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Son and daughter don't get on

(76 Posts)
crazyH Sun 28-Jul-19 00:07:48

I am a bit drunk. So if my post is jumbled, please excuse.
Just returned from my grandson's 4th bday party. It was lovely. The whole family were there but as usual, my older son and daughter, started arguing over nothing. Daughter and said son's wife have never got on ....this simmers constantly. Maybe because I've had one too many, I really can't tell you what it was about. But d.i.l. ended up in the lounge , crying. Son was torn between his wife and his sister. I was torn between them all. I am back home now....can't sleep. I am planning to take them all to London for my big bday next month, but I can't be bothered now. I will let them bang their heads together. Fed up

paddyann Sun 28-Jul-19 00:16:57

maybe they should all grow up and act like adults . Arguing at a childs birthday party isn't clever at any age and not really the kind of example we'd want for our GC ,is it? Your son shouldn't BE torn between his wife and sister ,his wife should come first .Maybe speak to them when they've all cooled down/sobered up and talk some sense into them .

crazyH Sun 28-Jul-19 00:22:38

Yes, I will Paddyann.

annep1 Sun 28-Jul-19 00:46:05

Their behaviour in front of the children is very irresponsible.

I can understand not wanting to take them all to London. There's not much point in them being together if they don't get on.

My daughter doesn't like her brother's wife so she doesn't keep in contact. I feel sorry for my son but it's nothing to do with me.

I certainly wouldn't plan anything for the whole family.

Lyndiloo Sun 28-Jul-19 01:13:46

Main question here: were you all drinking?

I've noticed when my family all get together, some nights are completely spoilt by too much booze! Somebody says something ... someone argues back ... old resentments come to the fore. And it's nothing you can stop - because they keep going on and on. One member of the family is particularly prone to this, and when she's had a drink or two, will (purposely?) goad anyone into an argument, and says such hurtful things. She never remembers doing it in the morning. But sober members of the family treat her with kid gloves when she's drinking.

Solution? Don't have drink around at family get-togethers. (But that ain't gonna happen!)

Secondary question: should you all be drinking at a child's birthday party?

stella1949 Sun 28-Jul-19 04:49:38

If you just got back from a 4th birthday party and you are drunk, maybe your problem stems from this sort of thing. Children's birthday parties are for the children, not for the adults to get drunk and have fights.

If this is the sort of party which is normal in your family, then I don't doubt that these fights will continue. I wouldn't be planning on inviting everyone for your "big birthday" - it'll end up the same .

BradfordLass72 Sun 28-Jul-19 07:23:18

When I was involved with parenting classes, I advised parents to sit quietly with their fighting children (2-10) always after the arguments were over and make it clear, 'this is not how we behave; we're a family and we should take care of one another.'
Enforce this repeatedly.
Any subsequent fights should be nipped in the bud.

However, the parent should then have separate, private talks to hear both sides of the question. Then, if appropriate, some mediation can begin.

Children need to be heard and their anger acknowledged and addressed.
If it is not, then we raise adults who cannot get on.

In my experience, there is no point in trying to mediate with both parties present and angry, whatever their age. It just leads to the 'tennis match' sort of rejoinders you want to avoid.

But fighting children grown up to be fighting adults if they are not taught a different way of resolving things.

Maybe there has been some attempt to get to the bottom of why there is such animosity between these two people who should support one another.

It may be that the situation can be saved even now but not simply by asking them to behave themselves on a special birthday but by finding out what each of them is prepared to do and say to make it permanently right.

Otherwise, celebrate separately so they don't meet, or you will be encouraging a repeat performance.

Some of the key elements can be:

.....all these have roots in the past and need to be talked out with someone who can help put them into perspective.

Life is an ephemeral thing, we are not guaranteed tomorrows. We should treasure those we love - and stay away from those we cannot.

Sara65 Sun 28-Jul-19 07:47:08

Oh poor you!

Like somebody said previously, your son shouldn’t have been torn, his priority is his wife, no wonder she was crying, also raised before, the alcohol issue, probably fine to have a couple of glasses of wine on a hot afternoon, but getting drunk at a children’s party seems a bit strange! What did the other parents think when they collected their children?

My children don’t row, but there are tensions between the oldest and youngest, there never would be a row because the younger one doesn’t do confrontation, she would just walk away, that doesn’t mean the atmosphere can’t be frosty!

I’ve learnt to keep out of it, I don’t become involved, they’re both grownups, although when all three are together they seem to revert to children.

Don’t worry, it’ll all seem different in the light of day

TwiceAsNice Sun 28-Jul-19 07:57:17

I’d be more worried that everyone was drunk. If any child was hurt or taken ill ar the party who can take responsibility to take them to hospital?

EllanVannin Sun 28-Jul-19 08:14:00

Nobody can solve anything when/while drunk as any argument/disagreement will only escalate. The best thing being would be to shut up and go home----least said soonest mended. Keep away from each other until someone sees sense !

