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Brother criticised my son

(64 Posts)
Florencerosie Sat 09-Jan-21 21:58:10

Hi Ladies

I’m feeling very offended and not at all happy with my brother. He rang and we had a chat - then when I said our son had been made redundant after being on furlough he started criticising him as though it was his fault. My son is very hard working and is very skilled in his field and is doing everything to get another job.
I really feel as though I want to take a step back from contact with my brother. My OH feels the same. I would never criticise my nephew in this way.
I don’t want to lose contact with my brother but feel I only want occasional phone chats now and not visit (not that we can anyway at the moment.)
Anyone else experienced similar situation?

SuzieHi Sat 09-Jan-21 22:33:20

Your brother wasn’t being kind to you by saying anything negative about your son. I wouldn’t phone him for a while. If he phones you don’t mention your son or engage in conversation about him.
If he persists say you don’t wish to discuss your sons business at present as things are difficult.
At least there’s no visiting allowed at the moment so you won’t have to get together.
Hope your son finds a job quickly and his uncle backs off.

lemsip Sat 09-Jan-21 23:03:39

That's mean of your brother! I often speak to my brother on the phone but would never discuss my two sons and there familys with him!.... If you phone him again keep the subject light and don't talk about your sons business!

Smileless2012 Sat 09-Jan-21 23:09:54

Yes, many years ago with my mum. I don't know if you 'put your brother right'; I hope so.

I agree with Suzie and wouldn't talk about your son to him for the time being at least.

I too hope your son finds work soon. There are sadly a lot of people who having been furloughed end up being made redundant and it's a pity in the current climate that your brother wasn't more sympathetic.

I'm not excusing him but wonder if he has his own worries work wise or financially because of the pandemic.

paddyanne Sun 10-Jan-21 00:28:27

I thought we all learned not to ever criticise any one elses children by the time we were 20.Most mums are like tigers when it comes to their offspring,maybe just tell him when his children are perfect in all ways he can criticise yours..but not for something he has no control over like losing his job during a pandemic!

janeainsworth Sun 10-Jan-21 08:41:48

Without knowing what your brother actually said about your son, it’s rather hard to comment OP.
While you perceived it as hurtful, that may not have been his intention at all.
What we do know is how you feel.

So tell your brother how he made you feel, and give him a chance to apologise.

Otherwise you risk a permanent rift in your relationship.

sodapop Sun 10-Jan-21 09:08:40

I agree Janeainsworth
I hope your son finds work soon Florencerosie

David0205 Sun 10-Jan-21 09:09:59

I would suggest you just ignore the comment, in the current situation everyone is under stress and say things they should not

Missingmoominmama Sun 10-Jan-21 09:58:15

It was an ill thought out comment. A lot of good people have been let go after furlough because businesses are suffering and can’t afford the staff. I’m not surprised you were offended; you’ll also be worrying about your son.

I really feel that, at the moment, people should stop judging others- these are strange times!

Juicylucy Sun 10-Jan-21 09:58:57

I agree with janeainsworth I feel in times like this with all that’s going on the last thing you need is a rift in the family. I wouldn’t take a step back but next time let him know how he made you feel and leave it at that, it maybe wasn’t meant as it came across. Don’t cause a rift over a comment. Unless of course there’s more to this story we don’t know about.

NannyDaft Sun 10-Jan-21 10:03:19

I can understand how you feel and I would let your Brother contact you and when he does do not mention your son or his situation. This comment was cruel and unnecessary and hopefully he realises what he said was wrong! This is a very strange time for us all but you don’t need this awful virus to end your relationship !

Florida12 Sun 10-Jan-21 10:08:43

Sleep on it for a week or two, see if he contacts you. I have to agree that we are all feeling a bit edgy lately. As you have witnessed first hand, words cannot be taken back once spoken. Please do not think I am taking sides here but once the emotion of hurt has been taken out of the situation, you will be best placed to address the matter, and tell him how he made you feel.
I have sent many a text, and wish I hadn’t. Now more than ever we need our families, even if it’s just FaceTime or phone calls. I do hope that your son can find work very soon.

Dee1012 Sun 10-Jan-21 10:21:34

I'm often amazed that so many people seem to believe that having a family relationship means that they can make comment's about other's!
Especially when they are statements they wouldn't make to colleagues/friends.
We are in unprecedented times and many people are struggling in some way, feeling frustrated but is that any reason to be unkind?
Is this out of character for your brother? If not perhaps it's possible to suggest that going forward, you'd rather not talk about certain things/people.

PollyDolly Sun 10-Jan-21 10:25:47

Don't be offended! We can't all actually like our relatives and whilst you might think your nephew is ok, your brother might have a different opinion of your son. Let it go, there's worse things in life!
Perhaps your brother did speak out of turn but don't dwell on it or even share your sons business with your brother, which you didn't ought to be doing anyway.

