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Old 08-15-2010, 02:22 AM   #1
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Anyone else feel like their kid is invisible to their family?

I am having a hard time with something. My sister and I have babies 8 months apart in age, 20 months and 28 months - hers is the oldest. And for some reason, our whole family seems to favor my nephew. Its not my imagination! I have seen it happen again and again and it is driving me batty. I really, really don't get it either! My DS is super sweet, gives hugs and kisses, plays well, doesn't cry much, and here's my sisters kid - really slow to warm up, hates hugs and kisses, very very active, screams and tantrums a lot more, etc. So its not like his personality is more appealing or something, yk? What gives?

At a family BBQ tonight, we arrived before my sister, neither Gma or aunt greeted my DS at all. About 30 minutes later my sis arrives and its "Hi!!! Come over and see me and give me loves!!!!" Aunt K has a new puppy and DN comes over to see it and she pulls him up on her lap to let him hold it. When DS came over, she just had him stand in front of her and pet it (and DN was not in her lap at this point). DS had been sitting in one of those little cars you push with your feet and scooting around the patio in it, no one comments. DN gets in and its, "Oh look how cute! He loves it! Where did you get that?" I honestly don't think a single person in my family gave DS a hug or a kiss or asked him a question at all the whole night. The only comment I heard was, "Wow, (DS) is almost as tall as (DN) " (Uh, yeah you say that every time I see you. DH is 6' 3", BIL is 5' 10" - this is not a surprise people!) but I don't say that of course.

Even my sis herself is kind of "different" toward DS. When I had my other boys, she was single, and she showered them with affection. It so different now that she has her own child. The last time the boys were at her house, they told me she yelled at them for babying their little brother and "maybe he can do whatever he wants at your house but not here!" He was done eating and wanted to get down but she made him stay in his highchair and eat some salad apparently. She NEVER makes her son eat his food. He runs that house. And most of the time my sister gives me a hard time about being too strict and depriving my kids of junk food and I baby them?

The only time he gets any attention is when we are visiting alone, but at family gatherings when my sister and DN are there, I feel like DS is invisible. It makes me really sad. And I really really don't understand it. The ONLY thing I can think of is that deep down they are resentful of our family size? Maybe? I am the only one in my family with more than two kids. And the other thing is that BIL is the son of a close family friend and everyone was thrilled when he and sis got together. They are kind of like the golden couple with their golden child and I guess I am just the messed up divorced/remarried mom of three Aspie wierdos and one invisible tall baby!!!!! Ok end rant!


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Old 08-15-2010, 02:42 AM   #2
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Re: Anyone else feel like their kid is invisible to their family?

Sorry Mama. I have been in a similar situation, it was me that was invisible and now that I'm an adult- I don't have anything to do with my grandmother because she couldn't be bothered with me when I was younger- didn't even come to my graduation- and talked about how great my cousin was doing (for completing a 28 day rehab-which he's not clean anymore) but couldn't even say congrats to me for finishing my degree... so yeah if you don't do something about it then it can turn into a big ugly mess.

Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you or anything but this is a sore subject for me and I know how he feels, even if he doesn't realize it yet- he will soon enough.
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Old 08-15-2010, 02:50 AM   #3
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Re: Anyone else feel like their kid is invisible to their family?

awwww! I'm so sorry! Your poor DS. I hope they grow up and stop acting like that soon.

Not that I think they will. Grownups are idiots.

I actually have the opposite problem sometimes, my mom goes gaga over DD and yet makes the older ones "wait their turn" or "don't touch me! Are your hands dirty?!!?" No, mother. I JUST checked because I knew you'd be worried about that! I have talked to her about it a bit, but I don't know what else to do. It's not soooo obvious, but it's there.

My SIL actually just kind of left DD out lately.. I don't understand, but I'm trying not to read too much into it because I think it's really the first time it's happened. well, obviously, anyway. SIL doesn't live here and she sent all the other kids (siblings and cousin) birthday presents this year - except for DD. She even told me what she was buying DD and then never sent it! When she is here she does gloat over the older two a bit more than DD, but I think it's because she feels bad for them (she was the kid from the "broken" home when she was young.)

Ugh. family dynamics. I hate them. GL!! Have you tried talking to your family and pointing out that this behavior won't be good for your DS in the long run? (at first I wondered if they favored DN because he's more high maintenance? I think DSS gets favored at his mom's house because DSD is just more laid back and doesn't demand the attention like DSS.)
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Old 08-15-2010, 03:03 AM   #4
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Re: Anyone else feel like their kid is invisible to their family?

do they see your nephew more then your son? This happens in DH's family and it's because they spend a lot more time with the one child then the rest, so they know him better and he gets doted on. I don't care, my kids are loved very much by everyone else.
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Old 08-15-2010, 05:05 AM   #5
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Re: Anyone else feel like their kid is invisible to their family?

