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How do you discipline or "punish" your 7-8-9 year old?

Posted by on Feb. 27, 2008 at 9:34 AM
  • 24 Replies
My 8 year old has really been getting out of hand with her attitude and I feel like I need to nip it in the bud.  She tends to lose her temper and constantly has a hissy-fit if something doesn't go exactly the way she planned.  This morning, we had about 3 minutes to leave for school, and she decides she wants to bring some sticker book to school with her.  When she couldn't find it, she started crying/screamig, stomping on the floor, accusing me of taking it.  A complete meltdown!  This happens often.

I realize she is still a "kid", but I do expect some level of respect and maturity from an 8 year old.  I fear this getting much worse as she gets older. 

So, my question is:  How do I handle these episodes?  She is too old for a "time out", per se, so do I send her to her room?  It is filled with toys and things, so I'm not really feeling like this will do much.....How do you discipline at this age?  And how do you teach them to show their parents more respect?

by on Feb. 27, 2008 at 9:34 AM
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by on Feb. 27, 2008 at 9:36 AM
You can send her to her room. Just make her sit in the middle of her bed, not being allowed to touch anything. Take the TV away from her. Or ground her from going outside. Those are the things I do with my daughter. Or I make her write sentences. She really hates that.
by on Feb. 27, 2008 at 9:37 AM
With our 6 almost 7 year old it used to be we sat her on the step.Well that didn't do much good and she learned nothing.So now we have progressed into putting her in te corner and each time she does something wrong that day she has to stand there longer.Sat she was in the corner 4 times.But after that she learned her lesson and has not been in the corner since.
by on Feb. 27, 2008 at 9:40 AM
I have an over dramatic 9 year old  who has had a meltdown or two.   One of the things I do is I will not respond to her at all if she is talking to me with any kind of disrespect.   Once she realizes I'm ignoring her  I usually get an apology cause she realizes she's crossed the line but from time to time I do have to remind her I will not talk to someone who does not show me respect.    In a situation like you described she would of left the house without the book.  If she accused me of taking it when I found the book I would of taken it away.   she also would not of received the book back until i got a written apology.

I don't think she's too old for a time out.  I think taking a few moments to think about her attitude helps from time to time.   But for longer punishments she will loose things like her PC, phone privleges, TV  that kind of thing.
by on Feb. 27, 2008 at 9:47 AM
We have morning like this from time to time.  They have gotten better though. What I started doing was taking her to her room shutting the door and making her calm down.  I have told her if she is late to school it is her fault and I will not send a note to get her excused.  When she lost her perfect attendance reward three weeks in a row she started to understand.  Also, after she calms down I make her retrace her steps to remember wher the last place she put something was.  Also if I am late for work/school because of her tantrum she pays me.  DD is given an allownace everyweek and if I am late for either work or class she pays me $1 for every five mintues or she does some extra chores of my choice. Again this rarely happens.

When her month starts to get away from her I use a hot sauce and lemon method.  I take a lemon wedge soaked inthe hottest hot sauce I have and she bits into it and the juice sits in her mouth 15seconds for every year of her age.  She HATES this so I do not have to do it too often.  We are at the point now all I have to say is "keep it up and you will get the hot lemon"  I have a short temper and have had to learn to pick my fights with DD.  I LOVE two parenting books and have learned a great deal from them 1. Good and Angry and 2. Parenting with Love and Logic.  The second book is a series but the first and most general in what I have posted.

Katie- always keep moving forward
by on Feb. 27, 2008 at 9:56 AM

My 7 year old dd has Sensory Integration Disorder, which causes her meltdowns.  Most days run very smoothly because I have her life organized.  But at any time a spontaneous change of plans can shoot her straight into a "moment", like I call it.  Behavior is everything.  Bad behavior is not rewarded.  Now,  that's not to say we don't all have bad days.  She's allowed that, of course.  But she's never allowed to be disrespectful to me just because she's angry.  I have concrete consequences. 

* What's not in the backpack the night before does not leave the house the next morning.

* If I see we are having too many arguments over selecting clothes, then I take over until she can earn her right to choose her own stuff.

* If she gets frustrated on her computer, after one warning she has to get off.

* I forewarn her of changes, such as bath time in 10 mins. If in 10 mins she gives me attitude, then she may go to bed early. Or miss out on a show she wanted to watch. Or lose computer time on another day.

