Need help with my 7 year old son

Kristy - posted on 04/12/2010 ( 166 moms have responded )

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My 7 year old step son will not listen to me nor his father. I'm a stay at home mom, and my husband works 2nd shift, so I have the kids when they get out of school alone. Our son will not listen at all. When I ask him to do his chore he starts screaming saying he doesn't want to do it. Then the stomping starts or slamming his door into his wall, and etc. Ive tried putting him in the corner, time outs, taking away his toys, taking away his privileges such as t.v. and his gamecube. Those only seem to make it worse or it doesn't phase him at all. They only have chores 3 times a week, and they are small chores, such as cleaning their rooms, or folding their laundry. But he puts up a fight every time. I don't know how to get him to stop this behavior, and my husband doesn't know either. He starts with the attitude as soon as he gets home from school, and sometimes doesn't stop until bed. Any advice on what to do?

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Kel - posted on 04/13/2010

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With my daughter I try to apply a consequence relevant to the misbehavior. For instance, when she was little and refused to clean her room...I explained exactly what was going to happen and set a timer, giving her more than enough time to do the job, and let her choose to do the job or not. When she didn't do it I went into her room with a large garbage bag and loaded up everything that was not put away where it belonged. She did not get the toys back. Some were given to children we knew, most were given to charity. There were a couple of exceptions, special dolls I couldn't bare to get rid of...those were kept and given back as Christmas gifts a year later...For laundry, this is just a suggestion, I would probably do the job for her and any clothes that were hers would be set aside where she would not have them for the coming week. It might take a few times, but having to go to school in her rattiest clothes would definately change her mind about doing her laundry chores...Hope you can use some of this!

Kelly - posted on 04/15/2010

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First and foremost, try to remember that some kids don't know how to communicate their feelings very well. My sister has had success with the calm as possible approach. She tries hard to talk calmly to him and point out the choices he is making. Some days I think they went through things like this 5 or 6 times. As long as he knows you love him and want the best for him that will help. Feel free to tell him that he can earn or lose priviledges, but make sure he knows it will be based on his choices of behavior. Shower love and attention on him and his sister when good times come around. For every bad thing they hear they need to hear 10 good things to offset the bad. Good luck and I hope there are breakthroughs soon.

Jill - posted on 04/15/2010

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See if you can get hold of a book by the name of "Try and Make Me" written by Ray Levy and Bill O'Hanlon. I use some of the advice/techniques on my 7 yr old son and they really work. A word of warning though you have to be very consistent and you need lots of energy - but it's worth it. Good luck! Jill Clark.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/13/2010

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How long has your husband and his and ex-wife been seperated? I might think that he's angry at the fact that he's feeling confused and maybe he needs a professional to talk to. (even if the split up was on a more positive note it can really upset young ones)

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Herbert Lee Washington - posted on 07/20/2014

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I would agree with the professional help i would go get him someone to speak with i am a dad of 3 stepkids and after some therpy and stripping everything out of my daughters room and explaining the rules of the house. I very rarely yelled at her and just explained if you act like this this is want happened. Her dad was not around so i guess i got lucky by that. Now 6 year laters she is almost perfect and is going into Rotc and she wants to go in the military too i am proud how far she has come

Patricia - posted on 01/18/2013

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walk away when he does this, he is trying to show u who is boss give him the silent treatment that may help it did with me

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What I do is as soon as my Daughter walks in I give her a snack she gets really cranky when she is hungry and is very uncooperative and if she doesn't do what is asked i take away tv priveleges for 1 day then it gets progressive until she does it for example if she doesn't do it the next day I take away tv for 2 days and if it continues she gets 3 days on top of her 2 days if gets to be 2 weeks I start taking away other things but it has only gone that far 1 time usually she only losses 1 night. Though I tried this "game" with both my daughters and my nephew who was staying for a few days I wrote each of their names on a paper and ever time they did what they were told they got a color sticker ( specific to each child) but when they weren't listening thay got a black sticker and at the end who ever had the fewest black sticker got 2 treats anyone who had more color stickers then black got 1 prize this only works if there is more than 1 child

