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Question
Posted by: Liza | 2010/02/22

Housemate...

My friend, her son and I moved in together a week ago. Her son is 13 and a TOTAL spoilt brat. He doesn''t listen when he is spoken to, does exactly what he wants and his mom gives him everything he wants. We''ve told him that his chore in the household is to wash the dishes after supper. Does he do this? No - yet he was told that he would get pocket money if he does the dishes. Then even though he hasn''t kept up his end of the bargain, he nags his mom until she gives him the pocket money. Whenever we go into a shop, he has to get cooldrink, sweets and chocolates. He just loads things into the trolley/basket without asking whether we can actually afford it.

He also complains about every single little thing e.g. he''s hungry and there''s no food. He refuses to eat bread that is older than a day - even when the bread has been kept in the fridge to keep it fresher. No signs of bread mould, slices still moist, but he can''t eat that - it isn''t fresh! Also, even if there is milk in the old bottle (still fresh, far from sell-by date), he opens the new bottle. And if we haven''t bought milk for the day, he refuses to use the previous days'' milk and complains that there isn''t milk for his breakfast cereal.

What should I do about this? He nags, throws tantrums - I swear his mental age is about 5. Obviously a good hiding is out of the question unfortunately.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

She may be a loving mother, but she sounds like a lousy mother. I really fel that to spoil a child and give him no sense of boundaries and duties towards others, is not only a severe disservice, but almost abuse. As for the food, unless he buys fresh bread and mild daily from pocket money he earns from actually doing chores, if he's stupidly fussy about the bread and milk you have, he can just go without.
A good hiding wouldn't change his mind from the awful lessons his mom teaches him - he needs rules, limits and absolutely predictable consequences every time he breaks the rules. So long as she encourages him to be menipulative, he will manipulate, and feel cheated when anyone else doesn't just slavishly give in like mom

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: Maria | 2010/02/22

Find new housemates. Sorry I know that''s not what you want to hear but your friend is not going to want parenting advice from you either. And the kid will resent you if his mom''s behaviour changes because of your input. Of course if she does start putting her foot down and enforcing boundaries she will be happier (and richer) mom and her son eventually a much more agreeable person.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Ruby | 2010/02/22

Hi Liza,

Well, you will have to speak to your housemate about this because this issue will make it unbearable for you to live with her and this child.

Good luck.

Reply to Ruby
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/02/22

She may be a loving mother, but she sounds like a lousy mother. I really fel that to spoil a child and give him no sense of boundaries and duties towards others, is not only a severe disservice, but almost abuse. As for the food, unless he buys fresh bread and mild daily from pocket money he earns from actually doing chores, if he's stupidly fussy about the bread and milk you have, he can just go without.
A good hiding wouldn't change his mind from the awful lessons his mom teaches him - he needs rules, limits and absolutely predictable consequences every time he breaks the rules. So long as she encourages him to be menipulative, he will manipulate, and feel cheated when anyone else doesn't just slavishly give in like mom

Reply to cybershrink

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