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Old 04-03-2012, 04:42 AM   #1
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DachsieLove33 HB User
3 Yr Old Livid - Undermining at Play?

Hi All. I am the aunt in this situation and may be completely ignorant to normal 3 year old behavior - feel free to tell me if that is the case.

My sister recently went on a week long business trip out of the country. Because it was a 3rd world country, her contact with her son/husband was very limited over the course of the week. It is the first and only time she has left her 3 yr old son alone with only her husband for a prolonged period of time. Upon returning back home, she's found her 3 year old doesn't trust her and is acting out (fighting/screaming) against everything she does. For example, something as simple as her opening a granola bar for him makes him so angry he starts screaming and shaking. I understand him struggling with her being gone so long, but his trust issues and new-found deviance seem extreme to me.

Now a little background. My sister can be a pushover. From my view point, she may not be in charge of her son, he may be in charge of her. This also extends to her marriage. Her husband has been emotionally abusive their entire relationship. I've witnessed him undermining her parenting/authority in front of their 3 year old before, and the results are obvious...the 3 year old doesn't respect mommy. He loves mommy, but doesn't listen to her. But in all fairness, I am not there often enough to know this is always the case. My sister also does everything. She is the bread winner and works full days while her husband works a partial day and then goes and "plays." He helps out a little bit with their son, but more of the fun stuff - like playing and buying him toys. She is in charge of getting him up and ready in the morning, feeding and bathing.

My instincts tell me her husband may have been saying stuff to their son while she was out of town. Something like, "mommy abandoned us." The reaction seems so severe for just one trip out of town. And knowing my brother-in-law's emotionally abusive past, I wouldn't put it past him to do something of this sort. Again, maybe I'm just ignorant to normal 3 yr old behavior. Thoughts?

 
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:08 PM   #2
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Ran557 HB User
Re: 3 Yr Old Livid - Undermining at Play?

You didn't mention, so I'm assuming the son doesn't act like this around daddy? If that's the case, I suggest your sister ask daddy to talk to their son about his behavior and make sure she's present at the talk.

Witnessing how much effort he puts into solving this obvious issue could give some room for doubt. Who knows, it might even solve the issue. But as it is now, you should probably give him the benefit of doubt, but most certainly be suspicious.

I'm sure there are other ways you can bait the husband into exposing any nefarious plotting (if there are any).



The way you're describing it, it sounds too hostile to be the terrible twos.

 
Old 04-05-2012, 07:59 AM   #3
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DachsieLove33 HB User
Re: 3 Yr Old Livid - Undermining at Play?

Thank you for your response. You are correct that the 3 year old is not acting out around daddy, just mommy. I like your suggestion of having daddy talk to the son about his behavior and making sure mommy is present...good thinking! I'll be sure to pass this advice along.

 
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