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Discipling someone else's child

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OwnedByTheCow

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My niece and nephew come to my farm once a week. My nephew owns one of our goats so he has to come and work off her board. My nephew who is older minds what I say well, although my niece does not. There are many times when I ask her not to run or just simply not to do something and she will continue to do it. It is not always something she is aware of I don't think. I don't have kids of my own so I'm not sure if she's just being smart at me or not. Sometimes I get a response like "but I'm not doing anything". It has become quite a safety issue. Their mother is not here most of the time, they are just dropped off for a couple hours. I don't want to be feared by her although I need to put my foot down. My sister is not the discipline type, she is one of THOSE parents. I want her to be excited but I also want her to respect me and the farm, which she is not. How do I go about disciplining her or getting her to respect me? I know how her mom raises them and she doesn't punish them a lot at all. I don't want to start an argument in the family, there is more tension right now then there should be. How would you as a parent go about having someone else punish her? Clearly talking to her no longer works. How would you feel if some else put your child in time out, or even spanked them if need be? I want to talk to her mom, but I know she doesn't take me or the farm seriously either. I don't have kids of my own so what do I possibly know about kids? Kicking them out is not an option. I love her very much but I've taken her not listening to me for too long.
 

bball

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OwnedByTheCow":1es11esz said:
My niece and nephew come to my farm once a week. My nephew owns one of our goats so he has to come and work off her board. My nephew who is older minds what I say well, although my niece does not. There are many times when I ask her not to run or just simply not to do something and she will continue to do it. It is not always something she is aware of I don't think. I don't have kids of my own so I'm not sure if she's just being smart at me or not. Sometimes I get a response like "but I'm not doing anything". It has become quite a safety issue. Their mother is not here most of the time, they are just dropped off for a couple hours. I don't want to be feared by her although I need to put my foot down. My sister is not the discipline type, she is one of THOSE parents. I want her to be excited but I also want her to respect me and the farm, which she is not. How do I go about disciplining her or getting her to respect me? I know how her mom raises them and she doesn't punish them a lot at all. I don't want to start an argument in the family, there is more tension right now then there should be. How would you as a parent go about having someone else punish her? Clearly talking to her no longer works. How would you feel if some else put your child in time out, or even spanked them if need be? I want to talk to her mom, but I know she doesn't take me or the farm seriously either. I don't have kids of my own so what do I possibly know about kids? Kicking them out is not an option. I love her very much but I've taken her not listening to me for too long.


How old is she?
A farm is no place for children who don't listen, follow instructions, or respect the environment (potential dangers) they are in. Too much potential for real injury. If she can't listen and obey, she wouldn't be welcome until she can do those things.. hard for you since you aren't her parent. In this day and age, I wouldn't dream of 'getting after' someone else's kid. May have to draw the line in the sand with her mother, for the child's own safety.
 

ALACOWMAN

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Id tell their mom she gonna have to mind me are not come around. it's simple as that...wouldn't spank her,thats their job....like bball said potentially dangerous place,not to be paying attention...you can get hurt even covering all angles...
 

Rafter S

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That's a tough one. You being as young as you are can make it more difficult, in getting the niece and her mother to take you seriously. How old is the niece?

One thing that might work is to find something there she really enjoys, and tell her she can't do it any longer if she doesn't listen to you. She'll put you to the test on that, so you have to be firm and consistent.
 

ALACOWMAN

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Always killed me the folks that thought their kids could do no wrong..and would actually want to fight you, if you told them different..I got in on some paddlings at school...one time a teacher was dusting my back side so hard,she lost control of the paddle,and it flew all the way to the back wall.. You can bet the other kids minded their p's and q's the rest of the day:cowboy:
 

TCRanch

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Oooooh, that's a tough one! Not sure if this will help but . . . I don't have any kids of my own but have 5 step kids (and 11 grands. Yikes!). When the kids were young (starting at 5) and would come to visit we made a list of rules because they essentially didn't have any at their mothers; we clearly discussed the rules and posted them on the fridge. Somehow I ended up doling out the discipline but if they got into trouble (which truly wasn't very often) I would talk to them on their terms by asking them why they did what they did - and listen/acknowledge their response. If they did something that was potentially dangerous I asked them if they understood the consequences, again soliciting a response and acknowledging it, having a discussion. As they got older and developed an entitlement attitude I started charging them a nickel for every offense. First time I took their money the looks on their pitiful faces was priceless! Eventually raised my "fee" to a dime but I don't think I made $.50 over the course of 10 years. Of course now you would have to up the ante to taking away privileges, more money, their phones, etc.

