Ask a Psychiatrist and Get Answers to Mental Health Questions ASAP
Thank you for contacting JustAnswer.
I am sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing with your granddaughter. A parent's behavior can certainly contribute to their child's behavior. It is possible that your granddaughter is feeling unsafe due to the lack of consistency from her mother. You are in a difficult position as you cannot change her mother's parenting style, but perhaps you can pass some information along to her. Keep in mind that any behavior that gets attention is likely to continue happening. It has been called the law of the soggy potato chip in that if a child thinks that she has a choice between a soggy potato chip or no chip at all, she will choose the soggy chip. If your granddaughter feels that she has the choice between negative attention from her mother or no attention at all, she will choose the negative attention and so she will act out until she gets it. The only way for this pattern to stop is for her mother to begin to catch the good behaviors and reward them with attention, and to calmly and matter of factly give consequences for the negative behaviors with as little attention as possible. A very good book on this subject is Win the Whining War & Other Skirmishes: A Family Peace Plan by Cynthia Whitham MSW. The more consistent her mother becomes with this positive parenting, the more secure your grandchild will begin to feel and the more her behavior should improve. However, if you believe that her mother is putting your grandchild in danger by her behavior or being abusive in any way then you can certainly call ChildLIne at(NNN) NNN-NNNN ChildLine's website is: http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/partnersproviders/childwelfare/003670361.htm
I hope this answer is helpful. Please let me know if I can clarify further.