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How should I raise a disobedient granddaughter?

Q: My five-year old granddaughter does not follow any rules when I am not there. She blatantly disobeys the maidservant who looks after her. Runs nude in on the terrace, doesn’t drink milk, answers her back rudely and does many things she is not allowed to do. Her parents are divorced. Father nearly jobless and mother very indifferent to the child. However, I am very concerned about raising her to be a smart, good child. I am very busy with my work and the child spends a lot of time with the maid. Although very intelligent, her attention span is limited. She is also a little lazy but extremely street smart. Please let me know how I should handle her.

A:Child rearing is a time intensive task. It also requires the involvement of at least one concerned adult. If all the persons in her life are too busy to have any time for her, it is not surprising that she is acting up. The child needs to attend a play centre or preschool centre, which will provide her with activities to stimulate her and engage her. She needs playmates of her own age. A maid servant, who is doing other household chores, can hardly be expected to be a suitable caregiver. There is no capsule or simple formula to follow. The child needs attention, affection and trust. Somehow, you will have to make up for the inadequate parenting she has received to date. A creche or day care centre, (after Nursery School hours) if it is available in your area, would be a great improvement on what is provided to the child at present. Children grow well only when somebody is willing to invest time and affection in them.

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