::vent:: Snotty kids and living with family

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::vent:: Snotty kids and living with family

Post  ConcordGrape on Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:19 am

This is not related to Migraines at all, but boy does thinking about it give me a headache!

If you feel like offering some advice, please read on. There is so much I could say but I will try to sum it up.

I am currently living with my brother, his wife, and their son. We are very close and they spent a long time encouraging me to move in. Here is the problem: My 3 yo nephew used to be a super sweet boy but is now a complete brat. It really pains me to say that, but I have witnessed the process and felt so useless to step in and help. He is not my child; who am I to tell my brother and sister how to raise their kid?

Since my nephew was an infant, his parents have asked what he thinks of everything. Always for his opinion and what he wants. My mother and I knew this was bad, but bit our tongues and watched it play out.

Now, the 3yo is very bossy and demanding, specifically for mommy because she listens to him*. He whines and acts like a baby, mostly for her. My brother, wishing to not add insult to injury, tries to stay out of these situations, and actually ends up mocking them, "oh yeah go whine to mommy, she'll listen to you". This makes it worse. When he does try to say something, it turns into a full blown argument with more crying and whining from the 3yo, and yelling from mommy.

It didn't take long for my nephew to pick up yelling. He started by just raising his voice when things didn't go his way. Today he threw his very first tantrum. He yelled and screamed, threw toys, hit my brother, called him names, and tried to trick him (I think pre-school has also taught him some of these behaviors). My brother was in such shock afterwards saying "he used to be so sweet, I don't understand!!"

I feel so terribly witnessing this and living with it and helpless to do anything. Can I do something? I have read elsewhere that I should set up boundaries and not allow this behavior to happen with me. But how do I do this when the mother is there telling him it is okay and she will do what he wants? She is so hit or miss. Sometimes she supports what I say, "no you shouldn't hit people", and sometimes she opposes it, "it's okay to do that!"

My brother keeps falling back on the "it's just this age" excuse. I don't believe that one bit. Is my nephew going to be a bratty, spoiled, rotten kid I'll just have to accept? Sad 

Moving out is an option, but I know it will hurt their feelings if I do, and my brother will probably be angry because he is doing me a favor/paying some expenses to help me out. Also I will feel guilty if I move out and don't tell them this is why.

*She gets very frustrated in these situations and gives in mostly because it will make him stop bothering her, and she is seeking the quickest way to get out of the situation. Later, she asks us "I don't understand why he is so much better for you guys and only whines with me". I know if I tell her this is why, she will be offended, get defensive, and probably not listen. (I've tried to kindly suggest that she change her approach, to no avail.)
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ConcordGrape

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Re: ::vent:: Snotty kids and living with family

Post  Mule Kick on Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:13 pm

My advice would be to seek professional counselling for the entire family (all four of you). They may be more willing to follow child rearing advice from a third-party professional, than they would be from you.

If they refuse family counselling; then at least get some short term therapy for yourself (perhaps with a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, who should be less expensive than a Psychologist or Psychiatrist), to learn some new methods of coping with this situation, and/or to explore all of your options.
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snotty kids and living with family.

Post  dizzyflower on Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:05 am

Sorry you are having to go through this but if you leave it alone it will get much worse, especially if mum feels that what she is doing is being watched or overwhelmed by the males in the house. If the child's mum is mentioning that he behaves better for you than he does for her and is wondering why then it suggests that she is open to help. I would try talking with her at a calm moment. She might appreciate some more support, but be careful not to fall into criticism.

I don't pretend to be an expert and i don't know you, but having worked in a school for children with emotional difficulties perhaps something I say might be of use.

The lad is probably playing up desperate to work out where the line is supposed to be and it is a situation that is probably altered by your presence.Families behave differently when it is just them than when other family members are in the household. It doesn't mean that other family members shouldn't be there, but as someone who grew up with gran and great aunt in the house I know it can be confusing when every grown up has differing views on what is and isn't OK. You end up with one encouraging you to talk, one expecting yo to shut up, another telling you are naughty and another thinks you are good. At three you really want attention from Mum still, but when she is tired and it goes a bit wrong, the other adults start tutting.

There is nothing worse for a youngster growing up not knowing exactly where the boundaries are set. Positive encouragement and consideration for others goes a lot further than constant telling off. A common mistake is to then label the child as badly behaved and to increase the consequences as they get older when the underlying problem of inconsistency is the root of the problem. Worse is when the child develops the sense of self that he is a bad boy, with the accompanying loss of confidence.

Suggest you read "Raising boys" by Steve Biddulph which was seen as important as the bible at the boys school where I worked. At this tender age he very probably isn't set as a bad boy but just can't understand where he fits and wants a bit more reassurance from Mum rather than being asked his opinion.

Best wishes Di



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Re: ::vent:: Snotty kids and living with family

Post  ConcordGrape on Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:17 am

Thank you, I really appreciate the responses. I have looked into therapy, although getting the whole family to consent is slim to none.

Di, a book is a great idea--I just bought the one you recommended Smile That way the information is not coming from me. Hopefully we can all read the book and agree on a common approach.
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Re: ::vent:: Snotty kids and living with family

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