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Topic : My Friend/Relative Won't Discipline!

Number of Replies: 164
New Messages This Week: 0
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Created on : Thursday, June 30, 2005, 12:50:18 pm
Author : dataimport
Other people's parenting can be a total nightmare. How do you cope? Share your stories.

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March 10, 2006, 8:48 pm CST

My violent 5-year old niece

My sister has three children, ages 5, 7 and 8.  I have one, and she is four and a half years old.  My sister is married and I am a single parent.  

   

My sister watches my daughter while I teach at a nearby university.  For as long as her five-year-old daughter and my daughter have been able to move on their own, her daughter has always hurt mine.  Initially, I assumed kids will be kids, but, over the past few months, my niece has seriously hurt my daughter on separate occasions.  

   

The first incident occurred just before Christmas.  My daughter and niece were told to sit quietly and read together.  My daughter was obeying, while my niece wanted to play.  My daughter wouldn't disobey, so my niece hit her over the head with a book.  My daughter, then, hit my niece over the head with a book, then tried to run away, because she knows that my niece is more violent than she is.  

   

My niece grabbed my daughter by the head and pushed my daughter's face into a wall.  My daughter suffered a broken nose, torn skin inside her mouth, among several minor injuries.  I had to take my daughter to the emergency room because of it.  My niece accompanied me to the hospital, and told the ER nurse and doctor that she had caused the injuries.  

   

My daughter comes home with bruises, hurt feelings and a broken heart more times than I care to count.  

   

On Valentine's Day, less than two months after the broken nose, as I was picking my daughter up from my sister's house, I found my daughter lying on the floor crying.  My niece was sitting on her father's lap, and he explained that he had just pulled his daughter off of mine, and that they were fighting.  

   

My daughter complained that her arm hurt really badly, so I took a look and discovered that my niece had bitten her, through the skin.  I regret that I didn't take my daughter to the emergency room this time, rather, I cleaned the wound at home.  I did, however, take photos of the injury.  

   

When I told my brother-in-law that my niece had bitten my daughter, he looked at my daughter's arm then said, "Gee, you can't go around doing that." to my niece.  That was all the reprimand I saw her receive.  

   

I highly doubt that my brother-in-law does much more than that kind of discipline.  My sister is too self-absorbed to discipline her children, too.  Like the mother on this episode, my sister wants to be the f un mom... but... to a horrid fault, as she ends up hogging the toys and games and the kids complain.  

   

Of course, my daughter's relationship with my niece is over, as is my relationship with my sister.  I've tried to talk with my sister about my  niece, but, to no avail.  I can barely get my point across without her shouting at me or hanging up on me.  

   

My concern, of course, is for my niece.  Prior to watching this show, I found myself trying to research violent children, in order to find ways that I could suggest to my sister that she seek help for my niece.  Of course, I was never able to get those words in, because my sister was too angry about the situation.  I'm pretty sure she thinks this is a kids being kids thing.  I don't think that at all.  

   

My sister even so much as called the police and told them that she was afraid I would retaliate.  I never raised my voice to my sister, let alone threaten her.  I tried to be rational with her, and she wouldn't give me that opportunity to be rational.  This is typical behavior from her.  She never once asked me why I was so concerned about this.  My daughter will be fine, because I've worked with her and explained to her that her cousin is not feeling well, and that we should try to understand her illness, rather than to try to fight her.  My daughter said she no longer wanted to play with her cousin.  I said that was alright for now.  

   

The bottom line here is that my sister is suffering from several psychological disorders, and is in total denial that her child and she have serious problems.  

   

Whereas I agree that parents should be allowed to raise their children as they deem fit, I also see that in some instances, outside involvement is necessary.  

   

I would feel better about the situation, if like Sydney, my niece showed remorse or any kind of empathy, but she never does.  She's very cold about it.  She doesn't care... and it's quite obvious.  The only time this child cries or feels badly is when she is scared or when she, herself, is hurt.    

   

It scares me... and I don't know what else to do.  

   

Any suggestions??  

   

Amy  

   

   

 
March 13, 2006, 8:31 am CST

Dear Amy

Quote From: akalvig

My sister has three children, ages 5, 7 and 8.  I have one, and she is four and a half years old.  My sister is married and I am a single parent.  

   

My sister watches my daughter while I teach at a nearby university.  For as long as her five-year-old daughter and my daughter have been able to move on their own, her daughter has always hurt mine.  Initially, I assumed kids will be kids, but, over the past few months, my niece has seriously hurt my daughter on separate occasions.  

