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Passions in Poetry

Unruly Problem Child!!!! What do I do?

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since 08-26-2001
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0 posted 03-17-2002 12:51 PM       View Profile for RosePetal   Email RosePetal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for RosePetal

My nephew,Joey has to be the world's most misbehaved child. I babysit him often because my sister doesn't like the idea of afterschool care programs.
I love him to death but he is ALWAYS bad and very disrespectful. He sucks his teeth at me, mutters "whatever", and says things like "so i dont care, i dont have to listen to you"
This behavior is not only towards me, he does it to his mother and father. We've punished him in his bedroom and taken away the toys he loves most like nintendo 64. STILL, it has not worked one bit.
Yesterday, I babysat Joey and my younger nephew AJ, I turn my back for one second to rewind a tape in the vcr and joey began choking aj. I broke it up, firmly told Joey that that behavior was wrong and unacceptable and sent him to his room. On the way to his bedroom he stompped his feet and said "Man, Im going to be punished in my room until im a friggen old man", "I wish id just die"!
I just don't know what to do with him anymore, its so out of control that I don't even want to babysit him anymore.
This kid is so spoiled, he goes to karate 3 times a week and I told my sister that if his attitude persists to pull him out of karate but her husband refuses to do that.  His grades in school have gone from straight A's to straight B's, he has such an "i dont care" attitude and it worries me.
No body wants to babysit for my sister because joey is so bad.  
The funny thing is that when we talk to Joey's teacher, she says that joey is a pleasure to have in class!! So he is an angel in school and a devil at home.  He is almost 10 years old, I feel he should be behaving better than he is.
I told him that I am his aunt and he will show respect whether he loves me or cant stand me, i am still his family.
Do you any of you out there deal with misbehaved kids, and have any suggestions as to what to do ?
Joey honestly makes me not want to have kids of my own! Punishing him doesnt work, yelling at him doesnt work, taking away his prized possessions doesnt work, spanking his little behind makes him cry but it doesnt work for long, and karate class is only making him worse because hes been trying to use karate kicks on other kids to hurt them for no reason.

[This message has been edited by RosePetal (03-17-2002 12:58 PM).]

Janet Marie
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1 posted 03-17-2002 01:43 PM       View Profile for Janet Marie   Email Janet Marie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Janet Marie

So he is an angel in school and a devil at home.  

That says it all...for whatever reason...he has figured out what he can get away with at home, that he knows better to try at school. Or perhaps hes not getting the attention he feels he needs at home so he acts up.
Kids will take any kind of attention, even negative. The constant disipline he is requiring is feeding his need for attention.
Perhaps jealousy of the younger sibling?
And anytime a child acts out physically against others, that needs to not be reinforced by the karate and etc. My little brother was like this...aggressive and always in trouble at home but a perfect child and student away from home, but eventually the angry behavior started showing up at school too.
There are no easy answers...and the parents have to work together and be unified on how they respond to him, so he cant manipulate one against the other. My parents took my brother for emotional counseling...he made a complete turn around once the problem was identified. It came back to what he felt he wasnt getting at home from my parents. In this case it was a matter of one parent worked 60 hours a week and was never home, and the other parent worked too and he was often left with sitters.
anyway..thats one I easy answers but sometimes anothers experience offers clues.
Good luck to all.
Member Caelestus
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2 posted 03-17-2002 01:44 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

What DOES he do that is proper and correct?  Does he get feedback and appropriate gratification for the things he does do right?  That he is appropriate at school, and then a totally different child at very confusing...
Poet deVine
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3 posted 03-17-2002 03:04 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

I think he needs to start having some responsiblity for his actions. I would sit him down and tell him that acceptable behavior will be expected. Unacceptable behavior will be punished (and you have to do it, you have to be consistant). Explain to him that karate lessons are expensive and cannot be expected if he isn't mature enough to handle himself with others. If he hits his brother, he loses one karate lesson (it HAS to be done). If he breaks a toy or a game, don't replace it. He must take responsiblity for breaking it. Give him chores to do. Since everyone in the house must do some 'housework' he has to help. If he refuses, he can spend time in his room while the others reward themselves with a fun movie and some treats (even mom and dad should get a movie and treat for doing their housework). Make it a weekly family time - a family reward so to speak.

And if it continues, the entire family should talk to someone...not just your nephew. This is not one child's problem. It's a family problem.
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4 posted 03-17-2002 09:54 PM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

I worked as a TSS (theraputic staff support) for an agency recently,with a seven year old that cursed and threw fits and  beat on his family school he was "perfect".
The words that came out of his mouth in the home were like the worst on the street from older boys and men.

