View Full Version : Siblings

27-07-2013, 12:52 PM
I could do with a bit of advice.

I look after siblings J is 2 L is 8 (going on 25).
I only have L after school 3 days a week for 20 mins. I have J 4 days a week 9-3.30.

Yesterday was the 1st day of the school hols & I had them both here. The day was horrendous, worst day I've ever had! I had these two along with ds 10months & ds 5.
Everything I did with J was then undone by L. We went for a walk & she decided to pick him up, J screamed & wriggled. She dropped him & he cut his knee.
Snack time I have him a bowl of raspberries, he said 'no, want barwbaweees' (strawberries). I said 'say please' & went to get them. L then snatched the strawberries & said 'you have to eat what you're given or you get nothing else'
I explained that snack time was fruit today & he could choose a different kind of fruit but not something that wasn't.
She got in a huff J started screaming.

Nap time & I had to guard the door so she didn't go in & 'check on him' every 2 seconds.

She was constantly in his face talking to him in a ridiculously baby voice. She sat directly in front of him every time he sat down usually between him & whatever he was playing with.
Eventually he got fed up & hit her. She hit him back!!!!
I told J that hitting wasn't nice & he needed to say sorry (1st time I've ever seen him lash out)
I then sent L to sit on the sofa for 3 minutes & explained that hitting isn't a nice thing to do even if he hits 1st. She went absolutely mental & started screaming at me that her mum tells her to hit him back or pull his hair if he pulls hers etc.
after she calmed down I told her the only reason he hit her was because he was fed up of her being in his face & not having any space. She spent the rest of the day carrying on as she was in the morning with me constantly saying 'leave him alone, give him space, don't pick him up etc etc'

Anyone have any advice on how to handle this. 5weeks & 3 days left ahhhhhh

27-07-2013, 12:54 PM
I only just realised how long that post was! Sorry :)

27-07-2013, 01:06 PM
Wow! Poor you!
There's a lot there that needs fixing!
I think a chat with Mum first to say that there are rules in your home that you'd appreciate support with. Then an agreed behavior management plan that is age appropriate, she's more than old enough to agree this with you and I'd go for the carrot rather than the stick. Something like a reward for keeping away, is there an activity she's keen on for example?
She'll need to earn it and I would think the marbles in two jars might be good, move from bad to good through the day, aiming for x no. of goods at the end of the day. This allows her to slip up but make amends as it looks like she has a fair amount of 'unlearning' to do!

Good luck and keep us posted!

27-07-2013, 01:19 PM
I sat down with her before the holidays & asked what she wanted to do. She gave me a list of crafty things she likes & a list of games. We can't venture too far from home as my car isn't big enough & public transport is worse than rubbish. There's a quite big park & there's a nice fences walkway along the river bank.
I've spent quite a bit of money making sure I have plenty of things for her to do to keep her entertained. Nothing kept her attention for longer than 2 mins.

It's hard because nothing she's doing is naughty so I didn't feel like I could 'punish' her, apart from when she hit back & snatched his strawberries. These things I can deal with & I think she understood what she had done wrong in the end. It was things like sitting too close etc that she doesn't seem to get & I've no idea how to sort that one!

27-07-2013, 01:59 PM
I would sit down with her and explain your house rules and what is expected of her.
She is probably feeling a bit out of sorts due to the change of routine for her and as she is only with you for such a short space of time normally has never needed to adjust to your way of doing things.
Talk to her about why it is not helpful to be in her brothers face all the time etc and how it makes him feel...
Also could you get her to help out with things such as preparing snack/ lunch, choosing and setting out an activity? This will perhaps help to make her feel more included, after all she is essentially coming in to her brothers territory and may feel a bit overwhelmed with it all...

28-07-2013, 02:23 PM
Maybe it is a novelty as they dont usually spend so much time with you together in term-time and hopefully it will wear off over a few days helped with firmness and redirection from you. Good Luck x

28-07-2013, 03:04 PM
Do you think she's jealous and by sticking so close to him she's making sure she gets some attention too (even if its the wrong sort)?

I think there are some rules that you have to enforce with her - no picking him up,no going into the room when you've put him down to sleep, no hitting etc.

Then I'd just try and keep her as busy as possible - give her some responsibility - laying table for lunch, preparing snack eg chopping banana or similar. If art and crafts are what she likes then get her to make a display or some decorations for outside or a book - anything that keeps her occupied.

If things don't improve next week then you need to talk to mum and see if there are problems with her behaviour at home and if you can sort something out so you and mum are dealing with things consistently

Good luck

Miffy xx

28-07-2013, 04:32 PM
I had two schoolies that weren't related to any of the lo that I looked after. We're always trying to pick them up, feed them, try to play with them but would end up taking the lo's toys so they could place it in the house or car ect. Q lo having total melt down. Lo was also very sensitive about any big person that wasn't me his mummy or daddy.

