My daughter seems to be trying to replace me and my wife as parents to her brother

Reply Sun 10 Jul, 2022 08:43 pm
It seems like my [57m] oldest daughter [38f] and her husband [38m] have been trying to supplant my wife [56f] and I as parents to our youngest son [13m]. For some context, my wife and I had our oldest daughter the year after we graduated high school. We got married to better support our daughter, which curbed our other ambitions a bit. My wife and I had four more children (33m, 31f, 27f, and 24m) after her, and we tried being done on our 5th.

However, we had an accident in our 40s, which resulted in our youngest son. Despite the massive age gap between them, he has a close bond with all of his older siblings. Our oldest daughter in particular dotes on him, and treats him similarly to her own children (16f, 11m, and 9f). In return, he worships the ground she and her husband walk on. Unfortunately, our oldest daughter and her husband feel entitled to push their parenting methods on him and us.

For example, they keep trying to curb his eating and gaming habits on their own. In their opinion, he eats too much unhealthy food (such as hamburgers, pizza, and chips) and spends too much time playing his games (he sometimes spends 7 hours a day on his games). They also think he is too isolated, and have been pushing us to get him out more. My wife and I agree that these are issues that need to be addressed before it leads to problems, but my oldest daughter and her husband think that we aren’t doing enough.

They’ve also accused us of deliberately ignoring his problems, and allowing his games to raise him. We asked them to back off a good number of times, but always refused to listen. The both of them have been getting more and more aggressive in inserting themselves in our son’s life.

In one particular episode that infuriated me was when they made him clean his room at our house. Sure it was a pretty minor incident and that room really needed to be cleaned. But I just didn't appreciate how they inserted themselves as parental authorities in the presence of his actual parents without even bothering to consul or acknowledge them. It felt our roles were being stolen from us in that instance.

It has gotten to the point that our oldest daughter brings our youngest son to her house every chance she gets. This summer, he’s been spending 5 or 6 days a week with my daughter’s family. Almost every time my wife and I ask him if he wants to do something with us, he replies that he’s already made plans with her. Like this past week, I invited my son to go bowling with us, but he turned me down on the grounds that my daughter wants to take him swimming. The week before that, my wife tried taking him to a movie, but my daughter convinced him to go on a hike with her children instead.

I have a funny feeling that my daughter and son-in-law are deliberately trying to ensure that he spends as little time with us as possible. When my wife and I confronted them about this, they denied it all, and turned the “you’re not providing for his needs” card on us. We also tried talking to our son about not spending so much time with his sister and hanging out with us once in a while, but that simply upsets him.

How should my wife and I handle this situation? We don’t want to shut off our oldest daughter entirely from her brother’s life, but again, she and her husband blow off everything we say to them. They are also so pushy about their opinions on our parenting, and won’t accept anything but us bowing to them. We are at our wits end with this and just would love some advice right now.

TL:DR: My oldest daughter (and her husband) have been really aggressive in criticizing how my wife and I parent her brother. They also have been pulling him away from us every chance they get, and have ignored all of our pleas with them to stop.
Reply Sun 10 Jul, 2022 09:40 pm
Have you forgotten how to parent?

Jut say NO.
0 Replies
Reply Sun 10 Jul, 2022 09:58 pm
This is a big mess, I know your daughter feels as if she is in charge, but you should remind her that your wife was raising 5 children when she was 31 and she managed to do that fairly well. You may need to have a hard but patient sit-down with them and remind them that they are Aunt and Uncle, not Mom and Pop. It's incredibly disrespectful for them to attempt to take charge or to criticize your time with your last at-home child.

Your son is 13 and I'm sure he loves the idea of spending time with his cousins, you really don't want that to end. But your oldest needs to remember to arrange things with you and your wife before asking a child if they want to hang out with Fun Aunt & Uncle and the neat cousins. I loved spending time with my cousins when I was a kid, but events were always arranged between parents and not directly with the kids.

Have you had any input from your other children? Has the oldest always tried to be in charge? Have you told your daughter how some of these actions hurt your wife's (and your) feelings? You might seek some professional opinions about all this (I don't mean police) to set boundaries. Right now it's summer and I'm sure your youngest is having a great time with his cousins, that part is good. Your daughter and son-in-law imposing their parenting style over yours is not good at all. By the way, when these tutorials come up from your daughter...how do you respond? Are you patient and accommodating, or do you ever show stern disappointment or anger? I know what I would do, and it would be stern and direct. I'm happy all your children love each other, again that's great, but you are still parents regardless of how well informed your daughter thinks she is.
0 Replies
Reply Sun 10 Jul, 2022 11:33 pm
Boy you guys make em young. Seriously......

Well tell them if you want to help your brother out, then you could go to the gym with him, or help him get into medical school but beyond that STFU about how we raise our children. I know he is your brother but we made you and you all was on the chopping block at some point.

If you have to I would take away the house keys from both of them, and any other privilege your providing them that derives from you.

They sound like they are ready to take over the house from you and honestly I do not know what your daughter does for a living v. you and your wife but it is almost like she has something against her own parents.

You got five kids omgsh. It makes me think of my father and the seeds he spread. Just tell your daughter to stay out of the house from now on. ( I mean literally get the keys from her ), and then put a restraining order. Because honestly this nutjob is one step away from running your lives.

You raised her your way and now your going to raise him your way. On a side not I would work out a bit more.

That is my two cents.
0 Replies
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2022 06:17 am
Your daughter has legitimate concerns about a 13 year old who plays too much video games, doesn’t eat healthy and is isolated. What are YOU doing about these issues?

Sounds like he’s bonded with your sisters entire family. Consider this summer as him being away at camp and Enjoy this time with your spouse.

Go on vacation yourselves.
0 Replies

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