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Anna, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1945
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.
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My 8-year old granddaughter acts childishly. Two years ago

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My 8-year old granddaughter acts childishly. Two years ago she was creating very advanced artwork--now that has degraded. 2 years ago her parents adopted a baby boy which changed her situation from being an only child to the older sister. The family is visiting us in California from their home in Hong Kong for the next few weeks. Is there anything I can do to help her? Concerned Grandfather.
P.S. Some details--She speaks back to her mother even though she know that will make her angry. She laughs in a false manner even though everyone tells her not to.
Hello & Welcome to Just Answers.

It sounds to me like she's dying for attention. I would make a special relationship with her and have special shared words and activities that don't include her mom or brother. She'll get to feel like the princess without competing, and it goes a long way. I don't mean secretive or to painfully exclude them, but just special where you notice her and give her individual attention.

Then before she leaves...set up a Skype account online and show her and her mother how you do it. You'll be able to video conference with her when she's back home and make her feel special. Email her and share photos. You can set each other up on FaceBook or Flickr to make it easier. Girls that age often like pictures of cats and dogs, and there are zillions of those on the net.

This phase of jealousy will eventually pass, but little girls can be very moody and irrationally emotional. I think she's feeling very insecure and reverting to younger behavior to get the kind of attention that they younger brother gets.

My best to you.

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