Need some advice on a family issue


7 Years
Oct 10, 2012
To start off, due to a financial situation, my parents, my little family, and my niece are all living under one roof. On the best of days, there's tension. On the worst, it's down right hostile.
Now, my sister has moved on with her new boyfriend and their child, leaving my niece to be raised by my parents. My niece is absolutly out of control. She's going on 7 years old, yet calls everyone within this house horrid names.
Today, for example, she called me a b**** and a few other choice names. She didn't get in trouble for it. If I am stern with her, and do not allow her to take part in things I'm doing (as punishment for calling me terrible names), I get, quite literally, screamed at by my mother and father. They confront me over it and tell me that I "enjoy being mean to her.". Correct me if I am wrong, but how is not including her in my activities, after she has called me reprehensible names, being mean to her?
I would never allow my own child to behave like that, and would never reward him after he had done that. So why would I make an exception for her?
I don't know how to handle this. As my parents get utterly livid if I deny her after her misbehavior.
Would any of you allow a child to talk to you in such a manner, then welcome them into you activities mere minutes afterwards? How would you handle this situation?

Just my thoughts, but your parents need to control the child if they expect you to not have to.

On the other side of that, I would refuse to acknowledge the child at ALL until you do have permission to discipline. Sounds like the little girl could use a good spanking..!
First of all, she is doing this because she gets attention from you when it happens.
She LIKES the attention from you even if it is negative.
I would ignore it.
Say silly things like "I'm rubber, your glue, what you say bounces off of me and sticks to you" when you have had enough.

I understand what it is like to have a large family under a small roof...and I can tell you that this too shall pass.

Can you include her in "good" activities that you can encourage her in?
Soccer, horseback ridding, chicken chores, choir, church...?????
"You can't do *THIS* with me if you are going to be rude"

Give her praise when she deserves it... even if it is just putting her plate in the sink.
If she says something nice say "I like when you say nice things to me" and mean it!

Say I LOVE YOU to her.

Praise good...
Ignore bad...
(Positive reinforcement)

Good luck. I hope it all works out!
What a tense situation. Are they living in your house? No matter, first I'd call a family meeting and begin by telling all to keep things calm during the meeting, that we are all here to make all of our lives better and that all of us need to learn how to live under the same roof. Ask every one there for their input and also give your own thoughts as to how this can be done. Remain calm as you do this and don't allow any loud voices or anger to show. If it starts to head in that direction remind them that to find a solution we all need to remain calm and adult like, even the 7 year old. If the 7 year old can do this then tell her that you are proud of her. Reward good behavior. Hope this helps.
Your niece is being raised by your parents. Thus, you must simply keep your composure and deal with your parents with all issues. You don't have to issue punishments to your niece.

If it comes down to you and your niece and no one else around, you can send her to her room for time out until your parents can deal with her.

That is how I would handle it. It sounds like a control issue between you and your parents. LET them have the control and the responsibility. You have enough worries! Yes I know she disrepected you but you want peace!!!

Here is an experiment for you to try if interested:

Try for one month just keeping silent, peaceful within yourself about all gripes with anyone in the home (unless there is something that obviously needs dealing with)- no criticism or complaints about anything. Tell yourself you'll deal with it next month. When the beautiful silence is there, sometimes amazing things happen to family members and you will declare a miracle has occurred. They can change their ways, and you didn't have to fuss.

I think of this as - they stop rebelling against your desire for _______ (fill in the blank) since you aren't pushing for it, and will often do the right thing of their own volition.

HOWEVER- your own activities are YOURS. You don't have to include someone who is hostile in your own little world. You have the right to have peace. Your parents can't have it both ways- either they allow you to punish her and she gets included in your world, or they deal with her and you have the right to exclude her from your activities.

Of course I don't know all the particulars but this seems sensible to me!
I do praise her when she is good. I tell her when she helps and does something positive that I am proud of her. If she's been really good, I'll go out and buy some stuff to do crafts with her. But the second she doesn't get her own way...the f-bombs drop like a blitzkrieg. The slightest, most innocent things set this girl off. An example from today: I went through my stuff for items I could donate to the Salvation Army. It's in an orderly pile by the door, for when I drop it all off tomorrow. She takes one look at it and says "What is all this bulls***?". I tell her that it is going to the Salvation Army, since there are people who need it more than me. This child looks me dead in the eye and calls me a b**** and five or six other nasty things.. No provocation from me, I talked politely to her.

I can understand that her mother's disinterest in her could cause such behaviors, but she has been primarily under my parents care for the past four years. It's to the point that my mother and father are demanding me to acquiesce to her and heaven help me if I don't tolerate that kind of behavior.

She does the exact same thing to her grandparents. I'm just at a loss anymore over this.
It's also possible that your parents aren't exactly thrilled to be raising your niece. SO they gladly send her off with you when you go somewhere to get her out of their hair and get mad when you don't take her.

Ignore her when she's bad, go to your room, close and lock the door so she can't come in. Praise her when she's good. But I agree with everyone else YOUR activities are YOURS and they can't force you to take her.

That is what makes this situation so tense! They want me to watch her, to interact with her, to do things with her (hiking, games and such), to acknowledge her no matter how she is acting. Basically, all the things a parents does. But then, there are the times when they tell me to help them discipline her, to have me send her to her room or not let her go out or hang out with friends.

It's a very conflicting situation. I liken it to a "darned if you do, darned if you don't" situation.

It certainly is disconcerting to have my parents ready to verbally bash me for not including her after she says such things to me. But you are correct, my activities are mine. They are hobbies meant for my enjoyment after being a mom, a wife, and a working woman. To be screamed at by ones own parents over it is frustrating to say the least.
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We live with my parents currently also. They have to have someone nearbye and our house has not sold yet so this is going to be the situation until it sells or I go insane. Anywho I find when things get a bit impossible that we all just leave. We are gone before anyone can notice and we stay gone. So example would be, we wake up on saturday early. We rush like mad to get all our chores and any work that needs done finished. Before they know it we are all in the car, the bags I packed the night before are tossed in and we are gone for the day. we come home late, we do night time chores, we go to bed, We wake up early on Sunday and do our chores before church. We go to church and don't come back home till bedtime.

After a while they notice we are staying gone and then tension is a bit less. We always get our farm and house chores done. I always leave dinners already made and just ready for warming. They really cannot complain. If and when they do complain I just explain that I felt we all needed a bit of space and that they needed the peace and quiet. With your niece I might say that we all needed a bit of space and that your niece seemed to need a bit of calm time with them. Its not punishment, its not exclusion. You are simply doing it to make things more peaceful because you know how stressful it can be for them and yourself at times.

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