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Am I being too sensitive?


lulalu
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I think your question is impossible to answer.  I've known moms with The Problem Kid who never saw it and always had an excuse, but their kid was difficult enough that interactions were limited to small doses.  I've also known moms who scapegoat other kids because their kids lied and they believed them.  I've also known moms with calmer kids, and when they were around kids who had big, loud energy they were on alert for something to break whether or not it ever happened.  They couldn't relax around a kid who didn't seem to have an indoor setting.

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All of that would hurt my feelings, too. And it was rude of them not to invite your child to VBS (unless they had reason to believe you wouldn't want him to go).

You can't control other people, unfortunately. I would try to not let it bother me too much. Their loss! 

Huge image.png.5ea1cf3f6b82688b06029efb333c57b8.png to you.

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4 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

I think your question is impossible to answer.  I've known moms with The Problem Kid who never saw it and always had an excuse, but their kid was difficult enough that interactions were limited to small doses.  I've also known moms who scapegoat other kids because their kids lied and they believed them.  I've also known moms with calmer kids, and when they were around kids who had big, loud energy they were on alert for something to break whether or not it ever happened.  They couldn't relax around a kid who didn't seem to have an indoor setting.

This is the only family that my ds has problems with. I really am told by so many others that my ds is a joy to be around. 

Just had a Sunday school teacher last week tell me after church my ds is so great to have in class and she doesn't want us to leave in a few weeks. 

I know some moms can't see their children's errors, my ds has his areas. But he has never broken anything at their house. (Their own kids have broken two windows, and a wall). Her kids were not allowed at a mutual friend's house because they broke the screen on the screen door. 

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Honestly, I'd be tempted to return all this to whoever-it-is. "Your son told me my son had broken a ball, when my son was in the room with me. This sort of lying is really not age-typical, and bizarre. I'm letting you know so you can address it." "Your son told me that my son is naughty. I don't know why he would say that. Did anything happen? If anything happens, please let me know immediately so I can address it and make amends." "Your son said that my son is too destructive to have blocks. Where did he get that idea? Did you say so? If you have a problem with my son's behavior, please talk to me about it - not your kids. I don't think this sort of grown-up conversation is appropriate for cousins."

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6 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

Honestly, I'd be tempted to return all this to whoever-it-is. "Your son told me my son had broken a ball, when my son was in the room with me. This sort of lying is really not age-typical, and bizarre. I'm letting you know so you can address it." "Your son told me that my son is naughty. I don't know why he would say that. Did anything happen? If anything happens, please let me know immediately so I can address it and make amends." "Your son said that my son is too destructive to have blocks. Where did he get that idea? Did you say so? If you have a problem with my son's behavior, please talk to me about it - not your kids. I don't think this sort of grown-up conversation is appropriate for cousins."

That's good. Thanks. I am not very confrontational. But this is what I need to say I think.

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I understand how you feel.   I got the treatment from family members when my 2 dc were little, and mine never broke any of their stuff either!   And like you, I had been allowed to babysit their angel.  But the parents didn't want to return the favor when I had my kids.   Now I'm going to stop because this thread is supposed to be about you!!!

I like Tanaqui's advice.   I was going to suggest that when you leave you could say something like, "We're leaving now.  It's safe to bring the big blocks out of hiding."  But Tanaqui's approach is better.    

I'm so sorry the visit has left you feeling like more of an outsider.   Our families should be the people who care about us the most, but it doesn't always work out that way.   Maybe it's just as well that you don't live near them because I think you'd feel worse if you were local.  (Ask me how I know.)   

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Hugs.

Are these in-laws?

Is there a reason the mom & dad would think your ds would do these things / have a reputation (where are the stories coming from)?

I have a "problem child" that I think the world of, but I do know he can be annoying to others sometimes. It still hurts my heart when others exclude him or don't invite him to things. Adults tend to see his helpfulness, caring heart, and friendliness. Peers don't usually appreciate that my son's actions make them look lazier or less respectful. He doesn't feel the need to assimilate.

