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Re-assurance and advice needed re granddaughters behaviour

(81 Posts)
kaycee Sat 20-Jan-18 14:05:22

Hello - new to this, never posted on a forum before so please excuse the longevity of the post.
I think I know the answer to this but really need some assurance.I have two lovely granddaughters 4 and a half and 18 months. The oldest started school in September and has had a lot of changes - new home, new sibling and starting school, she was previously in nursery full time as is her sister as both parents work full time. We live about 40 mins away and collect her from school one day a week - the rest of the week she does after school club which she dislikes. We also help out whenever extra care is needed. Over the last two months she has changed. She sometimes gets into a rage, doesn't like us anymore or want us to pick her up ever again. She wants her mum, dad or other nan and granddad to collect her (they live about 3 hours away and stay once a month for a few days). What concerns me is the ferocity of her rage - she becomes quite violent, kicking and punching us. I can always calm her down, I tend to ignore her behaviour and talk quietly and tell her I love her, but still worry about the violent reaction. She tells me when I ask that she doesn't hit mummy or daddy or her sister or other grandparents or friends (I must admit I haven't asked my son if she does).
I know (and hope) this is just a phase but just wanted to check if others experience this with any of their grandchildren - will it pass? Also any tips for dealing with these episodes would be really appreciated. She is normally such a delightful child and we get on really well most of the time. Thank you.

NfkDumpling Sat 20-Jan-18 14:14:33

Well, she is old enough to understand when you tell her that if you don’t pick her up one day a week she’ll have to stay to after school club then as well! It may possibly stop her taking it out on you. Did you collect her from nursery last year?

If the after-school club is the problem she may think that if she kicks up a fuss a parent may collect her from school instead so she doesn’t have to go. I think you need to talk to her mum and dad.

Crafting Sat 20-Jan-18 14:37:20

Why does she dislike the after school club? If this is new behaviour you should talk to mum and dad who can discuss this with the school and find out what's wrong. She is very young still, perhaps something has upset her that you aren't aware of. Does she behave the same way at school?

Jalima1108 Sat 20-Jan-18 14:51:13

They do get extremely tired when first starting school and four is quite young for a full day at school followed by after-school club. She could just be very tired and want her mum; she probably wouldn't have a temper tantrum at after-school club but feels secure enough with you to let rip.

Do you take her to your house or back to her own home?
She may also be wondering what is happening with her mummy and her sibling - could there be an element of jealousy which she doesn't recognise or can't articulate?

On the other hand she could be hungry; low blood sugar could cause some children and adults to get quite angry. Does she have a snack or does she have to wait for dinner?

Just practical questions but they could be worth thinking about.

I don't think that tantrums are confined to the 'terrible twos' either.

Nannarose Sat 20-Jan-18 14:51:25

Although you need to listen to her, I do think that it can be counter-productive to ask too much. Little ones often don't understand their feelings.
I suspect she is struggling at school - I think it important to find out how she is at school. But if she is behaving well and doing well, it may be very tiring for her.
I personally think that young children (and she is still very young) need to go straight home and mess about after school. Anywhere where they need to behave & follow instruction can be too exhausting after a school day.
I also think that children often react like this to the people they feel safest with.

I also think the family need to find out how she is at after-school club. Does she dislike it because she is tired and wants to go home? Are any of the children there making life difficult? Or something else?

I think the whole family need a good chat.She is lucky to have you.

BlueBelle Sat 20-Jan-18 15:05:34

School and then after school is a long old day at 4.5 mine were all ready for school at 4 + but then add another two or three hours on four times a week and it’s a long old time and I would imagine she’s just over tired and grumpy and the don’t want you want my other gran etc is just a childish way of punishing you she doesn’t understand why she’s feeling tired and grumbly and will just give out to whoever is nearby and they will always lash out at the ones they know won’t lash back and that’s you
I agree with others talk it over with the family she’s probably just too young for this length of day some kids of four are still have rest periods

paddyann Sat 20-Jan-18 15:06:57

she's just been shunted sideways ,her new baby came along and she got sent to school AND after school club.She must be very unsettled wee soul .She needs lots of reassurance that everybody still loves her and they aren't putting her into this extra club to get her out of their way .She's kicking out at you becasue she can trust you ,maybe she thinks if she tells mum and dad how she feels they'll send her away for longer each day

Jalima1108 Sat 20-Jan-18 15:11:25

maybe she thinks if she tells mum and dad how she feels they'll send her away for longer each day
Good point paddyann

And for all the length of time they spend in school, many young children will have done 'nothing' all day. So questions about 'what did you do today' or even asking if they 'had fun at school' are just too much.

Jane10 Sat 20-Jan-18 15:24:33

Very good advice and insights here from everyone. Wee soul must be so tired and confused by her feelings.

Luckygirl Sat 20-Jan-18 15:40:30

I pick up a similar aged DGD from school twice a week and frankly she is totally knackered and beyond herself by then - and she does not ever have to endure an after-school club that is disliked as well. She has held it together and been good all day - she is doing well at school - but she has her limits, as indeed we all do

I recognise that she is beyond herself and needs some gentle handling. I take her home to my place, sit her in front of the fire with a baby's bottle full of warm milk and cuddle her. I ignore all outbursts. It is time to regress and simply have no demands made on her.

I do not think you should ask her questions about what she does with others, or about anything else, especially what she has done at school that day. At that stage of the day, a little lass like that is not able to respond logically. She is tired, she just wants her Mum but cannot have her so feels angry with the person who takes her place. I know my little lass would probably prefer that it were not me at the gate (although we get on very well and she knows me well - we have cared for her for several years now) - I am sure she would rather have her Mum or Dad.