Do you have someone else that will back you up (parent, sibling, someone else on the ranch)? As long as there are no consequences for their behavior it will continue and if you're the only one disciplining them you'll either be the "bad guy" OR end up gaining their respect. There are no easy answers and I feel for you!
 
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OwnedByTheCow

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Rafter S":ewsboxeu said:
That's a tough one. You being as young as you are can make it more difficult, in getting the niece and her mother to take you seriously. How old is the niece?

She is about 7. I'm ten years older. Her mom, my half sister, is 42.
 

Ky cowboy

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If it's something that's not going to hurt her seriously, let it happen. As I was reading your post my 6 yr old son was running thru the living room told him to stop and he didn't listen then ran in to a chair and hurt his foot, he's walking now. Told him he should of listened.
 

Bright Raven

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You are just a child yourself. ;-)

I have been in similar circumstances. If it is family, I will handle children about like I handled my son. I am not comfortable physically disciplining children that are not family but I have been known to give them a severe verbal lashing.

The issue here is the risk of an accident occurring because she will not obey your instruction. That should be very easy to explain to her mom. Surely, her mom recognizes the risk.
 

Bigfoot

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I actually have quit a bit of experience in this area. Children came late in life for me. I believe I was 35 when I had my first. The 15 years prior to that, I had several kids filter there way through here, under largely the same circumstances as you describe. To keep the piece, I usually just let it run it's course, and prayed nobody got hurt.
 

Jogeephus

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I would talk to their mom first and tell her your concerns about the girl's safety and tell her if she acts up again you are going to have to punish her if she doesn't straighten up. Without permission, you shouldn't lay a hand on the girl so you need to make her sit down in a time out spot. She won't like this if she is rambunctious but once she has sat there by herself I'd go sit with her and talk to her. Tell her your concern. The "because you might get hurt" isn't going to cut it either because in her mind she can't grasp this because she is invincible so you need to tell her a story about how her same actions got someone else hurt. This tale needs to arouse visual pictures in her mind because that is something she can understand. After you have finished telling the story ask her if she understands and tell her how you love her and it would kill you if that happened to her.

In the end you have punished her ever so slightly but most importantly you taught her something and that is more valuable than bruises to her pride. Good luck.
 

Ky hills

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My wife and I don't have children of our own, but she has been a teacher for 9 years, and now we work with some troubled kids through church. My wife has asked if you have spoken to her mother about the situation, and have you given the child some rules about how you expect her to behave when around the barnyard?
 
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OwnedByTheCow

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Bright Raven":2u0gud7k said:
You are just a child yourself. ;-)
I have been told I am mature for my age. Surely I would like that to be the opposite throughout adulthood.
That's one of the reasons I don't think I'm being respected. I was three when my nephew was born. He is practically my brother so sometimes I have to be the disciplinarian and when I am I can't possibly be taken seriously. She for sure thinks I don't have athority. Which is why nipping this issue in the butt is important.
 
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OwnedByTheCow

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Ky hills":20cx4bcp said:
My wife and I don't have children of our own, but she has been a teacher for 9 years, and now we work with some troubled kids through church. My wife has asked if you have spoken to her mother about the situation, and have you given the child some rules about how you expect her to behave when around the barnyard?
We have briefly discussed some behavior issues every now and then but I haven't nessasarily been comfortable calling out her misbehavior until I really know how to approach it. My niece and I have had good conversations about barn safety. To the point where I believe that she truly understands what I'm trying to get across. But there's sometimes when I catch her running after the chickens or running at the horses where I would say "you can't do that, he's going to get scared" or "don't chase the chickens" and I get a " but I'm not chasing them" or a "I'm not running at them". I'm not sure if she truly doesn't understand what she is doing it as she's doing it. Or wether she's just tricking me.
 

