My seven-year-old is getting increasingly more independent and has a constant bad attitude about everything. I'm really hoping this is a personality thing of his and will not be repeated with every child.
He is very good at turning everything into a battle of wills. He's already beaten me in some aspects. I'm already afraid to remind him to do certain things--like his chores or practicing his piano. And heaven forbid I assign him extra work because he owes me $16 for a library book he tore! If I even approach that, I'll get screaming and yelling and throwing toys for at least a half an hour.
Yes, I admit it, my seven-year-old has me trembling in my boots. Right now, it seems that the most effective tool is to threaten to call Dad at work and tell him so that when he gets home, he can punish the child. But then I feel like my son loses respect for me when it's only Dad who can ever dole out the punishments.
Here is today's story.
As we were pulling into the driveway from church, my husband tells the kids that they need to come right in, get changed and come downstairs so we can eat our big meal before Daddy needs to head to work, as he wanted to get there early today. We go in the house and two of the kids change quickly and obey while Daddy makes the gravy and cuts the meat and I set the table. The older two boys mess around and don't change very quickly. When the food is ready, Daddy sends the four-year-old upstairs to tell the older boys to come down for dinner. The seven-year-old clobbers him for delivering the message, so Daddy goes upstairs and sends everyone down exactly how they are--the seven-year-old is still in his underwear. Daddy makes him eat dinner just like that and the seven-year-old spends the entire meal whining and griping and explaining how he "accidentally" clobbered his little brother (you know, accidentally on purpose). He was told after eating to go sit on his bed until Daddy left for work, but he threw a big tantrum about that. Finally, he settled down and admitted and apologized for what had gone wrong.
Fast forward a few hours. Daddy is now at work. We've just eaten "supper" (on Sundays, we have a big "dinner" right after church, which is at 2 pm and then supper, which is more a snack, before bed). The kids were watching a video before supper and had plans to watch a second 30-minute video after supper. When they finished eating, I sent them up to get pajamas on and brush their teeth before putting in the video. They were acting wild and silly and not doing what I asked, so I went upstairs, monitored them while they brushed teeth and changed. They continued the silliness, so I said, no video, only books. I told them to get their books, and the seven-year-old threw a massive tantrum about not getting the video, so I told him he couldn't have a book either. I read to other three out in the hallway while he was supposed to be in his bed in the room, but he spent the entire time pounding on the wall, the door, and crying that he wanted a book. When I finished reading and put the other kids to bed, he was relentless in how he wanted a book. I stood firm, but he is still up there upset that he didn't get a book and has come down several times begging for one.
So, that is typical of how he deals with these things. I have no idea how to handle it. Sometimes I feel like it is a losing battle for me. He has really become a very difficult child.
Usually he is bright and happy and a good helper and a good big brother. But try and get him to do something he doesn't want to do or reprimand him for bad behavior, and the devil he becomes.
Please tell me that some of my children will not turn into this!?