wouldn't engage with DS. Next time I'll make sure I take the baby out for longer so that you can help her have some more one-on-one time with DS. It won't be long before they're old enough to dislike being treated differently by her and I'd hate for them to not enjoy having her around.'

Plant the seed that if she acts hatefully, the children disliking her will happen and your DP won't be able to fix it.

YgritteSnow Sat 23-May-20 13:58:48

* I’m not going to lie, if my dad has had another baby when I was in my late 20’s (presumably with a woman who is pretty much the same age as her) I would have been pretty pissed off too.*

Many people would be. MNetters always pretend they'd be so cool and well adjusted about this kind of thing but in reality many people would struggle to accept such a huge adjustment especially if they had found the break up up of their parents difficult.

Op I'd leave the door open. Say thanks for the gifts as though for both your children. I wonder if she has ignored your ds for so long that she can't find a way to come back gracefully from it and feels that you might be angry and resentful if she starts now. My dsis and I had a long period of NC - mainly because of weird family dynamics in general not because she and I hated each other. She had a child born during that time and I have struggled a bit in how to acknowledge that and build the relationship now because I have missed so much sad. I almost feel fraudulent referring to myself as her aunt.

PowerStruggle Sat 23-May-20 14:02:51

I think you need to be a grown up about it. Thank her for the gifts from both kids, maybe a wee photo of them playing with them, and go from there. I would give her the benefit of the doubt. Be nice.

Gutterton Sat 23-May-20 14:05:23

Pre kids - why did you not have a RS with DSD? Was there any animosity?

Cheeseaandbiscuits Sat 23-May-20 14:12:37

@gutterton
Not particularly animosity, more to do with her being an adult and having her own life our paths didn't cross that much. Her relationship with her DF was mainly based on him seeing her when she wanted a favour, and communicating over text/phone more than face to face meet ups

TheMotherofAllDilemmas Sat 23-May-20 14:17:18

Her relationship with her DF was mainly based on him seeing her when she wanted a favour, and communicating over text/phone more than face to face meet ups

That’s pretty much standard from teenage onwards, they grow up, build their own lives and only get in touch briefly from time to time. Then they come back when they settle down

Don’t judge her too harshly. This situation may have been difficult for all of you.

PotteringAlong Sat 23-May-20 14:50:01

Her relationship with her DF was mainly based on him seeing her when she wanted a favour, and communicating over text/phone more than face to face meet ups

Just out of curiosity, how would you have described your relationship with your own parents when you were in your late 20’s?

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