My niece is staying with us, and i need some avice

kids mucking up - misbehaving
@kayrod2 (1304)
Australia
September 10, 2007 7:04am CST
About a month ago, my 6 year old niece moved in with us. At the moment it is only till the end of september. Her mother couldnt cope with her anymore, as she was really naughty. It is a very sad situation, as what she wa looking for was attention, she didnt care what type, thats why i think she played up so much, cause she new she would get that attention. Since we have had her here, she has improved on some things. But she is very demanding, gets really naughty, if she doesnt get her own way. She is behaving at school, but sometimes comes home wet. At least this isnt every day. But i get real cranky cause she doesnt tell the teacher or change. We have only had 3 wet beds, so compared to how she was before, its quite good, but i do know she means to do it, she isnt asleep when she wets. We have tried varying things with her, but dont let her get away with being naughty. We have cut out a lot of sugars from her diet, and make sure she has good meals, but she is trying me to the limits. I dont know what else to try. I would love some help on this so if anyone has some advice, it would be much appreciated. I also have her not wanting to go home at the end of september, she wants to stay here. Its a really tough situation.
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5 responses
@gabs8513 (48764)
• United Kingdom
12 Sep 07
Sweetie I know I am a bit late on this one and no doubt you have had lots of advise on it I have been busy with Gissi web Anyway I would try time out with her as that normally helps but you have to be strong and patient on it
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@kayrod2 (1304)
• Australia
13 Sep 07
Hi gabs. Your not too late. Still open to advice. I have had a couple of good days with her, but she started again last night, and this evening. She gets time out, but only works for a little while. I have worked out that some of it is related to food, cause yesterday she had some sugar, then she getrs out of control. I am trying to be patient but its hard. Best wishes to you, and thanks for your response
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@Calais (10900)
• Australia
10 Sep 07
Oh my goodness....Sounds like a rough situation..I have trying times with my seven year old because of her attention seeking antics....The best thing that works for me is to take the things that she loves off her until she behaves and uses respect....
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@kayrod2 (1304)
• Australia
11 Sep 07
Your so right. Its a rough situation. We have been taking things off her, and as yet she hasnt got any of this back. But we have had a good day today, so i was thinking of giving something back tomorrow, to show her that good behaviour gets rewards. I am just finding it so hard. You'd think after 5 of my own it would be easy, but she is very difficult. Thanks for your response, calais, and best wishes
10 Sep 07
This may sound a little bit simplistic but can you sit down with her her and talk to her. See if she will talk to you, tell you what she is feeling and thinking, see if you can find out what is in her mind. My son was very similar at that age and although it might not help you much, I found that by getting him to talk to me helped.
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@kayrod2 (1304)
• Australia
11 Sep 07
I have tried talking to her, we sit down and discuss things, and try and work out why she is doing things. She will then be good for a little while, but then she suddenly changes. Its like everything we talked about doesnt matter. I make sure she knows we love her, and she is always telling me that she loves me. Unfortunately she hasnt had the best start to life, and that has caused a lot of these issues, i think. But, we have had a pretty good day today, so thats good. Thanks for your response, goth, and best wishes
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@Darkwing (21588)
17 Sep 07
I'm so sorry, Kay that in my absence amidst my own problems, I missed this discussion. However, late as I may be, I would like to offer you a couple of ideas to toy with. Naturally, you have to involve your own kids, and hubby if he's back at home, to make this successful. Maybe initially, have a family meeting, either including or excluding your niece whichever you think most appropriate, and explain how you need their help and understanding to work through the little one's problems, and welcome her as a family member. She may be a little young, but kids take on board more than we know sometimes. Always involve your own kids though... you're a good Mum and I know you have the strength to do this. They will feel a need to be involved and help you in any way they can, so keep them aware of your love at all times. So, she wants attention... well, give it to her, but regulate it to show that you're not willing to give in to bad behaviour but that you will reward improvement or good behaviour with individual attention, by giving one treat per one week's good behaviour. She's testing you because she's had a rough trot with your sister and she wants to know if you will go the same way... I think you realise that. Ok, here goes nothing... these are my suggestions... Show discipline by making up a chart and putting it on the wall, either in the little one's room, or a more common room in the house, for everybody to see. Make the chart on a seven-day rota, and have a red and black pen for marking daily progress. Firstly, when she does wet the bed... make it known that she will help you to strip off the soiled bedding, and cleanse the mattress or protective