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Hi! So I am kinda new to GD and my LO is tiny and in new need of any discipline of any kind. This summer I am going to be taking care of a unruly 6 year old boy. This child is sooooo difficult! I had him last week for Easter break and I just don't know what to do to get through to him. The real problem is that his parents don't stick to any kind of discipline plan. They are all over the place.... It makes it so hard for me to come in and watch him for 5 hours a day and expect him to listen to me.

Last week when I asked him nicely to stop eating dog food he just continued to do so. When I removed it from him, he went after it. Climbing all over to get it even though I said "NO, Please don't do this." When he was hitting the dog with a baseball bat and still would not listen to me. I asked him to go spend some time in his room and think about what he was doing. He refused to go to his room and when I tried to talk it out with him, he covered his ears and screamed "la la la, i'm not listening." URGGGHHHH how do you deal with that? (Especially since he's not my kid...)

Any advice would be welcome! Thanks
 

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Honestly, I probably wouldn't watch him, particularly if you have a new baby and he's done something as violent as hit an animal with a baseball bat. I wouldn't consider it safe to have him around the baby. But if I did watch him, I'd have stuff like baseball bats put somewhere he can't get to them.
 

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Sorry but a kid who beats animals with a baseball bat is severely disturbed and no amount of money in the world would motivate me to let him in my home near my pets and my children.

This kid needs therapy, and I would definitely tell the parents to make other childcare arrangements.
 

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Wow, that's tough. I somewhat agree with the opther two posts. It would be really hard for me to watch him also. Io think for the safety of you and your child you need to talk with his parents and tell them there needs to be a significant change is behavior before you agree to be his care provider. Maybe for his sake it will be a wake up call to his parents.
Hope you can get it figured out. Good luck.
*jo
 

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Umm, I think that people are jumping to major conclusion about the child being "disturbed" I think I would need way more information on "how" he was hitting the dog with the bat, before I would freak out about it like that.

I think that you need to be FIRM, you can be firm and gentle. Take the bat from him, don't ask him if you can have it. If you want him to go to his room and he refuses, take him by the hand and lead him to his room. If you tell him, "you need time to cool off. I think you should go hang out in your room for a while" and then he says no and you don't do anything else, well he's never going to listen! I think its okay to be more firm.

Remove the dog from the are the kid is in, or the kid from the dog which ever is easier.

Talk to his parents about what they want to do in terms of discipline, are they interested in time outs/time ins? etc. Come up with a plan together and stick to it. Are you going to give stickers for good behavior? Are you going to do natural/logical consequences (seems like you can't handle having a bat, the bat goes away etc)?
 

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I'm hoping the baseball bat was a plastic one!

Kid can adapt to different 'rules' and systems at different places. Our dd is in daycare 3x a week and the daycare is quite GD. I know that not all the families there are (though most are), and the kids do just fine. In fact, the ones with more 'spotty' parenting do better because they know what to expect.

You are going to have to "parent" him as if you expect him to follow your rules. Yes, it will be an adjustment, but keep telling him that you know he can learn the rules at your house because you know he can learn things.

If I were watching this child over the summer I would:
1. Sit down with him on the first day and make up some basic rules together. Make it clear that the rules apply to EVERYONE, kids and grown up alike. So, simple things like "use gentle hands" "use kind words" and whatever else you can think of with him. He's got to contribute to this or he won't buy into it. Then POST your list somewhere where you both can see it.

2. Set up a space where you can keep the dog and the dog food safe.

3. Remove toys that are not being used properly (e.g., the baseball bat would take an immediate and permanent trip OUTSIDE at our house).

4. If you haven't read "How to Talk So Your Children Will Listen.." do so ASAP. So very often our "talking with" kids is really "talking at" kids. At 6, he's old enough to get the message in a few short phrases. Kids, Parents & Power Struggles is another good one, and I might throw in Kid Cooperation.

5. Find a way to 'honor the impulse' as much as possible. Part of this is phrasing things positively. So, instead of "don't eat the dog food" I would say "That food is for the dog. Do you want to play dog? Then let me get you a bowl of crackers and put it over here." For the baseball bat it's "Stop! Put the bat down. We use that outside for baseballs." And then take it away. And if he stops, take him outside to hit a few baseballs.

6. Set up a routine or 'schedule'. It doesn't have to be down to the minute, but he should know what order to expect things in. A structure helps kids find their comfort zone faster.

7. Make sure he gets LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of large motor, outdoor time. You need to spend 2 hours outside/at the park/running around every day. Most 6 year olds have far more energy than they know what to do with. Keeping them moving and outside will minimize a lot of problems.
 

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DO NOT provide childcare for this child! I'm speaking from LOTS of experience!

I ran an in home daycare after my second was born, and I do it again now, but I am MUCH more selective about the children I keep.

I was at my wits end with one child I used to keep. His mom warned me in the beginning that he had behavior issues (he was 3 and had been kicked out of daycare for it). I assumed our home would be perfect for him because I was SO patient and gentle with the kids. I thought loving AP/GD care could solve all problems with little ones....

It was a nightmare! ***I*** ended up crying regularly and asking every ap person I knew how you are supposed to be ap with a child whose family isnt. This poor child would kick and scream and hit me and the other kids constantly. his mother yelled at him a LOT so he didnt respond to that, much less the gentle respectful way i speak to children. He would just laugh at me. (or scream louder and kick more!)

The last time he was here was november 07, and I am STILL trying to repair the damage that was done to my kids just from being exposed to it. Plus it seriously affected the way i respond to such actions as well.

There are a couple other children (only one that i still provide occasional child care for and only because the mother is a good friend of mine and my next door neighbor) who were not a nightmare. They are all really well behaved most of the time.... But when they did/do act up, they are completely out of control (again no ap methods work because they are used to being yelled at and threatened and spanked). and again my children pick up LOTS of behaviors from them. and now im dealing with my own kids acting this way and not responding to GD!

sorry i kind of got off on my own rant. just dont do it. I'm telling you, you will regret it!
 

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The old serenity prayer comes to mind:

grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.


You can't change his response, or force him to do something, but you can change your response time and actions.

For this child, I wouldn't ask and wait for compliance. You hit the nail on the head here:

Quote:
his parents don't stick to any kind of discipline plan. They are all over the place.... It makes it so hard for me to come in and watch him for 5 hours a day and expect him to listen to me.
He doesn't trust you or your words. To him, they are merely suggestions. His experience has been that the grown up probably won't follow through anyway, so why stop having fun? Or if they do, it's just more of a challenge! He's still in control and will let you know!

I think right now focus on making your actions swift and decisive. Don't ask - do. Don't ask him to stop eating the dog food, remove it, tell him it's not healthy, and put it where he can't get it. Don't ask him to stop hitting the dog. Get between them, get the dog to safety, and remove the bat. A simple, "That is dangerous!" is enough.

As he starts to trust that you will, in fact, respond immediately when he does something, then it's easier to ask for compliance - That's dangerous, you need to stop - BEFORE going over and stopping it if he doesn't.

I wouldn't worry about any talking it out or reasoning with him right now. Just act. He's feeling out your boundaries and what you're like - if you're like the other adults in his life or not. If you surprise him, expect it to take some time to sink in and more 'experimenting' with situations for a while.
 
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