September 25, 2011,
S.M. asks from Los Angeles, CA on September 24, 2011
Sleepover for Cousins
Hello- Got another issue with my husbands family and not sure how to intervene. But since my 8 year old is crying, I just can't sit back as her heart break. My sister in law daughter "K" turned 13 today. They are having a sleepover but have tried to keep it from my daughter. She knows and is heartbroken. Some background, K has been like a daughter to me, spends so many night her, as does her 7 yr old brother, yet my Sister in law never invites over my kids (only twice their whole lives), yet we live .9 miles away from them now. At the b day party today "k" even told my daughter not to sit by her, her friend was there, then my daughter gets sad so they let her. I know there is an age difference, but all summer K is always with my daughter and at the party her 4 friends were talking to my daughter. After the party at the arcade, we all didn't arrive back in town till 1130 so it's not a big all night party with activities. I know when my other niece from a different sister in law turns 5 and my daughter is 13 I would never make her cry. I guess so people are not sensitive and don't care. On my other posts I was upset about this siser in law cause she says that she wants to know my kids more, yet here we go again, she just alienates them. I know there is an age difference, but they have grown up together and do everything together. To me she could be there and my sil could just let her help out. Why hide it and break her heart. She may be 13 but never goes out with friends... I want to say something but since it's not "my"sister, what to do. I sure dont' feel like going over the top for them anymore.
So What Happened?™
Thanks for the support moms :)
R.J. answers from Seattle on September 24, 2011
My son's 9. One of his besties is 13, and one of his cousins is 13. He spends a lot of time with BOTH. He absolutely doesn't go to their sleepover parties with friends their own age. It's inappropriate. The age difference is HUGE. They would have to make the party all about my SON. The cognitive and emotional development is very very different. On an individual basis, fine. No problem. But send my son in with a group of teenagers? No matter how nice the teenagers it would NOT be fair to them OR my son.
It's absolutely no reflection on them or my son... it's just a reflection of age. They're young adults and my son is a child.
Was he sad when the split first happened? Of course. So I cheered him up and explained things to him. And he got it, pretty easily. And since then, he might be a little disappointed that he's not old enough, but then he's on to other things.
I certainly wasn't hurt or angry that his playmates were growing up. And quite frankly the sexual education that happens with whispers or crude jokes and stories once parents have gone to sleep wasn't really one I wanted my son having. Nor the movies they were allowed to watch. Nor the group 'angst'. Nor many of the other things that are the purview of teenagers. It's a bit of a problem in our lives, because my son is "gifted" he can talk programming or Count of Monte Cristo or other school matters with them... but he is NOT at the same maturity level they are. He's a child. They're not. It would either be forcing him to grow up too fast, or forcing them to be 'babyish' and resent him for it. No thank you.
As to your SIL not taking advantage of inviting your daughter to the party so SHE could spend time with her during her own child's birthday party... I think you're just upset about the other thing... or you'd know that's a bit silly. Whose focus is YOUR attention on at your child's bday? Right. It's their special day. Not a day you spend with someone else instead.
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L.M. answers from Dover on September 24, 2011
If the sleepover is for a 13yr old's birthday and her 13yr old friends then it is reasonable for your 8yr old not to participate.
As for your SIL not having your children over but claiming to want to get to know them better, that you should talk to her about.
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L.C. answers from Dover on September 24, 2011
I understand your little girls feelings are hurt, and I'm so sorry about that. Your sister-in-law issues are separate from this one. If you are working to have a relationship with her daughter, she should be working to have a relationship with yours. You are absolutely right about that.
However, your neice just turned 13 and the difference between 8 and 13 is HUGE. Thirteen year olds babysit 8 year olds. It would be embarassing for I think 95 % of 13 yr olds to have their 8 year old cousin at their slumber party. That doesn't mean she doesn't love your daughter. I am sure she does. But, even if they were sisters, about 13 is when you want your little sister to stop tagging along with you and your friends.
I think the fault was more your SIL's. Rather than have your daughter come to something where anyone with a lick of common sense would know she would end up feeling left out, she should have had a separate thing for family and invited your daughter to that, or planned something else.
