At my wits end with my nephews!

Jennifer - posted on 03/05/2012 ( 20 moms have responded )

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I try not to judge others on they way they raise their children. Unless you are abusing your child or negelcting them, there really is no right or wrong way. We all have our own opinions on what to do. I may be a little stricter than some parents, but at the same time, my kids are allowed to be kids and make mistakes. My sister in law and her husband on the other hand take an extreeme approach in the other direction. Their children are rarely disciplined (if ever) and they let them make choices when I as a parent would step in with my own kids and say no, this is what it is going to be (like bed time, getting a bath, going to church, or other important daily activities along those lines.) My nephews have always been allowed to eat whatever they wanted. For the most part they don't eat fruit or veggies (except for a select few) and sometimes my sister in law can cook 2-3 different meals before they will agree to eat one. This drives me nuts for the simple fact that I know they aren't getting the kind of nutrition their bodies need to grow healthy, but I don't have any say. The part that drives me the most insane is the fact that if I have a meal at my house for a birthday or special occasion, they will bring McDonalds or whole pizzas in for their kids to eat, so that they don't have to eat what ever I'm cooking. I wanted to blow up the last time about a month ago. I was having a birthday party for my 4 year old. I always let my kids pick the menu for their birthday. For this occasion, my son wanted pancakes, cooked apples, sausage, and biscuits with gravy. Of course my son was happy with his choice, but then in walks my almost 10 year old nephew with a large pizza and of course instantly my kids are asking for pizza instead of the meal I spent a couple hrs prepareing! Then my nephew proceeds to tell me more than once that he doesn't like my meal, and then tells my kids several times about how he is going to eat pizza. My husband spoke up and told my nephew to knock it off, but still I felt so bad for my kids. My kids know that if there is a meal and they are hungry, they better eat, because there isn't going to be any substitutions. I have 4 kids and we live on a tight budget. I can't afford to cook 2-3 meals at one time and have food go to waste. My children also know that if we are at someones house, and the person offers something they don't like, a simple no thank you is all that needs to be said. They don't need to tell the person over and over about how they don't like their meal. Yesterday, my other sister in law had a meal for her son's birthday. Yet again, my other 2 nephews had to have their own pot of spaghetti made, because they refused the lasagna that was there. It just makes me so mad. They do this every single get together. I think it is really unfair to my kids who may want pizza or mcdonalds, but know it is rude to eat something else when somone has spent so much time preparing a meal. We've tried to say something to my sister in law and she just laughs it off and says "well, they won't eat anything else and they can't go hungry". I just don't know what to do anymore. One of these days I'm going to explode and it won't be pretty!!! Anyone have any suggestions PLEASE

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Medic - posted on 03/05/2012

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Just tell them that no outside food is allowed at the get together because it is not fair to the rest of the kids. If they do not agree they do not have to come.

Amanda - posted on 03/07/2012

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If you feel like you have to invite these nephews and their rude parents, could you change the start time on their invitation only to like an hour later, and say something like "we are not serving food, but please join us for cake and ice cream." I know it's not nice to be sneaky, but this is EXCEPTIONALLY rude. Your children deserve to enjoy their birthday meals without worry that they 'picked the wrong thing."

Tracey - posted on 03/07/2012

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It's easy to say "don't invite them over anymore", but what I'd do is schedule it so that the meal is first, and tell your sister-in-law the party starts an hour and half later than it actually does, and eat first. Let her find you and your other sis-in-law finishing cleaning up when she arrives a few times, and maybe she'll get the message.

Deidre - posted on 03/05/2012

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Just because they are family doesn't give them the right to ABUSE you and your home. I feel very strongly about your unfortunate situation. Are you tip toeing around it because they are family? I don't care who they are when they are in YOUR HOUSE they MUST follow the rules. I actually have had a similar time when that has happened to my family. My Best friend has an AUTISTIC child. We've been friends for over 9 yrs. It has been a struggle because my son couldn't comprehend her mental disability. All he knew was she was destroying his property and no one was disciplining her. Not to mention we've never been reimbursed for anything. I've been in a NEW house for 3 years and I had to tread lightly and explain to my friend that the whole thing is unfair and my children will not be victims any longer. Now, if and when they visit, I am trained to HIDE anything of value or something I think she may WANT. Your nephews aren't special needs patients are they? That is the only way I would be able to stretch my imagination for such everlasting tolerance. You need to put YOUR children first. It's like when you tell your children they aren't allowed to jump on the couch. Then when the cousins come over the cousins are doing nothing BUT JUMPING on the COUCH!!! Your kids are being out right cheated. It makes you look like you care MORE about the relatives than you do your own kids. Just think of it from their eyes... They are innocent bystanders, you've got to stand up for them...

