AIBU? Normal 7 year old behaviour...(79 Posts)
My 7 yr old dd reacts very strongly to things, she has high anxiety and she still has tantrums. They can be extreme. For example she has just had a meltdown for 1.5 hours (crying, screaming and kicking) because I explained Daddy said no to her eating in our bed because she makes crumbs. She was devastated that I didn't believe that she doesn't make crumbs (she does make crumbs). My dad thinks that she is bang out of order (fair enough) but can't see that she is 7, and hasn't learnt how to deal with her big emotions yet. I'm worried that there's maybe more to it and the tantrums, plus her anxiety may not be normal for her age. My dad thinks I should just stop her tantruming (no idea how) and that I'm letting her older sister down who is always upset by her tantrums. AIBU to 'let' her get away with this behaviour?
The tantrums do sound extreme but there could be many reasons. Is there anyone who gives into them for eg gps or other relatives? She may have thought if she made enough of a fuss she would be allowed to eat in bed to shut her up!
Other reasons could be excessive tiredness if she doesn’t sleep well or poor emotional regulation caused by excessive screen time if she uses devices a lot.
It’s possible there is more going on but some children are just highly strung!
Ok I’m putting my head above the parapet here to say most seven year olds don’t tantrum like that over trivial issues. It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with her though, but you could seek advice on how to help her manage her emotions.
At 7 I’d expect the odd brief tantrum over big things. I’d not expect a tantrum lasting an hour and a half over a trivial thing.
It may be that she’s just over emotional?
However DD is highly strung and quick to tears but wouldn’t react like this.
So no I don’t think it’s normal behaviour as such.
Crying and screaming for 1 hour 30 mins straight? I would say that isn’t normal for any age. When a baby cries for 30 minutes straight, they’re exhausted afterwards!
Crying over not being allowed to eat in bed I wouldn’t worry about, my 6yo sometimes bursts into tears over the most trivial things.
What are you doing when she’s acting that way? If she is in her room / time out of some sort, will the crying and screaming stop a lot sooner?
My 7 year old is currently kicking off in the front room because we spent £30 of his birthday money on toys he’s now changed his mind about. This happens every year.
My eldest was even worse at this age.
No I think any child tantrumming for that long is worrying and it’s ott for 7.
What do you do when she does this? So does she have an audience etc. Does she get her way by doing this sometimes? It sounds hard for you all op
It’s not ‘normal’ behaviour, but it doesn’t necessarily mean there is something wrong.
Maybe she’s a bit emotionally immature for her age. Does she struggle to articulate her feelings/emotions?
My DS was the same at that age. In fact, he didn’t grow out of it until he was about 9 iirc. He is now a normal teenager (stroppy but normal!)
That sounds extreme for 7. Well beyond what I would expect. My six year old when tired can have the odd emotional meltdown but it lasts 10 mins at the very most. Being told she can’t eat on the bed should not provoke a ‘big’ emotion. I would assume there are other things happening with her including possible SN.
Regular tantrums of that duration are not normal in children of that age.
What are the consequences of these tantrums? Every tantrum should have a consequence. Tantrum starts, you tell her that if she continues then xx will happen and then leave the room. Go and do something with your other child in another room. Do not cajole her to stop. Ignore.
Also, in the incident you describe, I’d have said I don’t want you eating in our room or we don’t want, saying Daddy kind of gives her the idea that you’d be happy to let her and if she persists, she’ll get her way.
Thanks for your responses, I genuinely don't believe that it's 'manipulation' to get what she wants. She is genuinely devastated at the time. Plus I am far less likely to backtrack on something once there is a tantrum because I feel like that is rewarding that behaviour. I do cuddle her and tell her I love her, but I also do that when she isn't having a tantrum so it shouldn't be a desire for 'negative attention' either. I wonder if mine and my dad's differing opinion is merely a generational thing?
No that really isn't normal for a 7 year old. That must be worrying for you. How do you react to her tantrums?
My dd1 age 7 is similar (but with bonus threats of self harm)- I had a thread on behaviour about it a few days back. I have reached the stage where I now feel it is outside the norms for her age and am going to discuss with GP and have an assessment booked with relate for possible child/family therapy.
I'd be ignoring it and walking away. I certainly wouldn't be cuddling her while she's kicking off. If she follows you I'd tell her she needs to go calm down away from the rest of the family and once she calm she can come for a cuddle. At that age I would t be letting her tantrum take over the house and make others uncomfortable.
I don't know what's normal, but neither of my children behave like that, and never have.
That doesn’t sound quite right for a 7 year old I’m afraid. I have 9 grandchildren including a couple of tantrumming girls and both had stopped before 5 and even at their worst it never lasted longer than 30-40 minutes.
I've tried consequences but they don't work. They don't change anything at all, she accepts the consequences once the tantrum is over sometimes or it will trigger another tantrum, but it doesn't change anything at the time, or reduce the frequency of the tantrums. To be honest nothing really seems to work! I've tried sending her away she takes that to mean that she is unloved, I've tried explaining things (she doesn't seem to be capable of thinking rationally during a tantrum), I've tried consequences, I've tried cuddles (the only thing that seems to reduce the length of the tantrum), I'm not sure what else I can do to be honest other than hoping that she grows out of it (she is young for age in some ways but old for her age in others), or by trying to get some help. I think I've tried every parenting 'tactic out there! Xx
My son is highly emotional, always has been, and this is part of a disorder called sensory processing disorder (SPD). Not to suggest your child has this disorder but it is possible that something is amiss and that you could all benefit from professional advice.
I definitely would not be recommending the "walk away and ignore" approach. Honestly some people are so clueless. Many children have additional needs and treating them with disdain is not helpful.
That is an extreme reaction. My Dd is 7 and highly strung and easily upset but she wouldn’t have tantrumed like that unless she was ill or really over tired. I agree with a PP that you shouldn’t say ‘Daddy says you can’t do x’ of gives the impression that you dont agree and she can negotiate. I always present a United front with my DH. If he says no I’ll back him up and vv. If we think the rule is a bit silly we’ll discuss in private so she knows she can’t play us off against each other.
I would suggest popping her in her bedroom and telling her to come down when she's calmed down, then talking to her about the issue and letting her know she xan be heard when she's calm. Easier said than done though. I'm awesome at the first part myself, less so the talking afterwards
Yes rain - it was out of the blue, no warning signs or anything obvious that it might have been about.
Don't shoot the messenger, but my DD was like this at 7 (plus other behaviours) and was diagnosed ASD (finally) at 9. Write down her behaviours, film them if you can and go to her GP. Have school any concerns?
I have a very highly strung child like this. Stricter discipline does not help in our case. It just makes the whole situation more conflictual. I found the book 'Raising your spirited child' very helpful. Also'How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk'.
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