I've had it with my 7 yr old son!

@AndreaM76 (1164)
United States
January 10, 2007 9:45am CST
I'm trying very hard to raise my kids to have respect for me and others. My son will be 8 in a few weeks and I'm getting really really tired of him testing me. He has reasonalbe rules to follow and I try to be fair and just but lately if he doesn't get his way he gets puffed up and angry and scowls at me and stiffens his fist to his side. I've taken privledges and even taken his new presents from him. It seem when I think he's earned things back he's preceded the last thing that got his privliges taken. hhis biological dad is not in his life and he only acts up when his step dad isn't around. He's becomming a slacker and I can't tolerate it. I want him to be able to choose things and make decisions on some things but he likes bending the rules too much. How can I get him to respect me and it stick. I'm tired of being the mean mom. I'm tired of his behavior.
6 people like this
58 responses
@trish32 (1471)
• United States
10 Jan 07
I totally understand what you're going through. My oldest son who is 10 years old behaves quite similarly to your son. While my husband and I are together and he is our children's biological father, he works a lot so the kids don't get to spend much time with him. There are weeks that he works seven days straight and the kids only see him for a brief time before bed. These are always the weeks when my son gives me the most trouble. I would suggest you speak to your husband about this and find a way for him to spend some time alone with your son and have a talk with him, explaining how undesirable his behavior is and how it makes you feel. I'm not suggesting that he punish him, but rather have a "father-son" talk with him. Perhaps if you're able to arrange time where he has his step-dads undivided attention it will also help improve his behavior, since the years between 7 and 12 are crucial for a boy to have a strong, positive male role model to spend time with. Good luck!
@thatmom2 (126)
• United States
10 Jan 07
I agree with Irish32. sometimes for a boy, the way that the react to things, is by acting out. we can all attempt to figure out the best way to handle it, but the utlimate decision is on the family itself. maybe your husband and ur son can have a one on one boys night, or day since he is 7. not so much a day of lecturing, but a day when he can interact with another male, and a piece at a time get some good advice from the step father. I pray that he utelizes this time and gain wisdom from it (ur son). I also hope that you remain patient, bc if you act out to him, he is only going to match that outburst and it may escalate into something horrible. I have a 3 year old, who likes to test me, and the only thing i can do (other run screaming into the other room pulling out my hair and locking the door...lol) it kneeling down to his eye level, and speak to him calmly. reminding him that i am the parent and he is the child, and he has to respect and obey his mother. sometimes it works and other times i have to the running thing (just with a silent scream.) i hope all works out well with you and your family.
• United States
11 Jan 07
I also have to agree with trish here. I have one son and the rest are girls. My son has given me the most problems where disrespect is concerned. My girls's father is my sons step father also. He works a lot and is not home a lot so this is when my son seems to act out more too. I have for years now gone to my husband and had him talk with my son when things get real bad. They will usually go and have a father son day. My husband tries to find something for them to do together where they enjoy themselves but yet he still talk with our son. Usually my sons attitude will get better for awhile after they have one of these. When it starts getting bad again I just tell my husband it is time to work his magic again. I think this is my sons way of crying out for the attention of the only father he has ever known. Good attention, not the disciplin. My son is 16 now and we started doing this when he was 10. It has gotten better over the years and is now easier for me to tell when he is needing this pep talk from his dad. Keep your chin up, it does get better.
@kittykatzz (1133)
• United States
10 Jan 07
now not being in your household its hard to say too much... but jsut an idea, maybe sit down with him and tell him that you want to talk with him but only if he promises to behave respectfully.. entrust your feelings to him and instead of being so angry tell him that when he acts out toward you it makes you sad.. that you do the best that you can to try to make sure that he has everything that he needs and that he is happy, and when he acts like this it really makes you sad and worried(would you be lying?only tell him truthful feelings).. tell him that you want him to grow up and be a respectful hardworking man and ask him to tell you how he thinks that you should do that. ask him why hes getting so angry and if something you can do to help him control it or if he thinks that it might be helpful to talk to someone else (counselor, therapist, etc.) it may not give you all the answers you are looking for.. but it may give you clues as to how to curb his anger or to get him to help himself to calm down.. it could be helpful to both of you and help you to be even closer.. kids by nature will tend to think of themselves first.. its not that he doesnt care about your feelings, he just may not be aware of hurt and only see you be angry at him when he breaks the rules.
