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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am at the end of my rope with one child.

I have had her in my daycare since she was three. I love her dearly, but she is......UGHHHHHHHH!!!

O.K, remember the girl in school that could bully all the other girls without lifting a finger? The girl you look back on and secretly hope is a miserable hermit? But, then she shows up at the high school reunion and she is still as charming as ever?

The queen bee.

O.k, so help me with this.... Here are some of the issues, and it isn't always easy to prove that she is doing this stuff, because she is sneaky. And smart.

1. She tells the other day care kids. "Hey, Riley, I think I found a worm in this hole". When the Riley gets off her bike (Riley is 2) to see the worm, Queen bee (who is six) gets on the bike, and then tells Riley "Well, you got off, now it's my turn"

2. One of our rules are "NO LOCKING THE BATHROOM DOOR". The lock needs to stay on the bathroom door, because it's the family bathroom. Well, Queen bee locks the door, then walks out..when the little kids go in the bathroom, it locks. (because she has already locked it) and they are too little to unlock it. I could get a new lock, but I don't want to spend more money so a second grader doesn't have to respect that rule.

3. At the water park, she goes to one slide with her sister, then when her sister thinks they are going down together, queen bee takes off to another slide. This hurts her sister's feelings. I can understand picking on your sister...but I don't like that she spends all her waking hours insulting and hurting her feelings.

4. Today, she stacked three chairs together (so we could clean up the playdough) then pushed them over on her sister.

5. Yesterday, I left the room at the end of lunch. Queen bee took her sisters cookie and stuffed it in her mouth...When the sister cried, Queen bee took it (all slimey) out of her mouth and gave it back. Then LIED about it to me. She is a fantastic liar! It's almost impressive. Some days, I wish I was a talent agent.

Anyway....I am getting to the point where I do not trust her even when I am next to her. Everything is a plot to hurt someone.

HELP ME with ideas that #1. Do not make her feel bad about herself. but, I would like her to feel bad about what she does.

School starts in two weeks. NOBODY will invite her over more than once. Moms don't like her because of the way she treats their kids. She hasn't been invited to a birthday party in a year.

Her own Mom admits to being the same way. So, she has no sympathy for what we are going through.
 

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Oh my - what a challenge! Maybe she'll grow up to be a politician or a journalist?


I think it's a matter of keeping one step ahead - for all the effort that requires and the attention that it steals from the other children, it might be safest!

I would need to ponder a bit longer to come up with any clever strategies but here's what comes to mind upon first reading:

1. I have a six year old and a just-turned-three year old. The dynamics can be tricky and I tend to only interfere when the younger child genuinely feels slighted. Choose your battles, y'know? But I do think a six year old is capable of remembering how it felt to be younger and less powerful so I sometimes attempt a heart to heart, "Do you remember when...? How did you feel?" Stories where wrongs are righted can help model behavior too. Finally, I try to arrange a playdate or social event where the dominant child might be dominated by another, older or stronger child. The peer learning this provides can take you back to the "remember when..." discussions and keep the fires of empathy burning.

2. Disable the lock. Plug the hole in the door jam or just keep whatever tool is required for a quick fix at the ready. (Our bathroom door sometimes does this and a skewer poked in the hole solves the problem immediately. The fun of this one will wear off.

3. Lavish the sister with compliments and attention. Ignore the bully. Until she experiences this from her sisters POV she may not ever alter this behaviour. Some kids take great pleasure in tormenting their sibs.

4. Maybe keeping a journal of good things she does will help her to see the beauty in harmony?

5.I think, like the waterslide event, I would lavish the victim in attention and even score her a bigger, better cookie after that one!
:

If her mother is the same then the conflicting models will surely cause some difficulty for her. Sounds like a really tough situation that will take some vigilance and persistence to neutralize. I think promoting self-awareness and rewarding caring, thoughtful behaviour is a definite start.

I also wonder if this is self-esteem related - ie, I have to make you feel bad to make myself feel better?
 

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Can you harness her negative energy and use it for good? I don't know the ages of the children you are caring for, but if she is older, maybe she is bored. Maybe not since she seems to do this at school with same age peers though.

Anyway, can you talk to her about being your helper, and give her some special responsibilties? Maybe she could help make lunches, or lead an art activity with the younger kids. Even something as small as letting her blow bubbles for the younger ones to pop. If she can read, she could read a story for the other kids during story time, or turn on some music and teach them a new dance step.

If she is bullying she must feel pretty crappy about her self, so by giving her a chance to shine, maybe she will feel some value. If she mom admits to bullying as well, I can imagine it makes for a hard homelife.

The situations sound incredibly frustrating and I can imagine it makes for a very hard day. Good luck in finding a solution!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by AbigailsMomSarah
Anyway, can you talk to her about being your helper, and give her some special responsibilties?
I want to second this idea. My own DD (6yo) tought me that


When the neighbour girl (3yo) comes to play, my DD "assumes" the role of the teacher. I don't know exactly why - may because I have "teachers" tendencies, maybe because she is the youngest, but anyhow...

She "teaches" the younger girl how to put toys away, how to put her shoes on, how to many other things.

Once I left them in a bath together and was "eve's dropping" on them
DD went through a complete bathing routine, including teeth brushing using very patient explanations and "show-and-tell" (I knew it when I heard "amb dit it hov ve bwush our teet" - DD was actually brushing her own teeth and explaining at the same time with a mouthfull of toothpaste
)

This way she still gets to be a "Queen Bee". Just a "nice" Queen Bee.

