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A strained dilemma with family....

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Hi, I'll try and make this as concise as possible. My family, two brothers and a sister (Y) and her kid (K) went to stay at my other sister's (S) and her husband's (M) place. Come bed time, the kids were getting too rowdy for bed, and Sister Y's kid K was asked to behave several times, until he was finally removed and told he would be placed in the adjacent room. K said the room was too dark, so M left the night light on for him. K did not cry at first, but later on he did cry in distress for around 10 mins. K's mum asked M what was going on and M said not to go and get K. After more crying, one of my brothers came down stairs to tell K's mum that K was crying in distress.

Is this borderline child abuse? Because in my sessions with my psychologist he did say it bordered on child abuse. I felt really bad for K upon hearing about this and had relayed what happened to my psychologist. He asked if I wanted to report this at the end of our session, but I said no.

Several days later I passed the information on what my psychologist had asked me to K's mum. She said I should tell M and sister S about this, to which, I said that I will tell S. In the evening sister Y then fires an angry message to sister S regarding the incident after much rumination (even though I told her I would tell S), I guess, as she felt guilty for listening to M. M has done this before, prevented Y from seeing her kid when K was crying.

Knowing that S would take issue with Y's text and especially me (she regards herself as a perfect parent), I quickly tried to calm things down by calling S, and I did manage to calm things down and we were on good terms. And all was good with S and I until this morning she blasted me and my psychologist after speaking to M about this incident, for even suggesting that it was child abuse. S kept on saying that K wasn't crying when M put him in there, however, she never once admitted that K did cry in distress afterwards (K is bordering on the spectrum and gets severe anxiety) in a lowly lit room that's new and strange to him. S says M and her do this to her kids but they don't cry.

So now the situation is very strained with us all.... Don't know what to do....

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I would stay out of it. It is not abuse to be put in your room to sleep. Depending on age crying a bit is not abuse. Now letting a child scream for hours on end is abuse. Crying a few minutes isn’t. 

I will say if he is Autistic ( my son is ) he may have a difficult time with sleep as the majority of Autistic people do. And new environments are difficult for them to endure so accommodations may need to be made. 

I would say though everyone should stay out of other people’s  parenting decisions unless it is clear cut abuse. Letting someone cry for a few minutes is not abuse. I know younger generations feel that kids shouldn’t have any distress whatsoever but we need to learn to deal with these emotions or grown-up life is going to be a disaster. Life isn’t easy sailing all the way through and we shouldn’t promote this fake idea to children. I’m not saying be mean because I’ve never mean to children but rather help them to deal with difficult emotions not try to erase the emotions all together. 

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I agree with Seraphim, it’s ridiculous to even mention the word abuse in this case. Kids get sent to their room ALL THE TIME and they cry about it ALL THE TIME. Running to them every time they cry shows them they can manipulate you. All they have to do is cry and throw a fit and you’ll come running. Ten minutes of crying because you’ve been sent to a room alone while your cousins get to be together is normal, and necessary for learning a lesson to behave. If people continue to just toss out the word abuse like it’s nothing then it won’t be long before parents are too afraid to parent!


ETA: Also, if someone in my family, who knows me, knows what kind of person I am, accused me of abuse for a situation like this...that’d probably be the end of our relationship. At least, for a long time. That is not an accusation to take lightly.

Edited by indea08
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Sounds like you stirred a pot that didn't require it.

What is so abusive about putting a child in a private room to go to sleep?

I'd mind my own business and leave parenting to each respective parent.

I'd also adopt something more productive for my own focus.

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