Badly behaved kids - what to do

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merryone

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Have just returned from a trip to visit some of OH's relatives. Hubby's niece gave birth to twins, who are now 4 years old, a boy and a girl, this means that hubby's sil now has 8 grandchildren, and apart from the girl, they are all boys - naturally she was thrilled about this, however she's been saying things along the lines of "You can tell she's gonna be a little bitch, a little madam, a right princess etc etc" since she was about 3 weeks old...hubby and I used to roll our eyes and giggle about this. We don't visit that often but every time we see them -SIL is always there, and telling us how Princess Alice is the only grandchild who's not scared of her (believe me, she is very scary)and it's all about her. Btw she seems a pefectly well behaved sweet little girl every time we've seen her, her twin brother is a lot quieter this is true, tends to keep himself occupied and is a little shy, where as Alice will bring all her toys in the room to show you, draw pictures to show you etc - All whilst the witch of the west (sil) is sitting there loudly saying "told you she was a madam,didn't I, Chip of the old block, mother's daughter etc etc" "Have I told you that out of my 8 grandchildren she's the only one who will "square me up"!
The twins started school at the beginning of the month and apparently the girl's behaviour has been appalling, so much that at least twice a week the teacher has asked to speak to their mum after school - Don't get me wrong, she's a great mum, she's single and does a brilliant job the best that she can, however, cause her own mother has so much influence - I think this is what's causing the problem. On our last visit SIL spent the whole night telling us how naughty Alice has been and how she gave Declan(the boy twin) his pocket money but not Alice..she was pointing her spindly witchy fingers at me saying "I'm old school me - you agree with me don't you" - Yeah I said to keep the peace, but she kept going on and on and on about it, even when the child was in the room! "Always gotta be the centre of attention that one - She's a Robinson (her maiden family name) through and through. Poor little kid doesn't stand a chance with so much of her influence- I appreciate how much she helps her daughter with the kids being a single mum in a practical way, but she is making problems for the little girl - It's awful to see!
 
Also the mum said she thinks the problem at school is due to her being overwhelmed in a class of 30 odd kids where she isn't the centre of attention - This could be true, but it's not as if she's an only child and from what I've seen, she doesn't treat either of them preferentially, or differently - It's her flaming gobshite of a mother who's created most of the problems...For example early in the evening Alice was sitting quietly in the corner doing a jigsaw puzzle and sil was saying loudly "she's clever that one, believe me, thinking she was gonna praise her jigsaw prowess, but no....she said "she's taking it all in, she don't miss a trick that one, you've gotta be careful what you say in front of her - Yeah she's clever, don't miss a ****** trick!" Not only does this silly woman not realise that what she's doing is exactly what she's advising other people not to do, she's using bad language in front of her (albeit mild) . She's building this self centred princess who's already having problems settling into school life after less than one month....crazy!
 
Poor little Alice, as if starting school isn't daunting enough without all that unpleasantness from her maternal grandmother. Your husband's niece needs to talk to her mother, explain what she's doing & impose rules & boundaries. Words hurt & that little girl is taking in everything said about her, she won't be a precious princess she'll be someone without any self esteem. From what you've written it's clear that this woman is verbally abusing her daughter & her granddaughter, this is an offence under the Serous Crime Bill & she needs to be aware of the dodgy path she's on. As for calling her a bitch, if I'd heard that said about one of my children that person would have been ostracized.
 
Thing is mother and daughter are incredibly close which is good, there's a lot of "banter" between them, and as far as verbal abuse goes, they bounce off one another - There's obviously a lot of love there so I don't think she's possibly considered that the child's terrible behaviour at school could have anything to do with her ......It's right there under her nose but she's blind to it. She (grandmother/sil) has aggressive mannerisms, tone of voice and looks as hard as nails (obvs a lot of this can't be helped..nevertheless!) She'll use the word bitch, when maybe someone with less aggressive mannerisms would say "holy terror". I'm hoping that she'll settle into school life soon and calm down a little. I was also a bit dubious about her telling us in front of both children that their other nanny is a soft touch, and will tell them with a witchy finger point...."You've picked the wrong nanna mate!" if they misbehave around her. She's not violent, so there's no worries on that score - But unless she stops talking about that poor girl in front of her, and referring to her as a bitch and a madam - She'll live up to her name. Such a shame!
 
Ah, such things do stick with you into adult life. I well remember my mother telling me that the ballet teacher wouldn't have a baby elephant in her class (about moi, well, dyspraxia wasn't heard of back then and in our house food was love and I was very very well loved) then there was the little girl in the telly ad for, I think, Clarks Shoes, this child was walking down a row of other children explaining what role in life each aspired to, little johnny the train driver etc and then she stopped put her hands on her hips and said to camera, "And my mummy says when I grow up I'm going to be a proper little madam". At which point, my mother would look at me and tell me "That's you, that is!" I think I grew up well in spite of rather than because of my mother!!!!!
 
Ah, such things do stick with you into adult life. I well remember my mother telling me that the ballet teacher wouldn't have a baby elephant in her class (about moi, well, dyspraxia wasn't heard of back then and in our house food was love and I was very very well loved) then there was the little girl in the telly ad for, I think, Clarks Shoes, this child was walking down a row of other children explaining what role in life each aspired to, little johnny the train driver etc and then she stopped put her hands on her hips and said to camera, "And my mummy says when I grow up I'm going to be a proper little madam". At which point, my mother would look at me and tell me "That's you, that is!" I think I grew up well in spite of rather than because of my mother!!!!!

That's an awful story. Nobody should ever crush a child's confidence & to think that it's his or her mother who is responsible is terribly sad. My mum had a friend who obviously enjoyed being horrible to me. She was a 3/4 size doll of a woman & I was a clumsy child, add to that the fact they lived in a cottage full of uneven floors & you can imagine how I was ridiculed for tripping up & bumping into things. My mum was aware but said that this person was "only joking" & it was only when my grandmother heard that I was playing up about a visit that I went to stay with her instead of a day's misery in Alcester. Fortunately for me it all came to an end when her marriage ended & she moved away, remaining in touch by cards only. The petty side of me came to the fore when my parents died & I didn't tell this childhood foe, just sent back her Christmas card with HOUSE SOLD written on it. I detest bullies & those who are cruel to animals & children.
 

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