We spent the weekend sharing two cabins amongst B’s immediate family (MIL, FIL, SIL1, SIL2, BIL, niece, nephew, the four of us). It was, surprisingly, a very fun, comfortable time. The only issue, and I truly mean ONLY issue, was our niece who is very mean, selfish, and manipulative with everyone, but specifically with Matthew. By the end of the weekend, Matthew had started mimicking her nasty behavior (being antagonistic, pushing Bryson over, claiming everything as his) and I was pretty upset. It’s hard when you spend lots of time with people who parent so differently from you, that you need to expend most of your energy running interference between the kids. My SIL does not correct her daughter, and claims that everything she does is “just helping.” Sneakily pulling a chair out from under a two year old is not helping. Running toward him and shoving him backwards off his feet and onto the floor, and then telling us that “he slipped,” is not helping. Calling Matthew over for a hug, and then kicking him in the face telling him not to touch her is not helping. This went on ALL weekend, and her mother stepped in only a few times. Other than that, she’d say, “I know you’re just helping him.”. Gah! So I stepped in, and B stepped in, and called both kids out on their behavior all weekend.
We’re home now, and we’re sort of “reprogramming” Matthew into the nice boy we took on vacation with us. We’ve heard fewer, “mine’s” out of him today, and he’s only pushed Bryson down once. We’re getting there.
And everyone is napping and sleeping in their rightful places again!
(Please don’t think that I think Matthew is perfect. He’s not. Just ask the neighbor boy he bit (first time for that – GAH!) last week and his preschool teachers who keep teaching him to NOT TAKE TOYS FROM HIS FRIENDS! Ha!)