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I started taking care of my grandchild when she was still 7 months old. During her first day to 6 months old she was with her father and my daughter. Sadly, their relationship didn't last. Right now, she's a single-parent. She rarely takes action because of work, due to tiredness and partying. She only has time for her during weekend. I told her about it. And tried disciplining. but my granddaughter is too hard-headed and won't listen to us.

She always goes to sleep at around 3 to 7 in the morning. This has been going on for a month now. She wakes up around 5 to 7 in the afternoon. Before, she barely even slept in the afternoon.

Every time she's gonna wake up. She'll go and look and ask me a question (that I hear every time she wakes up) "Where's my iPad?" My answer was I don't know. Then she's gonna have her usual series of tantrums. Scream, cry and throwing the pillows out of the couch. I always have no choice but to just give it to her.

Later on. She's gonna ask for a chocolate drink. She doesn't like white milk. I don't know. Is it because of the chocolate drink?

When we are at the table, her eyes are at the TV busy. She eats very slowly. Like take a bite then wait for 3 minutes before another bite.

Her favorite apps on her iPad are these: Minecraft, Roblox and youtube.

Is there a way for her to go back to sleep early again? What can I do so she would stop looking for her iPad? How can I make her listen to me? I did everything I could. She's impossible. She's gonna scream, cry and throw the pillows at us. Oh, we also tried scaring her yet again we failed.

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    Talk to her pediatrician. Get rid of that chocolate milk too, that's a lot of sugar. She's 6, she doesn't make the rules either. – user20343 Apr 25 '18 at 20:26
  • What is your actual question? I can see several things here suitable for questions. Along with clarifying your question can you add what you have done to try to solve the problem and what the reactions to it were? Also are you the primary caregiver? – BunnyKnitter Apr 25 '18 at 20:40
  • @SnyperBunny Oh, My actual question are. Is there a way for her to go back to sleep early again? What can I do so she would stop looking for her ipad? How can I make her listen to me? I did everything I could.She's impossible. She doesnt listen to her mother and even me. Yes, I'm her grandma. – Ella lim Apr 25 '18 at 21:05
  • @Ellalim Thank you, having a clear question really helps. Are you her primary caregiver though? I understand that you are her grandma but do you see and take care of her on a daily basis or more like once a week (or less?)? How does her mum/dad feel about the problems you have mentioned? Are they taking action to fix these things? If so what are they trying? Also, you say that you have "tried everything" - can you elaborate and list some (or all) of the things that you have tried? – BunnyKnitter Apr 25 '18 at 22:59
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    @Ellalim I added this information into your original post. Is there a reason why you don't just let her scream and throw a fit without giving in? What do you mean by "Also we tried scaring her.."? I can take a crack at an answer but I'd still like more detail. Also, this must be a tough situation for her as her mother is largely absent and by the sounds of it her father is gone. Does she have any father figure in her life? Is she seeing a counselor (child psychologist? I'm not sure what counselors for kids are called)? – BunnyKnitter Apr 26 '18 at 22:16
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I'd like more information in the question to fully flesh out an answer but based on the current information:

She always goes to sleep at around 3 to 7 in the morning

This is absolutely not acceptable for a young child (which you clearly know as you are asking how to fix it). Not only does it mean that she is awake all night (??) but it is detrimental to getting proper sleep which is damaging to her brain development and physical growth at this age.

My suggestion about the absolute backwards sleep schedule is to just start waking her up in the mornings.

She wakes up around 5 to 7 in the afternoon.

Over the course of about 3-5 days you can probably shift this. (Although she is young so she may be able to adapt faster.)

She is 6, so is more than capable of understanding that sleep is important and that sleep must happen at night. So firstly, sit down and just talk with her - find out her side: why is she up at night? What can you do to help her sleep at night - maybe it is something simple. End the converstaion with a gentle statement of "you must start sleeping at night" and perhaps even outline the steps and the plan (No lights/electronics after __pm, that you will start waking her up at __am, etc).

