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(23 Posts)
Ellie Anne Fri 14-Jul-17 16:12:17

I look after my granddaughters two days a week . They are 6and 4. Love them to bits but together they are a handful. On their own they are ok. But lately the older one is so defiant and disobedient I have struggled with her and ended up shouting(which upsets the little one) or in tears. And I always feel bad close to 70 . Any suggestions how to deal with it?

Ilovecheese Fri 14-Jul-17 16:21:06

Is she at school? Is there a problem at school?

What sort of thing is she defiant and disobedient about? Could you temporarily relax some rules?

(I realise this last wouldn't be ideal for a parent to do, but might make a Grandmothers life easier.)

For example, say you are trying to get her to eat healthy food and she doesn't want it, just give her something you know she likes and leave the healthy food giving to the parents.

What I am saying is why not make life a bit easier for yourself, even if it goes against something you would like her to learn

grannysue05 Fri 14-Jul-17 16:37:50

Hello Ellie Anne I know how you feel ... I am 75 and have two GC every day until 6.30pm. Ages 7 and 12 yrs.
Mostly they get on but they are often very tired after school and they can wind each other up terribly.
I have to supervise homework too so to make life easier ( for ME!) I resort to bribes and rewards.
Good behaviour gets them stars and 20 stars in a week earns them one pound pocket money from grandma.
Helping me make their tea (e.g.. setting table etc) earns them a nice dessert.
Seems to WORK!
Good luck and remember to rest and put your feet up LATER.

Ellie Anne Fri 14-Jul-17 16:49:24

For example she will run ahead when told not to and I'm not able to catch her up. She will deliberately upset the wee one and when told off throw toys about or spoil her game. She shouts and slams doors . On the other hand she can be very caring and helpful. There have been problems at school and I'm wondering how much is her fault. I don't stress about meals but try not to give too many treats but she goes on and on which again leads to arguments. Sorry to moan .

M0nica Fri 14-Jul-17 17:36:35

Sounds like a cry for help from a child deeply bothered by the problems at school.

The best solution is sorting out the school problem. Otherwise, just ignore the bad behaviour, I mean blank it out. If no-one takes any notice there is very little point in doing it, although the younger child needs to be protected.

DD tells me that my ability to ignore her bad behaviour, and act as if she was behaving well, was one of my most infuriating characteristics as a parent, which, I think is a compliment.

Luckygirl Fri 14-Jul-17 18:03:16

I have done extra child care this week for various unavoidable reasons and I am now on my knees! Had our usual GD care on Monday, a sick child all day yesterday; and today our usual GS care - but he did not sleep as he usually does and was tired and crotchety all day, which is very unlike him. Add in OH opening and untying the front gate, when I had made it safe, and it has been a bit fraught! I do not think OH will do that again as I did my nut!

It is tiring being older and doing child care - especially as OH is not well and is unable to contribute much - or, as today, to make things harder!

We do make a rule though that we will only have them one at a time for regular care; one-offs for short periods are different of course. This means we can give all our attention to one; and we do not have to referee squabbles.

Ellie Anne - that after school time is always difficult and it is a shame that this has become your responsibility. They are tired and, if anything has not gone right at school, they can be quite difficult. Might I suggest parking them in front of the TV? - I know that is heresy, but it is a short period two days a week and better than things getting fraught with tears all round. You are missing out on the fun grandmother role by having to "parent" them at this most difficult of times. So, bend the rules, stick them in front of the box with a treat. If your DD/DS does not like it, then that is just tough!

Go and put the kettle on! We are sitting surrounded by a 2 year-old's chaos but do not plan to tidy it till tomorrow when we have recharged our batteries!

Starlady Fri 14-Jul-17 20:18:47

TV. Ipads if they have them. Any other electronic devices they are allowed. Music. Anything to keep them both busy, etc. You need to do what makes this work for you and makes this often trying time after school more peaceful for them.

Have you talked to the parents about this? What do they say?

Meanwhile, (((hugs))). I love watching my grands, but I know how tiring it can be, especially if one is a "handful."

