7 year old insubordination

Linda Jane - posted on 11/12/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi. I have a 7 year old son, who is extremely bright and extremely cute. He is a talented boy and exceptionally confident. Recently he has begun behaving in the most horrifically insubordinate manner. I don't like to spank my kids, but will when pushed, but right now when I scold him he grins at me like I'm saying something funny, or he runs away laughing at me screaming "you can't catch me". Even when I do catch him, he just does not repsond to any kind of discipline. He is not a TV kid, so I can't take that away from him as punishment. He has an answer for everything and it is exasperating! I find myself wanting to slap him around the face, which I know is not going to achieve anything at all except make me feel like a witch. Help! What do I do with this over confident boy to make him see reason and respond to discipline without breaking his confidence and zest for life?

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Ariana - posted on 11/14/2012

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For argument I would just disengage, don't let him draw you into an argument. So when it's bedtime if he starts arguing only say it once more, it's bedtime, if he keeps arguing ignore him and start getting him ready. It's not a discussion.



For piano have a specific time for him to practice so it's not you randomly deciding but an actual set time, so at, for example, 5:30pm every day he's going to practice the piano, once again no arguments. Say it once, it's 5:30 time to practice piano. If he argues just bring him over to the piano. Possibly come up with an agreement with him that he must practice at least 3 times in the week and once on the weekend (so four times a week, or whatever you feel is reasonable). If he is refuses just remind him that if he doesn't practice then he doesn't get to play piano, his choice, and walk away. If he chooses to not practice then he won't get to go to piano lessons.



I personally think kids shouldn't be forced to practice things, if he doesn't practice then he loses out, music is a sort of self-motivated thing. But if you tell him to do something he should be listening to you.



Also have the same thing for homework, have a specific time when he needs to do it. Possibly give him from this time to this time and it's up to him to work on it, he can ask for help if he likes. If he yells at you tell him, "I don't appreciate being yelled at, I'll help you once you calm down," and walk away.



If you have any teens in your family or that you know maybe you could get them to come over and help him with his homework a couple times a week. Kids tend to do better with someone else helping than their parents.



I would stop the arguments as much as possible. He is not the one in charge, if he wants to argue don't respond. Simply reply what you've said once and then just stop arguing with him.



If you do decide to give him a time-out make sure it's in a chair that he's sat in for 7 minutes and you get an apology at the end of it.



If he's really talking back or treating you disrespectfully maybe have him go to a time-out but at the end of it he has to give you an explanation of what he could have said instead of what he did. You might also just tell him, I don't allow people to speak to me like that, and either send him to a different room or walk away. Have a discussion with him how this is unacceptable and back-talk and rudeness will not be tolerated anymore. Even if he acts like he doesn't care you still need to try to give consquences. If he keeps getting away with it now he's just going to get progressively worse (plus YOU are going to feel worse and worse if he keeps getting away with it).



You might try giving him an extra chore, an earlier bedtime, taking away a toy he wants. You can also reward him on days he's talking to you with respect, maybe with a trip to the park, special activity doing something else he really loves (you know him best so whatever you see suitable). You might even have the trip/thing he likes up on the wall for the day and if he's gotten to a certain point through the day without being rude/backtalking to you he gets to do it,and if he does backtalk it gets taken down.



I would also try to incorporate a 'special time' about 20 minutes a day where he and you do whatever he likes (not acting rude or doing things against the rules but just spending time with him on something). Even if it's something that's really boring to you. That way there's a special time where you two can work on positive things instead of always having to focus on the negative things going on. Do this even if he's gotten in trouble (as long as it's not right after an incident or while you or him are stil upset). If he acts out during the special time tell him the special time is over and you two will try again later once he's calmed down (and give consequences if there is an issue). If he consistently acts out during the time you're supposed to have together try to go out to a park or somehow make it so he can't sabotage the time together. I think it's really important to have some good time to balance out the negative times, plus kids will try to act better with people they feel more connected to.



I hope some of this helps!

Linda Jane - posted on 11/13/2012

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Hi. He is argumentative and cheeky all the time. When I say it is time for bed, he argues that it isn't because..... (many different reasons). If I say it is time to practice piano, he argues that he is too tired, or his wrists are too sore, or playing piano is too difficult. When I try to explain to him that if he wants to quit, he cries and says he doesn't but it just too difficult for him to practice. Yesterday his piano teacher told him she had a really nice prize for him if he practised every day for half an hour and behaved well in his lessons. He ran down the corridor laughing, saying he didn't have to do anything she wanted because she's not his mom! I was mortified! He asks me to help him with homework, which I do, but he spends the entire time shouting at me, saying he can't do it, or that he is bored. It's exasperating! Time out doesn't work either. He is my creative child and is able to entertain himself with a stick, or a line in the sand so sitting in a room, even the bathroom, has no effect. I don't want to spank him either. I have tried taking away his pocket money and he just laughs and says he doesn't care.

Ariana - posted on 11/12/2012

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Well what is he doing exactly? With this type of attitude it's better to say less and do more. So whatever you can do to have a more 'natural consequence' type thing is better than getting into a power struggle.



Like I said it kind of depends on how he's chatting with you. So if he's saying something rude to you send him to his room for 10 minutes and just tell him you don't let people speak to you rudely. When he gets to leave he has to tell you how he should have spoken to you. If he's refusing to clean up his toys give him until a certain time (so must be picked up by 5 oclock) and if they aren't you don't nag him you just pick them all up and put them in a box for the next day or two.



Those are just examples of trying to do things without nagging or asking, talk less, do more.



If you can give more specifics on what exactly he is doing that's insubordinate better advice can be given.

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