Competitive Sister-in-law

Carthelle - posted on 04/04/2010 ( 28 moms have responded )

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My Sister-in-Law's daughter was born just 2 months after my daughter and she competes in everything! I am the kind of mom who will never lie about what my daughter is doing and just go with the flow...but eveytime my daughter does somethingand I tell her and she says "O my daughter was doing that 2 months ago!" Come on now...yes her daughter walked before mine but being that her daughter seems to do everything before mine by at least 2 months it bothers me because we know it is not true, it wouldn't bother me at all if her daughter was more advanced than mine but I know that she lies constantly because I have caught her in these lies a few times. She also tried to push her daughter to do things way ahead of what most people consider "normal". I am about to explode and if this was my sister I would have told her a LONG time ago to knock it off and it is not a competition. Do I keep my mouth closed? I just want to say to her, I know you have a niece that is 2 months older than your daughter and one that is 5 months older than your daughter and you feel that she will never have a "first" but just enjoy it and let her be a baby. We will all be just as excited even if our babies have already done this.... I need help!

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Tanya - posted on 04/05/2010

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I think that your sister-in-law is a bit competitive herself and tries to use her daughter to gain points for herself, do let that bother you because this means that she will lose in the long-run. Children are there to gain their own achievements and we as parents are there to observe and lead them in the right direction and appreciate the fact that we have something precious. I think you should not take this to heart and let it be because as individuals we can only do things to our own ability.

Carrie - posted on 04/06/2010

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I have a competitive sister in law too, my son is 6 months older than her daughter and she competes,compares everything I hate it and she hurried up and got pregnant again because she knows I want another baby she is now pregnant with her 4th I only have 1 she said she was done after 2 till I got pregnant. the 2 oldest r 10 and 9 then she has the 1 yr old and is due later this month. ugh!

Tammy - posted on 04/06/2010

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My sister is like that, though indirectly, cause we don't talk (our Mom is the go-between)!
Her son was born 4 months after my daughter and each time daughter does something she brags that her son is already doing it, like he's super-boy or something, since he's younger.
I just ignore it. Period! I just say, "okay fine, good for him" to my Mom and switch to a different topic.

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Christine - posted on 09/22/2011

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I can imagine how you feel. I have a SIL just like her or maybe even worse. She competes across the board and not in the child area. She will never allow anyone to talk without her taking over because she is the guru in every area...after a couple of years of dealing with it, I have learned that she is very insecure and I feel sad for her. So take pity when she brags or degrades because that is truly an insecure person.

Angie - posted on 04/14/2010

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Ignore your competitive sister in law. If you take part in her competitive nature, you're daughter will sense it when she gets older. My sister is the same way. She was unable to get pregnant so every time I got pregnant she started the paperwork to adopt a child. She adopted 2 of her children within 5 weeks of mine being born. She couldn't get one after my 1st child was born so she had a hysterectomy instead. When my brother had cancer surgery, she scheduled knee surgery a few days before. Some people are just like that and it's best just to laugh at their bizarre behaviors and move on.

Sarah - posted on 04/11/2010

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you know i think its best to not give her the attention she is so badly craving, although its hard to not let it get to you. and really sad the fact she is wishing her childs life away rather than living in the moment and enjoying it like you are. i think next time she says my child was doing blah blah blah to months ago be happy for her or just give her as little response as you can. the hard part is tho her child may accually be doing what she says she does, not all the time but perhaps some of the time. basicly dont let it get to you in fact feel sorry for her that she isnt truely embracing her childs development

Petra - posted on 04/09/2010

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yes it would be better if you tell her instead of letting her do her bidding, it's not her that's gonna be unhappy, it's her daughter. and she's only a baby, why would your sister-in-law deprive her of her happiness to enjoy what a baby do. maybe she thinks that the attention of the family was not on her anymore that's why she's making up lies so as to get the attention. it really would be best of you confront her, just talk about it. the baby might be affected by what she's doing and might feel unloved, in later years she might rebel because she can not do what she wants to do and love to do.

