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Adult DSC ignored toddler's birthday
143

Notimportantbut · 12/06/2022 17:02

On the grand scheme of things I know there are worst things in life but I feel conflicted.
Adult DSCs ignored my toddler, their half sibling's birthday. Not even a text to their dad to say anything. There was no drama ever, I was no other woman, we have been married for years, everything is amicable. We all are friendly. They just never show any interest. They would interact with my little person a bit when they are here, but it feels always with reluctance. It is starting to cause upset my little one.
There is a huge age gap, I get it. If they don't want any relationship it is fine with me. What I feel very angry about is this fake pretence of my little person actually having siblings. I get annoyed when their dad talks to my toddler mentioning 'big brother/sister'. Would I be unreasonable to ask him to stop? Just because he has other children it doesn't mean my toddler has sibling in reality. Would be nice if they had relationship, but I would rather not build any expectations for my little child. I don't want my toddler to think he did something wrong/ not good enough that his siblings completely ignore him.

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Ragwort · 12/06/2022 17:17

I think you expectations aren't far too high. How old are adult DSC? Many young adults (my own DS included) are just not interested in birthdays, 'family' celebrations at all .. even their own.
I am sure your toddler doesn't know or care if he gets a birthday card from his half sister/brother.

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Ragwort · 12/06/2022 17:18

Are not aren't !

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BaaCake · 12/06/2022 17:18

We have similar though nor so extreme and not so much of an age gap. Every birthday I help DC make a card. Not any more. I'm fed up of them not realising it should go both ways. I just let DH deal with that side of things.

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FrustareNT · 12/06/2022 17:21

How old are they? Maybe ask partner to have a chat with them .
Invite them to a tea party'/day out where they can interact with the toddler

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RichardsGear · 12/06/2022 17:23

Hmmm I think you're making excuses for them Ragwort. When I was in my 20s I sent birthday cards and bought presents for family. Didn't have to be expensive but it's just basic manners really.
Doesn't sound like this particular half-sibling is remotely interested in your child OP. When you say it's starting to upset your toddler, how does this come about? Do they get upset by being ignored?

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LittleOwl153 · 12/06/2022 17:31

I think you concentrate on your toddler and their reactions. At 2 I think I'd probably just ignore but if they are 4 then they will realise what is going on around them.

I think you are right to talk to your husband about his conversation with the toddler if he is including steps that don't want to know. He needs to either shut up or talk to the steps and make them understand. They don't need to send texts to a toddler - but they do need to interact with him - or dad needs to accept they don't have a relationship at this stage in life and thingsight change later on.

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HarrietSchulenberg · 12/06/2022 17:32

I don't think Ragwort is making any excuses, I think she's being realistic, and the OP is rather ambitious in her expectations of a relationship between adult SDCs and a toddler.

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rocketfromthecrypt · 12/06/2022 17:38

I'm sure they bear no malice whatsoever towards your 'little person' but equally I think you're expecting them to show more interest than is reasonable. A birthday for someone with no real concept of what that means isn't all that interesting for anyone other than the parents.

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Hugasauras · 12/06/2022 17:38

Ragwort · 12/06/2022 17:17

I think you expectations aren't far too high. How old are adult DSC? Many young adults (my own DS included) are just not interested in birthdays, 'family' celebrations at all .. even their own.
I am sure your toddler doesn't know or care if he gets a birthday card from his half sister/brother.

I agree with this. Some people in our lives are big on gift-giving and cards and never miss a birthday, others aren't, even outside of being young adults. Every relationship is a different dynamic. I don't mind that my DD's uncle doesn't send her birthday cards or gifts as he's not that kind of person, whereas for her auntie, gifts and cards are her love language and she sends them for everything. That's just them. Both lovely people who love DD.

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R1408 · 12/06/2022 17:42

Probably forgot rather than ignored.

Lots of adults aren't particularly interested in toddlers!

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showmethegin · 12/06/2022 17:44

I think it's bloody rude. This is their half sibling, and they can't be bothered to acknowledge their birthday? They are adults and part of being an adult is considering other people feelings. I would be getting DH to pull them up on this, there is no excuse, it's just rude and mean.

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axolotlfloof · 12/06/2022 17:44

Toddler doesn't care, so why get offended on their behalf.
They may build a good relationship when older.

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NoCauseRebel · 12/06/2022 17:48

I think it’s unrealistic to expect siblings with such a wide age gap to take an interest in the toddler in the family, even if they’re full siblings.


While some siblings do take that interest, I think all too often parents romanticise the idea of having a baby with adult older siblings who adore them and just want to spend time with them, when often the adult or even teenage siblings just aren’t that interested because babies and toddlers generally aren’t that interesting to anyone other than their parents.



As for your DH, see above re romanticising the idea, he wants to think of his children as siblings with this close relationship. I know my eXH does the same.he has a younger child with his new partner and I know that he talks to him about his brother etc and vice versa.
But while DC talks about him as his brother, he has 0 relationship with him, sees him maybe 2/3 times a year.



