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Question
Posted by: Troubled | 2006/11/12

Difficult children

Hi, I generally like children and my fiance is also very good with them. My brother's children, however, push the boundaries. Neither of them know how to react to attention and they get silly when either of us sit down to talk to them or want to play a game with them. My nephew once hit my fiance in the face and he didn't take that very well. He lifts my dress and even pinches my breasts. He is already six years old and I feel such behaviour is totally inappropriate. He is getting counceling, but it doesn't seem to help, since he has been going for longer than a year now and there's still no improvement. We never invite them over anymore for my nephew wreaked havoc the last time we did. If we go over to their place I get so upset, for all I want to do is discipline the kids. This means that I hardly get to see my brother and it really bothers me. How should I handle this? I know it is not my place to discipline the children and the times I do my sister-in-law frowns upon it and my brother overreacts by sending the children to their room or giving them a hiding. Please give me advice.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

You're right --- such behaviour IS totally inappropriate and these are badly brought-up, badly-behaved brats. And for a 6 year-old to lift your dress and pinch your breasts is alarming, and even raises some concerns about possible sexual abuse in his past --- normal 6 year-olds don't don that. Counselling that lasts over a year without noticeable improvement is useless, and suggests an inadequate counsellor, and that a change of approach and therapist is urgently needed. And as it sounds as though your brother has no idea of how to discipline his kids ( kids need discipline, structure and rules in their lives almost as much as they need food, water and shelter ) maybe HE and his wife need to see a psychologist to learn how to do this properly. Sounds like possibly in that family, mom under-reacts and over-indulges them, and dad tries to pretend nothing is wrong, and then over-reacts,

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Our users say:
Posted by: Momof3 | 2006/11/12

Hi troubled. Yes it is TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE behavouir.As CS suggestes something must have happened when he was younger or he must have seen your brother doing that to his wife.pinching or touching her breasts which he has turned into pinching or something different seeing it as being normal.Some families play inappropriate games with there kids chasing them and catching and pinching them or pinching there bums etc and children see this and try to copy it.Not really understanding what they are doing.
I have a brother too and his kids are much younger than mine and he is always saying that my kids shoud be in bed at a certain time or eating at 5pm etc.My eldest is 20 and his is 11 yrs old so see the difference.My eldest is working and his is just in gr5.So I have told him I hear what he is sayimg but as my kids are almost finished school and his only half way through primary school he should understand that they will not go to bed at 8pm .They go when they are tired which is about 9pm for the youngest,11pm for the one in matric and 12-1pm for the one thats working(I leave him as he is adult enough to decide and the only one I do insist goes to bed early is the youngest.

In your case ,If it were me.I would phone my brother and ask if the 2 of you and perhaps his wife too could meet at your place to chat about the kids.If not ask if you guys can meet at there place to talk.when you get there say you would like to talk on your own without the kids being present.

Then say to them that you love them both very much and would love to visit more but you have noticed that there seems to be a problem with there son inparticular and the way he behaves and that you asked for advise from the cybershrink as how to approach you guys without making them upset etc.
Tell them that cybershrink agrees that the sons behavoiur is not appropricate for his age and they need disapline-he suggested that the parents go to a psychlogist to learn how to become better parents,how to bring stability into the kids lives as kids need ROUTINE and structure. -the same thing every day and he and his wives relationship will also improve as I am sure they fight as well about the kids.
I know its not easy to talk about this but tell him you dont want to loose a loving family and would like to visit more and tell him what his son is doing and ask him to sit with his son quietly and calmly in his room ,no shouting or hidings and to explain Why he may not touch girls or woman THAT way.He must learn to treat then with respect- this he will learn from his dad.Good luck.

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