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ellieka
ellieka asks:
Q:

How do I discipline a friend's 6 yr old in my home as her mom lets her run wild in her home? My daughter, 6, loves this friend.

we live in Costa Rica and have a neighbours little girl come down for 2 months a year at summer we live next door to them and this little girl is mean to all my 6yr old girls friends. she is obsessed with my daughter,steals her things out of my house and is mean to everyone around my daughter. my girl doesn't know how to treat the situation as just goes with her being mean to her friends. her mother is not concerned with the situation as she only sees her girl 2 months a year here. please give advise
In Topics: Motherhood
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Candace_Lindemann
Jun 18, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Sounds like you and your little girl are very compassionate.

And from your question, I would venture to guess that the neighbor's girl has a difficult situation that may be affecting her self-esteem and her social skills.

Your first priority is to your family and your little girl. Explain to your child that sometimes people who are unhappy make choices that are not very good. Tell her that you know she cares for her friend. Then explain that it is also your job as a mother to protect your child.  Tell her that you will try to help her continue to play with her friend but that you are the mom and if the friend continues to take things or otherwise refuse to follow the rules at your house, then you will have to say no.

Make sure that when your daughter plays with the other child that you are there to supervise, especially the next few times.

Explain the rules of your household (speak nicely to others, do not take things that aren't yours, etc.) and say that if anyone violates these rules then the playdate is over for that day.  This way you are not necessarily singling out the other child and saying she is "bad"--you are just clarifying your rules.

You may eventually have to say "no" to this relationship if you feel it is not in your daughter's best interest for the children to continue playing together.

Finally, it is definitely not your responsibility to "fix" things for this other little girl.  However, if you have the time and energy, you have an opportunity to be a positive adult influence.  If you want to, look for opportunities when she might want to spend time with you. Check-out the resource below about ways to communicate with children.  Avoid accusations and try asking questions about her say.  She may open up.  Take care not to overstep your bounds by offering a lot of advice or being critical but there is no harm in listening to the child.

I would not be surprised if she gravitates to your child and household because she craves time with a loving family with clear and consistent structure.

---
Candace Lindemann, Ed.M. - JustAsk Expert
Educational Consultant and Writer
http://CandaceLindemann.com
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Loddie1
Jun 13, 2009
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Best Answer!

what's this?
from a fellow member
If she only sees her mother very little, then her training has gone lacking. This is an opportunity for you to show her how to respect others property. Since she is six, you can try setting up a play area out side that is safe. Also, you can set up a room or play room and just let the girls play in that one room. You may try reading books about respect to the little girl. But laying down clear rules in your house is the main thing here. You want to stress to the child that she must follow your rules or she has to play outside (in that area they can play in). And just be consistent about it. Your child should be told that the little girl is learning respect and she has to help her out by following the rules. You can even make a chart stating specific rules eg. "No running in the house", "No going into (your daughter's room) without permission", "No eating candy on the couch"....

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Additional Answers (2)

ronald
ronald writes:
Ellieka,

This may be too blunt, but I think it is time for your daughter  to find a new friend.

Ron
> 60 days ago

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LouiseSattler
LouiseSattler , Child Professional writes:
This is a difficult situation because the child lives next door.  However, your responsibilities are to YOUR child and the peace in your household.  I agree with previous responders in that you will need to set clear rules for when this child is in your house.

Posting the rules on the fridge and showing them to ALL the visiting children may be helpful.  For example, you can write a poster with rules such as IN OUR HOME WE ARE 1- Respectful to others 2- Don't talk mean  3- Share  4- Use polite words like please and thank you.     Then have each of the visitors sign the rules as if they were signing a contract.  If rules are broken they then have a visual reminder that they had agreed to obey house rules.  You can also have on the poster what will happen if rules are broken (e.g.a reminder, time out, call to parent, sent home, etc.)

Your daughter needs to live with her other friends and the continuation of positive influences in her life should be a priority.  


Good luck!
> 60 days ago

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