16 answers

Kids Being Mean to Each Other

Help!
my kids are mean to their cousins, I dont know what to do. I take care of my two nieces and one nephew. I've notice that they are little mean to my kids. Now my kids are being mean too!!!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I tell all the kids, I have two, my sis has two, and my brother has two, as soon as they get to my house that they are to not hit, kick, trip, pinch, or call each other names and whoever does has to sit in a timeout (one minute for every year they are) and watch the other kids play. Once they get out of timeout, they have to say sorry and give hugs to the kid they were mean to. I don't know why but it really works for me.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.:
It sounds like the kids are all going to be very close. Thats great. My advice, would be not to step in,each and every time you hear the kids squabble about this toy or that.You need to allow them to iron out some of their own differences. This is how children learn to be social,they learn whats acceptable and whats not.Sometimes, experience speaks louder than words.You could tell them a million times, how its not nice to be mean.But theres nothing like learning first hand, that others won't like you, or want to play with you,if you treat them badly. I wish you the best.

More Answers

You didn't give much info, ages or examples. I used to do daycare in my home for some neighborhood kids, and the problem begins and ends with you. There were kids who were very "challenging" when at their own homes, but at my house they were polite and kind to others, because that was the rule at my house and it was enforced. Lay down the law. You don't have to be mean, just firm. These are the rules here and you WILL follow them. It has to be across the board with no special treatment for your own kids. Everyone has to play nice and be kind. Nip this in the bud or it will become a madhouse where no one is happy. Children are happier if they can feel secure that there are rules and they are being enforced. Then nobody has to worry about anyone else being mean. Set those rules and stick to them. If a child breaks them, TIME OUT. Be fair, your kids, too. Pay attention so you know who the offenders are. Don't just go by he said, she said. Be there, see it. Once the kids know that you are watching and that you will not allow anyone to be unkind, their behavior will change and everyone will be much happier. Be fair, be consistent, be on the scene.

2 moms found this helpful

i can get mean with my kids when i am ... hungry. the kids are hungry for vital nutrients, not just carbs. when i try to eat and end up snacking, i am my grumpiest and meanness spreads like wildfire because, what you give, you get.

try that at work!, lol!

really, good food, plenty of water, and maybe the tv goes off if it is on so that there is not too much stimulii. i think you'll get some good results.

if not, then you have to figure out what is happening at the niece and nephew's home and have your sibs talk it out.
-A.

1 mom found this helpful

It's important to know how old these kids all are. And what do you mean by "being mean"?

Re-ask your question with more info given.

1 mom found this helpful

I tell all the kids, I have two, my sis has two, and my brother has two, as soon as they get to my house that they are to not hit, kick, trip, pinch, or call each other names and whoever does has to sit in a timeout (one minute for every year they are) and watch the other kids play. Once they get out of timeout, they have to say sorry and give hugs to the kid they were mean to. I don't know why but it really works for me.

1 mom found this helpful

Set rules and stick to them with all the kids. It's not nice to be mean and if they are going to act that way then they can not play with the other kids and be in a time out.
Set your rules and stick to them. IT is all a matter of what you let them get away with. they are testing thier boundrys.
Good luck

Dear C.,
I loved the advice of Nancy and Beth - Yes - to 'Be kind' always is a GOOD RULE ! We always had a saying on the wall: "IT"S NICE TO BE IMPORTANT, BUT IT'S MORE IMPORTANT TO BE NICE!" If you are paying attention to keeping a calm, peaceful environment in your house, and always paying attention to the kids, they will not feel neglected. When they are there, do you stay engaged with them? I would never leave the kids alone when visitors were there, but stay with them to show a good example of how to behave. If they feel love and joy exuding from you, a sense of peace and calm will assure them that everything is OK, and it's more fun to be nice than mean.
It must have been that the misbehaving one has been hurt at some time in their life, and wants to take it out on others. You can always ask, "Why are you so mad? Are you hurting inside?" And tell their mom if you think they need special counseling or psychological help. You can get lots of free help through schools, etc nowadays.
I wish you the best. Also there are some good tips on behavior modification at www.gomommygo.com.
Best,
R.

