My brother's kids are brats

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-25-2013
My brother's kids are brats
Tue, 07-02-2013 - 1:03pm

We are about to have another family get together and everyone is starting to dread family things now because my brother's children are out of control brats. He has two daughters that fight with each other, sulk, scream, run through the house, are sarcastic mouthed and disrespectful to everyone and constantly whine about being bored. My brother and his wife don't seem to notice just how bad their kids really are. We have all tried to gently suggest he discipline them more or talk to them about respect and he doesn't get it. He'll brag about how well behaved and smart they are and that he never really needs to get on to them. It's completely unbelievable. We just can't believe that he doesn't hear the constant bickering, fighting,name calling etc. We are at witt's end over how to get my brother to recognize and deal with his horribly behaved children. Even the other kids notice how bad these two girls are. What can we do? 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004
Tue, 07-02-2013 - 4:41pm

Good luck.  People with out of control children rarely realize their children are brats and are the first to get all haughty when somebody suggests they discipline them.  I've had this problem on and off with other people's children over the years.  It's a difficult situation to handle, especially with family as family is pretty much just expected to put up with the familly's kids.

How old are the kids?  Do they have any issues (ADHD or Aspergers, etc.) that might cause them to be disruptive?  Are these events kid friendly...I mean are there activities to keep the kids entertained or is it adults visiting with each other and the kids doing their thing in the background?  Sometimes you have to be proactive in situations like this and realize there WILL be some bratty kids there, so plan for them.  With disruptive children, I think the thing to do is to offer plenty of activities.  That keeps kids a little focused on doing "something" instead of feeling bored and likely to be troublesome.  I think it also helps the children who are likely being trod upon and bullied by the bratty kids have a better day as well. 

Unfortunately, that requires somebody be responsible for planning and overseeing children's activities.  Because it's no fun being left out of the adult gathering while you handle the children, we got in the habit of hiring an entertaining sitter who kept the kids entertained for big family events.  At a family reunion, for example, she would arrange 2-legged races, ballgames, do simple balloon animals, blow soap bubbles, crafts, karaoke, etc.  She was a local college student who brought her teen-aged sister as an assistant.  We paid her VERY well...we collected money (I think it was $25) from EVERY family who brought children and she got $20 per family.  We paid for supplies with the rest of the money.  Some of the people without children or with babies or older teen children even put money in the pot because it made for a better gathering for ALL of us.   (We also advertised for our sitter by telling all our friends how wonderful she was with the kids, so it became quite a business for her.) 

It was definitely worth every penny, and the kids grew up enjoying family reunions instead of complaining "it's just a bunch of old people". 

If you try something like that and your brother's kids are still bratty and disruptive, then I'd go ahead and tell them their children are the problem and stop inviting them. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 07-02-2013 - 4:22pm

Unfortunately maybe some of the other relatives will have to step in , but try doing it tactfully.  For example, the person whose house the gathering is in could ask them to stop running in the house--you know, house rule, we don't want you to get hurt, etc.    If they are yelling, maybe grandma could ask them to stop yelling--you know, I'm old and it hurts my ears.  If they are fighting, maybe someone could re-direct them, ask them to help with something, separate them, etc.  Since the parents are totally blind, they aren't going to be any help and will resent you & not believe you anyway. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2012
Tue, 07-02-2013 - 2:54pm

Some people just don't get it and will never believe it when someone tells them how bad their children are. Unfortunately the parents will find out later in life when the out of control kids are truly out of control. Maybe you need to stop inviting the brother and his family to things. When it is explained to him several times that until he gets control of his children they aren't invited, his eyes may finally be opened.