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to be annoyed at my sisters attitude towards her daughters behaviour?

(64 Posts)
5inthebed Wed 17-Jun-09 21:46:14

Today after school, me and the DS's went to my mams (who had collected my 5 year old neice from school as well). My sister (DN's mam) was there when we got there. The kids went to go play in their toy room come bedroom that my mam has there for them. As usual DS2 (3) and DN were winding each other up, DS2 has SN and thinks its funny as he gets a reaction out of DN. I always try and tell him its wrong and not to do it, and usually he is good once he gets over the excitement. DN does sometimes go out her way to get DS2 to wind her up (lies on the floor so he jumps on her, smacks him then runs away, pretends to cry)

Anyway, DS2 starts screaming in pain, and all I can hear is DN saying "I didn't mean it" and then starting to cry hysterically herself. DS2 comes through really crying his heart out followed by DS1, who tells me that DN has bit DS2. Sure enough on DS2's back there is a very nasty bite mark, all purple and you can see about 6 teeth marks from both top and bottom teeth.

While I'm trying to calm Ds2 down, DN runs in all upset and instead of my sister telling her off, she gets a big huge cuddle and told "There, there. It's ok"

No its not bloody ok! She is 5 years old and has just bit my DS2!

After a few word with each other, its clear that she thinks it was probably just what Ds2 deserved, as he is always winding DN up. Now DS3 might be an annoying little boy, but he has never marked her by biting/nipping smacking her!

AIBU to think that my sister could have at least told DN that it was wrong to bite and that by cuddling her it's showing her otherwise?

piscesmoon Wed 17-Jun-09 21:59:08

It all seems a storm in a tea cup.I would have spoken to them both-found out what the problem was and asked them for suggestions for different ways of dealing with it.

5inthebed Wed 17-Jun-09 22:03:59

Pisces, whil I agree with you about sorting out the problem, we weren't in the room when it happened, DS2 is not very verbal especially when upset.

I'm not one to argue about childrens behaviour, but I do think my sister could have handled it better or at least told her daughter that it was wrong to bite.

bigeyes Wed 17-Jun-09 22:08:55

YANBU - Biting is wrong she should hve been told very clearly, and I gues from your post that you would speak to DS2 about how to play together - poor little thing.

I would speak toy your sister about this before the children are together again. Did your mum not mediate?

5inthebed Wed 17-Jun-09 22:19:37

I always try to tell Ds2 that what he is doing is wrong. Even though he has SN I do try and teach him the same rules I do DS1.

My mam always sides with my sister. There is whole load of other stuff that goes on, but thats a whole new thread and I haven't got the energy to go into it all without something strong in me.

I guess its one rule for girls and another for boys in my sister nd mams eyes.

piscesmoon Wed 17-Jun-09 22:22:16

That is why I would find out what happened. We don't have enough information from your post. Maybe DN was just at the end of her tether-everyone has a snapping point. The fact that she said that she didn't mean it before an adult arrived on the scene shows that knew it was wrong+ the fact she was just as upset as him.
My brother used to wind me up deliberately-I tried to ignore him but in the end I hit out-then I got into trouble because I was the eldest-my mother never actually saw what he did.
I would talk to your sister when the DCs are not around. If there is a real problem, I wouldn't leave them unsupervised-at least not at the end of a school day when they are both tired.

bigeyes Wed 17-Jun-09 22:26:39

Sorry that she takes sides. You are doing right by your DC's and thats all that matters - teachers at school and other parents wont share your sisters attitude and unfortunately DN is being set up to with the wrong idea about actions and consequences of behaviour (classic approval reinforcing bad behaviour)

I thought, like you,teaching your kids right from wrong was a basic requirement!

I hope your DS, I noticed on a thread some where that a poster said her DC had SN yet still knew how they were expected to behave.

I hope this wont cause a rift then.

5inthebed Wed 17-Jun-09 22:27:34

When DN was 2 and DS1 was 3 I stopped visiting my mam for about 6 months when DN was there as she would bite and nip DS1 when she couldn't get her own way. She once bit chunk of skin off Ds1's cheek because he had a toy she wanted. It seemed to work and they appreciated each others company all the more when they did meet up.

Looks like I will probably have to do that again.

bigeyes Wed 17-Jun-09 22:29:34

Sorry for jumbled post.

I agree with most of PM but even if he did wind her up she still needs to understand that it is wrong - with consideration given to cirumstances.

5inthebed Wed 17-Jun-09 22:34:30

She never tells her off though, because "Sh doesn't like to see her upset".

When my DN is upset about what DS2 has done to her my sister expects me to tell him off, but won't tel her daughter off. Double standards I know. It really annoys me.

