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misbehaving 4 year old

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Old 04-01-2007, 04:36 PM   #1
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galinaqt HB User
misbehaving 4 year old

I have mother-in-law and sometimes brother-in-law coming once a week to stay with my daughter. She treats them badly, doesn't want to do anything they ask her to do. I really want them keep coming and spend time with her, it is also big help to me. What can I do?

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Old 04-01-2007, 05:46 PM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: St. Louis, MO, USA
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GodsGirl4ever06 HB User
Re: misbehaving 4 year old

I'd say that first and foremost you should make sure there is no reason for the way she acts towards them. There could be some things you don't know about going on behind your back. And don't just ride off me telling you this. Things happen and a lot of times it is completely unexpected.

Even though your daughter is 4, try to talk to her about why she doesn't seem to like them. See what she says. See if she gives you a reason or if she doesn't know.

Now, even though she treats them badly, does she seem happy to see them? Or scared? Or angry? Etc. Take these emotions and analyze them to see what could be bothering her or making her act this way.

Next, after we have concluded that nothing bad is going on and that it is just your daughter being that way, we want to curb that behavior.

If she likes when they come over, have them not come over for awhile and tell her why. Try to explain it to her. She IS old enough to understand if you put it simply. "Grandma is not coming over to see you because you treat her mean and it makes her sad." Then, ask her if she means to make grandma sad. Start a dialogue.

If she doesn't like grandma coming over, ask her why she doesn't like grandma. Don't be specific like "Do you not like grandma because <blah blah blah>" because that will put ideas in her head. Let HER tell YOU.

Now, I'm not going to to through every emotion, but I think you get the picture.

4 years old is a good age to open some dialogue. Have her sit down and really talk to you. Before you can do anything with this behavior, you need to find out what's causing it -- something going on, or just being a bratty or bossy or disobedient little girl.

Or, the other option, is that the adults in this situation do not really know how to handle her. Has it been awhile since your mother-in-law has been around other kids? Is this her only grandkid? Is she too soft and not know how to be firm? Because, this could be the problem also. Kids will be kids, but a lot of times they are worse because the adults "try" but not really that hard.

Just some ideas!
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Last edited by GodsGirl4ever06; 04-01-2007 at 05:47 PM.

Old 04-02-2007, 07:09 AM   #3
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jmcummins3 HB User
Re: misbehaving 4 year old

I agree with what the other poster wrote, so I won't repeat it. I just wanted to add that it could also have nothing to do with them (although you should start there) and more to do with her wanting more time with you. If she doesn't seem to have any real reasons for not wanting them to come over, try telling her that they're not going to come over for a while if she's going to make them sad (tell her ahead of time so she can object if she really does want them to come over and it's not really them), and see if maybe she wants to do more with you when you're together and she doesn't feel like she's getting enough quality time. (I'm not suggesting you're a bad mom who doesn't spend any time with your DD, but there may be things that she wants to do with YOU - no one measures up to mom - and if you spend more quality time with her doing the things she wants to do with YOU, she may lighten up on them when they come over.)

Old 04-02-2007, 07:41 AM   #4
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galinaqt HB User
Re: misbehaving 4 year old

Thank you for suggestings. I'll certainly try to take advantage of them.

Old 04-03-2007, 04:01 AM   #5
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,260
Re: misbehaving 4 year old

galinaqt-----I do agree with what the other posters have said. Though my children are grown my granddaughter is 4. She is soooooooo totally different from her 7 year old brother and has been since birth. SHe is fresh at times and has the attitude of a 16 year old. What we have also discovered through conversations my daughter has had with her is that she is also shy, very sensitive and is just starting to verbalize comfortably what she feels. We all have a different way of handling her. My husband babysits more than I do and they definitely butt heads. He will send her to her room very matter of factly if she's being fresh or bossy. With me on the other hand she doesn't even try it. The first time she attempted to answer me fresh I just looked and her and laughed and said " Oh now we won't talk to Nannie like that will we" SHe never has, laughed along with me. I believe children have their own boundaries. Will push adults as far as they think they can. They'll try at least. I would have some talks with her and see IF you get any complaints. If not the advise given here is good. Let her know why there aren't any visits. You never ell a child they're bad but nothing wrong with telling them their behaviour is unexceptable. Good luck. It's a tough age with girls. I raised 3.


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