Dorene - posted on 04/08/2010

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You don't need help on this...just tell her what it is and maybe she will get the point...and just don't tell her anything else about how your child is developing...as you know...she wants her child to be first at everything...

Hillary - posted on 04/07/2010

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Oh my gosh, I feel sorry for her daughter. First of all motor/cognitive development varies so widely from child to child and doesn't indicate higher intelligence or health or any of that. It also isn't something we can change by what we do with our kids. You can "train" your kid to walk when they are 9 months old but if they are not ready until 18mo, there is nothing you can do.
I honestly just feel bad because it sounds like this mother is very insecure and is going to be pushing her daughter for her entire life. Which actually can be counterproductive, if anything. I wouldn't say anything. I would just try to be as gracious and happy for her as possible because she obviously has some issues, and needs love and support, as tongue and cheek as it might have to be. Good luck!

Charlotte - posted on 04/07/2010

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I wouldn't say anything as it will just cause more problems in the long run.She sounds like she has unresolved issues so feels the need for her child to do better. Just enjoy your own childs advancements and share them with other like mothers.

Courtney - posted on 04/06/2010

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I know how u feel. My lil sister does the same thing and it makes no sense at all to lie about ur baby's growth because it only makes it seem as if your disappointed in ur own baby. Just let the baby nobody is the same as a matter of fact some kids go though certain stages at different times.

Tammie - posted on 04/05/2010

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I would tell her exactly that. I believe that kids will do what they are ready for when they are ready. Try to be tactful and realize that she probably feels left out and that her daughter is behind everyone else but let he know that kids develop at their own pace. Enjoy every day because soon they will be grown up faster than you could possibly imagine. And let her know that when her daughter does her firsts, you will be excited for her no matter what. Make her feel cherished and validated.

Samantha - posted on 04/05/2010

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My sister in law made a very good comment to me about this a while ago. She was always worried about her little boy when he was a baby and at what age he should and shouldn't be able to do things. On his first day of school however, she was looking at him standing in line with all his other classmates and the thought crossed her mind, 'Now who knows, or cares who did what when??'
Now with her 2nd, she knows that none of this matters as long as they eventually do it, in their own time.
How true (I felt) it is that once they're older, what does it matter when they did what and who did it first or last?? My daughter is exactly 2 months younger than my sister-in-laws bub, and both of us couldn't be happier for each other when one of them does something for the first time, regardless of who did it first!
People like your sis-in-law are hard to deal with. The saddest thing about the whole situation, is that her poor daughter will most likely grow up with her mother acting this way her whole life. She will have so many issues and only one person to thank for them! If I were you, I would be watching it in years to come, and if she EVER compares the girls in front of each other, then I would be saying something to her. And it wouldn't be nice. The last thing you want is the girls to grow up resenting each other because of stupid ideas and expectations put into their heads by that silly cow!!!

Betty - posted on 04/05/2010

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She is just SCREAMING for Attention, Not necessarily for the baby, but, for herself. I would ignore her and just enjoy your baby, and let it happen naturally. Every Child is different. Don't give in to her, that's what she wants. Be strong, :)

Karlene - posted on 04/05/2010

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You know what I have friends that do the same thing. I just started the conversation with your child has already done this but my child did whatever. This stopped them from doing that it took the thunder out of that petty stuff. If it did not work I asked them when did they do things as a child to settle them down and see that whatever or whomever's first at something does not matter.

Cynthia - posted on 04/05/2010

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Pull her aside and tell her how you feel and tell her she's making you uncomfortable trying to make your child look less than hers. Show her your feelings are hurt but don't show her your anger. It might bring you both closer.

Joyce - posted on 04/05/2010

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So be firm but loving. I like your thought. Go with it. It may not do any good but you may just feel better. I think we all have someone like that in our family somewhere and we each have asked that very same question. I personally just roll my eyes (inwardly) and dont believe anything [she] says. My family member is all about doctors and they things they "tell" her is okay to do with her children. I still love her but dont really believe anything she says. And no I havent called her on any of it because it would do no good.

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PS. Even my mom has told me to just keep off certain topics with sis and even told me to stop talking to one of sis's kids because the kid was VERY disrespectful. "Don't waste your time." -- my mom the kid's loving grandma!