Hi C.,

I have rules posted in my house.......one of those is "Be Kind".

If I were you, in addition to posting the rule and talking with all of them about what that means, do some puppet shows that demonstrate it, and have them role play. Then, catch them being kind and praise them for it.

If you see someone not being kind, take them to the rule chart. If they continue being unkind, have consequences.

This is a great opportunity for ALL the kids to learn some life lessons. I tell my daughter stories about what happens to the unkind person in his life later; lack of friends, no job, no wife/husband, etc.

Best wishes!

Hi C., unfortunaly some kids are just mean, cause they can get away with it, a lot of times kids are man at out jealously, being terotorial. I would let them work things out on their own to a certain exstent, but seperate them if need be, put all toys away. and let them sit quietly for a while, them let them regroup and try it again, if this turns out to not be a good situation for your kids, then you have to let the other ones go. J. .

Bette Alkazian who's a parenting coach and LMFT is going to be speaking at the mommywood.com From the Cradle to College Family Expo in Encino Park on Saturday. You can come and get her advice. All the info is on the mommywood.com site. It's free and has tons of great stuff going on.

I don't know how you are getting so many responses w/out people knowing the kids ages. Can you please add this information to your request, it may make a difference in the kind of advice that you receive.

Thank you,
M.

Hi C.,

I'm assuming that the kids are close in age. It could be that there is a bit of jealousy. Mom's spending time with cousins
and therefore I'll act up to get her attention.
I'm not sure how to handle it other than try to take time with each one individually and make sure that your kids don't feel left out. Try and help them to understand that you are there for them first.
I also agree with the time out method, it works wonders if you stay calm. I have three and my bf has 2 and when we get together one or two boys tend to fight I just point to a wall and they go knowing that they will spend 5-9 minutes depending on age in time out.

Good Luck.

I would make a rule - at your house no one is mean to each other. If someone does anything "mean" (hitting, teasing, not sharing, etc.)they are given a warning not to be mean to each other. If it happens again then that person has a time out on a stool, chair, etc. for however many minutes they are old. This works really well when done as shown on the Supernanny show. The most important part is the release from time out. After their minutes are up, you go to the child and say, "You know I had to put you in time out because you were doing (mean behavior) and we are not going to be mean to each other in this house. Now you need to go to (the offended child) and apologize. The kids must stay in time out, if they move from their spot, the time starts all over again. There's no yelling, no lectures, just matter of fact time outs. Kids would much rather be playing and it gets the message across perfectly what your boundaries are. Good luck!

How old are your children, and the nieces/nephew?

Whoever is being mean gets a consequence, including the cousins. Children can be mean so we need to teach them that it is wrong, unkind, and unaccceptable. I have three children who all go through phases of mild unkindness, then they are taught by me and their father with talks & consequences. When a child knows you mean what you say, poor behavior stops. Follow through & be very consistant & very clear that unkindness will not be accepted by you.

You do need to give them the opportunity to talk & explain. Maybe one is being teased & then reacting with meaness. In that case both children need to be stopped.

Pay close attention while the cousins are there & be interactive & involved. You should be able to identify what the source of the problem is. Sometimes kids are mean for the sake of being mean!

Take action quickly! Whoever is mean needs to be punished (whatever type you use) as soon as it happens. Be consistant about it with all the kids. Depending on their age it could just be a phase however they need to know that this is NOT an acceptable behavior. Once they understand that it will not be tolerated then it should stop. I know that no one wants mean kids!

Hi C.:
It sounds like the kids are all going to be very close. Thats great. My advice, would be not to step in,each and every time you hear the kids squabble about this toy or that.You need to allow them to iron out some of their own differences. This is how children learn to be social,they learn whats acceptable and whats not.Sometimes, experience speaks louder than words.You could tell them a million times, how its not nice to be mean.But theres nothing like learning first hand, that others won't like you, or want to play with you,if you treat them badly. I wish you the best.

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