MamaCaz Fri 14-Jul-17 21:57:33

They are the same age as my two, and my 6 year old dgs behaves much the same way as you describe, so i can imagine how it must make you feel. I find that despite his extreme tiredness after school he really needs to let off steam, and loves to go to the park/lpayground and run around with his friends. Getting him to leave afterwards nearly always becomes a battle, though. When the weather is too bad to do this, half an hour's TV (more if i am lucky!) usually works, as long as they don't start arguing about what to watch!

trisher Fri 14-Jul-17 22:19:15

You sound to have your hands full. The 6 year old seems too have some problems and you seem to be taking the flak. You could take some comfort from the fact that she knows how much you love her and so she can behave badly with you. That said you do need to help her change. Rewards and star charts are good. Have you ever watched Super Nanny? One of the things I really like is the way she discusses what is happening with the children in a calm and quiet way and talks about how things are going to change, helps them put together rules and explains exactly what the rewards and penalties will be. Perhaps you could do this and establish a rewards chart that gives her a real chance to achieve. when I was teaching I was told one word of praise is worth 10 of condemnation and it is amazing how well children respond when they are praised. It is very hard to do, but if you can find something to praise in her behaviour you may find she becomes more manageable.

jacksmum Fri 14-Jul-17 22:30:12

Alot of 6 yr olds go through a faze where they are rather a handfull , when i have been childminding i found a reward chart really good and made the child realise that good behaviour is better than bad, ie ,, walking to-from school holding my hand or walking next to me , rewards at end of week could be a treat or cake making etc , the chart would be put up in a room and stickers awarded when behaviour was good in what task i had asked them to do,

Ellie Anne Fri 14-Jul-17 23:14:07

Thank you all. I think rewards sounds like a good plan. I have them for two full days each week and holidays are hard. Next week I will try nit to react to her and give attention to th little one when necessary

paddyann Fri 14-Jul-17 23:41:43

I just keep mine busy ,they paint at the kitchen table or outside in the garden if the weather is dry ,playdough and bunchems are good for keeping them amused,we cook ...a lot.They set the table and they love washing up though its more often just skiddling in the sink .Our almost 8 year old an dher 6 year old cousin have exactly the same nature and are both a bit bossy so there can be arguements when one wants something the other is playing with .I solve it by having two sets of paint brushes two lots of playdough so they aren't fighting over colours and both their pictures go on my fridge ...until they go home .If you're near a big supermarket buy undecorated cupcakes and let them decorate them to take home with them for tea I usually buy icing tubes when they're on special offer .and sprinkles and smarties are always in the baking drawer .Its only when they get bores theres a problem so they dont get bored

paddyann Fri 14-Jul-17 23:42:27

bored !

Smithy Sat 15-Jul-17 09:41:30

Great idea about the cakes paddyann, must try that one!

Craftycat Sat 15-Jul-17 09:50:06

I sympathise. It is the youngest of 3 who is our problem. She has 2 older brothers & is really naughty. I think it is trying to get attention all the time. I have been very firm with her since this started- tbh she has always been a handful- & she knows GM doesn't take any nonsense! The boys are no angels but much easier. I know they wind her up sometimes- I can see it must be tempting when it is so easy - but on the whole they are good with her.
I find keeping her amused helps rather than letting her sit watching TV etc. She has a short attention span but baking, making cards, jigsaw etc all go down well although she will not do anything on her own for long. Soon your GD will be at the gadget stage & you won't get a word out of her until you physically remove the phone/iPad etc from her- this is now the case with our GD & that has it' s own problems too. Be firm so she knows who is in charge & try to keep her occupied with things she can do on her own or helping you.
And then one day the hormones will kick in & a whole new set of problems will start. Oh the joys of being a Grandma!

Teddy123 Sat 15-Jul-17 10:11:29


Hm999 Sat 15-Jul-17 11:36:17

Firstly, you have my sympathy. Mine will be this age when I'm your age. I give a total run down of the time I've had my granddaughter when I return her.

Secondly this is a parental problem. Perhaps you can feedback talk to parent when returning them. All the good things as well as the negative.

Thirdly parents need to talk to teacher. As retired teacher of older ones, this sounds like cry for help to me.

Good luck. Hang in there with them and seeing it through.

grandtanteJE65 Sat 15-Jul-17 12:08:38

There is certainly something going on that is upsetting your older grandchild. What are her parents doing about the problems at school? And what does the child say about the problems at school? As a school teacher I know only too well that most grown ups listen to other grown ups about their children and problems, but only the best school teacher thinks to ask the child concerned for her view of the problem.

My guess is that a classmate is bullying your GD and she is dealing with it by being naughty at home - this is the only way a child that age knows to ask for help.

You are sure there isn't a problem in the children's home, between the parents. My parents went through a bad patch when my sister and I were the ages of your grandchildren, and we reacted by quarrelling fiercely all the time and were told off for doing so, which only made us worse. I don't think my parents every realised that their rows were causing ours.

Talk to your DD, make it clear you are not complaining about your GD, but are worried as this behaviour is just not like her, so there is obviously something wrong you adults need to deal with.

NannaM Sat 15-Jul-17 14:44:21

Going through a lot of what you describe. I am terrified of my 6yr old DGD running ahead of me when we are walking to the busstop, for instance. I can't run to catch her. We have set places where she knows she HAS to stop and wait for me, and we have had a talk about how important it is to be safe. But it is exhausting, and I only have the one to care for. For me, there are times when there have to be pretty strict rules in place, and other times (like at the park) when she can be more free. Even then, when she is swinging too high for my own peace of mind, I say "slow down a bit please sweetheart, you're making nana nervous". I don't think I was this anxious with my own kids!