Originally Posted by Bugaboo Bottoms View Post
do they see your nephew more then your son? This happens in DH's family and it's because they spend a lot more time with the one child then the rest, so they know him better and he gets doted on. I don't care, my kids are loved very much by everyone else.
yeah i agree with this. my parents dote on my dn, as opposed to my dc, but then again they pretty much raised her and she has always lived with them. my mom helped with childcare etc. at first it really bothered me then i realized that like the pp said, a lot of people love my dc (2 sets of grand parents, lots of uncles, and cousins/second cousins). also my dd is older and not quite as high needs so she doesn't demand the attention kwim? i dunno if they don't want to invest their time in my dc then their loss!
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:20 AM   #6
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Re: Anyone else feel like their kid is invisible to their family?

I would guess that they see the other boy/mom/family more. Sounds like they've established a relationship with him and have more memories or are just more comfortable with him and the mom?? Maybe visit them more alone like on a Sunday afternoon or if your hubby is working during the week and you're not, go visit them and bring lunch or a salad. They may feel estranged from you for some reason, not your kid. Did something happen to make the relationship btwn you and them a little tense? Maybe during the divorce? I know when one of my aunts divorced, my mom was very vocal in how wrong it was (financial stuff happened that she thought my aunt could've acted differently about). Anyway, the whole family was very mad at her for 'siding' with the other guy and not my aunt. Whenever I would show up at family functions, I would get weird uncomfortable looks and no longer felt the warm fuzzies. I think they all wondered what 'side' I was on, my mom's or theirs. I would just keep all conversation neutral, about work, hobbies, their new boyfriends, whatever and had to approach them and be very aggressive to sit next to them and start conversations myself. Now, it's all great again. Relationships are work but if its important to you, then do the work. Have your son draw pictures or do a craft and give them to family members or take their picture with him and give it to them, or bring very good dessert to family functions. I mean, try anything, and keep conversation a little light. I wouldn't bring up things that cause arguments... that's a fool proof way to make people avoid you. They're all there to relax and have fun. I don't know what's going on exactly, but I've dealt with similar things... good luck... and remember the bible says, to have friends, you must first be a friend. I always remember that when I feel weird around people I want to be friends with.
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:25 AM   #7
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Re: Anyone else feel like their kid is invisible to their family?

My brother and I both have a simillar problem with our Dad and our kids. Our Dad(kids' grandfather) has hardly anything to do with his bio grandchildren(all 5). But his skanky ex-gf's kids and grandkids are the bomb. And what is worse is my bro and I lived in the same neighborhood as him! I remember one time when we ran into my dad and a few of his faux grandkids at the fair. He had bought them all tickets and expensive gifts, and then my kids just kind of stood there, they couldn't understand why Pappy was so nice to the other kids and then would call my kids heathens because they didn't want to hug him(because he hardly has anything to do with them) We left with me crying because he has always shown other kids besides his own more consideration. I am used to it, but it still hurts my feelings once in a while.
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:09 AM   #8
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Re: Anyone else feel like their kid is invisible to their family?

I've been going through something similar with DS and my family. My grandmother is the only person on either side of our families tha makes any effort to see DS or show him proper affection when he's around.
For example, my mother was off work all this week. The week before her vacation she talked non-stop to anyone who would listen that she was going to use her vacation to spend some time with DS. I didn't hear a word from her until Wednesday night when I had to call her. She said she was planning on going to the beach on Thursday so she'd take him on Friday. I talked to her on Thursday night and she decided not to go, but never bothered to call. So I call her Friday morning and she says she's definitely going to the beach that day; she'll take him Saturday. I talked to my grandmother Friday night and find out that my mom had promised to watch my nephew on Saturday, 90 minutes away from our house. My mom never mentioned it and I haven't heard from her since Friday. It's sad. I shouldn't have to nag and beg my mother to spend time with her own grandson.
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:46 AM   #9
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Re: Anyone else feel like their kid is invisible to their family?

I would have a talk to them. i don't think it is appropriate and your DS is going to notice this as he gets older. Not something you want him knowing that the other one is preferred. Approach the topic gently but it has to be done. If this doesn't get fixed there is going to be some major (and warranted) resentment on your part and on your sons. Good Luck!

I'd be inclined not to go to family functions if this does not get resolved.. just to keep him away from the situation. But that is just how I would do it.. hopefully you can come up with something if things do not change.
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:52 AM   #10
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Re: Anyone else feel like their kid is invisible to their family?

i don't have personal experience with anything like this, but it sounds terrible. i would also feel very hurt by that kind of thing. you should say something maybe to get to the bottom of it....
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