I need a Catholic perspective.
My husband and I have 3 children.
My husband has a sister who has been over the course of the years verbally abusive and
aggressive towards my husband. She has called him such things as “useless” in front of the entire family. Periodically she goes thru periods of not speaking to him for offenses she perceives. The first time was after our engagement party where she went on a tirade that he did something that bothered her. I believe it was something as innocuous as my husband not greeting someone, or forgetting to do something. That lasted 6 months.
Another episode was that we could not attend a dinner she was hosting for her in-laws. We both had work obligations that we couldn’t change. She felt slighted that we didn’t go, so she stopped talking to us for about 6 months.
My husband is not the only person she does this to. She cut someone out of her life because she did not like where she was seated at their wedding. That feud lasted probably 10 years. She stopped talking to another person over a facebook post. That feud lasted about 5 years.
She also has 3 children around the age of mine. They have for the most part gotten along fairly well with my kids, so we’ve allowed them to interact at a fairly frequent basis, getting together at least 3 or 4 time a month, at times having sleep overs.
During this time I’ve gotten a bit perplexed about behavior she allows her children to do, that I believe are flat out rude. One incident, her daughter, aged 11, refused to say hello to my husband once. She was upset that he had not called her mom over something. She was permitted to sulk and act offended for her mother to my husband, because she had the “right to be upset.” I don’t think a child has the right to be rude to an adult. I do realize sometimes it isn’t intentional, but it should be corrected. This was intentional.
Another incident was around last year. My son did something impulsive, he used their account on a video game and used some of their points from a game card. I’m not excusing my son. What he did was wrong. We explained to him that it was stealing, even if he didn’t physically take anything. The value was a few dollars.
How they handled it was, to lack a better word, insane. The mother called my son and said what he did was wrong, how could he do that to her children etc. She should have spoken to my husband or I, but she went directly to my child.
Then, her children video texted him videos where they called him a punk, they said they weren’t going to be his friend anymore. One video featured one of her kids pointing his finger like a gun, pretending to shoot, and saying how my son was no longer their friend.
The way they acted had us believe that the value was the entire game card, of 25 dollars. It was just a few dollars. Even still it was wrong for my son. But he did not deserve the videos, and the call from the aunt.
I tend to let my husband deal with his side himself, so the children reconciled. I don’t believe they were chastised or punished about the cyber bullying. My husband chose not to pursue it. :shrug: I think because he thinks if he ignores it, it will go away. My son lost use of the computer for a month, and had to pay them back.