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11 yr old grandaughter staying with me

(10 Posts)
willow61 Thu 23-Feb-12 14:00:35

hi~ i have my 11 year old grandaughter staying with me at the moment as she has suffered with behavour problems since she was about 6, her mum and dad have divorced and her mum has a new boyfreind whom grandaughter dosent like, she sees her dad twice a week and stayes at his girlfreinds house every other weekend with her 4 yr old sister.
Her mum is the only one who seems to get all the abouse from her and is at the end of her tether, she is also spitefull to her sister and frightened her that i had to step in. i need to know what to do next! the school liason team are helping mum and daughter seperatly,

tanith Thu 23-Feb-12 14:36:59

willow I don't have much advice but just wanted to say hats off to you for trying to take the heat out of the situation, sounds like the little girl might need help and if the school are involved in that side of things then keeping up with whats going on is a good place to start. Are the school aware that she is now with you ? Keep talking to all involved is all I can think of to say but good luck and as I say hats off to you .

Greatnan Thu 23-Feb-12 14:37:53

I doubt if you can turn around this behaviour on your own, willow61 - all you can do is give her a sympathetic listening ear and encourage her to talk about her feelings. I think it would probably be a good idea to avoid criticising either her mother or the new boy friend. If she does that herself, you could be non-commital, or just gently suggest that things might be tough for her mother too.

absentgrana Thu 23-Feb-12 14:44:45

Three thoughts cross my mind – with some basis in experience.

Often, the person who gets the most anger, abuse, even violence directed against them by a child is the one person the child feels safe to hurt because that person will continue to love them no matter what.

Ironically, a distressed child will also push that person to try to find a place that proves that he/she (the child) is not loved unconditionally.

Divorce and a new boyfriend, especially if he is not liked, can produce an unspoken, even inchoate fear of rejection by the person most loved in the child.

It might well be that some breathing space with you and a period without emotional turmoil (probably often created by the child herself) will be a turning point. Fingers crossed. Good luck willow61

JessM Thu 23-Feb-12 15:34:35

Contact the school and find out what help they are getting and who is delivering this assistance. I don't know what a school liaison team is. What kind of professionals are involved? (and i am a school governor)

Jacey Thu 23-Feb-12 22:15:03

Well done willow61 for stepping in to support both your daughter and grand-daughter. I think the observations from absentgrana are spot on.

There is often a lot of 'self-blame' with children too ...that they or a sibling did something to cause the break up. Also there is the hope that their parents will get back together ...which will not happen if they both have new partners ...the parent they are domiciled with will get most of the flack!

JessM is also correct in suggesting you contact the school ...make an appointment to see the head and/or the special needs co-ordinator to find out how you can actively support your grand-daughter.

If she is still in primary education (or its equivalent in your area) make contact with her class teacher so that you can support her with homework etc.

I wish you all well in supporting your grand-daughter...but don't let it damage your health and well-being. thanks

Carol Thu 23-Feb-12 22:24:08

absent's comments are so apt - I have had a similar experience with my grandson, who fears his mother's wrath and knows he can test his dad and me and we will remain consistent and fair with him. You are the epitome of what many grandparents are trying to get across to the powers-that-be willow - a huge source of support and stability for children when their parents separate.

petallus Fri 24-Feb-12 12:03:01

You are doing a good thing, taking in your granddaughter. I was in a similar situation some years ago with a 15 year old GC (still lives with me 6 years later). Back then I just tried to create a calm and loving environment because I knew GC was very stressed. I didn't put down lots of rules and prepared myself for visits by police etc. I avoided saying anything negative about any other family members, just listened. I wonder if it is easier for grandparents in these cases, being one generation removed, than it is for the actual parents, things aren't so so hot-house and hopefully we've calmed down a bit as we've got older. How is all this going down with your daughter/son-in-law? In my case, it wasn't too easy dealing with the parents to start with. I send you my very best wishes.

Butternut Fri 24-Feb-12 14:16:40

Well said absent.

Willow61 - I think the central issue for this young girl is one of trust - a powerful and often overlooked emotion that lies at the very heart of relationships between family members. She won't recognise it as such, but will just be angry.
She needs to trust that she is still loveable, regardless of her behaviour, and you can give her that by remaining steadfast and affording her constancy in her relationship with you.
Good luck!

nanapug Fri 24-Feb-12 15:19:05

Plenty of love and affection, but also some ground rules that must be adhered to. Children like and need reasonable rules and IMHO seem to respond well to having them. Also, I would put into place some simple chores in exchange for small amounts of pocket money (if you can afford it). Also some girly time watching girly telly together and doing nails etc. perhaps after completing homework or some such thing. Also (again IMHO) never break a promise so she knows she can rely on you totally. Sorry if that sounds a bit lecturish (is that a word?!!) but it is something I feel strongly about. Wishing you all the luck and strength. Take care of yourself.