Doctor Love

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length.Dr-Love

Dear Doctor Love,
My sister lives near me and comes over to visit four or five times a week. Like me, she has a six year-old boy. My son seems to me to be a very typical, well-disciplined child while hers is starting to look like a future monster. I have other friends who have children of about the same age. My son gets along with them and they play well together with an occasional squabble over a toy or something that is easily straightened out. With my sister’s son it is a different story. From the time they arrive until they leave it is a constant struggle to keep peace between our children. The struggle is all on my part because my sister and her husband laugh at them and say they are just kids. Her boy is bigger than mine. He is very aggressive and will fight over anything like a toy my son is playing with. He also steals toys every chance he gets. I have gone over to my sister’s house and there is one of my son’s missing toys. My sister says boys will be boys.
On the last visit things went to a new level. My sister’s son bit my boy hard enough that it drew blood. I got very upset and told her she is going to have to discipline him. She became angry and said they are just children playing and if that’s the way I feel they just won’t come over anymore. We parted very bitterly and she has not been back for over a week.
I feel that her son is growing up to be a bully. What should I do?
/s/ Little Sister

Dear Sister,
You’re going to have to stand your ground on this. Your sister’s son is not to blame for his actions but his parents are. Children who grow up without discipline will rarely learn to discipline themselves. Their only discipline comes on the playground when another child beats them up for being a bully.
Your first concern is with your child’s safety. Children can be severely injured by getting bitten. Another concern is the future problems your sister’s son may face. Tell your sister that even though you love her you cannot place your child in what is an obvious danger. Since she was there when it happened there is no way to deny any danger. If she cannot discipline him perhaps some distance between the two boys for a while will wake her up.

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