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November 1, 2007 / missknowitall

Defending Your Child

Dear Little Miss,
 I need serious help here!  I know that this is extremely long, but I really need your advice.  My brother’s wife is making our lives miserable.  If you look under ‘pathological liar’ in the dictionary, you would find her picture.  She joined our family and tried to create conflict and drama since day one.  We have caught her in MANY lies and intentional hurtful situations.  Now, 7 years later, things have gotten much worse.
 Yesterday, SIL and my brother started telling our 6 year old that her Daddy made fun of her behind her back, said awful things about her, etc.  Our daughter look horrified and for the first time ever, yelled at an adult.  She yelled ‘That’s not true, stop lying about my Daddy!’ and ran crying from the room.  They looked shocked and said they were only joking.  My husband and I soothed her and things improved.
 Near the end of the pool party, our daughter was in the basement with cousins and SIL went downstairs for an unknown reason.  I called for our daughter to come upstairs and clean up a small mess before we left.  SIL was blocking the stairs and wouldn’t let our daughter up the stairs.  Our daughter said she asked her 3 times and she continued to say no.  Also for the first time, our daughter threatened to bite her aunt and put her mouth on her aunt’s arm.  My SIL came right up and told everyone that our daughter ‘$#%$$%^$ bit the %$#%^$ out of her!’
 I immediately took our daughter out of the room and gently asked her what had happened.  She became so upset that she couldn’t breathe and wouldn’t let SIL near her.  We left and as soon as we got home we sat with our daughter and asked her side.  She said that she DID put her mouth on her aunt’s arm and threatened, playfully she said, to bite her.  When I told her that her aunt had said that she bit her hard, she erupted in tears and almost yelled that she hadn’t ‘bit’ her hard, it wasn’t true.
 Our daughter is an extremely sensitive child who has never in her life bit anyone, nor lashed out in anger physically.  Our family is stable, calm and we talk things out….my brother’s family is loud, verbally and physically abusing each other frequently.  While I don’t ‘blindly’ believe everything our 6 year old tells us, I do not feel she did it.  Before we left, my SIL’s mother in law AND grandmother told me that they doubted it happened as described…her own family doubts her.  
 How do I handle this?  Our daughter has always been afraid of my brother, but now she is terrified of her aunt, too.  We are afraid to leave her alone in a room with her aunt, for many reasons.  SIL has told us that she will tell our daughter that Santa does not exist, that God does not exist…our daughter goes to a Christian school.  After making our daughter cry with the false stories about her Daddy, my brother told her he would ‘toughen her up’.  With the holidays coming, how do we handle family gatherings?  What can we say to our daughter, without telling her what her aunt and uncle are really like?    We are at a loss here, any advice would be welcomed!!
Protective Mother

Dear Protective,

If you were at the park and a big, punk kid was harassing your little 6 year old would you be worrying about whether or not to invite him to a family gathering?  I think not.  You would firmly put yourself between the jerk and your sweet child and tell him to, “Bug off, or else.”  I can promise you that any family member of mine who has thought it funny to mess with my kids has received the same reaction from me.  It is one thing for an uncle to be a teaser, it is another for him to bring a child to tears.  For some reason these people have not grown up and are getting kicks out of tormenting a child.  If I were you I would firmly avoid them until they can humbly ask for your daughter’s forgiveness, and behave like mature, loving, and responsible adults.  If people ask why you aren’t coming to family gatherings just kindly say, “I’m sorry, but Brother and SIL have gone too far and I don’t approve of the way they treat my daughter.  If that makes me ‘overly sensitive’ then so be it.  We will either come when they aren’t there or they can change the way they act around us.”  I would rather see you hurt their feelings than continue letting them hurt your child’s.  As for answering any questions your daughter asks, just tell her you would rather celebrate the holidays with each other.  And it wouldn’t hurt to tell her that she never has to let anyone, even if they are family, make her cry or tease her when she doesn’t like it. 

Picking on people my own size,

Miss Knowitall   

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One Comment

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  1. Heidi / Nov 1 2007 10:56 am

    Listen to Ms. Knowitall! OMG – this person is crazy. Get your kids away from her!

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