I'm assuming that you have a bedtime routine? (teeth brushing, tucking into bed, reading a book, etc?) continue that and get her into bed at a reasonable hour (7pm?) even if she gets up again after.

The first step would be to implement lights-out policies after say 10pm (or whatever your bedtime is). After this time the WHOLE house is dark and quiet. No electronics, no lights, no books - NOTHING. This will enforce "night time is sleep time - it is dark and boring to be awake". If she turns a light on, turn it off and reiterate that it is night time and night time is sleep time. If she turns a device (tv, computer, ipad, etc) on - turn it off/take it away and again "night time is sleep time". If she tries again unplug it/remove its batteries/confiscate it for some time (a day?). If it gets really extreme, go throw the breaker or something. IMO the important thing here is to enforce "night time is BORING".

I think an effective second step would be to start waking her up consistently every day at a certain hour (how about 8am?) presumably she will not have slept properly the first night and will be exhausted the first day of this - expect grump and tantrums and meltdowns.

Again, bed at 7pm or whatever time you choose, and wake up at 8am again. I might allow a short (<3 hour) nap the first two days if she falls asleep. If you let her nap for too long or too close to bedtime then she will not be able to sleep as she will not be tired enough.


I feel like the chocolate milk is easily the simplest problem. Stop buying it. Just stop. Don't have it in the house. She will scream and cry. But the end of it is: "We dont have any." After a few episodes of tantruming for it not existing at home she will probably give up.

The electronics addiction is something you may have to look into "detoxing" her from. I'm not really sure how to go about doing this short of just removing/unplugging everything (perhaps you can leave the iPad with a friend for a few days) and letting her scream and cry and throw a fit until she gets tired of screaming. I feel like at this point it would just be a matter of "out-stubborning" her.

Also, if she is not seeing a counselor/child psychologist you may want to look into that. It sounds like she has somewhat of a confusing home life with mum somewhat absent and no father.

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There are references in this thread to sleep habits and eating habits so I will focus only on 2 other topics which jumped out at me.

1) Take the technology device away completely. It should not be in the picture and there isn't really a need for it. However don't replace it with watching TV and movies either. She sounds addicted and the research shows that children cannot balance technology addiction on their own.

2) What do you mean "we also tried scaring her yet again we failed."

I am afraid of what you mean, but don't try to scare the child. The child needs to feel safe with you. Her feelings of belonging, safety, and love are paramount to her development.

The heart of the matter
As a rule of thumb, do everything in love, but also stand firm. Tough love means that you love someone when it is tough to do so (she is throwing a tantrum) just as much as it means to do hard things for someones benefit (take away their ipad because they are too young to regulate their addiction to it).

Practical Application
Just as farmers don't cause crops to grow, you cannot control your granddaughter and make her into what you want. What you can do is provide the best environment possible for her to grow (like a farmer does). That includes emotional needs (safe and loved and not scared, appropriate social interaction with adults and peers), physical needs (good food, sleeping patterns, educational opportunities, exercise), and the authoritative structure which keeps her in a space that is developmentally appropriate for her (bed times, technology, timeouts and other appropriate discipline when she misbehaves etc).

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There's an awful lot of things going on here, goodness me.

Right now, she's a single-parent. She rarely takes action because of work, due to tiredness and partying. She only has time for her during weekend. I told her about it.

First of all- this is awful. I won't go into an opinion-based view here, but clarity on if the Mother has any actual involvement here would be helpful. Does your Daughter live with you, or in her own place?.

Edit: If the Mother is involved at all with her Daughter, she has a role to play here as well. She needs to be included in making sure that whatever goals, objective and routines are put in place, that she works with rather than against you so that there's clear "teamwork" going on here.

She always goes to sleep at around 3 to 7 in the morning. This has been going on for a month now. She wakes up around 5 to 7 in the afternoon. Before, she barely even slept in the afternoon.

