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To be shocked at 7 year olds behaviour?

(305 Posts)
Pollyanna12345 Wed 15-Feb-17 14:05:36

DS just turned 7 last month.
Quite a loud extrovert personality but up to now had no issues with his behaviour aside from not being able to sit still for long so visits to restaurants and so on were always quite tricky.
We are more positive parents than anything else although don't like to label but have always done all we can to suit their needs ( DS2 is 4 and completely different character )
so have left restaurants and places where he can't seem to behave well in many a time
The last few weeks have been hard
School still seems fine and only just had PE and nothing mentioned other than lacks concentration at times and is quite fearless of danger but generally only does things he knows he's capable of so not really a concern but he just doesn't seem to listen to much we say and has an answer for absolutely everything
He argues back like an adult not a child and is extremely logical but not very emotional
A few examples are :
Throwing a massive rock in a farm as he was insistent it was not a rock, just a soft mass of mud so when it exploded it wouldn't break into pieces, it would just fall apart so I didn't need to worry it would smash anything
Spelling out things to his brother like " shut up " phonetically when he gets annoyed and when told off says he shouldn't be told off as his brother can't understand what he's saying
Ran past a door and accidentally shut his dad's finger in it and when explained he should apologise as although accidental he shouldn't have been running through the hallway - that was his dad's fault for coming out of the toilet at that specific moment in time
He also blames anyone and everyone for things that go wrong, so if he falls over someone distracted him for instance and takes no responsibility for his actions
He has a big personality and we've always been careful to embrace it but I wonder now if the respect is actually lacking because of that!
Anyone else with a " spirited " child like mine??

Mynestisfullofempty Wed 15-Feb-17 14:13:27

How many more threads are you going to start, with slightly different titles?

I haven't had a 'spirited' child like yours so have no personal insight to your situation.

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 15-Feb-17 14:15:41

It is your choice how you parent. There is another thread at the moment criticising a pregnant lady who intends to ensure her child is taught manners. I suspect there will be others along in a moment to criticise you for not teaching your child manners.

If you are happy with how he behaves that is up to you. You do seem proud of the way he back chats which it is how it comes across to me rather than arguing in an adult logical manner as you stated.

I am not sure what you are actually asking. Are you now concerned about his behaviour or proud you have a "spirited" child.

Children should have agr appropriate boundaries set in my opinion so they know what is and isn't acceptable behaviour and so they grow into well rounded and likeable individuals.

Pollyanna12345 Wed 15-Feb-17 14:16:30

What do you mean different titles?
I created one by accident as put the age of 6 instead of 7 so just edited it and resubmitted!

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 15-Feb-17 14:16:35

*age not agr

GwenStaceyRocks Wed 15-Feb-17 14:17:57

What happens when he doesn't take responsibility or when he argues back or when you all have to leave a restaurant because he won't behave? It sounds as though he's pushing boundaries and imo a 7-yr-old pushing boundaries is normal not shocking. But you have to be firm on what is acceptable and what isn't eg I wouldn't accept that a 7-yr-old couldn't behave in a restaurant; I wouldn't entertain any discussion about how spelling rude words at his brother somehow mitigates his rudeness and unkindness, etc.

Pollyanna12345 Wed 15-Feb-17 14:18:09

I am largely proud of him and his logic is generally correct but I do see others staring wondering why I am not telling him off
It was the thread about manners is restaurants that spurred me to create this though actually

SilverBirchWithout Wed 15-Feb-17 14:19:50

He is not just a spirited 'character'. He seriously lacks the ability to empathise and is displaying characteristics that could be described sociopathic.
He doesn't sound nice or kind.

Sisinisawa Wed 15-Feb-17 14:20:14

Hmm he sounds like my 7 year old. She's autistic. Could your ds be?

DrivingMeBonkers Wed 15-Feb-17 14:22:41

"Spirited" is a euphemism I'm afraid. Be wary of it on school reports, it's teacher code for absolute brat-like behaviour. I sense some EBD issues in the future.

You might want to start putting appropriate boundaries in place now.

Cosmicglitterpug Wed 15-Feb-17 14:25:46

You don't tell him off? Well that could be the problem. What do you do or say when he's being rude to his brother or trapping people's fingers in doors?
I don't have a 'spirited' child, but have met plenty in my line of work as a primary teacher. Being expected to follow the rules of the classroom and a following through of clear sanctions tends to stop this nonsense.
I agree with Gwen, you should be able to sit in a restaurant without leaving. I expect that from my three year old.
What do school say? Do they think he has SN?

KnittedBlanketHoles Wed 15-Feb-17 14:26:57

He sounds a bit annoying.

Pollyanna12345 Wed 15-Feb-17 14:27:16

Very empathetic when it's suits him so I don't think any SEN issues
Very kind and loving towards his brother majority of the time and to us and our dog etc
Spirited isn't what the teacher used its what I'm using
She only said he lacks concentration when not interested
No incidents with other children or anything

CinnamonSweet Wed 15-Feb-17 14:27:36

He sounds like my 7 year old. Back chatting and blaming others for things. He recently hurtled down a hotel corridor on a trunki hitting the cabinet at the end, he was told off and his response was "it's the hotels fault for putting it at the end of the corridor in everyone's way"
He tends to be a quiet thoughtful boy but I have noticed recently he thinks about things in a logical manner, will have his own opinion on lots of things and argue his point when he needs or wants to, I'm presuming this is just a normal developmental stage for their age.

