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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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My 21-month-old spends 2 days a week with his 2 older cousins

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My 21-month-old spends 2 days a week with his 2 older cousins (ages 10 and 4) and either my mother-in-law or my father-in-law and his wife. I am displeased with the level of care being given by all three adults and consistently witness oppressive play behavior from the other two children. The tangible results are that my son goes without a decent nap those two days each week and he displays aggressive, possessive behavior as well as showing signs of withdrawal by isolating himself in other social situations.

What are the long term effects of this kind of exposure to my son's social, emotional and psychological development?


Where is your son the other 3 days?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The other three days he goes to a local caretaker's home. There are about 7 other kids there most are younger than my son with, I think, 2 exceptions. He is supervised at all times there unlike at his cousins' where I know my father-in-law and his wife watch television all day and often let the 3 kids play unattended.

Not a good situation for your son to be in if he if not attended to. Children are like sponges and they will pick up and imitate good and bad behaviors. If your son is not getting the attention that he needs at such an important developmental stage, he can start "acting out". It would be best if your son was at the other childcare because of the consistency in routines and the ages of the other children.. His development is not being fostered and stimulated in a positive way with your in laws.


Hope this provides you with some insight.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Do you think it would make a positive difference if I could limit his exposure to that environment by convincing my wife to send him to his cousins' only 1 day a week or do you think it's more black and white (exposed or not exposed)?

Also, I'm hoping that the circumstances will change and that my son will be able to attend "pre-school" 5 days a week within the next 1 year. In the big picture, do you think that just 1 or 2 years of this exposure will minimize the long term developmental effects?

I know I can't blame the children but they are just not disciplined by anyone and I don't want him to spend so much time with them at this stage...for now, at least, I'm not too concerned about his physical well being so I guess that's good?
1 day a week would be better but it may turn into more days some weeks and then you are back to where you started. Your son will not suffer any problems in the long term with the exposure that he has already experienced. He is still young. Pre school would be great for him.
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