Anyway, all that to say that I wouldn't choose to visit these relatives again unless you decide to make it on your own terms -- making your own plans separate from them, cutting down on the time you spend with these people. Not cutting off the relationship, just not playing this cousin-blaming game.

That might mean you guys aren't close with these relatives, but if they act like this, are they really close anyway?

I wouldn't let any one scapegoat my kid. And I take a very dim view of relatives who criticize my kids.

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I'm sorry. I would find that painful. I hope the advice of others will prove helpful.

About the VBS -- I bet you can send your son for the remainder of the week. Our church's VBS would happily welcome a child who started partway through the week. You could ask your relatives to take him or just take him yourself.

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7 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

Hugs.

Are these in-laws?

Is there a reason the mom & dad would think your ds would do these things / have a reputation (where are the stories coming from)?

I have a "problem child" that I think the world of, but I do know he can be annoying to others sometimes. It still hurts my heart when others exclude him or don't invite him to things. Adults tend to see his helpfulness, caring heart, and friendliness. Peers don't usually appreciate that my son's actions make them look lazier or less respectful. He doesn't feel the need to assimilate.

Anyway, all that to say that I wouldn't choose to visit these relatives again unless you decide to make it on your own terms -- making your own plans separate from them, cutting down on the time you spend with these people. Not cutting off the relationship, just not playing this cousin-blaming game.

That might mean you guys aren't close with these relatives, but if they act like this, are they really close anyway?

I wouldn't let any one scapegoat my kid. And I take a very dim view of relatives who criticize my kids.

Yes in laws. I have felt for a while it is more insecurity with their own kids being taken out on my ds. 

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4 minutes ago, lulalu said:

Yes in laws. I have felt for a while it is more insecurity with their own kids being taken out on my ds. 

Would it be better to have DH approach this?  My own in-law issues were not improved by telling them to cut it out. 

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I like Tanaqui's suggestions.

Given that you know the relative kids in question are given to at least some lying and manipulation. I don't think I'd take what they're saying as the gospel truth. I don't think you said how old they are, but I've seen that kids who are used to lying about what happened or manipulating things to frame other kids also often like to test material for reactions from adults. 

That said, it sounds like this is a strained relationship and I'd be upset about that as well.

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Just wanted to say that there are some toys we put up when other kids are over bc its just easier.  It has nothing to do with any kid, more like the toy can cause problems when in groups.  Things I think of- remote control cars or electronics,  hard to pick up things like Legos,  anything I don't want broken, any newer toys a kid may not be ready to share yet.  Maybe the blocks are just something they don't want to deal with?

And I think its rude to not invite him to VBS.  

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Every time I go to write a specific reply, it's too identifying if you plan to delete, so I'll just say: nope, I don't think you're being too sensitive. And I would never again babysit for them for any length of time. And I would be sad for my child, and I would work hard to protect them on future visits. 

4 hours ago, MissLemon said:

Would it be better to have DH approach this?  My own in-law issues were not improved by telling them to cut it out. 

I think it would be better if her dh will actually do it, but if he won't, I would still be speaking my piece in defense of my kid. There's definitely plenty that I have let go, but when it's a pattern you have to speak up at least some of the time. 

OP, I have a hidden toys story myself, so I can identify with that particular annoyance, lol. We were on a beach vacation and, for some complicated reasons, sharing living quarters with relatives who had kids a couple of years older than mine, who was about 18 months. I thought it was strange that they seemed to have brought zero toys with them, but whatever, my kid was happy to share hers. They played with her toys every. single. day.  

