My husband’s 12 year old niece often stays with our family during her school vacations. She is very spunky and full of personality. I enjoyed her a great deal when she was younger.
Nowadays, she’s a mouthy pre-teen who is obsessed with Kim Kardashian. As a matter of fact, her nickname at our house is “Kim.” Her attitude is very negative and our older toddler often mimics her bad behavior. I’m not in the least amused.
When I try to talk to my husband about the situation, it falls on deaf ears. His sister is a single mom and he thinks we should help her out when we can. That’s easy for him to say as he works a lot of overtime and I’m the one stuck at home with the kids.
I really value your opinion. Please tell me how to handle the situation. The Easter break was bad enough but having her for a month over the summer like we did last year will push me over the edge. Help!!
Firstly, it sounds as though you need to set appropriate boundaries with your family. As you are the one primarily spending time with your niece, let your sister-in-law gently know when her daughter is welcome to stay over at your home, for how long, and which behaviors are unacceptable.
Have an equally gentle but firm conversation with your niece explaining that when she is a guest in your home you expect a certain code of conduct. Stick to your guns especially when she tries to test your limits. It will be good practice for when your toddlers become preteens themselves.
As you set appropriate limits, you are likely to enjoy your niece’s company once again. With any luck, in several years when your little ones are older, your niece and her mother will return the favor and entertain your children for you. Please keep me updated on your situation.
All my best,