Hi all! I could really use some objective opinions. I just finished week one of my 3 1/2 week stay with my sister ad her family in another state. Her oldest son is 5 and is very unruly due to lack of discipline. My son is 3 and we live a very differnet lifestyle form theirs. Anyways~ Since day one of us staying at their house, her son has been very aggressive towards my son. This happened a year and ahalf ago also when my whole family came to visit, and I thought things had changed since then. So this is the scenario I need some advice on:
We will take tonight as an example~ Her son and my son were playing with Lego Duplos on the ground together. My son went to put a lego on the top of their "tower" and her son didnt want it there and starting throwing a little fit (crying and pushing my sons hand away) he wanted it put somewhere else. When my son did not comply, her son stood up and screamed in my sons face. My son was scared and taken aback (he is never treated this way by any of his friends/other cousins) and he screamed back. Then her son got really mad and screamed and punched the air at m y son, intimidating like he was going to hit him and screamed at him he didnt like him. My son was in tears and screamed back in anger/frustration. her son then covered his ears and starting acting theatrical that my son was hurting his ears.
This is the 1st time all week I said anything about it~ I said "I am having a really hard with that. (My son) is never experiences that kind of anger towards him, ever." And she said top me that my son was over stepping his boundary and trying to build on her sons lego tower.
I have 2 1/3 more weeks to spennd here. Where do we go from here?!
I would have a serious talk with sister on setting boundaries for both children and how they can express what they are feeling w/o being violent or screaming. Yes both will get tired of each other but can learn how to cooperate with toys. It is definitely hard when you have children from different backgrounds living together for awhile. My niece came out once with my mom. She is only a few months older than dd but i let her know that while at our place, it was our rules she needed to follow as well as any rules my mom had in place for behavior.
What discipline do you give your child when he acts up? I hope you stay consistent even though you are in a different place currently living.
In the big scheme of things 2 1/2 weeks isn't much, just be pleasant and try to get along. I would try to discuss ways to help the kids work out their differences, maybe when her son is being awful just try to remove your son from the situation, go read a story with him or take him outside to roll a ball around or something. It's not too early to give them both time-outs when they can't find a solution and start screaming and crying, if your sis woud agree.
I would just remove your son from the situation. He will deal with this more as he gets older and starts school. It happens. It's how he reacts that can make the difference. Teach him that it's not ok to scream back. Let him know it's ok to walk away. This is a good teaching moment for you and your son that can have lifelong advantages.
As it isn't a permanent situation any you will be leaving soon I would just remove your son from the situation when things get tense and re-direct him to play somewhere else and with something else. It sounds like these visits are only once a year or so and during the rest of the year you can easily correct any bad habits your son may pick up from her's. Use it as a learning experience where when things get tense you remind your son that behavior isn't nice and direct him to another toy to play with.
If her son does something like that again, call your son over to you and say (loud enough for sister and her precious little snowflake to hear) "If he doesn't want to play nicely with you, you should come play near me."