covering, without fail. There should be no let-offs on this... she has to appreciate the extra work she's creating for you, and how much time and effort it takes. You could also incorporate the wetting between school and home, by asking her to wash her own underwear. Put a stool to the sink for her to stand on and let her wash them by hand. Then, on a daily basis, take her to the chart, and mark with red if she hasn't wet and black if she has. You could even let her mark it herself if you trust her with the pens. Involve her as much as you can. At the end of the week, count up the red and black marks, and put a total in the weekly column. If she goes a week without wetting the bed, then reward her with your time and total attention for three or four hours. Take her out, just you and her, for a treat; give her your total attention, go for walks exploring nature... perhaps buy her a cheap magnifying glass or something as a reward, so that she can look closely at flowers, leaves, bugs and such. Teach her about nature and the seasons and what happens during each season. Sometimes, you could perhaps give her a special treat, like a trip to the park or the seaside, collecting shells and pebbles. Buy her a bucket or a special bag to collect these in. Nothing expensive, but a treat nonetheless. Get her a sketch book, writing book, pens or crayons and ask her to write little stories or draw and colour pictures related to your trips. This may help you get to the underlying reason for her misbehaving or point to the amount of progress she's making. Kids write and draw their "thoughts" much more easily than speaking them in discussion. You could, if you can afford to do so, buy her a little inexpensive trinket as an extra special award on her monthly achievements. I feel this may take her mind off misbehaving and strengthen the bond and trust between you and she will feel more secure in being a part of your family which matters to you. She will also learn the values of life and good behaviour. Well, that's it, for what it's worth. I'm no child psychologist but I brought up two sons, worked as housemother in a home for socially deprived children and also was childminder to a few young children in the village, and went through this learning curve with a little one I once childminded. I had to be strict with her, but she learned how far she could and couldn't go in the end. When she ate her breakfast and lunch properly, I rewarded her. If she turned her head away and wouldn't eat, I would leave her in her high chair and come back to it, even to the point where she fell asleep one day. So, I put her, high chair and all, out on the patio and resumed the feeding process when she awoke. But, it worked... she now doesn't pass my house without wanting to come in and see me. Your trial is a little more difficult because I minded Niamh from seven months to three years, and with your little one, there's a lot more water gone under the bridge. But, you're strong and if you can persevere with this, I really think you will see some good results. It's all a battle of wits. lol. But, strengthen the bond, give her security and love but not without rules and I think you'll win through. Brightest Blessings, my dear friend, in the hope that this, together with other people's advice will help you to accomplish a happy family unit including your niece. Please come back and let us know of your progress. Kids are our little treasures in life... I love them, and am very interested to see how they journey through life. :) Good luck, Kay. xx
@kayrod2 (1304)
• Australia
17 Sep 07
Thanks so much for your ideas, Darkwing. They are great. I think we are over the wetting. I was doing as you said, making her strip the bedding and putting it in the wash and cleaning the bed. Same with if she came home wet she had to put them in to soak. Well, we havent had any for a week now. I make sure she knows how good it is. Today we have had a really good day, but the weekend was a real trial. She knew that if she was good over the weekend, she would be able to go the shop and pick something out for herself, and she wanted some hair bands ( i dont let her get lollies as i have cut out a lot of sugar to see if this helps). But she didnt get to go cause of how she behaved, and she has accepted that. We are now seeing how she goes today and tomorrow. I have also found she doesnt like me giving my kids a cuddle, she want to push between us, so have explained that i can share cuddles, so we will see how that goes. Tomorrow we are seeing a child councillor to see if they can help. My hubby is home now, where he was working closed down, so thats a help. Also, my cafe should be open within a month, so have been busy. Will keep you posted of how things go. Thanks again for your advice, it has given me some good ideas. Best wishes and take care
@Darkwing (21588)
17 Sep 07
You're quite welcome to any suggestions I can make to you, Kay, and quite coincidental and interesting that we thought the same way about things. lol. As for the jealousy about cuddles, I thought that might be the case. She's plying for attention in a desperate attempt to fit in well with people she really cares about? I know it sounds a bit odd that she would treat you the way she has been, but I'm sure it's only so that you notice her and cuddle her more. If your kids are ok with things, perhaps they could give her the occasional cuddle too... I'm sure it would make her feel less threatened and more loved. She has a big wide world to impress right now, my dear friend, and every little caring word, hug and special deed is going to count. You seem to be doing a great job and I'm sure the counsellor will tell you just to carry on what you're doing. Brightest Blessings.