The very last night, their mom brought out a tote bag full of toys that they had been hiding in their room, making some vague murmurings about having thought my child was too young to play with them, might break them, and so on. We had brought actual toys, they had brought dollar store crap, but the parents were clearly in great fear that my kid-who-behaves-way-better-than-yours would destroy their off-brand crayons and magic slate. I said that, if they were so concerned, we could certainly let them play at the table with their stuff, and we would just go in our bedroom with our own, non-crappy toys 😠. For the sake of the kids, I did let all of them play with all of the toys, but I was fuming. No one likes to see their kid excluded in any way, even if it's exclusion from inferior toys, lol. 

That toddler of mine is now graduated from college, and I will be telling this story till the day I die 😂

 

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I put toys away when some kids come over.  My kids also shut their bedroom doors and we just put out toys we want to share.  This may be because the kids are more destructive than average or because their bedrooms are embarrassingly messy or whatever.  I’m with Kungfu panda on this one - without knowing your kid in person it’s kind of hard to know which way it is.  It may be that your kid has damaged something at some point and got labelled as destructive or it may be that the other kids are lying.   I have seen both kind of situations.  If you are going to keep babysitting I guess you I’d keep an eagle eye on all the kids so you can call them out if there’s definite lying and replace anything your kid breaks.

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9 hours ago, Tanaqui said:

Honestly, I'd be tempted to return all this to whoever-it-is. "Your son told me my son had broken a ball, when my son was in the room with me. This sort of lying is really not age-typical, and bizarre. I'm letting you know so you can address it." "Your son told me that my son is naughty. I don't know why he would say that. Did anything happen? If anything happens, please let me know immediately so I can address it and make amends." "Your son said that my son is too destructive to have blocks. Where did he get that idea? Did you say so? If you have a problem with my son's behavior, please talk to me about it - not your kids. I don't think this sort of grown-up conversation is appropriate for cousins."

I like it too.  Remember to say it very kindly but firmly.  

9 hours ago, lulalu said:

That's good. Thanks. I am not very confrontational. But this is what I need to say I think.

 

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I don’t think you are being too sensitive. I also think people are weird about toys.

I would have texted her and said...where are those cool foam blocks? My kid wants to play with them. If something happens to them, I’ll replace them, just like I’d replace anything me or my family breaks. Oh, yeah, where did you buy that coffee maker?”

we knew this “unusual” family. Certain kids weren’t allowed to play with their sporting equipment bc the visiting kids were better athletes than their kids. Also, only certain girls were allowed to use the dress up makeup...bc some girls put dress up makeup on their daughter and made her look ugly.

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11 hours ago, lulalu said:

This is the only family that my ds has problems with. I really am told by so many others that my ds is a joy to be around. 

Just had a Sunday school teacher last week tell me after church my ds is so great to have in class and she doesn't want us to leave in a few weeks. 

I know some moms can't see their children's errors, my ds has his areas. But he has never broken anything at their house. (Their own kids have broken two windows, and a wall). Her kids were not allowed at a mutual friend's house because they broke the screen on the screen door. 

It seems like you're dealing with a mom in denial and her kids have learned to take advantage of it.  It doesn't sound like you are the problem.  I think extra rambunctious kids are so much easier to deal with than a parent with no capacity for objectivity. I don't think you can be too sensitive when someone is deliberately setting up your child.

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1 hour ago, pinball said:

If something happens to them, I’ll replace them, just like I’d replace anything me or my family breaks.

In this case, I wouldn't say this because of the other kids previous proven behavior. (See below)

1 minute ago, KungFuPanda said:

I don't think you can be too sensitive when someone is deliberately setting up your child.

This.

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8 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

In this case, I wouldn't say this because of the other kids previous proven behavior. (See below)

This.

See below? I’m not following what is below?

kung fu panda’s statement?

I still don’t get it. If my kid destroys something, I’ll replace it. 

 

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, pinball said:

See below? I’m not following what is below?

kung fu panda’s statement?

Yes. Without getting specific, other relative's kids have accused her child of breaking something in another room when her child was in the same room as her but not visible to accusing relative. In other words, they were setting her kid up.

So, if relative kids break something & blame it on her kid, I don't see why she should pay for the item. And relative's kids do have a history of breaking things.

