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feel guilty to my kids for looking after other kids
As u all know, in this day and age, its hard to be a stay at home mom like so many of our moms were.  I have always dreamed that I would be able to do this too, but we cant afford it.  In order to meet halfway, I have been taking in 2 children a day/3-4 days a week for some extra income.  So on a typical day i have my 4 year old daughter, my almost 2 year old daughter and 2 other little boys between 20-28months.  My younger daughter has no problem with this as she was 5 months old when i started doing this and these kids are like her siblings-she wakes up asking for them!  My 4 year old was just over 2 when my younger daughter was born and then 2 1/2 when i started doing childcare.  She does not like it.  She usually starts off fine in the morning and by late morning is already pushing the buttons of the little ones to the point where they are crying.  When lunchtime hits and the kids go to nap, she and I getr some much needed one on one and do crafts, read books, watch movies, bake etc.   Within moments of the kids waking up, she is back to her old habits again.  What can I do to keep her from acting like this towards the kids?  I feel so guilty that I cant have the time with just her and her sister all the time.  I feel like its my fault because she is great when the other kids arent here.  They are very good kids too, so its not like they are provoking her.  I have a hard time keeping her in time out as well for her behavior because I have to stand guard over her to make her stay, but then there is no one watching the three 2 yr olds who need my supervision.  She senses that and as soon as i have to go to another child, she is out of her time out and bugging another kid.  How can I get her to understand that she needs to stay in her timeout?  What am I doing wrong?  She seems to be the worst around 3-5pm where she will just randomly scream or hit.  I feel like her brain cant handle all the extra activity going on, like she has had too much and she needs to vent somehow.  How can I keep her calm?  She is very smart, probably too smart for her own good, so there is no way I can trick her into anything.  Any suggestions on how to better my parenting towards her?  I feel like my job is causing her anxiety and I feel so guilty for it.  She probably senses that and its part of the problem, but i still need help!!
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Do you think that maybe your daughter should nap also?  It sounds like she is getting tired by the end of the day. What I would do when she hits, is get down to her level and
grab her hand and say very sternly "we don't hit others," and have her apologize to the child she hit.  Since she won't stay in "time out" you need to have a gate up to a nearby room where you can put her and tell her that she has to stay in there until she can play nicely.  Don't argue with her, it's not up for debate.  When she settles down and is ready to come back and play nicely, again get down to her level and let her know you love her and give her a big hug.  It wil take several times, so don't give in to her.  She has to learn that there are consequences for her behavior.  I know what you're going thru, I had 3 of my own and babysat 5 others, three of which were in school all day.  You have a very exhausting job, the hardest actually.  I hope this helps, and take care.
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973741 tn?1342346373
I think I would look at your job this way----------  you get to do it WITH your kids!  Otherwise, they wouldn't be with you all day and off in someone else's daycare.  So you've found a great way to be with your family and still work.  So good for you and no guilt!  

In terms of your daughter,  It is probably true that that many younger kids would be slightly annoying.  I can buy that.  Always having to be the big kid that knows better is tiring.  And it also hinders what you can do to her level.  So I would think in terms  of this.  I would plan out a day in which you have plenty for her to do, just like in preschool.  There are books that have lots of themes and activities for kids at home to learn and have fun.  I have one called "Kitchen Table Play and Learn" by Tara Copley and Andrea Custer.  I'd also have breaks of physical activity in which you move to music and jump around.  (you may do all of this . . . but I just thought I'd mention it).  

I'd make a list of rules and have her and the other kids help you come up with them.  You guide them along.  "NO HITTING" will surely make the list.  Then post them.  Talk about everyone as friends there.  We take care of our friends.  I'm a big believer of natural consequences.  If one of my  kids  hurts the other, you better bet the one who did the hurting has to look at the mark and see the other's tears.  AND I give lots of love to the one who is hurt.  (the hurter usually can't stand this and is more motivated to be the loved on one). STay with the time out routine.  Also think in terms of what matters to her.  Switch it to posative.  If she DOES do as you ask, she gets a bean in a jar and when she gets enough beans, she gets to do some activity of her choosing.  She can earn beans by being your helper.  She can earn them by going through a period of time without an outburst or hitting or whatever.  (Start in smaller increments as you are retraining behavior).  Kids will seek out any kind of attention they can even if it is negative.  Switch it so that she is more motivated for posative attention.  

Lastly, it would be great if there was another child her age or a 5 year old not yet in kindergarten or going to half day kindergarten.   She would probably love that.  And kids that go to school and have working parents are great babysitting gigs. Parents may need some help for a short time before the bus comes, after the bus arrives home in the late afternoon or on school days off.  Just a thought

good luck!!
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Hey, you have to do what you have to do.  You are helping out other parents and you are making yourself available to be at home to your kids, so the best to you and the other families.  You are helping make a dream come true for everyone.  If they couldn't work it would not be good and if you did not have them you could not stay home.  Though it seems really frustrating right now with the four year.  Do you think she is jealous of the other kids.  Maybe she is tired, will she lay down to take a nap.  A lot of kids do stop napping at this age (unfortunately!).  But having all those kidsa t home all day can be a lot of stimulation for her.  Maybe it's just too much.  Is there any way she could go off and play in her room by herself, would she do that?  
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973741 tn?1342346373
I think the reason I wasn't mentioning doing away with the one on one time with mom is because if she IS feeling jealous, this will help with that.  It is also good to get some special attention from mom.  I'd rather see her go to bed a little earlier than be forced to give up this special mom time.  Just my opinion.
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