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Is there an effective way to show authority when babysitting ages 6+?

My younger cousins and sisters don't respect my decisions and I have had a hard time with putting my foot down. Please help!

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Kids, especially around that age, are looking to be in charge of their own decisions. They will sometimes act out simply because they don't want to be told what to do. Give them control over as much as possible. For example, instead of just making them lunch and then demanding they eat it, let them choose what they want to eat. Instead of saying "we're going to watch a movie now" or "we're going to play a game now," ask them what they want to do. Encourage positive decisions as much as you possibly can! It's been proven time and time again that kids react better to positive enforcement than anything! So when they are listening and being good make sure you make it very well known how much you appreciate their good behavior. For bad behavior, a lot of times "natural consequences" work way better than forced punishments. For example, if the child is refusing to put on their coat before leaving the house, explain very clearly that if they do not wear their coat they will be very cold. If they still insist on not wearing it, don't argue, just let them be cold! (If you'll be out for a long time and it could pose an actual health risk then bring the coat along so they can put it on when they ask for it.) They'll soon realize that they do not want to do that again.

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Use simple but creative solutions. Set up rules ahead of time and let them know there are consequences to not following the rules and tell them what will happen if they break those rules. If they do not listen to you, you could temporarily take something away (ie. if they are ignoring you because they are playing on an iPad, temporarily take the iPad away and tell them how long you will be keeping it). Find out what works for them as individuals consequence wise. Also, to reinforce positive behaviors, reward them for listening and behaving well. Having a hard time putting your foot down is understandable but you do need to start doing it or your problem will not only continue, but get worse as they get older.

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In the first place can i please know your relationship towards them? Let me ask do you talk to them in a low tone, by saying please, with no command or disrespect and with love? If not you better start practicing that and will begin to enjoy a sweet relationship with them than ever.

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User in Lady Lake, FL
Dec. 18, 2018

It seems an intervention is needed. Have the primary authority, in each case, sit down with you and the children and make it clear that they trust your judgment and that while they are away YOU are in charge. Set clear boundaries and consequences together. When the children see your solidarity concerning discipline, there should be no more issues.

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You need to implement consequences for children when they are not listening or they will not listen to you. You can still do time-out for older children. It gives them a chance to settle down and you a chance to implement an additional consequence if needed. First time they are not listening, send them to the time-out chair for the same number of minutes as their age. After the time-out, remind them of your behavior expectations for them. Talk about ways they could better handle the situation next time. Let them know what the consequence will be if they continue with not listening (take away TV time, ipad, phones, favorite toy etc. for 1-5 days depending on the severity of their actions). Make sure they apologize and understand why it's important to follow the rules (older kids need to set an example for younger ones, younger ones need to learn to follow adult instructions so they are safe and can learn from adults; teachers, etc.). If they will not apologize or continue to argue, then continue the time-out for two minutes and try again. Repeat until they are able to talk to you calmly and respectfully. If they refuse to sit in the chair, then implement the consequence immediately and let them know what consequence will come next if they don't sit. You can do a countdown from 7 to let them know when the consequence is coming. But, do not argue with them and stick to what you say you are going to do. Don't keep giving them chances. Let them know you mean business and their behavior will start to improve. They will start to listen to you when they know you mean what you say.

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Yes, you have to command not demand respect and authority. Set the expectation of how things will go, what you need, ask what they need, make rules for everyone to follow and discuss and agree upon consequences of what will happen if the rules are not followed. Get their buy in and set a positive example of staying calm and steady. You may need your parents and/or their parents to be in on the meeting to help set the tone. Focus on the positive and look for things that you can give them praise for :)

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Congrats on being a responsible young baby sitter. Speak with their parent(s). Six is very young and hard to get to listen to you. Try using something they want and use that to get their attention and control. The older ones are the ones you really need to talk to the parents about. I think you could also use the same game plan with them too. Best of Luck! Flo

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POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT don't give them two options that are just something you have planned or a punishment ex:"you wanna play a game or go to bed now?" those kinds of questions strip the child of any real choice leaving them more helpless try giving them actual options ex: we have a few games to choose from what would you like to play or would you like to go to the park" your still having your choice of playing a game while giving the child a sense of choice. Of coarse sometime the my way or the highway approach is needed ex: "do you wanna hold my hand while we walk or do you want us to just turn around and you can go to bed" Just keep in mind these are children they are never going to follow a specific schedule especially in the younger ages.

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I suggest a list of boundaries to be created among you all! I believe once those boundaries are set maybe it will help with your cousins and sisters respecting your decisions. I feel it's also best if an adult can help you to also create that list of boundaries.

