H and I watched my niece and nephew this weekend. It was so much fun and really hard at the same time. I love these kids like crazy but sometimes I get so frustrated with my sister and BIL and the way they raise them. Obviously it is really hard to say anything since we don't have kids and so have no 'credibility' with them. We had them from Friday night to Saturday afternoon and then back again Saturday night until Sunday afternoon. My nephew is often wonderful, just a joy to be around, but other times an incredibly hard child to deal with. He has been trained from birth to let everyone around him do everything for him. His sister has also been trained that the second he makes a sound to jump in and give him whatever he asks for.
She packed her own bag and his to come over for the weekend, she is 6.5, he is almost 5.
I try to encourage him to do things on his own but it is hard to change almost 5 years of training.
He was wonderful all evening and day on Saturday but they were going to a birthday party in the afternoon with their mother. He had been asking all day if the party was for his birthday. I explained over and over that no, it was for another child and he would have his party in a couple of months. When his mother picked him up he saw the present and asked it was for him. She said no, and he flipped out. In an absolutely enormous way.
He started screaming his head off and said "I want to punch you in the HEAD" to my sister. Her response, "Ok, get out of the car, you aren't going to the party". Not to be obtuse, but where was she planning on leaving him??
H and I had plans for the rest of the afternoon and had a truck full of stuff to deliver to family, so he couldn't come with us and obviously couldn't stay anywhere alone.
Up till that moment he had been a great kid in a great mood.
Fast forward to Sunday morning.
He had dumped out all his toys and clothes over the course of the weekend. No big deal, but I asked him to pick up the toys. He said no and told his sister to pick them up. She started to and I told her to stop. Finally when he did stop fussing and picked up the toys he did a wonderful job. He lined all the pieces up perfectly evenly and faceup. It was really nice, when he was about halfway through, I was satisfied and asked if he wanted help, his response "No thank you Auntie".
Then before we left, I asked him to pack his stuff, and he was just dumping everything in the bag so it wouldn't fit. Also he is still whining, but not a big deal. When we got to his house he had fallen asleep in the car for 5 minutes so he was a little crabby on wake up. When he woke up he starting screaming again and howling something. S and BIL came running to coddle him. They couldn't understand what he was screaing about but I understand his howling.
He was screaming "THEY MADE ME DO MY OWN STUFF!!".
I couldn't even deal anymore. I just told them what they had for food and their bath status and left.