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My cousen is violent towards my Nan, what should I do ??

(25 Posts)
mummyloveslucy Sun 10-Aug-08 18:37:44

Hi, I have my Nan and 10 year old cousen staying with us for a couple of weeks. My Nan has basically brought my cousen up from a baby as my aunt had a major break down and is still recovering. Anyway my cousen has always been quite naughty. She's lovely but very demanding of attention. My 3 year old is a piece of cake in comparason.
The other night my cousen fell asleep on the sofa and refused to go to bed. My Nan tried to make her when my cousen said "Don't anoy me when I'm tired, you know I'll end up hitting you". shock shock
The next day my husband and our daughter and his family and my Nan and cousen went to church. I was asleep after a night shift. My husband told me how badly behaved my cousen was, she was running up the isle with some toddlers, and saying "I'm boared" etc. When my Nan told her to behave herself, she kicked her in the shin. angry
Do you think I should have words with my cousen, and if so what should I say?
My Nan has been through a lot recently and is recovering from another opperation.
She shouldn't be having to deal with this as well. What would you do ??

Hecate Sun 10-Aug-08 18:42:10

I would be torn between reading the child the riot act and putting the fear of god into her and feeling really sorry for her because she's only 10, her mother is very ill, she is probably really really screwed up. She also needs some help.

Maybe ask the advice of social services?

Perhaps your nan isn't the best person to care for her, are there no other family members to help? What about yourself?

pgwithnumber3 Sun 10-Aug-08 18:43:41

Your Nan should really be reprimanding your cousin, I actually can't believe she is letting her get away with it.

I would personally have a few words with your Nan firstly, just to see what she thinks of the whole scenario. Then it really is up to her to put her foot down, it is all good and well you telling your cousin off but it probably won't change matters as things will just go back to the way they were. It is your Nan who needs to change this for the best.

MatNanPlus Sun 10-Aug-08 18:43:54

She sounds like she could do with an independent person to talk to.

DaisyBuchanon Sun 10-Aug-08 18:43:57

I would have one hell of a word with the cousin. Someone needs to point out to her that it is completely unacceptable behaviour and that if it happens again there will be dire consequences. If your Nan has let it get to the stage where the hitting has become normal, then you'll have your work cut out. Does she get pocket money? If so, you can tell her that every time there's an "incident" she will lose a week's money - obviously sort this with your Nan first.

While I have lots of sympathy for your Nan, who sounds like an absolute star, you also need to have a diplomatic word with her. If your cousin grows any older thinking that violence is OK she will end up in a lot of trouble. There has to be some sort of punishment, and IME money counts for a lot with 10 year olds.

CuckooClockWorkOrange Sun 10-Aug-08 18:44:45

Has anybody younger in the wider family sat down with your cousin and had a chat with her?

I think you need to take her out, treat her like an adult (in some ways). Lay down some boundaries. You may have to spell out loud and loud what sort of behaviour is acceptable.

BUT go easy and be sympathetic to her situation. It is probably not what she fantasises about, being brought up by her grandma. Where is her Mummy??? She probably feels bad about that.

Tell her you love her and want to see her do well, and for her to be well-liked by everyone. Tell her life with be easier if everybody notices that she is a good, kind hard-working kind of girl who loves her grandma.

BUT...... pick your battles, don't stress about the naughtiness in church thing. All children are a bit bold in church I find. It's their job!! What's that lesson. Mark chapter 10? My friend calls it the licence to bring naughty children to church lesson! Jesus says to his desciples, do not keep the children away from me! Let them come to me grin

mummyloveslucy Sun 10-Aug-08 18:59:52

My Nan lives with her daughter, my cousens Mum. They live a long way away from us so I'm not really that involved unless she comes to stay.
I totally agree that my Nan should be a lot more firm with her. She tells her off constantly for naughty things she does, but there dosn't seem to be any firm bounderies. For example my Nan will give exactly the same telling off for hitting her or deliberatly breaking somthing as she would for her eating with her mouth open.
Her childhood hasn't been ideal at all and I think my Nan feels sorry for her and makes a lot of acceptions.
I wish I lived neerer so that I could help out more.

mummyloveslucy Sun 10-Aug-08 19:06:57

It's not the naughtyness in church that bothers me, she's the same wherever she goes.
I'm just worried for my Nan. I think she deserves a medal for doing all she's done, while her own health has been so bad.
My Nan has been the only consistent thing in her life.
I do feel sorry for my cousen, but her behaviour needs to be addressed, fast.

bubblagirl Sun 10-Aug-08 19:08:24

maybe your nan is also frightened of her behaviour and feels at a complete loss maybe someone could sit and talk with her to see how she feels and then talk to cousin she is taking it out on person closest and thats your nan but she needs to know its not acceptable

but like someone in violent relationship you tend to allow someone to behave this way out of fear and helplessness and to not upset the balance

she needs support and cousin needs to seek help also to get to root of anger

bubblagirl Sun 10-Aug-08 19:11:15

maybe you could ask social services advise for your nans welfare and your cousins as if she continues this way your nan could get injured or your cousin will go completely off the rails

does she have contact with her mum could she be angry at her mum and taking it out on the one person who is consistant in her life

whatever the reason proffessional help is obviously needed now hope it can all be sorted out for them both good luck x

mummyloveslucy Sun 10-Aug-08 19:25:45

Definatly bubblagirl, I'll talk to them both seperatly. I know where my cousens anger is comming from, and she is taking it out on the person closest.
She craves a "normal" happy family.
Last year when she came down to stay, she was so clingy to me. She was constantly cuddling me. My Husband, and I took our daughter and my cousen to a resterant. She was cuddling me as usuall, and as we walked passed a group of people she said softly, "love you Mummy". I pretended not to hear, as I didn't know how on earth to react on the spot.
This time she say's "I'd better call you Mummy and Daddy so that dd will coppy me".
I joked and said "well you'll make me feel very old". She is a very loving child, with a lot of anger in her.

