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To have expected better from my DM

(51 Posts)
Rockingaround Tue 02-Aug-16 22:34:15

We live down south, my family is up north, we visit as regularly as we can but school holidays and annual leave prevent it from being more often.

Back story
I have two DC - Dd6, Ds3 my brother also has two DNephew8 and DNIEce2. We have very different parenting styles. Although I love my DB they're very materialistic, my DN8 has had an Xbox 360 (equivalent) in his own room with flat screen TV since being 3, he's quite a sulky kid and never seems to let his hair down and have a laugh, he's had that super cool bravado since being 6 and doesn't get excited about anything, when giving him gifts he doesn't even open them, just carries on playing with his DS/IPad and doesn't say thank you, my heart kind of breaks for him as I honestly don't think he's a happy kid. It's difficult when we come home as I just have more battles with my kids over what they can do, treats, sweets etc as my DB allows Nephew to do/have whatever he likes, I'm not strict but my kids aren't allowed to have and do the same.

Today I took my kids and nephew to the pictures/cinema. My DM came with. She babysits my brothers kids all the time, takes DN to activities, days out etc, she sees them 3-4 times a week.

I then took us all for pizza afterwards. My kids are in awe of their cousin, they give him major love, say he's the best, fight to sit next to him, hang off his every word, run to meet him with massive cuddles .... To which they are met every time with a blank. Today was no different. He kept saying they were annoying him, whenever my Dd tried to speak he would shhh her and say he didn't want to listen right now, when she was keeping up with him trying to do the word search, he pushed her and said she was copying him, on the calculator he was whispering to my mum saying she didn't know what she was doing ...continuously putting her down when she was trying to tell him a tale. My DS3 went to hug him and he shoved him and said "get off". When leaving he pushed my daughter into the table and said "get out of my way".

Throughout the meal, I could just feel myself imploding, I brought my DD to sit by me (later she went back next to DN) she cried 3 times while we were in there, so I comforted her and just told her to ignore it. I felt really anxious and just wanted to protect my little girl. I didn't feel able to reprimand my nephew as tbh I don't see him enough to do so, I felt so uncomfortable and so so sad. I wanted my DM to step in and check his behaviour.

My DM whispered to DN to "please have some patience" in a completely nice way. When in the car I said to her "why was he so cruel to DD" "Oh they're just kids they're all like that" she said. "No they're not all like that, you should've told him not to treat her like that and made him apologise then we could've moved on" I said "You should've done that you were there" she said "why would I do that when you're there you're his grandmother he's more you're responsibility" she then said "I think you're being hypersensitive and over-reacting, you're trying to make me split between the kids and I won't do it" I said that was ridiculous and it's because his behaviour wasn't checked as to why it carried on and got worse.

Was I over-reacting? I'm all chewed up now and everyone has had an early night so I'm just sat here mumsnetting in the dark sharing a queen bed with both DC's My DH isn't here so I'm feeling worse and really just want wine

PurpleWithRed Tue 02-Aug-16 22:39:00

Your mum clearly isn't going to reprimand him and he's a rude spoil brat so your only option is to avoid being with him as much as possible. Your kids will realise he's not all that very soon.

annandale Tue 02-Aug-16 22:42:25

I don't think it's your mum's responsibility. TBH I would expect aunts and uncles to do more of the telling off in that scenario - grandparents should be able to avoid the tough parts of parenting, they've done their shift.

I don't even mean telling off - just have some boundaries. Children in your presence behave well, treat each other at least with basic courtesy, and that's all there is to it. Praise good behaviour, remove gadgets after one cheerful warning if you think they aren't appropriate, take children out to run around or give them jobs to do if struggling.

Don't fight your instincts on how children should behave, make it happen, but don't agonise over it. Ultimately he isn't your overall responsibility.

