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How to give someone parenting advice? (I double posted).

My sister has a 4 year old son who is an absolute terror. He throws huge tantrums and will spit in people's faces and kick them. He calls people names, says "I hate you', etc. He can't sit still through a meal in a restaurant, you get the idea. He's like one of those kids on Nanny 911.

Anyway, my other sister babysits him all the time and is at her wits end. He has to go to his dad's house half the week and this makes my sister feel guilty so she's never really disciplined him. She admits that he doesn't listen to her but that he will listen to some people, like his Dad and teachers. The kid stresses everyone out! My other sister wants to talk to her about it, but she doesn't know what to say. Neither one of us want to come off as high and mighty, but he is clearly out of control. In our opinion, just a few changes and consistent discipline would make a world of difference. What can we do?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 2:35 PM on Jul. 24, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (5)
  • Perhaps you could word it very carefully as suggestions, such as "I babysat this baby that did that! It was awful until someone told me to do X, and it really saved my patience!" or something along those lines. I'm sure she realizes that things are not under control, and would probably appreciate the advice, if its worded in a way that will not come off as sounding like you said, "high and mighty". I had a friend whose child would bite constantly-on everything, including dogs and people. I helped her in much the same way, and it worked out okay. Good luck!

    Answer by Emuu at 2:40 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • Wow. I would say exactly that. Tell her you know she doesn't discipline out of guilt and you are not calling her a bad mother, you are offering suggestions ( which you will have to give her some clearly ) to help them have a better loving relationship for the rest of their lives. !

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 2:48 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • Since you and one sister both babysit other sister's kid from heck for some time, plus you've both seen bad bad behavior from him you should just outright take that sister to a park, sit in car and say it.

    I'd tell her your both available to babysit again when kid is in ongoing therapy and the mother is too.
    Otherwise nothing will be solved. You could be strong enough to want to say - but if that mother sister cries or screams chances are you'll both as babysitters back down and will continue to overlook his attitude from the devil incarnate.

    Schools have counsellors, schools have early intervention,poor kid probably freaked outyanked between everyone's houses.

    I'm thinking more and more that johnkate8 have it right keeping kids living in one house one neighborhood full time and parents come and go instead of moving kids multiple times for years between houses and friend and schools and activites.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:15 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • Ok, my 3 year old is bad, he doesn't spit or kick people, other than his sister, but he does throw tantrums. He can not sit still if his life depended on it, and there are times when it has. We are consistent with him and discipline him when necessary. I found out that he has ADHD. This is something that he can not control. It is not his fault and the one thing that can help him ocntrol it is medicine. This is a huge problem for me because I hate giving him medicine, but I also felt like a better mother because it was not my fault either. Did you ever think that this could be a part of the problem. It will get worse, more violent, if it does ot diagnosed soon. I hate it when parents look at these kids and automatically think the worse of them because they don't understand.

    Answer by krissyvelazquez at 3:50 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • krissyvelazquez: IMO 3 years old is way too early for a diagnosis of ADHD. There is no way I would have had my son on meds for it that young. My son is ADHD and the doctor refused to diagnosis or medicate until he was in 4th grade.

    To OP: you have to be very careful how you approach this. I have a friend whose 5 year old is a complete terror and it is because her mother doesn't discipline her because the kid get upset and cries. TOUGH. When you or your other sister are babysitting, discipline the child. Someone needs to teach him appropriate ways to act. Also, both of you need to talk to your sister about how her sons behavior now, will have lasting affects later. He will have trouble in school and throughout his life because he has no limits or consequences for his behaviors. Your sister isn't a bad mom, just a misinformed, lax mom.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 4:18 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

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