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How can I handle a sensitive situation with my son's two small boys?

My daughter-in-law is very passive regarding her three year old's behavior. Some of what he does is totally unacceptable, for example, he urinates on his one year old brother's bedroom floor, hits him,won't let him touch anything, etc., and the one year old retreats to a corner when he's around. She give the three year old endless "time outs", not effective. I'm sitting for them next week for five days. I'm quite upset over this behavior and will not be as lay back about it. How do I handle this without alienating my daughter-in-law? I have suggested a therapist to her (the behavior is THAT bad) and I am very concerned about BOTH boys. Can anyone give me some constructive advice??? Thanks so much... Grandmalinda707

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Asked by grandmalinda707 at 11:28 AM on Feb. 22, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (8)
  • I think that you need to express to your DIL and her oldest boy that while you are watching your grandsons, they will be required to follow your rules. Explain to her what they are and how you will discipline him. Be upfront about everything and if she does not agree, then let her know that she needs to find another sitter. I don't know their situation or why she and your son would allow this behavior to continue, but it may be that they 't know HOW to discipline her son - is your son around the boys or is he away? Either way, be the example for her that she needs. Ask her if she wants he son to behave like this and if not, what is she willing to do to learn how to discipline. Suggest some parenting classes for her or be the model for her to help her get through the challenges of discipline. She may be the one that needs a therapist, or her son, or both...

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 11:38 AM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • I think that you can lay down the laws of your own home to her as well as the 3 year old. Explain to her that you have certain rules that are to obeyed in your home. I'm not sure if you believe in spanking, but I do. I would say, if he acts up he will get spanked. Thats the way my home works. If she don't like it, she can get other plans. Your home= Your Rules. There are no exceptions. Otherwise, you can tell her what she is doing to the 3 year old by denying rules is straight up abuse. That might put some fright into her.. tell her if it isn't handled, you will seek outside enforcement.

    Answer by m-avi at 11:39 AM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • Well, if he pees on the floor, show him what to do to clean it up, you don't do it, let him do it. When they have to clean up their mess, it tends to stop them. As for hitting, if time outs aren't working, sit him in a chair where he can't see a thing, and make sure he stays, I know it sounds like time out, but, a chair away from fun stuff etc, is good.He's very territorial, and most are so thats a hard one to do anything about the not sharing. He will learn that as he gets a little older. He may even be better for you than he is at home.He is also jealous, so something should have been or should be done about that.

    Answer by Kat122 at 11:42 AM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • I would be suprised if he has the same behavior with his mom not their and being with other children clearly not behaving like that. I would hope when the 1st incident happens, you need to say firmly that behavior is not acceptable, make him help you clean up whatever he did. time outs Ive seen work, maybe she is not talking to him why he is having one, or just letting him get up before he is even remorsful. your not alienating the mother, you are trying to stop bad behavior thats totally different. you should search the internet. I bet some of those Nanny 911 shows or something have an advise section. good luck.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:43 AM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • Its hard to give someone well meaning advice about parenting without coming off judgmental, especially coming from the MIL. I would just talk to her about a game plan for getting him to behave at your house. Tell her you don't want anything to happen to him because you can't control him.  Ask her how you should go about getting him to behave.  Maybe asking her for help with him will get her thinking about the situation.


    Answer by Farrahann at 11:47 AM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • I'm going to be watching the boys in their home. I won't "spank" the boys, ever, it isn't my place. My son and DL are both physicians with a nanny in the daytime for the boys. The nanny is very good with them, my son isn't home a whole lot, but when he is he is totally there for the boys, very hands on, my DL is a loving mom with a very different philosophy than mine. They are two intelligent, good parents, but seem to be pushing this situation under the rug, maybe thinking it will run its course. I have told both of them how I feel. I guess I will have to handle it how I see fit. The three year old has tantrums that can go on for 45 minutes. I just know I will not allow him to do what he does when I am present. Maybe I should just sit with the three year old and "pretend" play with him to find out why he does this. Either way, I'm not having this behavior. Just don't want to alienate my son and DL in the process.

    Answer by grandmalinda707 at 11:50 AM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • The oldest boy is being abusive to the little one and you DIL should deal with it. If she refuses I would contact CPS and take the youngest in until DIL deals with the problem. She should also take parenting classes (and of course therapy for the whole family) . Why isn't the dad doing anything about it? The kids do have TWO parents.

    Answer by Serafina46 at 4:30 PM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • The father is more forceful with the three year old than the mother, short of spanking him. But he isn't home alot, he is almost always at the hospital. I went to Barnes & Noble and bought two very recommended books on dealing with strong willed and difficult children and am trying to digest them before I go there. I think there's a lot of guilt on the part of the parents as they are both out of the home alot with working at the hospital,, so they might think some of the behavior is due to their not being there so much. They would probably be right in that, but that situation is not going to change antime soon, so we have to find a way to stop this behavior and help the three year old deal with these desperate feelings of anger and at the same time protect the one year old. I will let you know how the week I spend watching the boys goes. Thanks everyone...

    Answer by grandmalinda707 at 10:37 AM on Feb. 25, 2009

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