posted 14th Jul '12
I live with a very good friend of mine, who's kids I also babysit. I've known her for over a year and have lived with her for six months. We'll call her Kate. Now I love her and her kids to death but I don't like the way her kids behave. They are 4 1//2 and 2 years old and are spoiled, have no respect, don't listen, talk back (even the 2 year old!) and are not disciplined whatsoever! Not all of the time of course, but often. Here are some examples of their behavior.
The 4 1/2 year old has Little Pet shop toys. She gets them as prizes nearly every week for being good, thats it. Even just for being good for one day and she gets a $20 prize when her parents go into town. Every time her parents go into town or she goes with them she expects a prize, and she will cry until she gets one. Often her mother will say, if you stop crying I will get you a prize. And that calms her down of course! The 2 year old doesn't get nearly as many prizes as the 4 year old does, but she is starting to get more now that she is older. The 4 year old has a bag that she keeps her toys in and insists they go EVERYWHERE with her, in the car, outside, the bath, everywhere. And she makes either her mom, dad or I carry them around from place to place for her because "they are too heavy for me to carry." She sometimes carries them, but not often. She never puts these toys down, she is always playing with them, can't even go outside and be a kid and jump on trampoline, swim etc, because she wants her toys to come so she can play with them. Now she has a great imagination from playing all the time which is great! If she drops a toy, she will start crying and crying and saying uh oh my toy fell get it! I could be all the way across the room, busy cooking or something and the toy could be right under her foot and she will say she can't get it and just cry and scream until someone does. She has literally cried for several minutes until someone has gotten the toy for her when she could have done it already by herself. She has always relied on someone doing stuff for her and crying to get her way and so thats what she expects. If myself or her dad says no to something, such as an extra cookie or snack before bed she will run crying to her mom and her mom will instantly say, okay one more, and yet again she gets her way. The youngest is beginning to do this as well because she sees her sister doing it and getting what she wants.
These kids, as I mentioned have no discipline. All their mom does is give empty threats. If the kids aren't listening she will threaten to take a new prize away or put them in time-out but she never does. I believe the oldest has ever only been in one real time-out before. They don't listen to the word No at all. If they ask for something and you say no, they immediately errupt into crying and screaming and if you don't give them what they want, they scream louder, an annoying high pitch whine.
I have been wanting to tell the mom for a long time now that the way they act needs to change but I don't know how. We are such good friends and I don't want to hurt her feelings, even though I know she knows their behavior needs to change, she tries sometimes to get them to listen and tell them they need to but then she abandons trying to discipline them after a while. I have been in the childcare business for over five years and have never seen kids as spoiled and undisciplined as these kids are, and I've seen badly behaved kids before. I've also seen very well behaved kids so I know how kids should act and I know the proper ways of discipline as I'm studyiing Early Childhood Education and work part-time at a daycare. I want to help Kate out so she doesn't have even more work when these kids are 13 and 16 and demanding new cars, cell phones and other things and expecting things such as good grades without working for them. Kate is also thinking about having another baby and I want her to get these kids well behaved before she does so that she doesn't end up with three kids like these two!
If anyone has any ideas or ways to help please let me know! I really don't know how to tell her that I will help her get their behavior under control. And thanks for reading this long vent! If I have anything else to add I will.