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He irritates me and I feel bad - July 7th 2010, 10:35 PM

I have a six year old nephew. He and I used to be really close, to the point that he called me Mom sometimes. I babysat him a lot and when he started preschool and most of kindergarten I would watch him every day after school. We used to play a lot and watch cartoons together and talk a lot. But then things changed after my mom and his mom (my older sister) stopped talking to each other for a while. They were angry with each other so I wasn't allowed to babysit my nephew for a few months. When my mom and his mom finally started talking again and I was able to see him again I felt very distant from him. Suddenly he isn't the same little boy as he was before. When I was his main babysitter he was a respectful little boy with manners that obeyed the rules I set and loved playing with me. He was also more independent. Now, however, since I am no longer his main babysitter, he acts like a spoiled, whiny, little brat. He HAS to be with his mom at all times or else he starts crying. He's become super dependent on her. He talks back, even calling adults bad names. He throws huge tantrums over the smallest things. He also suddenly hits me. That's what bothered me right now. He kept throwing a pillow at me and I told him to stop. When he didn't I thought maybe he wanted to play so I threw the pillow back to him. He instantly started crying. Now, I didn't hit him or hurt him, I just threw the pillow back to him. But that's the problem now, I used to be able to play with him like pillow fighting or chase. But now, if I play with him like that he starts to cry so I get into trouble. He still hits me, even punches me in the ribs or kicks me in the face. But, no matter how many times I tell him to stop he doesn't listen to me. He doesn't listen to his mom either. So I end up grabbing him to make him stop hurting me but then, like right now, he cries and I get into trouble. I miss the nephew I once had. The one that behaved himself and that I could play with. I can't play with this little boy, he cries too much, and I just end up in trouble. I can't take him out places to do things because he whines for his mom too much and won't even go anywhere with me unless his mom comes. He just annoys me now and I feel bad because I shouldn't feel that way about my nephew. It seems more like I have a bratty little brother now instead of a nephew. How can I reconnect with him? How can I get back that bond we used to have? How can I keep out of trouble when he's hitting me?



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Re: He irritates me and I feel bad - July 8th 2010, 02:36 AM

The problem isn't his connection with you... it's his connection with his mother. I don't know what happened over the past couple of months, but I imagine that he's been exposed to some pretty stressful events... possibly worse. Only major, negative alterations in his environment could bring about such a dramatic change in his personality and behavior.

I know your family just resolved a major argument, but please hear me out. Your nephew, if not treated soon, could develop a mental disorder. Some disorders that come to mind are depression, anxiety, conduct disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder. Whatever has changed in his environment needs to be dealt with, whether it be abusive/neglectful behavior on his mother's part, something that's occurring at school, or other relationships and factors. He would probably benefit from seeing a child psychologist or family therapist who specializes in childhood mental disorders. Your nephew could be assessed, diagnosed, and treated before his behavior escalates.

Punishing him won't do squat. Talking to him won't do squat. You need to get to the source of the problem, even if it means ticking his mother off again. His mental well-being should be at the top of everyone's list of priorities, because 1) time is of the essence, and 2) he can't help himself... so you all need to come together and help him.





   
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Re: He irritates me and I feel bad - July 9th 2010, 02:08 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PSY View Post
The problem isn't his connection with you... it's his connection with his mother. I don't know what happened over the past couple of months, but I imagine that he's been exposed to some pretty stressful events... possibly worse. Only major, negative alterations in his environment could bring about such a dramatic change in his personality and behavior.
This I very much agree with. Children "pick up" what they see and are taught especially from parents. Whatever happened happened so now, I think you should talk with his mother, whoever has the closest relationship with him will have a more direct and effective effect on him. Talk to his mother and see what she says.


I came here to help out, so if you wanna talk or just need someone to bounce ideas or issues off of or something else then send me a message and I will reply as soon as I can.
   
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