bubblagirl Sun 10-Aug-08 19:35:50

oh bless her its the stability and normality i guess she sees her friends with there mums and she has her nan no disrespect to her but to young girl i guess makes all the difference

lets hope someone can see her behaviour is wrong and get her some help and also for your nan as she has clearly given up alot to care for he rand must feel so hurt that its turned out this way

mummyloveslucy Sun 10-Aug-08 19:40:50

She also gets bullied at school as her Mum is gay and up untill recently, she's had two Mummys and you know how unaccepting children can be of anything different. Her other "Mummy" was abusing her behind her real Mums back. She gave my aunt her sleeping pills in the day time so she way totally un aware. She also has a teenage daughter who lived with them who was very screwed up. She is now pregnant at 15.
My Aunt realised what was happening a year ago and threw her partner out.
Since then My Nan has mooved in with my Aunt and Cousen. My Aunt is now recovering.

bubblagirl Sun 10-Aug-08 19:43:38

my god you have alot to deal with or should i say all of them do well counsilling would be good for a start for cousin and aunt alone and together see if they can form some kind of bond and structure again

and for your nan to maybe enjoy her years that she has left without being stuck in the middle

mummyloveslucy Sun 10-Aug-08 19:48:32

Yes, you're right. My Nan does feel very hurt by the way my cousen treats her.
Her school have said that they have seen a huge improvment in her since her Mum got rid of her girlfriend. They said it's like the old x has come back.
She still has a lot of issues though.

LittleBella Sun 10-Aug-08 19:58:19

Has she had proper counselling to help her through the abuse and her difficult family situation?

Because it sounds to me like she needs it. This sort of situation goes waaaay beyond what individual family members can do.

You said your Nan has brought her up from a baby, but also that she was living in the same house as her mother and her mother's abusing girlfriend. It sounds as if her home life has been extremely unstable. No wonder her behaviour is erratic.

mummyloveslucy Sun 10-Aug-08 20:01:31

You're right, it's such an awful situation. I've had such a sheltered life and couldn't imagine growing up in these sircumstances.
My Mum and my Aunt couldn't be more different. My Mum is very femanin has a very good job and is quite snobby ladylike. My Dad is fantastic, and I've always been a Daddys girl.
I couldn't imagine not knowing who my Dad was for a start.
I hope my Nan can sort somthing out, maybe she could speek to the school?

TheProvincialLady Sun 10-Aug-08 20:05:21

Your nan could speak to the school, GP or social services for help and advice. She badly needs it. She can't possibly be expected to deal with all of this herself. That poor girl, it's no wonder she behaves badlysad

LittleBella Sun 10-Aug-08 20:05:35

It might be a good idea to start with the schools. Lots of schools now have a FLO (a Family Liaison Officer) who can help direct your nan to services like free parenting courses for her, counselling for your cousin, etc. My DS's school has a counselling service in school for children and they are also available to direct families to family therapy if requested. Your cousin's school might have that and it might be a good idea to try and access those services this year while she is still in primary school.

mummyloveslucy Sun 10-Aug-08 20:12:21

Thanks LittleBella. I think my Nan would be reluctant to do this as she is probubly quite embarraced at the whole situation. I think she might worry too that SS might try to take her Granddaughter away. I could talk to her though.
I'll get my husband to take my cousen out playing football again while I talk to her.

LittleBella Sun 10-Aug-08 20:32:16

SS won't take her away if they see her nan is taking proper, pro-active steps to help her. But if she doesn't, then this child by the time she is 14, could well end up being taken out of your nan's care anyway. Because she's got herself involved in crime or drugs or something. Statistically, young people involved in crime are more likely to have been abused, brought up in fractured families etc. So your cousin is already at risk. She really, really needs help here and your nan needs to overcome any embarrassment or fear in the interests of her granddaughter's welfare. I know it's tough for her, but she needs to put her granddaughter's needs above her's. Which is a terribly difficult thing to ask an old woman to do, I know. Is there anyone else in the family who could give your nan a bit more support?

BTW, would your nan feel more positive about approaching a charity for help, rather than the state? A lot of people are understandably afriad of state authorities, but not necessarily of charities, which they see as more benign. There is a charity called Young Minds, which offers an hour's free counselling followed by follow-up if appropriate. Hang on, will find the link.

LittleBella Sun 10-Aug-08 20:33:43

Here it is:

young minds

mummyloveslucy Mon 11-Aug-08 19:09:48

Thanks a lot LittleBella, that's fantastic. I think she would rather go to a charity than SS.
I'd love her to come and live close to me, I keep asking her. I would be able to help her out more then.
Thanks everyone for all your advice. smile

LittleBella Mon 11-Aug-08 21:12:33

Young Minds really is good. Sometimes, that first hour of a telephone counselling session is all that is needed to get someone back on track and give them positive strategies. It helped me enormously when I was worried about DS and it's not at all official or scary. Just a chat, that's all. It's a good idea to write down all the worries beforehand, so that you don't miss any in the conversation. If it will take too long, then that's fine, they will arrange follow up sessions.

LittleBella Mon 11-Aug-08 21:14:05

And you know from what I remember, they don't even check up on who you are, so if your nan was really nervous, she wouldn't even have to give her real name. But she wouldn't need to worry about doing so, because she is not abusing your granddaughter and they would not pass on any information at all about her to any third party.

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