Starlady Mon 17-Jul-17 03:57:53

Good boundaries, IMO, NannaM!

I play a version of "Red light//green light" with my dgc when we walk anywhere. They know to stop when I say (or shout out, if need be, lol) "Red light!" And they can't go again till I say "Green light!" They think they're playing a game, and I know I'm protecting their safety - and my sanity!

absent Mon 17-Jul-17 06:46:48

My five-year-old grandson – fifth child in the family – started school this year, where he is doing very well with his reading, writing and 'rithmetic, as well as his behaviour and socialisation with his peers. He has always been a fairly easy child to look after, but now he is flexing his metaphorical muscles at the expense of the two-year-old. I have pointed out that some of his actions are actually bullying, which he vehemently denies, and explained the necessity of being kind to and patient with his little brother, even when his little brother is a bit of a pain – leave it to me to deal with that – just as his older brothers had to be kind to and patient with him. It is, of course, a process and can be quite exhausting.

Shouting is not the answer and the person most upset by it is the shouter (i.e. granny). Don't do that to yourself. I find that withdrawing myself slightly, but only to a limited extent, tends to work and, as soon as there is an approach, I will happily read stories or do puzzles or play board games. As I have already said, it is a process and it takes time. As children move out of pre-school stage they are capable of being very manipulative. Never, never, never, forget that you are the adult.

I think playing outside after school is a great way of allowing my older grandchildren to let off steam and stretch themselves after a day of behaving well and paying attention in school and am lucky to live in a country where the weather usually allows this. I also live within a short child-walking distance from a huge field, playground, basketball court etc. (We have recently had freezing cold, torrential rain and, today, a thick mist so that one didn't work out.)

petra Mon 17-Jul-17 14:31:21

It took us a while to realise that our granddaughter is ravanous when she comes out of school, so we go well prepared now.

nannynoo Fri 21-Jul-17 00:42:18

I don't know if I could do it ( childcare ) for more than a few hours at 70!

It may just mainly have to be whole family visits by then and I plan to retire by the sea so they can come up for the day and we can all have fun on the beach etc

I think by then I may have deserved a rest anyway wink

My Grandson who is 10 ( who lives with me ) comes home from school in various moods but mainly with loads of stuff to process and if something has gone wrong , even a 'small' thing as he is sensitive then it affects his behaviour from the minute he walks through the door and I usually have to diffuse it as if I make any fuss over him or even offer any comfort due to him being upset he actually gets worse and more worked up , so it's just about him chilling out , destressing from his day , music helps him a lot as it really relaxes him and he enjoys his music so much , plus watching silly clips on Youtube which make him lol which is very destressing in itself ( laughter ) and then when he is ready for kisses and cuddles and tickles etc then I go for it! wink lol

He has the battle of the bedtime down to a T though so that can vary in how difficult it is but we usually get there with the promise of his upcoming rewards and treats

He has a lot going on emotionally so I just gotta be that therapeutic haven for him to destress and heal so I get the brunt of everything pretty much as have been told he is an angel at school and he saves any angst / upset / grumpy tiredness for when he gets home and then he can / does let loose! LOL

We weather the storms but I have ended up in tears before but to me it shows him that Nanny is human and has feelings of her own just like he does so we are pretty real around each other and getting through the carp seems to bring us closer in the end as he is secure enough to show ALL of himself / how he is feeling etc to me and I aint going anywhere wink smile

I am in my 50's btw and still find it exhausting!!! I have a chest infection right now , am run down and on antibiotics as now have a tooth extraction to be done tomorrow as it is highly infected and painful too so on top of everything else it is going to be a tough few days as he breaks up from school tomorrow and no one in the family can have him for even one night over the weekend for me to recuperate from the extraction and from being run down so it will be an almost ''do what you like'' weekend tbh with TV on , Ipad on , toys out , back door open to access the garden and play , chill out with Nanny on the bed if he wants to or happens to be in the mood for a snuggle lol

When I stayed at my Granddads house who I adored he did not 'entertain' me at all ... I just sort of did my own thing , mainly hunting for caterpillars etc in his garden , smelling his sweet peas which were divine , squeezing leaves and smelling them ( I was into the smells of nature btw lol ) and watching some TV or reading if I wanted to but the days always flew by for me and I simply loved being there and having him around , it was a home I was happy in basically so he did not have to do much with me , he just pottered around doing his own thing too and I just loved the fact that I was there xx

I miss my lovely Granddad who is in that better place now! flowers x