Eta: and lying about her kid breaking things 

Edited by RootAnn
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1 minute ago, RootAnn said:

Yes. Without getting specific, other relative's kids have accused her child of breaking something in another room when her child was in the same room as her but not visible to accusing relative. In other words, they were setting her kid up.

So, if relative kids break something & blame it on her kid, I don't see why she should pay for the item. And relative's kids do have a history of breaking things.

Eta: and lying about her kid breaking things 

OK...but I said I’d pay for something someone in my family broke. I didn’t say I’d pay for something we were falsely accused of breaking.

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42 minutes ago, pinball said:

OK...but I said I’d pay for something someone in my family broke. I didn’t say I’d pay for something we were falsely accused of breaking.

Who's to say who broke it? If it is two (or more) against one? If the parents are already against her kid?

I wouldn't choose to hang out with these people unless it was on my terms because they are setting the kid up. I definitely wouldn't give anyone the excuse to blame something (like breaking new toys) on my kid. So, while I'd offer to pay for anything my kid broke, I wouldn't openly ask these people to play with hidden toys with the promise to buy new ones if my kid broke them. Too juicy a target for this bunch.

I'm an avoid-future-trouble but also avoid-future-trauma person when it comes to relatives. This situation sounds like it is already traumatizing mom and possibly also imprinting on son. No return trips like this ever again, IMO.

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3 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

Who's to say who broke it? If it is two (or more) against one? If the parents are already against her kid?

I wouldn't choose to hang out with these people unless it was on my terms because they are setting the kid up. I definitely wouldn't give anyone the excuse to blame something (like breaking new toys) on my kid. So, while I'd offer to pay for anything my kid broke, I wouldn't openly ask these people to play with hidden toys with the promise to buy new ones if my kid broke them. Too juicy a target for this bunch.

I'm an avoid-future-trouble but also avoid-future-trauma person when it comes to relatives. This situation sounds like it is already traumatizing mom and possibly also imprinting on son. No return trips like this ever again, IMO.

That’s too intensely Machiavellian for my blood over toys.

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I read this thread right before going to bed last night, but was too tired to reply coherently. I see you have deleted the original post, but I just wanted to add to the chorus that I don't think you are being too sensitive given the whole exclusionary dynamic and false accusations. I like Tanaqui's idea for confronting the other parents.

Separate from that, on the toy thing, my kids were allowed to have items that they did not have to share with other kids because they were special items to them or they were new and they weren't ready to share yet. It wasn't about what the other kids might do, but giving mine a sense of ownership and autonomy. I believe that not sharing everything all the time is acceptable.

I tried to put myself in my kids shoes. For example, if I had a brand new car and an older car and someone asked to borrow a vehicle, I'd be lending them my older car not the shiny new one. That older car was once new to me too, but I'm more willing to share once I've gotten my own value from it. If someone asked to borrow some jewelry for a dress up event, I'm pulling out the costume pieces, not handing over my engagement ring. Some things are mine and only mine for always and I don't have to share them ever, while other items are in the 'not sharing for now' category.

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I agree with a lot of the above (also read last night when too tired to reply), but I wanted to add that I would not be volunteering to babysit for this family again.  

I’m not clear on the situation, but it sounds like you are there for a long visit.  I would either find activities at home that preclude long visits in summer (oh, we love those 6 week visits, but this summer Johnny and Jane really want to do X activity with their homeschool group, or go to VBS at our church, or [insert whatever will be time consuming and leave you only a short time to travel]).  If your DH has to go, you and the kids will sadly only be able to join him for X amount of time.  If you stay with that family, I’d find another place to stay.  And then I would schedule, schedule, schedule our trip so that your kids have activities and things to do, and you don’t have time to babysit.  We used to schedule parks and rec camps at the ILs when visiting, so kids would have activities.  It took some work on my part months in advance of trips, to get people registered, but worth it. 

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