Out of control grandchild
My 31/2 granddaughter is out of control. At least it seems that way to me - on the outside looking in and I know things are always different that way.
GD is an only child, a true miracle baby. Because of health issues , my daughter tried for many years (and had a miscarriage) before this baby was born. There probably will not be a sibling. Daughter has said that since this will probably be the only one, they intend to spoil her as much at they want to.
Her parents believe in a child raising technique called Gentle Disciple. I won't go into the details, but it doesn't seem to be working. It seems more like no disciple. While I am trying to follow their rules and example,it seems like there should be at least some disciple.
Let me give you some examples:
1) If GD doesn't immediately get her own way, she throws a tantrum and screams. Yes, I know that part is normal. But it is over the smallest things. She asks for milk, I give her milk, she immediately dumps the cup and says she really wanted juice and then screams. My rule would be have GD help clean up the mess and then give water. Mom's rule says I clean up the mess, and say "Oh you really want juice. OK" and give her the juice. Follow the rule - here's the fresh cup of juice -- and it is thrown across the table. And then she screams about wanting a different juice.
2)We go out to dinner, parents, gd, grandparents. GD is asked what she wants for dinner. She says chicken nuggets. They reply that it is not on the menu. She goes into a rage and slugs dear dad in the nose -- hard enough to redden it and knock his glasses crooked. He takes her hand away and says he is sorry there are no chicken nuggets. No word about the hitting.
3) Still at dinner. They have ordered her a full entree of chicken strips. She takes the chicken and throws it at grandpa. (Every meal we have ever had with them, she throws food at grandpa). They do not remove her plate, do not admonish not to throw food. They say, "Oh she is just too young to understand not to throw food."
4) I have taken her out to supper at the mall. We have had dinner and ridden the carousel. It is time to go and we are walking through the parking lot to the car. I am holding her hand for safety. She doesn't want her hand held. If I let go, she will run -- and I certainly cannot keep up. So I hold on. She then begins screaming and literally falls to the pavement-- in the middle of the road. My other hand is full with my purse, her new toys, and the remainder of her dinner. I cannot pick her up with one hand! I tried. She is too heavy. I cannot walk to the side and deposit my stuff because a car will not see her in the dusky twilight. I drop my purse in the road to pick her up, but now cannot get my purse and things picked back up. The car is too far to leave my purse and come back for it. So basically I just stood over her, until she decided to get up. Luckily I didn't have to deal with a car. She pulled this trick twice. I asked my daughter what I should have done, how I could handle this better. She said I should not have allowed gd to fall to the pavement and should have been carrying her.
5)I am babysitting. I am sitting on the chair, looking away from where gd is playing. Unknown to me, GD starts playing in the dirty cat litter. She takes two big handfuls and comes over and dumps in over my head. I am mad and send her to her room while I calm down. Mom's reaction later "Remember sweetie, we don't play in the cat litter."
6)She routinely hits, kicks, and chokes other children. Mom ask's "Did little Billy take your toy and upset you? Little Billy, you should play nicely".
7) She automatically does the exact opposite of any request from her parents. They never tell her what to do. they only make requests. "Would you like to go to bed?" "NO" This too seems fairly normal on the surface as I type it, but with this little girl it is different somehow, in a way that I can't explain.
8) She has been taught that she does not need to take direction from me.
9) GD will not allow anyone to touch her hair, so her hair goes uncombed day after day after day. Until it is such a tangle that they must both hold her down so one can brush her hair. It goes uncombed after a bath and it is fairly long.
10)I enrolled her in a cheerleading class for 3 year olds. She would not sit with the other girls. She would not take direction from the teacher. The rule was that parents were not to stay in the room during the class, there were pleney of helpers and the girls generally did better without the parents watching, but after the second week I was told I needed to stay and watch her. she would deliberately run full speed at a child with her arms stretched open wide, and only veer away at the last second. If she "accidently" hit someone, she said it was the other girls fault for not moving. I always had to remove her from the 25 minute class after 10 minutes. One day I asked her if she liked the class. She said "NO". I asked why? "Because that tall lady (the teacher) tried to tell me what to do". There was only 1 class left, so we finished but I have not enrolled her in any more classes.
These are just a few examples. I know this is long, but I am worried about this child. I am hesitant to take her anywhere for safety reasons. Then my daughter complains that I don't want to be with gd. That is so far from the truth that it breaks my heart. How can I keep her safe if I can't exert a reasonable amount of control?
I cannot say anything to the parents. I tried once and the response was that I was being overly critical and unreasonable. Is my thinking so out of touch that I am the one with blinders on? Is this how today's children behave? If so, then I must change my own attitude, because I am the only one I have power to change.