Maybe it is just a storm in a tea cup, maybe its the straw that broke the camels back, maybe I am just accepting this because I don't want to upset anybody by causing a rift in the family by sticking up for my kids when I have nobody there to back me up.

Noonki Wed 17-Jun-09 22:36:56

it's a hard one,

Your sister should have reprimanded her DD but if your son is always upsetting your DN (unintentionally so) your sister may feel as if her daughter is being upset by being hurt all the time.

five is still very little really.

lilackaty Thu 18-Jun-09 11:08:55

5 is little but biting? I would be furious. If he had been winding her up and she had hit out, that would still not be ok but more understandable - biting, imo is totally unacceptable and for me, that makes a big difference. so yanbu x

GentlyDidIt Thu 18-Jun-09 11:15:55

5inthebed From your first post I gathered that DN had completely lost control of herself and was mortified by what she had done, in which case a talk about biting being bad should have been enough, although it seems your sister didn't even do that.

However from your later posts it seems that DN has been a biter for more than a year. That requires a zero tolerance attitude and your sister should be doing a LOT more. Always tricky to criticise another's parenting, but I think I would tell a sister if her daughter was gaining a reputation for biting and other children were beginning to dislike her company because of this.

Stigaloid Thu 18-Jun-09 11:18:33

YANBU - i would have been livid. Hope your little one is okay.

cikecaka Thu 18-Jun-09 11:20:59

Do either your DM or Dsis have boys?
I remember when my DSIL was pregnant a few yrs back, my DS remarked (he was 6 then), I hope she has a boy because she will stop telling me she will put manners on me! whatever it was because she had only girls she couldnt understand him and couldnt get along with him, until she had her own little boy and then everything changed

Alambil Thu 18-Jun-09 11:57:50

I'd have told her off myself! she's a relative after all, not a random stranger

katiestar Thu 18-Jun-09 12:05:08

You don't post what your DN's side if the story is.I am inclined to agree with Piscesmoon , a 5yr old (or nayone) can only take so much winding up before they snap.

NormaSknockers Thu 18-Jun-09 12:16:02

I think 5in issue here is the way her sister dealt with her niece - regardless of what went on, who wound up who etc etc biting is wrong & the OPs sister should not have told DN "there, there it's ok" & given here a hug. DN should have been told off, calmy obviously, that you mustn't bite.

5in YANBU to be annoyed with the way your sister dealt with it.

Sassybeast Thu 18-Jun-09 12:16:20

I think you should have let them both calm down and then togetehr got to the bottom of what prompted her to bite him. And in future don't leave them alone if they are prone to physically hurting each other.

stealthsquiggle Thu 18-Jun-09 12:18:44

Biting is a zero-tolerance offence by the age of 5 IMHO. Yes it would be appropriate to hear what your DN had to say for herself, but no matter what the provocation she should have been told that biting is not acceptable.

bubblagirl Thu 18-Jun-09 12:28:31

regardless of who done what i would tell my child off for biting and make them say sorry

deepinlaundry Thu 18-Jun-09 12:29:19

I think 5 is still quite little- some children are not emotionally equipped to deal with situations properly. I have 3dcs and the eldest 2 never bit and I was a bit judgey about biting children, number 3 is not wired the same way and really struggled controlling her emotions. In her reception class there were still quite a few biting incidents. I don't think it should be tolerated but when you have a 2 year old, 5 seems much older but they are still learning social norms. I think root of it is your relationship with sister- I have a very difficult one with mine and it does affect how I feel about her dcs ( I really struggle to like them). Break sounds good

stealthsquiggle Thu 18-Jun-09 12:35:14

No offence deepinlaundry but there is something about biting which just winds me up. I have a 6.5yo and a 2.5yo and I think 5 is easily old enough for biting to be taken very seriously. If the OP's DN had thumped her DS2 I would be a lot more sympathetic (BTW both my DC occasionally bit as toddlers, but were so shock by my overreaction that they soon got the message and stopped, even though they have both been bitten since) - they have certainly not stopped thumping (each other and others) [sigh]

deepinlaundry Thu 18-Jun-09 12:40:24

Yes- I do agree that it is serious and is a bit animal like behaviour- I just think some 5 year olds are still struggling to deal with situations properly. I don't think it is so unusual- although going on persistantly for a year is a problem. No offence taken- dd2 is quite ferral!

bubblagirl Thu 18-Jun-09 12:49:39

i think as my ds has ASD he would need to see other child be told off to know this behaviour was not right as he would copy certain behaviors and if child is not told off he would presume it was ok to do this

5 is old enough to know biting is wrong otherwise she wouldn't have been apologising saying she didnt mean it her mum should have at least made her say sorry if not punishing her

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