Clk - posted on 09/08/2016 ( 4 moms have responded )
Full disclose: I'm a dad--not a mom. But I thought I would post here to get some practical (that is, motherly) advice on this.
I have two very young daughters, but that's not what I'm posting about.
My wife and I have a "couple" friend that we've known for 7 years or so. They have a few kids, who are all amazing, funny, smart, and generally just a joy to be around. Especially before my kids were born, I've come to spend a lot of time with them and have assumed somewhat of an "uncle" role.
Our friends (their parents) don't really speak English that well, but I speak their language. Their kids are being raised bilingual, but they are much more fluent and expressive in English. As such, there are some disconnects between them and their parents that I've sometimes gotten involved in to help the relationship and communication.
Ever since I've known her, I've really taken after their oldest (now 11). I see a lot of me in her when I was her age and I've tried really hard to help her insecurities where I can and prove to her that there's nothing she should be afraid/insecure of. She's great--and incredibly smart.
However, she's really hit that age where she's simply treating most people terribly--including me. While she's very smart, she doesn't have a lot of "EQ" in being able to understand and interpret others' feelings and responses.
Despite how much I've given her and have done for her, she accepts it--but throws it back in my face in some way. I'm probably taking it a bit too personally, but it feels horrible.
We've had a couple times that I've tried to turn into teachable moments and not take anything personally. These usually appear to end up successful, but she inevitably breaks whatever she promised me--and sometimes flaunts it.
Recently, I've told her that I've pretty much had it. I'm not going to ignore her, but I'm certainly not going to make any further efforts for her. This is not to make her feel bad--but rather to protect myself. Because it is just so hurtful.
It's easier to do this practically since she's not my child and I don't spend every single day with her. But this is clearly distressing her in some way, and I don't know what to do.
My main question is: Do I try to brush everything off, man up, and continue to meet her considerably more than halfway considering her age, despite how many times she's just been terrible to me? I care about her deeply and I would hate to write her off during a sensitive period in her life, but it's just been too tiring to deal with.
Or is it appropriate that I'm distancing--and spending more time with her younger siblings--so she can realize the effects that it's had on me?
I didn't think this would affect me enough to post on the Internet about it, but it's been hard to not question myself.
Thanks for your help.