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How much do your older DSC stay in touch with younger siblings?

(12 Posts)
Allsnugintheirbeds Sun 08-Sep-13 15:43:11

Dsd and Dss are teens and are very immersed in their social lives as is often the case at their age I expect. . We see them roughly fortnightly but this varies and is not 'set'. We also have a DS who is 6. He misses them badly when they are not here but has understood the situation up till now. DP has also mentioned to DSC that it would be nice if occasionally they thought to ring/ FaceTime to speak to DS when not with us. Quite often we suggest a time to do this and they say its not convenient. When we arrange a convenient time, they've forgotten. They don't reply to texts often. We pay for credit for their phones when it's needed so not down to that.

I'm sure this thoughtlessness is pretty standard teen behaviour. However over the last fee weeks DS has been very down about it. He mentions it at bedtimes, in the car etc "do DSC not like me any more/ I think they've forgotten about me" that kind of thing. We do reassure him of course and do try to organise for him to speak with them but as I mentioned this is often a painful process and relies on them answering their phones etc.

So questions are, has anyone else experienced this and how much in the way of contact to you expect from teenagers when not with you? Should we be firmer or leave well alone?

Allsnugintheirbeds Sun 08-Sep-13 15:44:23

*few weeks

GemmaTeller Sun 08-Sep-13 15:50:00

My son is 30, my DSD is 22 and we've been together since DSD was a year old, apart from being friends on FB they don't really stay in contact with each other outside of meeting at our house/family get togethers/special occassions etc.

squiddle Sun 08-Sep-13 16:19:48

I have dds who are 6 and 8, and a teen dss. He never rings them of his own accord, and I wouldn't expect him to - when he rings it is to speak to his dad (or very occasionally to me). When dd2 (6) misses him, we ring his mobile for a quick chat. If he doesn't answer, we leave a message. This seems to satisfy dd2. DD1 is fine with the situation, and doesn't miss him in the same way.

Not many teens would take responsibility for making a young child feel happy, I don't think. So my focus would be on talking with your ds about his feelings and the difficulty of missing someone, without expecting the dscs to solve it, if that makes sense.

Daphneisazombie Sun 08-Sep-13 16:33:33

Our situation is very similar, same age ds and teen dsc.
He misses her but she doesn't seem to miss him much and doesn't stay in touch when she goes weeks without visiting. We did make lots of effort to encourage their relationship but she is not really interested in developing it.
I think that's probably normal, he's so much younger and I suppose she sees him as annoying younger brother. I think as they both grow up they may keep in touch better, with social networking sites and the like!

catsmother Sun 08-Sep-13 20:07:44

My stepkids barely contact their dad unless they want something and never contact my youngest child. If they do speak to her it'll be on the back of a rare call to their dad, and one in particular seems to revel in being unpleasant - unnecessary name calling, "teasing" (according to DP who'll never admit to them doing any wrongdoing). Frankly, with that in mind I've given up caring if they call or not - and my DC very rarely ever expresses any notion of "missing" them - which isn't altogether that surprising (what goes around, comes around I guess). By contrast, my oldest child (big gap) who's now left home regularly keeps in touch with youngest - often buys small token gifts etc - and my DC often says they miss them.

Years ago, we had terrible contact issues - sporadic contact, followed by periods of no contact, some of them very long. During those times my then much younger DC got terribly upset with the whole "don't they like me", "do they not want to come because of me" etc - it was horrid to deal with so I do understand where you're coming from. The particular circumstances of the contact problems (a whole great other story) meant I felt quite angry towards them as I felt that they were old enough to make some effort towards their youngest sibling - and again, despite the semi official stance of "no contact" they were quick enough to get in touch just before birthdays or Xmas hmm. Anyway - I personally feel that although teens are "typically" self centred and thoughtless, it's still not expecting too much of them to show some kindness and consideration, sometimes. I'd keep "reminding" them the way you have been - and as you're paying for their phones, perhaps drop hints that that might have to be "reviewed" if they don't make a little time every so often. I don't think a 5-10 min call once or twice a month is really asking too much however uncool or bothersome they might think that is.

daisychain01 Sun 08-Sep-13 21:51:19

I have to remind myself that once upon a time I was a selfish teenager who didn't "get" the significance of remembering birthdays, keeping in touch with family etc, as I was caught up in my own little world.

It is against that backdrop that I am currently trying my hardest not to feel utterly gutted, wound up almost to the point of frothing at the mouth that next week is DP's birthday and DSS15 has done absolutely bugger-all about getting so much as a card for his DF, who has centred his world around his DS for 15 years. I doubt he will even remember to text him (next week is DM week for him). If he had step siblings it would probably be the same. Father's Day, don't get me started, I spent too many years wrapping up a pressie for him to give, no more!

Its awful type-casting teeeeennagers, but really I do think that it must be part of evolution (survival of the fittest) and genetics that makes them so focussed only on what affects them. When it's their birthday, everyone is expected to suddenly spring into action with cards, presents, preferably money ad nauseam. Yes, catsmother as soon as Christmas arrives, it's a different story there as well!

matana Sun 08-Sep-13 22:49:12

Dsd1 has had no contact with dh or ds for 2 years.

Dsd2 is 13 and sees him most weekends, quite often she will have bought him a little something in the meantime. She chooses presents for him at birthdays and Christmas and her choice is always spot on. They're inseparable when together and although not yet 3 he's always asking after her and has spoken on the phone to her on occasion. I swear the reason she dutifully comes to see us each week is not for dh and I but her little brother. I really hope their close relationship lasts. It's lovely and I feel blessed.

stepmooster Mon 09-Sep-13 03:43:32

I don't understand why teenagers who are often given expensive iphones/blackberrys etc sometimes on contract or prepaid pay as you go, are then not expected to keep in contact with family and other relatives?

I seem to remember being made to speak to relatives on the phone at weekends and evenings. Likewise going to visit some great aunt or other, because now I see these acts can mean so much to that person.

When did this me, me, me attitude become perfectly acceptable just because you're a teenager? Or because your parents split up?

Surely phones/pocket money/flash clothes are rewards for good behaviour like staying in touch? And if that side of the bargain is not upheld then phone top-ups etc get stopped/reduced?

Allsnugintheirbeds Mon 09-Sep-13 07:41:25

Thanks all.

It sounds as though this is very common but I think I do err on the side of expecting some effort- even if only a token amount, especially when the DSC have access to a wide range of technology that make it possible. I really hope DS has a closer relationship with them when they are all older. I know you can't engineer siblings to get on or guarentee they will have a relationship but I'd have happily had more DC. DP however was keen to only have one more, reasoning that the child would have siblings in DSC. Hopefully it is a stage that will pass.

Tuckshop Mon 09-Sep-13 09:48:27

Dsd never kept in touch with dd between visits. It made no difference, they are really close and have a lovely relationship.

If dd ever mentioned missing dsd we would ring her so she could talk to her. It was always a one way thing but I don't feel it was indicative of the strength of their relationship.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 09-Sep-13 11:03:58

I don't think you can force it tbh. Dh has a step brother 15 yrs his junior. They had basically no relationship until the stepbrother was in his late teens and then it just fell into place and they stay in touch ( as much as two men ever do). In my experience how children feel about half siblings seems to vary a lot and seem to be looser if the non-resident parent is the common parent.

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