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Question
Posted by: I want to die | 2009-01-28

Serious problems with kids

I am a caregiver and I' m very frustrated. Last year, I worked for a family in Germany and after about 8 months things got really serious. The kids yelled at me, they were violent and disrespected everybody around them, including their parents. I totally lost my love for them then, as I went to bed every night wondering why kids aren' t kind anymore these days and if I was to blame. I have 4 younger siblings and I raised my youngest brother myself and I know he was a lovely child, he never behaved liked this.
Now I' ve been working for a family in Canada for 5 months and things are getting difficult again. I take care of a 5-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl. She is okay, very tender, and everything is peaceful when I' m alone with her. But the boy is getting violent. There are problems at his school, the kids started saying things like " I' m a vampire and I' ll kill you"  etc, and now this boy also says such things at home, plus he says "  -|- ing"  all the time until I tell him that he shouldn' t, which causes him to say it even more often. He also pinches and hits me often and says things to her sister such as " lets kill Patricia. Kill her, kill her." . I don' t know what to do. If he was my son, I' d hit him as well, when he gets violent, or lock him in his room, which I think might help, although I' m not sure because I never had to do that to my brother when he was that young. I' m so angry that he is not innocent as children should be. We adults say children are innocent but they are not. I' m so sad, I even think of suicide many times. What can I do in this specific case so that he won' t be as violent and provoke us?

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Our expert says:
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An au pair or caregiver can be a useful supplement to the parents, but can hardly be expected to replace them --- where are the parents when their child is being disrespectful, violent, and swearing ? What are their rules and codes of conduct ( and codes of penalties for such bad behaviour ) ?
Children are never truly innocent, you're right that this view is generally a projection by adults of their fantasies and wishes for childhood. Children do whatever is satisfying to them, and whatever they can get away with. COnsider asking to see a personal counsellor to sort out the impact this is having on you, and with your own counsellor you can also plan a rational set of steps towards instituting discipline among the brats.
It is not dishonest to refrain from displaying your disappointment or hurt to the brats, which, as you recognize, gives them power. They need to know you as calm and in charge.
And as Zexeon suggests, maybe this is not a line of work that really suits you --- aren't their calmer alternatives ?
Old Fashuoned is just slightly askew --- for instance, Communication is always vital --- and OF's disagreement isn't actually about whether to communicate, but what to communicate. SImilarly explaining, so the rules are clear and unambiguous. Reasoning is the component that too often goes wrong. Learning that life has rules and consequences of one's choices and actions is an essential lesson, and not open to reasoning or negotiation.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Don' t agree | 2009-01-28

If the parents leave their kids with a caregiver and expect her to take care of every aspect of child minding then she is responsible for the discipline as well. It doesn' t have to be a hiding, but punishment in some way is always necessary where there are children.

Reply to Don&#39 t agree
Posted by: Old Fashioned | 2009-01-28

Ss you are quite right. I never intended to suggest that the Caregiver dish out the " Whipass"  as this would be inappropriate ,it was just a comment that we sit with these brats of kids because of the new age approach to discipline.

Reply to Old Fashioned
Posted by: ss | 2009-01-28

it isn' t her childeren...she can' t just give them a hiding... if u were my nanny and gave my child a hiding I would be fuming...It sounds like u are stressed....why not look for a different kind of job....

Reply to ss
Posted by: Old Fashioned | 2009-01-28

Well that' s the result of the " New Age"  method of rearing children. " Communicate"  " Explain"  " Reason with them"  instead of just telling them how it is going to be, make sure they underestand the rules and if they choose to behave contrary to what you require, open the can of " Whipass"  and apply liberally and to hell with the Bleeding Hearts and Tree Huggers. Its worked well for thousands of years and is still the best and easiest remedy.

Reply to Old Fashioned
Posted by: Zexeon | 2009-01-28

Children' s behaviour could never be so critical that you want to kill yourself maybe you should look for another job if it stess you out like that or involve their parents to help with their rearing.
No two children I know are exactly the same so I would advice you to find something that work for either child who need it. When my one child got voilent once I told him to go to his room and he refused so I pulled him into my room and locked the door and continued with the other kids. He jump against the door repeatedly and it was soothing as I knew then he can' t be up to something els. After a while I went and gave him an ultimatum to either starting to behave himself or he could stay and keep his kicking behaviour up till his dad came home, and the latter could result in him getting a hidding. So he promised to behave and I let him out and even prised him for co-opperating yesterday although he also was at the psycologist on Mon. which could also have contributed to his latest behaviour. He still gets angry for not having his way first but I just insist he do his work first but overall there is much of an improvement in his behaviour.

Reply to Zexeon
Posted by: I want to die | 2009-01-28

I' m always honest and I can' t pretend and say things in a way that I don' t mean, like say things in a nice way just after they said " you silly"  to me. I tried but I really can' t pretend. They know right away that I' m hurt/ angry and it gives them power. How do i solve this?

Reply to I want to die

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