(Closed) Frustrated with my sister's son. Came to my house and threw my things around.

posted 3 years ago in Parenting
Post # 2
505 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I’m guessing that you’re not seeing the whole picture.  Is your sister with her husband/baby daddy?  Does the child suffer other odd behaviors?

Alot of kids blamed for being “bad” are often autistic or have some other disability or emotional issue.  It’s all well and cute when the 4yo autistic girl won’t eat her hamburger at Chilis cause it’s “broken” but behavior in children escolates.  It often goes undagnosed in the early elementary years as simply “being a boy” or in twins typically “he was a preemie”

She may be in over her head especally if both boys are not functioning correctly and she has no idea why.  My only inclination that she’s not completely lazy and rude and a permissive parent is that she got up there and took care of everything herself.

You have a nesting instinct right now, which is affecting your ability to be competely logical.  I think you need to sit down with her, free of the boys, and have a conversation to pinpoint some of their odd behaviors and ask her about her frustrations.  If she tells you she can’t control them, she might be right.  No ammount of parenting can fix an aspbergers/autistic child….only therepy.

Post # 4
505 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

sharontobemarried:  Sorry to bust your bubble not having dad around and preemie can exasperate other traits.

behavioral issues include “Nortioursly spoiled and ill mannered”  that IS a behaviorial issue.  Most of my life I was told I was a bad child for not listening.  But by the time I went to college they figured out I had quite a few sensory issues that may or may not be aspbergers.  For instance, if someone gives me a 3 or 4 point list vocally, chances are I’ll mangle it.

As a kid, people just thought this was me being stubbor or badly behaved.  Before I was adopted as a kid, my first parents abused me severly for it and I was seen as a bad, troubled kid.  It wasn’t until my college counceller was working with me and had worked with learning disabled and aspbergers kids that she noticed things when we talked.

Even today, some behaviors can get me in trouble at work for ‘being annoying’ but I have to work to keep them under wraps.  I have almost no volume control of my voice (I can get louder and louder without knowing it).  I struggle with reading and often mis-hear people.

Here’s a good example my now mom gives.  Her command, “Rise the cup and put the silverware in the dishwasher”  What I did was take the cup, fill it with water and dumped it all over the silverware in the diswasher a few times.  I made a royal mess and my mom was furious.  I was cluless about why she was mad.  Only years later when we figured out things did we understand why I did stuff all wrong.  

Then there’s the fight about “the coat”.  I hate the feeling of suade.  On an errand one day my mom tossed a winter coat in the car for me and I REFUSED to wear it.  This as an older teen.  She got very mad, I cried, I went out in 10 degree weather in just a sweater and nearly froze myself to death.  I couldn’t put it on and even as an older teen I didn’t know how to explain to her that it hurt me, the feeling of suade just…I can’t.  It’s like every inch of my body has a mini seasure…I don’t have much of an issue but there are even a few things that cause me to “stim” (in highly autistic people this is when they flap their hands wildly).  I clench my neck and it shakes and grip and ungrip my hands awkwardly.  Its like im being doused in fire.


So, I immagine to a 7yo who catachsmically over-reacts to wrong tic-tacs this might be what’s really going on.  A rational 7yo would no throw things about becuase they were upset over tick tacks.  But a 7yo who had a processing disorder…who’s brain literally exploded internally…he couldn’t handle it.  If he was a “normal” 7 year old who just wanted attention, he’d of done it right in front of you.

Girls, will internalize, boys will externalize, so while all of my motions were just me, a boy would try to “stim” by finding something solid, something heavy to get rid of that horrible, firey feeling.  It is not an emotinal feeling, it’s a physical one.

Post # 5
298 posts
Helper bee

You’re family and where I come from, you have every right to yell at the kid yourself! You are an elder/authority figure and the kid needs to learn to respect you. If the mother won’t discipline her child then you should- and I bet when she sees you do this she have a little tantrum, take her kids and leave 🙂 But the kid will never forget how scary you were, so hopefully he won’t test you again!

Post # 6
5555 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2011

While it is possible something else is up, it is also possible the kid is just being a spoiled brat and you don’t have to have them in your home. Tell your sister you are happy to visit them or go elsewhere and see them but unless the children behave and don’t trash stuff, especially when you have a new born in the house, they are not welcome to come to your house to destroy your things. 

Post # 7
1188 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

sharontobemarried:  Eek, I’d be a bit upset too. Especially since you have so little control being in someone elses house, dealing with someone elses children! That said, it’s important to keep in mind that this sounds like a fairly intense time for you, and that could be accounting for a part of how frustrated you are feeling (i.e. although I’m sure this would have annoyed you a year ago too, it might not have ended with you telling her to leave). I’m not saying you did anything wrong, but I know sometimes when I’m under extra pressure, I need a gentle reminder that it can be jading my vision sometimes!

I think you’ve voiced your opinion on the matter, and there’s not much else you can do there, especially since it doesn’t sound like there’s much two way communication going on. Parenting is a delicate subject in the best of situations. For the next couple of months you are at your parents place, do you think you could shut off your personal spaces (like your bedroom etc.) to try and set up some boundaries for your own sanity?

I can imagine that I would definitely be trying to keep my distance for a week or two while things are cooling down if things are getting snarky. That’s definitely not the kind of negativity you want right now.

Wishing you the very best of luck, and hoping for a calm living space for you over the next little while!

Post # 8
2581 posts
Sugar bee

The first thing is to take care of yourself and your baby.  Your due date is in two weeks’ time and you need rest and a lack of stress. The weeks after the baby is born you will need other people to help you and not the other way around.  This means that you can’t have the twins around for a while if they cannot behave themselves.

