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AIBU?

Am I too interfering?

5 replies

dingdongbe · 22/09/2022 11:19

I feel I'm being the interfering aunt - I try to stop but its hard. Any advise?

My lovely sister struggled with fertility issues for 15 years and after many rounds of IVF has a beautiful son, now 8.

But watching him grow over the past 8 years I feel the child is over-protected and over-indulged by both his mom and dad. He is discouraged to participate in any team sports (rugby, cricket) as it is too dangerous. Not allowed to start swimming lessons yet. No specific bed time- can sleep at 11pm if he is too busy playing with toys. No control over portion size- he eats the most healthy food, but overeats so is bordering on being over-weight. Homework is dismissed as undue pressure on child. No need to tidy up after playing. No need to put away your own plate, mugs, clothes. No chores. Mum at beck and call.

On the plus side, he is a very sensitive, thoughtful child, a great listener, kind, very generous and extremely laid back. Very well behaved at school and not bratty. All this is due to my sister's gentle parenting style. But for a naturally intelligent child his levels of reading, writing and mathematical skills are that of a 5 year old. He believes he is too young for anything, shows a lack of interest in any team sports and is scared of water/pools. I feels he is held back and not let to fly. And encouraged to laze about.

So I sometimes tell my sister - send him to swimming lessons, encourage him to join team sports, why do you let him binge and then throw up? Why are you picking up after him? I'm obviously upsetting her. I'm asked to mind my own business.

Am I too interfering? I love them all so very much, but being a teacher, I just can't see how such lack of structure can be a good thing.

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Am I being unreasonable?

27 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
70%
You are NOT being unreasonable
30%
10HailMarys · 22/09/2022 12:08

You're interfering, yes.

I personally would find some elements of your sister's parenting annoying, so I can absolutely see why you don't approve. But the fact is that this is her child, not yours, and none of this is any of your business.

Your sister is not one of your pupils. She is an independent adult. Stop telling her what to do.

Also, it's not remotely unusual, or a problem, for a child not to have any interest in team sports. He'll be doing PE at school and that's fine. His reading and maths are for his own teachers to address.

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LadyT27 · 22/09/2022 12:13

10HailMarys · 22/09/2022 12:08

You're interfering, yes.

I personally would find some elements of your sister's parenting annoying, so I can absolutely see why you don't approve. But the fact is that this is her child, not yours, and none of this is any of your business.

Your sister is not one of your pupils. She is an independent adult. Stop telling her what to do.

Also, it's not remotely unusual, or a problem, for a child not to have any interest in team sports. He'll be doing PE at school and that's fine. His reading and maths are for his own teachers to address.

Completely agree.

I would find this comment extremely annoying 'but being a teacher, I just can't see how such lack of structure can be a good thing'. You're a teacher, not his parent. Parent always trumps.

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Bicthebiro · 22/09/2022 12:16

You're interfering. I agree with some of your comments but I also agree with some of what your DSIS says.

They're not one of your pupils, so you do need to butt out. My dad always comments on my parenting. This is my dad who was largely absent, too busy working and left us with our borderline neglectful mum. No one is a perfect parent.

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Bootsandcat · 22/09/2022 12:33

Maybe sports just isn’t his thing? School will pull him up on homework

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Quartz2208 · 22/09/2022 12:58

Yeah the school should be on and aware of the reading/writing stuff

Some children just dont like team sports.

I think the difference is when you are a teacher it is your job I think to make sure pupils follow structure and a set of rules.

But for a parent you have to parent the child you have - I think it all of what you are saying that is a lack of treating your nephew like an individual

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