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  1. #21
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    Aug. 25, 2008
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    Oh lorday have I been there. I remember my daughter being 5, and in the grocery store with me having a tantrum right after my divorce, and running into my former MIL, who flat out told me that that was what I could expect if I tore my family apart. I took my daughter out of there after telling her what she could expect if she ever talked to me like that again, but it hurt me SO badly!

    It's difficult enough to cope without your kid going ballistic on you too, but they do. And then it's hard to find help, especially if you don't have family around. It was a very dark period in my life. FWIW she is now a very wonderful teenager - go figure.

    I did find a grandmotherly figure who was good with her - a standard sitter didn't work so well for her. But you have to be SO careful! I remember nearly losing my job a couple of times because I couldn't get help back then - actually, I did, and then went back to school for my master's on unemployment. Ugh. THAT was a whole nother ball o' wax, because of the class hours. I ended up getting a really nice lady, and dragging my kid to class - never mind, we won't talk about that .



  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    I understand that your daughter has had her world upended. I'd suggest family counseling for starters. Then, if she were mine, I would explain that the rules have changed and the behavior must stop. Then enforce it. Whatever it takes, including early bedtimes because she must be tired or she wouldn't be acting this way.
    This. I too realize she has gone through a lot of changes, but after a 2 year separation and 7 months in a new house, the behavior is unacceptable. Spirited or not, when the mom comes on the internet and calls her daughter a "monster" due to daughter's behavior, my first question is "why are the PARENTS allowing the behavior to continue? Has no one told this kid NO before??"
    ************
    "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

    "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike


    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #23
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    Jan. 17, 2008
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    An au pair would be another idea -- that way you'd have great coverage with someone living in (if you found the right person!).

    Not much else to add, but my sympathies. One of my best friends is a single mother veterinarian. I can see how tough it is.

    I agree with the poster who said to try and find someone to love your daughter. When my kids were younger my babysitter was a grandmotherly type, and we all thrived.

    Good luck.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #24
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    Oct. 30, 2008
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    I wish I lived closer.

    Lots and lots of (((((hugs))))) to you both.
    Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

    You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.



  5. #25
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    Dec. 21, 2008
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    Missouri
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    [QUOTE=Pony Fixer;6644657]

    She's not bad in the biting/spitting/hitting sense--just stomping and tantrums and anger when things don't go her way (which sometimes is a lot, sometimes not so much).
    .[/QUOTE)

    She is way too old for this stuff, this is what toddlers do.
    This is a behavior that should have been dealt with long ago. What do you do when she does this with you? You need to tell her exactly what will happen when she displays this behavior and do it. The same discipline should be carried out by her sitter. It won't go away, just escalate to other things.

    I am guessing you feel bad about putting her through the separation, divorce , working such late hours, etc and have indulged her behavior because of it and it happens so often by people in your situation.

    She probably just want's to spend time with you , not another teacher or sitter. Is there no way for you to adjust your hours?


    I do have kids( all teens now) who I was lucky enough to be able to stay home with every day. There were very active and strong willed and we dealt ( very briefly) with tantrums.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #26
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    Apr. 13, 2008
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    Oh dear. Nothing but hugs to you. I dont have the behaviour issues to deal with BUT in general its a b#tch to find sitters after normal hours. I work 2nd shift 4-6 nights a month, I pay a premium and its so hard to find a good one to watch my lil guy. I mostly work 3rd shift on the other nights, and its easier to find overnight care than after 5 pm. Lots of luck OP. Mean that sincerely-- its not just her issues, its incredibly hard to find.


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  7. #27
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    Jun. 14, 2006
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    IMHO as a step mom to two (now) teenaged girls who live with us most of the time....I am not an expert but I think you have a kid issue, not a babysitter issue.

    It's post divorce guilt that is likely putting you in this situation. I quite frankly would recommend that you get some counseling.

    Her behavior is not okay. It's not a sitter problem. It's a kid issue. Now, I realize you need to find a sitter who can handle it, but first, I think you're going to have to find a way to nip this in the bud. SHe simply cannot behave like this.

    Not okay.

    My step daughers "tried" to pull a lot of crap and honestly, both of their parents seemed to cater to it perhaps unknowingly til we did some counseling.

    I think that much like a territorial dog, the idea of getting her OUT of her environment and into someone else's for babysitting might help a lot. Different rules at a different place!

    I also think that creating some kind of poopy list chart might be good. Good behavior rewarded, bad behavior noted and consequences discussed ahead of time.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #28
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    Dec. 7, 2001
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    I would enroll her in some activities and have the babysitter taking her. Gymnastics (very good to get bad energy out), Ballet (good to learn discipline), music...

