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To leave one niece out?

(327 Posts)
HipHipHippoo Thu 18-Apr-19 23:34:28

My sister has 3 DDs aged 12, 7 and 2. I have posted before about how the 12 yo is incredibly mean to her siblings, particularly 7 yo who has autism (not sure how to link to previous posts)

We have been away camping this week together with my DC and some incidents make me very angry/irritated with 12 yo niece.

For example:

She knows 7 yo is extremely particular about food - she barely eats and is underweight. 12 yo has stopped 7 yo eating at least 3 meals this week - by purposely knocking her plate across the table so her food would touch, by going on at her to try her meal and putting some of it on her plate (making 7 yo sick) and by coughing all over her food

Anything I or her mum say to anyone, she will answer. For example, I'll say to my DC "Sophie, please stop messing with the tent zips" and DN will say "I'm not messing with them!" even though their names sound nothing alike. She does this constantly

7 yo niece loves my dogs but every time they go near her, 12 yo calls them away so she can't stroke them

We went to some arcades and 12 yo won something she has zero interest in but that she knows 7 yo would adore. 7 yo never asks for anything and told her how lucky she was to win it. 12 yo made a big show of how she didn't want it so was going to give it away, making 7 yo think it would be to her...then gave it to a stranger angry and smiled smugly straight at 7 yo as she did so

Whenever 7 yo is sitting with or chatting to her mum, 12 yo will call her away then jump in her spot. 12 yo even races to get next to her mum before 2yo then gloats that she has Mummys hand hmm

She corrects or argues with everyone constantly. My DC remarked it was a full moon and she insisted it was only 3/4 despite it clearly being fucking full! She asked where her bag was and I said on her sleeping bag, she kept saying no it isn't- I'm looking and it definitely isn't. It was very slightly off the sleeping bag but she could clearly see it, she just had to argue!

She is constantly after food, drinks and wanting to be bought stuff. She sulks and spoils it if anyone else gets a say in what they want to do and her mood brings everyone down.

I'm taking my DC camping in the summer and was going to offer to take my nieces too to give my sister a break but I really don't want to take 12 yo. I think her sisters would flourish with some time away from her, and that she needs to learn at some point that her behaviour is intolerable and that people won't want to spend time with her if she behaves in this way. However, taking her sisters away is rewarding her in a way as she then gets her mum's full attention.

What do you think? Am I unreasonable to say I don't want to take her?

Takethebuscuitandthesink Wed 24-Apr-19 16:59:22

@AmaryllisNightAndDay the answers to all of your questions are upthread hmm have you actually rtft?

Not 12 hours.

Eh, who mentioned 12 hours.

Also for those asking the niece was taken to the GP and the GP had no concern about any difficulties or SEN.

Goldmandra Wed 24-Apr-19 17:01:12

Also for those asking the niece was taken to the GP and the GP had no concern about any difficulties or SEN.

A five minute GP appointment is not sufficient for that to be a useful assessment.

Lweji Wed 24-Apr-19 17:02:23

Eh, who mentioned 12 hours.

Takethebuscuitandthesink Wed 24-Apr-19 15:46:09
"So with regards to 0 tolerance what I meant was that as soon as she starts with the 7 year old she is immediately removed for the rest of the day I.e she is sent to another room for the rest of the day under constant supervision"

As I pointed out earlier, the rest of the day could easily be 12 hours (or more) if the bad behaviour happens early in the morning.

Lweji Wed 24-Apr-19 17:04:54


You haven't really thought your proposal through, have you?

Ewitsahooman Wed 24-Apr-19 17:05:18

Also for those asking the niece was taken to the GP and the GP had no concern about any difficulties or SEN.

A GP isn't qualified to make such an assessment. My old GP told me that DS was an attention seeker who simply needed stronger boundaries, refused to refer him anywhere. Rang the school nursing team who came out and observed him for a bit, agreed with me that something was going on somewhere, and referred him forwards for assessment. He is autistic and has a degree of developmental delay.

In short, GPs don't know everything and often have no idea what to do when faced with suspected neurodevelopment conditions.

Takethebuscuitandthesink Wed 24-Apr-19 17:07:19

if the bad behaviour happens early in the morning.

Very simple way round that for the niece… don’t behave badly especially in the morning- the exact aim of the system.

Lweji Wed 24-Apr-19 17:08:13

So you think 12 hours kept apart from family is an adequate punishment?

Lweji Wed 24-Apr-19 17:09:48

Maybe the parents should threaten to kick her out of the house. All she has to do is not misbehave.
Or threaten to whip her.

When you threaten any punishment, you need to be prepared to carry it out. And it needs to be adequate and proportional.
That's parenting 101.

Lweji Wed 24-Apr-19 17:09:58

And consistent.

Goldmandra Wed 24-Apr-19 17:13:15

Takethebuscuitandthesink you clearly have no idea about how to manage this type of behaviour. The strategies you are suggesting would be destructive and very likely to cause the behaviour, and therefore the harm to her sister, to escalate.

The solution to this isn't to break this child. She needs a professional assessment and the right support so that she doesn't feel the need to engage in this behaviour in the first place.

Takethebuscuitandthesink Wed 24-Apr-19 17:16:54

7 yr old tries to stay away from 12 yr old but she keeps seeking her out

but she just won't leave her alone.

