Sis I cannot stand, but I love her kids

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sis I cannot stand, but I love her kids
Sun, 06-22-2003 - 11:05pm
Hello everyone!

I have a sister that seems to like causing trouble so much, that I finally decided to only deal with her on family basis. Or should I say only when I have to! (Long, long, long, story!) But I used to keep her 3 kids all the time and I am very fond of them. I miss them too. All though they do tend to get on my nerves because they are very undisciplined, but that is another story too. Lol!

Anyway, it has been one year since I quit keeping them and having anything to do with my sister. So obviously I do not get to see my 3 nieces much at all. I was at my Mom's yesterday and my sister showed up with her kids. None of them acted like they wanted to talk to me. In fact they almost acted afraid of me.

I realize that I am the one that decided to do away with my sister in my life, so maybe this is what I get. But have any of you dealt with a similar problem when it comes to the kids you love, but you can't stand their parents? How did you handle it and how can I get them to see I am really a good person??????

I have still made it very clear to my kids that my sister is still their aunt and they have to treat her with respect. I tell them that they are not to ever dislike their aunt or anyone just because of what I experienced. But if someone does wrong by them, then they would have reason to dislike that person. I do not think my sister is raising her kids that way though. So how should I go about letting my nieces know that I love and care about them without making it totally obvious?? Thanks for any ideas you all have.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 3:10am

Have you thought about maybe inviting your nieces over for a girls day together? Would this be possible without their mother being present? Maybe send them thinking of you cards with a small trinket on occasion...nothing fancy just a little something. Sorry i dont have ideas for what I have no contact with any kids :)

Why not call out of the blue and ask to speak to them and ask how their day was or how soccer, ballett or girl scouts was. Whatever they are interested in ask about it. That way they know you care and are taking an interest in their lives.

It sounds like your sister is saying bad things behind your back much like some parents do after a divorce. I wish you luck and hope you manage to develope a relationship with your nieces :)

Avatar for cl_2and1more
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 8:48am
You didn't really say how old the kids are but I wonder if they were just stand-offish because they don't know you. It may be true that your sister has said bad things about you but I woudn't assume that just because the kids didn't warm up to you.

Send the kids a note (each one their own note if you truely want to get to know them on a personal level) and tell them how much you enjoyed seeing them again. Just be chatting. And enclose an envelope addressed to you with a stamp. Ask them to write you back but don't expect their mom to help them. If you see some thing cute and think of them, buy it and send it. Remember their birthdays and holidays.

To have a relationship with them, you will need to be able to have a civil conversation with your sister. I'm thinking of my kids. When I have other children over to our home, I plan it with people I have no relationship with and sometimes don't care for very much. Maybe you can think of your sister the same way. Just the adult that you have to make plans with in order to spend time with the kids.

I hope that you can make it work for you and your nieces.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 10:29am
You didn't say how old these kids are.If they are young and haven't seen you in awhile they may just be shy, your sis could be turning them against you or they could just pick up on the tension and not want there mom to feel bad. I think you will have to work out some kind of sible understanding with your sis if you want much to do with them, but paying extra attention to them when they are at your moms should go along ways in letting them get to know you again or showing them you are not a bad person rather it's just talking about things they are interested in or getting involved in whatever game they are playing or just out of the blue ask if they want to play something like simple simon.Other then that all I can think of is cards and/or presents on special days.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Mon, 06-23-2003 - 12:45pm

I am similarly in your shoes. My sister and I don't really get along and I'm tired of the strained holiday gatherings. Although I would like to see my nephew. I send him presents for holidays and my sister never says thank you or that she even receives them. People tell me not to send gifts if she doesn't say thank you but I would feel guilty and hurt not to send him anything. (When he gets older, if he doesn't say thank you for the gifts I will stop sending them.) And also I do it hoping that he will like his Aunt and that I can get to know him. Although it may be a long shot, since his mother will fill his head with lies as he gets older, I'm sure.

You could try having a relationship with your nieces on your own. Ask if they can come over for a pizza party or sleep over, or take them all somewhere together without your sister. If she won't allow that, send them holiday gifts or something like a monthly subscription like to a kids magazine (maybe they'll think of you every time they get it in the mail). Or send them little gift certificates like for ice cream or the movies. Or if you have their email you can send free greetings, craft ideas or games. It's a sad situation when parents have to use the kids in the middle of things, hopefully when the kids get older they will remember the things you did for them and have a different outlook on you than their mother has.

All I can hope is that when my nephew gets older he will realize that maybe his mother hasn't told him the truth about me and that he will be curious as to who his Aunt is.