How to handle a 7 year old

I’m finding it harder to handle my 7 year old now compared to when she was a baby, a toddler, a terrible twos stage (which was never terrible but rather cute and adorable), preschooler etc.

However, now that she is a 7 year old I am lost. I handled the “No!”s stage without going beserk. I came out of the “Why’s” stage still sane. Now we’re at the “How’s” stage and I am lost!

Each day, from morning to night, she would bombard me with “How?” Its not “How” for a new thing mind you. Its “How” for the same thing. Usually its for things like…..

“Mummy, I went to the bathroom and my hands touched the toilet seat and then I touched my face. How?”

“Mummy, I whistled during naptime and didn’t sleep. How?”

“Mummy, I talked in class and didn’t pay attention to what teacher said. How?”

And the list goes on, from morn to night, day in and day out. From the first moment when we wake up to the last thing before we sleep (really! I am not exaggerating) , she would have a statement followed by a “How”. It drives me crazy! I wonder why does she seek approval from me in every little thing she does? Does she lack confidence so? Am I so controlling? Is she seeking attention? Does she want to come to me herself to avoid being scolded? Have I been giving her too many conflicting signals? What? Why? How? Sometimes its for really really trivial things, sometimes its for something really naughty that she did.

Sometimes she is satisfied with my standard replies of either “Don’t do it again.” or “Don’t worry about it. Its just a small thing.” to which she will ask So, its ok if I do it again?”

I don’t know how to handle it. I have tried telling her to come to me only if its very important. I told her “Mummy and daddy have taught you what is wrong and right. Now you know that you should not do the wrong things and you should do more of the right things. So don’t come to me AFTER you have done the wrong things and ask me “how?” to which she would retort. Ok, then next time I won’t tell you anything even if I did the wrong thing.”

I am reaching my “breaking point”. Cannot tahan anymore. Would somebody tell me HOW?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Martini says:

    hmm, be patient, it’s juz a stage of development.
    Mine is now at the “why” stage, like yours, he will ask “why” over the same thing again and again.

    Sometimes I will juz tell him to answer it by himself, and he DID it! haha…

    I certainly need lots of patience, loads of it.

  2. health freak says:

    From a by-stander’s view, I think it’s funny! I think she’s just full of curiousity and wants to know all the consequences of her own actions. And she wants reassurance too. And I think kids are naturally very ‘cheong hei’ (long winded) coz my gals are just the same. When I tell them something exciting, happy, sad or shocking, they will ask me about that event 1,000 times for a few days until they forget about it!

    Thanks for your point of view. Its true but I tell you hor, really beh tahan liao!

  3. michelle says:

    Maybe she needs your affirmation. You should always praise her or compliment her when she does the right thing. Then she will learn how to be independent.

    I praise her often and I try to give her situations where she will excel so that I have a reason to compliment her. However the problem persists.

  4. anony-mouse says:

    Perhaps you find it annoying b’cos it makes you feel obliged to answer every single of these HOWs in a specific way.

    Since she likely knows what to do in those incidents she tells you about, it could be that she is merely using these events to make conversation with you rather than specifically requesting direction.

    In any case, you might feel less annoyed if you just take a casual perspective instead of feeling compelled to dish out an answer to every single “HOW?”. Instead of asking her not to tell/ask you (note implied threat of her not telling you in future), throw the question back at her. example: “Ah so! And how should YOU solve that problem?” Or “what do you think is going to happen if you make the same mistake again?”
    At 7 years old, it’s time for her to figure things out herself instead of coming to you for answers to everything.

    Thank you. I always appreciate your comments. I am afraid I have failed miserably in this area. Just yesterday, I gave her a resounding slap and I told her I don’t ever want to hear another How from her. Yah, a terrible way of handling it I know but I have tried being nice and being innovative.

    Not only this, she will repeat questions to me at least 5-6 times and she will make me repeat my answers to her at least 5-6 times too and answers must be worded in EXACTLY the same words or else she would ask again. For example if I say “After you have finished eating, go and put your bowl there (and I point to the kitchen table), she would ask me “where?” and I say “the kitchen table” and then she goes “Put what at the kitchen table?” and I might say “The bowl” and she goes “put the bowl where?” This is just a silly made up example but it goes on something like that daily from morning to night. It drives me crazy!

    I have tried everything. I pay a lot of attention to her. Give her lots of hugs and attention. I have tried explaining to her nicely. I have yelled at her. But nothing changes. Each day she asks her hows and she asks me the same questions over and over again even though I have already answered her at least 5 times.

