What is "normal" 7 year old behavior?

User - posted on 07/07/2012 ( 17 moms have responded )

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I am the grandma of a 7 year old boy, who we visit regularly. My question is...is it "normal" for a 7 year old boy to listen and obey the
first time...or is it more"normal" to have to ask many times? I get
frustrated with him, though I am 65, I do not remember what I did with my kids...but I think I was more strict. Any current discipline advice
and strategies would be appreciated.

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Bobbie - posted on 08/17/2012

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I am a new grandma to a 7 yr old boy. My son married his mother this last December. I have learned that he and I must be connected by eye contact or already in conversation for him to listen / respond.
To obey was first up to hm, he thought. If he didn't want to obey he waited until the number of requests were given until he was ready. Now I know that children who are stronger willed most of the time push you to see how much control they have and how much they can push you. My grandson had a lot of power over his mother because she tried to make up for the loss of his father (divorce) and the fact that he has ADHD. So there was a long history of the habit of not listening. I watch him once a week for a few hours but I am happy to take him over night and do things with him. When I am in his home with his mother I allow her to do all the correcting and/or trying to get responses. But here is what I do when he is with me or I am watching him
I started out by keeping my voice always the same infliction. You know how you can make saying the same thing sound different? Their name came be said but you can sound upset, angry, ready to react? Well, he was very sensitive to those cues. He unknowingly was trained to know what his mother was feeling and knew how far he could push her by her tone. He knew he DIDN'T have to listen until that tone became very firm. To break this I never changed tone. When he didn't listen I would sit silently and look his way. He took a long time to look my way at first but I was UNtraining him to recieive multiple demands before responding. With just one request given, for example, pick up that paper, I made sure I always said please and thank you as well. It is so much easier to keep manners going in the right direction when you aren't repeating yourself over and over again. When he didn't respond and pick up the paper I just stopped whatever I was doing and looked at him until he looked my way. I still just looked (without impatience or anger on my face or body language that said he had gotten under my skin) When he looked at me I waited until he said "What" and then I would just mention the item, in this case I would say "the paper". At first I would have to say, "what I said to you was please pick up the paper". He was amazed, No matter what he did that normally got the upper hand in his mind, taking control from his mother when she lost control ~ raise her voice, threaten or get in an argument. By maintaining the same tone and not playing along at his choice of times to not listen you keep his respect. I think his mother would be hurt to hear this and I mean it without harm but his, like most mothers today do not understand the mind of a child. I have taken care of a great deal of children, had 5 of my own and helped unwed mothers long term to get their children back on track when they demonstrated this same behavior. Anyway, I would suggest to you that you never sigh and just do it yourself or make comments to that effect. When a child gets that results he knows that the behavior of not listening works with you too.
My grandson knows when he is in my home he has me all to himself. I have time to make eye contact and listen to him. I dearly love when he gets deep into a subject and is trying to tell me all about it. He says, "and then, and then" and takes a deep breath trying to capture his lost thought. I would say, "it's okay buddy, I am listen, I am not going anyway, take your time". He would slow down right away and go on with his story. He tells the cutest stories big facial expressions and so enjoy those memories I am making with him.
His mom now has three children, a new baby girl with my son, and she could never give him that one on one time as often as she would like. There just isn't enough hours in a day. So not only do I love having him but I feel he receives that extra attention grandparents have to offer that make all children feel more loved and special. AND when he feels so much unconditional love and I am so fast to praise he is fast to respond.
Remember the song "accent the positive, eliminate the negative, hold on to the affirmative, don't mess around with the between" That song saws it all. don't respond to the negative behavior so you can eliminate it. Accent the positive behavior and affirm their good actions.
Best of luck
Hope you enjoy lots of special loved fill with moments with him ~ he needs you

Pamela - posted on 07/10/2012

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Depends on the child and how the parent is rearing him or her. It also depends on the personality of the child. Many children today are very easily distracted because the world provides so many more distractions than there were when we were children. (I am 67)



There is no "normal" behavior anymore as those terms were hatched many years ago. Today there is more emphasis on the ability of the individual, their personality and habit patterns.



The parenting sets the tone and cue for a child's behavior. If the parents of your grandchild have allowed him the right to be told repeatedly at any one time, that is what his patterning is.



You can set the patterning in your own home to be different by sitting him down for a "talk" and explaining that in your home the rules are different. For example, "(Child's name), I know that at your house I must tell you several times when I want you to do something. That makes Grandma (or whatever name he calls you) very tired. When you are at my home I want to be able to tell you JUST ONE TIME when I want you to do something. Can we make an agreement that Grandma has to tell you only once?! Then make the agreement and shake on it.



When you have to say something more than once ...call his attention to the agreement...."Didn't we agree and shake on my having to ask only once? Can we please keep our agreement"?



It may take a little while to change his habit pattern, but be PATIENT, COMPASSIONATE, FORGIVING and FIRM in getting him to keep the agreement. Eventually he will get it!