Angela - posted on 05/10/2010

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My 7 year old went through the same thing recently (slamming the doors) and were still working out the lil kinks. I went through all the same steps and all i can say is find what makes your son happy and instead of taking privliges away try adding a "we did it chart". If he completes his chores all week long (without a fuss), or have him gain a star every time he does with a goal of 5 or 10 stars in the end, then he can work towards a REWARD instaed of getting things taken away. Rewards can be little like chosing where to go on 'family fun day' or big like a new game or a lil pet like hermit crabs or fish. I can just tell you from my experience that rewards have worked well for my son expecially when he has a younger brother to compete with, it makes it more of a competition who can get there first. hope i helped a lil!

Rosie - posted on 05/10/2010

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Oh and make brownies together or cupcakes. Let him help, So you guys are doing something together. Let him stir up the batter and pour it in the pan. Have him help you get all the things together to make them. Then ask him if he'd like to share the bowl with you after. I don't like the batter but some do and its fun. This can create a closeness. But ask him if he would like to help make them. Give him the choice so he feels he has a say in it. My son loves to help me cook. I even bought him an apron and some things at Wal-mart to decorate it with. He loves it. So we wear our Aprons together :)

Melissa - posted on 05/10/2010

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wow you have alot of replys here don't know if anyone has suggested instant rewards money works best for 7yr olds 1 or 2 dollars if he does his chors if he dosn't make sure to make a big show of rewarding your other children for doing theres of course make a big deal when he does his too :) good luck

Rosie - posted on 05/10/2010

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Oh wow girl. You have it rough. I hope you find a solution. First, try talking to him. There is something going on that is causing him to act out. I believe every kid is good and there is always a reason they act out. Try to talk with him first. Give him the chance to tell you what's troubling him. Maybe something at school, another kids bullying him, or a teacher giving him a hard time. Maybe even talk with his teacher and see how he's behaving at school and if there is anything they have noticed bothering him. Maybe he's having a rough time because of the divorce but kids bouce back quickly. Another thing, and I don't know how to put this but how is the ex-wife towards you and what does she tell him when he's there? Not trying to be mean or anything but I've a good understanding on how evil people can be and how they may use their kids to make the new wives life a living hell. So try to talk with him if that don't work maybe have your husband take him out for some man time. Like a drive where they have one on one time, just the two of them. Maybe he will open up to him. I would try the positive enforcement to while this is going on. Set rules. You and your husband sit down together with him. So he knows you stand together. Tell him you love him and you'd like to work together as a family to make one another happy. Ask him what you can do to make him happy. Maybe he just needs to know that you care about him being happy. Kids are so funny in the way they think of things. My 7 year old has given us so many problems in the past few month at school. We even had to meet with the principle and the teacher. He called the school and told the secretary that his teacher was lying on him and it was a big mess. But we stood with our son and told the teacher that she was blaming things on him that he didn't do based on what two other kids was saying. They would do things and blame my son. This went on for months. He was behaving badly at home because I was punshing him for things at school that he didn't even do. My husband and I sat down with him and explained how much we love him. We told him we wanted him to be happy but we couldn't do that unless he would help us to understand what it was we could do to make that happen. He just started crying and told us everything. I felt so bad for him. He was being punished at school and again at home and he was innocent in MOST of the things he was blamed for. Now he did get into some trouble and he even admitted to the things he did. It was really hard standing against the teacher but I told him I'd have his back any day and anytime. I love him that much. He is like a different kid now. He knows he has to earn privilages to have friends over or ride his dirt bike. He has to get a green dot at school (good dot) clean his room and do homework then the rest of the evening is his to do with how he chooses. Try to gain a closeness with him Kristy if you can. Ask him if you can set aside some time for the two of you to. Maybe get some paint or something he likes to do and do that with him. Call that Jack time (use his name) My son loves mommy time. When he sits in my chair with me and we cuddle and talk about our days. I ask him to tell me about his day. I also ask him to tell me how it made him feel about something. Gives me a chance to help him understand his feelings. Kids struggle at this age trying to define who they are. I learn all kinds of stuff about him. It's amazing this little fellow. I really hope some of my blabble may come in useful. One other thing I can say in my experience is that yelling back doesn't help. I tried that when I was at the end of my rope. The talking did it. But we tried that a few times before it actually got through. Make sure when you have the talk you also talk about the good things he does and how proud that makes you. Just a thing or two that we talked about. We talked to him about character. How he see's himself and how others see's him. Responsibility, how each of us is responsible for the family. How what we say and do affects others. How to deal with our anger and not blaming others. How its best to talk about our feelings so others know how we feel and give them a chance to tell us how they feel. Love how much we love him and would do anything to protect and always love him. It was a powerful 45 minute conversatiion. I wish you luck :)

