Post # 1
Going incognito for this one.
My sister has two children, a girl (8 years old) and a boy (6 years old). They are both healthy and bright. My niece is a somewhat challenging kid – very strong, likes to “argue” to get her way, and so on. But all in all, she’s a good kid. My nephew, on the other hand is one of the whiniest kids I know. I know many kids go through a whiny phase, and I’m hopeful he’ll grow out of this. But it’s been going on pretty much since he learned to talk! And what bothers me most is that his parents and grandparents give into his whining every. single. time. They do this all the time, but the most blantant example is at mealtimes. They don’t even TRY to get him to eat what they’re eating. If they come over for dinner at your house, they bring chicken nuggets or corndogs for him to eat without even seeing if he’ll try the meal you made. Yesterday, my mom (their grandma) was watching niece & nephew and two other little girls, and had made peanut butter sandwiches for them all at the kids’ request. Well, nephew decided he didn’t want to eat his sandwich. So he proceeded to cry and whine until she made him pizza rolls.
It’s freaking frustrating to me, because they give in to him on EVERYTHING he whines about. And then they wonder why he’s so whiny – um, could it be because he KNOWS you’ll give him what he wants when he whines and cries? What frustrates me even more is that they are SO HARD on niece. When she even opens her mouth to disagree with something, they start yelling at her and force her to do what they wanted her to do. But nephew just starts in with that whiny voice and crocodile tears, and poof, he gets what he wants. It doesn’t help that niece is my sister’s child from a previous relationship, and nephew is her child with her husband…
I hate it. It’s turning nephew into a brat. And I know niece feels like a second-class citizen because of this.
Post # 3
I have friends like this. Guess what? Their kid is going to be a huge weiner and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.
My mom did not allow whining in our house. As a grade 1 teacher, I have had many whiny students who are used to it working and I’ve always told them very quickly to “change your voice” because I do not listen to whiny people. Sometimes I whine back to them so they can hear how silly it sounds.
If your sister and her husband are not planning to change their parenting style, I’m sorry to say that there’s not much you can do about it. All you can do is do your best when/if you have kids.
Post # 4
I have no advice, this isn’t your kid! How your sister chooses to parent is her business. Speaking from experience, people don’t always know what goes on behind closed doors.
Post # 5
@Juliepants: Ugh, the whiny voice is so awful. I don’t know why kids can’t hear it themselves when it comes out of their own mouth.
When Darling Husband and I watch the kids, we don’t give into the whine & cry routine. There have been many, many board games and rounds of hide & seek ending with my nephew stomping off and refusing to play because he’s not getting his way (i.e. getting to win by cheating) and his whining has no effect on us. We usually just say, “Okay, if you don’t want to play by the rules, you don’t get to play” and ignore his act and keep on playing with niece. I just wish he’d get that same message at home.
Post # 6
I agree with the other pp’s. It’s not really up to you.
However, with that said, you could offer to babysit and change it up at your house. According to my sister my niece doesn’t eat any veggies. At my house she love peas and green beans. She isn’t given a choice and she knows I won’t give in to her.
Post # 7
Thankfully he has likely started achool and his classmates may have a positive influence on him. Most kids won’t tolerate that kind of behavior. Otherwise, he will be a lonely child.
Post # 8
No one likes a winey child, but it’s her kid, so there isn’t much you can do except vent and let nature take it course…someday he’ll either snap out of it, a teacher will not tolerate it, or other kids will tease him about it. I feel bad that such a negative personality trait has been so positively reinforced in him, but eh, not your problem I guess!
Post # 9
@julies1949: Good point. He is in school now, so maybe that will help him get out of this way of being. My Darling Husband told me he used to be a “crybaby” himself, and what snapped him out of it was one of his teachers at school. So maybe that will help nephew, too.
The weird thing is, I know it frustrates his parents, too. But it’s like they don’t see that when they give into the whining, it just makes it worse. Maybe they just can’t help it because they want peace, and that’s one way to get it.
Post # 10
I almost could have written this post about my cousins (my mother’s brother’s children) when they were younger. The eldest was a quiet girl, followed the rules, and barely made a peep, where as the youngest was a whiney, spoiled boy who ate PB&J or Mac n’ Cheese for EVERY meal.
They’re now both grown and out of high school. She’s 21 now and graduated number 5 in her class (out of like, 350), never went to college, still lives at home, and literally has 0 friends.
He’s 19, finishing up his second year at college, is extremely popular, and has grown a huge sense of humor. He’s still a picky eater though.
The whiney ones don’t always grow up to be weiners (I LOLed so hard at that, @Juliepants)! I truly believe peers play a huge part in who a child grows into as an adult, so hopefully your nephew changes like my cousin did in school. He’s still young!
Post # 11
Well when this child gets to school hes going to have a rought time. He’ll soon learn he cant act like that and get away with it. But one thing I”ve learned is you can really judge how people parent, or say anything because it will only cause issues. In the long run your niece is going to be a better kid to deal with, maybe take her under your wing a bit. If they are always giving into him, and getting mad at her, its probley frusterating. My younger sister used to get her way alot and me….well never. Now my parents are still dealing with her gimmi gimmi attitude…and shes almost 20.
Post # 12
lol, when I nanny’ed (the kids were actually great kids) when they occasionally whined I’d just do that “I’m sorry, I dont understand whining. What? Talk normally, I can’t understand?” For as long as it took. It actually worked great, and usually only had to loop once, maybe twice.
The key is to stay calm and not get frustrated. Or even be playful about it, because they’ll start to think you’re being funny and laugh.
Post # 13
I always told my kids and others that I can’t understand that voice, just kept saying “what I don’t understand” it worked pretty well. They will at least learn not to use the voice with you.
Post # 14
That is a hard place to be, because like pp said they aren’t your kids. BUT, I do believe that family has every right to voice their concern for their loved ones & this IS your sister!
First & VERY important: I wouldn’t take an approach of criticizing how she parents, but would see if there’s anyway when you see this happen (her frustrated hardness with niece & frustrated caving with nephew) if there’s a way to talk to her just about her seeming so frustrated. If there’s anything she’s thought she could do to be able to enjoy them more or how have things been overall when at home and such. Becuase believe me, no parent is happy when they feel backed into a position to cave to their children… I know I’m not anyways.
If you can get the door open to just talk about the frustration that comes with funcitoning like that, you may be able to make some suggestions.
I know that there have been PLENTY of times when my mom has straight up told me that I’m talking to DS like I’m always upset or that I’m being too hard or that I need to stop arguing with him & just discipline him…. and no, I didn’t always take what she said with open arms BUT I have always considered it later & her being from an outside looking in perspective I highly regard her view as probably more accurate than mine. lol I am by no means the most perfect parent in the world and am very well aware that I NEED HELP to stay on track & keep my perspective in line….. So does your sister & so does every other parent out there.
Not sure your beliefs, but I know for us we get as much resource as we can on parenting and since we’re a blended family getting ready to move into a WHOLE new realm of family function (DS for previous marriage & new lo from this one) Darling Husband and I have just started a ‘Blended Families’ series from one of our favorite teachers on family. That might be something to suggest to her too…… AFTER you’ve opened that avenue of counsel.
I don’t think your hands are totally tied in this at all… you love your sister & you want her to have an AWESOME family, just as any sister would. How you approach the situation though is going to make ALL the difference. =)