Back story: My sister and her husband have completely given up on parenting my nephew, who is 4 years old. He runs the house and when he doesn't get his way he does a fake whine/cry until they give him what he wants, when they do try to set rules/limits he runs through the house ripping things down and throwing them while screaming. He won't even wipe his own butt after he poops, just screams for the toilet that he needs someone to wipe him.
(She keeps saying that there is something "wrong" with him and taking him to the doctors but what he really needs is a routine, rules and someone to enforce those rules)
Current story: We were just at their house for a few days to visit and before I brought my nephew and my kids down to our aunts house for a visit. (Several states away) Driving with him was stressful, I spend most of the time reminding him that their were other people in the car so he needed to be calm. Those 2 hours he slept were priceless.
The first night at my aunts was horrific, he did pretty much nothing but whine/cry/scream because there are rules now. He didn't eat his dinner and was told that there were no snacks after dinner so he would be hungry. He took a few bites and said he was done then whined for almost an hour about how he was starving and NEEDED cookies...NOW!! (He was offered his dinner to eat if he was truly hungry) Everything triggered some sort of over dramatic fake cry/whine until we finally got him to sleep!
This morning I swear he is a new kid. He still slips into his normal behavior but after a quick reminder that whining isn't acceptable, that if he wants something he has to talk. He is following the rules without a second thought and has been so much more pleasant to be around.
It really is amazing what a little structure and soft reminders can do for a child. I know it'll go back to normal when he gets home but at least for now he is thriving. He is such a sweet and loving boy but it is hard to see it under everything else. I am so glad I get to enjoy it for a while!
I feel that routines, structure and rules are so important for kids, they thrive in those situations. Agree? Disagree?