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To reduce contact with niece

(5 Posts)
Coldnoseandtwinkletoes Wed 02-Mar-16 12:20:50

DD (in reception) told me this morning that her cousin (18 months older and DH's niece) said that DD's handwriting and drawing is rubbish on Sunday. It worries me that she has been thinking about this for a couple of days, so she hasn't just shrugged it off. She was even telling her which colour pens she could and couldn't use.

For the record, her teacher actually sent her to the headmistress last week, with a group of four others, to show the head their handwriting because it was so good. Cousin doesn't know this though. I don't want her losing confidence in her abilities as I have been told by three sets of educational professionals that she is very bright.

Her cousin is no prodigy and has struggled at school, so I wonder if she is just taking it out on DD.

Unfortunately she has form for being mean to DD. Off the top of my head I can recall incidents when she told DD that she couldn't play with her and her friends as she was too young. Another time when another cousin from far away arrived and they excluded DD. Another time when she told DD that she didn't have any friends (she has a birthday party to attend practically every blooming weekend). There have been other episodes.

She seems to be bigging herself up at the expense of DD (always a giveaway that all is not well inside) and I am wondering if she is doing it to see what she can get away with, or just repeating what other kids at school do to her.

I don't want my DD being constantly quashed by her cousin as we see them every Sunday. SIL says the cousin really misses DD when she is not around to play with. DH says that she just misses someone to boss.

How do I handle this without causing a family rift? Do I tell the child not to be mean in private, tell the parents, bring it up when both children and parents are present, stop them from being alone together (she only does it when no adults are present) or stop seeing them so much?

Thank you for any advice.

OurBlanche Wed 02-Mar-16 12:34:28

Is SIL your DHs sister? If so he could say that to her directly and tell her to do some parenting her end. If BIL is his brother, same conversation.

You don't have to manage your DN, you can and should discuss it with the parents. That's how families are supposed to work, isn't it? She says having had to put up with a totally spoiled princess or 2, as a child smile

All you can really do, I suspect, is talk it through with your DD. Tell her her cousin is being silly, she can ignore it or say loudly "That is not nice" every time her cousin does/says something similar.

I remember going to my aunt and asking for help in getting chewing gum out of my waist length hair. When she chided me for chewing gum in the first place I explained that her daughter had been the one chewing and had deliberately spat it into my hair. She told me off for lying!! But my dad did have words and I got an apology. Such things stick with you, it seems... I am 50 now and still consider that cousin to be a spoiled sneak. Probably most unfair on her smile

acasualobserver Wed 02-Mar-16 12:40:39

She was even telling her which colour pens she could and couldn't use

Even? This, and all the other examples, sound like fairly standard child nastiness. Step in and sort it out - there doesn't need to be a family rift.

PaulAnkaTheDog Wed 02-Mar-16 12:43:27

Total overreaction!

Gottagetmoving Wed 02-Mar-16 12:50:06

Yes,..a bit over the top to be so bothered by this.
Your DD will come across many children like her cousin as she goes through school. She has to learn to deal with/cope with it.
Your job is to help her be confident in her abilities so that these sort of comments wash over her head.
You can't protect her from this all the time or confront every parent of a child who is mean.

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