The next thing to deal with is the 7 year old.  His behaviour is unacceptable and he is becoming out of control.  When children do things such as trash your belongings there is a good reason.  Maybe there are anger management problems.  Maybe they are upset about something and have no other way of expressing it.  Maybe they want more attention from their loved ones.  Maybe they are trying to behave badly because they long for someone to step in and say no.

You and your husband need to talk to your sister.  Her son needs to come round to your house (without his sibling) and apologize to you both for the damage he has done.  You need to express to him how upset you are.  You can talk about anger and how to deal with it and why you don’t think that the wrong flavour of tictacs is an adequate reason for his behaviour.  You can talk about groundrules of behaviour at your house.  Once all this is out of the way you can accept his apologies.

This way he learns that he gets away with nothing and also  learns that he has to put things right.

If there isn’t a father figure in his life get your husband or brother or father to do some of this discussion.

Once you have your child you will marvel at anyone trying to bring up twins.    So the next thing is to work out ground rules with your sister.  Go and have a coffee with her at a neutral venue.  Ask her how you can help.  The main thing is always to back her up when she tells her sons what to do.  

II understand entirely why you asked your sister and her sons to leave and Im sure I would have done the same in the latter stages of pregnancy but be aware that by doing so you punished the other twin ( who didn’t damage your things) too.  Make sure that you make it up to him.

  • This reply was modified 3 years ago by  .
Post # 9
1247 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - San Francisco, CA

Even if the kid DOES have a behavioral issue like autism, the sister’s reaction would have been incredibly inappropriate. My friend’s son has cognitive disabilities and getting him to figure out emotional regulation, consequences, etc took a LOT more work than your average kid, but my friend worked with a ton of therapists to develop the best solutions she could nonetheless. “Don’t mind him he has asperger’s” is unfair to the child with the disability, because it assumes they’re stupid or beyond help. If the child really has a cognitive disability severe enough that he is completely unable to function without exploding into rage and there’s nothing that can be done, then he shouldn’t be wandering around by himself while his mom obliviously entertains herself on her phone. He needs a much greater level of care.

Tell the sister she can’t leave her kids unaccompanied in your house any more, and give her resources to help her get the behavior sorted. Whether it’s high-functioning autism or just a spoiled brat, there’s almost certainly something she can do.

Post # 10
2193 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

It’s your sister’s kids.  Give them a time out and a good talking too.  It takes a village to raise a kid not just two parents!  I watch my nephews once a week and even if their parents are there I will reprimand and discipline them.  I am still the much loved fun Noonoo but they know when I am around they need to follow the rules. 

Post # 11
2613 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I’ve had problems with my soon-to-be nephews by marriage. I just had to get comfortable being firm with them. Their mom would come to visit and act totally oblivious to what was going on. I noticed that she noticed when I started telling them no and setting boundaries in my home. I also politely asked her to bring toys and books with her. She began to parent a bit more while visiting and bring things to keep them occupied, and things have really improved. She’s made a few snarky comments here and there about me not wanting to mess up my perfect home, but I really don’t think it was unreasonable for me to expect her 7 and 9-year-olds not to pee on my bathroom floor and not jump on my sofa.



Post # 12
2532 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I’m with other pp’s that you were totally reasonable here! Next time though I would have taken care of it myself. If you go upstairs and he’s trashed your stuff instead of going to his mom just deal with it on your own. I’m not saying punish him or anything like that, but many kids respond well to a good talking to from a beloved auntie- they hate to disappoint! sit him down, ask him why he thought it was ok to touch/throw/damage your stuff, reinforce that it’s not his things to do with however he wants, he has hurt your feelings your things  and you thought he was such a good boy but good boys don’t do that- and make him clean it up with supervision. 

Mom is not helping by just cleaning it up herself, or staying on the phone and not parenting (not saying 24/7 but in this instance). i don’t really see how mom could get angry at you if you are not punishing the kiddos, but talking to them and making them cleanup after themselves…. Maybe he will react well next time after you talk to him, and mom will see she needs to put a little more effort in…. Kids need rules and consequences and they really do thrive when they are given those- plus, they don’t walk all over ya then! =)

Post # 13
8640 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Your sister sounds pretty irresponsible, and she and her son owe you a big apology.  But if in your fury and frustration you yelled at her,  you may owe her an apology as well.  When people are put on the defensive, it can be hard to admit that they were wrong or at fault.  It’s possible she would have reacted differently if you weren’t already so mad. 

After the incident, you could have asked your sister to take him home, and followed up with a serious discussion when you were calmer. I can hardly blame you for being upset, though. I would be too. 

There may or may not be developmental disorders in play.  I can’t count how many times I’ve seen people in denial and the school districts miss the boat.  But according to you this is not a one time event and the kids are spoiled.  By definition that’s a behavior issue.

Post # 14
2841 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

sharontobemarried:  Honestly, I’d stop stressing about it- you can decide if you want her and her kids to come over anymore, or not.  Especially with you being pregnant– I understand that the situation was frustrating, but you have more control over it than you think.

You can’t “train” your sister’s kids to behave as you want them to– and you can only say so much to her– she’s either going to listen, or not. 


Not a situation wirth stressing over.

Post # 15
2226 posts
Buzzing bee

You can’t really do anything about the child’s behavior or his mom’s behavior, but you can control who you allow to be a guest in your house. Don’t let them into your house anymore. 

He may have some developmental issues, but that’s neither here nor there — he’s damaging your property, his mom isn’t responding, and you don’t have to put up with any of it. 

I wouldn’t let either of them come over. Any meet-ups or play-dates would take place outside of the house and off of my property, and I’d be careful about what electronics I have on me when I’m around him. 

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