@sabrinam (1204)
• United States
10 Jan 07
I speak to my son quite candidly, when he does things that he's been taught not to, I make sure he understands that it not only takes away his outside priveleges, but it makes me feel like all my work was for nothing because he doesn't respect me enough to do what he was taught...that works pretty well for me. Kids are much smarter than we give them credit for, don't understimate them...
1 person likes this
@anjuscor (1266)
• India
11 Jan 07
I think, the kid is acting because of his step dad. Why dont you let him talk freely with his step dad. But kids are always innocent, they do not know what they doing. If it is untolerable, why dont you take him for concelling. If you think, you can manage, make sure you act teh same way as he acts. So that he would understand something meaning in it. Try talking to him, not belting. A sweet mom talk, stating it hurts you when you try to do this. Let him know what he is doing. Be very calm and stay tuned with your kid. So if you starting caring more about him, he might udnerstand what he is doing is wrong by teh time he growns up.
2 people like this
@kids91911 (4366)
• United States
11 Jan 07
The way I deal with my son when he use to do that to me is I found a place in the house were I could see him and he wasn't facing the tv. I would make him stand or sit there . If he left before I said he could I would put him back in that spot. Then after a while when I knew for sure he was tired of seeing everybody else having fun. I would sit him down with me and tell him what he did to put him there and ask him why it is wrong to act that way. It worked wonders with me son.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Jan 07
I have twin 8 year old boys and I am a teacher in the primary grades and I sympathize. Children test at this age and you may have to be the mean mom and be consistent. If you are not consistent he will learn to walk all over you. You can be his friend or his mom but not both. Allow him to get angry, tell him it is ok and give him examples of how it is appropriate to show his anger or frustration. Feelings are ok and you would much rather have him show his feelings, even the anger and frustration, than bottle it up. Set you boundaries, make your rules, and stand your ground! Good luck!! :)
• United States
10 Jan 07
You sound frustrated, hurt and angry with your son. What is the first thing the airline stewardess tells you to do on the airplane, while travelling with children, in case of emergency? Put on your oxygen mask first!! then help your kids. It may be time for counseling or parenting classes that can help you build skills to manage behavior. I have a child that is 17 and has ADHD. He has challenged me and pushed me in ways no other human being on this planet ever has. His bio-dad has been out of the picture since he was 2 years old, we don't know where he is. I have been in lots of counseling, taken numerous parenting classes and sought the help of friends many time throughout the years. I have had to modify my parenting style, I have had to learn skills to manage my son's behavior and I have had to cry somewhat. My son is 17 and he isn't perfect but he isn't the boy I was afraid he would turn into, he is a wonderful young man that I am proud to call son and that made all the "blood, sweat, tears and turmoil I went through worth it. And if I had to do it again or raise another child like him I would, he is really a cool guy!!
• India
10 Jan 07
First of all you have to stop worrying and collect your thoughts about your son. You do not have to be stressed out when he is around, otherwise even his minor disobeying of rules will make you mad. Try to have a better control over yourself first of all. Secondly, it's very natural for kids at his age to be irritable and irritating as well. Bending of rules is quite common at this age and it is a passing phenomena. Belive me, my uncles's son also used to be that way a few years back. Even i thought that his situation would worsen, if at all. But with age came maturity and i realized that it was merely a passing stage. And so is with your son. So more than your son, keep yourself in check and handle your son with a cool head. Everything will be just fine.
2 people like this
@intech (16)
• India
10 Jan 07
these things just stay for a while,you should not get demoralised by his behavior now, i would suggest u to watch the programs he watches on the tv and see that he does not watch movies or shows showing mother as a bad character this might have sat in his mind and also scan through his friends if any of his friends mothers are really bad he also things u are the same,dont worry as the time goes he will realise his mistake and will respect u once again
2 people like this
• Nigeria
10 Jan 07
i am a christian and I strongly beleve that Jesus can chage his lie and make him the best you desire. What you need to do are as follow: 1. If you are not a christian, I mean real christian please do, that is the first step 2. Commit the Boy unto yhe hand of his maker every day, let God realise that you have done your best as a Mother. 3. Write prayer requests to genuein christians organisations for prayers in respect of the boy. 4. Attend christian meeting with him prayerfully
1 person likes this
• Nigeria
10 Jan 07
I repect you views,only God can change the heart of the child
@AndreaM76 (1164)
• United States
10 Jan 07
Yes, I pray. I give this to God each and everyday. He goes to Sunday school and I as well as he are involoved in the AWANAS program at church. It's a Small group so therefore I'm his leader as well. So just please pray if you will. Even when you give something to God it still isn't easy.
