View Full Version : Dealing with behaviour from older mindees

17-03-2009, 11:03 AM
Having just read another post it got me thinking about this. I look after a 9 year old girl and 11 year old boy before school and I am now looking after an 8 year old girl school holidays.

What I am finding different (not difficult just different!) is how to deal with behaviour that I don't want or isn't acceptable. I am 24 and have a 15 year old half brother and a 12 year old half sister so I am more used to being the older sibling as opposed to a parent figure.

This morning "9 year old girl" was feeding my dogs the crusts from her toast. I said look that is enough now (I really don't agree with dog being fed human food as it is) and she was all hyper and giggly. I went to the toilet and I could hear her asking the dogs to sit, lay down etc and I shouted out "R you are not feeding them more toast are you" when I came back in she hid her hands behind her back and giggled. I said what are you up to and she produced 2 pieces of toast from behind her back. I said right you are going to have to give that to them now because you can't tease them like that. I then playfully said in silly voice I think R needs to read the house rules again because she clearly has forgotten to them I walked her over to the rules and read each of them in a silly voice and animating the rules she'd broken (teasing animals, climbing on furniture and eating nicely at meal times). I tried to do it in a way where instead of reading them to her in a sensible stern voice and treating her like a baby that I actualy playfully treated her like a baby because she "was" acting like one if that makes sense. She was laughing but the message went across and she put the rest of the crusts in the bin.

I have had with my "11 year old boy" mindee a couple of comments like I have asked him what he would like to do and he will reply "once again I would like to ..." or I will ask him what he wants for breakfast and I will get told "I'd like xyz if ... at all .. possible" just like that :rolleyes:

My 8 year old mindee hasn't started yet but she is going to be a little madam I can tell :laughing:

Just wondered how others found discipline with older mindees, I think there is a fine line between treating them like a baby and treating them with respect.

17-03-2009, 11:25 AM
I have a 10 year old boy and a 11 year old girl. I got them involved from the start and they wrote their own set of house rules and decided what the punishment would be should they break one of the rules. They've been pretty good and sensible but should they break a rule I am quite stern and serious with them because they have to realise that what I say goes - their mum is fairly strict with them too so this helps.

However just lately the eldest one has started to be sneaky in getting my daughter into trouble by telling tales on her. I'm completely aware of this and had her weighed up from the beginning but I have a good relationship with mum who backs me up when an incident occurs.

17-03-2009, 01:51 PM
I sometimes fine it hard with the older ones. most of the after schoolers are over 8 now.

what I find works is talking to them more like young adults rather than children and getting them involved. I let them chose what they want to do within reason and if they can play nicely, respect me and my house etc then they can choose films, have longer on the laptop, get a treat like a cake/ice cream at the end of the week and now and again I will put money aside for a new toy/computer game or something and I get the older children to help me choose.

But if they dont listen/respect me or the house etc then they loose out...simple, but if you say something, it has to be followed through. Most of the time it works.

I have had to use time out with the 8 & 10 year old which also worked

We also play in the school playground for half an hour when dry which makes a massive difference esp with the boys

17-03-2009, 06:02 PM
It sounds to me like you are managing it very well.

You know the relationship you are trying to achieve and parents wouldn't trust you if they didn't think you could manage the children.

Just be consistent, that's the key.

17-03-2009, 06:10 PM
What i tend to dso with older kids especially is explain exactly why i don't want a particular behaviour. My most common one which tends to work is that if they do X then the younger children i look after will copy them and could put themselves in danger etc.

I try to get them to be role models for the younger ones.

My Mantra if you ask any of the kids is that "I am not saying it to stop the fun - i just want to keep you safe"

The feeding the dog toast thing would lead to a younger one doing it and then getting knocked over by my German shpeherd - if your dog is smaller it might not have the same effect but our dog is really big and heavy.

Hope its of help - getting to end of day and brain getting tired!!!!!!!!!!