Attitude - Kalamazoo,MI

Updated on September 21, 2011
M.Y. asks from Kalamazoo, MI
10 answers

I have a 7 yr old daughter who has MAJOR attitude and I am not sure how to begin to correct it. I thought for sure we wouldn't have to address this until the teen years, but it has quickly developed over the last year or so. She is very independant and wants more and more independance, she THINKS she is ALWAYS right (some of her arguments would be hysterical if she weren't so dead set on being right!) and whenever I am trying to talk to her she signs very loudly and says "I know mom" even though she clearly doesn't. She roles her eyes, makes exagerated (sp?) "sighing" sounds and uses tones that are extremely disprespectful. This morning when I reminded her to write her name on her homework (she was putting it in her backpack and I noticed her name was NOT written on it) she pulled it out, slammed it down and said "my name IS on my homework". I just don't get it...and I certainly don't understand how to help her get it. HELP!!!

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answers from Dallas on

OH, the magical age of 7! This is when it all starts. Not at 13, at 7! This is when we began talking about respect and I have to constantly remind myself not argue with my 10 year old. I'm grown, she's not. End of story. If she talks back, I correct her right there and end it. She knows now (most of the time anyway), that when I say to stop, she had better not say anything else or it's off to her room. I dread the teenage years!!!!

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answers from Dover on

I think, with all due respect, the only thing you have an obligation to help her "get" right now, is that if she crosses you there will be hell to pay. In my opinion, disrespect isn't something you talk through. Disrespect is something you drop the hammer on.

So start today when she gets home from school. Sit her down and tell her enough's enough. You won't tollerate another eye roll, another raised voice, another snotty comment. You are her mother and you love her and that affords you respect from now until forever freakin' more. From this day forward there will be swift and horrible consequences. There will be loss of privileges, added chores. You will make sure she is so busy she'll want to change her name to Cinderella and won't have time to be disrespectful because if she wants to be the head woman in the house, she can do the head woman's work. When she decides she wants to be the child and respectful again, she can do all the fun things kids can do.

Then start immediately and waste not a minute's time or an opportunity to prove your point.

Hope this helps,


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answers from Dover on

My daughter is 10 & started with the whole attitude a couple of years ago. "I know" seems to be her all-time favorite saying these days. We've outlawed it in our home because, well, she doesn't. WE know. We are the parents & we DEMAND respect in our home. Eye rolling, sighing, talking back, raised voice, etc. are not tolerated. Period. She is sent to her room on a very regular basis to the point where I don't even say it, I just point towards the stairs. If she stomps on her way up there she loses a privilege. She slammed the door 1 time only & I marched up there & told her the next time the door is slammed I personally will remove it from the hinges & put it in the garage. Take it seriously right from the get-go & it is controllable.

The saying in our house is, "You don't have to like it, you just have to do it." That's a life lesson & it starts at home.

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answers from Colorado Springs on

I think the first thing I would do would be to declare this attitude unacceptable. It's just like a tantrum. Whether her name is or is not on her homework, your girl must speak to her mother, and to other adults, in a respectful way. You'll have to let her know that, and also let her know what the consequence will be for such a display of temper.

Don't you wonder where it came from, though? I do. Has she been watching something on television? Does she have a friend with an older sister? It doesn't even have to be an older sister - it could be the friend. Seven is not too young to try out these behaviors.

Your daughter can argue for the rightness of her actions in better ways - and ways that will better convince her mama. I had one of those kids, too! Is there a lawyer somewhere in your family who could teach her how to argue her case? :^)

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answers from Santa Fe on

We curbed this by laying out exactly what is considered speaking rudely or with disrespect. Then any time our son spoke with even a slight rude tone of voice he got either sent to his room or an appropriate consequence. It took him a little bit to get it but then he stopped doing it. It was hard to remember to do this at first bc I was so used to the constant attitude!

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answers from Philadelphia on

Start by having a meeting with her. Talk to her about how she has been behaving and ask why she has been so angry or frustrated. Let her know that it will not be tolerated. If she wants to have a discussion that will be welcome (If she wants a different outfit, lunch..) But yelling wont be. Take a look at how the folks around her talk. Do they use sarcasm or attitude? Do you speak to her the way that she speaks to you. If reminders set her off, frame them in the form of questions or open phrases or just let it go. Sometimes there are so many questions, requests and judgment that come from parents that kids can get very defensive. If her name isn't on her work, her teacher will notice OR when she does not get it back she will realize that she needs a name on it. End the conversation, "I was clear, please turn the tv down. If that is not going to work for you I will just turn it off." Also try creative communication such as using notes, or lists to check off (Lunch, homework in bag, jacket).

