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Is my four-year-old great nieces behavior normal

A couple years ago I let my 18-year-old niece and her two-year-old daughter move-in. It has been two years and my great niece is now 4 and the beautiful little girl and my niece is a replatively good mother however with that being said there are a few parenting choices my niece makes that really bothere me. I try not to overrun, but I work all day and on the days tha my niece doesn't have class she sleeps in really late and my great-niece is left to run around and get into things which really bothers me considering these things are my things and it's my home. I have talked with my niece about her sleeping habits and she says she has improved and that she sets her alarm to get up but unfortunately I am not sure I believe her. Just the other day my great niece woke me up on a weekend morning because she was running around my living room after the car. My niece says that my great-niece is supposed to come and wake her up when she wakes up but instead my great niece wants to do anything and everything that is she is not supposed to do when nobody's looking.
My great niece is four and half to be exact and she is not potty trained, not for a lack of trying on my nieces part though. She doesn't really good for a while but when she's playing (especially when she's playing) she gets really lazy and just goes and her pull-up or panties and then lies about it and said she didn't until my niece looks for herself and then when asked why she lied about it she says she doesn't know.
My great niece has taken it upon herself to discipline my animals even if my niece or I have already corrected them. She will come up and tell them that they are a bad and in some cases follow it up with putting her hands on them. She gets in trouble for it but doesn't seem to do any good because she will be right back at it again and again and again. The other day she was playing with my two ferrets and I just had this gut feeling that I needed to go see what they were doing. So I went and looked without my great-niece knowing I was standing there and that first it was cute and innocent they were playing with a blanket and she was covering them and they were really enjoying it but then after she covered them she decided to take her foot and stomp on the blanket with your shoes saying hi-ya. I know in my gut that she really knew what she was meaning to hurt them.
Last night I noticed after she had already gone to bed there was some sort of oil on my television and that my brownie I had on the kitchen counter was have to eaten when I asked her about it this morning she boldface lied to me until I told her I would not get mad if she just told the truth. I found out that the oil on my television was cooking oil from the kitchen and that she ate my brownie because she wanted it and her mom told her no but she wanted it anyways. She knows she is not to be out in the family room or kitchen without her mom or I being out there (and this is mainly because I do not trust her but I seem to be the only one that has reservations when it comes to her behavior in motives) but she will sneak out every chance she gets I talked to my niece about watching her more carefully but I am concerned about that because she has more trust in this child than i diand she is a lot more lenient.
My great niece is really bossy to her mother and other kids to the point that if she doesn't get her way she will get physical, even after she gets time out for her behavior she will repeat the same thing if she doesn't get her way she is also really nosy when adults are having conversations that do not include her (and don't get me wrong she gets included in a lot) but she will find it necessary to put her two cents into the conversation or tell us how to say things or what to do which is sometimes cute but when she is asked to leave by "go play" or something like that she just stand there and stares at you until she is asked or told by the fifth time she will "humph" and stomp her feet as she leaves.
My son was not like this. It's really like my great niece waits for every opportunity to do something she knows she's not supposed to do. When she is caught lying or doing something wrong and asked why her response is always "I don't know".
I understand that all children are different and some are more trying than others but I wonder if her behavior abnormal or am I just getting old and impatient?

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Asked by Anonymous at 6:55 PM on Mar. 1, 2013 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (8)
  • It's perfectly normal behavior for a child who has no parent to teach them

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 7:02 PM on Mar. 1, 2013

  • You should be mad at the mother, not the child. The child is acting like a normal child. Her mother is to blame for her misbehaving.

    Might be time for them to move out.

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 7:15 PM on Mar. 1, 2013

  • poor kid
    the mother needs to step up and be a mom

    sleeping in while 4 year old running crazy in the house- how can she sleep through that?
    sounds like child is doing everything to get her mothers attention, and she keeps upping the actions since mother does not notice her

    Answer by fiatpax at 7:18 PM on Mar. 1, 2013

  • She sounds like a normal 4 year old to me... a normal 4 yearold who could use a little more structure... but a normal 4 year old just the same.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 7:24 PM on Mar. 1, 2013

  • She is testing her limits, but it seems that she has very few. Also, perhaps a sticker or rewards system or praising her for when she does good will go a long way. You need to be more firm with your NIECE, not your great-niece. Her mother should be setting the boundaries and may be using you as a safety net, which is fine and dandy until they don't live with you anymore. Mom should be waking up before her DD, getting her breakfast, getting her dressed, etc. Does she go to Pre-K? To help in potty-training, she may have to turn OFF the TV and turn ON the music and then play games with her so that she can see when she needs to go potty for a few days. Get rid of the pull-ups except at night-time for a bit. My DS was almost 5 when he trained. He got a little treat (Dollar tree stuff, chips, candies, books, etc. ) if he sat on the potty every 15 minutes. He was rewarded for "trying". He was potty-trained in less than 3 days.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:43 PM on Mar. 1, 2013

  • Exactly what Mrs_Prissy said. ^^^

    Answer by m-avi at 7:51 PM on Mar. 1, 2013

  • Sounds like normal behavior for a 4 year old that isn't being monitored. Sounds like mom needs a wake up call.

    Answer by AF4life at 11:41 PM on Mar. 1, 2013

  • I agree with the others. She is a normal 4 year old that hasn't really had any structure n her life. Sounds like mom is hoping you will step up and be the "disciplinarian" for her, since it's your house. Also, sounds like the time outs alone aren't working. It may be time to start taking things away. Also, temper that with rewards for good behavior.

    Answer by spiritguide_23 at 7:29 AM on Mar. 2, 2013

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