   

The first incident occurred just before Christmas.  My daughter and niece were told to sit quietly and read together.  My daughter was obeying, while my niece wanted to play.  My daughter wouldn't disobey, so my niece hit her over the head with a book.  My daughter, then, hit my niece over the head with a book, then tried to run away, because she knows that my niece is more violent than she is.  

   

My niece grabbed my daughter by the head and pushed my daughter's face into a wall.  My daughter suffered a broken nose, torn skin inside her mouth, among several minor injuries.  I had to take my daughter to the emergency room because of it.  My niece accompanied me to the hospital, and told the ER nurse and doctor that she had caused the injuries.  

   

My daughter comes home with bruises, hurt feelings and a broken heart more times than I care to count.  

   

On Valentine's Day, less than two months after the broken nose, as I was picking my daughter up from my sister's house, I found my daughter lying on the floor crying.  My niece was sitting on her father's lap, and he explained that he had just pulled his daughter off of mine, and that they were fighting.  

   

My daughter complained that her arm hurt really badly, so I took a look and discovered that my niece had bitten her, through the skin.  I regret that I didn't take my daughter to the emergency room this time, rather, I cleaned the wound at home.  I did, however, take photos of the injury.  

   

When I told my brother-in-law that my niece had bitten my daughter, he looked at my daughter's arm then said, "Gee, you can't go around doing that." to my niece.  That was all the reprimand I saw her receive.  

   

I highly doubt that my brother-in-law does much more than that kind of discipline.  My sister is too self-absorbed to discipline her children, too.  Like the mother on this episode, my sister wants to be the f un mom... but... to a horrid fault, as she ends up hogging the toys and games and the kids complain.  

   

Of course, my daughter's relationship with my niece is over, as is my relationship with my sister.  I've tried to talk with my sister about my  niece, but, to no avail.  I can barely get my point across without her shouting at me or hanging up on me.  

   

My concern, of course, is for my niece.  Prior to watching this show, I found myself trying to research violent children, in order to find ways that I could suggest to my sister that she seek help for my niece.  Of course, I was never able to get those words in, because my sister was too angry about the situation.  I'm pretty sure she thinks this is a kids being kids thing.  I don't think that at all.  

   

My sister even so much as called the police and told them that she was afraid I would retaliate.  I never raised my voice to my sister, let alone threaten her.  I tried to be rational with her, and she wouldn't give me that opportunity to be rational.  This is typical behavior from her.  She never once asked me why I was so concerned about this.  My daughter will be fine, because I've worked with her and explained to her that her cousin is not feeling well, and that we should try to understand her illness, rather than to try to fight her.  My daughter said she no longer wanted to play with her cousin.  I said that was alright for now.  

   

The bottom line here is that my sister is suffering from several psychological disorders, and is in total denial that her child and she have serious problems.  

   

Whereas I agree that parents should be allowed to raise their children as they deem fit, I also see that in some instances, outside involvement is necessary.  

   

I would feel better about the situation, if like Sydney, my niece showed remorse or any kind of empathy, but she never does.  She's very cold about it.  She doesn't care... and it's quite obvious.  The only time this child cries or feels badly is when she is scared or when she, herself, is hurt.    

   

It scares me... and I don't know what else to do.  

   

Any suggestions??  

   

Amy  

   

   

The only thing that is in your power is to protect your own child, and it sounds like you are doing that now. Keeping her away from this madness is the best thing you can do. Your sister's children will have a hard time in life, thanks to her, but there isn't anything you can say or do to help, she doesn't want your help, she wants to deny that there is a problem. Its very sad that your neice is like this, and its very sad that you can't do anything about it. Has she started school yet? Hopefully when she is in school, her teachers will refer her for an evaluation to find out the root of the problem. Even then, your sister still doesn't have to comply, and your neice will be punished for it for the rest of her life. 

Know that you are doing the right thing by staying away and protecting yourself and your daughter. There isn't anything else you can do. 

 
March 14, 2006, 2:36 pm CST

At wits end!!

Dr. Phil and Staff. 

  

I am the step father of an autistic young adult. I became his step father legally last month, but I have lived in his mother's House since Oct. 2001. At first things were disastrous between us. I didn't understand him and he wanted no part of me. For some reason unknown to me, he has a very dark opinion of "step" fathers (I think he has a friend that doesn't get along with his step dad). After reading several books on Asperger's Syndrome, I became more aware of who I was dealing with. I didn't understand him fully, but the references did make his behavior clearer. I also have had counseling for this matter due to the occasional rift that develops between his mother and me about how this young man should behave.  

