To leave one niece out?(327 Posts)
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.
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 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
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?
I’m guessing you were never bullied as a small child.
I was subjected to significant and systematic bullying over a number of years and nobody ever stepped in to help me. I probably understand better than most what it feels like.
I also have the capability to understand that the root of the 12 year old's behaviour is distress and demonising a distressed child isn't helpful.
It is vitally important that the bullying is stopped to prevent further harm to the 7YO but that won't work if it's done in a way that compounds the distress of the 12YO.
Lots of distressed children communicate that their needs aren't being met via poor behaviour and hurting others. That's why it's so important to look for the root cause when trying to address it.
I'm sorry you are only able to feel sympathy with the 'victim' in this scenario. I hope most people with have sufficient imagination to realise that acknowledging the distress of the older child doesn't imply any lack of sympathy or desire to protect the younger one.
I feel sympathy for both children and also for their parents and the OP.
I hope they manage to get this 12YO the right support very soon and, in the meantime, find the energy and patience to make sure she is well enough supervised that her sister isn't subjected to further abuse.
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