B. Davis
Because nothing is more important than family

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answers from Dallas on

I'm right there with you. My 8 year old daughter is the queen of attitude. Argues with everything and I mean everything. On top of the attitude, she has some other issues such as being very immature for her age, adhd, learning disabilities and just plain strong-willed. Not a good mixture at all. We are currently battling right now. She has just recently lost everything. I just boxed up all of her stuff from her room and stored it all away. She will have to earn it all back. Yes it's drastic but nothing else we have tried has worked yet. Our problem has always been trying to figure out what is adhd, immaturity, learning disability related and what's just plain attitude. We believe that the argueing, the talking back are related strictly to attitude. We'll see if this new tactic will work. It's not easy. Like you, I'm scared that if we don't get control over this now, it's just going to get worse especially when she is a teenager. All I can say is be consistent. Talk to her about her behavior when she is calm not in the middle of a meltdown. Put some ground rules and consequences done and stick to them. Good luck. I'm interested in seeing what responses you get because I can learn something as well. Hang in there mom!

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answers from Dallas on

OH, the magical age of 7! This is when it all starts. Not at 13, at 7! This is when we began talking about respect and I have to constantly remind myself not argue with my 10 year old. I'm grown, she's not. End of story. If she talks back, I correct her right there and end it. She knows now (most of the time anyway), that when I say to stop, she had better not say anything else or it's off to her room. I dread the teenage years!!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

It has taken me many painful years to learn this (my girls are now 12 and almost 16) but sometimes we moms make the attitude worse without even realizing it.
Kids, especially girls, do not like to be micromanaged. Reminding her to put her name on her homework is a perfect example. That's HER responsibility, not yours. If it's a problem, that's for she and her teacher to deal with. She will learn from it, and you will avoid yet another confrontation.

Think of it this way, imagine someone was constantly reminding you to do things, or telling you how to do things you are trying to figure out on your own. You'd get pretty annoyed, right?
Our girls get frustrated because they are trying to grow and learn and be independent but we well meaning moms are constantly trying to "guide" them. I have found that backing off and giving them a longer leash makes a huge difference. I have also found it helps to let them do things in their own way, which has been very hard for me because I can be pretty fixed in my opinion about how things "should" be done. It's hard at first, because of course mother knows best, lol! But honestly my girls and I get along so much better when I am able to let them figure things out on their own.

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answers from Detroit on

You might have a conversation with her about the things that you you are having problems with, at a time when things are calm. Then lay out the rules...for example: tell her you will not be reminding her anymore about her name on her homework, to do her homework or anything to do with her homework. Tell her that you realize she is older now and can be responsible for her own stuff.
I have to think that for homework you probably initially need to set up a rule about doing it, say, right after school or right after dinner, THEN let her be in charge of herself. Let her make her own mistakes...natural and logical consequences work well, though sometimes they are very painful for us mamas to watch! She already knows her name is supposed to be on her homework. She already knows what will happen AT SCHOOL if her name is not on her homework...let THAT happen. Stop being a "helicoptor". Her poor attitude needs to be addressed. Again, it's all in the set up. She needs to have some consequences for talking disrespectfully to you. First she needs to know what talking disrespectfully to you sounds like, how and why it is inappropriate and unacceptable. Then set the consequence and stick to it. For example..."sassy pants" must sit on a chair...alone, no books, no games, no talking, no TV etc... just let her sit with her own thoughts for 7 MINUTES (age appropriate). Any talking starts the TIMER (yes use a real timer) all over again. DO NOT send her to her room...there are things to do in there. Be sure to set it up ahead of time so she MIGHT think before she acts. After a few trips to the "chair" she will get it. It takes YOU out of her behavior. Who owns the problem? If she knows the definition of speaking badly to you and knows the consequences for doing is HER choice to sit on a lonely, boring chair. Stay calm and very matter of fact. Don't let her hook you into HER behavior. Good luck...would love to hear how this turns out! Hope this has helped.


answers from Detroit on

I would say you'd better put a stop to this RIGHT now, before she DOES reach her teens. If she survives that long! Let her know her attitude and snippy way of talking to you is no longer acceptible and start putting her on no privilege notice until she starts showing respect. Give her push ups for infractions if necessary. I'm thinking of how it's done in the karate class my kids went through. Disrespect, not adhering to rules is treated with disciplinary push ups. It's a 'time out', but the physical aspect is good for the body.
A 7 year old is not in any position to know better. You do not need to be debated with. Maintain your position of authority. But think as to where she might be learning this stuff. At school? At home? If at home then it needs an adjustment. If at school, talk to her teacher/.

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