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Hello! I totally understand this. When my godson was born, his mother coddled him -constantly-. I don't think she ever put him down on the ground for the first two years of his life! And when I was watching him while his mother/father went to work each day, he would never listen to me. He would resort to tantrums and throwing things, and things got even worse when he finally learned the word 'No.' All that being said, with a little bit of patience, and some work on your part as well as theirs, you can easily fix this issue! Now, I want to preface my answer with saying that no, I do NOT have children of my own, so I can't really speak on the parental part of things. And I won't insult parents by doing so. Some tips I've found after working with my godson and a few other more "difficult" kids: 1. Always stay as calm as possible. -Screaming and yelling will get you nowhere, and it will push the kids further away, leaving them even less likely to listen to you about things in the future. 2. Monkey see, monkey do. -Kids are like sponges when they're young. They are growing, their minds are constantly developing, and they are slowly but surely turning into their own person. They also see and hear EVERYTHING the elders around them do. If you want them to respect you, make sure you're practicing what you're preaching. Show them HOW to be more respectful by doing the same yourself, and by respecting them as individuals with their own personal preferences. 3. Punishment isn't always the answer. -This one often gets me raised eyebrows, but hear me out here. If we use angry tones or screaming and yelling or threats of spankings, etc whenever kids are being what we deem as disrespectful, or for making mistakes, we're showing them exactly how to be cruel to others in that same situation. Set boundaries. Be firm and stick to those boundaries no matter how difficult it might be to do. I LOVE saying yes to my godson and the other kids I've cared for in the past, but it took quite a while for me to be able to start using the word NO in a firm but gentle way. 4. Respect CANNOT be demanded. Respect is EARNED. -You honestly can't expect the kids to respect you if you don't respect them. I know this sounds weird considering how young they are, but it IS a thing, I promise you. 5. Ask questions, and apologize for your own mistakes! -Figuring out WHY the kids are like this, and asking them WHY they're acting the way they are will help out tremendously. If they're angry or sad about something, as kids, they can't really think straight. They've been hurt, and out of basic instinct, want to hurt someone back. Get to the root of the issue, and acknowledge the issue. If you happen to be the person who made them upset, then apologize, and try to help them understand that acting the way they are won't get them the things they want. Hurting others will also hurt them, too. Sorry for such a long-winded answer, but I hope this helps! :)

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Abigail B.
Jan. 2, 2019

When needing to display or obtain a more welcomed disciplinarian role, I make sure through my assertive corrections I am also providing a constructive activity to re-direct my children's unwanted actions. By doing this we confirm our discipline action to the child as not just corrective, but beneficial and welcoming for their needs and safety. It gives so much opportunity to not just correct but to learn, understand, and imitate positive mannerisms. Children need an environment that stimulates and provides space for their developing minds to create and comprehend new ideas.

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Dana in Tulsa, OK
April 16, 2019

Find common ground with them. You can get much more cooperation if you join them in the activities that they are allowed to do. They like to know you are all on the same team.

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That seems difficult especially because they're related to you! They might not take you serious. I am the oldest grandchild on every side of my family and have babysat all of my younger cousins. I grew up showing them a lot of love and not playing around when being firm because then they know I am serious. I also had my aunts and uncles back me up in situations so that way they would know that I was in charge and I am telling them certain things for their own good and safety.

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It's best to find a balance between making them feel independent while commanding their respect.

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Kristi in Chico, TX
April 26, 2019

I believe the best approach is positive rewards whether that mean extra time doing something that is limited or a treat of some type.

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Sorry, but they don't see you as someone with authority.

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Olivia in Tampa, FL
April 27, 2019

Negotiate and find something they want and you want. Create a level ground where they get what they want by respecting your requests or decisions. ALWAYS reward them when they are listening/respecting you!

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Depend on the parents how their talk to children. the Children is need to talk and explain them which bad or good.

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earn there trust kids respect people they trust

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Commit to the things you say. If you prohibited TV (for ex.) stick to it even if they go crazy 3 days in a row, then they'll understand you're serious when you say something.

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Establish a singular method whether they look all screen time for a day/week and stick with it. I just had a situation where there was a tantrum and meanness (had a horrid day in school Ask them whats going on and I like 'time out' and losing screen time for a day or two. Best wishes Nancy

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You need to be consistent and follow through. If they do something that they are not supposed to do or do not do something they are supposed to do, there needs to be a consequence. For example, you could have them sit out during play or not give them dessert. You need to be firm even if it feels like you are being mean. This does not mean yelling; you just need to put your foot down. The more you do it, the easier it gets.

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Beata in San Pedro, CA
April 27, 2019

My name is Beata Wakulinska. Im interested in the nanny position you are offering. I have been a nanny for over 18 years and I have great references. I have reliable transportation, great driving record and CPR Certification. I look forward to speak with you. Thank you, Beata Wakulinska

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The key to maintain a healthy authority figure with kids is to always keep to your word, regardless of what it may be. If you promised them ice cream at the end of the week for making good choices throughout the week, keep to your promise.

