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Hi! whenever I complain about my mother in-law or my sister

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in-laws, my 11 year old...
Hi! whenever I complain about my mother in-law or my sister in-laws, my 11 year old daughter defends them. It really hurts my feelings. What seems to be wrong here?
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Parenting
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
1/31/2012
Parenting Counselor: TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC replied 5 years ago
TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3,698
Experience: Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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JenKMom :

Hi. Thank you for joining me. Please forgive any typos as I get very immersed in my work with you and my brain may go faster than my fingers.

JenKMom :

I think what is wrong is that there should be a better boundary about what you say about them in front of your daughter. It is clear it makes her uncomfortable as she loves them. Does that make sense?

JenKMom :

I understand that you may have your frustrations and that is okay but not okay to talk about it in front of her.

Customer:

So if they say or do something that bothers me, i should not share it with my daughter or let her hear my complaints. Right? Sometimes i am talking to my husband and she hears me, and all of a sudden she becomes guarded and she argues with me about them.

JenKMom :

That is correct. I think it is better to shield her from that so she can go on loving them as she does and not feel torn.

JenKMom :

You are entitled to your feelings as well, but air them in a better way and not within earshot of your child.

Customer:

When we are at my in-laws, I am not all myself and happy since I have very loud mother in law and 4 sister in-laws. They don't even give me a turn to talk. My daughter thinks I have something against them since I do not want to get together with them all the time.

JenKMom :

I can understand your frustrations for sure and I imagine that it is hard for you to be around them but I think you are doing a great job of keeping the contact and going there even when you do not feel like being around it.

Customer:

When I try to explain my feelings to my daughter, she tells me that they are so nice, why do you hate them?

JenKMom :

I see but I am suggesting that she is not the one to share your feelings with.

JenKMom :

She needs to be able to love them freely without feeling confused or learning of your anger.

Customer:

I know but what if she asks me why I don't want to make plans with them often, then what do i tell her?

JenKMom :

For the sake of her I would encourage her relationship with them. Are you comfortable to give her some alone time with them?

Customer:

sometimes. I don't want them to take her away from me. They are very aggressive people.

JenKMom :

Is there a reason they would do that? I can now understand a bit better why you are telling her about your feelings because you are worried that they will take her from you.

Customer:

They are the kind of people that they will keep making plans all the time with each other. They seem to have separation anxiety. If I let them in, they will take my kids towards them. I can't stand them all the time.

JenKMom :

Not an easy spot for you at all. where is your husband on all of this? If that is your fear I would suggest you grin and bear the time together and make sure you do not complain or talk poorly about them to your daughter

Customer:

My husband defends his family too all the time. I feel that I am all alone in this.

JenKMom :

And you are which is why it is so important that you do not discuss this with your child. Maybe some outside support for you would be helpful so you can process all of this without putting it on your daughter.

Customer:

I understand you are right. My poor daughter does not have to go through this. Do you think i should just keep quiet or start saying good things about them?

JenKMom :

You don't have to go overboard the other way but if you feel that there is something positive to say, then say it.

JenKMom :

let it happen naturally but get the support you need and talk to someone. You are allowed to have your feelings

Customer:

She keeps telling me that she likes to get together with her 12 year old cousin more often and hang out with her more. And i can't stand her mom to make plans with her. What do you suggest?

JenKMom :

You gotta grin and bear it. She is enjoying her and so meet in a neutral place like the park or play gym or something like that

Customer:

So I should arrange playdates no matter what. I have tried to make her busy with other friends but don't know why she is persisting on her cousin.

JenKMom :

because she loves her

Customer:

is it because she is a child? I am more happy with my friends than my cousins.

JenKMom :

I dont know but she obviously enjoys her and wants to be with her. She has a sense of family and loves them and you need to allow her these positive feelings and take your needs out of the equation.

Customer:

ok thank you. Do you have any other suggestions for me?

JenKMom :

Yes give yourself permission to feel what you feel and discuss them with someone else outside of your family. Professional would be best.

JenKMom :

If you feel our time together has been helpful please hit accept.

TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3,698
Experience: Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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