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Who was out of line? Honest opinions sought...
28 replies to this topic
Posted 04 August 2009 - 10:51 AM
I'd like your honest opinions here because this has completely thrown me for six! I've always got along particularly well with my SIL and never had any issues, yet our relationship was all but terminated this weekend...
I was looking after my nephew while my brother was out and SIL went shopping. He said to me "You're dog sh*t" and I told him off. I said "Can you say that at home" "No" "Well don't say it here then please". Then I just moved on and kept chatting.
He however went to sulk in DD's room and after a few minutes I sent DD in to tell him to come back and play. We'd been having a really fun time and both kids were completely over-stimulated and over-excited and that's where the swearing came from - not said maliciously just taking things too far IYKWIM?
He's not a swearer but he'd said the same thing to his dad that morning and he's also very prone to sulking.
He didn't come out so I went in and he said "I don't want you in here, get out" to which I replied "Well I don't want people swearing at me in my house but let's both get over it and go back and have fun". He refused.
His mum arrived then and I told her he'd sworn and what he said. She went in the room, spoke to him and then left in a complete huff.
I live far away from my family and they were all here for the weekend. She didn't ask me what had happened. Wouldn't answer my calls later on and refused to return.
I left it until Monday then phoned my brothewr to ask what had happened. They know I'm not a grouch and in fact look after kids so know how to handle them. my nephew was simply sulking because he'd been told off and I was waiting for him to settle down and come back and play.
Well! My SIL said that he was hysterical and hiding scared (NOT TRUE!!!) and that's why she left and took him.
He was being a 5 year old and sooking because he was embarassed about being told off for swearing - simple!
SIL has turned this into "the sweargate affair" and it is now at the point where my brother ( who comes to visit regularly) has said she may no longer come here!!!
Please give me your opinion because I'm at a compelte loss as to how this has come about...
Posted 04 August 2009 - 10:55 AM
I would just leave the whole situation alone for awhile so your SIL can think about it & put it into perspective. If you need to talk about it, ring your brother.
Posted 04 August 2009 - 11:01 AM
i would also leave it and let them all cool down.
You know you were in the right and that swearing is not acceptable in their house or yours.
i have a 5 yr old girl and she is starting to tell all kinds of tales, so they will soon realise what happened.
Have you talked to your brother about it or just your SIL?
Posted 04 August 2009 - 11:02 AM
Your were looking after your nephew - your house, your rules. Yes you were quite right to correct him.
Your SIL, on the other hand, sounds like one of those whose people who think that their children "never lie". Let it alone for a while.
Edited by anon60, 04 August 2009 - 11:03 AM.
Posted 04 August 2009 - 11:05 AM
I haven't spoken to SIL as she won't take my calls! I spoke to my brother yesterday because it was really important to me that he knew what really happened - he knows I love his son and love them coming to visit. I would NEVER do anything to upset him.
I sense I need to let it go...
Posted 04 August 2009 - 11:07 AM
What a complete load of bull from your SIL.
Perhaps she was having a bad day?
I would giver her some time to get it back into perspective and as for you try not to internalise the blame. You were doing the right thing and setting an example, it sounds like the kid is working out how to wrap his mum around his finger.
Posted 04 August 2009 - 11:09 AM
Don't forget also that you were doing your SIL a big favour by babysitting. She will come crawling back once she has gotten over herself....
Edited by duck*3, 04 August 2009 - 11:15 AM.
Posted 04 August 2009 - 11:12 AM
As hard as it is, I would act as if nothing untoward had happened. You have told your brother what went on, now leave it and talk to him as normal, and maybe just say things like "give sil my love" or "say hi to SIL", whatever you would normally do.
She is probably embarrassed now due to her over-reaction.
Posted 04 August 2009 - 11:23 AM
The cynic in me says SIL will be back when she needs a babysitter again ...
But the mother in me says that she was doing what we can no doubt all be guilty of at times, and having an episode of "my child would never do that in the first place, let alone then overreact in order to get me to feel sorry for them".
It may take time, but eventually most of us reach the point where we realise that our children do things that embarrass us, and that we never think they would, and that, when found out, they do all they can to divert our attention from the crime, and have us wrap them in our arms, because they are feeling bad ... either from guilt, or from having been reprimanded, or a combination of the two.
Hopefully a bit of time will have her resuming contact. I do not think that there is much more you can do - the more you try to explain to her and others, the more you risk looking like you are making excuses. Hold your head up if you know that you did no wrong, and give her time to process and learn that 5 yr olds are learning to be the masters of melodrama (in practice for being 7-8 yr olds).
Posted 04 August 2009 - 11:35 AM
I would ignore the SIL and get on with life. She has the problem. If she expects a sorry (my SIL did for similar things) I would simply say. What oh no appology I have so many things happening that I GOT OVER IT and moved on. What a face i got for that it was priceless.
Posted 04 August 2009 - 01:13 PM
Sometimes children bottle up many of their emotions until they see their major care giver. He may perhaps have been more upset than you realised and only showed this to his mother. Some children are very embarrassed at being told off .
My daughter often bottles up stuff during her day at school and the teachers look quite shocked if she greets me in tears and are quick to reassure me that "She hada great day. I have no idea what that is about". It is usually some small incident like losing her hat (now found) and obviously she was very brave about it until she sees me.
