Parenting--Toddlers/Infants/Pre-Schoolers/Passvie parents ended family relationship


I talked to you earlier this year about my sister-in-law Sam and she spoils her 3 years old son and her 22 months old son.  They done it all.  She just sit and stared.  Last time I mentioned to you about Sam had her 22 months old son walked on my 7 months old son back and forth during his sleep.  I hope you still remember  my question“Her challenging children” on 8/20/12.
Continue on that day, I asked my 6 years old daughter last week how was her day at grandma’s house and this what she told me.  Sam came back from work to pick up the kids (2 boys) and let her two sons chased eachother in the living room with speed and they fell on baby (my 10 months old son) one by one.  Their mommy didn’t say anything.  I believed my daughter because I saw Sam did it before.  Everyone’s knows Sam’s don’t say anything to her kids.  Even if my son turn into vegetable nothing’s going to be fix anyway.  And no one would care.

I express my concerned on facebook about my 10 months old son without mentioning anyone’s name.  Sam jumped out of nowhere and called me the f word, the b word and she sounds like she wants us dead.  She said I need to grow up because I snatched a toy from her son—this is one of the house rules I got it from u (3. To the child: "The rule in our house is no breaking of vases, so I'm just going to take this away so you aren't tempted.")  It doesn’t work on her.  My last message to her on facebook was “I have the right to be concerned about my child and I didn’t meant to upset anyone.”  She still called me all the bad words again and said that I’m threatening her kids.  Her kids are the dangerous one and I don’t know why she said that.  There’s nothing to talk to her so I leave it at that.  She told all her siblings and her parents and everyone sided with Sam.  This caused a broken relationship for my husband to his siblings.  I said to my husband, I rather have Sam heard my concerned than have her sons turned my son into vegetable during her presence.

These people are out of our life now.  What can I tell my daughter if she ask me about her cousins or her grandparents any time or during her birthday celebration?

Hello Pam,

 It's too bad that they are more willing to break off relationships than recognize there might be a problem and works towards fixing it.
 I think you should tell your daughter the truth, without going into the details. For instance, you could tell her that they are mad at mommy, but you hope that in the future they will get over being mad and everyone can get along. If she asks why they are mad at you, you could say: "We have different ways of seeing things and they don't quite agree with the way I see things."


James Windell


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James Windell


I can answer questions related to normal child development, disturbed behavior and how to provide appropriate guidance and discipline.


I've been a clinical psychologist in a juvenile court, worked in school settings, been a child psychotherapist in a private psychiatric clinic and consulted with schools, courts, hospitals and daycare centers.

American Psychological Association
Michigan Psychological Association

I have been a columnist with the Oakland Press (Oakland County, MI) for 21 years writing a weekly column called Coping With Kids, which is also published weekly in the Staten Island Advance. I have been a mental health columnist with the Detroit Free Press and a columnist for Working Mother Magazine. In addition, I have published articles in professional journals. I have published 16 books, among them are "8 Weeks to a Well-Behaved Child" (IDG Books), "Discipline: A Sourcebook of 50 Failsafe Techniques for Parents" (IDG Books); "Children Who Say No When You Want Them to Say Yes" (IDG Books), "What You Need to Know About Ritalin" (Bantam Books) "6 Steps to an Emotionally Intelligent Teenagers" (John Wiley & Sons), "The Fatherstyle Advantage" (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) and "Defusing High Conflict Divorce" (Impact Publishers). My latest parenting book (2012) is "The Everything Child Psychology and Development Book." Articles about my work with parents has appeared in the New York Times, the Chicago Sun Times, the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press. My website at includes more information about me, my books and includes many columns I've written.

B.A. in Psychology from Wayne State University
M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Oakland University

Awards and Honors
Best Educational Program by Juvenile and Family Court Judges Association (National award for the development of a parent training program for parents of delinquent teenagers. Beth Clark Service Award from the Michigan Psychological Association.

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