How can I teach my 7 year old respect??

Tonya - posted on 01/13/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )

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Hi All! So, I have a 7 (as of last week) year old girl who thinks she is in her 20's, unfortunately. I am one of 5 children so my daughter has always grown up around adults. My youngest sibling is 13 and my second youngest is 15 so she has always looked up to them and tried to mimic the things they do. My daughter is a very loving and caring little girl but she has her moments (as do we all).

I made the mistake of giving into her for everything (mostly) up until she was about 6 or so. Well, because of that, she has a hard time listening to me and giving me an attitude. I've tried time out - she laughs, i've tried taking toys away - she says she doesn't care, i've tried a sticker chart with a treasure box - she gets only a few stickers and doesn't care when she can't pick from the box (it's been over a month and she doesn't even bring up the box).

So, after my long story, I guess I am looking for advice on how to teach her to respect me and listen when I tell her to do things (without me telling her 5 times). Any advice would be helpful. My problem is that when I get upset with her after telling her to watch her attitude, she breaks down crying and gets upset with me. She's very good at making me feel bad and I think that's my biggest problem.

Thanks so much! :-)

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Ninouska Doval - posted on 01/15/2010

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I have 5 children, 4 girls from 10-5 years old and a 2 year old son. Having disciplined and well mannered kids make for a much calmer house. Do they act up, of course they do, all kids do but they aren't rude or horrible. I agree with one of the parents and please don't take offense, that it's more about your behavior than its hers. 1. Don't feel guilty. You don't have anything to feel guilty about if you provide her with clothes, food, a home and LOTS of love. That is your primary job. Love does not come in giving in or lots of gifts. You are only doing your daughter a disservice if you continue to let her behave that way. 2. Find out what she REALLY likes, and when she misbehaves take it or the activity away from her. Sometimes it's something like going to a birthday party or a class that you already paid for. Don't worry if you "lost" your money on this activity when she misbehaves and it's taken away from her. A respectful, well behaved child is worth more than any amount of money. 3. If she does something wrong, you yell at her, and she starts to cry then calmly turn your back and tell her to go to her home until she can calm down. It helps both of you to take a breather and spares you from feeling bad for yelling at her. 4. Find more age appropriate people for her to be around. A 15 girl is not even close to her age and she should not be hanging around her so much. 5. Teach your daughter boundaries in what a child should be involved with and what adults should be involved with. It may be that she is too much in "grown folks business." She should not be in adult conversations. 6 Be consistent. If you said "if you do that again I will turn off the TV and she does do it again or if she answers you disrespectfully, then turn off the TV. Explain to her why you did it and that HER actions has consequences. Tell her that SHE did it to herself not YOU.

If her room is a paradise with a TV, toys, a computer etc, then take them out. What's the point in sending her to her room if she can just have play time in there?

Remember kids NEED boundaries and they need for you to be a Parent, not their friend. I make jokes and play with my kids but when it comes to discipline and bad behavior they know that I don't tolerate it at all. You don't have to hit your kids, knowing that they disappointed you hurts them enough.

Do you want the kind of kid that when people walk away say, "What a polite little girl" or "What a brat!"
Most important: DON'T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT DOING YOUR JOB, BEING HER MOTHER.
Hope this helps and good luck!

Stephanie - posted on 01/13/2010

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sigh, 7 yo attitudes. fun stuff. I have two 7 yo's right now.
here's what you do:
be consistent.
pick a discipline method. and stick to it. don't let anything get by you. :) be the mom, not her older sibling. it's tough being mom, but sooo worth it. :)
only tell her something once, if she doesn't obey without attitude immediately, initiate discipline measures. Make sure when she's calmed down a bit, that you explain exactly why she's in trouble and what you expect in the future. Always word things from the perspective of you wanting her to grow up to be ..........(fill in with the kind of functioning capable adult you want her to be.) and that you're trying to teach her to become that. (personally, I give my girls the perspective of the person that God wants them to become--like Christ.)
I'm gonna warn you here. You're gonna be starting a war. and she's gonna hate it. and because she's 7 and hasn't been taught this all along, it may last a few months. at least.

but here's the payoff. :) the good part, the good news. :)

If you do, she will learn to toe the line and clean up her attitude. You'll be able to tell her once, and she'll do it. She'll be cheerful. She'll understand that even if she doesn't like something, that it's it her best interest.

i would give her some responsibilities too. something she can be in charge of. one of my gals likes to wash dishes. weird. i know. :) my other gal likes to move the laundry. also odd. but awesome. :) maybe yours likes emptying the trashcans or feeding the cat or dog? or dusting. or.... :) folding laundry?

