worried about niece and nephew

(60 Posts)
natalya7 Tue 24-May-16 10:23:42

Hi,
I'm new here so not sure if I'm posting in the right place..
My sister has an almost 4 yr old little girl and a almost 3 yr old little boy. Outwardly it would appear nothing is wrong, they're dressed ok, clean etc. it's more my sister and her husbands routine I worry about. My sister does love her kids don't get me wrong, but she is not the most caring person, she works 44 hours a week & the kids are in nursery 4 days a week, the other day with grandma. The almost 3 year old is not potty trained nor have they attempted to saying they don't have the time. He is very aware and let's you know when he's done something but won't go to the toilet even if we put pants on him. Basically no one has put the time in with him. My almost 4 year old niece is developing a speech problem, she stutters A LOT and still has a dummy.. Again it's 'easier' to let her have it. They're behavior is atrocious, they are not used to the word 'no' and do as they please, if anyone says no they throw a huge tantrum. My sister and husband are lazy parents and live their lives as though they don't have kids, my sister is out most weekends and more interested in her appearance. She spends no time with them in the week but will get someone to have them on a weekend too. I think this could be why they're behavior is so bad, they have no routine. They both fall to sleep downstairs, and are carried upto bed about 11pm and then have to get up at 6.30 to be at nursery at 8 until 6. I'm worried about my niece because she starts school in September and will be at school from 8-6 everyday at breakfast and after school club, she will also be there in the holidays. I feel really bad for her, she is so insecure. They don't sit for meals, they snack. They have no routine.
My sister is chasing money and abandoning her kids.
My mother has tried to tell her, she just doesn't listen, thinks the kids behaviors is fine and as long as she is happy that's all that matters.
I used to love my sister and we were very close, but she has changed so much that I don't even know who she is anymore. I'm not sure what I should do. Does anyone have any suggestions? Am I overreacting? Is this normal?

MangoMoon Tue 24-May-16 10:53:02

Kids being in full time childcare then before & after school clubs is totally normal.
My two were in full time nursery (07:30 - 17:30) from 6 months old.

At school, they were in breakfast club and after school club for the same hours, holiday clubs too when I couldn't get leave from work.

Potty training I did at the Xmas holidays just before they turned 3.

HOWEVER, they had a routine - bed at a proper time, proper meal times, time as family after work, weekends and we took time off in school holiday periods too.

It's about getting a good balance, and it does sound like she's not got the balance right.
Rather than focusing on the times they're not there due to work commitments, I'd be more concerned about how they prioritise the kids in their out-of-work hours.

Not much help to you probably, but might give some perspective?

Imnotagilmoregirl Tue 24-May-16 11:37:47

It's a tricky one isn't it?

I'm sure your sister feels she's doing her best, but I guess no two households are run the same. It's ok to work and to have childcare and it's ok for your sister to be interested in her appearance! If you're worried, Is there any way you can help out at all? Maybe taking one of the kids for the day so they get some nice one on one time with their aunt and get a bit of fuss and a nice dinner?

Unless it's abuse I would say it's a difference of opinion and parenting styles, just the same as there's different personalities. If you don't agree there's not a lot you can do but let them get on with it.

natalya7 Tue 24-May-16 12:14:29

I suppose unless your around you can't really see the issues. I don't agree with a 4 year old starting school and having to be there at 8 am until 6pm. To me that's awful, and exhausting for them. They definitely act out because of lack of attention. They have no boundaries and people are resistant to look after them because they're behavior is so bad.
I do have them I forgot to add that, I have looked after them both since birth. I pick them up on a Friday afternoon and have them until 8pm so my sister can go the the gym. I also have a 4 month old so don't have them as often as I used to. There are many issues I notice with them, but as I said unless your around you can't see.
I don't see how anything will or can change so I suppose we just have to get on with it.

MangoMoon Tue 24-May-16 12:44:57

I don't agree with a 4 year old starting school and having to be there at 8 am until 6pm. To me that's awful, and exhausting for them.

To be really honest with you, if that's they know that you think like this then they're not going to give much notice to anything else you say re their parenting decisions, however bad they may be.