Lucy - posted on 05/05/2010

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Wow it seems to me that you got a lot to do with your son, i've got two boys, the eldest is 9 and the youngest is 5 years old, its ok when our kids sometimes doesnt like listening to us, but when they started to scream to us, stomping and slamming the door, etc...that is a no no. as early as 4 years old we need to stop them it will be a big problem for us when they reach their puberty stage. You need to talk to your son, maybe you could bring him in a park, at the seaside or any place you could have time together, tell your son what is wrong with you, are you a good Mom or a bad Mom, Tell your son that youre doing this or that for his sake, that your really really love him.

Michele - posted on 05/01/2010

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you need to find out what is really going on with him try talking to him and tell that you are trying your best to have a good family and does he want to help and be a part of it

Megan - posted on 04/29/2010

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I've had some issues with my almost 7 year old step son as well..i tried punishments, taking away tv, videogames, timeouts..everything I could think of and it never really seemed to phase him.I started a rewards system with him and it's worked wonders! I know you said you had a rewards system but maybe try giving a tangible reward everyday that can be traded into something bigger on the weekends. If they see the rewards of their actions right away it will be more successful than waiting for the weekend. My stepson gets to download a song for his mp3 player every day that he has a good day at school and home. Then on the weekend he loads the songs onto his mp3 player and gets to listen to it all weekend. This rewards him immediately, but ultimately he's working towards a bigger goal..good luck!!

Naaz - posted on 04/29/2010

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hi everyone, with my 7 year old step son what help me with his behaviour was me being more surpportive to him only showing him my love and not that everytime he misbehavour i shoe him that i get upset i shw him that it doesn't worry me. You just have to understand that he is feeling angree because his parents are not together maybe when he see his friend together he feels upset and he show it to you. So try to understand him not show him that he is winning..

Jenifer - posted on 04/28/2010

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Have you tried sitting down with everyone in the house and coming up with all the rules asking him what he thinks the rules should be.Writing them down on large cardboard paper in large print so he can read them. Even have rules for grown ups so that you can model for him. Be consistent and have penalties for breaking them. You must establish what the rules are for kids and adults . Make them very logical and fair to everyone.

Rachael - posted on 04/28/2010

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lol sounds like my 7 year old son! Except mine loves to do chores! But his attidute starts too when he gets home from school or on weekends when he is not at school,I give him time outs,and he yells at me or back talks,slams his door,i will add minutes to his time and alot of times this will work because he dosent want longer in his room,but he is so stuborn and strong willed that its sometimes so hard to know what to do,Hang in there!

Janet - posted on 04/27/2010

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I know how you feel. last year while my boy was six he would screem and yell all the time even when you have spent the whole day doing things with him that he wanted. even when on holidays he would go nutts at bed time and would not stop no matter what. I started a reward chart where he gets to pick what we eat for dinner after 20 ticks, rent a movie after 35 and get a mag at 45 ticks. it seems to be working well and I have pointed out when he is being mad how it makes his friends feel at school when the two boys who play up all the time like he is now? cos I know he hates the way them boys act and that pulles him in real quick.

