Family dynamic help needed.

  1. Hi All,

    I have a 2 m/o niece and a 7 y/o daughter. Last weekend, my niece's parents went out for a while; while they were gone I let my daughter (while sitting down and being extremely cautious) hold her cousin. My brother-in-law is irate. I don't want this to become a family feud, and don't want to lose contact with my niece; but want to know if any of you all smart nurses have any thoughts on how I can handle this while protecting my intregrity while at the same time maintain a good relationship with my niece's family. Please help!

    Thanks,
    Emily
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   RNPATL
    Quote from Nurse2be
    Hi All,

    I have a 2 m/o niece and a 7 y/o daughter. Last weekend, my niece's parents went out for a while; while they were gone I let my daughter (while sitting down and being extremely cautious) hold her cousin. My brother-in-law is irate. I don't want this to become a family feud, and don't want to lose contact with my niece; but want to know if any of you all smart nurses have any thoughts on how I can handle this while protecting my intregrity while at the same time maintain a good relationship with my niece's family. Please help!

    Thanks,
    Emily
    I am not sure I see where the problem is. Were you in the room, same location as your daughter when she was holding the baby? Was she supervised? I think perhaps your brother-in-law needs to get a grip. Not sure I could offer any constructive counsel or advice.
  4. by   Nurse2be
    Yes - I was in the room with my daughter right next to her while she was holding my niece. There were also three other adults in the room. I know that my brother-in-law(BIL) needs to get a grip for sure. My daughter is almost 8 y/o and extremely careful. Apparently, BIL plans to bring up at our next family dinner that the only person who is supposed to hold the baby is the person who has been designate to babysit for her. What should I do? What should I say when he brings this up and says this? My daughter's feelings will be so hurt. This is her first cousin, and she's so happy the occasions she gets to see her cousin and thinks it is especially neat to hold her.

    Thanks for any input, you guys; sometimes life is sticky and it's easier to think of ideas when you're looking in the fish bowl from the outside.

    Sincerely,
    Emily
  5. by   christinemj
    Quote from Nurse2be
    Yes - I was in the room with my daughter right next to her while she was holding my niece. There were also three other adults in the room. I know that my brother-in-law(BIL) needs to get a grip for sure. My daughter is almost 8 y/o and extremely careful. Apparently, BIL plans to bring up at our next family dinner that the only person who is supposed to hold the baby is the person who has been designate to babysit for her. What should I do? What should I say when he brings this up and says this? My daughter's feelings will be so hurt. This is her first cousin, and she's so happy the occasions she gets to see her cousin and thinks it is especially neat to hold her.
    So, were the 3 other adults in the room not allowed to "touch" the baby too??? He certainly has an interesting solution.

    He'll soon learn than he needs to allow other people to love his child also... especially when it becomes impossible for him to find babysitters d/t his "rules."

    Good Luck!

    Christine
  6. by   alexillytom
    Quote from Nurse2be
    Yes - I was in the room with my daughter right next to her while she was holding my niece. There were also three other adults in the room. I know that my brother-in-law(BIL) needs to get a grip for sure. My daughter is almost 8 y/o and extremely careful. Apparently, BIL plans to bring up at our next family dinner that the only person who is supposed to hold the baby is the person who has been designate to babysit for her. What should I do? What should I say when he brings this up and says this? My daughter's feelings will be so hurt. This is her first cousin, and she's so happy the occasions she gets to see her cousin and thinks it is especially neat to hold her.

    Thanks for any input, you guys; sometimes life is sticky and it's easier to think of ideas when you're looking in the fish bowl from the outside.

    Sincerely,
    Emily
    Nurse2Be,

    If it were me, in the interest of protecting my daughter's feelings, I would bring this up with my brother-in-law before the next family dinner, which I'm assuming your daughter will attend. I wouldn't want him to bring it up at the dinner table so my daughter can feel like she is being chastised in front of the whole family, although neither she nor you, did anything wrong. Because it is his child, I guess you will have to assure him that you will not allow your daughter to hold the baby anymore, under any circumstance. That way you can protect your relationship with your neice and your daughter's feelings.
  7. by   Mystery5
    Have an honest conversation with your daughter that some folks, especially with their first baby, are overprotective. Tell her that it's their baby and they make the rules, therefore we won't be holding her. Tell her that she did a great job holding the baby, but her Aunt and Uncle are overly nervous about this baby and probably won't settle down until they have more kids.

    This type of parent is really no fun to be around or babysit for because they are hyper critical and don't know too much about kids. Don't try and correct them because they 'know it all' and have read all the safety warnings issued in the past 20 years! They are, in fact, safety experts!!!:chuckle
  8. by   cannoli
    I don't have any advice. To put it politely I think he is being unreasonable and irrational.

    I really feel bad for your daughter, because she is going to be the one hurt.

    Is this your sister's husband? What does she have to say about it? Or is she not allowed to say anything?
  9. by   barefootlady
    Protect your daughter's feeling. Address this issue with the BIL and spouse in a private setting. See if the relative agrees that this was/is a BIG issue. I do not think I would be too agreeable to babysit this child until BIL has an eye opening experience or two about being a "real" parent and part of a extended family. While it is admirable to want a close relationship with this tiny niece, your daughter should be supported, protected, and cherished during this period. You said this is her first cousin, so she is sort of being displaced by some relatives, not in a mean or hurtful way, just that babies always cause a stir, so give this daughter some extra TLC. Good luck.
  10. by   jaimealmostRN
    I agree that your 1st priority is to protect your daughter's feelings. Heck, I think I babysat at 8yo! Can you talk to your sister (BIL's wife)? But don't let him embarass your daughter in front of the entire family, you (and she) did nothing wrong.
  11. by   CrunchRN
    Gotta love those 1st time daddies - just realize it is absolute love, and much fear, that is making him so completely unreasonable!
  12. by   VivaLasViejas
    I was a few days shy of 8 when my first niece was born, and I remember being allowed to hold her, very carefully, when she was only a week old. That single act bonded us for life, and nearly 40 years later, it's one of the only things I remember well about my early childhood years. What a special privilege it was for me to hold that tiny baby in my arms! And of course, I know now how difficult it must have been for my sister and BIL to let a second-grader hold their firstborn child, even if that second-grader was the baby's aunt.......I think the dad here is being too controlling, and even if he does have a good reason to not allow your daughter to hold his child, he shouldn't embarrass her or make her feel bad for having done so, especially when she was so well supervised.

    But then, oftentimes that's just first-time parenthood.........new moms and dads can be sooooooo paranoid!! It takes at least two or three more kids to figure out that a) little children are remarkable resilient, b) most survive the occasional collision with the floor, and c) you've gotta learn to pick your battles or you will go completely insane.

    Just my .02 worth.
  13. by   akcarmean
    By all means protect your daughter, and do it privatly with you BIL and sister. If you have to refuse to babysit for them you need to explain to your dd about how she did nothing wrong and that some parents over react and are over protective. I see where there shouldn't be an issue esp. with 4 adults in a room and you right there beside her. Good luck.


    Angie
  14. by   lil' girl
    I think it is first child jitters. I remember when my first child and come to think of it second, I really didn't want anyone else holding them. Why? Who knows? But I got over it pretty quickly and he probably will too. Meanwhile don't let him hurt your daughters feelings either. Talk to him NOW and explain how it would make her feel.

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