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Old 12-01-14, 12:53 PM   #1
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How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

Just had Thanksgiving at my brother's house and his son was a total pain in the ass. Let me set the stage and then maybe you guys have some suggestions on how to deal:

I am married with two daughters ages 6 and 3. My brother is married with one son age 6. We all live near each other and see each other frequently throughout the year. Their son's behavior has been an ongoing problem so we've begun to dread the holidays.

My nephew and my 6 year old are like oil and water, they are really different and while they say they have fun playing together there is in fact a lot of fighting and arguing about turns and the like. My nephew is super loud, he literally does not talk, his only volume level is yelling. So playtime is at a much higher intensity than how my daughter plays at home or with the neighbors or with the countless other friends of hers that come over and play. Lots of running, screaming, falling down for no reason accompanied by loud sound effects, basically the kind of stuff that if she did it while she was home alone with me I would tell her she needs to quiet down or there will be a punishment and that this isn't how we behave indoors.

Add to this my 3 year old who suffers from the problem all younger siblings suffer, she wants to join in and keep up, but the older kids are faster and more mature. He conspires to leave her out, which hurts her feelings and escalates into crying and all kinds of shit we don't want to have to deal with.

Anyway, as annoying as all this is it is just kids being kids. I wish they wouldn't do it, but I can remember being in similar situations as a kid and it is part of growing up and learning to play together. But the bottom line is that my 6 year old and my nephew simply don't make good playmates. This stuff doesn't happen when any of her other friends come over.

The bigger problem is the way he treats adults. On Thanksgiving my wife had to discipline our daughter to get her to calm down after so much frantic playtime. My wife did the mom move where she called my daughter by her full name, "Mary Elizabeth Smith you get over here and sit down." (name changed of course) And my nephew retorted back to my wife "Mary Elizabeth Smith" in a sort of mocking sing-songy tone. When my wife told him that is rude he said it again.

While sitting at the dinner table the nephew grabbed something from my 3 year old or bumped her or did something I didn't see and she told me "Daddy he bumped me." To which my nephew retorted "You're a tattle tale." I explained that since she is 3 I like her to tell me things so that I can keep her happy and safe, to which he replied to my face "So? She's still a tattle tale! Tattle tale, tattle tale, tattle tale." On and on until I had to tap on his plate with my knife to get his attention, quiet him, and tell him that's not friendly and cut it out. This is all happening in front of the whole family and no one is doing anything.

Which brings me to the reason for all this, my brother and his wife do not discipline the kid at all.

The problem is further complicated by the fact that they don't seem to see it and/or are in denial. We don't really want our daughter to play with him because his behavior is so shitty, but meanwhile my brother and sister in law are always asking for her to come over or have a sleep over. All throughout Thanksgiving, as this stuff is going on, they keep saying, "Look how good they play together. You should have her come over more often."

Anyway, I could go on and on. I have countless examples of his bad behavior but I just wanted to describe Thanksgiving.

If these were friends or neighbors we could simply say, "Fuck it. They're not going to play together." But it's family. It's hard to avoid. Any advice for dealing with this?

TLDR version: My 6 year old nephew is a bad playmate with my 6 year old daughter and is rude to adults. How do I deal?

Last edited by Mabuse; 12-01-14 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 12-01-14, 12:59 PM   #2
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

Your nephew sounds like my nephew, who is also six. His parents discipline him, but only when he gets way out of hand. Luckily, my kid is still under 2, so she doesn't really get to leave adult supervision yet.

I have no advice. I often get the, "Oh, boys are just louder and have more energy" explanation. I think that's BS, but what can you do?
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Old 12-01-14, 01:03 PM   #3
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

Pass on Christmas and tell your brother why.

Or just let them treat you and your family poorly.

Simple.
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Old 12-01-14, 01:06 PM   #4
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

In my opinion, your response should be based on whose house you're in. If you're the guest and the nephew is part of the home team, I think it's fair to mention his behavior privately to your brother. Hell, point him to this thread and let him read about how the child's behavior is causing you to "dread" visiting. If he's willing to work with you and keep the nephew under control, take that as a positive and help him help you by letting him try to handle things. Even if he does a bad job and the nephew is still trouble, at least he's bought-in to the fact that help is needed - thing might be TONS better by this time next year. If your brother is unwilling to help, then perhaps the natural consequence of you not wanting your kids exposed to that type of behavior - particularly the model that the nephew is setting for your 3 y/o - should accompany the threat that maybe you have better things to do this year than visit.

