Kira - posted on 08/28/2009 ( 2 moms have responded )
I'm new to this group and am looking for some solid advice on how to cope with the following situation:
My son's father and I are no longer together. We share joint custody. His father has an older sister who also has 2 children. Girls. Her oldest daughter is 1 year older than my son. She has been diagnosed and is being treated as ADHD. She has a history of mistreating my son, by saying mean things to him, bossing him around, ignoring him, teasing him, embarassing him in front of others, and now most recently, hurting him physically. Although I am rarely present when these offences take place, my son, continues to tell me about how mean his cousin is to him.
I have addressed the issue with his father, asking him, quite diplomatically, that more adult supervision be in place when the two of them are together. However, yesterday evening, while they were out at a restaurant together with the entire family. She basically tricked my son into putting a ketchup bottle into his mouth. He said he was going to do it., but as he was about to, she hit the bottom of the ketchup bottle hard enough to chip his front tooth! It has taken every ounce of restraint on my part not to react to this in anger. When my son told me this, I asked if any of the adult's reprimanded her, he said "no". I was shocked. He says that they say this is like "sibling rivalry" and that it's just a phase... But it has been going on for years and I want it to STOP! It's abusive and cruel...and he is deeply affected by it. He says things like, "Why does she hate me so much?" and "I wish she wasn't so mean to me all the time..." This breaks my heart!
I feel that my son's father is avoiding a confrontation with his older sister by minimizing the severity of her daughter's behavior...by explaining it away as "sibling rivalry". They think that him being younger than his cousin, gives her the right to mistreat him! It's his rank in the pecking order. My son feels like he is invisible because nobody is taking his feelings seriously. Please help! I want to get to the bottom of this ASAP! Thanks for any type of advice.