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Sure! I believe that yelling and screaming is never a great solution. The kids must learn to trust you, and to do this you must be firm when you speak(not loud), and don't lie but tell them the truth. For example, don't tell them lies simply because you wish for them to stop doing something for whatever reason. Kids must learn what is wrong and what is right and the only way to do that is with the simple truth. Once the kid finds that you are saying the truth, they'll trust you and will obey you because they know that what you say is really the truth.

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Take stuff from them with the parents permission.

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Damaris in Rockford, IL
April 29, 2019

Usually putting a hard foot down may lead to defiance! It closes them off all together from the beginning. Communication with an open ear to what their wants and needs are and negotiating for a more productive outcome is not a bad thing. Always look at each child as an individual; depending on age group approach the situation based on child's interests. I find it that when you give a child options it shows the that you care, that you listen, and that you value their opinion; in turn we get a peaceful solution and a positive outcome out of each situation. Good Luck!

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I find that with children who are SWC's, Strong Willed Child, giving options always helps. Ultimately, you have to decide what you will not waiver on to keep the children safe and what can be flexible.

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You do not want to raise your voice it will not help. I reccomened a low calm and controlled voice. I also reccomend positive reinforcement if you have chocolate chips. when the child does something good reward with a chip and verbal feed back. For example thank you andrew for being so nice and sharing." then give the chip

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Francesca in Temple, TX
April 30, 2019

There should always be some sort of activity in your schedule that you can use as leverage for good behavior. Threatening to take something away that they are looking forward to is very effective and sticking to your guns is the best thing you could do. When you challenge them, and they still act out, following through with taking that thing away or not taking them somewhere is so so effective. It will show that you mean business and that what you say should not be disregarded too soon.

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Hi, my name is Lucrecia my friends call me Mily, I recently moved to Vallejo, my information says San Francisco because I have always worked in the Marin area, and also I have a room in San Francisco. I care newborns up to 6 years, I'm very tidy, punctual, honest, and I dedicate 100% to the care and protection of the child. I have never accident in these 18 years with the children. If you would like to know more about me, please contact me. Thank you.

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Payton in Rochester, NH
April 30, 2019

You show them that you can have authority by either taking things away until they earn them (electronics)

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Madelyn in Lowell, AR
April 30, 2019

This isn't the best way in the long run, but bribery has always worked for me, or threatening to take something away.

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You can tell them that this is what we are doing/eating/etc. and if they don't like it, then they can go sit on a chair/in their room until they decide they have the right answer. I would check on them after a few minutes to see if they have made progress.

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I would be stern with the children when they are not respecting me. Of course I love to have fun with them and be their friend but they need to know there is a level of respect that needs to be given. I would also make sure that they know what respect is and if they do not I would make that a teaching opportunity as well.

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Try using the teacher face/voice. You can practice the face in the mirror. Unfortunately, family members can be a bit harder to control, but if you are consistent and firm, they'll come around.

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There's plenty of time to be silly and be a close friend to this age of children, but when it comes to serious directions, a change in attitude must take place for them to know you mean what you're asking them to do. If you keep the same demeanor 100% of the time, they may not take you seriously. Time outs or loss of privileges may also help them to realize that you do have authority.

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This can be a tricky situation since your cousins and sisters don't look at you like an authority figure. One way to help them understand that when you are babysitting you're in charge is to treat them the same way their parents do. Asserting yourself can be difficult especially when you're babysitting family but they need to know that when they disobey you it is just as bad as disobeying their parents.

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Lina in Ocala, FL
May 1, 2019

I believe young children follow more by example than by commands...In other words applying leadership shows them you are in charge.

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The best way to show authority when babysitting children that age is too kindly explain the consequences of bad behavior and good behavior. If you yell at a child, it doesn't help the situation. Being firm with your answer but kind to them can help them realize you're the boss. Take privileges away when they influence bad behavior and reward them if they show good behavior. Hope this helps :)

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Hi, I recently moved to Vallejo, My information says San Francisco because I have always worked in the Marin Area and also I have a room in San Francisco. I have 18 years of experience with newborn up to 6 years, I have excellent references.

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I have found it is crucial to make sure you are engaging the child with the things that they care about. They must know how much you care, before they care how much you know.

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This can be tough when you are related and very familiar with one another and likely they see you as their playmate or somewhat of an equal. In order for them to start taking your authority seriously, it will take the help of whomever they view as the True Authority figure(s) i.e. parents, aunt, uncle or grandparents. Have a chat with that person or persons explaining your issue and come up with some appropriate punishments or restrictions that they will Back You Up On if the younger children refuse to listen or break the rules. Make sure that the adult(s) announce to all of the younger ones, that you are in charge, what's expected of them, lay out what the consequences will be if they misbehave, and what punishments or restrictions you are allowed to enforce. Also keep in mind that you want to be fair, firm but kind when using your new authority over the younger ones. If you are overly strict or mean (more so than the true authorities), it will usually not go too well. Hope that helps! Good luck!

