5 Year Old girl... - FamilyEducation
5 Year Old girl...
05/12/2009 at 00:34 AM

We just spent a very pleasant weekend with our 5 year old granddaughter. We have never had any discipline problems when we have had her. She does what we say, when we say it, or at least until I start counting to 3. She seems to know that we mean what we say. She always seems to be very excited and happy about coming to our house for weekends.

The week prior to her visit, I bought three small toys for her. Her parents have been having problems with her not listening, not obeying, and hitting other kids in school. I told my granddaughter about the gifts, but that she would only receive them if she listened to her parents and stopped hitting. On Tuesday night, she was rebelling against them, so my daughter called me. I explained to my granddaughter that she did not live up to our agreement and informed her that she had lost one of her gifts. She was definitely not happy about that. But I did not receive any other calls the rest of the week.

Her mom and dad came over to spend Mother's day with us on Sunday. I and my husband never interfere with their discipline when they are around. Sunday night, my daughter told the grandchild to clean up because they were going home. What we witnessed was reminiscent of Linda Blair in The Exorcist! Our sweet granddaughter starting talking back, throwing a fit, and "growling" at her mother. Our daughter says this is "usual" at their house.

My daughter and son-in-law try to use reason and logic with their 5 year old, whereas my husband and I use what some might call intimidation. We stare her down if she even THINKS about disobeying us.

I feel they are doing something very wrong, but I'm not sure exactly what it is. I would like to give my daughter some advice without being an interfering grandmother. I'm afraid of what this child will turn into. Any help or advice on what they are doing and how I should approach them would be appreciated.

My son's teacher uses positive reinforcement for good behavior as well, and it works. My son is 5 also. Reasoning and logic don't work for us either. Your granddaughter needs tougher discipline. She shldn't be calling the shots, her parents shld. They're probably not being consistent and following through w/ what they say. Unless you follow through, kids will walk all over you. Also, a stern voice and a look are good b/c they show you mean business. I think you shld talk to your daughter about what you're observing, and advise her on what works for you. I'm sure she'll appreciate your suggestions, especially if she sees they work. Before stepping on anyone's toes, see if your daughter will accept your help by observing you in action w/ your granddaughter. If she can learn from you, why not? I'm sure at this pt, your daughter is willing to try anything. On the other hand, if your daughter gets offended and feels you are butting in, back off. Some parents are very sensitive about others disciplining their children. Parenting styles have changed, and for some kids, the new way is effective. Your granddaughter, however, needs firmer discipline. In no way am I suggesting spanking, just sticking to your guns and meaning it. Hope this helps.