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My sister is competitive about our kids. I no longer talk to her about certain topics.
That solves a lot of problems before they even get started.
I will listen if she brings them up, then instead of talking about my kids I will ask question about another topic or I'll ask for more information on what she was saying about her kids.

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Ah... the fun of family drama... remember, that you, hubby and kid(s) are number one. Take the drama, jealousy, comments, etc from your sister-in-law with a grain of salt. I have been married for over 11 years, have 5 sister-in-laws, 4 children and 18 nieces/nephews on my hubby's side of the family. Listen to and support them when they want to brag and talk and try not to let them make it a contest. If you can deflect and let them talk and brag about themselves, kids, etc, without engaging them with comparisons between children, they will eventually get over whatever insecurities, competitiveness, etc they have with you and you can get where you, your hubby, his siblings and all the kids can all enjoy each others company without feeling like you are competing. :)

Carthelle - posted on 04/04/2010

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Thanks ladies! Easter went well her hubby balances out the overexaggeration! I am learning to let it go and I really appreciate the feed back! I guess another problem we have that my honey asked is what should he do? Because of his sister's lies she does not let us see her daughter as much b/c we feel that she does not want us to see the lies, we only see her on holidays and it really bothers us both... *sigh* maybe we need a counselor lol

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I think the next time she makes a comment about her child you just have to say "is'nt it great that she can do that there is so many children in the world who cant and we should count ourselves so lucky to have such beautiful, healthy, children. And please God they will have no worries ahead of them" If she makes any other comment after that she really has some kind of problem and it would be best to ignore her and for you to be the better person and let it go.

Moefeeda - posted on 04/04/2010

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Hi Carthelle, being distracted by your silly sister inlaw detracts from enjoying your daughter as well as your niece, on a scale of 1-10 how important is your sisters comments? I agree that ignoring her is probably very dificult and her behaviour is more irritating than worthwhile! don't give her comments any attention, be assertive if you feel she is putting your child down very clearly and deal with her comment rather than attack her. My sense is she is very insecure. Sometimes we all need a reminder that whatever we are...we enough! All the best

Phyllis - posted on 04/04/2010

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Maybe next time your SIL trips or drops something you should tell her she so clumsy... then if she gets upset, tell he to imagine how much more unkind it is to say things like that to a child. It depends also..is this your brothers wife or your husbands sister? The family dynamic is different for each situation. I would tell off my brothers wife before I tell off my husbands sister. If it is getting really hard to bear, then I would cut back how much time I spend with her. A lot. Obviously family functions are unavoidable, but casual playdates can be eliminated.

Carthelle - posted on 04/04/2010

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See in a way she has put my daughter down...like her daughter was "walking" or so she said but when she brought her to our house her daughter kept falling and my SIL said "well she is not used to carpet,she is only used to tile" and then my daughter kept falling and she goes" Geeze Alana u r so clumsy" she makes comments like this all the time and I am about to yell "KNOCK IT OFF!!" I try so hard to ignore it though... I know it is a small comment but it is constant

Phyllis - posted on 04/04/2010

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Thats a tough one. I think I would probably ignore it and when my child did reach a milestone, I would share it with other family members, but refrain from sharing it with her, just let her notice it herself or whatever. That lessens the chance of sparking her competitive fire. I have a sister in law who told me that the only reason my husband and I had a third child is because we wanted to always have the youngest granchildchild. She was way jealous and competitive. All you can do is ignore it unless she gets aggressively negative, putting your child down etc.

Angie - posted on 04/14/2010

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Ignore your competitive sister in law. If you take part in her competitive nature, you're daughter will sense it when she gets older. My sister is the same way. She was unable to get pregnant so every time I got pregnant she started the paperwork to adopt a child. She adopted 2 of her children within 5 weeks of mine being born. She couldn't get one after my 1st child was born so she had a hysterectomy instead. When my brother had cancer surgery, she scheduled knee surgery a few days before. Some people are just like that and it's best just to laugh at their bizarre behaviors and move on.

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