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Concerned for my niece.


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Old 12th October 2010, 10:39 AM   #1
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Concerned for my niece.

I'm not really sure what I'm looking for. Advice? Some insight? To vent?

My husband's brother has a 4 year old daughter. He got a lady pregnant and was not there when the girl was born, nor when she was a baby. When the girl was a few months old, she and her 4 siblings ( all from different fathers) were taken away from their mother because she was abusing and neglecting them. She also has multiple drug charges. The baby was placed in foster care and stayed there for 2 1/2 years until my brother-in-law went and filed for custody after a lot of pressure from family. Since then the girl has lived with my brother in law, his mother, and sister.
What's my problem, you may wonder. I am concerned because my mother in law is abusive too in a different way. She is overly controlling and the little girl cannot play or act like a normal child. She has no room of her own and every time we tried to buy her toys or crayons they were thrown away or hidden because my mother in law and sis in law do not want mess in the house. Because of concerns about the house being a mess she is often confined to only one room to play. My niece used to come to my house and play with my children frequently but as she got older she became too attached to my family and would scream and throw fits when it was time for her to go back with my in laws. Because of this they have completely stopped allowing her to come to my house. They say we are turning her into an "animal". My unmarried , childless sister in law actually argued with me about her playing with my children saying "Life is not all about play. I know you think she is young and is suppose to play, but I think that she is not too young to understand that playing is not a part of life. I want her to be serious and learn to read and study."

I guess I'm looking for someone to tell me what could happen to my niece psychologically? Was anyone raised like this? (not being allowed to act like a child?)
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Old 17th October 2010, 7:28 AM   #2
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Hi,

That sounds awful. That poor little girl. Like its not bad enough what she went through with her parents. I would not like to be in your shoes.

The fact is, legally, she is the child of her father and morally his responsibility. Unfortunately for you, that means the way she is brought up and their family and home environment can not be determined by you. This is something you both, you and partner, have to ACCEPT and RESPECT. I know its negative and its awful not to be able to do anything, but as she grows up they will all be issues she will have to deal with on her own.

Only thing I can say to you is, whenever she is near or around you try to be a strong positive influence in her life. And when everything backfires on them, hopefully she'll know where to turn.

Life is so unfair. Pray for their family, for God to give them all that they require to be a better people and a better family. And pray for your niece that God may always give her the strength to always look for the light.

Try to get her to see the positive, in the way your brother-in-law is trying to raise her. For example, "your family is trying to make you strong and smart, to prepare for the harsh world we live in and they are doing that the only way the know how. We need to accept and love our family for who and what they are, even when its hard, we have to be grateful for what we got, some people dont even a family. And remember, we will always be here for you, if ever you need any questions answered. Sometimes we live with our family forever and we still find ourselves learning something new about eachother all the time. Just dont be afraid to ask about something you dont understand and always pray for the best. You're a good girl and we love you."


GOOD LUCK

Last edited by Faith81; 17th October 2010 at 7:41 AM..
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Old 17th October 2010, 3:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeecat View Post
I'm not really sure what I'm looking for. Advice? Some insight? To vent?

My husband's brother has a 4 year old daughter. He got a lady pregnant and was not there when the girl was born, nor when she was a baby. When the girl was a few months old, she and her 4 siblings ( all from different fathers) were taken away from their mother because she was abusing and neglecting them. She also has multiple drug charges. The baby was placed in foster care and stayed there for 2 1/2 years until my brother-in-law went and filed for custody after a lot of pressure from family. Since then the girl has lived with my brother in law, his mother, and sister.
What's my problem, you may wonder. I am concerned because my mother in law is abusive too in a different way. She is overly controlling and the little girl cannot play or act like a normal child. She has no room of her own and every time we tried to buy her toys or crayons they were thrown away or hidden because my mother in law and sis in law do not want mess in the house. Because of concerns about the house being a mess she is often confined to only one room to play. My niece used to come to my house and play with my children frequently but as she got older she became too attached to my family and would scream and throw fits when it was time for her to go back with my in laws. Because of this they have completely stopped allowing her to come to my house. They say we are turning her into an "animal". My unmarried , childless sister in law actually argued with me about her playing with my children saying "Life is not all about play. I know you think she is young and is suppose to play, but I think that she is not too young to understand that playing is not a part of life. I want her to be serious and learn to read and study."

I guess I'm looking for someone to tell me what could happen to my niece psychologically? Was anyone raised like this? (not being allowed to act like a child?)

They are not abusive. That's that strict parenting. It's one thing if they abuse her, it's another if they are being strict. There is nothing wrong with a kid learning to value education, working, etc. at an early age. You might not agree with it, it doesn't make it wrong. There is nothing wrong with not allowing a kid to watch TV (substitute it with books, games, etc.). You might not agree with it, but it doens't make it wrong.
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Old 20th October 2010, 11:28 PM   #4
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Thank you for your replies.

She just spent a week with me. My Brother in law brought her here last week. He does this every once in a while because I think he feels guilty and concerned about her behaviour. She will become withdrawn and silent. He will say "I don't know what's wrong with her. Maybe she needs to be around kids".

For the person who said they are "strict". I guess if that is what you want to call it. She does not have her own room ( shares with her father but actually sleeps in sis-in laws room). Her stuff is her dads room and she is confined in that room to play on the ps2 or play with her small amount of toys, alone. We bought her some over the years but stopped because my mother in law puts them in the garage or trash. My sis in law does give her "lessons" but they are definately not every day or all day. All that crap she said about a child 's life does not have to be about "playing" , is just a bull**** she is making up to explain why she doesn't want my niece at my house.

My sis in law was never married, never had children, does not work, is pushing 40 and lives with her mother. I feel strongly that she is using this child as some kind of crutch.

Anyway, there is not much I can do about it, and besides like someone said maybe this is not abuse compared to what her life could have been with her mother.

Like I said, she did just spend a week with me and I think my brother in law is trying to be in more control of her parenting. He doesn't mind her coming over, it is his sister who has these issues.

By the way, my brother in law loves his daughter but he has been preoccupied with his own dating life. My husband is trying to make him understand how important it is for him to be more involved and not just leave her to be raised by thier mom and sister.


Also to FanFAn: Who said they don't allow her to watch television. If it wasn't for the ps2 she would watch a lot of television. She just prefers the Ps2.

Last edited by coffeecat; 20th October 2010 at 11:40 PM..
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