My cousin moved across the country because all of her family is here. She specifically moved because of her sister, me, my two brothers, and our mom. My parents were surrogates to my cousins growing up.
Her son is 2 1/2 just like mine. We went to see them yesterday and her son, who has been in day care most of his life until moving, was growling, hitting my kids, knocking toys over their heads, screaming in their faces, pulling hair, etc. I mean he was a TERROR. My son and daughter (who is 1 1/2) didn't know what to do and when we left, my son said he was mean.
I really want to be close with my cousin but I really don't want my kids around her son. For one, I don't want them treated so terribly but also, I don't want them thinking that behavior is acceptable. My cousin put him in time outs and even spanks him (which I don't advocate for at all) but NOTHING changes.
How would you handle this situation?
He might just be going through a difficult phase and it doesn't mean that he will always be this bad or that you won't be able to have a friendship with her. It does sound like she is trying to handle it, not just letting him run amok. Personally I wouldn't push it at this point just because you don't know how long it's been going on, what she's tried, etc. Can you arrange to get together with your cousin sans kids and not force the issue but just see if it comes up? That will give you a better idea of how to proceed.
I always try to keep in mind that kids are ever changing and at this moment your kid may be sweet and a good influence on your cousins kids, but in a few years who knows, your kid may pick up a nasty habit and your cousin may be writing a post about your kid, just like you are writing about hers. So treat her and her kid as you would want to be treated.
I've got a friend whos kids are mostly older than my LO although one's only 10mos older but they are VERY rough with one another (mom is a spanker bordering on abusive). I fid they behave slightly better at my house because it's a different atmosphere and I can take more charge of what's ok and what's not. Even their 3yo is incredibly rough but will listen to me at my house as opposed to sticking her tongue out at her own home. So maybe arrange something at your place or even neutral territory like a park and see if it's any better. I hear you on not wanting to expose your kids to that. We see these friends of ours sparingly because I notice DD getting upset by some of what they do.