If my one of my siblings suggested having my children sleep over, the last thing I would think is that it's rude/presumptuous. I find that a really odd reaction. I'd assume it was coming from a genuine, fun place.
I have wonderful memories of sleepovers, we used to jump on the bed, stay up late playing, eat pancakes with extra syrup and really just loved every minute of it, I guess because we got away with behaviour that was strictly prohibited at home.
I agree that a play date at the park is a good start.
@Olive Oil the above 4 quotes sum it up for me. Also my brother suggested it when ds was about 1.5 so planning that far ahead seemed very odd to me at the time (bro was saying he couldn't wait until ds was 5 so he could sleep over). I found it rude because it felt like my choice/decision/responsibility as a parent was being taken away from me.
I have 3 nephews who I have never had overnight, and have only babysat on occassion, and I feel like I am very bonded to them. I see them at least once a week, usually more - but would never suggest to my sister that I see them without her there, we catch up regularly as a family & the kids are a part of that. I really dont think at all it's neccesary to have the kids without their parents around to 'bond' with them. TBH when family members have in the past suggested to me that they want to have my kids without me there, I used to find it a bit insulting - like why don't you want to spend time with me too? Am I just the boring family member that you are obliged to spend time with to get to the cute kids? I generally dont want my 4yo being shipped around to family members homes, too. When we need babysitting, MIL usually comes to our place to look after the kids.
Do you ever spend time with the family as a whole family? This is where you should start, IMO. Suggest a family dinner night once a week, or sunday afternoon catch up, or something like that. Invite the whole family to the park, not just the child. I think if you get to know the whole family better, you will get to know the child better.
I guess at the end of the day, your nephew's parents are well...his parents. They decide who babysits their child. Have you ever asked straight out if you could spend time with him? My brothers have no children and I never ask anyone to mind my kids unless they ask. And then I ask my kids. I wouldn't really be bothered if I wasn't asked to babysit.
Last edited by Marchbundle; 15-08-2016 at 23:04.
I think certain phrases that you wrote stuck out to me are important.
Your interaction with them currently is at theirs (is that your initiation?) AND they do not visit you. Plus they've dissed other family members in the past for whatever reason.
The bottom line is just because you're family doesn't mean you have to be friends. It sounds to me they're happy with low key interaction on all levels. As your nephew is 4, they've certainly had plenty of time to choose who to spend their family time with or whom they want, when they want.
I'm sorry if this sounds harsh but you may have to accept that the relationship you have now is not going to be what you're hoping it to be.
Oh and for what it's worth you sound lovely and I wish you were my in law!!!
I have a rule...my kids are not allowed sleep-overs with anyone other than my parents.
My sister was sexually-abused by our uncle when she was 11, during a series of sleep-overs with our cousin. When my Mum found out, she went through years of emotional agony and pain. She was a mess for many years.
Although there are many people I would trust, I don't want to offend people by "picking and choosing", and I don't want to confuse the kids. So a blanket rule of "we sleep in our own beds".
My kids are only 6 and 3, so it's not really been an issue yet. I'll guarantee it won't make me popular. But I can't face going through what Mum did.
So, just another perspective.
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It's not a risk we're willing to take, so have a blanket ban on sleep overs and don't allow them to be taken for one on one time. In a group, during daylight hours, or with either me or hubby, happens frequently. But not alone.
Oh how awful. I never thought about these risks. I have never viewed family suspiciously but I guess no one is immune.
Such a sad perspective
Different story now that I'm home full time, she goes to FOB's house and occasionally my mum's house overnight.
I wouldn't take it personally, some people just aren't inclined to need the time away.
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