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What do I do if a family member lets her son bully my son

What do I do when I have a family member who is to lazy to discipline her toddler? My son is 18 months her son is 2yrs. Her son takes every toy my son try's to play with, he stands above my son and points at him while saying something in a very threatening tone and pointing down at my son, her son hoards all my sons toys and smacks my son when he try's to play with them. If my son smacks back he gets in trouble because I don't want him to think it's okay. I try to redirect my sons attention on a different toy but then her son comes and takes that one too. My cousin does not pay enough attention nor does she care enough to discipline her son. It isn't fair because my son is constantly getting in trouble for things her son is allowed to do. I say "share boys" in hopes she will help but she either just sits there or pokes her head up from her computer to shout "SHARE" and then goes back to what she was doing . What do I do?

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Asked by Anonymous at 5:53 PM on Nov. 27, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (9)
  • I've had this situation. The parents clearly weren't going to do anything. I tried talking to the boy myself, even when he was little, like yours are. He didn't listen. We tried to not see them. A year later, when they were 3, the boys (there were 2 now) were still ganging up on my girl. The parents were still just saying "Oh, boys will be boys." So, I clearly and loudly told my daughter, for ALL my in-laws to hear, "Next time he so much as touches you, I want you to punch him in the face and I want to see blood!" Then I glared at the parents (dh's aunt and uncle). And then, guess what? They called their boys in. We refused to see them again after that, even though it meant missing family functions. Funny thing is, they started avoiding the same functions. HA HA HA. Now, I'm not condoning violence, but you can't just let those boys hassle yours. If the parents aren't doing anything, you have every right to.


    Answer by Pnukey at 5:59 PM on Nov. 27, 2009

  • Well, that's a tough one for you. Sorry to hear your cousin doesn't parent very well. But if she won't, then you must take it upon yourself to do something. You can't let her little one boss your son around and you can't let him hoard all the toys or take things when others are playing with them. If he does such things, go over to him, politely take the toy back from him and give it to your so and tell him "We don't take things." If he hits, tell him, "No hitting" or even put him by himself for a moment of time out if he gets out of hand with it. If your cousin doesn't like this, tell her that something had to be done because he was not sharing and he was being mean and taking things. If she blows it off, then tell her flat out, if you won't watch your child I will, but I will also be doing something about it when he acts out. If al elsel fails, just don't let them play together anymore.

    Answer by mom2BOYZnDad at 6:03 PM on Nov. 27, 2009

  • I agree with mom2boysndad, step in and do something, don't let him get away with that. And if she continues to not parent her child then tell her that he is not welcome around your son until he can behave himself. I would not put up with my kids being bullied, you shouldn't have to deal with that family or not and its not good for your son to be dealing with it

    Answer by DianeMary at 6:10 PM on Nov. 27, 2009

    Normally if this were a friend I would just stop going over there but it's my cousin and she is at all the family events and I am very close with my family. I am also trying to help her mature with her parenting she is kind of neglectful of her son and I really want her to grow up a little so I feel an obligation to see her. It's so dam frustrating though because I'm trying to teach my son respect and sharing and this is giving my son such negative experiences with sharing because every time he shares with my cousins son he (cousins son) just hoards all the toys and bullies my son. My cousins son is a good kid he just needs redirection and my cousin is too selfish to pry her head away from her online video games to teach him.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:50 PM on Nov. 27, 2009


    By the way the only reason this is anonymous is because my cousin joined me on the site a long time ago although she never comes on.. But just in case :(

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:52 PM on Nov. 27, 2009

  • If she won't parent her son, then I think you need to step in and take charge. Example: her son grabs a toy from your son --get down to his level and say "NO, we don't grab the toys. Bobby was playing with that, you need to wait your turn" and then direct his attention to something else. Do this every time, and eventually he should get the hint and start behaving. I would also make sure to tell both boys that 'the toys are for sharing, we need to take turns"
    If he is threatening/bullying your son- I would tell him "NO (fill in behavior)" and then separate the kids. I would also talk to the cousin and tell her that she needs to step up and start parenting her child. He is 2 and his behaviors need to be nipped in the bud NOW, not ignored and let to continue and possibly get worse.
    Good luck!

    Answer by MizLee at 7:23 PM on Nov. 27, 2009

  • Normally if this were a friend I would just stop going over there but it's my cousin and she is at all the family events and I am very close with my family. I am also trying to help her mature with her parenting she is kind of neglectful of her son and I really want her to grow up a little so I feel an obligation to see her.

    First your obligation is to your son, you have no obligation unless she is so neglectful as to endanger her son in which case you call the cops or cps.

    Second you are not obligated to be with family members, when they ask why you don't attend family gatherings you simply tell them the truth.

    Third, I know this will be very hard to do. But if your family is as close as you say they will reach out to you in other ways. Your son is your primary responsiblity.


    Answer by teamquinn at 8:21 PM on Nov. 27, 2009

  • I'd just say something directly to the child. If he kept it up I'd say "If you don't want to play nice then Joey won't want to play with you anymore." I'd try to redirect the other child, give him something constructive to do, or create a game that they can play together without fighting. Eventually you'll need to let your son fight his own battles, but if you want your cousin to figure out what SHE should be doing then you might just have to show her by talking to her child and not just your own. Hopefully her son will at least learn that he can get away with somethings with Mommy but not with you at family parties. Kids are smart and they know what they can do with different people around.

    Answer by beckcorc at 9:05 PM on Nov. 27, 2009

  • My family is old fashioned if the parents don't see a problem then whip the childs ass , you'll get a reation out of them . Or better yet don't touch the child bring it right to the parents

    Answer by waitin4u at 4:49 PM on Nov. 29, 2009

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