    I also agree that there need to have some consequences to her bad behaviour and rewards (momy/daughter time) when she is good.

    I have 2 kids (4 and 7 YO) we have used au pairs, nannies, sitters and bad attitude towards adults/authority is a no go.

    But I keep them busy (Gym, Piano, chess club, dance, science group ...).


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #29
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    Oct. 22, 2009
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    The right sitter is out there! My sister nanny-ed a lot from 16-24 and now I do a fair amount of sitting/nanny-ing. We both like watching different types. I honestly would not enjoy your daughter, but she sounds exactly my sister's type. She gets bored watching most kids and loves kids that like to do things. She is stubborn and can out wait any temper tantrum and then, once the kid realizes they won't win, loves kids that like to be busy. Hiking, crafts, outdoor games... that sort of thing. She's firm, fair, and fun for the too smart and active for their own good kids.

    However, realize that you will probably be expected to pay more for a difficult kid. It sucks, but why should I (generic I) watch your kid, when I can do half the work for the same pay? Be up front that she's a good kid, but can be difficult. Also, be open with potential sitters about how you handle her attitude. Some parents refuse for their 'precious' to be disciplined in any way... no time outs, taking away privileges, nothing. "If sweetums gets upset, she'll calm down if you give her a cookie/let her watch tv" is NOT a kid you want to watch. Nobody wants to work 4 hours a day to teach a kid manners, than have the parents undo it by the next day.

    Good luck and keep trying! Talk with your daughter too, and if possible have her choosing a sitter. Rather than hire and then have them quit, interview several possible sitters and choose the one that seems the best match.
    Quote Originally Posted by pinecone View Post
    I can't decide if I should saddle up the drama llama, dust off the clue bat, or get out my soapbox.



  10. #30
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    Jul. 19, 2007
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    I agree with tle, BuddyRoo and candyappy--this is NOT acceptable behavior for a six-year-old. Period. It's not being 'spirited', it's being a brat. How do you, OP, respond when she pulls these stunts with you? What were the consequences for throwing tantrums with the sitters? My parents didn't CARE that I was bored, more advanced than the class, or that my teacher was in fact a pretty rotten one (she was not a happy camper teaching kindergarten), when I got in trouble at school I got in MAJOR trouble at home. Despite being five, I figured out pretty fast that I better toe the line or else. That is old enough to learn that no matter how upset, or how 'energetic' you might be, there are behaviors that are NOT acceptable. And sometimes you cannot just explain to a kid rationally, you have to punish. Yeah, she went through some major changes. Tough. That's called life. She gets to learn that means suck it up and deal, not throw a tantrum.


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  11. #31
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    Apr. 25, 2011
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    I second finding the 'grandmotherly type'. I was a very high spirited, difficult kid, prone to tantrums and outbursts when my parents split (I was about 5). I was a screamer, regularly telling my mom/anyone I cared about how much I hated them (at the top of my lungs). I blamed my mom for my dad leaving (even though i was 4 when it happened-- it was her fault in my little head). My mom was working 3 jobs to make ends meet and stumbled upon this wonderful woman who was out on disability from teaching, and offered to be my after school care from half day kindergarten. She was a godsend. She had two grown kids of her own and she took no crap, but was the loving, nurturing, consistent type. At 27, I still keep in contact with her. She taught me how to do crafts (I still have a latch hook rug that we made together) and took me garage sale shopping. But I knew that an explosion or tantrum would land me in the chair. On my stubborn days, I spent hours in that chair because I was not willing to apologize for my behavior.

    OP-- there is hope. Not all screaming children stay that way, but get the help she needs. Might be a nice nanny, but it might be some counseling too. Good luck. My mom and I have a wonderful relationship now and we laugh about the days i would scream at her and tantrum for no apparent reason.



  12. #32
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    Jun. 18, 2007
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    Not a kid person at all, but I was a 6-year-old with slightly older brothers while my Mom was a single working mother, we had just moved cross country, had to start completely over making friends, and it was about a year and a half after the divorce. Lots of crap going on. I wasn't a problem, but brothers were. So here are my admittedly "I don't like kids" 2 cents worth.

    1. Pay way more. I agree with the one who suggested doubling it. Simply rounding up isn't enough here.

    2. Temper tantrums at age 6 simply are NOT acceptable. Never, period. Even my frisky, spirited, active, whatever you like to call it brothers knew better than to pull one with Mom at that age. Mom herself, who was an acknowledged VERY strong-willed child (and adult, to be honest), had learned by age three that pulling behavior like that was never appropriate, and by age three, her parents could quell her with one word - her name in THAT tone. Not yelled, just conversational, but if she was ramping up, one "Paulette" would immediately readjust her. I realize a lot is going on with you, too, but this needs to stop.

