My sis­ter and hus­band think we’re bad par­ents

Daily Mirror - - DEARCOLEEN -

Dear Coleen

I’ve al­ways been close to my older sis­ter but we’ve fallen out over how we bring up our chil­dren.

I’m 31 and she’s 33 and a few years ago we both got preg­nant with lit­tle girls who are now four.

I then had an­other girl two years ago, and my sis­ter had a boy.

The four cousins play to­gether a lot, but we have dif­fer­ent par­ent­ing styles. My hus­band and I are very laid-back and our house is al­ways messy, noisy and full of peo­ple.

My sis­ter’s house on the other hand is im­mac­u­late, and she’s all about keep­ing the kids to a rou­tine and mak­ing sure they only eat healthy foods.

I’ve al­ways felt that my sis­ter and her hus­band judge our par­ent­ing a lit­tle bit, and things came to a head on a re­cent fam­ily hol­i­day.

At din­ner­time, we’d or­der our kids things like pizza and chips and if they left half of it and wanted to go and play we’d let them. We don’t mind that sort of thing, es­pe­cially as they’re so lit­tle and we’re on hol­i­day.

But my sis­ter and her hus­band would in­sist their kids ate all their food and then give each other a look when we let our kids get down from the ta­ble. There were other things too and even­tu­ally I asked my brother-in-law if he had a prob­lem. He said we let our kids get away with too much which is why they’re so naughty. My hus­band went mad and things were said, and now I’m not speak­ing to my sis­ter.

It’s been three weeks now and I’m dev­as­tated, as are my par­ents who are des­per­ate for us to make up. But I can’t for­give the things her hus­band said about my kids.

Coleen says

It’s very dif­fi­cult. When you be­come a mum, no­body can say any­thing neg­a­tive about your kids with­out the li­on­ess in you com­ing out.

Maybe what you need to do is sug­gest meet­ing up with your sis­ter, just the two of you. Tell her that you miss her and want to get back on track. How­ever, you should also say that while you’re never go­ing to agree on how you bring your kids up, you ac­cept the way she’s bring­ing hers up and she must do the same for you.

Her hus­band wasn’t right to say those things and I’m sure – deep down – she knows that. They’re your kids and only you get to de­cide how to raise them.

And in fu­ture, don’t go on hol­i­day to­gether as it can bring out the worst in peo­ple and re­ally high­light any dif­fer­ences.

If it makes you feel any bet­ter, I used to give the kids pizza and chips and then off they’d go to have fun. So don’t let her make you feel in­ad­e­quate.

They said we let the kids get away with too much

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