And if your DSC never really lived with you or even only lived with you half the time, then a new baby just isn’t going to be a sibling in the same way as if they lived with them full-time.

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BaaCake · 12/06/2022 17:49

axolotlfloof · 12/06/2022 17:44

Toddler doesn't care, so why get offended on their behalf.
They may build a good relationship when older.

relationship building starts early though

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SpaceJamtart · 12/06/2022 17:52

Its a bit of an overreaction ,toddlers don't know it is their birthday, or have expectations of other family members so I wouldnt worry. I wouldnt text a parent of a 1-3 year old to say happy birthday, purely because the kid will get nothing out of it.
Your child does have half sibings, they are the kids big brother or big sister regardless of whether they bought the child a card or are disinterested- other peoples toddlers are boring, you don't get to say they aren't siblings anymore because they dont engage with it.

I would say its a bit rude when the child is above five, and understands birthdays, before that nah

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ImAvingOops · 12/06/2022 17:52

I think they probably forgot, but it's important that they remember and make an effort in future. I don't think your expectations are unreasonably high to expect a card and a little present. They might not have the normal sibling relationship but your child is also their dad's child and it will be hurtful to both your husband and in the future your child, if they make zero effort.

I think your husband should have a gentle word explaining that this has upset him and has the potential to upset their sibling as they get older because you want your child to live them and feel loved.

Now having said all that, they might be the kind of family who make little effort for each other either, so it's not that they are viewing your child as less important, so keep that in mind.

You would not be unreasonable to say to your husband that if they aren't going to make any effort then he needs to not keep on referring to them as siblings to the little one as it is setting her up for unrealistic expectations.

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EveryName · 12/06/2022 17:53

This wouldn't bother me. The toddler won't care.

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RichardsGear · 12/06/2022 17:55

Nope, I think it's excusing it. Nobody's saying the older sibling has to be full on involved/ babysitting/ taking them out for the day/ overnight stays or anything like that, rather that just a little bit of interaction the odd time they see this little brother or sister, you know - acknowledgement they exist - and a card once a year would be basic good manners.

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RichardsGear · 12/06/2022 17:56

You would not be unreasonable to say to your husband that if they aren't going to make any effort then he needs to not keep on referring to them as siblings to the little one as it is setting her up for unrealistic expectations.

Exactly. The toddler won't be a toddler forever.

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MichelleScarn · 12/06/2022 17:57

How old are DSC, have they ever lived with you/spent holidays together?
Do you treat them as siblings to your 'little person' and as part of your family unit?

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Youseethethingis1 · 12/06/2022 18:01

I feel the same way about my MIL to be honest. Just don't mention her as she doesn't really bother with DS and I'd rather she just faded out the picture than he ever wondered if he wasn't good enough or what he did wrong.
You can't force a relationship so id be inclined to just not to particularly mention the half sibling relationship. Let it go. Don't set it up that there was ever any expectations of really knowing them. They are a of a different generation and when it comes down to it half siblings are the same as first cousins or aunts/uncles in terms of shares genes.
I do think it's interesting that so many posters think it's fine to ignore a little half siblings birthday. Where are all the usual "but they are your children now!" posters when you need them to stand up for the step mothers child, I wonder?

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TheNeverEndingSt0ry · 12/06/2022 18:04

Do they know? I’m mid twenties and my Mum remarried and had children with my step dad and both of them are nearing the end of primary school now so pretty big age gap. I love them both but obviously we don’t have much to talk about. I’m excited for them to get older so they actually want to spend one on one time with me as they’re not interested in that right now as I live in a different city so they don’t really know me.

My Mum texts me every year about a week before their birthdays otherwise I genuinely wouldn’t know.

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RedWingBoots · 12/06/2022 18:05

OP thing is when you are dead they will be your toddler's siblings.

You can be upset about this but your child doesn't care and won't care as long as both of his parents and the people he sees almost daily acknowledge his birthday.

I have full, half and step siblings. Growing up it is only the ones who I saw almost daily who acknowledged every birthday at all and on time.

Funny thing is since I left uni in my 20s two of my half-siblings - who are two of the eldest - have acknowledged every one of my birthdays which they didn't do when I was young. Likewise one of my siblings became more on time and consistent as well.

Having an large age gap between your siblings so not living with them at all or so you can remember doing so gives you a different relationship to siblings near your age. There are advantages to this but most of them you as a parent won't see until your kid is older.

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abyssofwoah · 12/06/2022 18:07

I was the much younger half sibling in this situation. I’m quite shocked at you describing it as a pretence of your toddler having siblings! My older siblings weren’t at all involved but I would never have considered them as less than siblings. They just had their own lives and I’ve never found it strange that with the age gap between us we didn’t have a close relationship.

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PeekAtYou · 12/06/2022 18:07

I think the not interacting with him issue is much more serious than the not texting happy birthday one. If I was your h then I'd pull them up on it. I have adult kids and they remember idolising older kids and how exciting birthdays were at their age so I'd be telling them to bring a small gift when they next came round and fake some enthusiasm.

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