September 13, 2012,
J.C. asks from Denton, TX on February 28, 2010
My 7 1/2 year old has become very disrespectful recently. It is like a switch was flipped about three months ago. He only seems to have trouble following the rules and directions at home. Thankfully he is very well behaved at school, although he has had some minor problems (not listening, being too talkative) but by the end of the day his color is always green. We has family rules posted in our kitchen and the consequences of breaking the rules are also posted. (A warning, then a time-out, then loss of a privilege if necessary.) I have also tried a reward system and it failed miserably. If he is asked to pick up his room he will yell "I HATE cleaning!" and when I tell him that he can't watch TV or play until it's clean he will call me, "Meanine" or some other name. I feel like I am constantly yelling and punishing him! I also have a 5 year old and 3 1/2 year old daughters who mimic (especially the youngest) his every move. When I ask him why he is misbehaving he will either say, "I don't know," or his newest excuse, "I just want to experience bad." He has recently made a new best friend at school whom I don't know, so I don't know if that has anything to do with it.
R.J. answers from San Diego on February 28, 2010
Just some commiseration... my ds7 is SO right there. In a lot of ways we're revisiting the terrible 3's all over again. 1st verse! Same as the first! ALL our rules we're having to reground.
A friend of mine tagged the "Stupid Sixes", which was a relief... the same way the terrible twos (or three's in our case) was a relief. Okay, exhausting but developmentally normal/necessary/& on track. I'm 1/2 way to nicknaming the 7's either the bipolar 7's, or the defiant 7's. Lightswitch Sevens just made it into the running!
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M.K. answers from Chico on February 28, 2010
I read an article about nagging and stopping the habit of nagging your kids to do stuff that suggested that you give the kids the control of when they do the chore. So, in the clean your room example, you tell the kid: your room needs be cleaned by dinner time. Then you don't say anything else about it- let him watxch TV or play or whatever, then at dinnertime, you go check to see if it is done. If not, he has to do it before he can eat. Then you hold your ground hard: no food until the room is clean; ignore any tears or tantrums and calmly remind him the deal was to clean your room before dinner time. I am not sure I can be this hands off about it and maintain my cool, but thought I would throw it out there as an idea. Maybe instead of a warnning and timeout system, you could move to a deadline and consequence system. This is from the Love and Logic ideas. It is unfortunate that your little ones are mimicing. That makes it all so much more stressful! I have the hardest time with the Love and Logic stuff because I always end up sounding like I am giving a threat instead of stating a logical consequence.
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J.H. answers from Dallas on March 01, 2010
If it's any consolation, my 7 1/2 daughter is doing the same thing as well. If I'm remembering correctly, my now 10 year-old was very trying during this time as well. I guess it's just an age where they start testing the boundaries again. I know a lot is expected of them at school and they probably just have a hard time keeping up with high expectations all day long. Stick to your guns and hang in there mama!
L.A. answers from Dallas on March 01, 2010
I have a 7 year old who I swear LOVES getting into trouble. But he is a very sweet boy 98% of the time. My trick is I ask him once.....if he doesn't do it I let him know that he will lose the TV for the remainer of the day/night. Ask a second time.....if he doesn't do it I ask him to hand me his Wii controls and his games. Ask a third time and he still doesn't do it.....he writes for me 50 times AND all of the above for 1 day.
Perfect sentences, spelling, penmanship etc.
"I will listen when I am asked to do something" or whatever you choose.
For not cleaning his room I hand him trashbags and say "Bag it up!" and he will have to do extra things to earn a bag back.
He HATES writing and will often bend after the second attempt. I also punish with book reports on a book I choose, extra homework etc. I don't take much away as I know it doesn't phase him much. BUT I do mention a show he loves to watch and instead of saying no TV...I let him watch TV until his program comes on then say "your grounded from it per your punishment" Let's them know your serious and hitting them where it hurts. It won't hurt until they really want it.
I also treat him how he treats me. If he wines when I ask him for something, I get in my "whiney kid mode" and I do the same thing when HE wants something of me. Reminding him that he doesn't like it, so why should I. It works when they want a snack, to use the computer, to stay up late etc. It teaches him the old saying "treat others how you want to be treated"
K.S. answers from Miami on February 28, 2010
A switch does turn on about 8 years of age where they are feeling there own person so to speak. They are very emotional, get frustrated more easily at times and some kids handle it better than others. I would try to speak with him and make sure nothing is happening at school. My favorite line is its hard for me to communicate with you when you are acting this way. Usually going to their room to calm down or actually some hard work or cleaning canhelp them work it out.
E.P. answers from Dallas on March 01, 2010
I agree with the other mom about "Love and Logic." Most school districts offer these parenting classes developed by Dr. Foster Cline. One example of a technique you will learn is: Allowing natural consequences to occur. What is a natural consequence of not cleaning your room?? You don't have to nag or tell him to do it. Let it get messy. A natural consequence may be that he can't have a friend over to spend the night because the room is embarrassing to you. Or he may not have any clean clothes or a clean karate uniform because they were not in his hamper when you came in his room to get the laundry. Or he can't find his baseball glove when it is time to go to practice and coach makes him run laps for being late. Take the class. You will learn the "tools" much better than I can explain here. "LOVE AND LOGIC"
C.H. answers from Little Rock on September 10, 2010
I have a simular problem but my daughter is 8yrs and has become increasingly disrespectful. She started out talking back and has now started nudging me out of the way or hitting me lightly, her disrespect is very embarrassing when it happens in public. I usually take her to the side and explain her behavior is unexceptable and that she will have to have time out. She always responds I don't care. And she doesn't seem to. I have tried taking away TV, and Computer but that doesn't work either. I have two teenage daughters and I do not have this problem with them or never did. My older daughters sometimes try to intervene which ampliflies the problem so My husband and I always ask them to stay out of it. When we try to talk to her she constantly interrupts and will not listen to us. We usually get so discouraged we send her to her room. But the problem starts again as soon as she is out. It is to the point where I do not want to go in publc with her because I feel she is being judged as a bad kid and I do not have control as a parent. Not sure what to do at this point any advice?
B.F. answers from Dallas on March 01, 2010
It is time to talk to his teacher to get a handle on his outside influences. I am not saying that is his only problem but it will help you know if the new friend is a problem. Be consistant. Have a talk with him before he does anything distructive or disrespectful when things are calm about being a family and his part in it. What if everyone else wanted to experience "bad"?
Remember sometimes he is just venting, its not really you. He can vent in his room, not where his sisters can hear him.
A.W. answers from Columbus on May 18, 2011
My son has been the same way. He also just got an award from school for good conduct and citizenship..the Shinning star award..like he is an angel at school, which is wonderful. Most of the time he is a sweetheart at home,but out of no where..he becomes demanding and rude. I have to tell him numerous times to do something and then he will turn around and do something I tell him not to do. I remind him that he is not the boss. I am the Mama and he is the kid. He only visits his Dad every two weeks..other than that..there's not really any contact and no discipline from him. I too fel at my wits end. Like all of the sudden..I've lost control and he has gained it. Sorry all of us are going through this, but thankful for all other tips and advice.
V.P. answers from Dallas on September 13, 2012
My 7 is doing similar things and refusing to follow any directions at home or at school. He has consequences...much like Laureen A details, no book reports though. We keep a broken agreement bank (it gets funded when the agreement isn't followed). He looses privileges and has had to bag up his favorite toys. I'm at a loss and I hope I find more suggestions on this site.