My job was to get him to stop the street  cursing and the hitting and do anger
management with him..we used a behavior chart for accomplishing good behavior  or rather for not doing the bad ones. Every night he would receive a star if he  got through the day without doing that particular bad habit. At the end of the week he was rewarded if he was able to at least  have 50% stars on the chart. Sometimes you start smaller,  you want them to succeed and
have the feeling of accomplishment. By 10 years of age you know he knows right from wrong...and he probably has been getting negative attention for so long that that is all he knows to do.  I can't tell you  it will work..but you start with small expectations building upon them..but everyone has to be consistent in his family. You can't say  "the next time you do this I will...." because there is always a next time. As the saying goes "you must nip it in the bud." Don't give it a chance to get worse. Build up his self image..find the things  he does well and let him have some success at it, praising him for those things.  Let me know what you can discuss  with his parents about what they expect from him in specifics and maybe I can help you with a chart or another form of behavorial modication. I have knowledge in this
area..and have taught this age group.



[This message has been edited by nakdthoughts (03-18-2002 11:32 AM).]

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5 posted 03-17-2002 11:32 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

What about talking to him? What about asking him why he wants to behave this way? Nobody seems to have mentioned this option...

"Love is a piano
dropped from a four story window
and you were in the wrong place
at the wrong time." -Ani DiFranco

Mistletoe Angel
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6 posted 03-17-2002 11:46 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

(big hugggssssssss) Oh Joanna, I have been thinking about this for hours, it is indeed such a hard situation, but I believe the best thing you should do is somehow encourage your sister and his husband to be able to work together for the sake of this boy if there will be any hope in discipling him! It seems your sisters husband is being unyielding right now and all of what he should be doing for him is index-carded, and until he can understand how important it is to have the heart to punish him, he will not be motivated. That is at least how I feel, it seems the parnts responsibility is the biggest fault right now

Try and have a peaceful chat with your sister or something and encourage her somehow to open up to her husband and have her warn him of the consequences his lack of discipline can do to the child, and maybe that can solve the problem. I'm sorry if what I said made no sense at all, I hope this all works out soon for you!

I love you, my sweet Joanna! (showers you in kisses)

Noah Eaton
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Purgatorial Incarceration

7 posted 03-17-2002 11:49 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

easy solution - lock him in the closet with a six-pack of beer and a pizza.
Member Seraphic
since 05-20-99
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8 posted 03-18-2002 07:16 AM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

Joey is undoubtedly spoiled - especially if he can behave at school - That means he's consciously acting out with these behaviors.  It's a control thing - He wants to feel in charge.

One of the things we do in our 'behavior' classrooms to modify such actions is to give the child choices.  This makes him feel like he's got control of things.  Of course, his options are clearly premeditated on your part.  Give him two choices... You can do your homework now, then watch TV - Or - You can do it later in your bedroom... but there'll be no TV today at all... It seems silly - but it's not - You're making him choose to do what you wanted him to do all along - because the better choice is that which you're asking him to do.  Just let him feel like he's got a choice... and DON'T holler... and don't bend... once you do, you've lost..
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9 posted 03-18-2002 12:33 PM       View Profile for RosePetal   Email RosePetal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for RosePetal

Thanks everyone for all the good suggestions you've provided. It's so hard to keep Joey in line because his father let's him slide on everything, he practically gets away with murder.
I've had a talk with Joey last night and asked him why he behaves the way he does and his answer was simply "I dunno"
I explained to him that if he had a positive attitude that he would make friends and be much happier.
My next talk with be with my sister (joey's mother) and Im going to tell her that she should convince her husband to pull Joey out of karate class because it is making him worse than he ever was.
He hasn't been learning any self-discipline from karate, he's been using it only to hurt others.
I like the idea about the choices, I'm going to try that one, thanks! I took four childcare courses and I'm certified to work in preschool with kids ages 4 and 5 but that doesn't really help me to understand joey because he is 10 acting as if he is 18.
Thanks again to you all for the help,
Hopefully this is just a stage that joey is going through and he will outgrow it if all else fails.
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10 posted 04-05-2002 02:05 AM       View Profile for Irie   Email Irie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Irie

RP, I feel for you. I know how you feel all too well.
Please check your email.


"The things that come to those that wait may be the things
left by those who got there first"

[This message has been edited by Irie (04-05-2002 02:05 AM).]

Jeffrey E. Osborne
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out there

11 posted 04-05-2002 10:11 PM       View Profile for Jeffrey E. Osborne   Email Jeffrey E. Osborne   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Jeffrey E. Osborne

LOTS of Benadryl! (heh heh)

On a more serious note, I find that talking to and relating to my kids on "their" level is very helpful. All too often, they feel like they are being talked down to as opposed to being talked with.
                          - Jeff

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12 posted 04-06-2002 12:29 AM       View Profile for Greeneyes   Email Greeneyes   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Greeneyes

Thanks everyone for all the good suggestions you've provided. It's so hard to keep Joey in line because his father let's him slide on everything, he practically gets away with murder.

there's part of the problem....I am no expert, but to me it seems he needs daddy to be firm and strong....I have found with my 7 year old that taking away things and time outs no longer work...

what I do when Tyler Alexa acts this way, she has an allowance...I make her pay me for the times she is bad, it kind of gives a value for what she has worked so hard to earn, if she misbehaves, she pays me....its working so far....with his age, I would take TV totally out of the picture, maybe ven karate....just my thoughts....its hard I know....I hope it get better!

