Advanced search

What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10

Find out more

Say something or keep our noses out??

(81 Posts)
reenzeen Tue 14-Jun-11 19:59:28

Have no kids myself but am currently pregnant, my DH and I spend alot of time with my SIL/BIL and their 2 DD's (2yr and 4yrs) and I love them all to bits but recently its becoming really hard to be with them as all they do when they are in their own home or in their parents company is cry/whige and have tantrums.

The thing is they do this with no one else and are the best behaved children I have ever seen when they are with other family members.

My sil looks after 2 other children during the day and actually spends more time tending to her own 2 who are both older and the other 2 literally never open their mouths and just wait patiently to be feed changed etc.

I know we are no experts and its easy to judge from the outside looking in but they don't seem to realise that they spend all their time crying or having tantrums when in their company.

Is this a normal thing that all kids do with their parents or should I let her know that they only do this when they are at home and that they are just playing up for whatever reason and her DC's are a joy to have when they are not about?

I feel it would help their sanity if they realised this behaviour is not normal and that their kids can be so good elsewhere - its almost like the kid's have split personality's or something.

Or should we just keep our noses out an let them get on with it?? confused

bitzermaloney Tue 14-Jun-11 20:08:05

Do you really mean they spend ALL their time crying/having tantrums or are you exaggerating just a teeny bit? Because to me it sounds perfectly normal. Most childminders will tell you their charges behave much better with them than with their parents, and I have found that to be true with mine (nearly 5 and nearly 2) - not just childminders but friends and family too. With their parents kids can let it all hang out and if they feel secure they test boundaries - it's their job at 4 and 2! - sometimes what feels like the whole time. Personally, in the nicest possible way, I would keep your noses out! (And just wait till a few years' time.... congratulations!)

lechatnoir Tue 14-Jun-11 20:40:26

I think if you told them their children are angels when they're not around, rather than helping their sanity it would make them feel like totally shit inadequate parents who have no control over their own children. I'd bet good money that they are all too aware of their LOs behaviour and some 'well meaning' relative really won't help. Honestly, unless you think there is a problem, leave well alone.

thisisyesterday Tue 14-Jun-11 20:43:24

yep, my lot behave beautifully with my parents or with my friends.

all kids save the whining and tantrumming for the people they love best grin

reenzeen Tue 14-Jun-11 20:48:01

ok maybe not ALL the time but about 80% of the time - my SIL always says 'they are tired' but if this is the case they are tired in the morning, lunchtime, afternoon, evening they cannot be tired all the time surely if they are sleeping at night.

They just seem to cry as soon as they get to their house or see their parents- if we have them away somewhere and bring them back, they cry as soon as they see their house, and 2 minutes previous were good as gold.

It is really that bad, I love having them but dread bringing them home- im 37 wks pg which prob isn't helping matters but my DH has stopped visiting them in their own house as he can't stand the constant crying so it's not just me.

BialystockandBloom Tue 14-Jun-11 21:19:47

I'm not quite sure what exactly you would say to them confused

"Did you know your children are whinging?"
"Oh were you aware your children are having a tantrum?"

Do you think the parents aren't aware of it?

Tbh if someone who doesn't have one child yet, let alone two, and let alone a 2yo and 4yo together, made such a comment to me, a parent of two children of similar ages, there would be a rather predictable response.

As pp have said, keep out of it.

reenzeen Tue 14-Jun-11 21:30:47

Yeah you are probably all right, me and DH will prob still continue to marvel at it - I just wish she could see her children when they are not around and see what angels they can be, then somehow try to change their behaviour so she would have an easier and happier life with them.

But is it normal for children this age to cry so much with their parents - please tell me no?!

p99gmb Tue 14-Jun-11 21:39:19

Oh.. what a lot you've got to learn - sorry - don't mean to be rude but guess what... KIDS ARE SERIOUSLY HARD WORK and at that age, do seriously cry and whinge over absolutely NOTHING.. angels one minute and little monsters the next...

Welcome to the real world...

bitzermaloney Tue 14-Jun-11 21:49:13

"somehow try to change their behaviour so she would have an easier and happier life with them"

You made me laugh there (sorry, but you did). S'what we all want! They won't be needing you to point that out.

I am guessing you have intimated to them that their dds are well behaved with you, and no doubt they will have picked up your disapproval at their behaviour at home, even if you haven't said anything. You seem to think they are lacking a 'lightbulb moment' about this. I sincerely doubt that.

