A 7-year-old child has a crisis: what to do with the little “adult” in the family?

An age crisis in a 7-year-old child is a difficult moment for everyone. Just yesterday, kids who went to kindergarten suddenly turn into serious first-graders. Many new responsibilities and requirements appear, the daily routine undergoes significant transformations, and the attitude of adults changes. It is not surprising that the psyche is experiencing a real shock.

One of the parents is trying to nip the crisis in the bud. Others, on the contrary, treat it too calmly as a natural stage in the development of a child. But none of these approaches are correct. We need to understand this collapse and learn to behave correctly so as not to harm the child’s psyche and not cause the formation of complexes and behavior patterns that destroy the personality.

Features of the psychology of a child aged 7 years

As the Soviet psychologist L. S. Vygotsky noted, the main feature of the transition period is the loss of childish naivety and predictability. The baby’s inner world becomes more complicated: he is not so open to people, analyzes reality, thinks before saying anything. Parents do not always understand the motives of his actions.

A preschooler becomes a schoolchild: he needs to choose a place in the class hierarchy, develop independence, and look for reliable support. Play ceases to be the main activity; study takes its place. A number of physiological changes are observed - in the body, facial features. The level of strength, endurance, and coordination increases.

The appearance of new friends also leaves an imprint: the search for like-minded people makes you think about your own life guidelines. The child separates a little from the family, compares it with others, criticizes the parents, even reproaches them for improper upbringing (“Mom, you’re rushing me, but you’re taking so long to get ready that we’re late!”)

How does the child feel?

A crisis is a conflict between the willingness and the ability to take certain actions. The child understands that he is no longer his mother and father, as he was before, that due to his new activity he is closer to adulthood than ever, and strives to prove to everyone his independence and importance. Games, as a relic of “childhood life,” fade into the background for him, and he often develops aggression towards younger children. Independent living is goal No. 1, and that is why conflicts with parents who are trying to tell people to be “adult and independent” are becoming a frequent occurrence.

How the crisis manifests itself

What metamorphoses occur with a child during a crisis? Main features:

  • the child ceases to be obedient, refuses to carry out small tasks at the last moment;
  • pretends not to hear when spoken to;
  • is ashamed of his previous hobbies, throws them away, breaks toys (“I’m not little anymore”);
  • worries about appearance, wants to look more mature;
  • keeps feelings to himself, is reluctant to consult with family members;
  • drawn to team games and interest groups;
  • understands the tricks of parents, does not tolerate injustice (“Why can you sit at the computer until late, but I can’t?”);
  • understands emotions, can clearly answer what his mood is and why;
  • declares the right to independence (you cannot simply declare “You must eat soup, we said so!” - this will cause a storm of indignation).

Defiant behavior, cunning, and secret hobbies appear. The child fantasizes less and strives more to understand the real essence of things. The craving for dolls and cars disappears.

What difficulties await parents?

The child begins to irritate adults. In addition, the parents themselves do not fully understand what they can do with the baby so that he becomes controllable again. Even those mothers and fathers who used to speak calmly with the child begin to scream, quarrels arise, and the situation reaches a dead end.

The baby becomes naughty. His performance at school is deteriorating. He compares himself with others, his responsibilities in the family with what mom, dad, and brother do. For example, he may have a conflict due to the fact that his older brother is allowed not to wear a hat, but he is not allowed to.

The child torments everyone in the family with his stubbornness. A situation may arise when a child needs a toy at all costs. He asks his parents for it again and again, and when they buy the item for their baby, they suddenly lose interest in it.

Crisis through the eyes of a child

The baby is good at distinguishing shades of emotions, but absolutely does not know how to control them. It turns out that the world has always been dangerous and contradictory, but mom and dad solved difficult issues. Now you have to rely on yourself.

During the 7-year crisis, children do a great job: they examine the structure of society from the inside, pay attention to their weaknesses, and regularly receive fresh information from their peers. This is a heavy burden on the psyche, which is aggravated by constant study.

Lack of free time, intellectual work, anxiety - the child realizes that the carefree time is over, he needs to grow up. He compares his achievements with the successes of his classmates, realizing that it is impossible to be a leader in all areas.

The school staff can be unfriendly. The first encounter with criticism, an atmosphere of competition, ridicule, and devaluation inevitably affects the student’s behavior. The task of parents is to support the child at all stages of growing up.

How long does the crisis period last?

The crisis of seven years, like other age-related crises, does not last very long - from six to nine months. If the course of the crisis was successful, then upon its completion the child becomes a mature “school personality”, who has a formed internal position and is aware of his social role.

