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in expecting my bil to punish his child for her distructive and violent behaviour?

62 replies

williamsmummy · 05/03/2007 22:39

one of my nieces was in my care for the afternoon. She is develpmentally delayed and is 10 yrs old, and will go to a special school in september.
I am fully aware of this and have worked with children who are often much younger in there head than years.
However, it seems that there are no boundries in this family. I respect and agree that any form of corperal punishment is not a way forward. However that seems to be an excuse not to have any rules.

Well apart from the children having complete control of daddy.

This 10 yr old child , was rough and voilent with a 3 yr old guest, waiting until i left the room to do this. shoving and throwing things at this child.

Smacked my 8 yr old daughter because she didnt want to play her game, with her.

tried to slap my other nephew around the face, but being quick of foot she missed.

Then to cap it all, she spilt 1/2 litre bottle of bleach all over my bathroom floor, staining my bath mats, and being walked across my landing.

She lied about it to our faces, until I pointed out that she was the only child with bleach stains on her clothes.
We did check her for any harm to her hands, but she was very careful not to spill any of it on her skin.

The other neice 9yrs sulked all day because my daughter didnt want to play her games. At least she was quiet.

My BIL decided that as a punishment he would take the children home early, but that was what the children wanted to do anyway.
I didnt have the guts to mention the violent behaviour , as we did try some years ago, and he wouldnt accept that our son prevoked his daughter, ( and implication that he deserved it)

A couple of hours later BIL rang hubby and said he had a little chat with daughter , who had told him that it was only a small amount of bleach, so no harm done.

This man sees his children through rose coloured glasses. They have no respect for many adults , there father ( who she does smack as well) or any children that come in her way.

My children have started to ask that we do not invite these children in our home.

recently, they have broken a double glazed window, lost some parts of my sons toys , and where caught putting glasses of blackcurrent squash on full heat in my microwave. ( but that story is for another moan!!)

I want my hubby to say something , but he is right in saying that he will never listen to us. so I am at a loss at what to do.

We have been pressured in to going to his home on mothers day, the whole family will be there, but I am sick of my children being smacked by these children. I have told hubby that one incidence of violence or controling behaviour and I will pack up my children and leave.

I never let my children bully other children, why should i let them be builied, but a child who may have learning difficulties, but is aware of what she is doing and needs rules and boundries.

end of rant.

thank you.

OP posts:

ponylove · 05/03/2007 22:43

God. Far too complicated a situation for me to come in and make any comment. Without knowing the people involved its impossible to say.



coppertop · 05/03/2007 22:46

Being a parent of a child with SN is a completely different world to working with children with SN. I think your BIL should have offered to pay for any damage caused but I'm not sure what kind of punishment you would think is appropriate for a child with a developmental delay?


Greensleeves · 05/03/2007 22:47

If they were my children, given the SN/circumstances you describe, I would have taken them home early.

What would you like to happen?


Cazziej · 05/03/2007 22:47

wow rant away,i hope that has some wot got it all of ya chest and u can breath..I agree with u that boundies need to be put in place here, i have always said that if a child is in my care then they obey by my rules,wot they do at there house they cant do at mine,,i think u should sit with the parents and tell them straight,that the child/childrens behaviour is not accetable and if they wantt o continue visiting each others house than something has to be done.

You dont say how many yrs behind she is,but i would say from the age up children should ( mine did ) know the difference between right and wrong,,,,I take it suggesting parenting class's wont go down well,maybe u could offer some advice in a non critical way.Maybe if the other child/children see how your kids r disaplined then they migth eventually realise there behaviour is non acceptable.

sorry for rambling and sorry if i offended
from one mum to another


unknownrebelbang · 05/03/2007 22:48

Hate to ask, but how did she get hold of the bleach?


Cazziej · 05/03/2007 22:50

from the age 5 and up **

( sorry missed a couple of words out )


fireflyfairy2 · 05/03/2007 22:52

How long was a child with SN left alone in order to be able to get the bleach?

It sounds to me like you don't actually like these children very much


sunnysideup · 05/03/2007 23:07

well, that was an awful lot of kids you had there today. Did you have any planned activities, and how much supervision did you give them? Were they expected to basically 'play together'?

Bleach needs to go up in a cupboard where kids can't reach it I'd say....or get a lock, that sort of thing...maybe keep it in the kictchen rather than bathroom?

i agree with your kids, don't have them round; obviously the numbers get too much for them to get along happily anyway, so if there's no pleasure in it for anyone...why do it, I guess.