* If she won't clean up her room or pick up her stuff dragging around the house, I do it.  And when I do it, stuff gets thrown away.  Do this a couple of times and you won't have any problems.

But while you are focusing on this bad behavior, don't ever forget to reward the good behavior.  Give her lots of love, affection, and attention.  Never hesitate to apologize if you have wronged her.  And it might help to find the root of her anger. Is something going on at school?  Is she having a hard time academically or socially?  Or maybe she is just needing more positive attention, but acting out negatively instead.

And I disagree she's too old for timeouts.  Timeouts, when used correctly, give the child the opportunity to calm down and refocus. Consider it quiet time to gather her thoughts and examine her behavior.

by Silver Member on Feb. 27, 2008 at 9:56 AM
As far as the hissy fits and not being able to cope with disappointment, I feel your pain. I have a 10 yr old boy like this. He is always quick to frustration and cries at the drop of a hat. It is more lack of coping skills than misbehavior in my eyes. Different, of course to screaming, "You evil bitch" when being punished, of course. But try to calm her down and have her use her words. It's hard. There are some good sites on "sensitive" children. Can't remember any at the moment. It will help you to help her cope. And there's always midol, as we joke around here.

as for a sassy mouth, we charge a nickel for smart mouth commnents. We will give warnings, especially if we've been joking around and they might not know the difference. "Is that worth a nickel?" It does help because mom and dad end up with their money. Unfortunately does not work on a 3 yr old who has the smartest mouth of all because of the older ones.

Hope things gets easier! Oh yeah, there are the teen years. Should be a breeze by then.

by on Feb. 27, 2008 at 10:26 AM
Wow, thank you all for the great advice thus far.  I did want to mention that she is an excellent student and at the top of her class, so I don't think there's anything at school frustrating her.   She does have a younger brother (4) and they fight quite frequently. 

I do feel like her meltdowns stem from anger and frustration and I would like to teach her how to deal with it better, but I'm not sure how.  I feel like if she see's me dealing with frustration in a calm manner, she might learn by example.  I have to admit I sometimes lose it and yell back. I know, not the right thing, but sometimes I am just pushed to the edge. 

When you all do a "time out" type thing, where do you put their room?  In a certain spot?  I know someone mentioned the corner.  She is big into the computer and her Webkinz, so I definitely could take that away, as well as her favorite shows on tv. 

Thanks again for all the great tips.  I am going to check my library for those books also!
by on Feb. 27, 2008 at 10:39 AM
I have a 7 and 9 year old, and different things work for each child.  The oldest one responds best to having privileges taken away, i.e. her iPod, talking on the phone with friends, or going to a friend's house.  The 7 year old responds best to being sent to her room for a time out.  It depends on the situation, however, and sometimes a time out is fine for the older one, and losing privileges for the younger one... the consequence has to fit the crime. =)

"The future will belong to those who have passion, and to those who are willing to make the personal commitment to make our country better." Paul Wellstone

"Never separate the life you live from the words you speak." Paul Wellstone


by on Feb. 27, 2008 at 10:42 AM

I think it's hard to give a set amount of timeout time.  I tell Aly that she will stay there until she's calm. Once I see that she's back okay, then I let her get up and love on her.  And you are right, they do mirror our attitudes.  I'm like you sometimes, I just get so angry that I holler. I try not to do that very often, but I'm human too. 

It's important that she knows it's okay to be angry. Anger is a natural emotion. But it's not okay to disrespect or lash out at others.  Encourage her to talk to you about what's bothering her, but in a civil way. If she can't, then she still needs some calming down time.  If corners don't work for you, then a quiet place away from everyone might work better. Especially if the source of her anger is her brother. She needs to be removed from him. Being near him will only make it worse.  Once she's calm, then you can resume the talk. That way you can find out what's bothering her.  But only as long as she's talking civilly. 

When my dd is mad, she clinches her fists and says "UGGHHH, I'm so angry!"  I ask her if she wants to talk about it, and she'll tell me, "not right now!"  Later when she's calm, we'll decipher what the problem is and I'll give her tools to handle the situation next time.

Good luck. You are doing a great job!
by on Feb. 27, 2008 at 11:25 AM
    Whatever, my 9yr old son likes best, is what I use for dicipline. His nintendo, pokemon cards, or whatever. I also put him in the corner, and make him write lines.
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