I didn't post to play parent or doctor to this boy, to label him, try to diagnosis him, or to try to tell his parents how to parent him. I posted partially as a vent, because I am very angry and upset (and I won't deny it) that my kids are getting hurt constantly by him and the parents stand idly by. Partially for advice for no other reason than I want my kids to stop getting hurt by him but don't know how to handle it because we are a very (physically) close family and avoiding time with him is not without consequences within the family (aka drama).
Our nephew ("E") is very, very aggressive toward other kids. He's almost two and is solid mass. He is a good head taller-at least-than my youngest daughter ("K") and weighs as much as my almost 4 year old ("B"). He's been like this for quite some time but I got to see first hand how he is toward the other kids today after not really being around him since December. He must have pushed K and B down, or tried two a dozen times. He succeeded knocking K to the floor and hurting her to the point where she was screaming that tortured high pitched "I'm HURT!" cry three times in a period of 4 hours. His parents (Daddy's brother and SIL) did nothing to correct aside from saying "Don't do that." "Don't push." etc.
In addition to pushing and not just pushing playing but pushing with enough force to knock me (full grown adult) off balance, he will jump and fall with all his weight on anyone laying on the floor no matter who it is...including K whom is significantly smaller than he is. And he throws, boy does he throw! He throws and kicks toys all over. A few times he sent some stuff airborne that could have injured others. Nothing is done aside from "We don't kick/throw." It made me very upset today because K kept getting hurt, whether from being shoved over, landed on, or hit with things he was throwing/kicking. Our son also had his Easter toy broken (twice) by E. Again, the behaviour was corrected with a "We don't do that." or "That's (name)'s toy, leave it alone." Nothing else. When I saw him doing things that could have hurt one of my kids I would said "E, NO." or "Leave (name) alone." He'd go off and doing something else for awhile but the behaviour was eventually repeated. The only thing I could do to make sure my kids didn't get hurt (mainly the three younger ones) was watch him like a hawk to see how he interacted with them and try to ward off the physically aggressive behaviour by removing MY kids or their belongings from the equation...punishing them to protect them in a sense. I know it's not my kids because his mom told whomever that her step-sisters son didn't like playing with him anymore because he pushed.
He just doesn't respect boundaries at all and his parents don't help. He's constantly in the kid's faces wanting them to play, trying to sit on them, sit with them, etc. Needless to say they don't want to play with him at times and he just doesn't get it so he keeps at it, trying to get them to play or jump/lay/sit on them.
Typically, aside from the usual sibling rivalry my children can be left to play independently for a period of time without hurting each other like E did to them today. I feel like I shouldn't have to "baby sit" someone else's kid to make sure my kids don't get hurt, when the parents are in the other room, out of eye sight, enjoying the holiday, when they know of their son's aggressive tendencies but don't watch him interact with others. His father mentioned to me and his Uncle that he pushes to get attention. It's also obvious and was verbally stated that his parents are completely exhausted and don't know what to do about the behaviour. He's very active and physical anyway and I know that his mom especially "gives up" in a sense because she can't handle his hyperactivity or doesn't know how to respond to him to remedy the behaviour. It's to the point right now, after seeing what I saw today, my two younger ones have bruises on them now because of being pushed down or hit with toys, I don't want them around their cousin. I also do not want this cousin around their toys-he's broken more stuff of ours than I care to admit and aside from the occasionally "Sorry." his mom use to give (not anymore) the behaviour wasn't corrected.
Having four kids at home I know some physical aggressiveness can happen even in the best behaved kids. However, it's not an ongoing thing with my kids and if/when I saw/see my kids pushing, throwing, or kicking I discipline immediately and quite effectively. Very rarely do my younger two hurt each other on purpose. I talk sternly and if necessary remove the offender from the "fun" and other children. I also explain why the behaviour is unacceptable and what will happen next (time out typically or toy taken away). The older two get restricted and privileges taken away. In addition to that I label the feeling (mad, sad, frustrated, bored, etc.) and try to provide constructive ways of expressing or remedying that feeling and make sure they know that they made (name) feel hurt, sad, angry, etc.
It also makes me extremely mad that on the off moment when my son as had enough, or my middle daughter has had enough of being climbed over, jumped or fallen on, or mauled that they stand up for themselves (yelling at him or pushing him away from them, etc. which happens rarely) that the parents reprimand my kids for hurting their son.
I don't know what to do about this. We all (us, BIL/SIL, and the parents) live within 10 minutes of each other. Holidays are spent together and during that time it's unavoidable that the kids will be together or it will be a major family issue. If the holidays were in our house I would feel more comfortable saying something like "In our house we don't push/throw." or "A (middle daughter) why don't you....so E doesn't bother you?" but considering most of the holidays are spent at the parents that's really not my place. At this time I'm considering telling Daddy I don't want the kids down there if Eric is there (for non-holiday events) and why but I don't think that's going to do much to change things, just remove my kids from it at the risk of ticking them off.
Any advice would be appreciated!
Edited by KABB - 4/25/11 at 2:53pm