Caligula · 05/03/2007 23:10

"but she was very careful not to spill any of it on her skin."

Are you suggesting that the child deliberately got the bleach out and carefully ruined your bathroom mats?


fireflyfairy2 · 05/03/2007 23:12

I've just read about blackcurrant squash in your microwave

Again, I reiterate, how long are these children left without adult supervision????


colditz · 05/03/2007 23:13

I think you will need to keep away from your neices. They obvious aren't being fabulously supervised as one was about to play with bleach. I don't think you can insist on a punishment.

You can't control others' behaviour, only your reaction to it. so, in this case, you can't change the behaviour of your neices, but you can tell your brother in law he has to remove them from your house now.

This may shame him into supervising the 10 year old a bit better. It sounds though, like he may be utterly exhausted by her, I would be too. It's ok to judge from 2 hours worth of 'footage', if you like, but when you are in the thick of it, you can become utterly ground away.


colditz · 05/03/2007 23:14

able to play with bleach, should be.


coppertop · 05/03/2007 23:17

If she had bleach on her clothes then I would say it was pure luck that none of it soaked through to her skin and not a case of her being "very careful not to spill it on her skin".


miffedandmoody · 06/03/2007 00:03

Being a mother of a child with SN I find your post to be very ignorant and unsympathetic.

This is your niece and you sound totally detached from this.

As coppertop said working with a child with SN and actually being the parent of a child with SN day to day is totally different.

The description of your day with your niece sounds like a typical day with my son who has SN agruing with his litle sister and getting into mischief.

You say"your children have started to ask that we do not invite these children in our home"

"These children "

How lucky you are to have such well behaved children.


KristinaM · 06/03/2007 00:14

I think your niece needs much more supervision that you are currently providing. You are aware that she has "developmental delays" but you are leaving her where she has access to bleach and hot liquids. You left her alone with a 3 year old? You are not providing sufficient care for her IMHO


BassMama · 06/03/2007 00:38

I dont understand why you think you BIL's children are so bad when you atated that the 9yo sulked when she didn't get her own way? Typical 9yo behaviour and not at all destructive or violent?

Violence can be a problem in SN children, depending obviously on what her condition is. This only means they should be watched MORE not less.

They are clearly quite playful little girls, possibly slightly mischevious, but putting juice in the microwave and losing parts of toys are not exactly bad things for children to do!

I think you should maybe try to remember that SN children need more supervision, and shouldn't be left alone, actually, SN or not, where there is access to bleach.

Maybe you could politely ask your BIL not to leave his children at your house when there are other children around, if you feel you cannot cope?

I am sure you can appreciate how hard it must be for your BIL and SIL to care for their SN child, especially with a younger child to look after too, and I am sure the choices thay have made regarding the childs discipline are correct, informed and appropriate.


dejags · 06/03/2007 05:52

Sounds to me like a lot more supervision and structure was needed for this number of children (with varied ages and needs).

I think the fact that your BIL sees his kids through rose coloured glasses is wonderful. If you didn't tell him about the violence, I am not quite sure how he was expected to act on it. He clearly did take it up with his daughter and even called you to tell you that he had.

If you have such an issue with his kids hitting yours you need to do three things:

  1. tell your BIL about the hitting (not something mentioned in passing, but actually sit down and talk to him).
  2. take it up directly with your nieces when you see it happening - something along the lines of "I don't accept that sort of behaviour, please do not hit XXX"
  3. don't have your nieces around again - I agree with the poster that you don't seem to like them much - kids pick up on this sort of thing.


FillyjonkDOEStellherkidsoff · 06/03/2007 06:23

I'm sorry, I agree with the other posters

I also kind of think these kids are a part of your family and they should be supported by you. And that your BIL has a much trickier job than you.

And you can't have been properly supervising really.


wannaBeWhateverIWannaBe · 06/03/2007 07:36

Saying you have worked with children with special needs is a bit like saying you?ve babysat for someone so know all about babies. In short, you don?t have a clue.

I agree that having other peoples? children being destructive in your home can be frustrating, but if you knew this girl has development delay why were you not supervising her more closely? And if you don?t tell your bil what happened how can you possibly expect him to deal with it? He?s not psychic is he?

As for the bleach, the fact the girl got hold of it is your fault not hers. Does your 3 year old also have unsupervised access to bleach?