If this is the result and effect that alcohol has, then lay off it as it appears to cause more trouble than what it's worth.
How many families have been torn apart by this behaviour ? I don't see the sense in it at all.

silverlining48 Sun 28-Jul-19 08:19:39

I have a friend whose adult son and daughter fell out over nothing much 20 years ago. They havnt seen each other since and family occasions are separate. Sad though that is, it’s worked for them.

annep1 Sun 28-Jul-19 08:43:38

I too had thought of alcohol being involved but thought the poster had come home and had a drink to calm herself down. But reading the post now the post it seems she had it at the party. I personally don't know why anyone has to have one too many. I like a glass or two but being drunk is a bad example to the children. Perhaps you could suggest non alcohol events crazyH .

annep1 Sun 28-Jul-19 08:45:21

Sorry for errors. I hope you can all interpret. (honestly I havent had one too many!)

Grammaretto Sun 28-Jul-19 08:48:33

Well said BradfordLass
I hope you can speak to the warring siblings when they're sober CrazyH
My eldest DS and Dil and DD don't have a good relationship either.
It saddens me. It's not to do with alcohol as they don't drink but old resentments.
They/we usually meet at a restaurant or at our house as they don't visit eachother.
I suppose you can't like everyone. They are always civil to eachother and don't fight but I hear the criticisms. The cousins all get along well.

M0nica Sun 28-Jul-19 08:56:55

I cannot think of one reason why there should be alcohol and drunken adults at a child's birthday party.

What kind of example are you setting for the children, who, presumably see parties, even a child's party, as an excuse to consume alcohol and get drunk. What lessons are they picking up for the future?

Perhaps the first thing this family needs to do is look at the family culture and its relationship with alcohol. Once that problem is solved, every thing else will fall in place and rows like this will not occur.

Luckygirl Sun 28-Jul-19 09:06:08

I am assuming that your alcohol consumption took place post-party as a means of drowning your sorrows. I cannot imagine any family having a boozy party for a 4 year old's birthday.

Lazigirl Sun 28-Jul-19 09:15:11

I am not saying it's a good thing but it is not uncommon for many younger parents to have a drink at their kids parties I have noticed, but not usually to excess.

I think when older siblings join in a family get together old issues from childhood rear up again, and they resort to their childhood persona. We all do this to some extent, and if resentments are there they often persist if have never been resolved.

Sometimes it's best to just avoid. There's no rule that says that families all have to get on and play happy families however ideal it may seem.

crazyH Sun 28-Jul-19 09:31:57

The alcohol was brought in after all kids and parents went home. Only the family stayed behind. We do have 3 toddlers, but they were asleep . I must add there was no shouting in high pitched voices. It was not the tone of the voices, but the content, as someone said, past resentments came to the fore. I guess it will all come out in the wash. Thanks for listening.x

fizzers Sun 28-Jul-19 09:34:21

I f I go to family get togethers, you can bet your last penny that there will be some sort of fall out - particularly when alcohol is involved,

I would still plan your big birthday bash, don't let this put you off, it is your big day, however I would try to limit the amount of alcohol - if alcohol seems to be the trigger for these arguments. There's still time to have a word with the guilty parties and tell them in no uncertain terms that you do not want your birthday spoiling with arguing

EllanVannin Sun 28-Jul-19 10:10:50

The ruling should be the same as for smokers------no drink where there are children whether they're in bed or not. Chances are they could wake up and then what ?

It really narks me as a smoker to see/read about drunkenness on flights, now cruise-ships, drunk in charge of children, fights caused through alcohol yet the " no-smoking " signs dominate everywhere. There aren't any such signs for drunks !!

annep1 Sun 28-Jul-19 10:17:52

Well its good that it was drunk after the children went home but still, it sounds like its part of the problem Bradfordlass gave some really good advice.

BradfordLass72 Sun 28-Jul-19 10:33:23

EllanVannin I never thought of that - good point.

Alcohol causes more actual trouble to both drinkers and those in proximity, than smoking, which mainly harms the smoker and is merely unpleasant for people nearby.
Yes, I know, passive smoking is harmful.

Smokers here sometimes refer to 'anti-smokers' laws' but actually, the law was to prevent non-smokers from dwelling in toxic environments, not to curb the rights of smokers to have a drag. Just to curb where they can do it.

As an ex smoker (80 a day) I absolutely loathe being in the way of fag smoke.

But I do not object to anyone smoking, it's a personal freedom.

As long as they don't smoke near me. smile

M0nica Sun 28-Jul-19 10:53:29

Our last family get together, no children present, alcohol was available, but few had more than one glass, we were much to busy talking and enjoying each other's company.

Lazigirl Sun 28-Jul-19 11:27:09

You either get on well with your family or not and all drink does is disinhibit you somewhat in holding back from expressing grievances you may hold. Some can make the effort to be pleasant to family in these situations and some can't or don't want to.

It's really great if you are a loving family and all get on but that's not the reality for everyone, and trying to make it so often ends in unhappiness.

morethan2 Sun 28-Jul-19 11:31:08

CrazyH I’ve got no advice just an acknowledgement of how upsetting it can be. I put every ounce of energy, love and commitment into raising a family and it’s hard to see the cracks. I don’t brood about it all the time, like you there are times when I clearly see the cracks and feel upset, for a variety of reasons. Perhaps I feel I failed somehow, or worry about there being no support for each other when I’m not here(hope that’s a long way off) mostly I just hate to see any of them upset or hurt. I know no there’s nothing we can do about it and mostly life chugs along smoothly but emotions sometimes get the better of us. Loving can be very hard. Hope you feel ok this morning.