Lisa - posted on 07/10/2012

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This worked in my house:

Make it an understood rule that they will only be asked to do (or NOT do) something 3 times. After that, there will be "X" consequence. Then stick to it. Even if it means having to change your plans for the day.

Consequences need to be short, simple things that they can understand and remember and they need to be in place BEFORE you dole them out. If necessary (since you are a Gramma and presumably not with your grandson on a daily basis), you can explain about the consequences of an action (or inaction) the first time you ask something new of him.

Laketa - posted on 07/10/2012

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Yea you do have to tell a child on numerous accounts to do something. Me, i say it twice. After that. We have a problem. I normally takes away everything from them. That way, they have to work towards earning it back.

Kristin - posted on 07/10/2012

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It is normal for a child to ask over and over again. I have not met a 7 year old yet who listens the first time unless it is something they want to do. With my 6 year old i tell him clean your room so we can go to the park. Usually he jumps iup and does it but if I dont have that positive behind it he has to be asked a few times. It is very frustrating lol but times have changed and the kids are to be seen not heard mentality is gone.

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Jakki - posted on 08/21/2012

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If they don't do it on the 5th request, they're certainly not going to do it on the 6th or the 7th or the 15th - by then you've got no authority and you are a joke.

If they are allowed to, kids will get used to ignoring you and waiting until you go crazy and scream at them.

Warn them that in 5 minutes, you're going to ask them to do something,then say it once, then on the second time explain the consequences of non-compliance.

Pathetically repeating your request over and over again? no way!

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My 6 1/2 year old boy, it depends. Sometimes he's so engrossed in what he's doing he doesn't really hear what I've said. Sometimes, he thinks he can get away with what he's doing or says no, but once I threaten him with the loss of some toy or DVD that he loves, he usually changes his attitude fairly quickly. I think a lot of his attitude comes from school and from TV. I have to be careful what he watches on TV and I regularly take away DVD's that I think are causing him to act up. But I can't control who he plays with at school. So far, I don't think he's too bad. He listens most of the time, if not always the first time, and he's usually quite helpful and polite.

Try not to get too frustrated with your grandson. You want him to enjoy visiting you. If he's being openly defiant, discuss it with his parents. It is their job to discipline the child. You can discipline to a certain extent, but if he spends most of the time with his parents it will only have a limited effect.

Kristen - posted on 07/16/2012

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With my daughter the TV contols her listening "ability". If its on, I ask once, then turn the tv off and say, "I'm sorry, I was afraid you couldn't hear me. *this needs to get done/what ever your trying to ask* and I have no problem with you watching more tv after that gets done". I always try to put the responsibility on her, I.e. - of course you can go outside and play, as soon as your room is clean. We have list, morning and night of things that are expected of her- feeding the animals, brushing her teeth, cleaning up her dishes after dinner ect., everything gets done she picks a reward (dessert, extra tv time...) but if it doesn't she misses out. Best of luck to you.

Sanelle - posted on 07/16/2012

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My 7 year old is really awesome. When she concentrates and really listens, I only have to ask once - but one thing at a time. Her problem is she gets distracted very easy - which is also normal. Hence, I'm strict, but I know I have to be patient, make sure she is looking at when I talk to her and keep it short and sweet. Sending her from the kitchen to her bedroom to get something or put something away, 6 meters apart, by the time she suppose to reach her bedroom, she would've ended up somewhere else busy with something else. It's not always cause they don't listen......it's more the attention span is very short :)

Esther - posted on 07/15/2012

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All in the pattern that's been set. Asking children repeatedly is absolutely tiresome! I wouldn't do it unless I was being paid. As it stands I do my best to train my children to respond straight away, I wouldn't want to have to be panicked to get their attention. My daughter always responds first time, even offers to do things she knows are part of our schedule now (dishes, tidying, teeth brushing etc) and she's only just turned 9. My son is 7 and although he needs reminding, I don't wanna set him to "Nag" mode to get anything done.
Rules are great, even children love them, they always know what you expect if you tell them straight up :)

Laketa - posted on 07/10/2012

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Not to be funny or nothing. It also depends on how they were raised. Their enviroment. Children are like sponges. They absorb everything around them. But, by prayer, time, and the right attitude. No child, i mean no child can get by this discipline.

Chaya - posted on 07/10/2012

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Grandparents get along with their grandchildren so well because they have a common enemy.
I don't know any child who will listen the first time unless you're panicked, call 911 would be an example. Not angry, panicked.
When I was a kid, I usually did as I was told, but it took a few times. My daughter was probably better about it, but I usually asked her to do something before we went to an event she was interested in.

Kathy - posted on 07/10/2012

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its more about how you ask them. Some kids have ideal behavior. My sons grandmother has to ask them several times to do things. My nephew picks up after himself better but frequently sasses back and calls her names. Things which my children have never done. Its more of a matter of the choice of words she uses.

Laketa - posted on 07/10/2012

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Personally, I'm strict. But, i see with positive communication & understanding goes a long way too. It also shows them you mean business. And, you're always there as a parent. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

Michelle - posted on 07/07/2012

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it is extremely normal to have to ask them to do things over and over again.

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