Handling a spoiled grandchild

@jillbeth (2711)
United States
April 20, 2007 6:37am CST
I have a four year old granddaughter who is extremely spoiled. She will cry and whine incessantly to get what she wants. Her mother lives with us and the child is here most of the time. Her dad gives in to her behavior when she is with him so she really tries her mother's patience here. But when she is alone with me she won't behave that way because she knows I won't give in. So my question is, when her mother is here and she is behaving that way should I step in or just let mom deal with her? If I get stern with her she will knock if off but that won't help mom when I'm not here. So do I continue to step in or just try to turn a deaf ear to it?
4 people like this
11 responses
@sunshine4 (8710)
• United States
20 Apr 07
This is a very tough situation. Does the mother want your help with her child? I know that there have been times when my sister has said something to my kids when they are misbehaving and I feel like she has crossed the line. I feel as the parent, I should be the one to disciplin her. I would suggest that you have a family meeting wtih the 4 yr old and her mother. Tell the child that she is living in your house and must obey by your rules while she is there. Tell her what is acceptable behavior and what is not and with her mother determine the consequences of she continues to misbehave. If you and the mom both are being consistent with her discipline, she will lear what is appropriate.
2 people like this
@jillbeth (2711)
• United States
20 Apr 07
I usually try to stay out of it until the whining drives me nuts. When I finally tell the child to stop and she does, my daughter remarks that she wishes the child would listen to her like that. I think it is the no-nonsense tone of voice I use, not an annoyed tone like mom uses, which just seems to encourage the behavior. She also has two older children who are only here occasionally and she has trouble with them also, although I never so. I usually tell the four-year-old that she must go upstairs or in another room until she is done crying. That usually works because she does it for the attention. My daughter seems to willing to let me handle the situation, but she needs to learn to effectively discipline her own children. The older two are often disrespectful to her when they think I can't hear them!
1 person likes this
• Philippines
21 Apr 07
You will have to talk about this to your daughter first. Make her understand that she must discipline her child if she wants the kid to respect her and love her right. Spoiled kids do not respect their parents, they always disobey and they feel unloved. Kids have a feeling deep within them (in their subconcious) that if their parents let them alone with their wrong behaviour it means that the parents just couldn't care less what happens to their kids. Thus they are therefore, unloved. Then, at the end of the conversation, tell your daughter that you have to take this issue soon with her and the husband. Next step will be to tackle same issue, now with the father and the mother of the child. Make the father understand what you have already told the mother in advance. Tell them that it will be good to withhold some things the kid may ask for for a while. They can always say that there is no money for a toy or a dress that she wants now. She will have to wait for payday. When payday comes, fulfill the promise. It could be that the toy/dress is still available or already gone. This teaches the child to have patience and to tackle with disappointments. Parents are responsible to help make the child grow up. At 4 years old, the child is already intellectuallly capable of understanding. The three of you must have patience explaining to her things about life. This is the reason why parents will always be the child's first teachers. Happy parenting and may this help you. I used to use a rod to discipline my kids when they get to be so hardheaded until they reach 6 to 7 years old. Depending on their mental maturity to cope with instructions. I don't know if this can be okay in your country. If it is okay, take a twig, a small one clear of all protrusions, then use it to strike at her butt as hard as the parent can. (Yes, only the parents can strike their kids unless they are entrusted under the full care of someone else). The child will have to be made to understand why she deserves to receive the strikes, what are the reasons behind it all. Make the child understand that she must say sorry that she crossed the parents after the strikes. She hurt her parents so much to make them strike at her/him. The parents love her/him so much it hurts to give them spankings. Then you will see that the child will grow up to be loving, caring, patient and coping well with life. Good luck and may the good Lord see you through well.
@jillbeth (2711)
• United States
11 Jul 07
Unfortunately in the US you can get arrested for child abuse just looking at the child cross-eyed! Well, that is an exaggeration, but physical punishment is risky anymore. You're supposed to talk to the child about their misbehavior, Yeah, that really works (not)! When I was young we got spanked and knew we deserved it, didn't run and holler we were being abused. I think that is what is wrong with so many young people in this country now.
@wachit14 (3601)
• United States
20 Apr 07
This is a tough situation. I feel for you as I am sure it must be frustrating to listen to her whine. I wouldn't give her mother any advice as that will only cause friction for you. However, if the child is in your home and she is being difficult over a prolonged period of time, you can gently step in and intervene and see if you can intercept the situation. The outcome may go either way with her mother though; she may appreciate your help or resent it. She also may come to rely on you as well. There are just no easy answers in this situation.
@jillbeth (2711)
• United States
23 Apr 07
I try stay out and let mom handle it as much as possible. The granddaughter is very persistent, though, she has whining down to an art form! She doesn't seem to resent my help, although she doesn't necessarily expect me to step in either. She really needs to learn to deal with this effectively for her own peace of mind because I can't be around all the time.