On the other hand, if you're the home team, then you ABSOLUTELY are within your rights to ask for appropriate behavior from your nephew and his parents. Let them know that your nephew's behavior is unwelcome in your home and if there's a repeat of past episodes you may have to ask them to leave. Also, you have a right to discipline the child if he is in your home. If the parents don't step up to the plate when he steps out of line, you do so. Give him a time out. Ask him to calm down, go away, spend a few minutes alone. If the parents object, ask them to kindly leave.

IMO, the key here is linking the anti-social behavior to an anti-social response. If a child treats others with disrespect, those others can/will opt to not interact with the child. The parents "own" the child's behavior and need to be included in the discipline, control, and response to his behavior that others impose upon him. If you don't want that happening in your home, you have a right to ask that it be left outside... if it's brought into your home, you have a right to ask that it be removed. And you NEVER have to expose your kids to behavior in someone else's home if you don't want to.

The parents may be embarrassed, they may get angry, but ultimately the response is directly tied to the nephew's behavior and their lack of willingness (or inability) to control it. If being ostracized, or if having a chunk of their extended family opt to NOT spend the holidays with them because of this behavior, they may get the idea.
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Old 12-01-14, 01:26 PM   #5
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

I don't know the answer to this. So I'll give a snarky response. Take him over your lap, pull down his pants, and spank his ass.

Or just tell your brother you can't make it this year. I fucking hated Christmas at my brother's. You eat some good food, sit and watch a football game (which is tedious as fuck to me), and try to ignore how much you hate listening to siblings scolding their kids, pets, and becoming passively angry at each other. And then I'm labeled "the weirdo" for wanting to be alone, catch a movie, eat some sweets and just chill out?

It took me 5-7 years to realize I don't have to go.

Fuuuuuk people.
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Old 12-01-14, 01:36 PM   #6
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

1. You are witnessing the difference between boys and girls. Little boys are annoying as fuck. It's not BS and it also doesn't mean that parents shouldn't be listened to. You need a harder line with boys. (I used to remove my daughter from situations if she got out of hand and verbally discipline her in private.)

2. You do nothing. This is your brothers' family's failings, not yours. Any move you make will cause problems and its not worth it.
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Old 12-01-14, 01:37 PM   #7
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

Kenbuzz, thank you for the advice. There is simply no way I can be that forthright with my brother. I can't put my finger on exactly why but that's just not the relationship we have and I simply don't feel like I have the balls to call him out one on one and say, "Your kid's behavior is a problem."

Furthermore my mom and dad (my bro and I's mom and dad) are a factor in this. They have witnessed his bad behavior and there was a time when my mom "offered advice" in a kind of way to indicate that he needed some improvement and this created a rift in the relationship. My mom has told me that she simply shuts up and goes along with it. Interestingly she has told me that when she baby sits him she does discipline him the way she believes he should be. But it's not enough to change the behavior.
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Old 12-01-14, 01:40 PM   #8
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

Listen to mom. Mom is right.
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Old 12-01-14, 01:44 PM   #9
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
Kenbuzz, thank you for the advice. There is simply no way I can be that forthright with my brother. I can't put my finger on exactly why but that's just not the relationship we have and I simply don't feel like I have the balls to call him out one on one and say, "Your kid's behavior is a problem."
Then everyone loses.

Best of luck!
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Old 12-01-14, 01:49 PM   #10
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

Is this your nephew?



If so, then good luck!
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Old 12-01-14, 01:51 PM   #11
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

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Originally Posted by Brian Shannon View Post
Then everyone loses.

Best of luck!
No, mabuse only loses when his brothers' kids are around. You can't go freaking out at other people's kids.
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Old 12-01-14, 02:18 PM   #12
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

whew for being an only child
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Old 12-01-14, 02:20 PM   #13
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

Your six year old nephew isn't a bad playmate - he's six years old.

And you are apparently spoiled because your perfect angel children don't ever do anything wrong in your eyes and you don't approve of the parenting tactics of others.

That's this thread in a nutshell.

