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Parent Ignores Children

(49 Posts)
shoppingamc Thu 28-Nov-19 21:12:19

How does one discipline small grandchildren who are mostly ignored by their mother? Since they crave attention, a timeout isn't effective because they are used to being ignored. Besides, they won't stay put for a timeout unless they are literally held in one spot. And even though that is negative attention, it's still attention, so it feeds into their craving for attention. Taking away toys is not effective either. I don't consider spanking an option.

It is obvious they should be given plenty of attention when they are well behaved, but those moments are few and far between, so I don't feel like much headway is made there.

I'm really at a loss for what to do.

Callistemon Thu 28-Nov-19 21:17:09

Is their mother there at the time?
How old are they?
Are you caring for them much of the time?
How bad is the bad behaviour?

They do sound as if they need lots of positive attention.
Why do the parent(s) not give them any attention?

Without more specifics, I am not sure how much advice anyone can give.

Greenfinch Thu 28-Nov-19 21:17:16

Is there a reason for their being ignored by their mother? It sounds as if she is the one who needs help. Is there anything you can do to help her?

Callistemon Thu 28-Nov-19 21:18:50

Is she depressed?

GrannyLaine Thu 28-Nov-19 21:27:20

@shoppingamc, you don't say how old the children are. There is a school of thought which recognises that young children need the attention of an adult and if they are behaving badly it is much better to move closer to them and give MORE attention rather than disciplining / punishing. And totally agree that spanking should NEVER be an option.
'Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting: The Revolutionary Programme That Transforms Family Life' by Noel Janis -Norton is a really excellent book on the subject. Good luck!

Hetty58 Thu 28-Nov-19 21:29:50

Is it your place to discipline them? Why do you feel it's necessary for such small children? Do you have too many rules? Are you in charge of them for extended periods of time?

I would promise a treat later for good behaviour. Any bad behaviour and the treat is confiscated. I'd also look really sad and disappointed when they misbehave. That should be quite enough.

Hetty58 Thu 28-Nov-19 21:38:45

How about using distraction and a lot of understanding? If they are involved in exercise and meaningful playtime there's less chance of bad behaviour.

The problem with disciple is that it runs the risk of (what you're trying to avoid) giving attention to negative behaviour. Better to ignore it when possible, I believe. Parents should set the rules, rather than grandparents.

shoppingamc Thu 28-Nov-19 22:39:43

I am free daycare all day, five days a week. They are nearly three and just over one.

Behaviour such as hitting (both hit each other and pets) and the older pushing the younger one down. I can see that one is going to hit; say, “Do not hit”; and she will look straight at me and then hit.

Mother is not permissive, she ignores them. Other than dressing them up in cute outfits, she has little interest in them other than telling them to be quiet. She does keep them fed and clean, but takes any and every opportunity to fob them off on pretty much anyone whenever she can.

Mother has always been a selfish, self-absorbed girl.

I love my granddaughters, but I am beginning to not like them, which breaks my heart.

Treats, bribes, cajoling, coaxing, and pleading have no effect.

I hope these additional details are helpful.

Callistemon Thu 28-Nov-19 23:03:58

They are both still babies!

Try distraction techniques play with them, instead of constant 'no' and threats of punishment.
Pleading etc not work - you're in charge, not them.

I get the impression that mother may be DIL not DD and you do not like her much. Does she work or just offload the children?

Callistemon Thu 28-Nov-19 23:04:52

Sorry, that sounds like rubbish with missing words etc, hope you can understand it!

quizqueen Thu 28-Nov-19 23:07:23

Tell their mother to sort out alternate childcare (for at least the elder one) and you can then choose to see them just for grandmother special times when you do nice planned things with them. They are not your responsibility to look after 5 full days a week and it's not your problem if her finances are stretched either. However, if she is working she can get 30 hours paid for term time childcare for the over 3. You daughter needs to start being a mother.

Callistemon Thu 28-Nov-19 23:12:33

Yes, nursery - hitting won't be tolerated there but there will be so much to do that she probably wouldn't hit anyone anyway.
If she does, no doubt the other child might hit her back.
That will shock her.

MovingOn2018 Thu 28-Nov-19 23:21:13

How does one discipline small grandchildren who are mostly ignored by their mother?

You don't. They are not your children and you have no right to discipline them especially wuth the advice received from online strangers as opposed to consulting with their parents.

How about you tell us what you'd deem as the most appropriate form of discipline for a 2 year old and a one year old. hmm

Callistemon Thu 28-Nov-19 23:36:08

I don't remember disciplining mine at that age, apart from a firm 'no' if they were feeding their dinner to the dog. That would be my fault anyway for forgetting to shut the dog out.

Chestnut Thu 28-Nov-19 23:48:57

Draw them closer with games and activities you can do together. Talk with them about things. Ask the older one to be good and behave because the younger one will copy them (that gives them a sense of responsibility).
I think you've been carrying a very heavy load with two for 5 days a week and that is way too much. I agree that the older one should be at nursery. When you have one child you will find it much easier to engage them.

CanadianGran Fri 29-Nov-19 00:05:35

Gran's house, Gran's rules. If you look after them all day 5 days a week, then you should be able to discipline them in your own manner. A firm 'no' and taking them away from the situation usually works.

I find my GC are only naughty when they have too much unstructured time together. They start nit-picking and arguing. Give them separate jobs, or toys. One on the floor with cars, the other on the table with crayons, etc.

Madgran77 Fri 29-Nov-19 05:33:39

Have you discussed this with their parents? You need to know what their approach is so that you can maintain consistency as far as possible when looking after them.

