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Sibling Rivalry

(12 Posts)
vickymeldrew Mon 01-Aug-16 05:00:13

My DS1 and DiL are (i am sorry to admit) selfish people who are only interested in themselves and what their two DC (age 8 & 10) are doing. My DD2 and DSiL are currently visiting us (they live 600 miles away) with their DS (age 2) and new born DD. The problem is that on the rare occasions that the two families meet, DS1 and DiL completely ignore DDs two young children. All of their conversation is about their own children and achievements whilst totally ignoring the existence of the newborn and toddler. There is a history of my DS1 and DiL ignoring their siblings children and being very competitve and boastful. We have just had a very awkward family gathering when DS1 and DiL did not acknowledge in any way DD's toddler and new born. DS and DiLs children entertained us with musical instruments, then we were all in garden withgames and footie, etc. but toddler and baby not mentioned by them once. I love all my DGC but hate to see my DD and SiL hurt by their children being absolutely ignored and the new born baby not even acknowledged.

Anya Mon 01-Aug-16 06:47:01

Do the older grandchildren (8 & 10) not show an interest in their younger cousins?

mumofmadboys Mon 01-Aug-16 07:11:51

Was there rivalry between your DD and DS when they were growing up? Did your DD show much interest in her nephew and niece prior to having her own kids? Do DS and DDIL feel inferior to the other couple? It is so difficult for you. I don"t know whether if I was you I would ignore it or try and discuss it. Hope it improves with time.

morethan2 Mon 01-Aug-16 07:26:52

Oh that's a real shame vickymeldrew there's probably nothing you can do to change your older sons attitude but you can draw attention to the younger ones surely. "Oh look at our new baby isn't she lovely, she looks a little like you older DGC" that sort of thing. Perhaps if your oldest sons family see you treating all four equally the may be shamed into seeing the error of their ways. I know it hurts when our adult children aren't close. I hope things improve. In the meantime all you can do is love and enjoy them equally.

Christinefrance Mon 01-Aug-16 08:34:14

That is so difficult when you are altogether vickymeldrew, you can only lead by example as morethan2 said and encourage all the children to interact and praising them all equally.. Hopefully as the children get older they will enjoy being together.

Teetime Mon 01-Aug-16 10:20:59

|its really awkward Vicky and I'm not sure what you can do about it except keep throwing them together. Perhaps the children will all bond a bit as they get older.
It got me thinking about our family DH has 2 brothers one has three children and several grandchildren and the other does not have any. Both of them completely ignore our family have never sent any cards presents or ever enquire about them and somehow we have just accepted it as their normal- we don't go and see them much and they never come here.

My own brother also never enquires about my family or sends them any cards or gifts. I've just realised how odd this all is. Only my sister and I do the whole family business of keeping in touch and getting together for regular gatherings. I would love to have big close family and not sure why I haven't - perhaps I'm horrible.

mumofmadboys Mon 01-Aug-16 11:54:39

It often( ?invariably) falls to the women to do the keeping in touch, remembering birthdays, buying presents,inviting for meals or get together. I'm quite sure you are not horrible Teetime!

Christinefrance Mon 01-Aug-16 12:22:18

Yes why is it that the women seem to keep families in touch. Not sure the younger generation will do the same but suppose they have social media for that.

nanasam Mon 01-Aug-16 12:33:10

Could your DS be jealous of the attention DD and family get as they seldom visit you? Are they the centre of your attention on a day to day basis? My DS lives in Australia and we make a big fuss of him and DIL when they visit every couple of years, whereas DD lives locally and we are constantly in touch. However, DD is just as pleased to see them as we are, but it could be a cause for jealousy.

vickymeldrew Mon 01-Aug-16 15:43:03

Thank you for your thoughtful comments. DH and I meet DS's two children from school 3 days a week and enjoy looking after them, particularly as when they were small any contact was very minimal as they were always 'so busy'. DD is of a very calm, forgiving nature and has given her DB and SiL many chances to be kinder. Have to say yesterday when DD welcomed her DB and SiL (with new born in her arms) they ignored baby and went online to show us their (hoped for) new house. Oh and completed the Ocado order for next week . Now I've put that into words it looks pretty bad !!

Luckygirl Mon 01-Aug-16 16:28:55

That is very strange - completely ignoring a new baby niece/nephew is very odd. Do they ignore the new offspring of other people?

It does seem a shame that these children are growing up with this self-centred role model situation, and that they are not encouraged to take an interest in their cousins. Above all else this would seem to be very unhealthy for them.

As you see lots of their children, maybe when they are with you you could encourage them to write/draw cards/messages for their cousins; or to skype them. Anything that gets across the fact that they are not your only GC and that they could have a role in their cousins' lives.

The fact that they are encouraged to demonstrate their musical prowess, but not to engage with their cousins is a bit puke-worthy - you must be itching to say something! I do not envy you this situation.

mumofmadboys Mon 01-Aug-16 21:06:38

Could your DIL be trying for another baby and not getting pregnant and perhaps finds new babies difficult? Has your DD one of each sex and your DS two lads? Could DS and DIL really want a girl? Could DS and wife be at odds about whether to have a third child?? I'm just trying to find an explanation!! Hope things improve. Glad your DD is sweet natured and hope she doesn't feel too hurt.