I also agree that her mother not being on the same page can be tough.... Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2Sweeties1Angel
Is anyone else picturing this child as Angelica from the Rugrats?
When she was little, that is exactly who she reminded me of.

But now that she is older, she is reminding me more of the mean girls in the movie well... mean girls. It kind of worries me.

At the same time, I am impressed by her tenacity, and the intellegent way that she manipulates the other kids.

Giving the victim extra attention only makes it worse. She will wait until her sister's guard is down and then do something mean, but fairly harmless. Mostly, it involves hurting her feelings.

The other problem I forgot to mention is:

We have one very important day care rule. And that is "No means NO, and Stop means Stop". She TOTALLY understands this, but will never stop doing something to the child who is begging her to "stop' or saying "NO". I always have to intervene. It is sometimes harmless, like knocking their building down, or more invasive, like pulling them by the arm so she can be alone in the playhouse.

TODAY she walked in looking SO dang cute in her older brothers old baggy shorts and a muscle shirt. How can someone so adorable make me so mad????
 

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Wow...her mother doesn't see this as a problem? Scary!

I have some suggestions...I totally agree with the idea of putting her to work. One assignment you might try is to put her in charge of releasing children from the locked bathroom. Is it one of those "poke the pin" release mechanisms? Interrupt whatever she's doing when this happens and put her to work rescuing the lockins at the bathroom. Teach her how to do it and make it her job. My guess is she'll get tired of that game more quickly if she's forced to drop more interesting activities to fuss with the bathroom lock. Don't tell her it's because you suspect she's tampering with the lock to begin with. BELIEVE me that will backfire. Don't present it as a punishment or consequence, but a responsibility. Everybody has responsibilities, and this is one she can take on. No anger, no irritation, you need the cheerful, matter-of-fact, you "value her assistance" attitude of "we all need to pitch in and help now and then". If she asks "why me?", tell her it's because you know she's clever enough or some such to handle the task.

And the double-cross stuff such as the trick to claim the bicycle? Pull her off the bicycle with a kind of, "Riley can't find the worm, m'ija! You need to come help him find it." When the worm fails to materialize, it's a "That's too bad. Riley will go back to playing on the bicycle. Thank you for your help, m'ija."

The problem you have is that the girl is probably lying, but confronting her head on about that usually isn't productive with clever sneakiness. She'll deny it to you, she'll even largely convince herself with her Academy Award winning performance denying it to you. And then she'll pretend she's the victim, and you "just don't like her" or some such.

btw, I've seen some girls like this who do get worse instead of better to get back the attention showered on her victims. Let's face it, particular children (and people!) are sometimes very perverse and difficult to figure out.
 

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You've got a BULLY! She's a female bully, so she's not beating up on anyone, but she fits the definition to a T -- the thing is the contempt for other people.

The Barbara Colorosso book -- The Bully, The Bullied and The Bystander (or The Bullied, The Bully and the Bystandander?) might be really good. Unfortunately, the kinds of interventions there do require parental involvement to a large extent.

the fact that her mother is like this and doesn't see a problem is telling -- and doesn't give me much hope that this will change. Something I've read recently (Playful Parenting?) makes a point of saying that sibling rivalry and bullying are often worse when the child's relationship with the parents is suffering -- they're suffering, so they're taking it out on the smaller and weaker ones.

I LOVE LindaCl's advice about the bike and the bathroom. Can you put tape on the catch of the door (so the side, not the lock) so it doesn't catch, and thus doesn't lock? Does you family REALLY need a locking bathroom door? My kids get majorly confused whenever anyone CLOSES the door, let alone locks it!

Maybe some of the techniques in Siblings without Rivalry might help too?

Frankly, a lot of the things I'd be tempted to do aren't much more GD than throttling -- sticker charts for good behavior, time outs, tying her to the chair with a gag in her mouth....
 

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I can sympathize -- I welcome a lot of children into my home and babysit with pleasure at the drop of a hat. But there is a child in my life like the little girl you describe, and I don't know whether I feel more frustrated with *her* or with *myself* for the simple fact that I can't bring myself to LIKE her. And it all stems from exactly the sort of scenerios you describe. It is as though her over-riding mission is to find a way to hurt someone, and its very hard for me to wrap my mind around this idea.

I would not play games when it comes to the manipulation tactics. I'm thinking of the bike incident in particular. Look her in the eye and tell her straight, "I know what you just did. It wasn't kind and it wasn't fair." When it comes to half-truths, she is trying to convince herself as much as anyone else. Don't let it work.

I would probably put her to work as well, but I'd be very very cautious about giving her any sort of power over the other children.

One thing you might consider implimenting is some sort of "values" education. I know this is corny, but somehow I can imagine it making an impression. You could have a "theme" each week, and plan activities that emphasize that theme. Eg. -- kindness, honesty, sharing, compassion, etc. Tailor these concepts to what you believe this little girl needs to work on. Then record specific incidents throughout the week when each child behaves in a way that demonstrates the "value" that you are emphasizing. Make a big fuss about it. Praise, et. Again -- I KNOW it sounds corny, but it might provide a way of getting through to her on some level without singling her out.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mamaduck
I would not play games when it comes to the manipulation tactics. I'm thinking of the bike incident in particular.
I don't consider this a "game", I consider this a "follow-through". If I were to invite a child (or anyone for that matter) to come look at a worm, and they couldn't find the worm, I would help them find it. That's what we do when we're thoughtful and helpful. We don't say, "Tough luck, that", and snag the chair they were previously sitting in.

It's just another way of communicating values and how we behave to one another, as I see it.
 
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