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    just joy's Avatar
    just joy Posts: 7, Reputation: 2
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    #1

    Jul 24, 2007, 01:14 PM
    My 8 year old is hitting her older sister and younger brother
    Please help me, I am at my wits end with my 8 year old daughter. She had been hitting my 11 year old daughter. My oldest is watching the kids after school and this summer and the hitting has escalated and now she is hitting the 5 year old son. I have tried to reason with her, time out, grounding and even spanking and smacking her back. I am hoping someone else has an idea... :p
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,299, Reputation: 5645
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    #2

    Jul 24, 2007, 01:19 PM
    You mean to say that an 11 year old is watching an 8 year old and a 5 year old alone after school?

    Bad, bad, In my opinion. The 11 year old, while maybe mature, does not deserve that much responsibility.

    What reason does she give you when you ask her why she hits?
    just joy's Avatar
    just joy Posts: 7, Reputation: 2
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    #3

    Jul 24, 2007, 01:25 PM
    I know that it is a lot of responsibility but she has gone through the babysitting course and she is paid for it. I was wathcing kids all summer long way before I was 12. They are usually responsible kids and they do get along most of the time. This hitting thing is new to me and I want it to stop.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,299, Reputation: 5645
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    #5

    Jul 24, 2007, 01:30 PM
    Oh, she's been through the course (so has my daughter she is 13, LOL)

    K, so I change my position only slightly as she still needs time to be a kid herself. Everyday sounds a little too much to me, but I am protective.

    What reasoning does your 8 year old give when you ask her why she does this?
    alkalineangel's Avatar
    alkalineangel Posts: 2,391, Reputation: 323
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    #6

    Jul 24, 2007, 01:37 PM
    While I believe that an 11 year old is a bit too young (I honestly thought the legal age was 14 if other children are in their care), you need to inform your 8 year old that while you are out of the house, the 11 year old is their superior and they are to listen to them as they would listen to you or suffer the consequences. The 8 year old probably is having trouble seeing his/her sibling as his superior, and is acting out through hitting. They have always been an equal in the power department. While it may cause deeper rifts initially, in the long run, the punishments (declared by you of course) will prevail, and they will end the hitting.
    just joy's Avatar
    just joy Posts: 7, Reputation: 2
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    #7

    Jul 24, 2007, 01:54 PM
    She doesn't really say anything. She knows when she is wrong because she tells me. Yes I agree that she is struggling with the oldest being in charge but this has just started and back to the supervision just so you all don't think I am crazy or a bad mom I have enough people telling me that. After school they are only alone for 1 hour, I pick them up after school and stay with them for an hour and start homework and my husband is home within the next hour/summer. I leave for work at 8am and come home on lunch and fix them lunch I am home for an hour and then my husband is home 3 hours later. She does get to be a kid, I let her go swimming, movies, dances,etc with her friends especially on my days off or on the weekends/I think the middle one sees that too and is angry that the oldest gets to do more stuff but hey she earned it and thats' what I tell the middle one. But was just looking for some other ideas. School starts in 3 weeks so things will hopefully settle down after that and I will be off one of those weeks and my husband and I split our vacations so we were each home a week with the kids each month to give her a break.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,929, Reputation: 5430
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    #8

    Jul 24, 2007, 01:57 PM
    One thing stood out when I read your question -- you are hitting your 8 y/o daughter after she hits her siblings. That doesn't stop her. She continues to hit (and you continue to spank her?). Why am I having trouble with this picture?

    Are there plenty of things for your children to do while you aren't there? Quiet activities geared for each child's age? Chores appropriate for each child's age and ability? TV shows chosen by you? You have the major responsibility to keep each child busy, even when you aren't at home. Even though your older daughter has had babysitter classes, she is still very young and inexperienced. You can't depend on her to run the show totally while you are gone. The child who hits needs more stuff to do to keep her amused, self-directed, and less frustrated so she doesn't lash out at her sibs.

    Your local public library has tons of activity books in the children's department and perhaps on a parent-teacher shelf. Children's magazines such as Highlights for Children, Boys Life, Ladybug, Cricket, etc. have terrific stories and puzzles that the 11 y/o can use as resources. Ask the children's reference department for help. In fact, on one of your days off, regularly take your children to the library to find and check out fun things to read and do ONLY when you aren't at home. Working together on the puzzles and games plus reading the stories aloud to each other might help the children bond and squash the idea of the 11 y/o being the "boss". (I was the oldest child of four and the anointed babysitter. Been there, done that.)
    alkalineangel's Avatar
    alkalineangel Posts: 2,391, Reputation: 323
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    #9

    Jul 24, 2007, 01:58 PM
    I never thought you were a bad mom, you know your children... each child is different, I just didn't know about the age there...

    Maybe give your 8 year old something to be responsible of... do you have a pet? Make the pet his responsibility, it may make him feel a little more important.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,299, Reputation: 5645
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    #10

    Jul 24, 2007, 02:05 PM
    I never said you were a bad mum either, just trying to get the whole picture.

    I do agree with Wondergirl though that hitting your child for hitting is giving the wrong message. Why would it be okay for you to hit her but not okay for her to hit someone else? Just think about that. We reason it out differently than an 8 year old does. We see it as discipline and punishment, but she sees it as hitting. Same thing really, to her at least.

    The 11 year old is still too young for this amount of responsibility on a daily basis though. She may grow up resenting "raising" (cause that's the mind of an 11 year old) her siblings. You may have worse problems down the line.

