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Out of Ideas and Frustrated

I'm not a parent, but I'll explain my situation before going further.

I live with a friend and his family (mother & father). Recently, his 10 year old niece came to live with us. My friend's mother, being the grandmother of this little girl, feels she can't discipline her, it's just not grandmotherly-like. So discipline is left up to the two of us.

Now the problem: This little girl has always gotten her way, whatever she wanted (Please don't underestimate my use of the word "always". Her mother would do things such as buy $30-40 toys for the girl when she had trouble buying food). Rules were never enforced and she's very rarely been disciplined. When she has been, the methods weren't very effective. Her family's idea of discipline was to take one thing away from her, such as TV for a day. But that still left her with toys, books, animals, and a computer to play with. All of this has shaped her into one of the laziest, sloppiest, and often the most belligerent children I've ever met. I believe in stricter rules, such as picking up after yourself, being generally polite, and respecting those who care for you. I have a limited amount of power concerning this girl since I'm not a relative, so I don't know what I can do about her attitude and habits. Some people I've spoken to say it's too late to change her, other say there's a chance. I can't use corporal punishment, and reasoning with her doesn't work. Denying her things occasionally works, but she's got so many things that there's always something else to play with, and the other family members aren't very helpful. They allow "exceptions" in her punishments and so she doesn't learn anything at all. I would greatly appreciate some advice on this.

Re: Out of Ideas and Frustrated

Okay... anyone?

Re: Re: Out of Ideas and Frustrated


I can relate to this problem having been a nanny for many years and dealing with Spoilt children. And unfortunately i do believe that spoilt children do go rotten.
I think the most important thing here to remember is that it is not the little girls fault. She has only been brought up this way, and it is therefore the fault of the parents and other family members. Children like this find it incredibly difficult to understand why they can't get their own way when they scream and shout when it normally works? I would be confused to.
If she hasn't been taught that manners and respect get you what you want, but that being diffucult does - why would she want to change?
I buildt a 'seperate' relationship with the girl i nannied for away from her parents. This took a long time, and lots of patience. I suppose i had to do this as my job relied on my relationship with her, as i believed i was putting her at risk if i couldn't control her. I done this bu ignoring her bad behaviour, and i mean completely ignoring it. If she done something nice or good then the rewards would be great. I also used different words other then 'bad or naughty' like 'dissapointing and unkind' this seemed to help as she was used to people telling her she was naughty but not used to being unkind. I could ramble on - but i am not sure if this will be of help or not - if you want me to continue to tell you i shall!! Just let me know via here!! Good luck!