Your SIL is being a drama queen and and is in for some nasty shocks if she is going to react so extremely without a more balanced understanding.
Posted 04 August 2009 - 01:20 PM
I think your SIL is being a fruit loop. It sounds like she hasn't entertained the possibility that her precious offspring is telling porkie pies. It sounds like a situation where your nephew was in trouble (and rightly so), and mummy arrived just in time to rescue him, so for added sympathy he's turned on the hysterics, which your SIL has apparently decided to mimic with her 'I'm not talking to you' tactic. I'd ignore it until she develops some common sense and gets over herself. I think she will.
Posted 04 August 2009 - 01:20 PM
Hey Kim. I've missed you.
I totally agree with Jo.
He may perhaps have been more upset than you realised and only showed this to his mother.
...or perhaps he turned the tears on when his mother got there because he knew he'd get into trouble for swearing.
Posted 04 August 2009 - 01:22 PM
I would say maybe she is embarassed herself with how she handled it and maybe that's why she has not spoken to you about it.
What did your brother say? Just wondering if he also thinks its all something over nothing?!?!
Don't worry about it, as a PP said when she needs you for something she will come back.
Edited by *Hayley, 04 August 2009 - 01:24 PM.
Posted 04 August 2009 - 01:25 PM
Leave them to it. She might actually enjoy doing her shopping WITH her 5yo in future.
Posted 04 August 2009 - 01:48 PM
Whose 5yo DOESN'T have occassional tanties and go to their room to mope!? Mine certainly do, and I'm much more likely to believe an adult who I know well than my kids!!
Strange behaviour by your SIL, but I wonder whether its more to do with embarrassment than anger on her part. Firstly embarassed by her kid's swearing and then embarassed by her own actions.
As others have said, I'd just leave it alone for a while, and see what happens. Very few parents willingly give up a trusted babysitter...!
Posted 04 August 2009 - 02:11 PM
You didn't do anything wrong at all! I think you handled it right and SIL needs to grow up and back up the fact that the son did something wrong so he knows he cannot get away with it when he turns on the waterworks.
I would just leave the whole situation alone for awhile so your SIL can think about it & put it into perspective. If you need to talk about it, ring your brother.I agree with this and I also agree with the PP who said to now go about your conversations with them normally....don't play into the drama I think.
Posted 04 August 2009 - 02:40 PM
Thanks for the replies everyone I think you're all very wise and I'll just continue talking to my brother as if nothing had happened - I'd HATE to jeopardise our relationship over something so silly.
Posted 04 August 2009 - 04:08 PM
I'd be interested in hearing your SIL and nephews version of the situation as well.
Because while you are adamant
He was being a 5 year old and sooking because he was embarassed about being told off for swearingyou cannot be so sure of how your nephew was feeling.
TBH I'd be cranky about someone telling my child off (that part is fine!) and then insisting he get "over it" in their time and not in his own. Even if he was just embarrassed about it all, why insist he come out when he was not ready to? Why not leave him alone to manage his feelings and reaction and come out in his own time.
I guess I am suggesting your SIL's issue might not be with the way you handled the swearing, but with your insisting he come out of the room and play again when YOU were ready.
Posted 04 August 2009 - 08:17 PM
BBlessed, I did not read that she insisted he come out - he stayed in the room. I would see the "now come out and have fun" (or similar) as an "invitation" to move along after the incident, not an insistence to come out. If I never encouraged my son to come out, he would stay in his room and escalate things in his head for hours!
Posted 05 August 2009 - 12:34 AM
Wow what a surprise that a 5 year old who has been put in charge of his own destiny is becoming rude and unmanagable...not.
I took my 5yo SS to the playground near his kindy after home time today, and 2 other boys came with their carers. My GOD! I was apalled at the lack of care or consequence for really naughty behaviour including one of them pushing my 22 month old to the ground, and throwing sticks, and sand.
SS kicked one of them squarely in the shins after he'd had enough of being bullied and was given a firm reprimand and a time out by me. The other little sods chucked sticks and laughed at him while he sat silently for his 2 minutes, with not a word from their carers. I stepped in and gave my best 'don't mess with me' mummy voice reprimand and was met with shocked looks, especially when they actually did as they were told lol.
I think you did a fine job.
Posted 05 August 2009 - 08:03 AM
I think you acted entirely appropriately. I think the 5yo acted like a 5yo who knows he has done something wrong - embarrassed, ashamed of himself, worried he is going to be in trouble. Not surprising he burst into tears when he saw his mum (if that is what happened) - at that age they can have trouble handling emotions and often cry when they don't know how to handle a situation. I know my 5yo does!
I don't think your SIL handled it at all well, she completely overreacted and is probably feeling similar to her son - embarrassed at her behaviour and doesn't know how to correct it so she is digging herself in deeper by refusing to speak to you. She sounds so mature lol but I think just moving on and letting her cool down is the best action.
At the end of the day, a 5yo dropped a swear word, he isn't the first and won't be the last. A small incident that was blown out of proportion. OP I think you handled it well, just let it go and act normally and it should blow over
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