First thing I did once telling them what they could and couldn't do was tell them the lo's had a circle around them. They were not allowed ever to cross this circle. They could only have a cuddle from lo if lo initiated it. It took a week of being over the top firm and not allowing them any contact with them but they would of harmed the children by over mothering them.

It did get better but never perfect i could never have a wee when they were there unless lo were sleeping as they would always try something. In the end I gave notice as they were only after school and holidays and it was affecting lo's care.

28-07-2013, 08:40 PM
I'm dreading tomorrow! This evening I've got so many activities ready for her she hopefully won't have any time to annoy her brother. I've got 26 things for her to do :) I bet she gets through them all by about 1pm lol

I'm going to keep going with telling her to give him space, distracting her with something else. Make clear what my rules are at meal times etc. like some of you have said this could just be because she's come in to his territory & feels uncomfortable etc.
if its not got better by the end of the week I'll have a chat with mum about it.

Thanks for all the advice :)

28-07-2013, 09:10 PM
If she is no better tomorrow, I would mention her behaviour to her Mum. Mum may well have made some comment about making sure she helps to look after her brother.
I expect things will settle down, with attention from you and praise when she is behaving appropriately.
Is there anyone else that you could meet up with or invite round, maybe, that is nearer L's age? Even a friend from school maybe, as a reward at the end of the week?
Another thing to try would be to get L to help you organise games for the LO's (obstacle races? Tea parties? Dancing competitions?) so that she can be the judge, take responsibility and use her craft skills to make invitations, prizes etc......... Just, somehow make her think it was her idea in the first place!

Ooh. One more thing! There was a post on here recently (called 'Scribbles' I think) from someone who had cut up LO's scribbles and made collage names from them. Might be a way for L to make something fabulous with her brother.

Hope that helps. I do feel for you, and hope that she settles in soon xxx

29-07-2013, 08:24 AM
i've had similar here. The older child is constantly told at home to keep an eye on her brother, and when ever he does something wrong she gets the blame for it. Its made for a difficult relationship between them - she automatically steps in and 'interfers', but also resents him and can be a bit nasty. He in turn can be very unkind to her and she doesn't react -I expect at home its all her fault so she has given up.
When they are with me I explain to her that its my job to look after him and that it isn't her job and that she doesn't have to do anything with him. I also have a 'no picking up other children' rule, which I remind them all of when needed.
In my case there is no point in talking to the parents. But children adapt to different rules in different places, you just have to make the rules very clear and fair.

29-07-2013, 02:36 PM
Val makes a sensible point there. I know I've been guilty in the past of asking an older child to help one minute and then accusing them of interfering the next! Poor child can't do right!

Think you may be in for the long haul but hope you've had a better day!

29-07-2013, 05:16 PM
My son is nearly 8 and is bored already...and I have a mindee who is 6 and I have decided I much prefer little ones!!!

I also mind 2 siblings aged 1 and 3 and the easiest way to manage them is to go out, parks, beach etc as the more space there is the lower the chance of them crossing each others path! It has got much easier and older sibling now does his own thing but initially it was awful. I made some changes including the younger sibling sleeps upstairs and older sibling isn't allowed up there only supervised toilet trips (I make him go before nap time).

I know it's not promoting continuous play provision but I have been known to send some children out to the garden with an activity to give other children some space and then after a while they can swap. Otherwise I found I had 6 children fighting over the same thing despite there being plenty of resources. Today they had the doctors bag out and kept falling out as no-one wanted to be the patient and they didn't want to check me or the dolls, in the end we took turns, 2 went outside to play and the 2 inside played doctors then they swapped.

29-07-2013, 08:44 PM
Today was even worse!!!!!!! I took everyone's advice & I sat down with her this morning & explained that when her & J are with me it's my responsibility to make look after him & her.
I said you could have so much fun if you didn't constantly check he's ok etc. she said that she needs to make sure he's happy & isn't being naughty. I gave her loads of praise. Told her that she is a brilliant big sister! If he's naughty it's up to me to deal with, she's to tell me if she sees him doing something but that's it. I also said that there was to be no hitting back, I explained that this just makes him think its ok to do it.

I gave her jobs to do to make her feel like she had a more important role than any of the others. I asked her to help with snack, got her to help choose the activities for the little ones & set them up.
BIG MISTAKE she spent the whole morning telling everyone she was in charge & kept telling everyone they were playing wrong. She picked up my ds 10months when he wasn't where she wanted him to be. She was constantly in her brothers face telling him he had to do what she said.
J did a poo while playing in the garden, I was the other side so didn't realise straight away. She ran in the house got wipes then took his nappy off OH MY DAYS poo every where!!!!!!!!!!!
This was all before lunch. We could t go out as had another mindee arrive at 10:45.
We went out after lunch & she was worse than ever constantly pulling J about & smacking his hand. I made her sit on the floor by the pushchair for 5 minutes for this one & told her that she couldn't play on my tablet or do the craft activity that was planned when we got back. Q major 8 year old tantrum.
Words with mum in the morning I think