@jillmalitz (5132)
• United States
20 Apr 07
Who has custody of the child? To me, it is "your house, your rules". Sounds like the child is having some issues with her parents. That is a hard adjustment for a child. She is not really old enough to understand some things. You can't control what happens when she is with her father. Since your daughter lives with you, she and you need to seriously discuss how things should be handled. If your daughter wont take control, remind her that she needs to respect you. The child should learn that, too. Once your daughter and you establish ground rules, stick to them. Kids need boundries. Your daughter and you must show a united front. When your granddaughter sees that she cant "work" either of you maybe things will improve.
1 person likes this
@jillbeth (2711)
• United States
23 Apr 07
Neither one has legal custody, since they split up they have a sort of informal arrangement. Neither pays the other support. Until lately it has worked out fine but now we are having some issues! It might be time to have the courts step in.
@KissThis (3008)
• United States
20 Apr 07
This situation is similar to what I went through with my SIL. My nephews know that I won't give in to demands or whining so they don't do it when I am around. My SIL remarked about this to me. I offered to show her how to handle that kind of behavior so that the kids wouldn't do this to her anymore. That is what I would do with your daughter. Support her when she tries to impliment what you teach her when you can. As for the father spoiling the child. If she brings up that daddy lets her explain that daddy has a different way of doing things and that she prefers the way she does it.
1 person likes this
@jillbeth (2711)
• United States
23 Apr 07
I try to do that, and I've told her that she might get away with that at dad's house but it doesn't work here. For the most part, she straightens up when I tell her to but sometimes I just get so tired of having to be the one to make her behave! Maybe the real problem is with my daughter, not the granddaughter!!
@lightningMD (5937)
• United States
20 Apr 07
It sounds like your grand daughter is pushing to see just how far she can go. Have you talked to your daughter about the way she acts when she is alone with you? I think if your daughter was to talk to her child and tell her that whinning will not work at this house and then stuck to that. The whinning would soon be over. My daughter knows that if she whines the answer becomes no immediatley. We dont allow begging either.If your daughter doesnt want your help then all you can do is try to ignore it.
1 person likes this
@jillbeth (2711)
• United States
23 Apr 07
Yes, we've talked about it. She's willing to accept my help, and that's part of the problem, I think she needs to find an effective way to deal with it herself. The problem starts over at dad's house because it works very well for her there, she has dad and her other grandpa wrapped around her little finger! So we have to try to undo the bad habits she is learning there.
• United States
11 Jul 07
I would recommend letting your daughter deal with it. If you step in and help, it may seem to the child that you, not her mother, are the authority. And I'm very impressed that you asked. Too many grandparents don't see the problem with undermining parents.
1 person likes this
@psyche49f (2512)
• Philippines
21 Apr 07
It must be difficult for you being the grandmom. You don't want to spoil the child, but it seems your daughter is at a loss everytime the child throws temper tantrums. The key is, never reinforce a negative behavior. Temper tantrums such as crying, biting, rolling on the floor should be discouraged by not giving in to the child's wishes. If you do, you are actually reinforcing that behavior which is undesirable. Talk to your daughter, and plan how this can be done, without you intervening along the way. Your daughter can see a specialist on child behavior and can seek advise on how to handle difficult children. Remember to allow the child to calm down before talking to her why her behavior is not acceptable. It's never easy to be a parent. There is no secret formula, really. Congrats for being a very concerned grandmom.
@ygautam (135)
• India
21 Apr 07
Well you do have to step in if it gives you a BP. If you have to spend a lot of time with her, you are responsible for inculcating good manners in her. When you brought up your children, there should be no difficulty in dealing with their children. The only thing is that you have to take her parents into confidence and tell them to stay away when you are being strict with her. Thats all.
1 person likes this
@tater03 (1765)
• United States
21 Apr 07
I would have to say stay out of it. I am just saying as a mother myself I don't mind when my mother gives me advice but when she interupts my disiplining I feel it just confuses the child all that much more. To be honest I hear this alot that most children are better for the grandparents than the actual parents. Just my opionion.
1 person likes this
• India
20 Apr 07
Your granddaughter is living with you with her mother. As you all are living together, you should consider their problem as your otherwise in future it would case serious problem for you. Your granddaughter is only 4 years old, so there nothing to be worried about it, as you have time build her in a proper way. I feel that you should talk to your daughter regarding this matter, do not just leave this matter. Ask your daughter to be patient with her child, but not to agree with whatever the child is demanding. Your daughter is agreeing with the child's demand, so she is getting more and more demanding day by day. You and your daughter have to be carefully deal with the child. give her something as per her need and demand but not everything!! If you still find it difficult to manage, you can consult a child consultant but I hope everything will be fine!
1 person likes this