That is a perfectly usual scenario for the children of working parents.

MoonfaceAndSilky Tue 24-May-16 12:57:36

Sounds pretty awful for the 2 children but I really don't know what you can do about it? You've spoken to your DS but she's not listening.
The school from 8am to 6pm might actually help your DN with some sort of routine.
Sorry not much help.

natalya7 Tue 24-May-16 13:17:41

They don't know that I think this. I haven't said anything because I don't want to risk them stopping me seeing the kids.
I know people have different opinions, I understand that I just don't understand my sister purposely not wanting to spend time with them and making sure she takes a full time job rather than working 4 days a week which she was offered (at better pay) she said she can't be around them for a whole day. Basically she knows that day no one else is available that day as we all are working. I could understand if the weekends where for family time, but they aren't, she tries her best to not spend time with them and goes out Saturday nights and is hungover Sunday's and the kids are stuck in all day. It's not just me that is concerned for them, it's everyone around them but we can't say anything because she would stop us seeing them. I believe their vega your is so bad because mum and dad don't spend time with them and when they do they're distracted (phones, Facebook, arguments etc)
My niece cries when her mum says she is going out at night, she still goes and says she works full time so deserves a break! In my opinion you shouldn't have children if they don't come first.

corythatwas Tue 24-May-16 13:37:56

It might help to sort genuine problems from things that are different to how you would do them.

Almost 3yo not yet potty trained falls into the latter category: there is no evidence to prove that children are damaged by potty training at 3 rather than 2. I potty trained mine at 2, my nephews were potty trained later, can't tell any difference now they are growing up.

Also, no evidence that dummies cause stuttering as such, though they may cause unclear speech.

Mother trying to avoid time with children and not interacting with them in her spare time- now that seems like a genuine problem. Ditto lack of proper bedtime routine.

Buggers Tue 24-May-16 13:42:31

Do you have kids?

natalya7 Tue 24-May-16 13:44:55

Yes I have a 4 month old. Not sure why that is relevant.

DuvetDayEveryday Tue 24-May-16 13:50:56

You sound awful and judgemental.

I have three DC, none were potty trained until they were at least three. My youngest is a terrible sleeper and often doesn't fall asleep until we go to bed (and then sleeps in our bed). I don't work anymore but when I did it was full time using wrap around care, and I often went out with friends at the weekend and even (shock horror) went away for the weekend at times.

You need to wind your neck in. We don't all parent the same.

MangoMoon Tue 24-May-16 13:53:50

^ just don't understand my sister purposely not wanting to spend time with them and making sure she takes a full time job rather than working 4 days a week^

In my opinion you shouldn't have children if they don't come first.

These two points are irrelevant, this is what most working parents do.

Actually identify the real problems, then work to find a solution.
Focusing on perfectly usual situations does not help the cause.

What role does the dad play in all this?

Buggers Tue 24-May-16 13:56:07

Because you don't seem to understand 3&4 year olds do have tantrums and they don't listen, it's just the age their at. Your very insulting to people that work to Give their kids the best life. I agree your sister shouldn't go out every weekend and kids need early bedtime but that's about it.

megletthesecond Tue 24-May-16 13:58:13

You do sound rather judgy I'm afraid. 4 month olds are doddle compared to older children. If you sister is able to hold down a job I'm sure she has got it more under control than you realise. I'm a working lp and I let certain things slide at times because there are even bigger priorities to deal with.

natalya7 Tue 24-May-16 14:07:40

Lol. I think your all missing the point and think I'm bashing working parents. I work too. So that is not the case. I had the children at least 2 nights a week until I had my daughter and had to stop as they were disrupting her routine. They regularly ask me if they can live with us because 'mum and dad don't take them anywhere' I have them when I can because if not she will send them to my brother in laws dad who refuses to change a nappy and make them food, and won't take my niece to the toilet so she wees herself. They all see this as ok, I don't. Not sure how I'm bring judge mental, maybe I shouldn't give a shit about them either and then they'll have no one to take them out to do things they enjoy, play with them and set them boundaries. And no, they're behavior is not 'normal' tantrums.

