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  1. #31
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    Do you always make sure you offer that "when DSS is here..."? My kids would not want to go somewhere where there were no other kids, they would worry they would be really bored. Sorry OP.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheeeeesecake View Post
    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 think you might have missed where I said we do try to initiate more time together as a family, & they will decline most invitations but will have us to their house for certain events such as a BBQ on Australia Day. So it's not for want of trying to establish that relationship with the whole family - since they had their son they are becoming more distant.

    I do understand & respect people's views about not having kids sleep over other people's houses - even family - due to the risks etc - which is very sad, but I understand. I guess one of the things that does bother me a little is that these parents are really happy to be in the other side of it - so will ring us & ask for DSS to sleep over, (we're not invited!) or will have other cousins come to stay, but at this stage it's not reciprocated at all.

    As I hope everyone who is posting understands - I was writing about what has been done in this family traditionally - as one who has a strong history of many cousins being babysat, having overnights or holidays with extended family.

    We adore having the kids stay with us, especially when we take them for a few days holiday, we get to know them on a whole different level from family events & it is such a wonderful thing that we all really enjoy. So I did have a hope that our other nephew would be able to join in the same way as he got older.

    However as PP have said, our family is a little more unusual in that way & my expectations were based on that - but by the sounds of it most people don't have the type of involvement with Aunties & Uncles that we've had with our other nieces & nephews. So yes, I'm sure we will do something like ask about a play date with us for a short time & then see how it goes. We always have respected the parents & let them direct the relationship, so we'll just keep doing that. Thanks everyone.

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  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedCreamingSoda View Post
    OP I can 100% see that you have good intentions but I really can't understand you point of view here. I can't see how having time with a child away from their parent needs to be part of developing a good and deep relationship. In fact I think it should definitely be the other way around. . X
    Just wanted to say that when I attended a parenting seminar one of the key factors leading to resilience in kids (other than parents leading by example) was for the kids to have a wide circle of friends and trusted adults that they can look up to.

    While I'm not necessarily supporting automatic sleepovers I think it's important for kids to have good relationships with other adults without their parents hovering around.

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  6. #34
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    I think it comes down to what you're used to as a family, because for us it is totally normal to have sleepovers with aunts and uncles and something we always looked forward to!

    My uncle used to take me camping with him and his wife (before they had kids), or to footy games etc and when my aunt lived in Melbourne me and my brothers used to alternate who went down for long weekends.

    I have my cousins sleep over at our house or just come for the day, quite regularly.

    I would assume they're just not into doing things without their son. Or maybe they have a no sleepover rule and don't want to offend by saying so as it might imply they don't trust you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by VicPark View Post
    Just wanted to say that when I attended a parenting seminar one of the key factors leading to resilience in kids (other than parents leading by example) was for the kids to have a wide circle of friends and trusted adults that they can look up to.

    While I'm not necessarily supporting automatic sleepovers I think it's important for kids to have good relationships with other adults without their parents hovering around.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you @VicPark - I think this is one of points that I was trying to get out & I couldn't find the right words!!

    Our extended family has always believed that & have seen the resilience & empowerment of kids that are comfortable with a wide circle of caring & loving family. We take our job as role models for these kids seriously & can offer different perspectives & ways of looking at life that adds to their experiences.

    Also, having other trusted adults in their lives gives them the opportunity to turn to someone other than mum & dad if things aren't great at home which I think is very valuable. A few years ago one of the siblings went through a divorce & neither parent was great for the kids at that time - so it was my nephews parents who actually picked up the slack at that time, & because they had such a good relationship already with my niece, she confided in them about how she was feeling & could get support & guidance through a rough time. I love the village though so I am biased

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    Maybe the child isn't keen? I know my daughter doesn't like to go with anyone except my bestie or one of our neighbours places. She is 4. My son is a bit older and pretty fussy on who he spends time with too.

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    @rainbow road that was what I was getting at too, it is totally normal for our family. Some of my best memories are those of staying with relatives & doing fun things together.
    @Spincycle that could be true as well, we don't have enough insight to know if that's the case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olive Oil View Post
    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
    Sadly,family and close friends are actually the most likely people to be the perpetrators of abuse.

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    We enjoyed sleepovers at family members and friends homes - but we were aged 8+ when we started. For me personally, 4 is too young. My kids just wouldnt enjoy it at that age - they still want their mummy to put them to bed. The exception for us is MIL, & even that is infrequent.

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    I haven't read all the posts but still wanted to reply.

    OP I think it's lovely you guys want to have a close relationship with your nephew! I wish some of my family members wanted to spend time with my kids. But, I'm also similar to your ILs and picky about where my kids go.... I don't let my kids have sleepovers anywhere but my parents house.

    We will stay with my brother or DHs sister as a family when we have gatherings but I don't like the kids staying without us. They're my trust issues and anxiety, but that's just the way it is. It's nothing personal against anyone and I don't think their bad people at all, but I'm just more comfortable having my kids at home or if we have to leave them, with my parents.

    But what I did want to add was, not having sleepovers or extended one on one time hasn't caused an issue with their bonding at all. My oldest especially is so incredibly close to my sister and that's just from them spending a lot of time together when we all hang out as a family, showing a keen interest in attending her sports/activities etc.

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