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G.S. answers from New York on September 24, 2011
I have gotten to the point in life where I am just going to start doing back what is done to my children. It's not at all what was taught to me by mom, but being the nice one has gotten me nowhere in life. And yes, I'm a 42 year old brat!
My girls get stopped on & taken advantage of, just like their sappy mom so if I were you, I would just pull back a little on what you do for her and let her know if asked why she's not included. That's what I've done - the last time we had mentioned a movie we'd seen in front of my daughter's best friend(who we bring everywhere w/us but he never includes our daughter in anything he does) he copped an attitude about us not bringing him and I simply said something about how he brings her all the time too, huh. He caught my drift. It's not the way I like to be, but it's more or less the way I'm choosing to be. Best of luck to you.
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M.J. answers from Minneapolis on September 24, 2011
you would think family would treat family better, but they dont, infact in situations like these they tend to treat even worse. I have 3 - 13 year old nieces all from different siblings. They were all born in the same year only months apart. They grew up together, but they didnt go to school together as they all lived in different cities a few miles apart. So went well till they hit about 8 years old, then they started "liking" and dis-liking each other. now they are 13 and only 2 get along and those two, tease, and alienate the other. Its so bad that the mother of the alienated one (my sister) will not come to family functions that include my 2 sister in laws. IF my sister wants to deal or see my brothers, she comes but keeps her daughter at home. I have tried to come between and explain the situations to all, but its just not going to happen, they have too many differences and view points to there children's behavior. Its sad to see this digression. In the beginning it was easy to speak to each but none wanted to get together and speak about it. I gave up. Sometimes you just have to take the good with the bad. I was the Third of 5 and all my siblings had kids before me. I waited for a long time to start. When they started having kids i was always a part of there lives, babysitting, taking my nieces and nephews on outings, giving them lots of gifts, coming to dances and plays ect... when I had my first baby, the youngest nephew was 8 years old. I have no cousins my kids ages. NOT a single one of my siblings offered to babysit, they didnt come for visits regularly, and they only live 20 to 45 minutes away each. At the birth of my last child no one came to visit. Only one sister in law does any kind of care and has much interest in my kids. My oldest niece is a great babysitter and I trust her more than my sisters? isnt that weird? Families! got to love em right?
I strayed from the point again. I guess in this situation it was both your faults. For you not to see this was going to end badly before it started and your SIL for inviting her to a 13 year olds birthday that should have only been for friends. In my cases, I would had have a birthday for friends and one for family. Especially if cousins and such are not age appropriate. In my case I always have a "friends" and then later a "family" party... only if my family was same age and likes would i ever have invited family to a sleepover.
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A.D. answers from Minneapolis on September 24, 2011
I agree with the others that an 8 year old shouldn't participate in a sleepover for 13 year olds. That part of the celebration is just for your niece and friends her own age. Of course your DD will feel sad, but she needs to accept that sometimes cousins need and want to do things with only their own friends their own age. It doesn't mean she doesn't want to ever spend time or have fun with her. I think you should stop feeling slighted for your DD, it was not reasonable to expect she be included in this sleepover. She's going to pick up on your feelings and feel more sorry for herself. Why not just have her invite a friend her own age for a special sleepover?
T.A. answers from Los Angeles on September 25, 2011
In this case, I think it was right for them not to invite your 8-year-old to sleep over with a bunch of 13-year-olds.
If my daughter were 8 and was invited to sleep over with teenagers, I would not allow it. The age difference is just too great.
G.B. answers from Oklahoma City on September 25, 2011
As sad as it is kids grow up and apart. I have a bff and our girls are still close. They go to different schools and have different friends now but still want to spend lots of off time together. My friends older son has got to that stage where he is more interested in TV and playing the computer or phone that playing with my grandson. It is such an age gap now where it wasn't before.
My granddaughters bff wanted to have a birthday party a couple of years ago but just wanted to invite girls and only girls from her school. It devastated my granddaughter but I tried to explain that she had a life other than the times we were around her. It hurt for a long time but she finally understood.