Susan - posted on 04/27/2010

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Hi Kristy,
I have the same issue with my son who is 7. Things were really bad at our house. My sons therapist recommended a book called 123 Magic by Dr. Phelen. When he recommended this book I was completely against this. So I tried doing things my way and found that things only got worse. I bought the book and am glad that I did. This books gives many good ideas and suggestions on how to handle different issues. Since I have started using the suggestions and following thorough things have improved. I am not saying that this book helped all the problems that occur but it has definatley helped.

Tabitha - posted on 04/27/2010

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Hi Kristy I really can't offer any advice but I am in the same boat as you are. My daughter is 6 very very very smart she is top in her class and reading at a 2nd grade level. She is soooo bad screams fights everything. It is just at home school she is great. She even last week told her father and I she was going to kill everyone in the house. I have tried the time out, spanking, taking things away, I have also tried positive things such as a reward chart where she gets money and on the weekend gets to pick something for us all to do as a family, or they (I also have a 41/2 yr. old son) get to rent a movie from the Redbox things like that. NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING has worked. I am so close to calling a doctor bc its getting to the point where we just can't handle it anymore. If you try something and it seems to work please share. I am in serious help too. I am sorry your having to go through this I know how you feel.

Jessica - posted on 04/27/2010

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Love and logic has a nice approach to this sort of situation and a counselor I know suggested it as well. What you do is have a catch phrase when you ask a child to do something and they do not do it, something like "No Problem" or "Oh I'll figure something else out then" or "No big deal". Then give yourself permission to figure something else out at a later time. For instance imagine he gets an invitation to go out some where or there is a special field trip that is not academically important and you can just calmly say to the person and to your child "I'm sorry, this is so sad, (this is where you offer your son empathy) my son is a little behind on taking care of his xyz so he will have to join you another time." Alternatively you can set up a situation maybe take all the kids out for ice cream or bowling but hire a sitter for him (which he can repay for through extra chores for you or the sitter) so he can use the extra time for catching up. It is ok if you end up being the one who does the original chore he can repay you by doing a chore of yours. Just remain positive empathetic and loving through the whole situation and you will avoid giving him energy for a misbehavior. It is really empowering to be able to let go of the expectation that the chore has to be done right then for you to succeed at teaching him responsible behavior or to be a consistent mom.

Jess

Kandece - posted on 04/27/2010

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Hello, I hope things have turned around for you (I noticed you first posted a over a week ago). I just wanted to encourage you not to give up on your step son. Children need rules and structure. When we discipline our children and take the time to show them how to behave, they know we love and care about them. Kids try their limits and if you give in, the behavior will not get better. Hang in there! I was reading some (not all) of the posts and every kid is different. I suggest trying a lot of different methods and stick with what works best for your family. Also, have your husband talk to him about his behavior and respecting you. If your son knows that your husband has your back and that you two are a united front, maybe that will help your step son respect and listen to you more. I don't know how the relationship is between you and the biological mother, but maybe she can speak up on your behalf as well - let her son know that she'd be proud of him for following the rules of your home and that she is glad you are helping to raise him. Good luck!

Brenda - posted on 04/26/2010

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Make it clear to him that the tantrums won't get you upset. Ignore them. walk away and when he has calmed down, go back to him and tell him exactly what you expect him to do. Keep doing that until he does what it is you want him to do. When he has done what is expected give him a reward.

Michelle - posted on 04/26/2010

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When it is time to do his chores tell him and when he starts acting up just ignore what he is doing at the moment but quietly remind him that if he does not do the chores he will not get a reward at the end of the week. Stick to it. If he does not get something special a few times it may persuade him to do them when they are assigned.

Marcy - posted on 04/26/2010

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Hi. This is my first time on circle of moms, so I hope I don't offend anyone. I have boys that are 8 and 10. We just had a conversation about this last night, only they don't scream and throw fits, they just simply don't do certain things or do half-way. I talk to them (like others have suggested) about what my job is as a mother (I, too stay at home), why I chose to stay home, what I am supposed to teach them and how it applies to the rest of their lives...So when things aren't going well, I will pull out the "Am I not a good Mother?" question. They are so shocked to see me sad and feeling a failure, that they instantly listen. We discuss it rationally.



