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Dr. G.
Dr. G., Psychologist
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My sister and I had a major fall out 3 months ago, I was told

Customer Question

My sister and I had a major fall out 3 months ago, I was told to leave her house with my husband and son. We have finally found a place to live and am moving out in two weeks, in the interim my sister has not had any contact with my four year old (he has been asking about her) they were very close. Now that we are finally moving I received a e-mail this morning that she wishes to see my son for his fifth birthday take him to lunch and buy a gift. She also said our separating should not interfere with the relationship she has with my four year old. He is already very confused. Will this confuse him more? He is a very sensitive child and dealing with a move, yet I know my sister will say I am punishing him because her and I are no longer speaking,HELP how do I handle this messy situation? I want whats best for my son
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 3 years ago.

Well I think we all are confused. Before any contact between her and your son I think you need to sit down with her and clear the air about the problems between the two of you. If she is a problem then you have every right to not let your son see her. Maybe this was a one time thing between you two or maybe it has been ongoing. But first and foremost would be for the two of you to get on track before you bring your son into it. If you feel you can't get on track with her then that should be a clear indication that your son should not be involved with her either.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Their is no way we will be back on track her and I. But she did let us live in her summer home for 4 years and let us use her jeep. Because of my son having a feeding problem at the time I was unable to work. In june when coming to visit she got "fed up" I guess and that is when the fall out took place. She wanted us out of the house and taking back her vehicle. She has extended our "privilege" of staying to the 15th of the month when we will move out. This extension can be taken away at any time. This is the problem if I say no to her visit with him not only will she throw back in my face what she has done in the past for us, but she may revoke our agreement of the extension. She does not seem to understand how this visit will effect my son. How do I explain this without sounding like I am using him as a bargaining chip? If you could suggest some way to explain that I am not being vindictive just trying to do the right thing for Michael (my son) to her I would appreciate it!
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 3 years ago.
She sounds like a very generous person. So I can assume the problem is with you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
She can be generous yet at the same time she will use this "generosity" for control over us. Getting back to my son I think the the issue here is not who is to blame for the fall out but what to do with the outcome. Will this confuse him more or not?? By the way, she has plenty of money this is her summer home which will be empty when we leave and she has two cars already and I am her only living relative. So generous maybe so by some standards.
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 3 years ago.
If she treats him well then let her see him. Leave the issue between you and your sister out of their relationship.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I have reviewed your answer but still have questions...it would not be me asking the questions about our relationship it would be my son. Like when she first decided to disconnect from our family all my son asked about for weeks was where is she? Are you or Daddy going to just go away like she did? This is the point I am trying to make, what would be best for him? Do you think it would be too traumatic to see her again after 3 months of no communication? And then who knows when she will decide to see him again. I hope my question is now more clear then the prior ones.
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 3 years ago.
Clearer. I don't think it will be traumatic for him. Some families don't see each other but once a year. Comfort him about his fears that you will go away. As far as your son and sister are concerned; let them see each other; no matter how sporadic it might be.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
After reading your answer, it still is not sitting well with me. We have just gotten him to the point were he does not ask, just about daily, where his only aunt is and now we are going to let him see her--he was seeing her every weekend, before this incident, won't this bring back all the anxieties that he has just gotten through? After she leaves then what? We have to go through this all over again. I understand they had a good relationship but in the long term isn't it important for him to be around healthy relationships? Wouldn't this be breaking up the family as a unit? This is all the things go through my mind before I give my ..sister an answer whether she can see him this weekend. Any other advice?
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 3 years ago.
You can have a healthy relationship that is also distant. And it seems like that is how the relationship is going to be.

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