Defiant 7 yr old.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2007
Defiant 7 yr old.
Wed, 06-06-2007 - 10:29am

Argh! My was outside playing with the basketball. For some reason she brought the ball in the house. Why? I don't know it's a rule that all balls stay outside. She was bouncing it and using it like a volleyball. I told her to take it back outside. Told her several times. Told her she will break something wtih it. So, on her way out to the front she tosses it up in the air one more time and loses control of it and it hits one of my many snow globes ans breaks it. It was a small one yes but it was the one my brtoher gave to me for Christmas just after my dh and I got married. I think our first Christmas together. It has meant a lot to me cause he got it for me and he got it thinking of the cat I had at the time. The cat on the snow globe looks almost like the cat I had back them.

She started bawling at the time and came and hugged me saying how sorry she was. I sent her to her room. She is grounded from the basketball for the week now. Now i have glitter all over my hands cause i cleaning it up and I need to figure out how to remove the rest of the glass so I can keep the main part of it. I don't want to get the glass all over the floor by taping it to break it.

She had to bring it in the house when she knows it's a no no and she had to toss it up in the air one more time to prove she could cath it and had control of it. She does this sort of thing a lot.




iVillage Member
Registered: 08-03-2004
Sat, 06-16-2007 - 11:46am

I've noticed growing defiance in my just turned 7 yr old DS too and was hoping it's a normal annoying trait that will pass rather than a sign that my sweet baby boy is turning into a pain the neck. I haven't read that "Your 7 Year Old" book in the series but have others noticed this and how do you deal?

I have to have pretty strict limits and rules b/c he's oldest of 4 (only boy, sisters 5, 2 and 2) so routines and limits are a necessity. The other twist is my husband just accepted a really great job far away from my really great job so I'll be single parenting. He's a great kid at school and with his friends' houses so saves it mostly for me. I'm also the disciplinarian and dad's the fun one.

Insights or advice?


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-15-2007
Sun, 06-17-2007 - 7:11pm

Wow. My 7&1/2-year-old has been particularly defiant these days, too. He always has been to some degree; I definitely recommend "Your Defiant Child" by Russell A. Barkley. We followed the steps outlined in that book (with the help of a counselor; that's how defiant he was) about a year ago, and it worked wonders. We have since dropped the token system outlined in the book, but after the past few days I am ready to bring it back.

I think that perhaps it is a problem of less structure in his days since school ended. He has been using inappropriate language (not swearing, but saying words like "boobies" and "weenies" to try to get attention from older kids) and lashing out physically at his brother and even some friends. His older brother is off to camp tomorrow, so I think we are going to have a little one-on-one "behavior boot camp" for the next week. It's going to involve lots & lots of positive attention for good behavior, and a little bit of reflection and extra chores to make up for some negative behavior.....

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2007
Sun, 06-17-2007 - 8:09pm

I really like the last 3 lines of your post and the book recommendations. I've noticed that we're all posting about sassy, defiant 7 year olds, so I'm beginning to think it's just the age.

Since Friday, I've created a little token/progress monitoring system. It's a 4 week (7 day) calendar. My DS has 2 goals (one for school and another for home). My DS has a reward and a deadline. Friday, we reviewed the progress monitoring chart and goals.
Today, he threw a temper tantrum (his home goal) which I noted and used to remind him of his goal and reward. I also noted his good behavior. He's been fine since.
He needs daily reminders and a visual to help him w/his work. We are definitely going to counseling this week (finally, our appt. is here!)

I'll let you know how this works.

EDD 9/13

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2007
Thu, 06-21-2007 - 4:30pm

It's working!!!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2007
Fri, 06-22-2007 - 9:38am

Are you referring to the Ames & Ilg series of books? I really love those! I noticed I don't have the 7yo book but the 6yr old book is "Your 6 Year Old: Loving and Defiant" which we have definately seen here, too.

Ironically, Olivia asked me to bring back the marble jar (our version of a reward system)last week. We had gotten away from it about 6 months ago because her behavior had shaped up and we really weren't using it as much anymore. Things have been slipping here, behaviorwise again lately so it might be time for us to dust it off and bring it back!
Cheryl, Olivia's mom

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 06-22-2007 - 10:06am

Hi, mom!