That's not going to work on all kids and it sounds a bit to talky and wishy washy, I know. But if that is how you generally talk, they can't barely take it when I talk harshly or yell at them.



My only other trick, is to talk about their teacher. I say, if Mrs. Filley asked you to do this, you would or say "how come you will do it for your teacher but not me?" and the worst is to say you need to talk with their teacher to see if a consequence at school will have an effect--like recess.



The experts say to find your child's "currency" and use that, but it sure sounds like you have tried all of that.



I am sorry for your frustration. Kids can be quite emotional and they know how to play us =[ unfortunately. Hang in there and venting to us is perfectly acceptable.

Fiona - posted on 04/26/2010

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maybe try breaking the chores down further for example fold his laundry. tidying your room can be a big task at 7 especially if it looks anything like my daugthers. Try making bed or picking up dirty washing. at nine my daughter does a great job of tidying her room when she is in the right frame of mind but if not I am wasting my breath. She does it eventually! Most importantly although I know its hard praise even the tiny things and try and ignore the outbursts, otherwise they get more attention for misbehaving. Good luck, I have step son too who I have had since he was 5 and is now 17

Necole - posted on 04/26/2010

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hmm , perhaps the seperation is affecting him , get him to talk to someone about it , but also the hubby working 2nd shift might have something to do with it , he may feel even though he has you , that both of his parents arent available for him. His dad may be tired , and I know this all to well , its hard working 2nd shift and it is hard for you to hold down the fort....maybe he wants some of his dad attention ...that and a combination of the split up ...

Manon - posted on 04/26/2010

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Check out this parenting tool. It really works... Instead of taking away his privileges, he has to earn it. Check out this website www.jeuxjessco.com

Good luck!!!

Christina - posted on 04/25/2010

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Have you tried asking him why he won't listen? Often times once he feels he has been heard then the behaviors reside.

Sally - posted on 04/25/2010

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i believed, your stepson will be more willing to listen to you if he has a bond with you. Talk to him, let him know you love and care for him. Play with him, make him understand that you are on his side. Catch him doing good and rewards or praise him.

Tasha - posted on 04/25/2010

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Have you thought that he might be acting out because he wants attention from his father. You said he works 2nd shift? How much time does he get to spend with his son on a one/one basis? Try that. If positive behavor doesn't grant what the child is seeking then the only thing they know is to act out to gather the attention they are craving.

Britney - posted on 04/25/2010

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I wish that I had some advice. My 7-year-old son is going through a similar phase right now. He does not listen. I know that this is a choice of his b/c he listens to his coach tell him when baseball practice is, but if I tell him to put on his shoes, he just sits there. We have to tell him three times to do something. I have heard other parents talk about their 7-year-olds in the same way. My son, Jackson, has also been lying and manipulating lately. Where is my innocent 6-year-old?!



I guess the only thing I can tell you is that if it is a phase, just stay consistent and don't let up. If he sees that you guys won't back down, maybe he'll change his tune. Could just be a test.

Donna - posted on 04/24/2010

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I have similar problems i have started with a counsellor to see why its worth looking into

NICKI - posted on 04/24/2010

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All mine are older, but I have heard that if you can make a chart for him with the chores on it, what he has to do each day..when he does the chore for that day, he'll get a star. If he doesn't he gets a dot ( or anything not as "fun" as a star ). And at the end of the week, if he gets all his chored done, he'll get a GOLD star and a choice of something fun to do. If he SEES that he's doing things ( seeing the stars ) then maybe he'll try harder! I hope this works for you and I do wish you luck!!

