“SIL Insulted My Kids, So I Exposed Her Lies”: Mom Figured Out How To Get Back At Lying Sister-In-Law In The Best Way Possible

Our tolerance for nonsense is limited. Especially when someone is badmouthing our kids. So after mom and Reddit user No_Common7843 couldn’t get her sister-in-law to stop spreading lies about her children and their milestones, she decided to take more serious action.

The mom confronted the woman during a family gathering and made sure that she got the message. Afterward, the Redditor told the platform’s ‘Petty Revenge‘ community how she handled the situation, and the story quickly went viral.

This woman tried to put up with her sister-in-law’s lies about her kids

Image credits: Pressmaster (not the actual photo)

But the woman eventually went too far and something had to be done

The OP’s sister-in-law began “inventing” problems in her children’s development

Image credits: diego_cervo (not the actual photo)

So the woman confronted her during a family gathering

Image credits: natanavo (not the actual photo)

Image credits: u/No_Common7843

You would think that after such an evening, the woman would get the message

Since kids are measured and tested and compared at their earliest stages — when did she talk? When did he walk? When did she start reading? — it’s easy for parenting to become a competitive sport.

However, children are individuals and each one develops at his or her own pace. As social psychologist Susan Newman, Ph.D., who specializes in issues affecting family life, points out, intellectually, most of us accept that. But it’s harder to do emotionally.

“Social comparison triggers our feelings of envy and anxiety,” Newman writes in Psychology Today. “Friendships easily become fragile and frayed under the best circumstances. However, when a friend tells you her three-year-old is reading, you may silently feel like a failure and wonder why your same-age child isn’t reading. These thoughts and feelings can start to negatively impact your mental state, and result in behaviors that begin to affect the quality of your friendships.”

But for a lot of moms and dads, parenting, unfortunately, becomes a competition

Image credits:  seventyfourimages (not the actual photo)

So what can parents do if they end up in a similar situation as No_Common7843 and want the race to stop? Well, according to former clinical psychologist turned writer and the author of The Healthy Mind Toolkit: Simple Strategies to Get Out of Your Own Way and Enjoy Your Life, Alice Boyes, Ph.D., the following five strategies should help:

1. When you feel competitive with your parent friends, you can fall into passive-aggressive patterns of baiting and antagonizing each other. To put it simply, you can become frenemies. When this happens, you might blame your friends, but if you looked more realistically at your conversations, you would probably see that antagonizing each other is a two-way street. Try taking a two-week (or month, if you can) hiatus from saying anything you think will provoke a reaction in your friends and see if you can break the negative cycle.

2. When you deal with other competitive parents, it’s easy to feel annoyed and anxious that they are triggering your own sense of competitiveness. Instead, try focusing on the positives you get out of the relationship: What are her strengths? For example, a friend might be someone who has great ideas for entertaining your kids, or she’s fantastic about telling you about resources in your local community that you weren’t aware of, or she gives you new ideas for meals and snacks your child might like. People aren’t perfect. A friend’s competitiveness isn’t her most endearing quality, but focusing on her good qualities protects the bond.

Many of our relationships are ambivalent, meaning they are the source of both positive and negative emotions. It’s not unusual to have that same dynamic with your parent-friend.

3. You can’t stop other parents from bragging, but you can control how you react to it. Think about what type of response is least likely to encourage future boasting, while not hurting your friendship. The polar opposite reactions of either biting back or gushing will both likely lead to more boasting, whereas a more neutral or disinterested reaction is likely to lead to less bragging. Hopefully. A trap is that reacting neutrally may lead to a temporary spike in boasting initially. (This is known as an “extinction burst.”) When people don’t get the reinforcement they expect, they often temporarily increase that behavior, trying to get the reaction they want. But when they finally realize they won’t get it, they give up or at least reduce the annoying behavior to something they do occasionally.

4. Recognize that competitive parenting is mostly just a sign that people love their kids and want the best for them. Although there can be psychological issues that underlie the issue, such as people who see their children and their achievements as an extension of themselves, you can also view it as a reflection of how much parents care about their little ones. When you view the situation this way, you’ll probably feel less annoyed, less anxious, or concerned.

5. Note when you’re overly personalizing things your friends say. Make sure you don’t interpret their comments as relevant to you (or directed at you) when they’re not. For example, if a friend says “I’m doing X, Y, Z with my child,” it doesn’t mean that you need to do that as well, or that they’re even suggesting that you should. Different parents have different strengths.

And the negative cycle can damage their relationships as well as place an additional burden on their mental health

Image credits: NomadSoul1 (not the actual photo)

According to the Pew Research Center, about four-in-ten parents (41%) say that the job is tiring and 29% say it is stressful all or most of the time.

Mothers and fathers are about equally likely to say being a parent is enjoyable and rewarding, but larger shares of mothers than fathers say parenting is tiring (47% vs. 34%) and stressful (33% vs. 24%).

Maybe it would get easier if we stopped judging each other and just focused on our own families.

If you would like to go through another similar story, we suggest our earlier publications The Internet Backs This Mom Who Banned Her Brother And SIL From Seeing Her Daughter After They Threw Away Her Medicine and In-Laws Keep Addressing Their DIL By The Wrong Name, Later Get Humbled At A Birthday Celebration.

People think the petty revenge was well-deserved

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