View Full Version : Challenging 7 year old

17-04-2013, 08:41 PM
Day went well until school pick up, I am finding mindee (7yrs) a handful, she constantly runs off, usually inside the school playground but once or twice when we've been outside the school. I'm finding this really frustrating as I have 4 other children in my care and she has no regard for where we are. We all have to stop and wait for her to find us, I gave her a good telling off today as I can't look after her if I can't see her and told her I have other (younger) children in my care and they all seem to be able to behave and stay with me. I think it went in one ear and out the other. She is the oldest of the children I look after and thinks she knows more so is always putting the younger kids down by being really sarcastic and calling them stupid if they try and have a conversation with her ( is that just typical 7 yr old?!) Have been trying to nip that in the bud. She has started hiding when mum comes to collect her saying that she likes it at my house, annoying mum and all the time I'm thinking, that might be love but I've had enough of you today!

Is her attitude quite typical of her age?
What can I do to stop her running off? Hubby has suggested trying to involve her in 'looking after the littlies' ie holding their reins or pushing buggy. I don't know how this settles with me as they are my responsibility and would get nervous near a road incase she let go of a LO.
How can I make home time easier? Mum doesn't turn up at the exact time so having her ready to go is a bit difficult.

Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.

17-04-2013, 08:48 PM
Hi I am having the trying to run off problem just no with a mindee although she is only 3 but it is so stressful!! My youngest daughter is 7 next month and I would say your mindees behaviour off running off is not typical for a 7 year old. It's not something my daughter or any of her friends have done since they were maybe 3 or 4 years. The putting down the younger kids and hiding at home time probably are more typical of a 7 year old though!! I have a 5 year old mindee once a week and I get her mum to text me when she is 5 mins away and I get her ready as otherwise she really plays up for mum and won't get ready. 3 year old also plays up at hometime so now get her ready too although doesn't always go to plan as often her mum appears 30 mins early xx

17-04-2013, 08:57 PM
No I don't think it is normal 7 year old behaviour although the know it all attitude can be.

I would suggest you start by having a chat with mum and explaining the situation and that you cannot continue to care for her if she runs off as clearly she is out of your sight etc. See if mum has similar problems and can offer some strategies that you can use, or if you can get her to help hammer home the fact that you are in charge when she leaves school with you and needs to listen.

Alternatively you could try the reverse psychology of saying if she wants to behave like a tiny tot you are sure you can find something to tie around her wrist so that she has to be strapped to the pram :laughing: at the end of the day it may be just what she needs to realise she is behaving irresponsibly. I know when my DD about to be 6 on Friday has a I know it all moment and does something daft I tell her I can treat her like a baby if she wants to behave like one!!!

Good luck.


17-04-2013, 09:11 PM
Have thought about getting mum on board BUT I really don't think mum would care. Just this morning mum dropped mindee off at school gate and sent mindee in by herself, waving as the car drove off. The school policy is that parents/carers are responsible for child until school bell goes at 8:50. Just so happens we were passing the gate at the same time so mindee walked in with us effectively making me responsible for her. If that's mums general attitude then why would she be concerned that her daughter runs off when with me.... Until something happens to her child...

You're right, I should and will tell mum, that way she is aware there is an issue so that if I have to give notice it won't come as a surprise.

17-04-2013, 09:44 PM
Talk to mum and explain her behaviour is effecting the other children and that she needs to be in your sights at all time, talk to the child, sit her down and have a 'grown up' chat with her explaining why she musnt run off, how it effects the other children and ask her what would she do if she couldn't do.d you again or if she injured herself because you wouldn't be able to help.her if you can't see her, then say how staying with you and the little ones would be helpful and how she's older and you would like her to show the others how to behave so its making her feel older and benifits her.
If this dosent work then talk to her again and show het a wrist strap telling her she will.need to wear it if she can't stay with you when asked. I have had an 8yrold hold my buggy all the way home because he couldn't be trusted.
Also perhaps give her boundries of where she can go so perhaps tell her no further than the bush or give her points she can stay within so she can still run but where you can see her, tell her if she sticks to the boundaries you will continue to trust her but if she goes beyond them she will.have to stay beside you
And lastly stick with what you say at all times so she knows you mean it.
Hope these suggestions help

17-04-2013, 10:43 PM
How frustrating. It can be a hard age to look after purely as they ( sometimes) know better and are harder to reason with is mum the type that uses bribery as a reward? Now I'm not against bribery if used correctly ( is there such a thing?? or am i making excuses for myself? lol) but not as a stay safe message. Just wondered if she's testing you to see if you might buy her chocolate if she walks nicely? That kind of thing.
mention it to mum and do a contract with the child?
I had an 8 year old that pushed the boundaries constantly. She used to have to hold the buggy if she ran off, and Hated it. But tough. Didnt take long for ger to realise i was in Charge of her safety! I'd rather they hated me for the short term ( or long... Who knows) but stayed safe. My little ones know that if near roads they let go of my hand/ pram then we stop. End of.
Good luck. It's draining isn't it x