Larry C
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13 posted 04-06-2002 12:39 AM       View Profile for Larry C   Email Larry C   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Larry C's Home Page   View IP for Larry C

I'll stick in my social worker two cents: inconsistency with a child is worse than almost any other parenting style. And it is at the core of the challenges you face. Your greatest challenge to effective intervention is, in fact, the father. What a lazy irresponsible approach to parenting with life time consequences. Best of luck, this boy is so fortunate that you care.

An excuse has the skin of a reason, is stuffed with lies, and no matter how you cut it, it's still baloney.  Dennis Farley

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14 posted 04-06-2002 01:33 PM       View Profile for strbbux   Email strbbux   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for strbbux

Joanna, I agree with everyone above, and I do think the father is acting totally unresponsible. The father should have the talk with the boy, and lay down the law, and tell Joey that if he isnt going to be respectful and obedient then his karate will be taken away. And then the father should follow up and do it. This child needs to see that the parent is the one who rules not the child. And if it isnt done now, he will be a troubled teen. Good luck Joanna, take care. floria


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But die with all their music in them"
(Oliver Wendell Holmes)

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15 posted 04-14-2002 11:52 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Just a comment to Christopher--I think I would lock MYSELF in a closet with a six pack and a pizza!!!

But okay, my two cents? Children would rather be in trouble than ignored. (They are sort of like people that way... ) So I do agree with the reward method but only to an extent. I'm no expert, but try rewarding good behavior with quality TIME, instead of goodies. I'm also wondering if perhaps the child is confused about the rules of behavior. Are they clear and consistant? I say this because you state that he is well behaved at school, suggesting that he can do well when his perimeters are clearly defined.

sigh...but truly, the only thing you can do is be patient. Be loving, but firm. And be consistant!!!

Love and luck to the both of you!  
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16 posted 04-15-2002 08:50 PM       View Profile for JP   Email JP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JP's Home Page   View IP for JP

My pappy always said "One good slap is worth a thousand words"
Titia Geertman
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17 posted 04-16-2002 08:58 PM       View Profile for Titia Geertman   Email Titia Geertman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Titia Geertman's Home Page   View IP for Titia Geertman

I think he's behaving this way at home because there are no rules been set by his parents. He's constantly trying how far he can stretch his boundries, but there aren't any and besides that he has learned that this way he gets attentions, it's negative attention, but hey, that's better than getting none.

The more you react to his behaviour the worse it will get. Ignore him for a while. It will be difficult, but just don't argue with him. Give him a choise as has been mentioned above, but stick to it, how hard it will be. Once you give in, you're lost. The actual problem here is the father. As long as he isn't going to change his attitude towards the kid, the kid will keep trying and succeeding.
I've had a similar experience with the kid of good friends. When staying at our place she was adorable, but as soon as her mother appeared, it was hell. She's 20 now and just recently she told me that she had liked staying with us so much because she knew what her boundries were.

I really don't think that deep in his heart this kid is happy, he's asking for rules but in denying them to him he gets uncertain, wich expresses itself in this kind of behaviour. I've seen lots of documentaries about these situations. A firm, consequent, but honest hand is always the best.

Well those were my two pennies.


A rose is a rose is a rose...I guess...
Check out my new website: (I didn't 'link' this, so it won't take too much space).I

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18 posted 04-17-2002 12:46 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

You could sit down and talk with him until you are blue in the face. You could utilize all of the suggestions provided in this thread, but you are not the mother or father, so whatever you do is for naught.

It all begins and ends with the parents.

Many outstanding suggestions and comments were made here...the parents need to read them and be wanting to make the effort in raising a well-adjusted young man.
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19 posted 09-21-2002 11:04 PM       View Profile for TradingSpaces19   Email TradingSpaces19   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TradingSpaces19


Joey is just at that age where he thinks he has to do things like that. Since he is 10 years old now try grounding him, since a time out is for younger kids. Tell him that he is grounded for (lets say 2 weeks) and he can't go to friends' houses and he has to come straight home after school. My cousin was like that he would always pick on his sister (like siblings dO) but all kids grow out of that. Don't spank him because that should be for younger kids. Since your sister's husband doesn't want to disipline his son it sounds like he doesn't want to punish his son because he is afraid of having his son hate him. Anyways if you ever want to talk or need to talk just email me (, and please let me know what your sister and her husband decided to do. Thanks and take care.

Take Care,
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