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    Wandering Jew
    Participant

    Hi everyone!

    I wasn’t sure whether to put this under parenting or family dynamics, because it encompasses a little bit of both.

    Nevertheless, here it is. I have the pleasure of staying by my married sister for Yom Tov. She is a wonderful person, who is really a good person. She truly cares about her family, and does her best to provide for them.

    What upsets me is that I feel like she is out of tune with certain emotions because of anxiety and emotional perfectionism, which in my opinion leads her to neglect her children in TINY ways. I say tiny because she does spend time with them by holding, cuddling, and acting like a good mother. She truly loves them and wants the best for them.

    However, a part of me feels that her emotional perfectionism causes her to miss a certain part of them, and she relates in a less than satisfactory manner.

    For example, one of her children after being put to bed will call her repeatedly and ask for her to keep him company.

    I feel that he is lonely, and they are ignoring it; they have swept that under the rug. I feel as if things are not emotionally complete, and that is the cause for her kids to be unable to fall asleep without badgering her excessively.

    Secondly, I  feel like she is not fully in tune with all of her emotions, and that affects her kids negatively.

    I see the “dirt being swept under the rug”, but I don’t say anything because it won’t change; she needs to embrace all of her emotions in order for her to change.

    Nonethless, the small but bothersome emotional situations bothers me; it is as if she is playing being a parent 90%, but unable to go the rest of the way because she is caught up in her stuff.

    I feel like she is perpetuating the legacy that my mother gave us; it happened once, and it is happening again.

    This is distressing to me.

    Please help; this troubles me.

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    DDD
    Participant

    Hi! So you’re question is intriguing but I think I may be missing some information. You don’t clearly state what your question is… are you deciding if you should bring it up with your sister? Or are you looking for recommendations on how to cope with it best yourself? You also don’t mention whether you yourself are married or have kids (it seems like not from the question.)

    I’ve actually heard Dr. Lieberman say that all parents mess up it’s just a matter of how bad. Your example of a child always calling for a parent after falling asleep could very well be a variation of normal child behavior or it could be something more. It sounds like your sister is a wonderful parent and is doing her best. (90% sounds pretty amazing!) If you do feel like there can be productive change from discussing with her her shortcomings or if you sincerely think she would gain from therapy perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to bring it up but if it’s unlikely to make a difference I’d say just try and give her kids the most you can over this yt and love and accept her for the 90% of an amazing parent she is. Hatzlacha 🙂

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    Wandering Jew
    Participant
    Topic Author

    @DDD Thanks!

    I guess I was looking for advice how to cope. I usually am motivated to do something about the situation when I see the problem. All the more so over here, because she has a blunder to my window into this situation.

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    Chany
    Participant

    This sounds like a tough situation because on the one hand she is that close to perfect parent but on the other hand youre spotting things that she is doing that you feel perpetuated issues throughout your childhood. I can relate to the pain of watching history repeat itself even if the history is not full of terrible trauma. Even if it’s the slightest form of pain and suffering, witnessing it repeating sucks out a certain hope for change that we all like to cling to. It sounds like this is the pain you’re experiencing if you had to put a finger on it. Is that at all correct? Sometimes labeling the issue that is getting clarity on it is helpful. See if you can isolate the issue and then you/we can figure out where to go from there.

     

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    Wandering Jew
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Hey!


    @chany

    You are write on the ball; she neglects certain emotions in herself (It is more of a family thing; my mom passed it on, but that is a whole ‘nother story), and that spills out into very subtle neglect of her children and others. It is not overt, for she does provide for their physical and emotional needs in a large way; there are ways however, that it manifests.

    For example: she is hosting 5 adults and 4 children along with her own family of 5, but sometimes slightly cuts back on the food for a regular meal by not making enough, or by not making regular supper pre Shabbos.

    I feel like she ignores the need for adequate food; she will make fancy Shabbos foods, but she doesn’t appreciate the need for adequate nutritious food.

    We grew up with that,and it is now being passed on.

    I see it, and it hurts me to see my extended family being affected like that.

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    Chany
    Participant

    yes that can be painful. How do you imagine she would respond or react if you brought this to her attention? Also, can there be any other explanations for this behavior? I wonder if these thoughts of awareness and considerations would help take the heat off the feelings youre experiencing as a result of this situation?

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