    3. Definitely vote for older, tough grandmother type. They will have more experience and will probably care more and recognize long-term point of view with a kid more than a teens or 20s sitter. I will never forget one day in church, shortly after the move. Mom was in choir. Singing was her own therapy; I understand that more now. But she had given us instructions that we were to sit in this close to the front row, that she could see us from the choir and would be watching, and that she would march out of the choir loft and haul the offending kid out the back door in front of God and everybody to get his setter tanned if we acted up. She thought that was sufficient to let her get in her singing. She underestimated my problem brother for once. He figured out the sight line from the choir loft and that she could not see things below waist level, so he spent the first part of the service kicking me, trying to get ME to jump, yelp, make a scene, etc., so I would get in trouble. This lasted only half the service because once she noticed, a little old grandmotherly type on the other end of that pew suddenly moved down to us, pulled us apart, sat between us, and smacked my brother. She then immediately resumed the polite, worshipful attitude, and church went on. After it was over, she went straight up to Mom and said, "I need to tell you, I smacked your son today." Mom already knew that, of course, but she saw that whatever had happened was now under control. She just said, "Thank you, and I'm sure he deserved it." From that day, though he tried, my brother could NOT escape that little old grandmother lady. She sat with him in church for several years, and he never tried to pull anything else with her, knowing it was useless, and Mom got to sing in choir.


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  13. #33
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    Jun. 15, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pony Fixer View Post

    She told me she was tough tonight, and just wouldn't listen, and had a huge tantrum.


    But she's never been the laid back, follow every rule with no fuss type either; and now it's that PLUS some anger management issues.
    This behavior doesn't seem bad to you because you love your daughter and you get to see the best out of her the majority of the time. I am willing to bet that any negative behavior you see out of her is dramatically worse with other people. Additionally, the sitters don't get to see the best out of her to offset this behavior.

    I would not nanny a girl who at 6 pitched a fit and wouldn't follow rules without a fight. I expect that out of my two and three year olds but I need to be able to get from point A to point B without an explosion. I've only had one stubborn little one try to throw a fit more than once and he quickly learned that it wasn't effective. I've never had a child over three even attempt to be disobedient or throw a tantrum.

    Imagine being asked to watch someones "spirited" child and dealing with screaming, disobedience, sulking, etc. I am not saying that your daughter is this extreme but I have been in that situation (granted it was with a two year old and not a six year old). When the parents show up I am torn between being brutally honest and trying to gloss over the duration of the temper tantrums because I don't want a parent to think I am incompetent. In that situation I tried to be honest and the parent smiles and said that "he was just a little naughty some times" ..... "naughty" was the understatement of the century. Thankfully we only dealt with that nonsense once because the money wasn't good enough to deal with that on a weekly basis.

    Remember that your friends, and even teachers are not going to be 100% honest. Personally, I would hire a new nanny and tell her you are putting up hidden nanny cameras for the first week because you want to understand the sources of her tantrums. You might be surprised at the behavior that occurs when you are not around.


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  14. #34
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    I am sure I will get a million flaming hot thumbs down and replies for what everybody will view as my racist comment, but you are in Raleigh. You need to go talk to a minister at an African American church and ask for suggestions on a lady to help you. Trust me, nobody crosses African American grandmothers. My mother had one to help us from when I was born til I was ten. You didn't cross Miss Edith. All of my black friends had nothing but respect for their grandmothers.
    There has been nothing but upheaval in your child's little life, and that is not good. She needs rules and consistency to make her feel secure. A grandmother figure is good, one who brooks no nonsense is better. Look for Baptist or AME churches to speak to the minister.
    Okay, now flame away on how I have made a stereotypical racist comment, when it is meant as a compliment to the strength and talents and skills of an ethnic group, not as a slight. I simply feel like when it comes to respect and rules, African American women are better at getting results.
    From AliCat518 "Seriously, why would you NOT put fried chicken in your purse?!"


    9 members found this post helpful.

  15. #35
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    Oct. 1, 2004
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    Magnolia, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pony Fixer View Post
    She said she can pull some stunts/tantrums, but nothing any spirited kid wouldn't dish out. ... [SNIP]... She's not bad in the biting/spitting/hitting sense--just stomping and tantrums and anger when things don't go her way (which sometimes is a lot, sometimes not so much).
    What you're describing isn't spirit though; it's defiance. Tantrums are a kid's way of attempting to control the situation, and at 6, she's frankly too old to be trying on that tactic. It's not cute.

    If it's not too personal, where's dad in all this? Does he have visitation? Is he or a stepmom available to sit for you? Or is he pretty much uninvolved? If there's involvement, it could help to try to align the households, but that may not be any sort of factor in the situation if he's effectively MIA.

