Author Topic: Re: Letting an adult "suffer the consequences" UPDATE Pg. 8  (Read 17862 times)

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weeblewobble

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Re: Letting an adult "suffer the consequences" UPDATE Pg. 8
« on: December 12, 2012, 09:29:11 PM »
My cousin, Annette's, FIL has a bad habit of provoking Annette's nearly four-year-old daughter, Taylor, into a tantrum, and then expecting Annette, or her husband, Todd, to calm Taylor down.  For example, MIL and FIL were visiting for the weekend, and as they were leaving, FIL says, "Hey, Taylor, where's your suitcase?  Don't you want to come to stay at Grandma and Grandpa's house for the week?"  Taylor runs off to get her suitcase.  When she finds out that she can't go to Grandma and Grandpa's house for the week, she pitches a tantrum.  (I don't blame her.  In the course of five minutes, a trusted adult offers her a trip to her grandparents' house and then yanks it out from under her.  I'd cry, too.)

This has happened several times (with different fun things FIL has "taken back") and every time Taylor reacts negatively to having that fun thing taken away, FIL is "shocked" that she's upset.  He hands Taylor off to Annette or Todd and says, "Get her to calm down, will you?" MIL has told him to stop it.  Todd has told him to stop it, but FIL says he's only kidding, so there's no harm in it.

Last weekend, FIL and MIL were visiting and FIL says, "Hey Taylor, guess what?  Grandma and Grandpa are going to Super-Fun Kid Friendly Destination that Taylor Loves next week!" Annette, Todd and MIL all told him to stop, because they knew what was coming next.   FIL ignored them and said, "Sure would be fun if Taylor could come." Of course, Taylor says, "Please, please can I go?"  And she couldn't, because of various logistics, so Taylor had a meltdown.  Where Annette and Todd and MIL normally would have stepped in and diffused the situation, they all walked out of the room and left FIL to deal with a crying, upset toddler.

It took a while for Taylor to calm down.  Afterwards, FIL couldn't BELIEVE they'd just walked off and left him like that. He told Annette and Todd that Taylor has to learn not to have tantrums.  ::) ??? :-\

So my questions are:

1) Yes, it's important for Taylor to learn not to have a tantrum, but doesn't FIL bear some responsibility for provoking her?

2) Is it rude to walk away and let someone deal with a child's tantrum when that person caused the tantrum?

3) Is there a better way to handle this?*

*I suggested limiting FIL's time with Taylor until he can be trusted to behave like an adult, but Annette and Todd are unwilling to limit MIL's time with Taylor.  It's unlikely that MIL would be able to visit without FIL.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2012, 08:07:11 AM by weeblewobble »

Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: Letting an adult "suffer the consequences" of behavior toward kids- Rude?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2012, 09:40:12 PM »
I think that, as soon as FIL starts saying something, your cousin or her husband need to say, "Taylor, Grandpa's just joking. He isn't actually going to take you to do fun thing.". The child isn't too young to learn that she can't take Grandpa seriously.

If your cousin isn't willing to limit her FIL's access to Taylor, then I really think the only thing your cousin can do is make sure to teach her daughter not to believe Grandpa when he makes fun promises.

Kaypeep

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Re: Letting an adult "suffer the consequences" of behavior toward kids- Rude?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2012, 09:45:09 PM »
At this point, if the adults are present and hear him starting up this twisted and cruel line of talk, I'd get the kid out of there as soon as he starts talking and then go back and ream the FIL.  Let him know he's been warned and that any taunting or false promise attempts in the future will result in the whole family leaving.  This is not a game, it's cruel and psychotic.  This is worse than some adults who make promises but don't keep them, he deliberately riles her up because he gets a kick out of it.  Bean dip the kid and divert her attention to something else.  Teach FIL that lies and teasing do not lead to tantrums but lead to grandchildren not trusting their grandfathers and having those kids not be a part of your life.

kherbert05

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Re: Letting an adult "suffer the consequences" of behavior toward kids- Rude?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2012, 09:49:26 PM »
I would ask them point blank - How long are you going to allow FIL to emotionally taunt and abuse your daughter? It is their responsibility to not allow this man to continue torment this child. If that means MIL doesn't get to see her - to bad. MIL needs to tell FIL to grow up and stop abusing their grandchild.

The child's reaction is normal developmentally for her age.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

dinvancouver

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Re: Letting an adult "suffer the consequences" of behavior toward kids- Rude?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2012, 09:52:58 PM »
Round of applause for cousin, cousin hubby and mil!

Since locking fil in a closet during visits would be considered rude ( even though he deserves it) I think they now have the best plan of action. Add in a phase to repeat "you wound her up, you deal with her" and they are set.

I'm sure someone here can come up with better wording.

He's been repeatedly warned. What else are they supposed to do?

OK, removing the kid would sometimes work. Credit to Kypeep.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Letting an adult "suffer the consequences" of behavior toward kids- Rude?
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2012, 09:59:04 PM »
At this point, if the adults are present and hear him starting up this twisted and cruel line of talk, I'd get the kid out of there as soon as he starts talking and then go back and ream the FIL.  Let him know he's been warned and that any taunting or false promise attempts in the future will result in the whole family leaving.  This is not a game, it's cruel and psychotic.  This is worse than some adults who make promises but don't keep them, he deliberately riles her up because he gets a kick out of it.  Bean dip the kid and divert her attention to something else.  Teach FIL that lies and teasing do not lead to tantrums but lead to grandchildren not trusting their grandfathers and having those kids not be a part of your life.

I wouldn't go so far to say that the FIL is psychotic, but he certainly is behaving like a massive idiot and a jerk.