I hope this helps. Be brave and hang in there. You can do this. :)

Paula - posted on 09/16/2013

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JUST FOUND AN AWESOME SUGGESTION for all of us Moms that their kid Age 7, changed over night (in one weekend)....it's scary. OMG My Mother would have knocked me into next week, God rest her soul - she did good cause I came out
of it alive and very respectful till this day.......Yes Mam, No Sir...........
TRY "Have a New Kid by Friday" on Amazon I am waiting for mine from Amazon
but check out the first 14 pages and its worth a try!!!!!
My first post but it the above does not work I will be here pretty often :)

Heather - posted on 01/16/2010

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There's really good book out there called "Have a New Kid by Friday" sorry, can't remember the author! But it talks about this exact issue and gives you a 7 day plan to fix it. The author is a therapist and there's some really good advice in it. Good luck!

[deleted account]

Be consistent with rewards as well as punishments. If you say you'll do something, keep your word (good or bad). Don't falter or back down when she is visibly upset. It sounds like she knows you carry guilt and uses it against you to get her way. Don't let her.

Is there a man in the house or someone she looks up to that would back you up? I do not have girls but my 5-yr-old son once thought he could boss me and get away with what he wanted until my husband stepped in and pushed back. Often that is all it takes.

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Heather - posted on 10/26/2013

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Wow this is my story exactly I couldn't have said it better I wish we could swap emails because u and I must be twins as well as our daughters! Wow!!! It is such a relief to know I'm not the only one!

Nicole - posted on 01/16/2010

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Oooo I know how that goes! My niece is 9 and a complete brat and my 5 & 6 year olds look up to her and it can be terrible at times. I'm still trying to figure it out too.

I got my kids in Tae Kwon Do, great for respect and manners (along with fun, meet new people, self confidence, and so much more). Sadfuly I'm too broke at the moment for them to go, but they both enjoyed it and I'm hoping to get them back in it soon. My 5 year old will say Sir and Ma'am now.

Danielle - posted on 01/15/2010

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I'm going to be honest, I have the same problems with my kids. I know the answer is consistency, it's just easier said than done. We get frustrated when a method we're using doesn't work right away, so we try something else (for a short period of time). The answer is being patient enough, strong enough, and loving enough to be consistent no matter what. Also, I would stop buying her things. My kids get a $5 allowance every week for cleaning rooms and doing dishes. If they want something extra ( not a parent duty), they have to use their own money. It also helps them realize how much things cost. Surprisingly they take care of things they buy a little more. LOL

Sharon - posted on 01/14/2010

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Hi Tonya. I think all your replies are excellent advice and I have had the same issue with my daughter. She has become so much better behaved since I have become tougher with her. She seems happier too. They desperately need the discipline, rules and consequences and it makes them happier little people who respect others. I even give in every now and then and it hasn't messed up what I tried so hard to achieve. I am a 'soft' Mommy and not a routine or consistent person which made things very difficult for me. I also had a little "emotional blackmailer" on my hands but soon as you see what you are doing is working it becomes easier because you realise you are actually doing them a big favour by being their MOM!

Karen - posted on 01/14/2010

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Can you turn it around on her. I have a 6 y.o. who cops an attitude at times (learned behavior from school). When she starts she gets a warning and then a consequence. Her allowance is also tied to behavior and doing her chores without argument. What I have found, however, is to do 2 things. 1 is to tell her that the next time it happens, x will occur (or not occur if it's something she likes) but in the end it is her choice how it turns out. 2 is I ask her if she would do this at school / to her friends / at her Grandma's, wherever. When she says no I ask her why it's acceptable to do it at home. That usually shuts things down once she thinks about it. You also have to shut it down immediately - one warning and then a consequence - no negotiation, no discussion. The biggest thing is to find out what is most important - does she like a certain outfit? Well, I guess she can't wear it until her attitude improves. You get the idea.



I also think you need to monitor what she is watching on TV. Some of these attitudes are learned from TV so you need to curb that influence as well. You also may need to enlist the help of the older (young) Aunts and remind them that she is watching and emulating them. They need to take a look at their behavior and what they are teaching her and make sure that it is respectful. They also can remind her when her attitude is inappropriate - their reaction might help curb it, too.



Stand firm!

Kellie - posted on 01/14/2010

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don't hate me for saying this but i think this is more about you than her. she knows where you are vulnerable because you two are so close. she is playing you like a fiddle. children cry because they are not getting their way. she loves you and she will love you even more if you set the boundaries and hold the line. think of it this way, teaching her to be respectful is setting her up for a life of success both professionally and personally. we all want our children to have better than what we did, to make a name for themselves, and to achieve a level of personal satisfaction. setting goals for her to achieve now will help build her confidence and self-esteem. So, talk to her about everything before it happens. Here's what we are going to do....clean your room, pack your lunch, do your homework, whatever....and then give her the choice...you can either do it peacefully or you can not do it and suffer the consequences...remind her it is her choice..when and if she does it without a fight, pour on the praise, go crazy, dance, clap, kiss and hug her and watch her shine like the star she is!

Amy - posted on 01/14/2010

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this helps me too! my daughter is 9 and I have the same issue and its got me down to the last of my patients,I have been just getting so mad at her lately,then I feel guilty but I cannot give in this time. I so wish I could put her back in Karate but we can't afford it.

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