Dealing with Husband’s spoiled child sister


My husband has an 8 year old sister that does not receive much in the way of discipline from her parents. Her parents will not go beyond calmly asking her to “Please don’t (fill in bad behavior here.)” When she continues to misbehave or not listen they don’t have any sort of consequence or mode of action. This has lead to her realizing she can do as she pleases with out much reprimand. She is consistently defiant and rude to her parents and others. She throws fits when things don’t go exactly her way.

I am finding it hard to spend time with their family as her attitude grows worse. I don’t feel it is my place to step in and say something, but also don’t want to deal with bad behavior. I usually enjoy spending time with children, but I have been blessed to have dealt with children that were much better behaved. In a way I believe this also affects my perspective on her behavior as I know it is possible for your child to be kind and respectful.

My husband at times makes this worse, giving her large quantities of gifts and money. This can be frustrating for me, because I totally understand wanting to show her affection, but I believe there are better ways to do so. She has come to expect that he will give her things whenever she wants, and when I try to explain my perspective to my husband he seems to feel I’m being jealous. I love seeing him happy with his family, but just have a different perspective on what’s acceptable. I don’t think it is ok to allow her to be mean to other children, throw tantrums over not having her way all the time, or take things from others without asking to do as she wants. She has actually reached into pockets and taken money to buy something if people tell her no. Rather then take back the money she stole, she was just told that it was rude to do this but allowed her to use the money!

Am I being a poor in-law? How would you navigate the situation?