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What to do..

I have never got on with my older sister but I went to see her and her 14 year old daughter last week. When I went my sister was spending all her time talking to her friends on the phone and completely ignoring her child. Her 14 year old was sitting there looking really upset and when she yelled at her mom something along the lines of: "mom please get off the phone, please, i just need to talk to you" my sister actually swore at her. How should I deal with this, my sister will not listen to me, and she spends ltierally all her time on the phone and the 14 year old always has to make her own meals etc. :S. Do you think I'm overreacting or what?

Answer Question
 
Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 1:50 PM on Nov. 22, 2008 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (7)
  • You can bring it up to her and maybe talk to her child and see what other problems there might be. I was raised by a single mom and learned to cook and fend for myself at a young age. She had to work alot and no wasnt on the phone with her friends but still wasnt always there for me because she had to work. I dont feel at all neglected because of it. I think at 14 the child can feed themselves. Unless there is more going on like she is unfed, unbathed, doesnt have suitable clothing or has signs of abuse that its really up to your sister how she chooses to raise her child.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:03 PM on Nov. 22, 2008

  • I don't think that the you really have any say in the matter, especially since you and your sister and not on terms where she would take your parenting advice lightly.

    I would be concerned though,that the girl does not have a strong woman figure to look up to/come to with problems, and will likely start acting out soon if she has not already.
    I would suggest trying to spend more time with your niece. Take her to lunches, have her over to your house for dinner or the weekend, etc. Give her a woman that she can talk to.
    CarolynBarnett

    Answer by CarolynBarnett at 2:09 PM on Nov. 22, 2008

  • sounds like the mom is 14, she needs to grow up
    jbirchard

    Answer by jbirchard at 2:27 PM on Nov. 22, 2008

  • I agree with what Carolyn said. It is likely that your sister is not going to listen to anything you have to say regarding how she rasies her child. But, is it possible for you to become more involved in your niece's life? I'm not sure if you live near them or not but maybe even starting with simple emails? If she knew that despite your "rocky" relationship with her mom, that you love her and are there to talk to, that might open up a whole new world for her. Girls need companionship and people they can talk to, no matter what. If her mom can't offer it, maybe you can? You obviously care enough about her...
    Raegy

    Answer by Raegy at 4:34 PM on Nov. 22, 2008

  • My stepmother was that way with her kids, it was terrible to watch, but anytime someone said something she yelled at the kids for wanting HER time! Just selfishness, I don't know what to do just wanted to let you know you are not wrong, she is and you are not alone. Oh... how would she react if you told her you thought it was disrespecting her daughter and that respect works both ways, like she has to earn her dd's respect?
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:19 PM on Nov. 22, 2008

  • You know, I think sometimes parents think that when their kids get older and don't have as many supervised needs or wants, they think they're not needed any more so they just get in the habit of "detaching" and just don't realize that a 14yr old is still a child - as grown up as they act and look these days sometimes parents need to remember what it was like for them at that age. I see this sort of behavior more often in single mom situations - is your sister a single mom? Nothing against single moms, but part of it is a desire to catch up on the time the missed while they were married or in a relationship with the ex, meanwhile the kids get neglected while Mom tries to sew the wild oats she thinks she missed out on...
    I think you should try to be a good Aunt to your niece - I think you know talking to your sister about it will get nowhere but distance between you two and your niece and she probably needs you right now.
    texassahm

    Answer by texassahm at 8:58 PM on Nov. 22, 2008

  • I don't think you are overreacting. I think the mother has no idea what she is doing and how it is affecting her daughter. At 14 a child needs their mother. If she isn't getting the attention and love she needs there she will find it elsewhere. I don't think it is horrible that at 14 she fixes her own meal, but not if it is because she is being neglected. These are the cases where it would be nice to set up a video camera in the house like the do on dr. phil, so the mother can really see for herself what she is doing and how it looks to a 14 year old.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:26 AM on Nov. 23, 2008

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