Norma - posted on 04/24/2010

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As I was readin through all the postings (mine included) all I could think of is how much attention your little guy has received (even symbolically as I assume he is not reading these). But this kind of thing usually reflects our lives. So I go back to thinking of positive attention rather than negative attention. It might be a fun activity to go through the day with him and list all the good things (however little they may be) he did during the day. Just a thought! I think I may try tonight with my 5 year old to go over the good stuff--fun evening activity before bed-time. All the "experts" talk about positive attention so think I will give it a try!

Weslie - posted on 04/24/2010

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He is at the age where you have to make him know who is boss. If he even thinks he has the upper hand, he will go with it. I agree with many of the other comments on ideas of how to redirect the fit and turn it into "this is what is happening" not your fit. Also, if you live in a new place, check the history of the property to see if there are any "bad occurrences" there in the last 80 years. You would be surprised at how often children can pick up on bad energy. It can be as bad as having a priest bless your home or whatever religion you practice to exorcism. I know, creepy stuff. It does exist though. Also, your child could be allergic to certain foods which can cause irritability and discomfort.

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Usage of the word when. Calmly say, "When you finish cleaning your room, how about some ice cream?"

Stay Calm (this is so hard to do). Talk quietly. If I wig out and start yelling it NEVER helps (and I do it all the time....don't do like me.)

"When you finish folding the laundry, why don't we watch t.v. together???"

Calm. Use "when" and remember that NONE of our children listen and NONE of them want to do chores but almost all of them will turn out to be good adults. My sister was the biggest brat in the world. She would scream about EVERY chore. She got good grades in high school, went on to college and graduate school and became a loving person (although she was a big brat until she was about 30). I love her. She sucked as a kid, though....

Good luck!!!

Thandi - posted on 04/24/2010

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Have you tried introducing a star chart where you write down his expected behavior and put a star on at it at the end of the day if he behaves right. When he gets enough stars he can get a new toy or something else nice at the weekend. You can make the rules together e.g ' I was polite to my mom and Dad' 'I did what I was told right away' etc. My 8 year old son seems to like this.

Sutton - posted on 04/24/2010

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Oh!! I forgot one more thing that is helping IMMENSELY!.... I've changed the way I speak to my 7 yr old son.. instead of leaving a question open-ended, like "You're going to clean your room?" I say (and it sounds so trivial but I swear it's working...) "You're going to clean your room, yes?" There's something about positioning this is a positive light that all of a sudden he's starting repeating me.. "yes"! HUH??? I do it ALLL the time now when I don't want him to act up.. some weird subconscious thing... try it!!

Sutton - posted on 04/24/2010

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Does he act like this in school? Most likely not! Find out (specifically) what sort of 'system' his classroom uses (our kids have to 'slide their card' from green to yellow to red with consequences for each).. I modeled this same thing at home. My daughter wrote our 'house rules' and we posted them on the kitchen door.. "Be kind to others" (this is a great one cuz it can fit almost anything negative they try to do! ha ha), "no yelling", "do as you're told" "be respectful" (another great all-inclusive) and lastly "do your chores" (which really can fit do as you're told..). There's something about them writing this on a poster, coloring it, 'owning it'... then I have pics of the two kids posted underneath the poster.. when one of them breaks a rule, I don't yell, I don't react in any other way but to say "you may put a card up" (strike 1 - timeout; one min for every yr of age, strike 2 - to bed 30 mins early, strike 3 - no technology rest of the day (no puter, no DS, no Wii, no TV, no phone...) Spending time in my son's classroom (he's almost 7) I realized that the teacher NEVER raises her voice; she never says anything to a kid acting up other than 'you may slide your card'... i can't believe it works here at home, but it really really has! It's rough at first cuz you have to walk away from the 'melting' screaming but I think there's def something to be said for routine and consistency for kids this age.. find out what happens in school if he dared behave that way and carry this over into his home life.. hopefully he'll get it!

Good luck! We're all right there with ya!

