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What can I do about my sister and her son?

I don't live with my sister. She lives in MN, and I live in Chicago. She always calls me and complains about her 4 yr old son getting on her nerves and always getting in trouble. I had the chance to visit them a few days ago. I noticed that all she does is yell at him. I told her to compliment him once when he was actually behaving, and she got defensive when I was only trying to help. I think that he needs some positive attention, but she says that doesnt work w/him, he still acts up. He is a very hyper child though. I dont know how to approach her about the situation w/o her getting defensive. I tried to tell her to find different ways to keep him busy. Do different activities w/him. She says she does, but she gets frustrated when he doesnt listen.She always has to repeat herself. I dont know what she should do. I need help.

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Asked by tmestes2003 at 11:49 AM on Oct. 6, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 1 (3 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • If I had that answer my sister would be a much better mother, and my poor nephew would be a lot better takin care of. sorry, my prayers are with u.

    Answer by JnCV at 11:52 AM on Oct. 6, 2010

  • Thank you for the response. I really felt so bad for him. If I could have brought him back home w/me I would've.

    Comment by tmestes2003 (original poster) at 11:55 AM on Oct. 6, 2010

  • My SIL is the same way. She grew up in a bad situation, and she has severe anger problems sometimes. She gets frustrated easily, and yells A LOT. I feel sorry for her kids too. Me and my husband try to take them out to the park with us, or wherever when we take our son. And it seems to help them. They are really hyper, and hate to listen sometimes too. But I think it's just because they were raised like that. She has always yelled at them, and threatened to "whoop" them, but it's all bark & no bite. It lets them think, Well she's not goign to do anything anyway. Everyone has tried talking to her about it, and she gets mad about it too. So weve just given up, and let her do what she wants. And we try to get them out, and away as much as we can. Not much you can do about it, since it's someone elses kids :/ But GL, hope you figure out something.

    Answer by Jessica1991 at 11:56 AM on Oct. 6, 2010

  • I would tell her that if she doesn't like the advice you have to give, then keep his bad behaviour to herself. I would tell her not to yell at him, but put him in time out when needed. Do things with him to keep him busy, give him positive reinforcments when being good. Maybe do like they do in some schools and do a behaviour chart. Make goals for what can "move him up" or "down" if he gets so many stars or how ever then he can get some kindof prize. Even if it's just playing his favorite game with mom!

    Answer by Sarasmoonflower at 12:01 PM on Oct. 6, 2010

  • Thank u. Yeah that's true. It is her child. We were raised w/a father that claims he gave us "tough love", and she said she wouldnt treat her children that way, but I noticed a lot of his ways when I seen her w/him. She restricts him from a lot of things (He cant watch the Disney Channel) because he imitates everything. My dad did the same thing w/us growing up. The only difference is she doesnt spank him, but she nags him all the time the same way our dad did us.

    Comment by tmestes2003 (original poster) at 12:02 PM on Oct. 6, 2010

  • You are always going to find that when you are trying to help a parent (even if you have been there and done that before them) by pointing things out to them that may help them/their children, they are always going to get defensive. They feel that you are attacking them, telling them they are not good parents, etc. The best thing you can do is try and show by example when you are there instead of telling her anything. When he is doing something good, tell him so, right in front of her, and see how different he starts acting for you. When she says something about it to you, then you can explain what you were doing, etc. That way she is the one ASKING for the advice instead of you telling her what you think. And she will know that it works because she saw the effect that it had. I wish you luck!

    Answer by QueenMomma2023 at 12:38 PM on Oct. 6, 2010

  • best advice I can give is to see if she will take him to a play group so she can see he is actually a normal good child.

    Answer by zoejains_momma at 3:59 PM on Oct. 6, 2010

  • Thank you for all of the good advice. I will take it all into consideration when I talk to her tomorrow about this situation. Hopefully it works. If not, there's nothing else I can do.

    Comment by tmestes2003 (original poster) at 11:49 PM on Oct. 6, 2010

  • tell her to find a balance with him in talkin and activities

    Answer by mekarevell at 9:03 PM on Oct. 7, 2010

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