Family

Spoilt children

Dear Wendyl, I'm the proud grandmother of five gorgeous grandchildren and I always look forward to babysitting them and spending time with them - except for one. She's eight years old and a little terror.

Dear Wendyl,

I’m the proud grandmother of five gorgeous grandchildren and I always look forward to babysitting them and spending time with them – except for one.

She’s eight years old and a little terror. Her parents have spoiled her from the moment she was born (she’s their only child), she has never been told “no” and she gets everything she wants. When I have her to stay, I find her exhausting and now she’s older, she has started answering me back and being a rude little so-and-so.

But I have to have her over, or else it will look like I favour the other grandchildren. Have you got any solutions?

Tired Nana, Tauranga

Dear Tired Nana,

What a shame you didn’t get on to this a little earlier, but you may still be able to fix it. The thing about being a grandparent is that you’re allowed to have your own rules for your house. With the other kids, the rules they have at home are obviously similar to the ones you have, so there isn’t a problem.

With this little girl though, the rules may be poles apart. Next time you have her over, sit her down and explain that there are different rules for your house and for her parents’, but in your home these are the rules that work.

Go through them with her, then ask her to follow them and operate a positive reinforcement program. When she does something right, give her a treat to show her it’s a good idea to listen to Nana. When she breaks the rules, ignore her, use timeout or whatever system you like best. Eventually, she will realise that at Nana’s house, this is the way it works best.

Send your questions to [email protected] or write to Agony Aunt, NZWW, Po Box 90119, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142

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