Help… my grandchild is out of control

You hear all about children who need discipline and who are out of control, and it’s so easy to say that

You hear all about children who need discipline and who are out of control, and it’s so easy to say that they just need more discipline, but until you’re there – you have no idea.

My little grandson Tim was an angel when he was born. He slept through the night and barely cried. He even learnt how to walk very early on and developed a very impressive vocabulary by the time he was 18 months. But it was when he turned 2 that the problems started to occur.

He stopped being a good boy for his Nanny and Mummy at the shops. He would tantrum over the smallest things, and he would wail and wail all night long, exhausting himself. My daughter took him to a specialist but there was nothing wrong – he was just a very emotional child.

He’s now 5 years old and has gotten a bit better, and now only plays up on occasion. But when he does, he is a nightmare. I hate saying that about my own grandchild but it’s true – I fear going to his house as he stresses my husband and I out.

We’ve tried everything – we’ve tried bribing him, time-out, punishments, stern talking-tos, and he just won’t listen! I’m at my wit’s end. I’ve told my daughter but she’s gotten to the stage where she feels there’s nothing she can do. She doesn’t want to smack little Tim, but I sometimes think that could be what he needs instead of a gentle ‘stop it’ from his mum. But who am I to discipline? I feel like grandparents always have to tread lightly as they’re not the parents, and they don’t decide the upbringing.

He knows right from wrong and I think Tim just wants to express himself but doesn’t know how. He is easy upset by things people do or say, and I worry for his mental health down the track as things like going to the park can cause a major freak out.

I personally think children these days are given more leeway than children were a generation ago. Parents just like to give kids a tablet or something to distract them and this isn’t giving children the attention they need.

I wonder if other grandparents are battling similar issues and wish their grandchild had some more strict rules and routines. I surely can’t be the only one feeling like they want to step in and change things but don’t want to step on any toes.

Maybe I’m just out of touch but I think I’m right about this one: I want my grandchild to be a functioning member of society.

What is your advice?