My 7 Year Old Son is a Jerk

Ashley - posted on 08/29/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )




Lol...I had to make that the title becuase thats the phrase I googled on my phone after I felt like I'm in a downward spiral with my son. I was raised by my super sweet grandma and my nightmare aunt. My grandma explained things, gave me an occasional wooden spoon spankin & basixally guilt tripped me into feeling awful when I was very successful method I loved and respected her. My aunt raised me for the next 5 years and was exact opposite. Yelled, no hugs (knew she loved me but never felt a connection or like I could snuggle or talk to her)...reminded us she didn't wants all the time made me resent her and basically I was a terror at that point becuase I hated her and didn't care. I fear being like my aunt or being too nice like my grandma. So I tried to always explain to him why he was in trouble or why I felt the way I do. I tell him...if he was the parent how would he feel if i did what he did (whatever bad action). He just acts incredibly board when I try explaining thngs and then will say 'yes I understand...I'm why is that sky blue etc etc. (Insert random question here that shows he's clearly been thinlikg of anything other then what we were talking about). So I've tried spankin his little butt but I never do it hard enough beucase I think of my aunt and cringe and I tell didn't even get spanked hard bexuase I love you so much...can't you just be good so I don't have to do that..I don't like spanking you and being mean...he says he understands but the acts rude again 5 min later. My faults where I'm probably needing work: being consistent & being patient....ill freak out and yell sometimes becuase I get so annoyed or ill give him three.or more warning to quite backtalking and then yell to scare him and tell him he chose that becua se i gave him several chances. Basically just want help on gettong him to stop talking to me like he thinks he is smarter then me or my parent and second to stop being a quitter/crybaby. When he sees something hard to read he says he can't and then if I tell him to try he crys. He crys all the time about the dumbest stuff. Sorry I wrote so much...just trying to put enough info that someone could give good input. Oh....he is a total daddys boy and his dad is never out of town and is too "tired" most weekends to do much with.him so my son is always with me the "drill sergeant"


Kristi - posted on 08/30/2013




I am going to start off by stating that I am by no means a perfect parent, never have been, never will be. I've made mistakes, we all do. So keep in mind, the following is based on my experiences and my opinions. Take em or leave em. Just remember, you asked.

I am old school. I spanked. Definition, swatted on bum while in a diaper or clothing, hard enough to get their attention and make them think twice (so to speak) about their current behavior. I used soap in their mouth. Definition, I swiped a bar of soap ONE time across his/her tongue after warning for repetitive cursing or disrespect. I also used other forms of discipline, which I'll get to but I wanted to address these because you are using spanking completely inappropriately and it won't be affective as such.

Spanking has nothing to do with being mean. How hard or how soft should matter because at a certain point it's called abuse. (to some it all is) You don't want him to relate his perceived level of pain per spanking to your amount love, do you? When you pop him on the tushy do you want him to associate that with Mommy is mean or with, I better stop what I'm doing? Oh, have mercy...I almost missed this..."can't you just be good so I don't have to do that." HE is good, his BEHAVIOR is bad and you must never mix up the two for him. Even better, his behavior is inappropriate, take "bad" right out of the equation when you can. Until you have a clear set of expectations and consequences, he is not making you do anything. You are the adult. And, you can't spank for every little thing.

You already admitted your own faults. They are HUGE....very common but very important! Consistency is mega important. Kids (people) need a sense of stability and security. We are supposed to provide that for them. It's important to have rules and expectations and values that are followed by consequences, positive and/or negative based on his/her behaviors. You must follow through with your decisions. If you say, you have to put your toys away before bed or we're not reading a story, then you have to stick to it. Period. If you go off half cocked, which it sounds like you do, and you tell him he can't play outside for a month because he wouldn't stop being sassy, then I would wait and enforce it for a few days. Then, I would go in his room and ask him how he was doing, talk to him about his behavior, explain to him that adults make mistakes, too and you over reacted, apologize, ask for forgiveness and then take him outside and play together. If you don't do what you say you will, you'll lose total credibility and nothing you say will be effective.

