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disciplining a 7 year old without spanking?

Posted by on May. 5, 2015 at 8:03 AM
  • 24 Replies
We have really been struggling with DD7 lately. She does have ADD and takes meds to help focus at school. They work very well for her, in fact she was recently accepted into the gifted program.

However discipline has become a major issue. I am not against spanking but I have always tried to reserve it for extreme situations, make it the exception rather than the rule. I'm big on natural consequences whenever possible, etc.

The issue we are having is with sass ad backtalking and arguing.

For example, this morning. She wanted to wear shorts, her dad said no because they will be outside today and the playground is wet from yesterday's rain. When I came out of the bedroom (dh got up a out 15 mins before me today) he had just left and dd was eating cereal. The split second I came out, she started whining and half crying at me about how daddy wouldn't let her wear shorts. I told her multiple times to stop. It literally went like this :

Dd(whiny half crying) mommy daddy won't let me wear shorts and-

Me-dd stop. I literally just walked out here, your dad said no, I don't want to hear it. Eat your cereal
Dd- but I want
Me-STOP arguing with me and stop asking me to do something when your dad already told you no
Dd but that's not fair i-
Me-STOP or you will not go to field day today at school

She kept it up until I ended up giving her a swat on the butt for her backtalking and arguing, which led to her throwing a fit and screaming and earning herself another spanking and she is now sitting on her bed while I get ready for work instead of attending field day at school.

She will literally keep arguing with you not matter what. You tell her to stop, and she repeats whatever it was she was saying . She tried to tell me she wanted to wear shorts about 20 times despite me saying "stop. I don't want to hear it."

It's not really about the shorts, but the fact that she A) waited till dad left to ask me for something he had said no to and B) repeatedly argued with me and kept it up despite being told multiple times to stop talking, stop arguing, stop repeating herself, etc.

I do not like the idea of spanking being a regular, common method of discipline. But days like today it is literally the only thing that gets her to stop doing whatever it is she's doing. Repeated arguing and backtalking are becoming the norm for her.

I do not have this issue with ss10, and my youngest is 1 so he doesn't have the problem Either. I know she is 7, and there's probably some hormones at play here, but what I need is tips for better ways to handle the blatant backtalking and arguing, how to shut it down before it gets to the point where she's worked up and crying or yelling and I'm ready to spank her.
by on May. 5, 2015 at 8:03 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on May. 5, 2015 at 8:09 AM
Welcome to having a 7 yr old.

We give extra chores and ground our DD for that behavior.
by on May. 5, 2015 at 8:10 AM
Oh and don't engage her in that kind of arguing. Tell her once, give the consequences for not listening and then walk away.
by Member on May. 5, 2015 at 8:34 AM

Wait a second - her "punishment" is not going to school today?

by New Member on May. 5, 2015 at 8:42 AM

No she will be going to school.  Field day is happening in the morning, she will be going in at lunchtime which is when field day ends.  

I probably still would have let her go but the fit she threw lasted so long that she missed her ride to school, and I wasnt going to stop getting ready for work and wake the baby early to rush her in for a fun event after her awful behavior. 

Quoting GleekingOut:

Wait a second - her "punishment" is not going to school today?

by Member on May. 5, 2015 at 8:47 AM
I, with an 8 year old daughter, 100% agree with both of alexsmomaubry2s posts above. By responding every time she whines you're giving her power. She asks, you respond. If she argues, you remind her what you said, inform her if she asks again she receives X punishment and walk away. Let her fit. Give it zero attention.
by Member on May. 5, 2015 at 8:54 AM

The most important thing, is to not argue with her.  Simply walk away.  Tell her the conversation is over and walk away, If she continues ignore her then start with taking away something (field day is good) then if it continues she loses something else, and every negative word out of her mouth means she loses something.  I have 3 gifted kids and all 3 should be lawyers when they grow up, and I also was a strong willed kid so they get it from me.  The key is to stand strong and not give in or let it get to you because then they see weakness lol.

by Member on May. 5, 2015 at 11:57 AM

I think you and dad have to agree to just have tp pick your battles. If she wants to wear shorts let her, put a pair of tights in her jacket or bag, if she gets cold she can put them under the shorts, its really not a big deal. 

You need to try hard not to battle with her, youve given her an instruction you dont need to say or do anything else untill that is carried out. 

I would sit down with her and have a "big girl conversation" Explain she is just too old o be having tantrums like a baby, When you have asked her to do something or not to do something she needs to listen, perhaps set up a reward system, a marble jar or sticker chart, Every time she can respond politely in a reasonable fashion to a request given "OKAY Mom" Yes Mom" She gets to put a marble in the jar ~ You know her currency. For my children its always been free time, they behave well, they get to choose whats going on after school, Play dates, Clubs park, those hours from school to meal times are theirs. If they don't make good choices, the time is mine, They can sit in their room or worse up the table.  Have an expectation of at least 5 marbles, you have to make sure she has the opptunaty to respond to instruction that amount of times.

by on May. 5, 2015 at 2:53 PM
I have never hit my children, and never will.

Be firm, be consistent, don't give in. It's hard, it takes time, but in the end, she'll learn much more. Explain why she can't once, if she doesn't listen, don't indulge her. If you make a threat, go through with it. Take away privileges.
by Mom2boys on May. 5, 2015 at 3:57 PM
Clothing is a big avattle
I choose to have. They want to wear shorts... So be it! Natural consequences. I also ignore all arguments of tantrums. Once they don't have an audience it stops.
by on May. 5, 2015 at 5:55 PM

My dds are ADDults now, and turned out fine.  They still take their meds, going on 20 years now.  They take them 24/7 except when they are pregnant.  As their psychiatrist told me MANY years ago, "They need to pay attention ALL THE TIME.  Not just at school.  They need to be able to focus and understand when you say DON'T run into the street.  They need the ability to control themselves, and NOT impulsivly climb on the roof, buy weed, or shoplift.  They need to remember instructions at home, at church, and in the mall.  Always."

So if your dd is not on meds all day, you need to do that.  I got up and gave my kids their meds a half hour BEFORE they were needed to get up, so it was on board when the alarm went off.  They were on Concerta for the first 8 to 10 hrs, followed by a 4hr Ritalin or a 6hr SR.

Besides that, I totally agree with PICK YOUR BATTLES.  If you fight about everything, then NOTHING is important.  They tune you out.  As long as they are not naked, or indecent, clothes are not important. 

Do NOT argue.  Arguing is under YOUR control.  It takes 2 to tango.  Ignore her.

Make instruction brief and to the point.  Do not have a long discussion about ANYTHING, because they lost you after the first 5 words.  Make them repeat the instructions back to you.  Neither instructions, nor consequenses, should be more than 5 minutes away.  DO IT NOW.  Missing the "field day" at school, had all the impact of missing Christmas 2016.  She does not connect the 2 events.  Say, Stop or you will have a time out.  Stop or give me your skates.  And then DO IT.

Look up the book 1-2-3 Magic. 

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