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I feel that the best way to get through this is by 1)not allowing it to get you too worked up and 2)try to speak to them as equals when explaining your decisions. That way the kids will feel included versus just getting the usual "because I said so" speach. Kids like to feel included and like a big part of everything that goes on. Help them understand what is right and what is wrong and most importantly, WHY.

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I would definitely make sure you're calm and collected when handling situations where you feel your authority as a caretaker is being overlooked by the kids. If it's a tantrum situation, I'd suggest distracted them with something they like, and then helping them put their feelings into words so you can better help them. If it's a simple "they just don't listen" scenario, then you have to be calm, yet firm, and don't give in.I would also suggest rewarding good behavior moreso than just punishing the bad behavior. When you use positive reinforcement of good behavior, the child learns that attention is paid to them when they are behave.

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Don't back down, often children of that age will find a loophole to get out of what their "punishment" may be but be sure to stay strong and stick to your word.

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Kids 6+ can sometimes be a handful. My nephew is 6 years old and there are times he just will not behave when his parents aren't around or are not paying attention to him at that moment. My best advice I can give you is to get eye level with your cousins and sisters and speak them in a low but unwavering voice. You have to point out them what they are doing wrong, tell them that you are in charge, and if they don't start behaving there will be some form of consequences. It can be hard to keep a kid's attention for long at that age but if they start to get distracted by something else, you need to just tell them to pay attention to you. Don't be harsh or mean but make sure they know are in charge and that the way they are behaving can get them in trouble either by you or their parents.

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Time out or no electronics

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Nicole in Midland, MI
April 19, 2019

I offer rewards and privileges to the children... video games, cookies, time with friends.. all of which can be denied when they act up. I have also, at times, kept daily performance notes for parents to see. Rite down good and bad as things happen. But before you report bad, give them the option of making a different choice. That one is my last resort, though.

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I would say that for people who have a hard time putting their foot down, the key to getting the respect from children this young is to stick to anything you say. If you say that they are going to time out if they do XYZ, then make sure that they really get put into time out. Children are so inquisitive and do not forget anything that you tell them.

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Kimberly in York, PA
March 8, 2019

I'm not sure what there into but i know if i'm babysitting and the children aren't listening i usually tell them ok if your fighting over video games then the TV goes off and we go out side or play a bored game or tell them hey if you want a turn come help me with this and then you can play or if they aren't cleaning up you tell them hey TV or phone goes away until its done and take the phone or turn off the TV until they listen! there is a way to show your the boss with out being mean or punishing them that's gonna make them not listen even more but if you give them options. if they are about 6 then they should realize hey if i listen and do this then i get to play or they get to do what they want to do and they will slowly listen. If that doesn't work talk to there parents and ask them what they do when they aren't listening or hat they what you to do as there babysitter. i hope this helps! sorry if its hard to understand all children are different you just have to try new things and see what they listen to the most!

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You have to set boundaries and do not let them cross them. It won't be easy be they will never respect you if you don't.

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Keep them on a schedule and always keep activities planned.

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well you got to show them you got authority not tell them

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Always be consistent with your actions.I personally never suggest screaming or hollaring or using physical actions no matter if it be a simple tap .I believe talking to the child and showing them by using your words is more effective and goes a long way,.No, I do not believe a child should ever have a hand laid on them ASAP it only shows them it is ok to put their hands on others as well. Of course I would also consider the act in which the child was being punished for & from there a conversation ,take away a favorite activity & restrict any tv,video games etc.

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Find out if they have any role models (like Captain America for example) and teach them the "what would Captain America do?" Put them in a situation where they can make their role model proud

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I use to have this problem, mainly because I'm short. Try using what they love against them. If they love watching a certain show remind them that privilege can be taken away. It doesn't have to, but it will if they will not act accordingly and behave. Hope this helps!

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My first step would be to ask for a sit-down with the parents - you will have a better chance of success if your discipline is consistent with the parents.

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Krystin in Milford, MA
April 20, 2019

Consistency is the best way to earn respect. They may not like it, but you are not there to be their friend, you're there to take care of them. Remember that you are in charge. You all will have a better time if they are listening to you

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Hi, my name is Lucrecia my friend call me Mily, I recently moved to Vallejo, my information says San Francisco because I have always worked in the Marin area, and also I have a room in San Francisco. I care newborns up to 6 years, I m very tidy, punctual, honest, and I dedicate 100% to the care and protection of the child. If you would like to know more about me, please contact me. Thank you.

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it's all about making sure they know who is the boss. you don't want to be too forceful but being too lenient can cause them to grow stubborn and not listen to you. With my experience of babysitting, the best way to show authority is to encourage positive decisions as much as you can. positive enforcement works better than anything else.

