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Attitude in a 7 yr old

(7 Posts)
MollieO Mon 10-Oct-11 09:57:25

This has been on-going for some months and shows no sign of improving. Ds (yr 3) basically has a cba attitude about everything. We've talked about effort and reward. I've explained that so long as he tries his best I will be proud of him. He doesn't try his best in anything he does and when I ask him why he says he cba (well not those exact words but that is the gist).

I don't know what to do to get through to him. He is bright (top third of class) but won't put any effort into anything he does.

Is it a phase or is there something I can do to improve his general attitude?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 10-Oct-11 10:16:21

'CBA' is often code for 'I'm finding this too difficult'. It's then easier to feign indifference rather than try, struggle and risk failure. And I say that, even though he's in the top third of his class. Year 3, beginning of Juniors, is a big step up from Infants and many children find the transition more challenging than you might think.

So I think you have to go the usual route of help and praise, building his confidence as you go. Talk to his teacher and see if they're happy with his progress. If he's a bright kid it'll click eventually.

MollieO Mon 10-Oct-11 11:30:12

I hope so but it permeates every area of his life. He has given up every activity he did, even those that he really enjoyed doing. Just says he isn't interested. Its saving me huge amounts of time and money but it makes me sad that he is really so disinterested in everything. If he was a teenager I'd assume it was usual teenager behaviour but it seems odd in such a young child.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 10-Oct-11 13:28:05

I think if you let him give up then he'll spiral downwards, convinced there's a lot of things he can't (under the guise of won't) do. What are his friends like? Are they deciding that everything is boring or too much effort? Is it cool to be CBA? Does he have friends?

MollieO Mon 10-Oct-11 21:11:17

Good point. Don't know what view his friends are taking of things. I will spend some time investigating!

substantiallycompromised Tue 11-Oct-11 15:41:11

Don't worry - it will pass!!

(I'm no expert but this was my experience anyway)

If I were you, I would follow his lead and allow him to give everything up for the moment - remove all pressure completely. This only has to be a temporary measure - he is still v. young.

My dd (having previously been very gung-ho and up for anything) gave up all her activities at 7 yrs old and just wanted to stay at home. She's also bright and didn't have to try hard at school (bit different now she is older and has gone up a year but that's another story!)

A friend lent me a book called "Your 7 year old - Life in a Minor Key" written by academics from the Gesell Institute of Human Development. (One of a series of book - focusing on children's development - year by year.)

Anyway, I was sceptical because the books are so prescriptive ie at six your child will be behaving like this and at seven like that and I thought dc were all so different and varied in their make-up and behaviour that the books couldn't possibly be accurate.

To cut a long story short, the book described my dd in every detail. To summarise, the seventh year is described as a year of withdrawal, pulling in, calming down. Seven year old children are described as becoming more conscious of themselves as people and how they interact with the world and having many worries and fear that school "will be all too difficult and the things expected may be too hard"

You'll be relieved to hear that it's all change again at 8 yrs (The Gessell Institute book's title for that age is "Your eight year old - lively and outgoing! and so it has proved to be.) We took all pressure off our dd at 7yrs and didn't insist that she went to activities or did anything much other than play with friends every so often. She's gradually gone back to extra-curricular classes (not too many) and seems to be enjoying herself again.

Homework is a different story though! wink

MollieO Tue 11-Oct-11 22:07:07

Thanks. I'll have a look for those books. Sounds very reassuring that it could be a phase!

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