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Would you listen to parenting advice from someone you hardly know?

My SIL (husband's sister) and I don't have a close relationship at all. We speak once a month maybe, and in the last five years we have spoken on the phone about 4 times. So we hardly know each other.
She is IMO neglectful and abusive to her children. Her kids all have major self-esteem issues and are constantly fighting with each other. A good example of how she treats them is: her 5 year old purposely tripped the 3 year old on the cement. 3 year old starts crying and his hands are bleeding. She goes over, yanks the 3 year old up by his arm, yells at him is it nothing and stop being a "sissy". Then slaps the 5 year old in the face and sends him to his room, and then she goes back to watching TV. This is just an everyday occurance in their home. Her 10 year old has told me she has never heard her mom tell her that she loves her. My mom says I need to tell her what she is doing is wrong and tell her how to raise her kids.

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 5:31 PM on May. 12, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (10)
  • When I was first married and all of this was new to me I did tell her she was not right much more often. I gave her parenting books, and told her my opinion of how kids should be raised. The only thing that did was cause her to hate me. She used to tell her kids mean stories about me so they wouldn't like me. She has NEVER allowed her kids to be at my home without my husband here too. She used to lecture me on how I was spoiling my newborn because I was holding him. She also told me that BFing was barbaric, sexual, and letting my son control me.

    We are on opposite ends of parenting style. I don't listen to a word she says and visa versa. My mom is always pushing me to be more blunt with her. I don't think it will do any good. She is going to raise her children how she has already been the last 12 years. She is not going to change her life because I don't agree with how she is living.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:31 PM on May. 12, 2009

  • Your mom is wrong... it's your husband who should be talking to his sister. But regardless of who talks to who - those kids need someone to intervene for them. You said yourself that you tried to talk to her - and she won't accept your words or your help - that probably hasn't changed. Sorry, there's nothing you can do - it's your husband who needs to step in and talk to her.
    PaceMyself

    Answer by PaceMyself at 5:34 PM on May. 12, 2009

  • someone need to say something to her. the only ones that are getting hurt here are the kids! gotta stop that!
    Amanda7891

    Answer by Amanda7891 at 5:35 PM on May. 12, 2009

  • You are wise to recognize that she won't change her parental style because you point to her what you see as her flaws and in the same token you won't treat your child the way she treats hers. However, there is something call CPS if you know that those children are somehow being abused or neglected, you have a moral obligation to report her, preferably anonymously.

    As far as your mom telling you how to interact with your SIL she (your mom) could trust that she raised a smart, nice lady (you) and that you will know how to interact ith other people like your SIL.

    Good luck and to answer your question, no I would never respect anybody's opinion who treats her children as your SIL treats hers and let alone allow her to tell me how to raise my child.
    bebita

    Answer by bebita at 5:37 PM on May. 12, 2009

  • In this case, I think you're better off to keep your distance. It doesn't sound like she is going to listen to you, and your relationship will get more strained if you mention it. Plus, the more you talk to her about it, the more she is going to rebel against your parenting style and try to justify hers.

    I know a mother a lot like this and I know it's hard to bite your tongue.
    Mom3Princess00

    Answer by Mom3Princess00 at 5:38 PM on May. 12, 2009

  • PaceMyself: my husband has been doing that LONG before I came along. It was actually alot worse back then bc she was still with their abusive, alcoholic dad. Many, many times my DH would take her kids and lock them in his room with him so she or their dad couldn't get to them. This all started when he was only 14 years old. He called the cops on their dad several times. He has been fighting this fight more than I have. She is not going to change and us lecturing her only causes her to push us away. If we are not there her kids will have no one to stand up for them.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:38 PM on May. 12, 2009

  • As you have said you are on opposite sides of the parenting spectrum. Neither iof you will ever change your viwes that far. Let it be. Tell your Mom you appreciate her counsel but to let it go. Don't talk to your Mom about this situation. I understand that you see what is going on and it frustrates you, find a place to vent other than Mom if she can't just listen. You certainly don't need to stir that hornets nest up. If you do, little will change except your husband and his sister will be even further at odds and likely drag family members in to take sides. Having said alllll that. If you suspect abuse, report it.
    GrnEyedGrandma

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 5:40 PM on May. 12, 2009

  • bebita: I called CPS long, long ago. They did nothing. They have actually "investigated" her about 4 times now. One of the kid's teachers called a while back and so did a neighbor. The only thing CPS told me is that the childrens' lives are not in danger and there are no drugs in the household. The CPS agent said they see millions of worse cases on a daily basis and this is not a top priority.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:41 PM on May. 12, 2009

  • I don't think anything you say would change her behavior. She just sounds lazy and annoyed that her children are even alive.

    Personally, I wouldn't give her advice, I would probably tell her that she is a misrable exuces for a human being and tell her taht her kids deserve better and then suggest that if she is too lazy to be a mom, then perhaps she should just let me take the kids off her hands.
    daughteroftruth

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 5:48 PM on May. 12, 2009

  • Lol what do you think cafemom is for? lol
    MammaBella

    Answer by MammaBella at 7:08 PM on May. 12, 2009

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