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EmilyMMM
EmilyMMM asks:
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question about nephew's behavior due to lack of discipline

My nephew is now 12; since he was born my sister and her husband believed that for him to become a at the top of his age group down the road, he needed to have his own way, and for anything they told him they gave him reasons and "discussed" things with him at a level as if he was their equal/like an adult. He is their only child. As a result, he is very high maintenance and difficult to be around (we are always exhausted after even spending just a few hours with him; and this includes our own three children who are teenagers.)

He is never disciplined to this day, he asks and asks for things until my sister gives in, such as staying up later, has to be coaxed and reminded to do simple daily tasks of self care. Misbehavior in public places is commented on, but never enforced/stopped. He constantly loudly interrupts coversations and exaggerates, and wants to be the center of attention. If he isn't, he usually pouts.

We raised our children to be considerate of others, and gently guided them and their behavior with such resources as time outs, using 1-2-3 magic.

I think this would be so helpful for our nephew, I am concerned about him having friends,  that his rebelliousness will escalate when he enters his teen years, and he will have unhappy or unsatisfying relationships as an adult based on his learned/reenforced interpersonal habits.

Anything to say or do? Do you have suggestions?
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Jun 16, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

It sounds like the lack of discipline has certainly affected your nephew's ability to positively interact with others.  This will prove to be costly for your nephew as he ventures into the social world of middle school, high school and beyond.  The reason this situation is so difficult for you is because you cannot control his parents and they seem to have a very clear idea of how interactions should go with him and you cannot control that.

What you can control is how things are when your nephew is around you and your house.  Make rules clear from the beginning and if they are not followed, inform him of the consequences and stick with them.  No debates, no excuses.  It is best to lay this out beforehand because then he cannot use ignorance as an excuse and he will know what is expected.  This can also positively affect him down the road.  Kids learn from any environment that they are placed in.  Kids who have unstable home lives can greatly benefit from a healthy school environment and even learn to thrive at school despite a tough time at home.  

It may also be important to figure out what else is going on in this situation.  His acting out is satisfying some sort of need for him and if you can identify what he is getting from all his misbehavior, then you can help him figure out how to still get what he wants but do so in a healthier way.  You say he needs to be the center of attention, ask him why he needs that and how he would feel if he was around somebody who was constantly seeking that.  You may even be able to find some books, television shows, or movies that can help you help him see how he is percieved.  The only way people will ever change their ways is if they want to change.  Try to find a way to get him to realize why certain behaviors may not work for him in the long run.  Also try to get him aroudn people his own age so he can be in more social situations, these are educational for people his age and his peers may have an impact moreso than any adult.  

Good luck and have patience.  He is at a very impressionable age and any positive interactions he can have that will help him learn will be great for his social development.  

Counselor, Dominic
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Additional Answers (4)

basaco123
basaco123 writes:
i thing is more often to give your children attention in any case but according to your respond is very unkind of him to be doing that but my suggestion is that you should call him adn explain everything to him like telling him that is adviceble to him to listen to you because if you die he will never get somebody like you to advie him or correct his wrongdoers that what i thing you shoul do
> 60 days ago

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EmilyMMM
EmilyMMM writes:
Anyone else have any suggestions? That first answer makes no sense.
> 60 days ago

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carynj5466
carynj5466 writes:
I certainly would not give in to his behavior. If he doesnt behave in a manner respectable to others or to your specifications...this is a good time to brerak out the ice cream cones for everyone except him.Explain to him that only those who respect others get rewards.Simply put. For certain; NEVER REWARD BAD BEHAVIOR.
> 60 days ago

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carynj5466
carynj5466 writes:
P.S. I tried this with my eldest grandson.I brought tacos to a beach get together and he wasnt going to share his toy.Even though he wasnt interested in playing with the toy.My daughter ( because she only saw him once a year for two weeks was handing him everything. I told her she wasnt doing him any favors by doing that.That he would respect her in the future if she stood her ground.Well he talks to me on the phone and talks civil to me.Not down to me.
> 60 days ago

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