Roberta - posted on 04/24/2010

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I agree with the garbage bag in their room if they don't clean it but I have also found that if you start an allowance with their chores then if he wants money to get his own things he will do it. When they don't do it you take 25 cents away each day he doesn't do it and believe me if they start with 5.00 and on;y end up with a 1.00 they get upset so this might be the avenue to try. Please post to let us know what worked for you. Good luck.

Paula - posted on 04/24/2010

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Apparently boys have a hormone surge when they're about 7, I know mine did - we had an awful Summer with him at that age. I ended up putting a reward system in place for him with rules written on a large piece of card and put up in the kitchen including things like; not answering adults back, remembering manners, not arguing with our decisions and requests - then you just have to find out what motivates him and use that as a reward - with my son it was money!! He'd get 5 or 10p depending on what we thought was appropriate and once he'd got to a £1 it would go into another pot - once he got to £5 he'd get the cash to spend as he wanted. We all sat down and talked to him about how we were all unhappy with the rows and having to tell him off all the time, as I'm sure he was unhappy too, that we wanted to praise him more and enjoy his company and have more fun together. It took a while, so stick with it, but it did work to the extent where he would ask if he could help with stuff because he wanted to earn more money!

Perhaps he would like to work towards a one to one day with you or Dad doing something he likes - sometimes they just want some special time when they're not vying for attention - but if he doesn't behave the time is reduced or day is postponed? It's hard I know, but set the rules and stick to them together hopefully he'll settle. Good Luck x

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first things first as long asyu took awa his tooys don't give them back unntil the behavior has change also What I do with my son is when he doesn't listen and I took away everything he owns He starts asking me for things I simply say sorry I can't help you, if you can't listen to me I can't listen to you since they need you to everything the will start listening it worked for me

Norma - posted on 04/23/2010

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This is a hard one. I don't think there is any one answer. I have 3 grown kids and a 4 year old (who is like an only child). I do believe that kids need o be held accountable for their behavior. It sounds like you have really worked to find his "currency" but without any success. Sometimes extreme measures need to be taken (like removing doors, taking things that are not returned). I also think it is fair to let the kid know that he has choices "you can pick up your room or if you choose not to, then everything on the floor will no longer be yours". Do not engage in any battles that you are not 100% sure you can win. I feel for you and hope things turn around for you and your family.

Norma - posted on 04/23/2010

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This is a hard one. I don't think there is any one answer. I have 3 grown kids and a 4 year old (who is like an only child). I do believe that kids need o be held accountable for their behavior. It sounds like you have really worked to find his "currency" but without any success. Sometimes extreme measures need to be taken (like removing doors, taking things that are not returned). I also think it is fair to let the kid know that he has choices "you can pick up your room or if you choose not to, then everything on the floor will no longer be yours". Do not engage in any battles that you are not 100% sure you can win. I feel for you and hope things turn around for you and your family.

Sheri - posted on 04/23/2010

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don't underestimate the power of positive reinforcement. Remember bribes are something to get someone to something illegal.

Sheri - posted on 04/23/2010

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don't underestimate the power of positive reinforcement. Remember bribes are something to get someone to something illegal.

Valerie - posted on 04/23/2010

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I'm no expert, but I'm a mom of 2 children and a teacher (I've taught Pre-K,K, Grades 1 & 2). First of all, take a moment and count to 10...try to relax (I know it's easier said than done). Focus on the positive things your son does. Talk to him about his behavior...not when thigns are heated; find a monent that's calm. Praise him everyday, even if it's for the tiniest thing, and let him know how much his behavior is concerning you. Is there something going on in his life that you might not be aware of? Ask open ended questions, not just ones he can answer with a yes or no. Come up with a solution together and let him know what the outcome will be if he doesn't stick to his word. Seven year olds know the meaning of the words "promise" and "deal". Maybe you can ask him to draw up a "contract" for you & your husband to sign. All three of you need to be on the same page for this to work.



Hang in there & good luck!

