25 answers

Do You Discipline Your Nieces/nephews?

My sister and her family live next door to me and I see them every single day without fail. She has a 6 year old boy and a 2 year old girl. My kids are 2 and 5 months old, and they all love playing together most of the time. I'm having a really hard time with how mean her kids are though, and it's starting to affect our entire family. My husband absolutely hates having them over--the 6 year old boy is literally the loudest human being I have ever met in my life and he is constantly bossing the little ones around. Recently I overheard him yelling at my 2 year old to "Shut up and leave me alone!" when he asked him if he could play with one of his toys. My sister was sitting right next to them and completely ignored it--just went along with her business on the computer while my son cried and wanted a hug. I told my nephew that he was being extremely mean and I will not allow him to talk to anybody that way. His response floored me..."well i'm a big kid, and this is just how big kids act. I'm allowed to act like this in my house". I quickly gathered my kids up and left, I was just too angry that my sister allows her child to talk to people this way. My niece screams whenever she doesn't get her way, and when I'm watching her (which is 3-4 times a week) she will completely melt down and start hitting me whenever I tell her No or correct her in any way. My son gets popped on the butt if he doesn't listen the first time, and as a result HE LISTENS and is generally a very well behaved toddler so far. I'm at a loss over what to do with my niece and nephew--I love them to pieces, but I am starting to hate being around them. So what do you guys think? Do you discipline your siblings kids? How should I bring this up to my sister without causing a fight with her?

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I'd be very unhappy if anyone else SPANKED my kids or "popped" them in any way. But if a stern word was in order and I wasn't stepping in (with me, this would only be if I had fallen asleep but still), I'd be OK with someone else stepping in.

I have had to speak sternly to children who were not mine before. If it made their parents angry, they didn't say so. And besides, THEY should have done something and didn't - so if they didn't like it, too bad.

2 moms found this helpful

I disclipne my sisters/brothers children just like I do my own spanking, timeouts, no t.v. whatever it may be. On the other hand I have NO problems with them discliping my kids either. We all have similar parenting styles.

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When my nephews are in my home (with our without their parents) they are expected to follow the same rules as my children and if they don't they get the same consequences as my children.

3 moms found this helpful

Sure. I'll discipline (time outs with a talking to) any kid that is in my house and not following my house rules. I don't care if their parents are right in front of me. "We don't act that way here. Apologize or you can sit on the floor until you're ready to apologize and willing to behave."

2 moms found this helpful

Physical discipline is such a hot topic that I don't think I'd administer it on any child that wasn't mine. But there are other things I'd do.

The proper answer to "I'm allowed to act like this in my house" is, "Right now you are at MY house, and here you do NOT act like this." Of course, any time ANY child says, "I'm allowed to at my house," you know that it may or may not be true and that he/she MAY be testing you.

(He may be annoyed at having to play with babies when he's a big six-year-old - in which case you may want to give him some activity he can enjoy by himself for a little while. This is on the good days. I'm not excusing his rudeness.)

If my niece started hitting me and screaming, I would hand her to her mama, if she were there. If her mama were elsewhere and I was taking care of the niece, I would discipline her and then tell her mama the facts of the matter. "I told Susie to stop pulling the kitty's tail and she started screaming and hitting me, so she had a time out in the bedroom. Twice."

When I am taking care of my grandchildren (or any other children), I am responsible for how they behave and how everyone gets along. I know what disciplinary action is taken at their homes, and I try to be as consistent with that as possible, but I need to keep everyone safe and everything going smoothly.

Tell your sister that you (not she - diplomacy!) are having trouble with their behavior, and that you're going to have to correct them from now on whenever they're at your house. Yes, it may cause an argument. She may be offended at being called, by implication, a bad mother. But you may have to do it anyhow, if you are going to avoid mayhem (mayhem-avoidance is good).

When your children are badly treated at her house, leave with them right away without saying much. Just say goodbye and go. One day she may wonder why.

If your sister won't agree with you, she'll need someone else to look after her children, and she'll have to be with them when they are at your house. (That way you can put them on their mama's lap when they misbehave.) Stick to your guns, no matter what other relatives may say.

Here's something to think about. What can you do to make your home a really fun place for children to be? I'm not saying to go out and spend money on things, but if your house can be a place your niece and nephew look forward to visiting, you'll have more influence over their behavior. It's the old "spoonful of sugar" routine.

2 moms found this helpful

I'd be very unhappy if anyone else SPANKED my kids or "popped" them in any way. But if a stern word was in order and I wasn't stepping in (with me, this would only be if I had fallen asleep but still), I'd be OK with someone else stepping in.

I have had to speak sternly to children who were not mine before. If it made their parents angry, they didn't say so. And besides, THEY should have done something and didn't - so if they didn't like it, too bad.

2 moms found this helpful

your house your rules, yes. protecting your own kids, yes. setting a good example, yes. but for all that, would ANY of the folks advocating strict boundaries be okay with someone else, someone whose parenting style differs sharply from our own, be okay with that someone else stepping in and disciplining OUR kids?
not bloody likely.
of course we all feel that our kids are okay and it so it would be different. but it wouldn't.
you do have a right to set house rules, but you must must must discuss it with your sister first, and decide together how much either one of you can intervene with each other's kids. you might be appalled at her lax attitude, but she might be equally appalled with your spanking policy. you cannot just assume that your methodology and philosophy will be okay, any more than you would allow someone else's to supercede your own.
however difficult or uncomfortable the conversation might be, it's vital. she's your sister. even if she's offended, she'll come around, so long as you are sensitive and bring the topic up in a way that is non-judgemental and allows her to bring her opinions and solutions to the table as well as your own.
then compromise.
i completely disagree with the advice to keep your kids separated from hers. they're FAMILY. and you live close to each other. that's a huge wonderful boon. figure out how to make it work. i know you can.

2 moms found this helpful

I agree, when the kids are at YOUR house then YOU get to make the rules.
However, I would not suggest spanking kids that are not your own but you can certainly take away privileges or put in time out.....
I think if you babysit for her regularly, you can make a list of house rules and consequences, post them in your kitchen and make sure she knows about them and review them with all of the kids when they are at your house.

1 mom found this helpful

First of all, it is the responsibility of an Aunt to dicipline neices and nephews: DEFINITELY so when they are little and 'in training'. Your first obligation is to your own kids. Aggression and bad behavior in your home is simply unnaceptable. Period.

Here's how it works: YOUR HOUSE, YOUR RULES.
You love these kids, and your sister. The hallmark of a good friendship-or sisterhood: Truth despite the reaction. What kind of Aunt would I be if I didn't bother to address this type of situation? The consequences for these little ones are far too severe for you NOT to address. Your sis's reaction isn't relevant. I know it's easy for me to say-it isn't my situation. However you're obligation is clear....and of COURSE one disciplines children in one's family. These aren't random kids on the street and at the park. Your duty is to have a serious talk with sister - one on one, or even better with husbands involved. All of the adults need to be on the same page. Good luck and more important, God bless!

1 mom found this helpful

My house, my rules :)

1 mom found this helpful

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