  

This kid is very high functioning, but there are times when the aspergers shows right through. He has also been to a therapist that specializes in Asperger's. His father set up an appointment for this kid to be examined because he wanted to disprove his mother's "obsession tor autism". He was convinced that his son was "normal" and nothing was wrong with him. He was just lacking in discipline. The expert he took him too diagnosed him as the most afflicted asperger child she had ever worked with! 

  

This young man is in general a very nice, polite young guy. The problem I have is that his mother is so guilt ridden that she didn't get out of her marriage in time to lessen the impact of his father's abuse that she doesn't persuade this kid to do anything that might upset him. She has never raised her voice to this kid, and she won't let me do anything without her approval when it comes to disciplining this kid. As an example, I caught a fit when I discovered he was eating at  his mothers computer desk. I have always had an objection to people eating at computer stations. Food and junk gets caught in the keyboard, etc, and when the computer goes down, I usually have to fix it. Besides, he has his own computer!! She is always making excuses for his behavior. The kid is eighteen years old! She can't hide him in her skirts forever! How is he to ever work for anyone if he always disputes orders or commands? 

  

My new wife and I are extremely happy for the most part. The only time we go at it is when I try to get this kid to obey me when I tell him to do something that is not out of the ordinary or dangerous. It's always "my mom said it was okay", or "not right now". 

  

I admit there are times when he sets me off, and when he questions my authority is one of those times. I have received counseling and this kid has as well. I think his mother needs a healthy dose of therapy, too. Please, Dr. Phil...I need to do some serious reality checking. Am I wrong to feel this way? If I am, why do I get so angry when this kid becomes confrontational or belligerent? I know my parents weren't the best role models for me, but I think I am pretty rational most of the time, I love his mother dearly and we had a bad fight today over this very issue. I am afraid that I will draw the line in the sand and she will tell me to beat feet.  I am truly at my wit's end and need your help.  

  

Awaiting your reply 

  

DLS 

 
March 20, 2006, 9:15 am CST

Agree with you...

Quote From: agm121504

My husband has a good friend whose 5 year old son is really bad.  When this child comes to  my home he lets himself in and out of the house. Runs through every room in the house, including the bedrooms, pulls out all of our dvds, goes through all our cabinets and opens our refridgerator and freezer. Then he goes as far as to scream in my face "gimme icecream" or whatever else he wants from out of the kitchen. I've had to ask him myself not to hang on our refridgerator door or climb on top of our couches.  his mother calmly asks him to come and sit next to her, mind you he doesnt listen. So then his mother asks his father to step in and say something. Father's response is "What do you want me to say?" Fired up from the events occuring around me I blurt out, " tell him to behave and not to get into other peoples things!" After saying that I realize that I probly should have saved that comment for a private disscusion without the child around, then i look up at my husband who is piercing me with his eyeballs and figure I'm really gonna hear it over this one! Which I did, my husband said it's not my place to tell him how to raise his child and that kids will be kids, so just keep my mouth shut! I later appologized. Weeks have passed and yesterday my husbands friend returned with his family.  As soon as the boy walked into the house he jetted through the livingroom towards our computer but his mother stopped him this time. Minutes later he went up to our dvd stand which on top had a glass hurricane with a lit candle in the inside.  As he started shuffling through the dvds I seemed to be the only one aware of what was going on and in a panic I said "Hey dont do that, you might knock it over,  Its my fault for putting the candle up there,  just play with that!" Silence once again, they eventually leave and guess who is in trouble again!  This time my husband says I'm a rude person and he's just a kid. I dont think it gives him the right to tear through my house!! I would never allow my children to act in such a way. Is it me, do I deserve to be called rude????
You are not rude - his parents are rude for allowing him to behave that way.  And I don't feel that you had anything to apologize for.  My husband has a friend and he and his wife have a 4 year old that acts the same way.  He is rude and disrespectful.  When he doesn't get his way, he starts crying and his mom gives in to him every time.  This kid is a nightmare.  My husband and I have both just started telling them they can't let him behave that way.  He is also VERY disrespectul to his own mother.  He hits her, yells at her, screams in her face....she does nothing.  If these kids are this young and they're this difficult to deal with, imagine how hard it will be in a few years.  If they're not taught respect at home, where are they supposed to learn it.   I have 2 kids that were disciplined - I know what I'm talking about.  And it's not the kid's fault - it's the parents fault.  I think parents should be made aware of how their behavior and their children's behavior is affecting the people around them.  I don't think your husband was right for telling you those things.  I completely agree with you.
 
March 21, 2006, 10:49 am CST

Ex-Husband Won't Discipline

My ex-husband will not discipline our oldest daughter, who is 12.  He lets her get away with whatever she wants and when I discpline her, he tries to get me to cave in!!!   He is being too much of a friend and not a parent.  He even goes so far to tell her to try to talk me into letting her do what she wants........what can I do?????
 