As you have them 5 days a week full time, you need to get into routines with them. Young children like routines and feel safe when they know what to expect and what is expected. Consistent expectations will help.

Nansnet Fri 29-Nov-19 05:42:50

Firstly, I must say that I take my hat off to you, taking care of a 1 year old, and a nearly 3 year old, 5 days a week! I've recently taken care of my 1 year old GD, on a couple of occasions, for 2-3 weeks, to help out with childcare, and I've been absolutely exhausted! She's very well behaved, but she's on the go non stop, and I no longer have the energy that I had when my kids were little!Lol

Obviously, your 1 year old GD really doesn't know how to misbehave and she's just copying her older sister, and as you say, the 3 year old is simply craving attention, as she's not getting any from her mother. I think the key is to try to keep them both occupied with fun activities that they like to do, or things that are new to them. Probably a little more difficult with a 1 year old as they're not really old enough to concentrate on anything for long. But if you can get the 3 year old engaged in something she likes to do, and you share it with her ... a big colouring book with lots of crayons, or one of those wipe clean floor mats, play-doh, lego, those little felt boards, making cakes with her (sit the younger one in a high chair in the kitchen to watch, and give her some cake mix to play with!). The key is to keep the older one occupied, because once boredom sets in (and we all know how easily kids get bored!), that's when she may display unacceptable behaviour.

Hopefully, overtime, your older grandchild will see that time spent at grandma's house is enjoyable, and she'll feel loved and wanted, unlike being with her mother who sadly sounds like her children are a bit of an inconvenience.

I agree with what some others have said, that your older GD certainly sounds like she's ready to go to nursery, and you'll probably find that with more structured play, and lots of different daily activities, her behaviour will hopefully improve. And this will give you more time to spend with the 1 year old, and hopefully her behaviour won't deteriorate like her sister's, as she'll be getting plenty of one-on-one time with you.

wildswan16 Fri 29-Nov-19 06:48:02

It's just a thought but are these two babies sleep deprived. If mum constantly ignores them they maybe aren't getting enough rest. That makes any child really miserable and cranky.

BlueBelle Fri 29-Nov-19 08:44:45

Where’s the father ?
Is the mother your daughter or daughter in law? Which ever you don’t have much time for her do you? Or even like her so not good vibes there
If the kids are palmed off on anybody and everybody (if you have them 5 days a week not sure when this happens) they probably have lots of different rules and routines and don’t know if they are coming or going then you say Treats, bribes, cajoling, coaxing, and pleading have no effect. so again so many different ways there’s no consistency
Does their mother work the five days ?
It’s blooming hard work having a toddler and a baby for five days ...try and get a very steady routine and use only one form of punishment, be it time out, or taking away something for five minutes. You need to keep the 3 year old occupied she sounds really bored Can’t she go to nursery for some hours and you have the baby otherwise you just have to forget the house get down on your knees and play play play with them

Alexa Fri 29-Nov-19 08:59:08

Are the little ones getting enough exercise and or stimulation?

Are they drinking enough water?Are they eating the right food? Is something hurting ?

Once you get biological reasons out of the way I believe the next step may be , not to punish in any shape or form whatever their behaviour but to divert their attention by a new game, a story, a cuddle, a challenge or all of those at once. This would apply especially to older child who is old enough to be at pre- school, as others have suggested.
I am sure there are short books or videos all about how to entertain and teach through play for very small children. This is certainly a challenge for you yourself, but you will get there!

M0nica Fri 29-Nov-19 09:20:42

Treats, bribes, cajoling, coaxing, and pleading have no effect. If these are the tactics that you use it is no wonder you have problems,

What the children need from you is consistent attention and as other posters have said is distraction. To begin with as they lack attention at home they need lots of attention from you

Give them as much attention as you possibly can. Reading to them, doing jigsaws, talking to them about anything and everything, going for walks looking at the world as you go and, again, talking to them. Let them see that bad behaviour does not gain attention, stop one child hitting another say nothing, just stop it by holding them or separating them and moving on to other activities. Slowly they will begin to understand that they do not need to be naughty to get attention and will become more amenable. The older child would certainly benefit from going to a nursery, at least part time. They will learn fairly quickly there what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.

ReadyMeals Fri 29-Nov-19 10:24:03

Shoppingame, the one yr old is too young to understand any sort of discipline whatsoever and he or she relies on you to prevent problems by physically removing anything they can harm. The nearly 3 yr old can understand that some behaviours are not wanted, but won't always remember what they are, so you have to patiently repeat "Nanny doesn't like that" while making sure they are paying attention. My grandson is nearly 3 and he is only just reaching the age when he understands that grownups being cross is something to do with something he might have done. With my own kids they got there sooner, since in those days a slap was permissible to deal with direct defiance. These days we don't have that tool (weapon?) so I deal with him by for instance if he's throwing my garden gravel into places it shouldn't be, I say "where does the gravel live? shall we make all the gravel go home?" and that suggests it's fun to put it back. But yeah, discipline isn't what it was. I'd hate to be a parent now.

Paperbackwriter Fri 29-Nov-19 10:42:00

You're putting a huge amount of blame on the mother. Do these children not have a father as well? Where is he in all this? Presumably if you have them for 5 days a week, they are both working so surely if they are being 'ignored' then it's by both parents and they are equally accountable.
But as others have said, it's damn hard work looking after small children. I think you probably need to put in far fewer hours, if at all possible.

optimist Fri 29-Nov-19 10:46:35

The Philippa Perry book "The book that we wish our parents had read.............." might be helpful. And I agree that they need MORE attention not punishment. If not from a parent then that is where grandparents can help.