Here's Austin Powers in a nutshell:

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Old 12-01-14, 02:25 PM   #14
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

He has girls. Girls aren't little irritating bastards like boys.
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Old 12-01-14, 02:31 PM   #15
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Shannon View Post
Pass on Christmas and tell your brother why.

Or just let them treat you and your family poorly.

Simple.
This.

Seriously, I am not sure how you would really be considering anything else. Or get permission to hit their kid. It's family so they may be cool with it.
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Old 12-01-14, 02:32 PM   #16
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CRM114 View Post
He has girls. Girls aren't little irritating bastards like boys.
I've got a three-year-old daughter at home and I do not agree with that. Girls are insane from age 1 to around 24.
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Old 12-01-14, 02:32 PM   #17
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

I would like to thank the OP for reminding me of how glad I am I didn't have kids. Thankfully, my only brother didn't have any either, so this kind of stuff never goes on at family get-togethers.
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Old 12-01-14, 02:43 PM   #18
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

This reminds me....I'm getting low on condoms
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Old 12-01-14, 02:53 PM   #19
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

Random thoughts:

1. Unasked-for parenting advice rarely goes well, particularly among family.

2. Don't take his behavior toward your family personally. Of course you're not, right? But maybe. No! Right? And yet, yeah, maybe a little, and that's the sort of thing that can really creep in when kids do those annoying / frustrating / inappropriate things. Everything you've mentioned is your reaction to his interaction with your family. You didn't really say anything about his interactions with others or his regular behavior, in comparison. You might be taking it personally and that's going to make it tough to love him as a six-year-old who comes from a house with different discipline than yours. Ask any teacher who has to deal with this on a regular basis and they'll all tell you: once you don't take it personally, a lot gets put into perspective.

3. A kid will take any attention and run away with it. If the only consequence he receives to interacting with your family is that he gets to keep doing it, then he'll keep doing it. But even if you get up to take your family and leave, there's no guarantee your brother won't take it personally so you'll have to decide if this is worth a potential big family fight over.

4. There is such a thing as self-advocacy and telling someone how their actions impact you, even kids. Empathy is huge for kids. Whatever you do, don't exaggerate. If he makes a choice that frustrates you, say it frustrates you. Don't say it makes you sad or depressed or hyperbole or he's breaking your heart, he won't get it and won't learn real empathy.

5. Model discipline with your daughter in front of your brother and his kid.

Good luck.
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Old 12-01-14, 02:56 PM   #20
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

Sounds like the OP needs to talk to his bro about shit going down.
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Old 12-01-14, 03:00 PM   #21
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DVD Josh View Post
Your six year old nephew isn't a bad playmate - he's six years old.

And you are apparently spoiled because your perfect angel children don't ever do anything wrong in your eyes and you don't approve of the parenting tactics of others.

That's this thread in a nutshell.

Here's Austin Powers in a nutshell:

You can object to the term "bad playmate" but the bottom line is that I've witnessed her play with dozens of her peers here at our home in one-on-one, group, and party situations and he is the only playmate I would label with that term.

Also my perfect angel children fuck up all the time. I'm constantly riding them to sit up, eat, do home work, clean their room, etc. I do not suffer some delusion that my kids are perfect.

Last edited by Mabuse; 12-01-14 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 12-01-14, 03:02 PM   #22
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

Yes, rearing boys is different than rearing girls. There are good reasons why corporal punishment was practiced by practically every culture on Earth until the past generation.
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Old 12-01-14, 03:14 PM   #23
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

I'm Mexican, so growing up, if I acted out like that I'd get a smack in the mouth and the belt when I got home. I stopped misbehaving.
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Old 12-01-14, 03:28 PM   #24
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
Kenbuzz, thank you for the advice. There is simply no way I can be that forthright with my brother. I can't put my finger on exactly why but that's just not the relationship we have and I simply don't feel like I have the balls to call him out one on one and say, "Your kid's behavior is a problem."
I think you need to build up enough confidence within your own family first before much else can be done. I think it's perfectly fair to reject any invitations and cite your brother's son as the reason why.

If your parents understand the situation, have them around as a buffer and hope that they support your side of it.
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Old 12-01-14, 03:28 PM   #25
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Re: How do I deal with bad behavior from my Nephew?

Beat him.
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