IMO the best way forward for you is to tell your bil you don?t think you can look after his children in future. That would probably be the best for you and for his children.


monkeymonkeymoomoo · 06/03/2007 08:12

Yes you are being unreasonable... your tone is appalling and unsympathetic 'this child', 'these children', 'at least she was quiet' etc etc.


williamsmummy · 06/03/2007 09:04

thank you for your points, I have taken them on board.
I must explain that the 3yr old was not my child, but a guest,popping over for a short visit, to join us icing a cake. Mother of 3yr old joined us after 1/2hr. child was with us for about 1hr.

As for not observing child , its not that often that you need to observe a child of ten in the toilet who has been toilet trained since she was 3.( Even if in her head she is around 6-7yrs)

as my youngest child is 8 my home is no longer geared up for pre-school children.
the 3 yr old was escorted to the bathroom for this reason.

I do love my neices, but do not approve of their behaviour. They are spoilt , which I see as a form of neglet. Rules and bounderies are reasurring for children, as well as showing them you love them.
They have complete control over there activity choices, for instance they ring up a friend to come over and play, then inform their father . He complies every time, for many situations.
It must be frighting for two young girls to have that control over their own lives.
If socially they have everything there own way, how to they learn to share? to form relationships with people other than 'you do was i want , I want to play this game' ? ( a phrase I hear freqently) which is something that needs to be learnt. So that they can form decent relationships when older.

As a single father I am well aware that he is on his own. Which is another reason why violent behavour must stop.
He would be heartbroken if my children said in front of him that they dont want their cousins to play because they are being hit.
We need to have the children here to give him a breathing space.
I think an agreed method of disapline for all their careers / family would help.
However this is an extremly difficult area to go forward with.

When my neices are in my care there are structed activites in place, or outings.
Cooking is something they all enjoy , which we did.
But after planned activties are finshed, they should at there ages be able to play games happily with little adult intervention.
I am to assume that I am wrong here?
Perhaps I should ask for another adult to be at home with me when i care for my neices? So that I can follow her and give full time one to one??

On their own these children are delightlful and fun, but for there own good they must learn to behave in a more socially acceptable manner.

In the past my children have behavied badly on these family occasions and they have had some conseqence as a result. its difficult for them to see bad behaviour in others go without comment.
But they do understand that for these girls different rules apply.
But as they grow older and stronger, ( the teenage years are around the corner) how do we stop this?

thank you for your comments.

OP posts:

2shoes · 06/03/2007 09:08

i find it surprising that you don't seem to realise a child with sn is not going to act the same as an nt child. OK you say in her head she is so and so but that is not the end of it. you can't just then say oh that makes her 7 and she should act like that. I think you will find it is much more complicated than that.
Your poor BIL sounds like he is out of his depth. can you not broach the subject in an chatty friendly way.


dejags · 06/03/2007 09:10

Sorry but I think you are being terribly hard on this guy.

I am total stickler for rules. I love em.

However, I would not be disciplining my kids if I was unaware there was a problem. You never told your BIL about the hitting (besides the one time, in passing). He cannot be expected to sort out a problem that he isn't aware of.

It sounds as if you BIL is doing his best. It's your choice to have them around or not - and if not having them around is causing so much discord then you need to talk to your BIL in a proper setting with the right emphasis.

Kids can sense when they aren't liked or welcome and it makes them even more difficult when they do pick up bad vibes IME.


Jimjams2 · 06/03/2007 09:12

Please stop saying "in her head she is...." as the mother of a child with learning diffficulties I find it offensive. Not sure why, but it doesn't seem very respectful.

ALL the behaviour you describe- the pushing over of a 3 year old, getting bleach everywhere the destructiveness etc is NORMAL for a a child with significant special needs. Your niece requires SUPERVISION.

I have 3 children, my eldest has SN my other 2 do not. I would NEVER leave my 2 year old alone with one of my friend's children with SN. Not for a minute because I have seen them try and push toddlers over etc. It goes with the territory.

This sums it up

"As for not observing child , its not that often that you need to observe a child of ten in the toilet who has been toilet trained since she was 3.( Even if in her head she is around 6-7yrs)"

That's because most children of 10 do not have learning difficulties. It doesn't matter what you would usually do-- you have to provide supervision. DS1 is 7 with severe learning difficulties- he requires more supervision than my 2 year old. That's just the way it is.


williamsmummy · 06/03/2007 09:13

I will just add that the microwave thingy was in my home, but father was there are the time, I had to dash out for a doc appointment and he and my sil offered to look after all the children ( 11 of them at the time)
i came home to find children putting my cheap asda glasses filled with blackcurrent on full heat in microwave. on their own with daddys ok.

I found that incredible, and had nightmares about skin grafts and burns!

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