Serious suggestions please!!

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Maggot, 11 Oct 2007.

  1. Maggot

    Maggot Guest

    I have a serious topic I would like discussed, so please, may I have your fullest attention.

    I have a useless, waster of a sister in law. She tips the scales at 23 stones, and is, how shall I put it? Um, rather in-active. She is currently suffering from her 15th chest infection this year!!!!!

    She has a small son, my nephew, who is 9 on sunday. He cannot swim, he cannot ride a scooter and, are you ready, he can't ride a bike:ohmy: I have offered to get him a bike for his b'day (he needs at least 24"), not a new one, but either salvage one from the tip, or get a second hand one. I have offered to teach him to ride it, but S-I-L thinks it is too dangerous to ride a bike nowadays because of all the traffic on the way to school, so she drives him (I know, I have pointed out she is a contributory factor). My wfe has offered her sister her old bike, so they can essential learn the skills together, but she was sworn at for taking the piss:sad:

    We have tried cajolling, being blunt, being supportive, pointing out the health risks and are now quite frankly stuck. I was thinking of getting my nephew over for a sleepover, and just damn well teaching him, but my M-I-L thinks S-I-L will go ballistic. Any suggestions?
  2. Joe24

    Joe24 More serious cyclist than Bonj

    I would get him a cheap bike, and get him riding it. If he enjoys it, then it would be mean for his mum not to let him ride it and do what he enjoys.
  3. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Personally I would just give up on them. He's her kid at the end of the day.
  4. OP

    Maggot Guest

    Joe, I don't think I could stand the grief.

    domtyler, I am there right now.

    I was wondering if anyone would agree with my train of thought. Thanks.
  5. graham56

    graham56 Guru

    Buy him a horse saddle, perhaps he could tie to his mother and ride on her. :blush::biggrin:
  6. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    I think she is against it because she sees it as an intrusion on her control over the kid, a statement that she is failing as a Mum.

    ...dunno mate....what does the kid want?
  7. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    A sad story Maggot, but I would have to agree with domtyler:sad::blush:
  8. sheddy

    sheddy Guru

    Does he have friends who have bikes? Could they be persuaded to teach him, instead?
  9. twentysix by twentyfive

    twentysix by twentyfive Clinging on tightly

    Over the Hill
    Yep I agree. Nowt you can really do.

    Or - sabotage her car :blush: :angry: :biggrin:
  10. OP

    Maggot Guest

    Sheddy, he has lots of friends who ride bikes. They cycle to the swimming pool and to the footbal pitch etc:sad:

    I think it is about her not wanting to do anything, so she is quite happy to "take him down" with her. As long as he is in-active she has an excuse doesn't she?
  11. longers

    longers Veteran

    Are there any sports or activities he is allowed to do that you can encourage him in?

    Cubs? Boys Brigade? Cadets?

    Don't give up just keep nagging, it's for his sake not hers.
  12. betty swollocks

    betty swollocks large member

    Do you not have a local park, traffic-free, where you could teach him and give SIL a solemn promise that you'll not go near a road?
    If she still refuses, at least you'll have eliminated traffic danger as a genuine objection.
    All kids deserve to ride a bike: don't give up on him yet:smile:
  13. asterix

    asterix Comrade Member

    Limoges or York
    Ah, a modern Brit, overweight, under-active and afraid of the world outdoors.

    Maybe he'll rebel in a few years and become our 1st TdF winner..
  14. wafflycat

    wafflycat New Member

    middle of Norfolk
    Firstly, has it occurred to you that someone with recurrent chest infections may not be able to do a lot of exercise? For all you know, she may have some chronic underlying health problem that affects weight and affects mobility. Also the fact that she's overweight is *not* as simple as calories in less than calories out - food is one huge emotional minefield and if you display your attitude to her - the one you've shown here, you may well be compounding the problem rather than helping. The only person who can tackle the weight issue is the woman herself, and it may be that right now, she's at a place in her life where she can't. That doesn't mean she's somehow defective or of less worth as a person. Indeed, by backing off about her weight, you could end up doing her a huge favour and she may get to the point where she feels she can tackle her weight problem a shole lot quicker than being nagged about it. I know - I've been there - I was that obese person.

    As for teaching her child to cycle: her attitude that it's too dangerous is one that is, unfortunately, held by too many and it's got naff all to do with the weight of the person holding the view. When I allowed my son to cycle to high school each day I got earache from several parents on the 'dangers' and how they'd never let their offspring on the roads as it's 'too dangerous out there'. I would not have been surprised if I'd had a visit from social services due to some of the comments I got from other parents and, in some cases, teaching staff.

    The bottom line is that it's not your child so you have no right to unilaterally impose your wants upon another person's child, especially when the parents concerned have said they don't want you to do something. So back off - that way, you *might* get a positive response, but just have to wait longer to get it. As it is, if you nag & push, you are well on the way of alienating a part of your family, and that's not going to get a positive response.
  15. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    I see no mention of the kid's Dad, is he not around? If he was, would he be a better bet to approach?

    I can see two sides:

    Part of me says walk away. I've got a friend with family trouble and I'm having to tell her to walk away from it, despite her being worried for nieces and nephews, because as far as I can see, she can't do anything and it's just dragging her down too. Although I couldn't concieve of being able to walk away from my nephew, so it's a case of easy to say, harder to do.

    Part of me says, get him a bike, teach him anyway. Even if his Mum then doesn't let him out on it, it means he's able to join in mucking about on his mates' bikes, and ride when he's old enough to do what he wants. I'd feel sorry for a lad who couldn't ride a bike, when all his friends could.

    I suspect Waffleycat is right though, and the more you push, the more resistance you'll get. It doesn't sound as though the lady is very happy, and unhappy people often become defensive like that because it's easier than changing - I've been there, in my own way. And, espcially if the Dad isn't around, I suspect she may be more controlling because she's afraid that one day the boy won't depend on her and will get a life of his own and abandon her.

    Perhaps lay off for a while, then offer a bike for Christmas, then lay off again if refused, and offer for a birthday... At the end of the day, he's not your kid. The best thing you can do is be a positive role model for him (and for the sister-in-law), so that when the time comes for him to be more independent, he sees that there are choices, and that you are willing to help him out with learning etc. After all, it's is never too late to learn a bike...
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