How do you tell a 10-year-old to stop being a bully without the getting the parents mad?
My boyfriend's 10-year-old niece and god-daughter has always gotten her way, as no one wants to deal with her or they don't want the parents to get mad at them.
I've always noticed that she's a brat but lately she's just a bully to her two cousins (girl,10, and boy, 9). For example, last night was the boy's 9th birthday and the family came together for cake and coffee. But instead of focusing on him, she raved (her arm was fractured about 2 weeks ago) that she can now take a shower and doesn't have to wear a sling, and while the other kids were clearing the dishes she was in the living room with the birthday boy watching TV.
Usually for their gifts, we would take them on an outing of their choice. He wanted to go roller skating, but the parents said no, as what would happen if the girl fell. :( So the boy instead chose Plaster Fun Time, which is the girl's favorite and which she'll choose on her birthday as well. So in the end, she gets the attention and her way as well.
What can if anything be said to either her or the parents without riling anyone up?
From: Libby, Quincy
Brats are made, they aren't born. Which is to say, what you're describing doesn't sound like bullying, it sounds more like parents who aren't good at setting limits. But what was so bad about this girl not helping to clear and watching TV with the birthday boy? Maybe he asked for her company? Maybe no one asked her to help? Is it possible the birthday boy was showing empathy in choosing the plaster party theme and not that he was bullied into it?
Meanwhile, since you're not a member of this family, my advice is to stay out of it. Nobody wants to hear what's wrong with their family from an outsider. If you were a family member, I'd say that if this child is at risk and the parents are inappropriate, to heck with what they will think. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do and risk hard feelings. Obviously, that family member would want to be tactful and loving and be sure to make "I" statements ("I'm wondering ....") rather than accusatory "you" statements ("You're too .....") which only make people defensive. The other thing a family member can do is set clear, consistent limits in their interactions with the niece.
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