• United States
11 Jan 07
Ok, I'm not downing prayer but I once had a Jehova's Witness to knock on my door when one of my son's had an earache. I told the two women that, 'right now is not a good time'. One of them asked why and I told her that my child was sick. She asked to say a prayer over him. A little prayer never hurts anyone, so I agreed. She prayed over him, but it was good ole antibiotics that cleared it up. My belief is that there are plenty of things that God can help us with, but God also expects us to do our part. I don't think this mother is losing grip at home at all. The fact that she is here asking for advice on the matter means that she is exploring one option. God helps those that help themselves, and there's no doubt that He is watching over this family. This mom will do just fine.
1 person likes this
• India
10 Jan 07
Now i dont know if it helps. but try this out. Try being rude to him. let him do things the hard way. Dont entertain him with presents. Just when he feels completely left out try loving him. he will surely take it by surprise and may change
1 person likes this
@AndreaM76 (1164)
• United States
10 Jan 07
Respect is what I'm trying to gain from him. I don't point out what only bad things he does. I praise him too. People tend to think the step dad could be the problem. he's never mean with him. He's been in his life since he was one. Thanks for pointing this out.
• India
11 Jan 07
Ok then the best thing u can think about it go with him and ur hus to a long vacation to a nice place. may be a proper country side where he comes close to nature. Just enjoy urself out there. Make maximum use of this time and get close to him. may be it will help out
• United States
11 Jan 07
what has always worked for me is to be consistant with them and to let them know who is in control and who the parent is.I would not be bending any rules for your son becasue with a child you give them a inch they take a mile.you need to set boundaries and stick to them.I know that is what i do for my kids and it works and they have plenty of respect for me and they know who is the parent and they listen to me.
@AndreaM76 (1164)
• United States
11 Jan 07
That's a good way to put it thanks! I find myself repeating things over and over like a broken record.
@AskAlly (3627)
• Canada
11 Jan 07
There is some really good advice in the posts! Where were all of you when I was raising my 5 Boys? My kids were lucky enough to have their biological dad raise them. But I have seen step dads be real dads as well. I think what I would have done was plan somethings together for when dad is not around (if he is helping to raise your son I'm not calling him "step") If my kids got grouchy it seemed that often times they just wanted some time alone with me. So off we would go and fly kites or go fishing, ride a bike and just make a day of it. I did this with each of my sons. It was called our special day. It sometimes even fell on a school day so it was an even bigger treat to spend time alone with mom. I found that they were more able to speak thier minds without thier brothers aping them in the background. Being away from the house and doing an activity together is less confrontational than sitting in his room trying to have a conversation. That at least has been my experince. I also have to say "pick your battles" Being disrespectful at my house could not be tolerated because I would have had 5 of them in my face. I think you are doing the right things as far as disipline. However, I could have had a world war everyday if I tried to pick apart all the little wrongs that they did. Don't forget that your son loves you very much! Share your feelings with him about being the "mean mom". He needs to know that you are a person as well. 8 year old boys need to learn the blacks and whites and no shaded of grey rules. I was a "because I said so" type of mom. I had to be. One liners had to work for me. I just simply was not able to negotiate every little thing. He'll be fine though I am sure. You say that he just earns a priviledge back and has another taken away, so somehwere inbetween he is trying. Let him succeed sometimes. It may give him incentive to keep trying. If you can never "win" what is the use in trying? I would pour on the praise and hugs and thank him for being a good boy when he does get back a priviledge. These things worked for my boys, maybe some of this may work for you. Good luck and remember to love eachother lots. :)
1 person likes this
@AndreaM76 (1164)
• United States
11 Jan 07
YESSSS! I'm actuaclly going to print all these responses out because there is so much nice sound advice here. it will be hard to choose a best response! I wish I had the time to thank everyone for such great caring words! Thanks to everyone I've been rating all with positive rating for sure!