It is noted that this crisis process, although “social,” also has physiological grounds. It is during this period that the frontal lobes of the cerebral cortex, which are responsible for the ability to plan, predict the outcome of actions, and control one’s behavior, actively develop. The processes of excitation and inhibition remain fluid, as a result of which the child exhibits restlessness and hyperactivity. The emotional state of the child is unstable (labile).

Causes of the 7 year crisis

This is a turning point in the graph of human development. Children learn to manage their desires and little by little set their life priorities.

A first grader asks the question: “Why do I need this? Why do I spend so much time and effort on studying?” The answer does not lie on the surface - children do not know how to make long-term plans. The words of adults in the spirit of “You will grow up, go to university, find a job” sound unconvincing.

A crisis of self-determination arises. For the first time, the child looks at his social self through the eyes of those around him. The future beckons and frightens at the same time, support disappears from under your feet - parents do not seem as ideal as in early childhood.

Why does a seven year old child become uncontrollable and aggressive?

Immersion in society dictates its own rules. One way or another, children begin to grow up, develop physically, strive for new knowledge, make friends on their own and learn to adapt to the behavior of other people. This can affect your baby's personality and behavior.

New workloads, mandatory homework, concentration, and a lot of new information also have a significant impact. At school, this is all reinforced by a peculiar spirit of competition and the desire to be better than others. If a child fails to do this or sees something much better than him, sadness, irritation and internal worries may appear.


How to understand that a child is in a state of crisis?

  1. In speech, the constructions “I am upset”, “I am sad”, “I am happy” appear. There is a noticeable tendency to describe feelings. The student is able to explain his current state: “I’m in a good mood because the teacher praised my work.”
  2. Attention is directed to the results of creative, mental activity. Children aged 7 are sensitive to criticism and need encouragement. Without the evaluation of outsiders, they lose motivation faster.
  3. The child changes his behavior depending on the situation: he formally responds to guests and teachers; peers - more cheeky.
  4. Rebels, does not obey due to stubbornness (for example, does not wear a hat, even if it is cold outside). Lives with an eye on friends; elders cease to be an unquestioning authority.
  5. Reminds me of a small teenager - he defends the right to personal space, swears.

Sometimes complaints about teachers are added. The kid is torn between “I want” and “I need.” I want to play, but I have to go to school. The new rules irritate the children, but adaptation occurs quite quickly.

What parents need to be prepared for

Any crisis period is a contradictory process, and the crisis of seven years is no exception. Normally, the appearance of a crisis coincides with the beginning of school, due to which its negative manifestations are smoothed out and positive ones are brought to the fore. But this is only normal; a significant number of children experience certain difficulties in adapting to the school way of life, which, because of this, is carried out with a delay.

Despite the fact that study becomes the main activity for a child, play continues to be important for him, and “collisions” sometimes occur between these types of activities. Of course, a modern educational system can combine both types of activities, doing so to the benefit of the student; however, certain contradictions still exist: for example, now the child must distribute his time in a new way, he will devote less time to games and more time to learning. Also, the child is still strongly attached to his parents, especially to his mother, despite the fact that the time has come to establish new social relationships.

A difficult experience of this crisis can lead to not only psychological, but even mental problems, as a result of which the child may require the help of a psychiatrist. For example, behavioral and emotional abnormalities may occur.

Duration of the crisis

It's difficult to make an accurate forecast. The crisis in most cases coincides with entry into primary school - at the age of 6-7 years.

Then follows a time period of adaptation, depending on the nervous system and the level of preparation for school. Most children cope with the crisis within 1 year.

A crisis is not just about moving forward. Failures are inevitable. The child gets used to studying, suddenly a classmate begins to insult him, and persuasion is useless: the word “school” brings tears.

Little by little the situation is stabilizing: in order to gain valuable experience, you need to go through trials.

When should you see a doctor?

It’s better not to see a doctor at all. This period is temporary and will soon pass. You just need to accept that the child is forming his own new inner life, into which he is still allowing his parents. But they already need to ask him for permission to enter it. Therefore, the natural course of the baby’s mental development should not be treated by a doctor.