Buggers Tue 24-May-16 14:14:05

It's normal behavior for their age. Get a grip, if you feel their being mistreated ring social services, writing on here isn't helping them if you really believe their at risk. So the whole time they are at your bils dad they aren't fed the whole time?? How would you know that? And youngest would only need a nappy change 3-4 times the whole day because of her age so that isn't a major issue unless She's poo'd of course.

natalya7 Tue 24-May-16 15:53:48

'Buggers' I'm not here for an argument which is obviously all you want. Sorry for you.

karigan Tue 24-May-16 19:15:30

Well I work 45 hours a week and due to lack of local family my daughter spends 50 hours a week with a childminder.

I am neither uncaring nor 'chasing the money' by working. I work because as a family we could not afford to have one parent not working. So after paying rent and childcare and bills we have £400 a month left to live on- but it's £400 we wouldn't have if I didn't work.

The rest of your post is rendered moot by your incredibly judgemental comments regarding working parents. Check your privilege.

waterrat Tue 24-May-16 20:03:54

wow some really nasty comments on this thread. The OP knows these children well and is concerned because they seem very unhappy and their mother seems to actively avoid spending time with them.

I am a working parent and I don't feel the OP is being judgy.

OP - the problem is that if you dont want to speak out then what can you do? THe only real option would be to take more responsibility for the kids between you and your mother - and just accept your sister doesnt enjoy having small children and you can choose to step in and help.

YOu could ask her if she is unhappy? Struggling?

I think you have had a wierdly bad response here - you know these children well and are worried about them.

Frenchfancies Tue 24-May-16 20:04:07

I can understand why you feel the way you do from you've said and I don't think your judging at all, just observing a situation that you probably know very well. I don't have much advice apart from just keep doing what you're doing, they will love being with you if you interact with them and hopefully you will have a great relationship with them both and they will trust you too. I'm not saying they don't have this with their parents, but I guess just focus on what you can do for them and not what the parents aren't doing because you can't change that. Easier said than done though! :-/

squizita Wed 25-May-16 11:05:29

I think you're conflating the fact you don't agree with childcare with real parenting issues.

Loads and loads of kids use childcare - they don't have speech or toilet issues. These two things are unrelated.

You need to step back from your personal way of doing things to work out what is/isn't a factor here.

squizita Wed 25-May-16 11:10:42

Oh and I work (as many do) 5 days a week because my child comes first (her food/shelter/needs) and other people's children come second (I work with kids - as do a LOT of women. Try your comments re not having kids on a nurse, midwife, teacher when you're no doubt making hard demands on them - chances are she has kids herself and will be hmm at your expectation of a certain type of caring person being called anti-kids). I come third.*

*The type of person who thinks I put my kids last tends to think DH should be 3rd, but he is a partner so neither above - nor below.

NapQueen Wed 25-May-16 11:15:50

*lack of potty training at 2 - fine
*mum working full time - fine (why don't you criticise dad for this too?)
*parents having a night out together once a week - fine
*children in ft childcare - fine
*using breakfast club and after school club and holidays club - fine
*dummy at 4 - not for me but other do and tbh I couldn't give less of a shit
*never being told no - annoying but probably due to parents having less time with them they want to spoil them. Meh.
*sister chasing money - or keeping a roof over their heads? Again you don't criticise dad for working (or chasing money as you call it
*lack of proper bedtime - not great imo but the parents are probably funked from lots of work and two small kids. Not ideal. Not your business

*one judgemental relative with a newborn who thinks she knows it all - priceless.

zeeka Wed 25-May-16 11:29:29

OP works! She's not judging parents for working.

I see your concerns and think they are valid. I think once they start school if there are real concerns, they will be addressed as behaviour will be challenged, etc. There is very little you can do if your sister doesn't see that there's a problem. You'll be able to take them out more as your DC grows a bit older, which will help you feel more involved and less desperate about it.

MangoMoon Wed 25-May-16 11:42:49

She was t judging parents who work, no.

But she very definitely made very disparaging comments about mothers who work full time.

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