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I think it's important as kids get older to have more of a say in negotiating expectations and consequences. 6 and older is a good time to think about a behavior or chore contract and to come up with agreed punishments and rewards for meeting or failing to meet certain goals.

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Ages 6 and up can be hard, they are just coming into their own and love the word no! To show authority make sure you follow through. I use a warning system: first a warning and why what they are doing is wrong, second is another warning and the consequence is spelled out for them (time-out, toy is taken away etc.) and finally the third strike and the consequence. Once the consequence is over make sure to give hugs and explain why they were in trouble and of course an apology from them!

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User in Dallas, TX
March 9, 2019

What is your normal leniency with them? If you often let them do as they please without introducing consequences they will take advantage of your loose authority. Theres nothing wrong with letting children learn things on their own or letting them have fun. However you have to let the kids know that there are certain limits they cannot go past. Like if you tell them to do something like go brush their teeth and they don't listen you need to let them know that they need to listen. For example a kid doesn't listen when you tell them to brush their teeth, if it was my little 6 year old brother I'd threaten to turn off the tv he was on, or tell him no more candy for the rest of the week. (letting him know if he doesn't respect my authority there will be consequences). What you need to do is set these boundaries , since it sounds like they aren't already set. Start by threatening to take their tablets away, or no tv for a week, or if they're afraid of the dark threaten to make them sleep with the lights off. (I know a bit mean, but you need to let them know you are serious). Anyway you set these boundaries and they still don't listen, that's when you involve people who you know have authority. Like parents or uncles. "Hey __ isn't listening, can you tell him to listen to me," or something. The main idea is to let the kids know they need to listen to you. Hope this helps!

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The best way I have earned respect from a child that is 6+ is to explain to the child that their parent or guardian will know every unacceptable behavior from them. Tell them a head of time about a small reward. Ex: "Billy, if you listen to me the whole we are at the park you will get 1 cookie when we go back home." If the child chooses not listen, remind them that they will NOT receive the reward because they were told what they needed to do prior to leaving.Kids are very smart! Personally I do one small reward at the end of the day until they learn to respect you, then I follow up with lots of positive verbal rewards. "I am proud of you today, you listen to me the whole time, and we had lots of fun today!I am excited to tell your parents how well you did today! Let do it again tomorrow!"

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The best approach, in my opinion, that I have used for this is getting down to their level and talking to them about how it's very important that we use our listening ears to those who are trying to keep us safe. This approach has been used in countless childcare facilities and was even taught in one of my child development classes. It not only answers their question as to WHY we have to listen BUT it also helps them see that you're trying to communicate with them at a level they understand.

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you have to show confidence and be consistent with your choices. Give them an expectation and stick to it, don't give in because once you do that creates a power struggle and normally kids will win when you give in to what they are asking for. It may be hard for them to accept your authority though since you are family.

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Kimberly in Minot, ND
March 9, 2019

It is always best to ask the parents their way of authority with the children and respect their wishes.

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I feel like you should talk to them and try to come to a compromise, make sure your decisions are in the best interest of them. Also, you should try to connect with them.

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Hollie in Salem, MA
March 10, 2019

giving choices give them your choice with a good outcome then give them their second choice which should always been the choice they will not choose ask them which they would like to chose it makes them have a part in making right decisions and learn to problem solve and then they know what they was on them and be consentant always follow throughif you don't follow through they don't respect you when given choices tell them what you would like to do so that I'd like to have do this and then have funI'd like to do this and have fun but if you'd rather we could do this and go sit and do nothing and then tell them okay you decide and thenwait for them to make that decision and then follow through on that decision

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Calm but firm, low voice with a distraction to another subject as well as review of parents instructions in terms the six year old will understand. An older child will simply receive a no-nonsense response regarding parent(s) request for rules followed and a full report to the parent upon return.

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I would definitely discuss your concerns with the parents. You would all need to be on the same page.

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Having clear rules and expectations and following through with consequences.

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Maya in Brighton, MI
April 21, 2019

Ask them why they don't want to listen to you and then provide really good and well thought out real reasons why you're right. Kids ask why all the time, it's important that they also take a moment to reflect on why they're behaving in a certain way. Once they know why you're making them do certain things, they'll feel more respected than they would if you said "because I said so", and they'll be more likely to do what you say.

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It can be hard, especially with family, to earn their respect when you are also a peer. My strategy with authority is to just be consistent and be as mature as possible when facing conflict.