I prescribe the following thread for you...
[[ ]]

bitzermaloney Tue 14-Jun-11 21:50:45

oops, try again:

FannyFifer Tue 14-Jun-11 21:55:52

Christ, mines are a couple of little shits around 60% of the time when with just me and DP.
So well behaved at school, with other folks, grandparents etc but just seem to enjoy bloody whinging at home.
Totally,absolutely 100% normal, they are sent to try us.

FannyFifer Tue 14-Jun-11 21:57:22

Sometimes me and DP hide from them grin

cat64 Tue 14-Jun-11 22:00:38

Message withdrawn

Fifis25StottieCakes Tue 14-Jun-11 22:07:28

Keep your nose out till you have your own. I think your in for a bit of a shock smile 2 and 4 year olds are hard work.

K999 Tue 14-Jun-11 22:07:55

Welcome to the real world

ginhag Tue 14-Jun-11 22:13:06

Apparently the reason why kids act up more with their parents than anyone else is because they are truly secure that their parents will love them no matter what.

So actually your SIL/BIL are doing a GREAT job. The kids are testing their boundaries because they know it is safe to do so.

Also, if you mentioned that my kids were better behaved with others and maybe I needed to change my behaviour with them I'm afraid there is a good chance I would kill you.

piprabbit Tue 14-Jun-11 22:14:19

Your ILs are probably very well aware that their children behave beautifully with other adults. Strange adults/situations are entertaining and usually involve lots of attention. Homelife can be boring and mundane in comparison, so children take it into their own hands to enliven things.

Beside if you can't lay down and have a paddy on your own floor - where can you?

Knax Tue 14-Jun-11 22:14:43

Yeah, I agree with everyone above, you'll learn in a coupla years grin
Good luck with your pregnancy and everything of course, don't worry about us old cynics, enjoy your innocence whilst it lasts smile

CoffeeIsMyFriend Tue 14-Jun-11 22:17:25

OP, the only people who have all the answers to child rearing are those without children. fact! grin

Your niece/nephew behaviour is normal. And your post made me laugh out loud.

TheCrackFox Tue 14-Jun-11 22:20:17

2-4 yr olds like to reserve their worst behaviour for their parents.

Keep your trap shut.

ballstoit Tue 14-Jun-11 22:27:36

If my DB and DSil, who don't have children (but are trying very hard to have them), informed me that my children behaved well for everyone else when for me they are whiny and have constant tantrums....I would chuckle quietly and tell them that I look forward to returning the compliment in a few years time.

All children behave badly for their parents, it's the ones that don't you need to worry about.

Hassled Tue 14-Jun-11 22:33:20

Actually my DC1 was the opposite - he was never a problem at home. He saved up all his bad behaviour for elsewhere. But the rest - yes, they were always better behaved at school/nursery/anywhere that wasn't home.

But reenzeen - is there stuff you're not telling us? No other worries? Do you like the SIL/BIL?

Missymoomum Wed 15-Jun-11 02:27:42

Oh dear I hate to burst your bubble as you're just about to have your first (congratulations btw) but that is what 2 and 4 year olds do (I have 2 at those exact ages myself) and all other ages too.

I really don't think you should say anything as you're likely to come across as a smug person who doesn't know what they're talking about and you'll end up offending them. Give it a year or so and you'll see it from their side I'm afraid. Don't worry though as it is actually easier to deal with it with your own kids than with others although still bloody hard work. I remember my sil and bil bringing their 23 month old over to meet my then 2 week old ds and he was like a whirlwind. It was awful and I just remember thinking oh my god what have I done?!! My ds is a lovely 4 yr old though just not when he's whinging wink

Missymoomum Wed 15-Jun-11 02:30:23

Oh yes and I meant to say it sounds like they're doing a fab job if they good everywhere else. I'd much rather have to put up with crap at home if I know they're going to be good for grandparents, school etc. It shows they're learning about what is acceptable behavior and what isn't.

mrsjohnsimm Wed 15-Jun-11 02:44:32

My (at the time pregnant with her first DC) SIL told me when DS was five and having a major strop that I "just needed to engage with him on his level". I have my calendar marked for when her DD is that age and I can recycle that remark...

Almost all children behave better for other people (including other family members) than for their own parents. I know my siblings and I were angels for my grandmother, and in their turn my children are angels for my mother and for MIL. DS's friends all behave pretty much impeccably at our house, and DD1's friends never have tantrums around me when their parents aren't there. Equally, when DS or DD1 are at someone else's house without me I receive lavish compliments on their excellent behaviour and manners. If I am there they are hellions. It's what children do. Best of luck.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: