Everybody gets moody sometimes, it doesn’t matter if they’re seven or seventy. Emotions are part of the roller coaster of life. Just where on the ride are seven year olds when it comes to their mood?
Are seven-year-olds moody? Seven-year-olds are typically moodier than their six and eight-year-old selves. This is due to a dynamic stage of brain development and an increase in understanding the way the world works.
Now that we know the awful truth, we can delve deeper into the reasons why seven year olds tend to get so moody. We can compare their moods to those of other ages and look at when and how often that emotion is displayed. We can look into mood swings and all the woes that brings. And, most importantly, we can explore how to deal with this change in behavior.
What Causes the Mood?
Seven year old kids are on the brink of one of the most dynamic brain development stages of their lives.
When they are six, kid’s brains are most focused on fantasy, and they haven’t quite figured out how to connect events. They don’t have a strong concept of “right” and “wrong.” They go along with tasks easily and are a little wild. They are happy because they literally don’t have a care in the world.
As kids age, and reach their seventh year, they start to operate with logic more and more often. They begin to argue because now they can start to form their own opinions. The begin to develop a sense of “right” and “wrong” and that makes them begin to question things. They become more independent, and want to plan their own days and avoid chores.
Of course, this brain development stage is quite new at age seven, and the kids don’t quite know how to utilize it all the way. So they keep switching between fantasy and logic, and they switch between blind obedience and complete refusal to do what they are told.
This constant back and forth can lead to moodiness simply because the kids can become confused with who they are. They are beginning to develop a sense of identity and at the same time, their internal code is being turned upside down. When presented with a problem, they may not know how to respond, and become moody. This emotion is new.
All of these new emotions can be overwhelming. The children haven’t learned how to deal with or process the emotion. So they lash out or retreat inside themselves, trying to figure everything out.
With this new found ability to understand the world comes new fears. Even as adults, we get scared of the way the world is going. So when you’re young and just figuring things out, the world can seem pretty scary.
Seven year old children will start to develop fears you haven’t seen manifested before. They will ask questions about whether you’re going to get a divorce, if the family will run out of money, if you still love them, and if their home is going to get destroyed by a disaster of some sort.
The kids are just trying to understand the world. They have to somehow fit all of the bad of the world with all of the good they’ve know up until that point. These fears will definitely contribute to their moodiness.
The Age of Not Believing
The age of seven is really the perfect storm. They are right at the beginning of a new stage of development and are stuck in between being a little kid and being a tween.
When you are six, you are happy and care free. You don’t quite understand the world, and you are quite okay with that. The phrase “ignorance is bliss” definitely applies here. You are okay with obeying your parents because you don’t yet have the capacity to question their instructions. You think your parents know best because you don’t know basically anything yet.
When you are eight, you have had a year to understand the world. You have regained faith in your parents because they have proved to you over the course of a year that they understand more about the world and they have your best interests at heart. You understand now that your fears are not completely reasonable. You can be happy again.
At seven, you are between the ages of happiness. You are thrown into this vat of new information. You don’t quite understand the world, but you understand enough to know that you are your own person and can make your own decisions. Your parents seem to be a burden. You are also scared because your world of six-year-old fantasy has been destroyed and you want nothing more than to go back to it. This new world seem a lot worse.
So, at seven, you are just trying to adjust. You can’t take anything at face value anymore. You have to try and figure out what you can believe and what you can’t. It takes a while to figure out what to do.
Seven is an age of big changes. Any big change, even as an adult, can throw you off balance, and you can become moody. The same goes for young children.
As mentioned before, seven year old kids have to constantly switch back and forth between a six year old brain and a seven year old brain. They are used to a fantasy world but want to understand this new world.
The switch between methods of thought will lead to moments where your child will throw a temper tantrum, then a few minutes later proudly crow that you are the best parent in the world.
Over time, your child will get out of “mood swing mode.” They will learn to cope with their new emotions and methods in an effective way.