Timeforabiscuit Wed 15-Feb-17 14:27:41

I have a very extrovert child, and one very introverted- to be honest the logic and back chat comes from the introvert!

Weve always been clear as to when discussion turns to cheek, and cheek to rudeness - we reasoned that they needed to learn what the social niceties were but equally didnt want our children to be seen and not heard.

We always tried to focus on the personal responsibility aspect, but it dependents what works for that child - for one just a parent being disapointed is enough, for the other, financial implications or laws when they are an adult work better.

Pollyanna12345 Wed 15-Feb-17 14:29:09

We do tell him off but don't expect him to act like an adult
It was the thread on here about expecting manners that made me start this thread
We speak to him and explain where he's wrong and so on but don't do the whole shouting / hitting / taking away xyz that other parents seem to

DeadOfJericho Wed 15-Feb-17 14:31:42

So do you tell him off when he misbehaves?

DeadOfJericho Wed 15-Feb-17 14:32:22


Cosmicglitterpug Wed 15-Feb-17 14:34:56

Right ok, the fact that you're thinking about this suggests it's bothering you. So no feedback from others then? Maybe those things are occasional, in which case it's not the end of the world. However, if you feel he's being cheeky then curb it. For what it's worth I feel removing privileges can have the opposite efffect on seven year olds as they just fixate on the punishment as being unfair rather than reflecting on their 'crime'. It's an age where they don't think things through very imo. It sounds like he suffers from a lack of empathy more than anything.

MagicMoments22 Wed 15-Feb-17 14:36:40

I don't consider blaming others/making excuses as being adult. Owning up to being wrong is part of being adult

Trifleorbust Wed 15-Feb-17 14:40:39

His behaviour sounds rude and cheeky and likely to get worse. He needs you to help him channel his intellect, not waste everyone's time arguing about trivia when he is in the wrong. Stop letting him walk over you.

oldbirdy Wed 15-Feb-17 14:41:56

silver birch nice. Calling someone's little boy sociopathic. Ffs.

Op he sounds like he has an external locus of control. He clearly has theory of mind (understands that little brother can't spell yet) which whilst it doesn't rule out autism as suggested upthread is a point against. He sounds rather self justifying and as if he is used to being encouraged to put his point of view and that this can over ride an adult's view if he dismisses their reasons.

For example, the rock/ lump of mud incident. It could be that he has some issues with shifting cognitively (once he decided to throw he had to throw)
or it could be rather narrow comprehension of language (it's not a rock it's a lump of earth; missing the key fact that the order is not to throw *that item*;) that would be quite typical in autism

But again I don't think this scenario particularly fits with autism as he made an inferential leap from 'don't throw that rock' to 'its OK it won't smash anything it's just a clump of mud' - he inferred the reason for the ban and defied it on the basis of the reason for the ban, rather than assuming it didn't refer to him as he wasn't holding a rock, if you see what I mean.

Look up locus of control and try to encourage more introspection from him. Label behaviours not the person (sometimes children who externalise so much do it because they have very poor core self belief and it's too painful). Be very clear with boundaries and semantics: if I say don't throw, I mean under no circumstances are you to throw. I don't mean you can over rule that because you don't think it will break anything. If I say stop saying nasty things to your brother, I mean all nasty things. It is not only nasty if the person understands it. If you have hurt someone, you apologise. You don't over rule that because it was an accident.

Do keep an open mind about a possible autism spectrum condition if he frequently misunderstands semantics as illustrated above. It depends if he is genuinely misunderstanding the language or being disingenuous in order to justify his actions, and either is possible.

Laralouie Wed 15-Feb-17 14:42:46

My 8 year old is 'spirited' a little shit I don't like it at all.

He isn't nasty or unkind but he's constantly on the go running around where it's not appropriate, rarely listens, back chats often, messes around when he should be doing something. He does the same tries to make his behaviour sound logical. I don't call it adult though I call it being cheeky.

I'm quite strict I think, I remove privileges for what I consider bad behaviour and try to reward the good. I'm very firm with him if say for example he's messing about in the supermarket, he gets told what's what in no uncertain terms.

Being a clown seems to be his default personality so I have to be one step ahead.

HandsomeDevil Wed 15-Feb-17 14:43:15

I have a confident, outgoing 6yo, whose confidence can spill over into cheekiness or rudeness at times. IMO it's not a massive cause for concern, as at this age they are all still learning how to negiotate the social side of life. However, we do employ firm consequences for any rude/overly argumentative/cheeky behaviour - in our case quiet time alone until she can be kind and appropriate with people, (which is our extrovert child's most dreaded thing), and an apology.

Rosieposy4 Wed 15-Feb-17 14:44:39

Poor kid, give him some boundaries now. He will not know his behaviour is poor unless you tell him!
"Spirited" 7 yo inevitably leads to out of control teenager unless action is taken soon.

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