    When I married my husband, my SS was 4. DH has just taken over physical custody, and prior to that the kids lived primarily with DH's parents. Both of them were used to the "kid gloves" treatment... poor dears with absent mommy, etc. DH parented from guilt for a while, trying to be nice dad, not too harsh... SS was a nightmare. And DH was very defensive at having that pointed out, even though he was frustrated also. Your kid honestly sounds angelic compared to the tantrums SS pulled (on the ground screaming, hitting his head against the floor, hitting, kicking, biting), and he could turn it on or off with amazing precision. I almost wish I'd filmed some of it because it's pretty funny stuff in highsight. The counselor basically told DH to grow a pair and discipline SS... not the most well-received message. When we attached a concrete consequence to the tantrums and followed through every time as soon as he began the tantrum, they stopped. I won't lie; it was worse before it was better. And the lesson did not instantly translate to school, daycare, relatives, friend's parents, or visitation with BM. That took much longer to get a handle on. The point of sharing this is that, in spite of upheaval in a kid's life, some things can be absolutely constant (i.e., the parent who cares for me is paying attention and does exactly what they promised). Boundaries help establish foundation, trust, security... good things... even if they're difficult to set.
    Jer 29: 11-13


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  16. #36
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    I suspect the kid is feeling like her life is out of control. Throwing tantrums and pushing the babysitter around are probably her way of reasserting control.

    I'm wondering if she might benefit from a "Here's the Big Picture" talk. Kids may be ignorant and self-absorbed, but they aren't stupid.
    1) Mom and Dad aren't getting back together, so don't even go there.
    2) Mom's job pays for things like this house you live in, the pets you snuggle with, the school you attend, and your outings with friends. No job means we have to move to a less nice place, we may not get to take the pets when we move, you may have to switch schools, and you may not get to see your current friends very much.
    3) Mom can only keep her job if you have someone watching you after school. You may be having a really crappy year. However, your life can suck even more than it does right now. Keeping your sitter happy will make your life better.
    4) What kinds of rules do you think will make working here more fun for your sitter?


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  17. #37
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    Jun. 14, 2006
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    Rereading my previous post, it sounded way harsher than I intended. I'm sorry.

    I guess that I just feel so strongly about structure and a level of expectation that is not driven by guilt because we've struggled with it in our household and it's very frustrating when you're NOT the parent but are tasked with/even better, paid to be the person managing the kids for a good chunk of time.

    I really think that a professional dealing with family counseling would be your best next move because he/she can evaluate your daughter much better than WE can and have a better handle on where this is coming from and how to deal with it most effectively.

    Wish you the best!
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by rustbreeches View Post
    I am sure I will get a million flaming hot thumbs down and replies for what everybody will view as my racist comment, but you are in Raleigh. You need to go talk to a minister at an African American church and ask for suggestions on a lady to help you. Trust me, nobody crosses African American grandmothers. My mother had one to help us from when I was born til I was ten. You didn't cross Miss Edith. All of my black friends had nothing but respect for their grandmothers.
    There has been nothing but upheaval in your child's little life, and that is not good. She needs rules and consistency to make her feel secure. A grandmother figure is good, one who brooks no nonsense is better. Look for Baptist or AME churches to speak to the minister.
    Okay, now flame away on how I have made a stereotypical racist comment, when it is meant as a compliment to the strength and talents and skills of an ethnic group, not as a slight. I simply feel like when it comes to respect and rules, African American women are better at getting results.
    You are kidding. Please tell me you are kidding. If you're not, yes, that's a very bigoted, stereotypical comment. Shame on you.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


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  19. #39
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    She's also at the age where she understands death, but may be worried about what the consequences for her would be of you dying. You might want to have the discussion that Daddy or Aunt Sue would take her if something happened to you.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  20. #40
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    I second the idea to find a good solid grandmother. My husband's very loving but no-nonsense mom raised four kids and made her living in her senior years as a nanny and babysitter. I actually like the poster's suggestion to contact a local church and seek out grandmother-type sitters this way. This is how my MIL got a lot of her jobs.

    You might also check out a live-in nanny. Much younger girls, but the constancy might be helpful for your girl.

    Does your daughter have an IEP in school? Sometimes you can finagle having a full-on psycho-educational assessment done via the school system. I did this for our son, whom we adopted from foster care at age 10. He had a lot of issues and this process pinpointed some of what was underlying his behavior (executive function disorder), and we were able to provide much more specific guidance for him and deal with his behaviors better.

    You might check out "The Discipline Book" by William Sears. Great book with lots of info.



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