I have had this problem with my son about every other year until he turned 9; now it is pretty consistent, LOL! They just go through phases of growth and unfortunately for us, that also means periods of defiance and questioning.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-18-2004
Tue, 07-31-2007 - 5:25pm

-- i came lurking on these boards have a soon to be 7 yr old SS.. oh vey! :)

since i've know him (since 5.) he's been defiant. some days he 's great and listens very well and others he just is very emotional and gets an angry face and doesn't listent he first time we tell him.. We have tried the time outs and taking things away and it seems to help for a while

thing is he's back and forth from mom's to dad. he does have a routine and schedule tho to keep it consistent for the children..

he also can be very aggressive sometimes. he says words to get people's attention, acts stupid sometimes, hits people on head w/ toys when we have visitos and loves to show off. other days he's outside building, taking things apart/ he loves to build and experiment alot. and if you ask him to do something chore he will do it.. but if he doesn't get his way w/ something or you get upset w him sometimes he flies off the handle and sometimes he will jsut go quietly for his time out.

i am not sure what;s wrong.. we have visitors right now and it seems he does have some low self esteem.. which i have asked my DSO to involve him maybe in a sports program or something. he doesn't have any "true" friends yet that we know of.. now his sister on the othe hand 4 is always making friends and getting best friends but not him. and the way he is sometimes around other kids, kind of bossy and agressive i can see why

i do worry about him. i care for him but somedays i am like oh he's NOT mine LOL..

i just don't understand why he doesn't get the rules . i know he constantly tests us and we agreed we have to really stay consistent w/ him and not argue w/ him and basically what the adult says goes.. no ifs and or buts.. he does try to talk his dad out of things and we have agreed we won't argue w/a 7 yr old instead it's I said NO because I am the adult..

I like what one poster said, that until you can behave around others you need to go to yoru room.. he totally yelled in front of our visitors.. i notice when he's out of his normal routine he seems to act out more. like when we are not at the house , or others are around.

help.. i thought of counseling but i don't if both parents are going to go for it. he's a very sensitive emotional child. and other times he great.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2003
Wed, 08-01-2007 - 7:17am

"I have had this problem with my son about every other year until he turned 9;"

I just wanted to tell you that I have seen this in all three of my children the oldest two are 16 and 14. I have told other people that every other yr with each child is a good yr. LOL, the good thing is that the older two were on oppisite years :) but the bad's still goes on around here :)


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-22-2004
Wed, 08-08-2007 - 2:55pm

I soooooooo totally relate to this topic. I have only 1 child, a 7 year old son. He's very smart and was put in an excellerated, special gifted type of program starting in 1st grade. There are no kids in our neighborhood for him to make friends with so since he was a baby I have had him in daycare and preschool and a Mom's club to be able to socialize and learn to share and make friends. He is very friendly, silly, and can play very nicely...BUT if something doesn't go his way he gets upset. He can be very bossy and will get mad if someone changes the game they are playing. When that happens I always time him out or take him home.

I have been very consistent with him since he was able to speak, yet I am finding his outbursts are getting worse each year. He, too, is extremely sensitive and cries a lot when someone hurts his feelings. Now he has started to hit and kick when someone upsets him. Today at camp a boy who I know to be very aggressive and annoying (my son can be too) was cutting the line, taking friends away, etc. and when I picked up my son he was arguing with this other boy and then he kicked him and chased him around the line saying he was going to kill him. :(

I was calm and told him it doesn't matter what the kid did but you are not allowed to hit/kick and he now had to go home instead of use the playground. Well he blew up at me and started to run away. Well then he lost his gameboy/TV for the day and he started ranting, raving, crying hysterical in the car.

He's very good and listens at home; he'll still push buttons and try to get his way at times; he plays quietly; he plays very nicely with others unless someone teases, takes something from him, or changes the game, etc.; he does very well with school work, but gets low marks for self control issues. He can be very thoughtful and he always hugs me. So it so hard when I see that other side of him.

It makes me very depressed. Plus I am in the Peri/Meno years and having a lot of my own problems.

So I totally relate to the previous poster. I, too, was thinking of counseling, but I don't know how that will help.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-15-2007
Wed, 08-08-2007 - 3:33pm
corky, I can totally relate to you; my son sounds very similar in temperament to yours. We actually *have* done counseling, last year, when things were at their worst; it did seem to help a lot. But he definitely still has his moments; it seems to go in phases. He seems to be in a phase right now, in fact, just gets set off easily and overreacts. Never hits or kicks anyone except his brother, though, but he's been doing that a little too often. I think that he is missing the structure of the school year; I expect things will improve when school starts and he is back in that kind of a routine. Meanwhile, I am trying to shower him with positive attention and rewards for good behavior.