The Stroppy Sevens

I recently mentioned on twitter how stroppy Daniel has been and my darling friend Caz very helpfully pointed out that it is an actual thing, this being stroppy at seven or the Stroppy Sevens. Or as a New Zealand website tactfully puts it, the ‘sensitive sevens’. I may or may not have rolled my eyes.

I can go on and on and on about how badly behaved our darling, affectionate, old soul, gentle son is at the moment. I could tell you about the sulking and the ‘NO!’ and being ignored and kicking (!!) and shoving (!!) his sisters. The crossing of arms and slumping of shoulders. The point blank refusal to do basic things like brush his teeth or take his plate to the kitchen. The throwing of books (!!!!) and telling us how he doesn’t love us anymore.

The constant, constant demand for physical touch and affection, to the point of literally hanging on Etienne or myself at every conceivable opportunity. I feel terrible writing this, but I am generally a very touchy-feely, affectionate person and I find it exhausting. Exhausting. Especially multiplied by 3. A friend and I went to a market on Saturday and all 3 my children were physically attached to me (or my poor friend) for the entire time we were there. We were a wall of limpets, wading through the market.

But I don’t want to scare you, especially if you are currently trying to survive the Terrible Twos or the Fucking Fours. Yes, I said Fucking. If you’ve ever had a four year old you’ll understand.

We are choosing to deal with it by being firm and consistent.

By firm and consistent I mean we threaten to punish/take away iPad privileges far too much and we drink (a lot of) wine. Etienne handles it better than I do, he makes light of the lip dragging on the floor and play-fights when Daniel punches him or point blank refuses to do his homework. He tickles and tries to drag Daniel out of his slump. Me, on the other hand, I linger on the edge of rage. It feels like I’m sending him a message that I don’t love him and I feel like a complete bitch all of the time, but I refuse to pander day in and day out to bad behaviour.

I realised how much this is upsetting me when I dreamt this the other night:
I dreamt I was in town (as in Cape Town CBD) with the kids and we were waiting for a procession to come by, we were sitting on the curb, right in that bend in the road where Adderley turns into Wale. Daniel was really angry with me and stalked off. He got into a taxi and all I saw was the back of his head as the taxi sped off. And then Etienne was cross because I let Daniel get in the taxi. I literally woke up gasping for breath, realising that it was just a horrible dream. That feeling of my child being gone, ai. No words.

So, we shall rally on and survive the Stroppy Sevens, but it’s not for the fainthearted.  And he is only turning 7 on Friday.  Pass the wine.

It of course has crossed my mind that we will have a double whammy in 2 years when the girls turn 7.

Girl Moms, how bad is it with girls?  Please don’t say BAD.  I don’t think I can handle it.

9 thoughts on “The Stroppy Sevens”

  1. Okay…weighing in.

    The stroppy sevens – for me, with a girlchild – have been a bit scary. This is mostly because she’s finding her place in the world, more influenced by ‘other people’s children’ at school and just getting to grips with a new set of bigger boundaries.

    We’ve dealt with the awful…lying. Two incidents in particular spring to mind, and I know it’s part of growing up but OMG WORST PART OF PARENTING. EVER. Especially because it’s not something I would ever have expected. But, firm consequences, including a month of no television or electronics ensued.

    We’ve dealt with the forgetting of simple manners, and unnecessary sarcasm. That grated my carrot a lot. Again, a firm response, with consequences.

    There’s a lot of consequences in our lives. There never used to be. It’s made me miss the babble and squeak of toddlers.


  2. Sorry to break it to you but it is just as bad with girls plus the emotional outbursts. I am dealing with terrible two’s and stroppy sevens at the moment. Yes….pass the wine!

  3. My dearest darling friend…..I feel your pain! Gemma is only turning 6 in July and I already can’t stand the “bitch” that has taken over her body. She stamps her foot at me, clicks her tongue, rolls her eyes and does that whole “finger wagging, head shaking thing”…..I really should start drinking soon….. I on the other hand also have Joshua turning 4 in May….OH KILL ME NOW!!!!!!! The tantrums are driving me crazy. But, I will be strong and keep fighting the good fight. Lovies you lots xxxx

  4. Well we have just gone out of the ‘Stroppy Sevens’ and are onto the ‘Enlightened Eights’….eight year olds know everything!

    I have survived many rounds of these age groups as you well know and I think my “I don’t do drama approach’ has been my life and sanity saver.I have learnt not to over react,take to heart or feeling mortally wounded by any child attempting to wind me up with ‘kak’ behaviour……breathing helps and escaping to your room/en suite bathroom and hide for 10 minutes also helps.
    But most of important we just do the best damn jod we can do and that is it.

  5. Ohhh my goodness and I thought it was only my child. She only turned 6 in January but those folded arms, long lower lip and sulking is an everyday occurrence.

    I love her to bits but some days I don’t know if I like her.

  6. yay for us all being in it together. Thankfully. I m hoping the vague theory of the pre-teens being rather hectic means a less hectic teen session is true. Cos I reckon then, in my case at least, the teens will be a breeze. giggles happiness etc. And Cath – the lying?!?!?! Sheesh yes. MY child NEVER lied. EVER. It was the ONE thing I knew absolutely. If he said he saw green men, he did. And now, well if he says he drank water, I’m not sure which part of the sentence is nonsense :/ Awful.

  7. I have to smile and agree with Debbie’s enlightened eights. A did not have this too badly – just a bit over emotional and clingy but not anger. A lot of friend stuff but I wrote that off on grade 1 and adapting to primary school friendships and a bigger choice. A lot of crying. A lot of that puched out bottom lip which we did punish for. But at the end – not too bad. I guess we are out of it then. Phew! Thank goodness

  8. I thought there was something seriously wrong with Logan (seven at the moment). SO happy to hear this is “normal”! Not sure how much terrible two and stroppy seven I can handle at the same time – but I suppose we don’t have a choice. 🙂

  9. Parenting is not for sissies. There is always some fase theynare going througjh….but can I step in here and say that we do survive…worse for wear….but alive. They grow up…and then we watch them struggling through the same fases withnyour grand children…and you just smile and say: “kry vir jou”.

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