Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Chicago suburbs
Any tactful way to critique parenting?
I'm desperately trying to think of a tactful way to talk to my sister about her favoritism with one of her twins, which I really think she's not aware of. The kids are 18 months old, so right at that stage where they know what's going on and you have to work on disciplining them or they'll turn into holy terrors. They both have their whiny times, and this is where the discrepancy comes in. My sister will tell Evie to hush up or knock it off, and usually it works - Evie knows that Mommy simply doesn't tolerate it from her. But with Gavin, when he gets whiny he'll start screaming if Mommy doesn't pick him up and hold him, so that's exactly what she does. If she has to put him down to do something with Evie (diaper, meds, barf clean-up, etc) he will throw himself on the floor and scream, and as soon as she's done with Evie she rushes to pick him up and comfort him. If he bumps his head, even just a little bump that doesn't hurt him, he will start crying if she's there, and she will rush to pick him up and apologize for him bumping his head, and give him anything he points at, and she can't put him down for usually 20 minutes or he'll start screaming. I'm pretty sure Evie is starting to realize that Gavin is getting preferential treatment, and I'm dreading the day that she starts talking and asks "Mommy, why do you like Gavin more than me?" Oh, and Evie's had three heart surgeries, so you would think that if one kid would get preferential treatment it would be her....
Anyway, any suggestions on a tactful way I can say something to my sister? I don't have kids myself, so I don't really feel right criticizing her parenting. But I'm at her house nearly every day to help out, since Evie's last surgery was only two months ago and she's still recovering and needs more attention than normal. Because of that, I get a really good 'big-picture' view of their life, and I KNOW this is becoming a problem. (My parents and brother are noticing this as well, but none of them will say anything.) I really don't think my sister realizes how much she coddles Gavin, and she wants to be a really good parent, which is why I think someone needs to say something to her about this. But how???
~Diana, happy mom to Fern and Fergie