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TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3432
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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I have three beautiful grand daughters. They are all treated

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I have three beautiful grand daughters. They are all treated the same and are happy kids. The two older children 5 and 6 enjoy school, the youngest is 20 months old. The older girls LOVE their sister to bits, they allow her to play along side them, they NEVER lash out at her, all seems perfect. The 6 year old has started to show her independence by being extremely naughty at school time, refusing to dress, clean her teeth etc etc, its a battle, the strangest thing is she loves school, she comes out very happy, she has her friends sleep over, she does after school gymnastics (she chose it) her older sister does Eco. There doesn't seem any rhyme or reason she feels the need to act up so badly. Why? She's an extremely fussy eater, saying she doesn't like something, but offer nothing else she'll reluctantly eat. Its as though she wants to do the opposite of whatever you want her to do. You can work around this for a time, but she can't be allowed to get away with her behaviour. She'll have a real paddy over nothing, she's be put on the naughty mat, says sorry, gives a hug and a kiss, its over with, but she'll do the same the following day! Her mummy and daddy never shout or hit their girls. The most frustrating thing is while you try to explain to her that her behaviour is not acceptable she'll be smiling at you as though she just doesn't care. When she's good she'd absolutely adorable, loving, caring, enjoying life, but she just has these moments, which are so pointless and upsetting. Offer any advice?

Customer:

Hi Grandmum,

Customer:

You are sweet to have such care and concern. What you report is normal behavior, however frustrating it is.

Customer:

But that doesn't mean everyone needs to sit back and let her rule the house. So, let's go back to basics. 1-We need to ignore this behavior a lot more than is happening now. she is learning that she gets more attention by acting this way as you mention when she smiles as she is being told that her behavior is unacceptable. When she begins to act out at home, I would completely ignore the behavior unless of course she is in danger of hurting herself or one of the other children. Se has learned that this behavior gets a reaction. Turn and walk away...no talking no nothing.

Customer:

2-The eating is the same thing...more attention is given. Put on her plate what is made for the meal...she either eats it or she doesn't and the parents do not become short order cooks and continue to prepare other things in the hope that she will eat. If she is hungry she will eat. The parents can say once...this is what is for dinner it is your choice to eat it or not, but you will not be given anything else.

Customer:

3-Consistency is the key here. No wiggle room. set the boundary whatever works and then stick to it.

Customer:

4-Let her know of the rules so that it is clear to her. Such as, it is time to brush your teeth. If she begins fussing you say, you need to brush your teeth now and if you don't you will lose play time with her favorite dolly. If she does not respond go and get her favorite dolly and put it away in the closet.

Customer:

5-Thse new boundaries WILL be met with screaming and protest and for the first few days until she gets used to the consistency she will act out more to try to get everyone's attention around it. remain calm and stik to the plan and the boundaries.

Customer:

6-Give her some area where she can "win" kids need this so that they can feel in control of some things. The things that aren't such a big deal let her "get away" with some things. but when it is time to follow the important things remain firm.

Customer:

Let me know how you feel about this.

TherapistJen and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
I received your feedback and it seems like you are not completely satisfied with my answers based on your response, so I am here to help and continue the dialog. You do not need to accept my future answers, i just want to help you feel more satisfied.
I am glad that you are doing all that i have suggested and that means you are on the right track.
i did not get the sense that there was tremendous ignoring of the behavior but more explaining to her that she was acting inappropriately, so if i was off target there, i apologize. i am truly suggesting less explaining and much more ignoring.
You are right it can be a battle of wills at that age and she will continue to try and wear everyone down. Let me know if you would like to continue the dialog.