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My niece is nasty - what can I do to help?

(5 Posts)
completelyshotpelvicfloor Tue 15-Sep-09 15:29:23

Some advice please! I look after my 5 yo niece from time to time and have noticed some odd behaviour for about a year now and I'm not sure what to do about it - if anything. Please help!

She:

tells lies about some really pointless things (oh, that's nothing, I have ten barbies...)

refuses to stay hello or goodbye to adults - even her grandad

patronises other children (don't cry about that, it is a baby thing to do - all in a sickening grown up voice that enrages the other children)

refuses to play with children her own age if they challenge her ideas or make other suggestions (or comes inside on some pretext before going out to play again) - she has to be the leader always

refuses to make eye contact if she thinks she is to be told off, mumbles, stays silent and hopes that it will pass OR changes the subject saying "do you think that I'm beautiful"

"tells tales" to adults about other children even when there is nothing/little that has actually happened (x hit me and was mean to me - actually x asked her to stop hitting him!)

Now that I have written them down they seem small and petty and (please tell me) entirely normal for children of this age but I would appreciate your views on what I could do to help her - I'm worried that she won't have any friends left!

randomtask Tue 15-Sep-09 15:38:10

What do her parents think about her behaviour?

The reason I say this is my niece has a 'best friend' like that who started bullying her. She's now disliked by other children in the class (the bully) as she behaves like your niece and they get annoyed with her. Her mother has only just been told and refuses to believe it. TBH, I've noticed this girls behaviour since she was a toddler (at parties etc) but I know her mother used to be like that plus bosses her DH around.

If I was you, I'd do gentle Aunty telling off (now X, you know that's not true, that's not a nice thing to say X, etc) but unfortunately it's down to her parents to 'tell her off', you can just do little bits.

Hope that helps!

Supercherry Tue 15-Sep-09 16:04:16

I don't think she sounds abnormal and I don't think it's very nice of you to call her 'nasty'. None of the behaviour you have mentioned is nasty IMO.

Oblomov Tue 15-Sep-09 16:43:47

I don't think its nasty either. And I should know because I have a similar thread running at the mo, re nasty.
It all sounds petty and silly, rather then nasty. All the boys in ds's class tell tales on eachother about really petty things and I hate that, but I don't think it is nasty.

But if mum thinks she is an apple of her eye and can't see it, then you have a problem. She is is denial. And the basics have to come from home. Thus, there is only so much you can do.

But that doesn't mean you can't do HER a favour, by asking mum if you can look after her for a whole day, often. and trying to drum some decency into her.
Don't know what else to suggest.

completelyshotpelvicfloor Tue 15-Sep-09 20:07:29

Sorry all, should have made it clear that "nasty" is what two of her friends have called her - not my opinion - she is my niece after all!

Sounds like it is fairly normal behaviour for a 5yo from what you are saying. I have no problems when she is just with me but when I watch her in a group of friends it all seems to kick off.

I have only gently mentioned what I have seen with other kids to my sis but she does not seem concerned. The issue of not talking much to adults and being (IMO) rude by not saying hello or goodbye has been picked up on by her and has been made a big issue of ("you must say hello to grandad or else you cannot..." etc). That just makes niece retreat more and become stubborn and sullen so clearly not the right way forward for her.

I tend to do the jolly auntie thing and diffuse the situation with a diversion but I am not sure if I am doing the right thing by her.

Any way, you've put my mind at rest - guess it is a long time since I was five!

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