View Full Version : Advice needed on behaviour

24-04-2012, 10:50 AM
Hi I've been minding 2 sisters since Feb, a 6 yr old and a 14 month old and I am really struggling with the 6yr old. This is my first job! She hasn't got the ideal home situation, mum and dad separated and it's quite hostile. Mum on her own and stressed so daughter doesn't get much time with her and she is quite impatient with her and admits she shouts at her a lot. This little girl is extremely bossy and critical and behaves like an adult ( all learned behaviour I'm sure) and initially I felt sorry for her, but she is making my kids lives a misery, bossing them around, being unkind to my 4 yr old and laughing when she gets upset, goading her to have tantrums (when she doesn't need much persuasion!), trying to get my son to ignore his sister or run away from her. I have tried sticker charts, trying to explain how her behaviour makes others feel, telling her off, but she is so thick skinned, nothing seems to matter. Mum has witnessed some of her behaviour and has told her off and she is supportive, but I feel she thinks it's as much my kids and all she will do anyway is shout at her! It's a shame as my kids are very close and play well together, I think she doesn't quite know how to share, she doesn't seem to have many friends at school and spends most of her time with adults, so the only way she can relate to kids is by controlling or being mean. She's also quite cheeky and disrespectful to adults generally, other parents at the school have made comments about her thinking she's an adult. I want to help her, but I can't bear to see my children unhappy! :( Any ideas?

24-04-2012, 11:14 AM
I don't really have any words of wisdom, but speaking from personal experience, she sounds like a very distressed little girl. You and mum need to work on a behaviour plan together and you both need to follow it. I hope someone with some more wisdom comes along soon to offer some advice. Chin up hun and big hugs x

24-04-2012, 11:44 AM
She sounds like a very unhappy little girl.
Have you tried separating her when she behaves badly? I hesitate to use the words 'naughty step' as I know that is a can of worms (it's a 'thinking step' now, I believe!) but, I find that time out does work.
Even if she's on there every five minutes, just keep on doing it and doing it and be really consistent. And always tell her briefly why she's going to sit there, and make sure its out of sight of the others.
When you bring her back have something going on that she will want to join in with, rather than free play, and give her loads of praise and encouragement. She will hopefully begin to realise the positive behaviour brings its rewards.

I don't know what else to suggest, am sure someone else has some better ideas but it might be worth a try :)

01-05-2012, 07:17 PM
Thanks for the advice, things are improving a little. I invited a class mate of hers round for tea and they played well together, she wasn't as bad, which makes me think maybe she's a bit threatened by our little family unit. The other little girl was very kind to the younger ones too and I gave her lots of praise. I have been also limiting the free play and giving them colouring and crafting activities, or taking them out so I can supervise them more closely. But I will try a 'thinking step', I like the renaming, that might calm her down. I've talked to my kids too about walking away when she's mean, so hopefully she'll learn if she wants their company, she'll have to be nice. Oh well I suppose it's a challenge!

02-05-2012, 05:26 PM
You have had good advice... I think she needs to be separated and helped to think through what she is doing and the effect she is having on others. At 6 she is old enough to understand about actions and consequences.

The most important thing though is that it happens in all settings so it is consistent... so you need to speak to mum again about how she is reacting and come up with some strategies together.

Hth :D