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To suspect family member of odd behaviour?

(64 Posts)
GirlZippy123 Wed 26-Nov-14 11:00:22

I don't know whether I am making something out of nothing here or whether to be concerned. My daughter goes to my mother in law's one day a week. My mother in law's other sun (I.e LO's uncle) also kind of lives there (he has own house but spends most of his time at his mums). He is not married, no gf or friends to speak of, no job, so basically does not socialise at all. He is a nice enough man though. However he does exhibit some strange behaviour, for example, he let LO climb into a fountain and totally submerge herself without thinking really to stop her. My MIL is switched on and does acknowledge that he is not capable of looking after a child, not based on this but based on other things.

So.....the other day, me and LO we're going through who she loves, eg mummy, daddy, grandma, grandpa etc - all of these she answered with yes. Then when it got to uncle --, age thought for a minute and shook her head saying no. My MIL has said to me before that she is a bit unsure around him, but she said its because he is a man, yet LO is fine with her daddy, my dad and my two brothers. I don't want to make a big deal out of it if it is something that toddlers do and obviously it would be very insulting to my partner's family to accuse him of something, particularly when there is no other evidence. Plus mil is providing free childcare so I don't want to appear ungrateful.

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 26-Nov-14 11:02:40

what would you accuse him of?

GirlZippy123 Wed 26-Nov-14 11:05:38

That's just the thing, I have no idea. My MIL said last week 'oh yes she doesn't like - because he invades her personal space' and then carried on talking about something else before I had a chance to ask what she meant by that.

atticusclaw Wed 26-Nov-14 11:05:45

It doesn't sound like there's much apart from a feeling that something isn't right.

At the end of the day if you don't feel comfortable sending your DD there don't send her there. That's all you can do. Just say you think you should wait until she's a bit older before she's there on her own.

skylark2 Wed 26-Nov-14 11:06:27

I had relatives who I really liked and relatives who I was a bit scared of - and, looking back, I don't think it had any basis in fact at all. It could be something as simple as size. My DH is very tall and has a notably deep voice and his nieces and nephews (whose dad is relatively short and has a more normal voice) were all scared of him when they were tiny.

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 26-Nov-14 11:07:07

i agree if you have a bad feeling go with it and find some other childcare.
You might be wrong but you might not.

GirlZippy123 Wed 26-Nov-14 11:08:00

In the past he formed an unnatural attachment to our dog - used to turn up at our house with presents for him. He broke into our house once to take him for a walk. He managed to get a window open and unlock a larger downstairs window to climb in, so it's not like he smashed the door or anything, but still obviously very unusual behaviour...

annielouisa Wed 26-Nov-14 11:08:32

Are you sure he ASD or something similar and his poor social skills may have made your DD wary.

The fact he spends so much time at his mums with little else in his life and the fact he did not pick up the fountain incident and does not have any form of social outlet point a quite socially inept man.

GirlZippy123 Wed 26-Nov-14 11:09:28

I am worried if I say anything and I am being totally unreasonable it will drive a huge wedge in between our families

lylasmam2012 Wed 26-Nov-14 11:09:51

I remember not really liking one of my uncles, all my brothers and sisters were the same. We used to call him an alien and run and hide when he came to visit. We'd tell our parents we didn't like him. When I look back it was because he wore glasses (nobody in our family did at the time) and was a bit odd looking. When we got older we realised how brilliant and cool he was and loved spending time with him!

ApocalypseThen Wed 26-Nov-14 11:10:16

That could be one of my uncles when I was a child. I was uncomfortable with him. In fairness, he never did anything inappropriate, but it just felt off, I can't say exactly why. My mother ensured I wasn't alone with him but nothing more was said, which is a good thing because as I've grown up I can see that he's a bit socially and emotionally stunted, but basically a very kind and well meaning person.

EatShitDezza Wed 26-Nov-14 11:10:49

He broke into your house just to walk your dog?!

grin sorry but wtf!

