Strict sib harshly disciplines her kid

"I get your concern about the very different styles, but, unless you really think she’s a terrible parent — or harming your kids vs. just being more of a disciplinarian than you are — your kids will be able to handle the fact of two different sets of expectations."



March 4, 2021 - 9:43 AM

Dear Carolyn: My husband and I live within a short drive of my family and see them often. We have had to ask my sister to please NOT try to discipline my 5-year-old twins, because her parenting and discipline styles differ so wildly from ours in so many ways. She is extremely firm with her own children and does not give them the space to be kids, whereas our parenting philosophy allows for our kids to make some of their own decisions (within reason).

When we asked her to fall back, she agreed to do so. But now, she will barely so much as be in the same room with our kids. She says she feels too nervous about being accused of overstepping. This is getting in the way of the kids’ relationship with their aunt, and it’s also starting to strain my relationship with her. What should we do?

— Maryland

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