My sister lives with us and maybe that is what causes these extra issues for us.
But it just seems like she wants to have all the rights we have as parents. Like she sees herself as more than just an aunt but almost like another parent to them.
How do we set those boundaries with her. To help her realize that WE are the parents and SHE is the Aunt.
I want her to have fun with them, I want her to be able to correct them if she sees they are doing wrong. But I also want her to know and teach our kids that MOM and DAD are ultimatley in charge and are the ones to give permission or to enforce punishments if they are really doing something wrong.
MIL is the worst! She often "trumps" our parenting choices by using the "grandma card". It gets old fast! She has done it to me for 8 YEARS with my step daughters...she always had the unspoken "you are not the REAL mom" attitude. Which is easy since their mother has custody of them. I have stood my ground pretty well with the boys though.
Funny you should post this now oldest step daughter is currently in her room "pouting" because I just snapped. It seems the girls will JUMP thru fire to "help" with the boys. For the most part I really do appreciate it and will tollerate it. But, they never seem to help with anything else. We wrapped up lunch, the kitchen was a disaster, dishes to be done, laundry folded...but as I am putting the boys down for a nap she jumps to do it herself. This after I had said "kiss them goodnight quickly please so I can get them down". I asked her what she was doing and she said "I am helping". I know I was out of line...but I said "If you want to help, how about the dishes? How about putting the food away? Why do you guys always have to be mini-mommy?"
Rest assured I will go and apologize after we have both had some time to cool off...but I sometimes feel like it is a competition. Maybe it is because the MIL attutude of my not REALLY being a "mother" to the girls. Since it is something that has played out in front of them. I just really have to stand my ground. I just hate that I have to get to a breaking point before people realize it. In the past I have just been blunt about it...I am the mom and YOU are the MIL/sister/aunt, whatever. I will make the decisions, or discipline, whatever. I think it is the only way people realize they are stepping on your toes.
I agree that it isn't right that "aunt" is over stepping her boundries, BUT she does live with you and needs to have the respect of the children. I woudl just sit down with EVERYONE and say what your rules are for the kids and say that these are what you expect to be followed in your absence no if's and's or but's and that they are not to be over ridden but that you the kids are to follow their aunts direction when you are gone. Does this make sence.... of course I grew up where my aunts, uncles and grandparents had just as much right to get onto me as my parents BUT they also new that my mom and dad were boss...
I have had this problem with several of my female friends. Especially in the beginning, in fact I limited contact after the first visit when I left in tears. I admit I might have been over sensitive then(my first placement, my first time being "Mom"). The behavior continued each visit , for the kids a visit to their house was like a Christmas free for all.
I feel like they think these darling kids are homeless and they have as much right to step in as the parent as I do - and that is just not true.
I spent a longtime talking to the one that was the worst and she just didnt' get it. It is very important that the kids attach to their primary caretaker I explained, could you just back off a little and give me some time? She informed me she could not change the way she was around kids, so the result was she didnt' get to be a part of their lives as much as we had hoped.
It was a tough decision to make and has affected our friendship to this day, but the bond I developed with the girls superceeded all of that and more.
My parents drive me insane- especially with my eldest ds (11yo). On the one hand, they think he walks on water and second-guess me every time I discipline him. On the other hand, if they hear about a certain behaviour that they don't like, they butt in and talk to him about it-even when I tell them that they are just grandparents and should not act like parents! Glad to hear I am not alone, cause it makes my blood BOIL!!
Sometimes my mom steps in and gives her advice. I do let them discipline to a degree because I believe consistancy is a key. Just the other night we were talking about how I can not get Kelcee of her bottles. She only drinks milk with them and used her cup for everything else. I wasn't really looking for her to help and she started talking and caught herself and said she's your child you will deal with it!!!
FIL has tried to discipline my girls in my presence (he's never allowed to be with them without one of us present - lots of reasons) and the last time it happened, I just stood up to him and said "C, we are the parents. It's our job to correct the girls, not yours." It hasn't happened since.
However, he does make the mistake of offering unsolicited advice about parenting issues, to which consistently respond "This is a parenting choice" and we don't let the conversation continue.
Sounds harsh, I know, but the only thing that works with him is complete bluntness. Would be a completely different story if he lived with us!
Well, we ended up having a long talk tonight with both of us crying. We got a lot covered, put everything out there on the table.
Yet one issue in particular she just didn't get, regardless of how I put it to her.
I asked if she would have still given my daughter (a certian thing...that was a hot topic today) even if I explicitly said i didn't want her to have it today and she said yes she would have given it to her anyways. I told her that, is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. It doesn't matter what the item was or how nice or good it was. If I said NO she should have respected my position as my childs mother and not given it to her. She argued back with....what about my right as her Aunt. If I buy her something I have a right to give it to her anytime I want. I shouldn't have to wait until you say I can ......UHG!!!!
I understand her reasons behind wanting to give it to her today. But it irritates me to no end. That she doesn't SEE....the point I'm trying to make. That OUR rights as parents come above any desire she has as her Aunt. AAARRRRRGGGG!!!!
We don't have any children yet and aren't even matched.
This doesn't keep my mother from doing a walkthrough of my house every time she comes over. I've already been told that I have too many candles, the dogs aren't to be allowed near the baby, where to put my cleaning supplies and how many electrical outlets need to be plugged. I've been told these things many, many times.
It's great Mom's excited, but geez. She's already driving me nuts and there's no baby yet. I wonder how bad she's going to be.
This doesn't keep my mother from doing a walkthrough of my house every time she comes over. I've already been told that I have too many candles, the dogs aren't to be allowed near the baby, where to put my cleaning supplies and how many electrical outlets need to be plugged.
This cracks me up because when we visit MIL she likes to comment on how our house often smells like our dogs...while she has her cigarette hanging out of her mouth!! Funny WE are the ones sho have to strip at the door after being at HER house for the evening!
Sometimes I feel like my DD is "community baby" -- my MIL watches her on Wednesdays and my mom on Fridays and my SIL the other three days. What's annoying is that when we are all together for a party, etc., they start "comparing notes" WITH EACH OTHER like each of them is her mom! It's quite, quite annoying. For a while, I thought it was because DD is adopted and so they didn't quite view her as "my" child. Now I realize that it's just a function of their roles in her life -- generally, I am really, really grateful for all that they do, but occasionally, yes they overstep their boundaries (esp. mom and mil!).