Need Advice on How to Deal w/ My Boy Being Mistreated by Older Girl Cousin

Kira - posted on 08/28/2009 ( 2 moms have responded )

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Hi Everyone.

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.

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Julie - posted on 03/25/2013

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So sorry, this is not acceptable. My niece mistreats my son but I am on her like a hawk! she has been strangling him since they were 1 and 2 years old. Finally my son, 6 years later took her down on the trampoline. She came running in and tattled on him (I'd saw the whole thing) I told her don't dish it, if you can't take it. She's never been physical with him again. Btw, my advice is not for your son to get physical!
I'm afraid i have any good advice, just know Karma is coming to her and you need to protect your son with some tools on how to deal with bully behavior

Denikka - posted on 07/29/2011

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Perhaps YOU should go to his aunt and deal with the problem yourself. Unfortunately, if dad isn't going to protect him in this, you're going to have to be the one who has to.
I would say after dealing with the aunt, if the problem doesn't stop, reevaluate whether you should allow this girl around him. And that may take some drastic measures, including supervised visits with dad.
When things like this get physical, it gets serious. I've seen how far *sibling rivalry* can get pushed. My brother tried, on multiple occasions, to kill our younger brother (3 years difference between them) Most people think I'm exaggerating. I'm not. Smashing his head off of concrete, pushing him head first into table corners, etc. The same kid (the older one, doing the bullying) eventually escalated into taking the wooden handle of an ax (no axe head) and smashing it over his sleeping fathers head.
Violence is violence. It needs to be nipped in the bud. And sometimes drastic measures must be taken. You have to protect your son, especially if his dad won't. What that girl is doing is bullying, plain and simple. I have no tolerance for bullying. At all.

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