I don't think that the child's parents were rude at all for leaving the room and letting FIL deal with the little girl's tantrum.

edgypeanuts

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Re: Letting an adult "suffer the consequences" of behavior toward kids- Rude?
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2012, 09:59:49 PM »
For Christmas, have a friend pull up in a fancy car, or something else FIL would like.  Let him think it is his for an hour or two, and then tell him you are "just kidding!" 

Probably not, huh?

I agree with others, the kid needs to be removed from Grandpa's presence as soon as he starts up.  This is cruel.  It is like dangling a biscuit over a dog's head and then being shocked that he eventually jumps up to grab it.

Emmy

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Re: Letting an adult "suffer the consequences" of behavior toward kids- Rude?
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2012, 10:02:18 PM »
That's terrible.  It seems that Annette's FIL gets a sick thrill out of making Taylor upset.  I think her mom and dad should have a talk with her and tell her that Grandpa says things that aren't true and to not take him seriously.  If other relatives sense that Grandpa is going to pull his tricks again, they should tell him to knock it off, change the subject, or take Taylor into a different room.  Hopefully as Taylor gets older, she'll know her grandfather makes grand promises but always breaks them and doesn't take him seriously.

I do think kids have to learn not to throw tantrums.  However, Taylor is being deliberately set up and disappointed.  Most adults would be very unhappy if put in a similar situation.  A child should learn that they don't get their way all the time.  However, being promised something and having it taken away is a different situation and takes more emotionally maturity to deal with.  It's very rude for grandfather to start a fire and leave other to deal with it.

It seems FIL sees no wrong in what he is doing.  It is worth it to tell him that if he continues to act this way, Taylor will likely see him as a liar and will lose respect for him and this is how she will remember her grandfather.  I'm sure there are adults on here that remember manipulative relatives unfavorable long after they are gone.

pearls n purls

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Re: Letting an adult "suffer the consequences" of behavior toward kids- Rude?
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2012, 10:03:19 PM »
I'd probably be even more direct.  "Taylor, Grandpa is teasing you and isn't being very nice right now.  Let's go to other room until he can be nice."

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Letting an adult "suffer the consequences" of behavior toward kids- Rude?
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2012, 10:10:28 PM »
Not the same thing but it reminds me of stories of my great uncle who was never married or had kids.  He'd come over and rile up his nieces and nephews, then say to my grandmother "Hey, keep them quiet would ya? I'm going to take a nap."  (this was her bil)

But I think pp's are right.  Cut grandpa off at the pass before he can torment her, and also prepare her to not believe him.  It's too bad he's ruining his relationship with his granddaughter already.

Heck I'm 34 and I get upset when someone says we'll do something together and then they flake. I don't throw a tantrum of course but still.  It is abusive that he gets such a pleasure out of upsetting her like this.
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Devix

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Re: Letting an adult "suffer the consequences" of behavior toward kids- Rude?
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2012, 10:10:41 PM »
I'd probably be even more direct.  "Taylor, Grandpa is teasing lying to you and isn't being very nice right now.  Let's go to other room until he can be nice."

This isn't teasing, it's an outright lie and a terribly cruel one at that.  It wouldn't be surprised if Taylor learns to never trust her Grandpa as she grows older.  For the life of me I can't think of why the Grandpa would think this is fun but the parents should cut him off before he even starts and make sure that Taylor knows her grandfather is just lying to her.

Take2

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Re: Letting an adult "suffer the consequences" of behavior toward kids- Rude?
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2012, 10:15:24 PM »
They need to tell this man that

A. Just as you don't beat a child to make them more gentle, you don't make them emotionally secure by tormenting them. Children do NOT learn to control their reactions by being baited. They learn to control their reactions by being surrounded by safe and trustworthy people so that trust and modulated reactions can come with maturity. The one surefire way to make a 3yo have more tantrums is to make her feel unsafe and like she can't trust her beloved adult family members.

B. the very next time he does this, he will be cut off from Taylor for X amount of time so he can think about his actions and have a chance to grow up.

CakeEater

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Re: Letting an adult "suffer the consequences" of behavior toward kids- Rude?
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2012, 10:18:41 PM »
I'm not normally one for coming down too hard on people for this kind of thing, but this would be a reason for me not to visit with MIL and FIL and to consider not letting DD go either. Failing that, I'd definitely use the word lying, and I'd be teaching DD not to believe anything grandpa says. 'Grandpa lies to you, DD. Don't believe anything he says things to you.'

No-one was rude to FIl to leave the room, but I'd be feeling pretty bad about leaving DD there upset with the person who upset her.

poundcake

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Re: Letting an adult "suffer the consequences" of behavior toward kids- Rude?
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2012, 10:27:00 PM »
I'd probably be even more direct.  "Taylor, Grandpa is teasing you and isn't being very nice right now.  Let's go to other room until he can be nice."

Not only is a four year old too young to understand this "teasing" which is actually outright emotional abuse, but she needs to see that the other adults around her are going to protect her from jerks like this. Even if the jerk is her grandfather. And he sure as hell is a jerk.  >:(

Slartibartfast

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Re: Letting an adult "suffer the consequences" of behavior toward kids- Rude?
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2012, 10:27:37 PM »
"Taylor, Grandpa is lying to you right now.  It's a very mean thing to do.  I know you would like [insert whatever he is promising here], but he's lying about it.  Grandpa, please apologize to Taylor for being mean to her.  That wasn't a nice thing to do."

Then stand there expecting an apology until he gives one.  If he's going to act like a toddler, he should be treated like one.  And if he wants to stand and argue "I was just teasing!," he should have to do that in front of Taylor too.  (Bonus points if she then asks him point-blank something like "Why were you being mean, Grandpa?")