    She may rephrase the questions in different ways but its the same question over and over again even though I have answered the question over and over again. I have tried talking nicely to her, reasoning with her, stopping everything and listening to her, ignoring her, yelling at her as well as the “so what do you think will happen if you do that again” before. Nothing works. I am really lost and tired and quite fed up frankly. 🙁 Sorry for ranting. I usually try not to or at least I think I am trying not to. 😛

  5. annie tan says:

    Do you feel that sometimes they do it just to “torture” us?? Purposely make it difficult for me because I asked her to do something, so that I’ll snap and do it for her instead. I feel like dat.

    I won’t give in to her nowadays. Sometimes I tell her, I am too tired to repeat, you do whatever first, if it’s not right, I’ll YELL at you later and you’ll know then. And then I walked away. My girl, she likes to do things right when I am not watching. When I am around, she “purposely” slow things down and give all sort of questions or reasons why she can’t do something. Geram hor. But I believe it’s a phase, and I’ve been quite patient recently, I am sure u can do it too…haha.

    Yah, sometimes I feel that way. Sometimes I give her a warning first. In a calm voice, I tell her, if you continue like that, I am going to become very angry soon. I noticed that she does not behave that way that much with her dad because if she does she will really kena so she dare not or maybe its just because I am with her much more, aiyah duno lah. Haha. But hopefully its just a phase. I shall try to increase my patience, thank you for the reminder and encouragement. 🙂

  6. Tracy says:

    I’m going thru all those with my 7 year old girl too. I don’t know why she’s so curious or should I say inquisitive to know just about anything I do or her Pappy does even if it’s none of her business. She will go all the way to ask until she’s satisfied with the answers.

    Sometimes she gets on my nerves dat I tell her off by saying “mommy’s out of breath, don’t ask any more”. I know it’s not a good way but really sometimes just cannot ‘tahan’. I always tell her not to test my patience, she would ask “why? if I test ur patience, how?” Arrgggghhhhhh……. *reaching for my rotan*

    She even comes to me at the wrong time (like when I’m busy cooking, doing my office work, watching my favourite programmes). She just will not let me sit relaxingly, unless she’s asleep *more wrinkles on the face* ….. sigh …..

    Speaking about coming at the wrong time, she comes to me even when I am bathing and even wakes me up from sleep to talk to me! Grrr….

  7. anony-mouse says:

    lol! MG, I think we had a major disconnect there. Actually, I often think you are overly patient/attentive and hold your kids’ hands too much. Which may be why she feels she can needle you endlessly with those exasperating questions (but not her dad).

    The kid is pushing her limits with you aka ‘bullying’ you albeit by being cocky. If you have given her clear instructions, do not entertain all that nonsense. Meet her eyeball to eyeball (wag your index finger for emphasis)and say in a slow and stern tone “I strongly suggest do exactly what you’ve just been told to do. I do not want to hear another word from you till it’s done”. If she doesn’t heed this warning and persists in needling you, you will just have to (wordlessly) resort to ‘kena’ her and drive the message home, once and for all.

    You are right. There is a term for it. I am a wimpy parent. If they nag hard enough I give in and then the nagging annoys and irritates me which makes me lose my temper and then I shout at them. Its a vicious circle. I will break that vicious circle from this day forth. Haha. The dad had a talk to her. He said that she is not to repeat questions more than twice or it will be considered pestering. At the moment I am using a rewards system to encourage her to be good. She has been really good too in a lot of things accept pestering. She failed to get even one sticker the entire week but she didn’t care. Pestering was more important to her. I praised her for breaking her bad habits in other areas and told her that we will try to break this pestering habit together too. She got a star yesterday for not pestering because she really tried her best not to. 🙂 As for me, my aim is to stop being a wimpy parent. I have to do self talks and reminders to myself all day long.

  8. Ann says:

    Tell her back “I don’t know. So how?”

    Seems she has an answer for every other retort you have given her and still continues….hmmm….

    Can throw it back to her and say “Think for yourself.”?

    Or maybe it will just go away like real soon!!!

    Tried all those responses. Hoping that it will go away like real soon!

  9. charlotte says:

    Oh… My daughter is 11 and still in the “How” phase from time to time… SIGH.
    I just try to ignore it, and then she comes and asks me if I really do not love her anymore… BIGGER SIGH.
    Anyway, it seems it has a lot to do with how she feels (HOW? ARRRGH – LOL)
    She’s hypersensitive & hyperactive, and with the wrong diet (even the littlest amount of sugar and/or additives) she’s plain depressed and in need of a LOT of attention.

    I do try to be patient, and it seems I’m getting the hang of it after all this years LOL. Anyway, it’s less a problem now, as it comes and goes.
    I do use EFT for myself and for her, which helps a lot to stay calm :-), very much needed from time to time…

Leave a Reply