Rockingaround Tue 02-Aug-16 23:21:07

I know you're right ann I should've took the lead and said "that's not nice etc" I just didn't want to be one of those mothers whose so precious about their own little darling, dd is no angel but she's not spiteful or mean to other kids; and I think that I suppose I just felt like my DM - she's my mum - should've/would've been a more neutral referee. I was supposed to go out with Sil and all 4DC's for the day tmrw but I've txt and said that I think they need a pace as they'd had a few run ins today. Tbh I can't face biting my tongue tmrw as well,
plus the general overindulge in terms of rides, sweets, treats, shitty food.
Purple it's awful isn't it to say that but I'm afraid it's true, he's a spoilt brat. I honestly don't think anyone tells him off, explains how things can hurt other people, how having manners is important, being gracious, kind, empathetic etc and that's why he behaves as he does, nobody checks him. I doubt Sil would tmrw either. I don't want to sound holier than thou but those are things I painfully try and teach my kids everyday, if I see an example of a good human etc that's one of my main aspirations for my kids, that they're not entitled and that they're just nice people. I feel terrible but my nephew makes my blood boil angry and I do have the insight to know it's TOTALLY the fault of the grown ups around him including my DM. Spoilt Rotten. I'm gona make some sarnies and take mine to the park tmrw instead, on my own. Sometimes being here without DH is so oppressive, it'll be lovely tmrw for it to be just me and the kids ... wasn't this supposed to be a break hmm

WorraLiberty Tue 02-Aug-16 23:30:05

I think there's a few things to consider here.

I'm not trying to excuse his behaviour, but perhaps he found your kids a bit 'full on' and didn't know how to deal with it, considering he's not used to them?

I agree you should have intervened and I agree he shouldn't be shoving anyone, but I remember being 8 years old and being completely out of my depth with younger kids who apparently adored me. Tbh, I just wanted them to stop, as I really didn't like the attention grin

You do sound as though you judge his parents quite harshly too, and therefore him.

Just carry on raising your kids your way. There's also every chance that he'll grow out of this behaviour and become a lovely young man eventually.

Nanny0gg Tue 02-Aug-16 23:35:07

I think it was your mum's responsibility

She was the one who knew all the children the best - you have little to do with the nephew - and clearly was responsible for him that day.

She should have stepped in. I would have.

Having said that, if she didn't, you should have. He's a kid. He needs reminding of his manners.

Rockingaround Tue 02-Aug-16 23:42:07

worra iswym, I know, I do judge them a little harshly but love them so much too. I think if the truth be told that I am a teensy bit envy b'cos they've literally got the village to raise their DC's and it's just me and DH to raise ours. We don't have babysitters or anyone skipping off with our DC's for the day/weekend/fortnight holiday shock and I have to admit that would be nice sometimes. They have both grandmas and extended fan doing a lot of the childcare and sharing the load but I do think it's just made him quite spoilt and his parents are let of the hook in terms of actually parenting him. I get that he may feel uncomfortable with my kids doting on him but I also think that he wanted to come today and should've been 'nice'. It's hard for me to expect a certain level of behaviour from my two younger kids when they don't expect it from him.... ?

Rockingaround Tue 02-Aug-16 23:43:09

Thanks Nanny I should've done but waited (too long) for my DM x

zzzzz Tue 02-Aug-16 23:47:33

From his point of view two children were pawing him and wouldn't leave him in peace to do the word games and he doesn't like it. Why on earth did dd get to go and bother your guest again during the meal? shock. Let's face it he'd done all the verbal "go away" that he could, he is 8 being nasty and pushing is really all that was left to him.

Having "things" won't make him spoiled even if they were more than flat screen TVs etc. Why does it matter what toys he has?

Not saying thank you and looking up from his iPad is unusual. Did you say as much to him/his parents?

coolaschmoola Tue 02-Aug-16 23:53:43

If my DN (who sounds a lot like yours) behaves as you've described on a day out with us I tell him off for being rude etc.

His behaviour may be acceptable to my sil, and my ILs may put up with it out of fear of rocking the boat with sil, but I have no such qualms. If he's out with me it's my rules. If he doesn't like them he doesn't have to come again.

There is NO WAY I'd sit back and wait for my mum to deal with my nephew shoving my child.

WorraLiberty Tue 02-Aug-16 23:55:26

I do honestly get what you're saying.

But we all just have to get on and parent our kids in the way that we see fit.

There will be other kids in the family, other kids at school, other kids in the street, other kids that belong to your friends who will have different levels of behaviour expected of them, but we still have to crack on and instil what we feel is the best behaviour in our kids.

Then learn to lower our expectations when they become teenagers, for the sake of our sanity.

But I digress.... grin

coolaschmoola Tue 02-Aug-16 23:55:30

That said I would also have told my DC to stop clinging to him and to give him some space. You really should have been more in control of your children too.

WorraLiberty Tue 02-Aug-16 23:58:59

Just to add (mainly out of interest) do TV shops sell anything other than flat screens?

I think it must be 12/13 years or more since I saw a non flat screen on sale anywhere?