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@MsTickle (24991)
• Australia
11 Sep 07
It sounds like the child has some serious issues if she's being manipulative at this age. Children need love, discipline and consistency, especially at this age. They need to know who is boss because trying to run the show is too much for these tender hearted little ones. She sounds as if she's had a really rough time. Try to ignore the bad behaviour. If she wets the bed, do what needs to be done without any conversation. When she comes home from school ask her if she's dry, if not, help her change and wash or batheas if it's a normal thing. If she misbehaves just tell her "we don't do that here" and show her what to do. Your own kids will be effected by her prescence and naughtiness as well. Its such a shame. She's still just a tiny tot. I think you may need outside help but I dopn't know what to suggest. Sometimes we can go overboard in situations like this. Meanwhile, what is her mother doing to fix things?
@kayrod2 (1304)
• Australia
11 Sep 07
Unfortunately, she has had it pretty rough. I think this is the cause of a lot of the problems. I make sure i show her love, we try to discipline and have rules, but she keeps pushing the boundaries. It is hard on the other kids, but they are coping alright. They do have their moments though. I feel she needs to see outside help, but at the moment my hands are a bit tied to do this. As for her mum, i dont feel she is doing anything to fix things. Her priorities seem to be her boyfriend, her other 2 kids and the one on its way. This one seems to be down the list. I know she loves her in her own way, but i dont think she knows what love truly is. There are a lot of problems there, that stem back a long way, but she needs to do something. This little girl is so in need of a mother's love, but hasnt got it. She turned round today and told me that she cant go home till she stops being naughty. I know she doesnt want to go home, it is so sad. Thanks for your response, tickle, and best wishes
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@MsTickle (24991)
• Australia
16 Sep 07
Her home situation as you describe it is pretty much what I imagined. This poor little one is in a no win situation. Kay I don't think you can handle it and I don't think it's fair to expect your kids to be able to cope. It's just going to create damage in your own home. I'm guessing your hubby is still away too. I know of a similar situation where the girls herself was adopted, had 2 kids to a guy, he left, she got with another bloke, had a kid, he left, she couldn't cope so her adoptive Dad took the baby and adopted her. She got with another guy and has had another kid to him. Meanwhile the grandfather has had another kid added to his household, this one has ADHD. Luckily, he can handle things and is a stable influence on these two youngsters. I think there has to be another option found where this little one can go and be somewhere where she feels wanted and loved and safe.
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@kayrod2 (1304)
• Australia
17 Sep 07
Hi Tickle. Im not sure what is going to happen. It is hard on the other kids, we have our good and bad days. Tomorrow we are seeing a child councilor, so will be good to see what they think. My hubby is home now, where he was working closed down, unfortu nately. So that is a help. Best wishes and take care