Advice from a psychologist for parents

  1. Criticize the action, not the person. “You didn’t leave a single piece of candy for your sister, you greedy girl!” - incorrect. Try this: “It’s a pity that you forgot to share with others. We would be pleased."
  2. Teach your child to discuss problems and take the situation into pieces. What happened, what emotions dominate? Such exercises will teach you to think consciously, observing from the outside.
  3. Talk about everyday issues in a friendly tone, without pressure.
  4. Don't repeat what was said. The child remembers very well that you asked to take out the trash. Every reminder makes him angry: it feels like his parents are deliberately mocking him and don’t understand him.
  5. Surprise with unexpected facts. Don't feel like eating vegetables? Does the child know how vitamins affect the body? Tell us in detail, find a video with an explanation.
  6. Include help around the house and extra classes after school in your schedule - idleness brings with it scandals and whims.
  7. Rest. Monitor your child’s sleep hygiene: the brain works continuously and regularly requires a reboot.
  8. Ask questions. Who did you manage to make friends with? What struck you the most? What are your plans for the next day?
  9. Don't force your children to fulfill your youthful ambitions. Your child doesn't have to love counting if you dreamed of becoming a mathematician.
  10. Feel like you've lost control? It would be wise to contact a school psychologist. Oddities, attacks of anger, increased aggressiveness are a reason for consultation.

Sure ways to tame a little obstinate

  • At the first sign of hysteria, try to distract your little one with a game, a fairy tale, or a new activity. If the hysteria is already in full swing, all that remains is to wait it out.
  • Never respond to a child’s scandal with swearing or screaming; this will only give your child confidence that he can control you.
  • Let the hysteria come to a logical conclusion, after which the brawler himself will come to ask for forgiveness.
  • Voice your actions and emotions. Try to describe your baby’s vivid emotions in words so that he learns to distinguish between them.
  • Demonstrate your approval of the baby’s independence in every possible way.
  • Praise him generously and remind him of your love.
  • Don't compare your offspring with other children. Any comparisons can only be made with the abilities of your child in the past.
  • Use children's negativity to your advantage. Invite the obstinate person to stay at home, and he will immediately rush off to get ready for a walk.
  • Leave the baby alone if he refuses educational games or walks. He will quickly become bored and will more easily agree to your proposals.
  • Give your child the right to make decisions, to make choices, because this is what your child really wants.
  • Even if your independent venture is unsuccessful, do not scold your child, but praise his perseverance.
  • Avoid sharply negative assessments, because the child is especially sensitive and emotional at this age.

Parents need to build a general parenting strategy and never voice conflicting demands that will only confuse the baby. Formulate clear rules of conduct for all family members and monitor their implementation. If dad deservedly punished, mom should not immediately rush to protect the baby. It is also impossible to argue and condemn each other’s behavior and methods of punishment in the presence of the offspring.

You can understand that the crisis is over by several signs. These psychological and behavioral changes signal the beginning of the preschool period:

  • The child’s desire to obtain the result of his own activities. Obstacles on the way to the goal no longer stop the baby, but only increase the significance of the final result.
  • The desire to receive a response to your actions from others. The child not only demonstrates results, but longs to hear a positive assessment of his achievements.
  • Against the backdrop of heightened self-esteem, new character traits are formed. The child may exaggerate his achievements, brag, and also be offended by the lack of praise.

What to do if you take it out on a child?

What should parents not do?

For parents, the 7-year crisis is a test of strength. What actions should I avoid?

Watch out for the contradictions you broadcast. For example: “You are so big, but you still don’t know how to clean!” The child concludes: I’m already an adult, it’s time to fulfill my responsibilities. The next day he hears: “You can’t communicate with Misha, he behaves disgustingly. You’re still small, when you grow up you’ll understand.”

Dissonance arises: what am I? Where is the limit of what is permitted? Uncertainty creates stress; the child does not understand where to obey elders and where to show self-sufficiency.

A calm attitude towards what is happening will help. Children copy their parents throughout their lives, especially at the age of 7. Your mood affects your child. Don’t worry about school grades or minor comments from the teacher - focus on your child’s individual progress.

This is interesting

What should parents of a “crisis” child do? Turn off panic and turn on understanding. You know that the transition period cannot last a lifetime. Soon, instead of imitating adults, the child will make his own decisions based on the situation and his feelings. He will have his own opinion, passion and attitude towards everything around him.

Do not show concern in total control and increased demands. Give your child the opportunity to “breathe deeply.” The transition period called “crisis” will be facilitated by reconsidering the attitude towards the child and expanding the boundaries of his freedom. Explain to your child the importance of training attention and memory, but leave the duration of the sessions at his discretion. However, do not forget about careful instruction - the games “Submarines” and “Space” can captivate a student so much that he loses track of time.

Help your child finish his chores on time. He should go to bed at the same time in order to be able to restore strength for new achievements.

Possible risks

Unpreparedness for a new stage of life leads to the fact that the first grader asks to return to kindergarten - a safe, studied place with low demands, caring teachers and comfort.

Parents refuse, a vicious circle arises: discontent - rebellion - humility and passivity. The child misses his old life and lags behind in his studies. Social connections are weakening, the baby is not interested in the games of his classmates.