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Beth in Ney, OH
Feb. 3, 2019

Children need and crave boundaries. When children know what is acceptable and what isn't they feel comforted. Now, if you combine the above with offering them appropriate choices, this fosters their confidence. Ask them to help you in some activities and chores, praise their efforts and reward them. It is much easier and much more pleasant to build up a person than to be hard and critical of them. Don't be in a hurry to put your foot down so to say but to lay out what is expected ( boundaries) so every one is reading off the same sheet of music so to say. Like this,."When we are at the grocery store I need you to stay right beside me and not to touch things on the shelves unless I ask you to help me get things. Would you like to be my helper?.... I know you will do a fine job! " In short reward the good behavior with compliments and the not so good behaviour, well, treat them like you would've liked to have been treated when you were small ( Practice the Golden Rule). Keep in mind that when a child lashes out it is usually because their little love bucket is lacking and needs to be filled. This is where knowing and understanding love languages really comes in handy. They may need more hugs and snuggles or words of affirmation, etc... Before I had children of my own I was the part time nanny for seven different families in two different locations in California ( San Luis Obispo and Bakersfield). I went on to have seven children of my own who are now ages 31-9 years of age. They are a joy!

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Be kind, but, don't let no be the answer. Get the kid to do what you want them to do and be kind to them at the same time. You just need the perfect little balance.

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Rebecca in Dewitt, MI
March 11, 2019

In my experience, babysitting family members is the hardest thing a babysitter/nanny ever has to do. I have been a babysitter and nanny for 8 years now and have never had a harder time with any of the kids I watched than I did with my siblings and cousins. For me, I just had to remember that I wasn't the parent and they weren't going to listen to me completely. As kids get older they like to be treated as adults, responding and explaining in a polite and respectful way always got the best results for me. Try to treat them the same way as you would any other family you babysit for, as hard as it is. The most important thing is to keep calm and take a moment for yourself if the situation is getting to frustrating.

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I would try using a count down system/warning system. I've used this on kids of all ages. I'd give them 2 warnings and if they get a third warning then they get the timeout chair no talking or making noises for 5-30 minutes depending on how bad their behavior was, and if they talked or anything during timeout either timer got restarted or I would add 2 minutes each time. I've found this very affective with all ages from 2 years old-8+ years old. Once the kids would have timeout, I typically wouldn't have any other problems with them listening to me after that. I hope this helps :)

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Cathy in Andover, NJ
May 14, 2019

If your OLDER family members are not providing you the support you need to babysit their children, double your rates or find well behaved children whose parents believe in respecting your elders!

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Alex in Pontiac, MI
March 11, 2019

take them for a walk around the house, the walking usually helps them know that you are in charge of what they do and where they go and its a little time out from what they are currently doing.

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Talk to him/her to always respect one another

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Well if you are sitting for these people and they refuse to respect your rules and decisions , then it is time for them to try to find someone else to do the childcare for these people .or if its not easy to do that then they need some things taken away from them AND time out .

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there're several ways and have to try one at time.whichever is works.

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Wendy in Cedar Park, TX
April 22, 2019

You have to be consistent, and stick to your guns. When you threaten discipline, you have to enforce it so they know you are serious.

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Positive reinforcement for good behavior. Praising them for behaving well and encouraging them to do their chores and homework will help boost their confidence. If they misbehave communicate with them to let them know what they did was wrong and if they continue that behavior there will be consequences.

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I was a teacher at a Catholic school for five years and difficulties would come up once in a while. I taught pre-K through 8th grade and different ages required different tactics. Keeping things under control and busy and happy prevent behavior getting out of hand. No shouting, time out and sitting down for discussions.

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punish them by taking away what they value most. Like for eg. video games, tv privilege and or tablets and other gadgets.

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you just have to talk with them and let them know its no different than with mom and dad, grandparents , teachers. Rules are made for a reason

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Hard to answer without specifics. The variables of a situation depend on what level "putting down my foot" you apply, ;) If you can be more specific, maybe someone can better advise. Sometimes it is a matter of approach. When we present in a dictatorial manner, it is usually met with stubbornness or disrespect. If we make it more loose and casual, they tend to go along with less resistance. But again, it really depends on what you are referring to.

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its sometimes easierto not get into control battles when you are sitting but it is most improtant to be consistent. Find a way to let them think you are giving them choices so they do not turn it into a control issue.

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Incentives and explanations help! I like to show how their actions affect what happens in the future. Usually this can be seen in their freedom, or lac thereof, to play with games, electronics, toys, or doing something fun/out of the ordinary.

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It's super hard to get that balance right - especially with family because they know your weaknesses to call you out. You could try positive reinforcement: When they do something good reward them. When the other kids see one child being rewarded they will want to increase their good behavior.

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Be very clear and give them only two options to fix the behavior. Don't show any emotion but tell them what they are doing is upsetting you and say "we have two options here..." this usually works.

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Gina in Hemet, CA
Feb. 5, 2019

If a child doesn't listen to you the first time, you give them a warning. If they still don't listen you send them to time out based on their age. So say its a 6-year-old they would go in time out for 6 minutes. After their time out is done you sit and talk to them about why they went and time out, explaining the reason behind it so they can clearly understand. Remind them of your expectations and what they could have done differently. Also explain to them that if they continue to not listen they will lose other privileges such as TV time etc. Make sure you talk to them calmly and have them apologize

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The best way in my opinion is to speak to them in a calm and mannerly way. I have a 3+ year old niece who cooperates better when you don't raise your voice at her. Be as calm but firm as possible.