I didn't like some uncle and aunts. They did nothing to me but just didn't like them

Idontseeanysontarans Wed 26-Nov-14 11:11:00

I was very much like this with one of my uncles as a small child. According to my Mum I would never be alone with him and wouldn't speak to him very much voluntarily. Apart from his job he was quite similar to this man in terms of social life.
I had just taken a dislike to him - he wasn't used to children and was quite awkward around us, didn't know how to react to children at all really.
Fwiw he's a lovely man and I soon grew out of it. We got on (and still get on now) pretty well as I got older and he was able to relate to me more. My DC's think he's a cool Great Uncle smile

GirlZippy123 Wed 26-Nov-14 11:16:34

Ok thanks I feel a bit more reassured. His mum does recognise that he does have some form of social/psych issue going on. I think I will watch him closely at Christmas.

I had to ask that he didn't walk our dog anymore and it caused lots of bad feeling that is still around today. He did actually walk him again - took our arthritic dog on a 7 hour walk which resulted in our dog needing two lots of surgery, a total knee replacement and 6 months in a dog cage.

raltheraffe Wed 26-Nov-14 11:19:48

Can we please not armchair diagnose this guy as ASD. It is a complex diagnosis that needs to be made by a specialist.

GirlZippy123 Wed 26-Nov-14 11:23:54

Yes I agree it he could be just a product of his circumstance, not worked in 6 years and no real purpose in life. But I am worried about the 'invasion of personal space'. However it could be nothing, but the more I think about it the more I need to discuss this with MIL. I owe it to LO to ensure she is safe in every possible way. The majority of abusees know their abuser.

hiddenhome Wed 26-Nov-14 11:27:26

He doesn't sound dodgy, just that he may have something psych wise going on. Some people don't relate to others very well at all and have a poor understanding of behavioural and social norms. Being nice to the dog is probably a good sign, but it's a shame that he took it on such a long walk confused

SaucyJack Wed 26-Nov-14 11:30:18

I think the fact he invades her personal space is good reason enough for her not to like him.

He also clearly has very poor judgement about what is in the best interests of others around him. Stuff like that can make children feel really vulnerable.

Fairywhitebear Wed 26-Nov-14 11:32:18

I'd say I wouldn't leave my child there - personally.

He may just have slight autism (more Aspergers) but really, he's not capable of providing a safe environment for her.

Why would you have free if it's not safe??!

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Wed 26-Nov-14 11:34:30

I'd want 'because he invades her personal space' completely explained. Go with your child's good instincts and don't leave your children there unless the in laws can guarentee that her personal space will not be invaded again and the uncle will not be able to be alone with your child again ever. Otherwise do not leave your child there and you keep an eye on your children.

GirlZippy123 Wed 26-Nov-14 11:34:44

Exactly. I am going to ask MIL that he stay away. I think she may actually understand.

CatsCantTwerk Wed 26-Nov-14 11:37:05

You say he doesn't have kids, Maybe he doesn't know how to interact with kids,Maybe he doesn't like kids, Not everyone does.

If that is the case your dd will pick up on that. It does not mean anything sinister is going on.

GirlZippy123 Wed 26-Nov-14 11:43:51

Yes perhaps. His mum encouraged him to 'bond' with our dog because it was 'good for his self esteem'. When LO was a tiny baby, she encouraged him to hold her if she cried because once she did actually stop crying, so it was good 'for his self esteem'. At this point it was just the odd visit with me there as well and I did feel he acted a bit strange around her but not in a sinister way. I never left her at MIL's house until August when I went back to work (she is now 17 months). But surely now she would be familiar enough with him? It probably is just that he is inept but it is now playing on my mind.

NancyRaygun Wed 26-Nov-14 11:55:56

Could you perhaps say to your MIL: I think DD and BiL need to work on their relationship. The other night she said she didn't like him again. I want them to have a loving uncle/niece dynamic, can you think of anything that would help? and can I ask you not to leave them alone together as DD gets anxious about that and I don't want him to pick up on that and be hurt, and I don't want DD being upset.

Bit... skirting around the issue maybe, but that is what I would do. You can then take MIL's temperature on it.

GirlZippy123 Wed 26-Nov-14 12:03:54

Ah yes that might be a way to do it. But with the stressing that they are never alone together

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