Missfoodlove Sun 10-Jan-21 10:30:11

I wouldn’t ignore it.
I would call my brother, defend my son and explain how you feel.

Saggi Sun 10-Jan-21 10:37:56

My brother criticised my 3 year old son all those years ago....I thought it was crass , as he didn’t, and hasn’t got any children. Our relationship cooled markedly for many years! We’re ok now but it still rankles when I think of it. But I still don’t talk of my son to him unless he specifically asks.

BusterTank Sun 10-Jan-21 10:43:58

I would caring on as normal and he says anything else you can put him straight . You should said something at the time . Rather than stewed on it .

NanaandGrampy Sun 10-Jan-21 10:50:42

I agree with Bustertank.

Did you shut him down when he started criticising your son? Sometimes we let people carry on doing or saying something we don't like when we should have stopped them in their tracks.

Kim19 Sun 10-Jan-21 10:57:17

It's manifesting itself time and time again that many of us are under an unrecognised stress and are often to be found with a short fuse over matters which would normally not have bothered us one whit. If you generally have a good relationship with your brother, I would ask you to consider giving him the benefit of the doubt. We are all privately fiercely defendant of our children even if they have done something questionable. It's human nature. I wouldn't have liked it either but I would try not to nurture the wrath. Too much other awfulness going on right now. Try not to dwell on it. Good luck.

Newatthis Sun 10-Jan-21 11:03:13

About 5 years ago, while visiting my sister (also my best friend throughout our lives), she went went into a tirade of criticism against my AC, all of which was untrue. ( she doesn’t have children out of choice and had become increasingly jealous of us all (family) enjoying what our children bring). I asked why she was saying all these negative things and said that if she said anything else I would leave, which she did and therefore I left. As I was leaving she went into a screaming match with and said some extremely nasty and hurtful things against me, my husband (he was there) and my children. If that wasn’t enough she badmouthed me to all my family members blaming me for this very nasty incident and turning them against me. Needless to say we didn’t speak or see each other for more than 2 years with only a family party bringing us together, and our friendship is no longer and I haven’t seen her for 3 years. It is very hurtful when someone criticises your children, especially when there is no cause.

Toadinthehole Sun 10-Jan-21 11:11:05

Was this out of character for your brother? Or does he have a tendency to interfere? I think people are just frightened at the moment. He could be feeling very low, and trying to boost his own self esteem by bringing your son down. If you don’t think it’s any of this, just tell him to mind his own business, you’re not answerable to him.😡

timetogo2016 Sun 10-Jan-21 11:15:06

SuzieHI is spot on,great advice.

JaneRn Sun 10-Jan-21 11:26:13

Once again, without hearing both sides of the story, it is difficult to judge. Does your brother have some reason for criticising your son? Have there been problems in their relationship which until now have been suppressed?

Whatever the reason, it is understandable that you should feel upset. I think we are feeling more stressed by Covid19 so are perhaps reacting more strongly than we would have done if times were different. One thing that has not changed is our inbuilt commitment to our children. My advice for what it is worth is not to make a big thing of it but to wait until your brother phones again and then tell him how unfair you thought his comments were and how much they had hurt you and leave it at that. Since you have up to now had a good relationship with your brother it would be a shame to spoil it now after what could be just an ill-judged comment.

polnan Sun 10-Jan-21 11:31:22

I agree with lots said here.
we don`t know what your brother said.. was he criticising? or?

and I am finding that so many people, can I say, are extra touchy? well I know I am,, I know I am irritated by my very best of friends, been a good friend to me over the years, but.....
so I think we are in very strange circumstances now... and this is affecting.. I would suggest ALL of us, but we can`t always recognise it in ourselves... I nearly fell out! with my friend,, stopped, thought, and realised it was me being over sensitive... and of course, not face to face conversations now.. makes it far more difficult to have proper conversations..

so.. for me to think further on this.. what exactly did your brother say, that you construed as criticism?

then, well I try to stop and examine myself and see if I am , taking something, the wrong way! or ..

as I said, I really think the strange lives we are ALL having to live now is affecting us.... we have to be kind... kinder and kinder,,, and ... o.k.?

Moggycuddler Sun 10-Jan-21 11:31:44

Depends on what exactly he said really, I suppose. As others have said, I think we can all be a bit stressed and touchy at the moment. Could it have just been a momentary bad mood on your brother's part and he said something that sounded different from what he intended? Or could you have overreacted a bit, or taken it the wrong way? Depends on your usual relationship, and how he normally is about your son. But obviously if what he said was very specific and unmistakable (i.e. he called your son a "lazy sponger" or some such awful stupid comment) then I don't blame you at all for being upset and angry, and I would let your brother know how you feel!