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My three year old son tells me he doesn't like his cousin.

I have house guests for the holidays (through Christmas) and my son is three years old. My sister has four kids: a fourteen year old boy, an eleven year old girl, a six year old boy, and a three year old boy. My son gets along with all of them except for the three year old. They are CONSTANTLY fighting. I asked my son why he was picking on his cousin and he told me he didn't like him. I asked him why and he said he needed to go away. They got off to a very rocky start. My nephew bit, punched and kicked my son but I thought we were past it but now my son is doing things like pinning him in corners and refusing to let him into rooms. What do I do?

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jessflynn

Asked by jessflynn at 8:56 AM on Nov. 30, 2012 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 9 (361 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • Maybe keep them separated & do more activities during the day. How about the local Library? They have play times scheduled. Call & ask. Get some movies too. Cars, Rio, Madagascar etc.

    ILovemyPaulie

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 9:00 AM on Nov. 30, 2012

  • Tell your son it is not okay to be rude or hurtful to his cousin. Let him know if the boy does anything to him that he should come to you right away and you will stop him. Try to find an activity they can do together while you supervise to help develop a better relationship between the two.
    RyansMom001

    Answer by RyansMom001 at 9:34 AM on Nov. 30, 2012

  • Now is the time to talk with him about manners and acceptable behavior. Maybe a book about making friends. OK touches versus rough touches. How do we treat guests? What is good behavior? Time outs for either of the three olds that violate the behavior. Good luck.
    booklover545

    Answer by booklover545 at 9:45 AM on Nov. 30, 2012

  • It's similar to sibling rivalry, a sort of jealousy and fear of being replaced by the new person. Just reassure him that nephew will be gone soon and that he (son) is still your little man. If that doesn't work then just tell them to stop it when they go at it. Remember that you are dealing with testosterone. Guys are naturally aggressive so fighting isn't unusual. Tell him if he behaves Santa will take nephew away! lol
    admckenzie

    Answer by admckenzie at 10:25 AM on Nov. 30, 2012

  • All excellent advice. He usually has great manners. I just don't know what is wrong. I've tried talking, separating, and timeouts. They just keep fighting.
    jessflynn

    Comment by jessflynn (original poster) at 10:29 AM on Nov. 30, 2012

  • I have a cousin that I don't like either. Never did. But my parents, my grandparents, and his parents all made us understand that while they couldn't make us like each other, they would make us respect and be polite to each other. So just explain to him that you understand he doesn't like his cousin, and that's fine, but his cousin is still a guest in his home, and he needs to be polite to him. Don't force them to actively do things together (for example, if you're doing crafts, don't make them sit right next to each other, or make them play cars together), but do find things to do that they can do "together." Even if they never like each other, he'll at least learn to be polite to him. My cousin and I still don't get along. He only calls my grandma to bum money from her, and it bugs me to no end. I'd love nothing better than to lay into him, but I won't, because my family wouldn't like it. Hopefully, your son will be that way
    wendythewriter

    Answer by wendythewriter at 10:44 AM on Nov. 30, 2012

  • He is 3. Remind him that his cousin won't be there long and they should be friends. Also- don't make him share things that mean a lot to him. If they fight remind him to be nice and try to keep them busy

    charlotsomtimes

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 11:17 AM on Nov. 30, 2012

  • My rule is if you can't play nice leave each other alone. My other rule is that guests are to be treate nicely for the duration.
    However I would only use the #1 rule with the three year old and maybe mention the other. As far as rooms are concerned, Tell your son that he can go to his room and his cousin may not go in there but the other rooms (that you allow) are for anyone that wants to use them. Have your sister tell her son that yours son's room is off limits, and that is they can not get along to leave each other alone.
    As for blocking the cousin in a corner that is simply not acceptable. For me that is a time out behaviour (bullying).

    I also suggest that the older ones help to make sure each feels they are getting equal attention.
    Be sure you watch the cousins behaviour for aggression as well.
    Dardenella

    Answer by Dardenella at 12:33 PM on Nov. 30, 2012

  • Thank you all so much. I was at the end of my rope but there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel. We just got the finishing touches on the basement and it is now ready for them to stay down there. It was a tight squeeze in our two bedroom home. My son was having to share his room with his six- and three-year-old cousins and I was sharing my room with my sister and my niece and my fourteen-year-old nephew was sleeping on my sleeper sofa in my living room. We had a few things left in the basement to do before it was ready (they arrived earlier than expected) but we have finished painting and got the carpeting down so now the can just hangout there and my son and I can get a little bit of peace each day!
    jessflynn

    Comment by jessflynn (original poster) at 12:55 PM on Nov. 30, 2012

  • My dd does this to my 9 yr old niece Carla bc Carla teases her saying my mommy and hugs me to aggravate my dd who is also 3 yrs old... It's normal just keep reminding him to be nice or he goes to time out and the cousins mom should do same
    mamide02ninas

    Answer by mamide02ninas at 1:17 PM on Nov. 30, 2012

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