How to Work Out Arguments With a Loved One/11 year old and friends
I am 27. My dad is disabled, and my stepmom works 60+ hours a week as a manager. Therefore, when I am not at class/work I am responsible for my 11 year old sister L.
Our street is a loop around, not really a cul de sac. All the neighborhood kids play with each other. Our neighbor to the right is actually my aunt, and she has custody of her grandchild, my cousin, 4 year old J.
L and J play together, but when L's friends want to play (older children, 10-13) J is not invited.
I understand why, because she's only 4. And the older kids don't want to babysit her all the time. This happened today. I let L go across the street, and it upset J and my aunt. My aunt told me it was not fair to J, that she had made plans for J and L to play together.
I let her yell and complain until she left, and then she called my stepmom who is at work, who called me to get my side of the story.
I feel like it isn't fair for L to have to be forced to take J with her whenever she plays with the older kids. but my aunt insists it is rude because she had already made plans.
Do you have any advice on how I should have handled this?
You handled the situation as best as you possibly could given the fact that your aunt was being irrational and was angry. Getting into an argument at that stage would have only led to more negativity. It seems that your aunt has taken it for granted that L and J will always play together. I think it's time you brought it up with your stepmother too. She needs to intervene. The age gap between L and J is pretty huge and they can't be part of same playgroup. One way out could be that L and J play together every alternate day, giving L some freedom. Or it could be L and J are together an hour and then she's allowed to be with her own gang. Both sticking to each other all the time, isn't a good idea for their growth and learning.