"Choice" comes in once you both know what the expectations and the consequences are. Not after you scream at him to scare him because you're upset he won't listen to your numerous warnings. YOU chose to scream at a 7 year old. Did you say, "Max, if you don't stop being sassy, I'm going to scare the shit out of you in 5 minutes by screaming my lungs out in your face?" Doubtful...therefore, he did not know that was a possible consequence so he couldn't choose to stop or to be screamed at. He needs to know which behaviors are acceptable and which ones are UNacceptable. You need to teach him. Explain it to him. It doesn't need to be an hour long seminar on what back talking is and why you should never do it. When he does it, say calmly and firmly, Max, you are back talking. We've talked about how rude and inappropriate that is. Please stop. If I have to say this again, I will take away your toy or you will sit in time out, etc. If you don't think he is listening, ask him to look in your eyes and tell you what you just said. If he is able to do so, high five him or give him a hug, some form of positive reinforcement and some encouraging words to keep things going in a good direction. It isn't going to be easy at first because he's already figured out how to push your buttons (all kids do) and so far, you haven't really done squat to him and when you do, it doesn't last.

Patience is also so very important. I totally lacked this several years ago. I wasn't really aware that I didn't have patience, I just thought my kids argued too often, tried to push my buttons, were just trying to get attention, etc. was me, being an impatient, grouchy bitch. (there were extenuating circumstances but still no excuses) You've got to figure out what is soaking up all your patience and causing you so much stress and you need to address it because your son needs and DESERVES your time and patience. I really hope to God you haven't told your son he's a crybaby or he cries over the dumbest stuff. You might think it's dumb, but something is obviously upsetting him. Maybe, whatever it is he is crying about just happens to be the straw that broke the camel's back and he's really upset about something/someone else. Or, the fact that he can't finish his castle because he's out of blue blocks might just be too much for him in that 5 minutes because he's been working hard and he had a plan and now it's all gone to hell and he doesn't know how to fix it. Or, maybe he just feels like crying. It's your job to be empathetic and patient enough to figure out which one of those things it might be without humiliating and frustrating him further.

My son (technically my stepson) had trouble reading and spelling about your son's age and a little older, too. He also cried. It used to piss me off. I thought he was just trying to get out of doing his work, for f's sake he never cried over anything else. But, really, he was ashamed and embarrassed. When we pushed him to try harder, it made him more nervous and it made it even more difficult for him to concentrate. I suggest you talk with his teacher, privately so not to embarrass him, ask her for ideas to help your son with his reading at home. What ended up helping us the most was finding the Level 1, 2, 3 books at the bookstore. They had all the superheroes he liked and Disney movies and they were well illustrated so the pictures kind of hinted at what was going on, giving a little help with the reading. Instead of buying the books ourselves, my family would send the kids gift cards to the bookstore for everything, Halloween, Valentine's Day, made reading an adventure. We could spend a couple hours at the bookstore on the weekend while they looked through all the books and figured out how many they could afford and which ones they would put back. English isn't easy to learn, speak, spell or write...proofread your own post. (Just sayin) You might think about looking for a parenting book to help guide you and keep you on track. Better than some semi-anonymous mouthy broad on line. ; )

As far as him talking to you like he knows more than you, get used to it. If I remember correctly, I realized how stupid I was and how smart parents were and had always been right about age 19 or 20! My daughter is going to be 14 in a few days. She's much wiser for her age and she does respect me. She still thinks she knows everything...but boy do I love the foot stomp, huff n puff, why-do-you-always-have-to-be-right door slam, when I get it!

Imo, when you start a conversation, it's good to give details. It is easier to offer more specific advice. I hope you get more responses, too. Lots of smart, experienced moms on here. Good luck.

Jodi - posted on 08/29/2013




I'm not quite sure of the purpose of a spanking if you aren't doing it to hurt them. How is that a punishment if you just hit them gently so it won't hurt? I just have never understood the argument of "yes I hit my kids, but I only do it gently so it doesn't hurt". It makes spanking redundant anyway, so why bother?

There are other ways to deal with it, just as giving him time out to consider the way he spoke to you and allowing him to come out of time out when he is ready to apologise and ready to do a task for you to show you that he does care. Yelling doesn't tend to work either, because kids just shut down.

You need to let him know it isn't okay to speak to you like that, and that if he continues, then consider something that you can stop doing for him. For instance, do you take him to the park sometimes? let him know that if he is rude to you that makes you feel like not doing things for him, such as taking him to the park or allowing him to watch your TV, etc. 7 is not too young to start negotiating removal of privileges. Privileges come with responsibility. He needs to keep his end of that.


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Ashley - posted on 08/31/2013




Im so greatful thank you....honestly...great advice and you said it perfect. Making this my mommy guide for the next few weeks and hoping to see improvement. Ibalso read about the HALT methid which I thought was a brilliant concept too. Thank you for your response!

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