Bright Raven

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OwnedByTheCow":pcdp18g1 said:
Bright Raven":pcdp18g1 said:
You are just a child yourself. ;-)
I have been told I am mature for my age. Surely I would like that to be the opposite throughout adulthood.
That's one of the reasons I don't think I'm being respected. I was three when my nephew was born. He is practically my brother so sometimes I have to be the disciplinarian and when I am I can't possibly be taken seriously. She for sure thinks I don't have athority. Which is why nipping this issue in the butt is important.

Do you mean nipp it in the bud? Aka, the Barney Fife principle.
 

Ky hills

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OwnedByTheCow":dq7etuk3 said:
Ky hills":dq7etuk3 said:
My wife and I don't have children of our own, but she has been a teacher for 9 years, and now we work with some troubled kids through church. My wife has asked if you have spoken to her mother about the situation, and have you given the child some rules about how you expect her to behave when around the barnyard?
We have briefly discussed some behavior issues every now and then but I haven't nessasarily been comfortable calling out her misbehavior until I really know how to approach it. My niece and I have had good conversations about barn safety. To the point where I believe that she truly understands what I'm trying to get across. But there's sometimes when I catch her running after the chickens or running at the horses where I would say "you can't do that, he's going to get scared" or "don't chase the chickens" and I get a " but I'm not chasing them" or a "I'm not running at them". I'm not sure if she truly doesn't understand what she is doing it as she's doing it. Or wether she's just tricking me.

Hi, I'm Mrs. Kentucky Hills (Amanda) =) The child likely does understand and is ignoring you. I suggest giving her 3 rules, 1. speak softly. 2, walk at all times. 3, do not scare the animals. Tell her the rules before going to the barn yard and that if she does not follow the rules she will have to return to the house. Make it clear in a firm tone. Don't let her whine or run over you. When she breaks a rule and begins arguing with you simply state the rule giving her one chance, then hand out the consequence if she continues. you may also want to give her a specific place to stand while you are working with certain animals. Animals are extremely dangerous whether trained or not. you do not want a child hurt on you watch. These are simple rules and the mom should be understanding. It might not hurt to talk it over with the mom first. It's not being mean to expect a child to behave. It is for her protection and safety. You are being the good guy! Hope the best for you and your niece! Let us know how it turns out.
 

farmerjan

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One question comes to mind.... What is the insurance policy on your farm? The reason that I ask, it might be where you need to tell your sister that the kids being there has created a situation and that she has to sign a paper relieving you of responsibility if the children get hurt. Now, there is probably a ton of loop holes...what I am getting at is to tell your sister that if your niece can't obey the rules, you cannot be responsible for what happens to her. Make her realize that you take the animals seriously, and the LAW takes the animals seriously, and if you cannot get your niece to behave then you cannot have her there. An example is here in Va anyone that enters a facility that has horses, automatically acknowledges that the owner of the facility has NO LIABILITY for any injury or damage caused by the horse related activities. What it did was protect someone from being sued due to an unpredictable animal and that anyone that comes on that property understands that.
And set down some rules as suggested by others. No loud voices or yelling. Walking ONLY, NO EXCEPTIONS. If your niece says she is not chasing them, then ask her why the animals are trying to get away from her. It is because she has scared them. And TIME OUT is not wrong being metered out by you or anyone else. If your niece misbehaves, sit her in a chair. If she continues, then you have to tell your sister that you cannot have your niece there and it is not fair to your nephew because he is trying very hard to do the right things for his goat.

Is there an animal that your niece likes that maybe she could be "bribed" with to take care of when she comes, and learn to treat it with some consideration and respect? Maybe she needs to be able to focus on one thing like your nephew does. How about a rabbit that is caged, that she can learn to feed and water and pet and pick up and can find out that they don't want to be around someone who is running or scaring them.
Kids at 7 often cannot focus on one thing for very long and maybe her time there is too long for her to be able to concentrate and she does honestly forget or not remember the rules. Don't make them guidelines or suggestions....Make them RULES. Post them and follow through with time outs in a chair. That's not gonna hurt them although I am old school enough that a good swat on the butt would be my first line of discipline after the first reminder.
 

Nesikep

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Get a mean old Barred rock rooster.. or some geese.. Guaranteed the kid will smarten up and listen after they've been chased!
If you can find a way to have their action have a direct consequence it saves you the hassle of disciplining..
 

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