My nephew is 7 and he likes to hang out with my 7 year old son at our house. He spends a few days a month with he so his mom and stepdad can go out. Occasionally, he spends the night.
He is a mostly well behaved child. My husband and I enjoy having him over, even though his three year old brother can be a handful. He even asks to come over and do chores! He hasn't always had the best home life after his dad left when he was a baby. His mom, my sister, has had a crazy work schedule his entire life and I spent a year or so helping to raise him. He doesn't have much of a schedule and spends weekends being run around from place to place with mom. He has complained about how hectic things can be before, but he's always handled it well. His mom is trying to bring some order to his life, but with work and medical issues and an active social life, it's not always an option.
Here is my issue-last weekend, he spent the night and was up before my children. He ate breakfast and asked to go outside but my kids had not yet gotten prepared for the day. My husband said he was welcome to go out and play alone while our son did his morning routine.
While he was outside, my nephew destroyed a plastic bin for the kids' toys. It had a crack and when we discovered what he'd done, it was because the entire bin was in small pieces near the back door. We also noticed the can of lighter fluid that my husband had carelessly left out on the back porch was empty. When my husband asked my nephew who had done it, he denied any knowledge. My husband had taken our dog out in the morning before breakfast and nothing was amiss. My son let us know about the bin almost immediately after stepping out. There is not doubt what happened.
We didn't punish him bc he isn't our child to do so. We also did not tell his mother bc we didn't want him to get hit. She will spank him and ground him for a week and she can also be a little mean with how she speaks to home. We were protecting him, in a way. She doesn't beat him or harm him irrevocably but we feel as though he has a hard enough time without us telling on him. We have kept things quiet before.
We have noticed that he has become more aggressive with our kids and even told my son that he wasn't welcome to play a game bc he decided to stop liking him. I won't leave him alone with our dog bc he can be mean and I swear I've seen him smack her. He also wandered around our second floor last night after I put him to bed, and I don't know what exactly he was doing, but he was in rooms that he knows he is not allowed in. Talking it over, we've decided this has gotten much worse over the last few months and we should say something...
We don't want him to not come over any longer, but we are pretty sure his mom will be angry and prohibit his visiting. We also don't want his mom to think we are telling on him-we are worried
How do we approach this? How can we help him?
Any advice is appreciated.
I'm sorry it is such a long post.