12 yr old was leading the dancing and bossing everyone, kept praising the others but telling 7 yr old niece she was doing it wrong constantly - leading to tears of frustration. 7 yr old niece went to play ball instead, 12 yr old just kept following her to knock it out of her hands and soon threw it over next doors garden so 7 yr old couldn't play it anymore. Dsis called her away to go for a walk to the shop with her and 7 yr old started chalking. Literally within 2 mins of being back, 12 yr old went and got a glass of water and "accidentally" spilt it all over 7 yr old drawing.

we heard screaming from 7 yr old niece and find 12 yr old pinning her down trying to remove her nail polish and plaits as she doesn't have any money to pay sad

They chatted and laughed as they played and we praised them lots. 12 yr old let 7 yr old win for the first time ever and we thought maybe we'd turned a corner. She asked 7 yr old for a high five to celebrate her victory, then whispered something to her. 7 yr old started crying hysterically and came over to me for help. 12 yr old had spat into her hand before the high five, knowing it would cause 7 yr old to be extremely distressed. I just don't know why she has such a vendetta against her. Even when she has her mum's full attention and 7 yr old is occupying herself, she'll prefer to seek out 7 yr old and spoil whatever she's doing. It makes no sense.

I worry all of this is being lost sight of. All of this behaviour (above) is completely off the scale. It simply can’t be tolerated and she has to be isolated to protect the 7 year old.

CripsSandwiches Wed 24-Apr-19 17:17:38


That just simply isn't going to work. If it did our prisons would be empty. You're assuming she's even capable of the level of impulse control which would stop her acting out and if she is that she won't simply avoid being caught. You're also very clearly going to exacerbate whatever emotional issues she has and going to build even more resentment and her behaviour will escalate. She'll soon also get used to no phone and not seeing her friends - her self esteem will be even lower and she'll behave worse - what then - threaten an even more ridiculous punishment?

Goldmandra Wed 24-Apr-19 17:19:49

she has to be isolated to protect the 7 year old.

She needs to be supervised, not punished and isolated.

Takethebuscuitandthesink Wed 24-Apr-19 17:20:46

You're assuming she's even capable of the level of impulse control which would stop her acting out

The school have no concerns and neither did the GP so it is fairly safe to say she can control her behaviour.

Lweji Wed 24-Apr-19 17:21:06

she has to be isolated to protect the 7 year old.

Are you Trump?
"Lock her up." Maybe in the attic.


We all agree that the 7 year old must be protected, but the 12 year old needs to modify her behaviour and she will probably need support to do it and to get clear benefits from modifying her behaviour. Not through fear of punishment but because it will mean everyone is happier, including her.

CripsSandwiches Wed 24-Apr-19 17:23:47

The school have no concerns and neither did the GP so it is fairly safe to say she can control her behaviour.

Clearly absolute rubbish. The girl may well be able to maintain control during the day (she may well like the routine at school) that doesn't mean she can control herself in every situation (particularly the more emotional charged situation at home) and if she is on the spectrum it's very typical, particularly for girls, to maintain control at school and break down at home. I can't believe anyone who knows so little about child development would even bother suggesting advice to be honest.

Lweji Wed 24-Apr-19 17:26:59

it is fairly safe to say she can control her behaviour.

They haven't seen her with her siblings. Do not underestimate emotional triggers in human behaviour.
It could be compared with specific anxieties. She may not be able to control her attitudes towards her siblings any more than someone suffering from agoraphobia, for example. At least not without great effort and training.

It won't be a random GP or even her teachers who will be able to evaluate her issues in relation to her siblings. It will need observation of interactions and proper conversations by people who know what they're doing.

Takethebuscuitandthesink Wed 24-Apr-19 17:30:07

@Lweji you mean like SS who you took affront at me suggesting gets involved.

Lweji Wed 24-Apr-19 17:40:25

This is not affront.

I'm even afraid to ask what would be expected from SS.

You had just mentioned referring to SS at that point.
If this doesn’t work I honestly think the op should consider trying to move the 12 year old in with her or even getting her sister to get SS involved.
Considering your previous suggestions, it's not unreasonable to expect you to suggest SS removed the 12 year old.
I did not have an issue with calling SS, but with what you might expect from them.

You eventually did specify what you meant. Thankfully not removing the girl.
That was probably the only advice from you that, eventually, did make sense.

Lizzie48 Wed 24-Apr-19 17:46:15

I’ve spoken about my 2 DDs earlier in the thread. I would like to add here that I tried sanctions with DD1 (for example docking pocket money) and they didn’t work. All they achieved was to increase her jealousy of DD2 so made her more resentful.

You need to get to the cause of it. It’s a long road, but on the whole DD1 is a lot easier to deal with now.

Goldmandra Wed 24-Apr-19 17:54:22

Takethebuscuitandthesink you clearly have no idea what you're talking about. Your understanding of how to manage behaviour is appalling, as is your knowledge and understanding of ASD and complex needs.

I really hope you don't have or work with children.

Takethebuscuitandthesink Wed 24-Apr-19 17:58:42

I think we are all focusing on the wrong thing the poor poor 7 year old has been totally lost in all of this. Ok there may have been some minor issues with the practicality of my 0 tolerance proposal so what does everyone else suggest then? Does everyone agree the 12 year olds behaviour is not acceptable.

Goldmandra Wed 24-Apr-19 18:01:32

so what does everyone else suggest then?

This thread is choc-full of everyone else's suggestions.

Takethebuscuitandthesink Wed 24-Apr-19 18:07:13

This thread is choc-full of everyone else's suggestions.

Such as? And also specifically what do you suggest you are front of the cue to shoot down suggestions but back of the cue to actually offer any of your own.

Lweji Wed 24-Apr-19 18:15:30


Perhaps you'd care to read the thread instead of shooting from the hip.

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