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Ainka in Shelton, CT
March 12, 2019

In this situation, I would try to talk with them about why they are not listening, and if they choose to continue to not respect me I will put them in time out until they behave.

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This age group is hard to get them to respect you. The key is to be gentle but firm. If they are acting up and not doing what you asked them to do follow the steps below to put them in time-out. 1. Give a waring-this will let them know you are serious and they will go into time-out if they do not behave. For example, say six -year- old Susie pushed her brother Tommy. I would say, "Susie if you push Tommy again, you will go in time-out." "This is your first warning." 2. If the behavior occurs again, you give them a final warning. 3. If it has happened again, you put the child in time out per one minute of age (6years old=6minutes). Tell them why they are in time-out and how long they have to be there. Then set a timer for however many years old they are. Make sure that the time-out spot is where you can keep watching them while watching other children if you have more than one child. 4. If they get up from the time-out spot, put them back, and reset the timer for the allotted time. Do not make eye contact with them do not talk to them. You may need to repeat this, but they will eventually stay in the time-out. 5. After time out is over remind them why they were in time out, tell them why the behavior was unacceptable and ask them to say sorry and if you can have a hug.

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User in Lexington, MA
March 12, 2019

I think it depends if you are the babysitter or the nanny. the roles are very different and yet both childcare.

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You can show authority by being consistent in your instructions and in following through with them. A "start" instruction may be given twice, but a "stop" instruction should only be given once before moving on to a logical consequence, quiet time, or time out. Feel free to reach out if you would like more information on using these skill building consequences.

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You should tell them how you feel. And if you feel as though your in a tough situation talk to your parents.

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With babysitting children 6+ I don't believe in showing authority, it's more about understanding them. I found through parenting my own child and babysitting others that when you listen to children, and talk to them you get further then being authoritative. It's always good to update the parents of any behaviors and leave it to them to talk to or discipline their children. There are great articles on positive affirmations to use with children to get them to respect you on pinterest, if you are lost I would begin there. Most importantly, be patient. If the child is doing something harmful in any way then be stern but explain to them why that behavior is not okay and why we shouldn't do that. Good Luck!

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Talk to them on the good and bad side of things as they grow up. Always talk to them constantly to shape them to become good children in the future. You don't need to exercise your authority over them otherwise they will always live in fear.

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User in Saint Paul, MN
April 22, 2019

Never yell. If the child(ren) hit, or swear, I don't do warnings. I don't even say a word, I calmly walk over, pick them up just like you would a toddler who's wanting to be held (not roughly nor with any emotion), I walk them to their room, set them down and on my way out I repeat the same phrase of, "please let me know when you're ready to talk. And keep in mind that I love you like crazy." *Even if they are yelling/crying and when they said "I hate you." After the first few times of doing that same thing, they begin to catch on that you don't do warning and it works 100% of the time for me (after those initial times).... There's no need to 'put your foot down' nor show any upset or worry. And consistency is the key to every single thing in the world that involves a child. :-) *Consistency does not = a day or two of trying it consistently. Consistency = weeks/months/years of doing it. :-)

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Kaelynn in Chico, CA
April 22, 2019

Your authority lies in your ability to enforce the rules. Set clear boundaries with clear consequences that make sense. ONLY set consequences that you can and will actually enforce! If you say something will happen and then it doesn't, the kids will remember that and then they won't take you seriously. I hope this helps.

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Cheyanne in Augusta, GA
March 13, 2019

There is an effective way to show authority when babysitting! I have learned that setting the child away from the other children, allowing no electronics, or moving from room to room (like time out) or going in their room for an allotted amount of time is effective. I also am in agreeance with the parents (if comfortable with the family) that if I feel the need to further carry out their punishment throughout the week such as no T.V., games, etc. will happen. I repeat that I am the boss and their actions/attitudes will not be tolerated.

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User in Bellerose, NY
April 22, 2019

By positively reinforcing younger cousins (ages 6+) can show authority and at the same time, positive reinforcement can make young ones connect to you better.

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If they have a favorite toy or electronic tell them if they don't shape up in the next 3 seconds your gonna take away that toy and then they may respect you enough to get their stuff back.

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The best thing you can do is showing them you will only address them and their issues if they use their "big words". If they are either sulking or being snappy/or using a smart attitude then they can wait to get a resolution until they are willing to have a conversation. Until then, they can either sit in a quiet room or maybe put a journal in front of them and have them write it out.

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I believe if you get down to the child's level "height" and make eye contact while speaking in a calm direct manner will work... most of the time.