March 21, 2006, 12:42 pm CST

Friend vs. Discipline

Quote From: goinggray

My ex-husband will not discipline our oldest daughter, who is 12.  He lets her get away with whatever she wants and when I discpline her, he tries to get me to cave in!!!   He is being too much of a friend and not a parent.  He even goes so far to tell her to try to talk me into letting her do what she wants........what can I do?????
I would like to say to you and all others who think that they are trying to be their kids' friend. What kind of a friend, teacher, employer, etc. wants to put up with bad behavior? It amazes me how so many parents don't seem to have a clue as to why they are raising delinquents. As the old saying goes - kids need boundaries. All kids do. Being their best friend would mean setting limits and having all in the household do the same. They will respect you forever and live much more productive and happier lives.
 
March 21, 2006, 12:43 pm CST

My Friend/Relative Won't Discipline!

Quote From: goinggray

My ex-husband will not discipline our oldest daughter, who is 12.  He lets her get away with whatever she wants and when I discpline her, he tries to get me to cave in!!!   He is being too much of a friend and not a parent.  He even goes so far to tell her to try to talk me into letting her do what she wants........what can I do?????
Well, there really isn't anything you can do to change him, he has to want to do that for himself. YOu can try talking to him and coming up with solutions/compromisies which I am sure you have. Whatever the case, you need to make it clear to your daughter that your rules and his rules may not be the same, but she is to abide bythe rules of your home. Set the boundaries and guidelines and stick to your guns. You are her parent and she needs to learn to respect that. It's too bad that kids are given mixed messages from their parents but just because one parent doesn't have the guts to set guidelines and discipline doesn't mean that the other parent must cave in. I know it must be hard but be her parent and in the long run she will appreciate it.
 
March 21, 2006, 12:49 pm CST

Response

Quote From: kobesnana

I would like to say to you and all others who think that they are trying to be their kids' friend. What kind of a friend, teacher, employer, etc. wants to put up with bad behavior? It amazes me how so many parents don't seem to have a clue as to why they are raising delinquents. As the old saying goes - kids need boundaries. All kids do. Being their best friend would mean setting limits and having all in the household do the same. They will respect you forever and live much more productive and happier lives.

I am trying to set boundaries and have certain rules.  I know that letting her run foot loose and fancy free isn't doing her any favors.  I keep telling my ex that even though we are no longer married that we need to co-parent our children.  He cannot see that he's not hurting anyone but his children when he lets them do whatever.  He wants to be the 'good guy' and not the disciplinarian.  He doesn't want his kids mad at him.  I've talked till I'm blue in the face and all he manages to do is get angry with me!  

 
March 21, 2006, 12:56 pm CST

Just venting...

Quote From: goinggray

I am trying to set boundaries and have certain rules.  I know that letting her run foot loose and fancy free isn't doing her any favors.  I keep telling my ex that even though we are no longer married that we need to co-parent our children.  He cannot see that he's not hurting anyone but his children when he lets them do whatever.  He wants to be the 'good guy' and not the disciplinarian.  He doesn't want his kids mad at him.  I've talked till I'm blue in the face and all he manages to do is get angry with me!  

My response to your issue was a mistake. I did not mean to refer to you at all. I was really venting about your ex and probably didn't speak my mind to the correct issue. It must be so frustrating to have rules and boundaries only to be overidden by an ex-partner who is a current parent. If he is willing to discuss it with you I would try to meet with him and discuss just how important it is to co-raise your daughter. If one or both of you were raised with boundaries you can use that as an example to follow if the opposite is true you can probably point out the downfalls of that. I sure hope you can convince him of how important it is to raise well-intentioned adults.
 
March 27, 2006, 8:53 am CST

Help with Friend

I have a friend who is also my neighbor that does not discipline her children when she is at my house.  Her kids will come over destroy my kids room and them when they are asked to help clean up they will just leave or throw a fit so that there mom gets mad and takes them home.  Then my children and I are left to clean there mess.  I am at my wits end because I do not know what to do.  Should I stop letting them play here? Should I end the friendship with my neighbor.  I have already redone my house to accommodate her children so that they don't mess anything else up.  It really makes me mad when I spend all day cleaning and she comes over for five minutes and her kids have completely destroyed my house again.  I have thought about downsizing the amount of toys my kids have in their room but do not believe that it is fair to make my kids suffer because of her kids and her lack of discipline. Some one please help me 

  

Thanks 

  

 
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