Negative experiences can be traumatic and deprive you of your desire to attend school. By letting the situation take its course, parents risk making the child downtrodden, insecure, and suffering from maladjustment.

What you absolutely cannot do

This crisis period is quite difficult, and gross mistakes by adults can result in big problems for the child’s psyche. New responsibilities and social relationships cannot be imposed, or a child should be taught them by force: after all, this will not lead him to greater independence and responsibility, but only to greater “obedience.”

The child risks remaining underdeveloped; This is where learning problems and unpreparedness for adult life stem. A child cannot be assigned his social role “from above” - he must take his place in the social system himself, relying on his observations, inclinations and existing life experience.

Positive changes after the crisis

What will make parents happy after an anxious period?

You will understand what an interesting conversationalist a child becomes, you will find common hobbies, and you will be able to diversify your leisure time. The place of a helpless baby will be taken by a full-fledged family member with a unique view of the world.

With a positive end to the crisis, a thirst for knowledge, new experience, and a desire to help parents arise. School is not disgusting; teachers are perceived as wise mentors.

Open-minded thinking allows children to perceive life without stereotypes - this is a quality that adults have lost. The child will help you make a choice, eliminate cynicism, and broaden your horizons. To do this, you need to spend time together more often, be patient, and communicate productively.

Unwanted actions from parents

How easily the crisis will pass depends on the behavior of the parents and other adults around the child. Below are recommendations for parents:

  1. Take your child to school no earlier than 7 years old.
  2. Make adequate demands. Excessive school load leads to serious negative consequences.
  3. No attempts to control the child’s actions or overprotectiveness. You need to give your baby space to do his own thing.
  4. Aggression is unacceptable.
  5. If your performance is poor, you need to show maximum calm and try to find out the reasons.

Gender characteristics

Boys and girls experience the 7-year crisis differently. We invite you to consider the differences: they are determined by biological characteristics, upbringing traditions, and society’s expectations.

Crisis of 7 years in boys

Boys cannot sit still, run around, and have difficulty concentrating on school. It is important for them to appear better than others, to compete. It is useless to shout and call for discipline: children need to throw out energy. Sports that require speed and endurance are useful.

Help the boy organize his daily routine and establish the educational process. His attention jumps from subject to subject - at first he needs the help of an adult. Don't criticize for every mistake.

Crisis of 7 years in girls

An excellent student and the pride of the class, being alone with her parents can be unbearable. Little girls are weighed down by the burden of responsibilities: they need to study well, be neat, and obedient. While holding back at school, the child demonstrates aggression at home.

You should be sensitive and understanding with a girl. Both parents must show interest in her life. Take the time to have heart-to-heart conversations if your child needs them.

The crisis of 7 years is a blow to children's self-esteem. Encourage any endeavors, give love and warmth. Parental support is the foundation of a healthy, harmonious personality in the future.

Characteristic age features

Role-playing games are replacing manipulative games. Parents become role models and transmitters of social norms. A preschooler’s knowledge of the world of relationships between people occurs through role-playing games and communication.

A play environment is a necessary component for the proper psycho-emotional development of a little person. During the game, the baby ceases to be afraid and gets rid of the effects of traumatic moments (for example, nightmares).

For a preschooler:

  • there is an active development of imagination;
  • visual thinking is being formed;
  • the formation of thinking with the help of concepts begins;
  • your own vision of the world is being rebuilt;
  • the motivational system changes;
  • there is greater freedom of behavior.

The basis of the new position is the child’s readiness for school. In addition, one should understand the degree of formation of the personality, its characteristic features, and prospects. The psychology of a 7-year-old child consists of the following factors:

  1. The degree of pretentiousness shows how confident the child is in his abilities. The formation of this feeling occurs thanks to “ups” and “downs”. The more successful results a child gets, the more confident he is. The goal of parents is to encourage the child’s success and guide him in the right direction.
  2. Perspective implies a goal in life. If a child, looking at adults, realizes that studying is important for achieving future success, he will have a positive attitude towards school. If a child does not understand the meaning of the educational process, he will resist learning with all his might.
  3. The concept of one's own "I" contains 3 parts: evaluative, emotional and cognitive. A child of preschool age has almost no self-esteem; external criteria are the guideline. For his perception, such qualities as kindness and responsiveness are incomprehensible, but at the level of feelings he understands them. The cognitive part refers to the extent to which a child can describe himself. Emotions characterize the specificity of perception - a child at this age evaluates and remembers everything on an emotional level. Therefore, you can communicate with preschoolers through drawings.
  4. The motivational and incentive hierarchy is formed by the age of 5–6 years. The baby is able to meaningfully perform actions, he can make choices, analyze the meaning of the action.
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