Tabitha - posted on 03/19/2012

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Your SIL is lazy, plain and simple. She doesn't want to be bothered with parenting her children or teaching them simple manners. Put your foot down, when they come with their own meals, they can eat it in the car or on the porch. If they or your SIL has a problem with that, they know where the door is. My house= My rules. Another way to ward this off is when you invite them tell your SIL if they plan on bringing something she needs to bring enough for everyone that will be there. I'm like you, I fix one meal....you eat it or you go hungry. They might skip a meal here or there but when they get hungry, they'll eat just about anything put in front of them.

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Ashley - posted on 03/11/2012

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Do not invite them over in fact make a point of not inviting them when there mother calls pissed that they got left out you can explain she has rude little brates that did there best to ruin your sons birthday and until they can behave like people they can stay home. might be harsh but man i would explode good luck

Tracie - posted on 03/11/2012

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My girls eat very healthy at home, but they're not keen on "fancy" food. Whenever we go to a function where food is served, but there's nothing that they like, guess what? They WAIT until we leave and they get something they like at home. I would never dream of bringing in outside food to a party! What an insult! The blood relatives in this situation need to have a chat. (is this your hubby's sister?) What she is doing is terribly disrespectful. I wouldn't allow one of my relatives to diss my spouse like this. Good luck!

Gabrielle - posted on 03/08/2012

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1st of all I just wanna say that when I read this it totally reminded me of wife swap and other shows like that. The way your nephews are isn't right. They are going to be very disapointed when they grow up and don't get everything they want. My children don't get everything they want. My youngest brother is 10 and he is so spoiled. He gets away with so much crap it makes us all mad. He is 10 years younger than my other brother so he wasn't there wehn my mom actually acted like a mom. If we did some of the stuff my little brother gets away with she would have taken a wooden spoon to our butt and sent us to our room. My brother threw one of those little round fold up spiderman chairs at my mom and she didn't do ANYTHING! All us other kids that were there got on him tho. I agree with erin that she should feed her kids before they go to someone elses house. The only reason she should bring other food is if there is a health reason.

Erin - posted on 03/08/2012

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I would also suggest that she feed her kids before they come over. I do think it is rude to bring food to someone's house knowing that they are making a meal. I mean if you are bringing something with you to go a long with the meal and there is enough for everybody, that is fine. But to pretty much have her kids rub it in everyone else's faces is just rude.



My SIL is kind of like this but not with food. She asks me all of the time why I haven't brought my 2 boys to her house to play with her boys in a long time. Not that I don't like to get them together but my 2 year old picks up bad habits from her boys. Her almost 3 year old will climb on tables and any thing he can, and her 4.5 yells at her (and other adults). So after a visit with them, my son thinks its ok to climb on everything and yells/screams at me, when normally he wouldn't. It seems like it takes a month after to get him out of these habits.

Kelina - posted on 03/07/2012

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Have you tried asking your SIL to feed her kids before they come over so taht you don't have a fight with your kids about food? or if she's going to bring food anyways then tell her she's got to bring enough for everyone. haha gotta love elementary school rules. It's not fair for you to be the one who ahs to deal with it, but that's the way it is. the way my SIL deals with her 16 month old daughter drives me insane as well but unfortunately my hubby is really close with his family so I can't say anything and like you one of these days I'm going to go off my rocker, freak out on her and wind up in the loony bin. Until then, I'm avoiding her as much as possible.

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Go short and sweet. Cake, presents, and maybe some cousin play time. My family doesnt have this issue and my Mom would NEVER stand for it. (We have all parties at my parents house because its a central location) Either dont have food besides snack trays and cake or do what we do, is everyone brings something they like and have one large meal with 1/2 the work! Good luck.

