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Does anyone have any parenting advice on what to do with a difficult 7 year old?

He can be as good as gold for days and then the little devil horns come out and I just lose it with him. He has a bad attitude and talks back and I just don't know what to do anymore.

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Asked by tyandlukesmom at 1:54 AM on Jan. 24, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 9 (360 Credits)
Answers (3)
  • I always thought that sass was a sign of intelligence, since it requires a quick wit and a pretty good vocabulary (until it's mindlessly repeating things heard). Beyond that, the total inability to control what comes out of anyone's mouth (other than your own) is why I have always advised to ignore it. And that means actually ignoring it --not reacting, not complaining about, not glaring at them.

    In a totally other context, you could talk about the human need for respect, and how the way we speak to people either builds their respect for us, or degrades it... including being cheeky and sassy and talking back. It surprises kids, the idea that how they speak builds or erodes their respectability --or how much people like being around them, or how valuable they are seen to be.

    It is also very likely, at this young age, that he's literally bringing home what he hears on the world/tv and, as it were, seeing how it plays at home.

    Answer by LindaClement at 2:02 AM on Jan. 24, 2011

  • i agree with lindaclement....but, my son is 5 and is starting the same things. i think he hears it on tv, and at school, but he loses things when he talks back or ignores me, or just downright acts like an ass! you have to teach him that it is unexceptable beahvior, or your in trouble when he gets older! have you tried time outs? taking away favorite toys?
    ignoring works sometimes, but not always.

    Answer by mama2bof2 at 7:18 AM on Jan. 24, 2011

  • I have a very tough cookie 7 year old. He challenges myself and my husband at every turn. We don't tolerate the garbage anymore and he gets the choice of being respectful or being in trouble. As long as we stick to our guns, we're on the same page and we don't waiver, his behavior gets better. As soon as we let things slide for a little bit, his behavior deteriorates. Set up your acceptable boundaries for his behavior, advise him of what those boundaries are (and why, i.e., we don't disrespect) and give the appropriate consequences when he steps out of those boundaries. Good luck.

    Answer by amybaby_19 at 9:17 AM on Jan. 24, 2011

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