Just play it very cool - stay calm and be assured that it is not you she is angry with, but the situation she finds herself in and which she is powerless to control. She does need you to be gentle and calm and go with the flow.

It is important that you stand back from any emotions you might have about this - e.g. feeling offended and hurt that she appears not to like you. If she knows that it is hurting you she will do it all the more to give herself something she does have control over. NOT set me off on the subject of 4 years olds at school!!!

kaycee Sat 20-Jan-18 16:27:50

Thank you all for some really sound advice and empathy. No NfkDumpling I never picked her up from nursery - as is usual with nurseries they go on much longer so she was picked up by either mum or dad on the way home from work. I take her to her house which is just down the lane - usually stop at the swings first. When we get home she has some milk in a bottle and a cuddle with Pop while she watches a favourite cartoon. She then helps me get her tea ready and we all sit down at the table for tea. I don't ask her questions about school - learnt that was not good idea when my son was little - may ask her sometimes what was the best thing she did today. We then have a play or do some colouring - usual nan/grandchild things until her mum or dad get home with her sister.
I think the after school club is just a bit too much at the moment and she doesn't like it because there are hardly any children there, sometimes she is the only one. She is well behaved at school and doing well so I think I'm reassured by the comments here that it is just tiredness and finding life a bit overwhelming.
I don't take it personally when she says she doesn't like us I just worry about the violence, but then as you say Luckygirl she is beyond her limits with no idea why she feels like that. I have discussed with mum and dad about her saying she doesn't want us to collect her and they do talk to her about that and the alternatives. I haven't yet mentioned the hitting and kicking which I guess I should do.
My DiL is trying to alter work patterns so she can always collect her from school on Fridays and she has asked to go to swimming club on Tuesdays so hopefully this will help.
I suspect a bit of sibling jealousy also. Thank you all - it was get this off my chest and get some advice.

BlueBelle Sat 20-Jan-18 17:05:50

Just another thought as she is sometimes the only one at the after school club she is maybe bored and/or most likely feeling very abandoned then you come along and she lets it all out is there any possibility if you picking her up more instead of the after school club
Second person to mention this but I have never ever heard of a four and a half year old having a bottle !!

Jane10 Sat 20-Jan-18 17:08:00

Me neither BlueBelle. Milk in a bottle for a 4 year old?

M0nica Sat 20-Jan-18 17:20:08

Has her behaviour been discussed with the school. She may be well behaved there, but the school needs to know that she is struggling. DGD's school were very helpful, when she struggled with school, outside school hours, but not in school.

The after school club does sound rather dire. Would it be possible for her to go to a child minder after school rather than an after-school club? Perhaps the parent or GP of a friend would be prepared to have her, on a paid basis several days a week. This works very well for my DGC.

Cherrytree59 Sat 20-Jan-18 17:33:35

Your post Luckygirl echoes our situation. DGS started school this September at the age of 4 years and 6 weeks.
He has classmates who are almost 12months older.
Because we recognise how exhausted is at the end of the school day,
we do the pick ups that his parents can't do.

He must have been very by Friday afternoon as his lovely teacher sat him on her lap for the story.

I worry for my other DGS who lives quite a distance from us as he will also start school as a 4 year old.
We are his only grandparents so he will possibly have to attend either morning or afternoon clubssad

Luckygirl Sat 20-Jan-18 17:36:23

The bottle is a bit jokey - a bit of fun that happens with a twinkle in the eye at Grandma's house. I do not feed it to her - she manages that herself! My DD just laughs at it.

I do not worry about a bit of regressive behaviour - she will not still be doing it when she is taking her GCSEs - what harm does it do? It gives her comfort and why not!?

This scrabble to get children past milestones and ban any going back and forth is not my bag.

Two of my GSs were having milk in a bottle at home in the evenings long after they started school - it was a bit of a joke and made them smile - and feel loved.

Cherrytree59 Sat 20-Jan-18 17:44:54

My 3year old DGS has a bottle of milk after nursery,
He has just started going every afternoon for his fifteen hours so like his brother he is also tired, it seems to sooth him and allow some chill out time.
They do however get their second wind after drink and a snacksmile

NfkDumpling Sat 20-Jan-18 17:53:29

An after-school club where there's hardly any or even no other children sounds really dire! I think the idea of looking for a childminder is a good one. More of a normal environment. Also would it be possible for her to be collected before her sibling. Mum turning up with little sister already with her in tow will make her feel left out.

Jalima1108 Sat 20-Jan-18 17:57:19

until her mum or dad get home with her sister.
She probably knows in theory that her sister has been to nursery - but does she have a niggling suspicion that her little sister/rival has been somewhere fun with mummy or daddy while she is being sent to school and after-school club?

BlueBelle Sat 20-Jan-18 18:11:10

I m not saying it’s wrong Luckygirl I ve just never ever come across such an old child wanting a babies bottle most kids of that age can’t bear to do ‘baby things’ and want to be seen as big kids but if it fits for yours that’s good

Luckygirl Sat 20-Jan-18 18:56:29

It started as a bit of a joke as her baby brother was having one, so I gave her one too when she asked. It has just become a Grandma's house thing.

Grannyben Sat 20-Jan-18 19:48:54

I have a 3 year old dgs who does 2 full days and he can hardly put one foot in front of the other when he comes out. He is usually in bed within a hour of leaving his class. Although i havent done it, I think a lie on the sofa with a bottle of milk and a bit of TV sounds quite comforting for a little one

Jalima1108 Sat 20-Jan-18 20:00:25

A lie on the sofa and a cup of cocoa sounds quite comforting for an old one too Grannyben

Jane10 Sat 20-Jan-18 20:21:42

Yes but not in a bottle!

Jalima1108 Sat 20-Jan-18 20:27:21

I'm not saying wink