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User in Denver, CO
March 13, 2019

I use a time out from their favorite thing until they decide they want to show that respect. After all you are the adult and the one responsible one and I always explain that from the start letting them know that they don't have the choice of listening to me or not. When they are the adult they will have the same responsibilities of making decisions.

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Yes, there is an affective way to show authority when babysitting ages 6+ by being firm and going through with what you're telling them.

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Beverly in Atlanta, GA
March 14, 2019

Restrict them from toys or activities they love until their behavior has improved.

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I use positive behavior interventions. Start praising them and rewarding them when they do what they are supposed to do! That will allow them to trust you and want to please you better.

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Lydia in Odessa, FL
May 19, 2019

use logic and talk to them as an adult. 1, get down to their level, eye to eye and ask questions regarding the situation in question..allow them to respond back 2 if they dont respond in a rational way..ex next time you will have to go in time out. I let them stand in a set corner, for 5min no talking,facing the corner.after 5min you ask why did you have to go in time out, what did you do? then, what were you told to do? do you like going in the corner? so what should you do next time to avoid this? ex i need to listen to you.._child..and let them return to the activity..if it is an older child then perhaps removing the object in question,no tv for 30min, no using their electronic devices,etc..usually when i have done this with the children in my care..it has good results.but of course i always run it pass the parents to make sure they are okay with me as the sitter making correctory decisions.

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I think that with love and respect sometimes we have to make our on decisions.

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Remind them of their place in a strict, but not mean way.

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Queen in Durham, NC
Feb. 7, 2019

Be consistent and set clear boundaries. Let them know that you not being heard and how that makes you feel. Also set age appropriate consequences when they do not respect your decisions when you are left in charge. Try not to lead with frustration when that occurs and stick by what you say no matter what.

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I reason out with kids around that age, I ask them how they would feel if they were not feeling respected. Talking it out with kids really does help, it's all about respect and explaining the importance of it.

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Yes, use consequences. They do work ONLY IF you follow through. If you take TV- Time away, don't give in and turn it back on. The more you follow through with the consequences, the more respect you will get. Plus, it helps you get the respect, vs. you going to the parents to talk to the children to behave. As most times, they will start mis-behaving as soon as the parents leave. But here is the most important part. PRAISE the child/ren. If they do something right, do a star chart, so they can earn the TV-time, etc. When the child/ren feel like they are respected by you even for the smallest thing, you will see the difference in ways that will amaze you!

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Kelly in Milford, MA
Feb. 7, 2019

I would take them aside and talk to the child whos the most difficult, and be positive but say that something needs to change, or you need to speak with their parents.

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User in Pikeville, NC
April 23, 2019

Your family will know you the best. They know exactly how to push your buttons and how far they can push you. First, you have to follow through with what you say. If you are telling them that they will be punished for a certain action, follow through with the consequence. Mean what you say and say what you mean. They may think you're being mean, but they will get over it and eventually you will earn respect.

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User in Des Moines, IA
April 23, 2019

I have worked in child care for over 10 yrs, & I am known for effectively handling difficult children. My secret is time-out, regardless of their age. I will put a 12 yr old in time-out if they refuse to listen! If time-out is too hard for you to manage (such as, if they kick & scream & won't stay in their time-out spot), then removal of privileges, such as electronic devices or visiting with friends. The biggest thing for you, is to stay calm & be authoritative without raising your voice. Calmly state what you expect. If they ignore it, then remind them with a warning of what will be the consequences if they don't listen.

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Lainey in Peoria, AZ
May 19, 2019

I feel there is an effective way, you just have to find the way. Every child is different. I do no believe yelling or a raising of voice is efficient. You just have to find the way of the child. A way I found found works best is, getting down on there level (get on one knee) and with a stern but gentle voice tell that what you need of them.

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You have to be firm and stand your ground. Do not give in. Offer options to make them feel like they are making a decision for themselves. You can either clean up your room and get an extra half hour of play before bed or you can just go to bed now. If you want to get ice cream today you have to do a job for me and here are your options..., no job no treat. Kids like to feel like they are apart of the decision making process. You do not need to yell to gain respect in fact yelling has the exact opposite effect. Speak to them calmly but firmly and lay out your consequences, stand by them even if they seem inconvenient.

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Marge in Raleigh, NC
May 19, 2019

Tell them once and if they don't behave take something away they will soon learn you are the boss.

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Be firm and patient, that's something I've always had work. They understand that you're in charge but the want to be able to push you to see how much they can get away with. Communicate to them in way that they understand and explain why they've got to do something if necessary. And when in doubt talk to the parents if you're really struggling. The parents understand how their child works and have their own approach to it. Every kid is different and sometimes you just have to understand how they perceive things differently than others. One may be totally fine with being told to do their math homework and another might need you to approach it differently because to them that's a challenge.

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