How to Help Your Moody Seven Year Old
Basically, in a nutshell, the best thing you can do for your child is to just be patient and loving. They may be going through a change, but that means that by proxy you are also going through a change.
As your child changes, so do you. You have to change your approaches and methods just as much as they do. This can lead to some moodiness in you! You can become confused at why they are screaming at you when all you did was cook eggs for breakfast.
Give Your Child Some Space
You may want to know how your child’s day went, but they may not want to tell you. You may notice that something is bothering them, but they may not want to share.
This can be frustrating. All you want to do is help your kid out. You want them to happy. If only they would talk to you, and you could help them figure out whatever they need help with.
As seven year olds grow, they start wanting to understand themselves and discover their own solutions. When something is wrong, they want to try and figure it out themselves. They also become more private.
It is best for you to understand this. You can’t force it out of them without forcing tears out as well. Just give them some time and space to think about it themselves. Make it clear that you are there to help, but don’t push them.
You can also wait to broach the topic again when you and your child are in a more happy environment. For example, during a fun activity like painting or gardening or a board game, you might take that time to ask them if you can help. They will be in a better mood and may be more willing to ask for your advice.
If your child is freaking out, you might be tempted to freak out as well. After all, listening to them scream about a simple scratch can get on your nerves.
Try not to over react. Try not to raise your voice at all, actually. Ask your child if they want to take a walk. This could remove them from an environment where perhaps they were embarrassed or frightened.
If you stay calm, you will be teaching your child that there is no need to freak out. You will be teaching by example the proper response to problems. Seeing you stay calm will help them stay calm as well.
Seven year old kids are no different from 17 year old kids in the sense that they don’t like doing chores or homework. When it comes time for them to complete their assigned tasks, they have the tendency to drag their feet.
The easiest way to deal with apathetic kids is to set expectations prior to when the tasks are to be carried out.
I know in my house, we all sat down as a family, even the youngest siblings who were only five and six, and created a chore chart together. We all knew what was expected of us. More than that, we had a part in creating those responsibilities. Those prior expectations ensured that we all completed our chores and homework.
Of course, having rewards helped as well. We had allowance for about a year or so, when we first started out. It was as simple as a dollar a week, and every time we failed to complete a task, we had to subtract 25 cents. We had to physically write it out on the white board in the study. It definitely drove home the importance of doing our chores.
Besides monetary rewards, we had simpler rewards as well. If we finished our homework, we got to go to a friend’s house. If we did our chores, we got to help make dessert for that night.
Expectations make it easier to deal with a moody child, especially if they have a part in setting those expectations. If they drag their feet or start complaining, all you have to do is point to the preset rewards and consequences.
Give Them Outlets
Sometimes the best thing to do when your child is angry is to let him or her fix it themselves. Give them outlets to deal with their emotions.
If you enroll your child in sports, clubs, dance, music, or art, that gives them an outlet to express their emotions. It also gives them something to do. A idle kid is an moody kid. Or at least that’s what Mom always said.
If your kid is being particularly moody and won’t let you help them, send them to do whatever you’ve prescribed to them. Maybe they need to scream into a pillow. Maybe they need to listen to music, paint a picture, or shoot some hoops.
Let them know that you are there for them, but also let them figure out how do deal with their emotions on their own. You could even offer to participate in their outlet with them to help out. Play a game of one on one or cook dinner together.
The More You Know
Really, it just comes down to knowing your child. What makes them moody? What helps them come out of a funk? What responses from you work the best? Just know that it is normal for a seven year old to be moody. As they grow, it will get better. At least, of course, until they become teenagers. Watch out for that one!
When do kids start developing emotions? Developing emotions starts as young as infancy, though they are rather simplistic emotions. Babies portray emotions such as sadness, joy, fear, and anger. The older your kid gets, the more complex the emotions become.
How do I control an aggressive child? Respond quickly so that you don’t let them continue acting in a way that is not healthy. Lead by example, stay calm, and be consistent with how you respond.