Every time she's gonna wake up "Where's my iPad?"

usual series of tantrums. Scream, cry and throwing the pillows out of the couch.

I always have no choice but to just give it to her.

Later on. She's gonna ask for a chocolate drink. She doesn't like white milk. I don't know. Is it because of the chocolate drink?

When we are at the table, her eyes are at the TV busy. She eats very slow. Like take a bite then wait for 3 minutes before another bite.

Before we begin- to put things bluntly, you're going to have to turn this situation around harder and faster than engine-powered merry-go-round. You're going to have to grit your teeth here. A lot.

Ok, simply- you are effectively playing the role of parent here from the sounds of all the issues you're having.

As a result of this, you need to act like a parent. This is a child, you are an adult- who should be listening to who? You're being put upon by your Daughter from the sounds of it and now put upon by your Granddaughter too, being walked all over. This is unacceptable.

Now, this child is being raised to think that her throwing a tantrum is going to get her whatever she wants, whenever she wants it. You can decide for yourself right now if you're going to allow this to continue, or directly move into action and start acting against it to try and help raise a well-balanced and responsible person or not.

The iPad? You do have a choice. You're the adult in the picture here. All of this is down to personal preference but reallistically it's unhealthy for her to be on it all the time, so begin to perhaps impose a limit.

My own son gets a strict "hour only" policy- it's up to him when, but there's an actual hours timer on it that will stop him using it after an hour, so he can have half an hour in the morning and half later- whatever he likes. If he wants to go on it longer, I have to unlock it. He knows that if it gets broken, it won't be replaced- simple. If he's not behaved that day at school or home, he plain won't get it.

Base it on behaviour, how polite she's being, goals she's achieved throughout the day- you'll have to decide yourself, but the policy of "want gets" has got to stop.

The next thing is sleep- it's scientific fact that children need sleep, even Teenagers need a certain amount of sleep- we all do. Electronics such as TV, Tablets, Monitors- they all emit a particular wavelength of light that has been proven to keep your brain engaged and fooled into thinking that it's still daytime, so letting her use any of these is going to make matters worse.

Her going to sleep between 3-7 in the morning though? How does she even function at school? Does she go to any kind of school? I fail to see how she can learn or operate at all under these circumstances.

There needs to be a blanket ban of all electronics, distractions and otherwise from a set period- say she goes to bed at 8PM, by no later than 10PM then all lights are off, it's time for sleep. That's more than generous.

In terms of Chocolate drinks and diet- this is another case of needing to stop. Everyone needs a balanced diet and this isn't being encouraged here- I'm sure that every kid in existence would love to have what they'd like all the time, but this needs to change. Limit the drink to....say a bottle, carton or however it comes twice a week- once it's run out, it's run out. That way she can have it still, but will have to seek an alternative.

When eating, well it's simple- don't let the TV be on! Many families around the world enjoy Dinner as a family activity, not all staring at a TV. I had a similar problem with my Son so we just turn it off- no distractions, dinner doesn't go cold, everyone's happy. Once it's finished, it can come back on once things are cleared away, etc.

There's a lot of solutions here and not all may work for you- it sounds to me like this girl needs a lot of love, patience but also to be taught that authority and respect are something she needs to understand.

She needs to reduce the time on the iPad, show respect and be polite, reduce the intake of just chocolate drinks, go to bed and actually sleep at a reasonable time and be shown how to act like she should be.

If the developmental cycle she's already exibiting continues, she's going to grow older and older thinking this is normal and will treat other people the same way, which I'm sure everyone can agree is not a good thing.

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I really like SnyperBunny's answer.

I would like to add: Go outside. Nature. Parks. Sports. Music Lessons. Let her expierience real life adventures. Back at home you could use these adventures in your night time routine. Talk to her about what you did this day and what was funny, beautiful, nice, scary and so on. What she learned. There is a very nice world out there. Also, real life adventures are enforcing that day time is for fun and games and night time is for sleep. Hiking, swiming and activities like that wear kids out and make them tired.

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