Stifler's - posted on 03/06/2012

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Wow that's so rude! Just don't invite them over anymore. Or maybe send her a pamphlet on etiquette

Stacy - posted on 03/06/2012

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I guess I'm confused why there has to be a meal involved at all ... have a special birthday meal with the immediate family and do an outside (mini-golf, arcade or games in the yard) activity and cake/presents with extended family and friends later. If the nephews need to eat, the parents can feed them BEFORE the event ... in the car, if necessary. And, um, a family fued would break out over this?! Wow.

Kirsten - posted on 03/06/2012

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I would lay down the ground rules for them visiting your house in order to avoid their choices causing chaos in your house. If that means that they don't come to your house for visits, then I guess consider your sanity saved! Perhaps just sticking to going over to their place or outings are best.

Alexandria - posted on 03/06/2012

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Tell her to not bring food in your house. I have had to feed my children outside of functions due to their age and awkward timing. But i always do it before or make sure and brig a small snack.

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 "Well, they won't eat anything else and they can't go hungry".



Bahahaha!!! You're a much nicer person than I am, because I don't think I could help but laugh in someone's face if they said that to me! They CAN and SHOULD go hungry (it's ONE meal!) if they are rude enough to reject someone's hospitality like that. Her children will not starve. That is extremely rude to snub their host's hospitality as well as eating something in front of all the other guests that is not readily available for the other guests. I can't even fathom having the mindset that that's acceptable. It'd different for someone who CAN'T eat what's being served, but in situations I've seen like that the person usually tries to be pretty discreet, humble and apologetic about bringing their own food. As was already suggested, I would just ask them not to bring other food. Yes it might be an uncomfortable conversation to have but you can speak very politely, objectively, and diplomatically, as it is not only your children you're speaking for but out of respect for all of your guests really. If you really aren't comfortable doing that, can you ask them to come after the meal? You can even be apologetic about it yourself and explain that you don't want to offend or hurt feelings but it causes problems and you want to be respectful of ALL your guests.

Rachael - posted on 03/06/2012

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Maybe have a party not centered around food? Something short and sweet with a cake and call it good! I know this situation would drive me absolutely bonkers too. Another idea would be to have the party in a public place - park, restaurant, etc. Maybe that way everyone can take care of their own food, and the pressure to mingle is lessened. You cannot change how they are raising their children, obviously, but I would (and do) limit interactions with people who cause conflict.

Jennifer - posted on 03/05/2012

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The sad part is that her kids like TV and they do nothing else but sit in front of a tv all day. The oldest (almost 10) is about the same height as my 8 year old, and weighs over twice as much! My son is very tall and skinny, but my nephew is majorly over weight. They have to buy jeans that are about 3 sizes too long in husky just so they will go around his waist. Then they have to pay someone to hem them up. The almost 5 year old (still drinking from a bottle) isn't over weight yet, but I'm sure he will be soon if they don't start changing his eating habbits. Thank you all for the suggestions. I'm just not sure about saying no outside food right now, because it will cause a major family feud which would just tear my mother in law to pieces and she isn't in the greatest health as it is. That's probably the only way I will ever get it to stop, I just know I can't do that right now.

Amanda - posted on 03/05/2012

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My friends mom was like that. When I would go there for supper I would eat what her mom made for supper if there was something i never had before I would try it because that was the rule in our house. One day when she came over we were having hamburgers and hot dogs. Well she didn't want that and demanded that my mom cook her something else. My mom said no, don't like it don't eat. She ran home, as we only lived three houses down, and told her mom that I was hitting her and my mom told her she couldn't eat. Her mom came over and both moms were in a yelling match. The next time I went there my mom told me to be just like her. I did her mom told me I was being rude and should eat one of the three meals in front of me. I told her no and and ran home just like her daughter did to my mom. Same thing happened only this time my mom told her "you have the nerve to call my child rude but yet when your daughter not only lies to you but does the same thing to me you laugh it off and say we are not telling the truth. You daughter eats junk food and is over weight can't run, can't skip rope for more then two minutes. What does that say about what she eats." My mom told her like it was and that if she didn't like her cooking then to leave when we are having supper.

I would tell her if they don't want what you cook eat before you come over because outside food wont be allowed in my home. When her kids are having trouble being kids because they don't eat healthy she will see what she did. Plus when they get older it could get worse they could get physical.

Maree - posted on 03/05/2012

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oh that would drive me insane....im sorry but i have no advice for you but i do feel infuriated just reading your post...thanks a lot.. lol .....

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