Rockingaround Wed 03-Aug-16 00:00:41

zzzzz even tho my klaxon is piercing ... he didn't say 'go away'. He was mocking my DD as she was doing her wordsearch and ridiculing her when she was doing her number challenge He was then holding court telling stories and when my DD naturally in-putted her story - you know as in 'having a conversation' - he said 'shhh I don't want to listen to you right now' several times. My DD is 6 and is very well mannered, she certainly didn't bother him just tried to join in the conversation. I have told my DB and Sil that he hadn't looked up and acknowledged his Xmas/birthday gift, their usual response is "oh that's just the way he is, too cool for school". I can totally understand how you felt my post described young children 'pawing' him but just to clarify, they run to him with hugs when we first greet him. Today my DS3 tried to hug him once to which he was met with "get off" he also started crying. It was just a grey day and Its inevitable there'll be more as we are family

wigglesrock Wed 03-Aug-16 00:01:42

Tbh the more you post you sound very jealous and seem to be letting your resentment of the fact that your nephew has an extended family about cloud your issue with his behaviour. Touch of the melodrama as well - your heart breaks for your nephew, you don't think he's a happy kid hmm, his parents don't parent him, he was cruel to your dd.

He's your nephew, if he's rough with your kids tell him to knock it on the head, would your 6 year old not tell him to stop?. I've a 8 year old and an almost 6 year old and they wind each other up, there's a lot of bickering over hanging onto each other, my 8 year old doesn't like her younger sister or younger cousins sitting on her, being too close, irritating her, the way kids do. I'd tell her off for pushing them off, she knows she shouldn't do that but I've sympathy for her sometimes.

Mycraneisfixed Wed 03-Aug-16 00:02:12

I have DGS8 most days so I have a different relationship with him than other 3 DGC. However, if he was mean or rude to anyone, particularly his cousins (younger and older) I would certainly tell him off. Your DM is being unkind in showing favouritism towards your DN and if she won't pick him up on his rudeness you most certainly should. Your DC shouldn't be treated this way and shouldn't have to put up with their cousin's nastiness. Spoilt brat!

Mycraneisfixed Wed 03-Aug-16 00:05:35

Ignore all the crap about 'your DD shouldn't be pawing him'. ffs the DN needs an intensive course in good manners.

Rockingaround Wed 03-Aug-16 00:05:37

coolas I'm probably scared of rocking the boat tbh

Rockingaround Wed 03-Aug-16 00:08:33

MyCrane thank you! They were not little creatures trying to munch him!! He was just spiteful to my DD and honestly hand on heart it was unprovoked, as I've said DD is no angel but today she was really good confused

OrlandaFuriosa Wed 03-Aug-16 00:13:49

It sounds as though he has been over indulged but a lot of 8 year olds have a testosterone spurt and a growing up phase about now, which makes them too cool for everything. Especially younger kids. It's a complete pain. Ds was a vile brat. All we could do was to try to ensure he was polite with strangers, we told him off both in public and private as appropriate, and we hoped it was a phase. It was.

I'd slough it off. You never know, he may be boasting at school, unbeknownst to you or his parents, that he's got the cutest cousins though of course he's too cool for them.

Rockingaround Wed 03-Aug-16 00:13:59

And yes MyCrane that's what hurt, I felt my DM favoured him, don't get me wrong I don't want her to favour any of them but my kids do miss out on having the large family we have up north and I just want them to love the time they have with everyone.

Shizzlestix Wed 03-Aug-16 00:14:15

The kid is 8, you could and should have disciplined him, regardless of your DM being there. No way should he have been left to carry on being spiteful to other kids. Time for little spoiled boy to learn some manners and consider sharing, whether that is listening to others or being tolerant of them.

Rockingaround Wed 03-Aug-16 00:16:12

wink thank you Orlanda that's a nicer thought to have, I'm overthinking it I know, the fact I've started a bloody thread about it says it all 😂

Rockingaround Wed 03-Aug-16 00:19:22

Next time I will tell him, I should've stuck up for my DD shizzle It's just more pressured because I don't want to upset any of the adults being precious about my DC's as they've said in the past I shouldn't give my kids as much attention as I do confused

zzzzz Wed 03-Aug-16 00:22:42

I think you're expectations of an 8 year old child's social skills are quite unreasonable. If he is being too competitive about a word search then tell him to be kinder. If he is CLEARLY showing signs that your children are irritating him then ask them to give him some space. If he tries to shut your daughter down then suggest she tells you her story, or that he give her a turn. His flatscreen tv and close hands on relatives, really have nothing to do with it.

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