• United States
10 Jan 07
Well, I'm the second oldest of seven and 21, my youngest brother is currently 8, just turned 8 in fact. He is enjoying testing everyone of us in the household. I don't know how many kids you have but my mom worked hard on us older ones so we would be able to help the younger ones. I've worked with kids outside of the home for the last 10 years or so, working with people from our church and then continuing on in the ministry when I got old enough. My parents work every Wednesday night at our church in a program for 5-8 year olds, Ranger Kids, we usually have about 40 kids. What we've noticed over the years of working with these kids, is that the boys who are usually good will start acting up if they're dads are out of town. It is not because they know they can get away with it, it's just the only way they really know how to show how much they miss the manly flow that exists between fathers and sons. If you can get his step dad to be around more, it will strengthen your position. If his step dad will tell him how much it means to respect you, the mom, he will start listening better. In his early years, his father is really important because he reinforces everything you say and helps temper it too. When he backs up what you say and works with you on decisions, your son sees that and becomes convinced that he must listen and depend on both of you, for he sees you as a united front, he can't get a no from you and then a yes from his dad, its no from both of you, so he takes security from that and will listen better. Also you just got to be consistent. It's not just a phase. I know of kids who have turned violent to the point of killing because their parents gave up and just let them have their way all the time. They didn't intend to kill but because they were never taught to take full responsibility for their actions and understand the fullness of the consequences, not only for themselves, but how their actions could lead to the harm of other people, they just didn't realize what they were doing, and when he becomes bigger than you, you will never manage if he has not learned to respect your word now. Furthermore, don't send him away. The people who can influence him the most for good are you and your husband. If you get miserable and think about sending him away, remember that you will no longer have control over anything that he learns or how he comes out, yet your motherly instinct will still hold you responsible. Give it another shot, my mom's made it with seven kids, and we have friends who have made it with 11 and 12 kids, all were each one marriage, two different families, and what we all have in common is relying on God, our churches, and other families like ours--those with similar beliefs about raising children, to come through. Trust in God and let others support you, you will come through,
• United States
10 Jan 07
Also check out www.family.org
@sabrinam (1204)
• United States
10 Jan 07
Well, I have a nine year old who will be ten this summer, consistency is the only thing that will work, he is pouting because he expects you to give in, he throws tantrums because he wants you to give in, he tests you because he wants to see if you love him enough to enforce the rules that are good for him. I suggest you pick up the book, "Dare to Discipline" by T. Berry Brazelton, renowned child psychologist. It doesn't teach you to beat your child, it teaches you how to constructively change a child's behavior and make a good man out of him...don't waste a minute! I get raves about how good my son is, and I promise he's never been beaten, lol!
1 person likes this
@AndreaM76 (1164)
• United States
10 Jan 07
Thanks for the tips on the book. I went to a class that was called How To MAke Your Children Mind without Losing Yours. It was good and helped to some degree but I don't think it covered enough about childrens' characteristics just parents' mainly. It's from a Christian Father/Therapist.
@neon2000 (2762)
• Philippines
11 Jan 07
Talk to your son, heart to heart talk as if you and him were not seeing for many years. Make him feel he is really special for you. Show him your kindness and patience during your talk listen to him if he talks about what is bothering him. His problems will come out in that talk.
@anne_143god (5390)
• Philippines
11 Jan 07
Maybe you should not stop to discipline your child for you are the only one who will understand his situation and should look for whatever best for him. Try to always talk to him what is right and wrong he might realize it at the long run.
@bugbaby (1788)
• Indonesia
11 Jan 07
I would suggest you to watch the programs he watches on the tv and see that he does not watch movies or shows showing mother as a bad character this might have sat I realized that it was merely a passing stage. Tell him that you want him to grow up and be a respectful hardworking man and ask him to tell you how he thinks that you should do that. Ask him why his getting so angry and if something you can do to help him control it or if he thinks that it might be helpful to talk to someone else (counselor, therapist, etc.) it may not give you all the answer you are looking for.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
11 Jan 07
it is just a matter of love, that your kids only want some attention of yours. as time passby they will change when they grow up. its up too you to teach them how to respect you and other people, and always take note the friends of your kids, you must check the friends of your kids wether they have good or bad friends. your the om and ou will always be ruling your child, teaching them the right and good conduct.
1 person likes this
@brokentia (10396)
• United States
11 Jan 07
You sound as if you are describing my eldest son...right down to his biological father not being in the picture! I do not want to seem like such a downer...but it will get worse. Wait until he is is a teenager! You think he is huffy and puffy now? My son did the exact some thing and it just grows more infuritating with time!!! My son will be 17 years old soon. He does know right from wrong. He knows how to give respect. But...he just refuses to do it unless he wants something. And even then sometimes he is still a butthead. Just remember, they will grow out of it...at some point. Be consistant is the key. Not that it will change his behavior...it may not. But being consistent is the huge key in parenting. Hey, sometimes it even works!!! :)
1 person likes this
@canadabis1 (1955)
• Canada
11 Jan 07
its only his age....you gotta relax a lil...it'll pass...your problems r only gonna get worse...lol...I have a 14 yr old who argues with his mom all the time...but not with me...I dont think u have any longterm issues to worry about...this too will pass with time.
1 person likes this