Valerie

Dessie - posted on 04/23/2010

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If you put him in the corner then leave him there for 7 mins no more no less .7 MINS exactly.And then tell him the reason y u put him in the corner.If that don't work Do what the older ppl would do.Take him around the wood shed.If you take his toys and others items away then make sure he doesn't get it back for a few days or weeks.I might be harsh in some of the thngs I say but it might help.At 7 yrs old I was helping on the farm and with animals.See if he wants a animals to take care of.



If you do the reward system.everytime he gets a star say 5 stars and he acts out take it away from him..It is a reward system that work at alot of times.try that see if it works.GOOD LUCK

Michele - posted on 04/23/2010

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my 7 year old son will not listen to me sometime but he will listen to his step-daddy.you can use the word called i love you to much to argue...but if i come up with some more i will let you know

[deleted account]

What I've learned from dealing with my 2 children is you have to be consistent and don't let their attitude get under your skin. I believe you should change your system to a reward system. Children respond more positively to positive reinforcement than negative. Create a chore chart or point system so he can keep track of his progress as well and know where he stands at the end of the week. Choose a reward that is equivalent in value for the work being performed. Your point system should also include accountability for negative behaviors as well, i.e. tantrums, talking back, disobedience. He should be given at least 2 warnings before any points are removed and disciplines like time out, corner, removal of privileges are performed. Both you and your husband have to be on the same plan and back each other 100% in order for this to be effective.

Mary {Nan} - posted on 04/23/2010

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Try just telling him to go pick up his toys first then pick up his clothes . Do just one step at a time and see if that helps that is what I have to do with my kids. And I even have one that don't like cleaning at all.

Roxanne - posted on 04/23/2010

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Patience, patience, patience.....it is hard, but it’s the key!

You said it took 5 years to create the bad habits, so it makes sense that it will take more than 2 months to create new ones.

If you have tried all these things already, then maybe it is not what you’re doing, but how you are doing it that is not working. (I say this not with criticism, but from experience of doing that myself!)

Sometimes as moms we get so frustrated & tend to take our children’s behavior personal. I have 3 boys - 14, 12, & 7 - my dad gave me the best advice years ago when my oldest was about 7 and had very similar behavior issues. He said "DON'T TAKE IT PERSONNAL, HE IS KID THROWING A TANTRUM - IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU, DON'T LET IT HURT YOUR FEELINGS... SEPERATE YOUR SELF FROM IT AND HANDEL THE SITUATION AS IF IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU."

I think about this every time I go to get upset at my kids behavior & it helps me not get so frustrated or yell, because I did when he was little & it never worked - he jut feed off my frustration and got worse. I do not argue with them any more...they are children & I am an adult.. I have control over my behavior & the goal is to teach them to control theirs...so I do not let them push me into an argument...(this can be trying when 14 yr old tries the age appropriate attitude thing...I take lots of deep breaths and tell him "please stop and remember who you are talking to" & I walk away. Almost every time within 30 min or so he will come apologize, and as we are getting close to 15 yrs old he is getting better instead of worse like most of his friends. (fingers crossed it continues that way!)

I am a very outspoken and active mom, loud, silly, play basket ball & roller blade hokey with them, watch their shows, coach soccer, teach cub scouts, go on boy scout outings every couple months, talk about their day - who they played with, ate lunch with, what they were working on in class, ect....invest time in them (a bare minimum of 1 hr a day). I think this helps create balance, so I'm not just the one telling them what to do.

When I do tell them what to do, I do it calmly & if they give me trouble (mostly just my 7yr old tries it sometime - the older ones know better) I stay very calm. If he throws a fit, I always tell him you get to make the choice, either you do what I ask now, or you can throw a fit and do what I ask later and have consequences for this bad behavior - but it is up to you - I say it calmly, with our frustration or attitude and walk away. 90% of the time he chooses to just do it now.

I have had my middle son try the door slamming thing once when he was about 8. Dad was at work, so I very calmly went to the garage, got the drill, went to his room, and took off the door, I didn't even say a word to him, he just watched in amazement, it stayed off for about a week & he never did it again.

Hope some of this helps!

God Bless & good luck!
Roxanne

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