    Is there an after school camp at their schools? You may want to consider that if there is.
    just joy's Avatar
    just joy Posts: 7, Reputation: 2
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    #11

    Jul 24, 2007, 02:17 PM
    Yes they have plenty to do. Yes we have pets 1 dog and 1 cat. She doesn't like either of them. The whole spanking thing didn't work for me either because as you said hiting her for hitting someone 2 wrongs don't make a right but the timeout and grounding doesn't either. I have tried taking stuff away and everything. I have even considered a babysitter for them but they are so bored at a babysitter and the oldest asked if she could stay home/our babysitter for the 5 year old just had a stroke way too young and isn't able to watch him anymore so we were sort of stuck for a month,
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,929, Reputation: 5430
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    #12

    Jul 24, 2007, 02:19 PM
    Why are they "so bored at a babysitter"? What does that mean?
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    #13

    Jul 24, 2007, 02:26 PM
    My babysitter I have had for 10 years and the kids have grown up there but she doesn't have very many kids anymore as they all have grown up, she has 2 small children who sleep a lot and are only there part time. She has had health issues this year and my 11 year old was doing most of the work for her anyway so I am not paying a babysitter to watch my kids when my oldest is doing the supervision anyway. She was helping with chores at the sitters, I only ask her to help with breakfast if the kids were still in bed, I cooked lunch and did all the dishes. They were only asked if they used the markers or glue whatever activity they were doing (mostly video games and movies) that they put the lids on the markers. I always pick up the house and do the laundy. I promise you guys I am not a slave driver and didn't expect much from my oldest as far as that goes.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,299, Reputation: 5645
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    #14

    Jul 24, 2007, 02:39 PM
    Hun, we understand that, but an 11 year old, even having been through the babysitter course, is not mature and responsible enough to care for three children (herself included) throughout the day.

    Well, this is getting off topic here. (You aren't a bad mom)

    Your 8 year old needs to be redirected when she hits. By you, not her sister. This won't happen if you are not at home.

    I know our schools have summer programs and after-school-camp. Does yours? Have you checked into it?
    firmbeliever's Avatar
    firmbeliever Posts: 2,919, Reputation: 463
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    #15

    Jul 24, 2007, 02:42 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by just joy
    Please help me, I am at my wits end with my 8 year old daughter. She had been hitting my 11 year old daughter. My oldest is watching the kids after school and this summer and the hitting has escalated and now she is hitting the 5 year old son. I have tried to reason with her, time out, grounding and even spanking and smacking her back. I am hoping someone else has an idea.................:p

    Maybe the hitting could be related to some problem between the two of them.
    Ask your eldest for details,maybe they had a disagreement, even the most responsible kids pick fights with their siblings when they have to take responsibility for them daily even if it is for a short time(even us adults get bored of routine).
    Find out if there really is a problem and why or how the fight started, maybe the eldest is not telling her side and you are just seeing the hitting/tantrum of the younger one.

    Do not punish kids by hitting, as you said it just makes them think it is OK to hit.
    Maybe you should give kids a treat and take them out to play or something, take their mind off the whole thing and hopefully a day of fun might put things back to normal, and give you time to enjoy a bit of fresh air...

    Just opinion as I am no expert:) :)
    just joy's Avatar
    just joy Posts: 7, Reputation: 2
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    #16

    Jul 24, 2007, 02:43 PM
    Yes but the afterschool programs were too expensive and just don't work for me. I would rather pay someone to watch them than at those programs. I did't see anything there other than after school rescess.
    just joy's Avatar
    just joy Posts: 7, Reputation: 2
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    #17

    Jul 24, 2007, 02:46 PM
    Yes I do take them outside when I get home, we either swim in our pool, play baseball or volleyball in the back yard and we are outside until dark. I try to get my kids outside as much as I can. WE have 13 kids in the neighborhood so they keep busy and a lot of times they are at my house which is cool then I get to spend time with the kids/since it is summer if they are good we cook smore's around a fire for a treat or when the ice cream truck comes around that is a treat too. I try to reward them when I see fit and if sometimes when not.
    firmbeliever's Avatar
    firmbeliever Posts: 2,919, Reputation: 463
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    #18

    Jul 24, 2007, 03:02 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by just joy
    Yes I do take them outside when I get home, we either swim in our pool, play baseball or volleyball in the back yard and we are outside until dark. I try to get my kids outside as much as I can. WE have 13 kids in the neighborhood so they keep busy and a lot of times they are at my house which is cool then I get to spend time with the kids/since it is summer if they are good we cook smore's around a fire for a treat or when the ice cream truck comes around that is a treat too. I try to reward them when I see fit and if sometimes when not.
    I am sorry if I sounded like I was judging you, believe me I wasn't.
    Just a suggestion for you to take or leave.



    :) :)
    NowWhat's Avatar
    NowWhat Posts: 1,634, Reputation: 264
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    #19

    Jul 24, 2007, 08:15 PM
    I was babysitting at 11. I had a summer job watching a 5 year old when I was that age. I watched her all day - 5 days a week. All Summer. I got paid for it and I liked that. I also babysat for the neighbors who, at the time, had 6 month old twins and a 3 year old. My parents were across the street and I did have help from another person, who was also 11. I don't think I would let an eleven year old watch my daughter now - but I did babysit a lot at that age.

    Anyway - back to the question.

    Does the hitting happen when you are there or mostly when you aren't? If you think things are getting out of control - then take everything away from her. EVERYTHING. I give this advice a lot - I think it could work in situations where you may have lost control for a moment. If she has her own room - then strip it down to nothing but her bed. Make her earn her things back. If she can go, say, a week without hitting - then she gets something back. She is old enough to know what is right and what is wrong. Let her know that there are consequences to her actions. If she is hitting while you are away then let her know that if you get a bad report when you get home - she misses out on fun time - like in the pool or whatever you have planned.
    Have there been any changes for her at home or in her life? Something she could be upset, confused or frustrated about? Some kids don't do well with change and this is how they deal with it.
    Good Luck.

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