Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register to join in. Resend Activation Email  |  Forgotten Password?
 


Reply
 
 
madsticks
PF Savvy
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 240


Advice please 7yo.

Dec 10th, 2015, 14:51 PM   #1
 
Hi ladies,
I was hoping to get some tips on how to tackle certain behaviours my 7year old step son displays. It's a bit long winded as hard to explain, so apologies for long post.

Firstly, listening in on all conversations/ Reading texts over my OHs shoulder. We a have tried telling him it's rude, etc, but it hasn't worked. It's like he's got super senses and as soon as we're talking about anything that's not to do with him he tunes in just to be super nosey.
Then he does this thing where he pretends that he hasn't listened in, waits a few seconds, then brings up the thing that we were speaking about.
Or he'll wait and say "what was it you just said about XYZ" so that it then needs to be repeated to him.

Next thing taps in to the listening in... He will pretend he's not paying attention, and then come out with something we have said as if it's his own idea.
For example: if we're discussing an activity they might do, (set the scene, children playing in the living room, OH & I stood in the hallway or other side of the room, talking in lowered tones) and I'll say "you could do 'X' crafts and use 'this that & the other' for decoration" Stepson will prickle his ears and sit up and say 'oh are we doing X? Do you know, if we do that we could use 'this that & the other for decoration".

This is just one example and I might not have explained it very well. I hope you get what I mean.

I'm concerned that he listens in and deliberately pretends not to (it is so obvious when he does it) then tries to pass things off as his own ideas. That's a bad habit to form and I can't see his friends at school appreciating him doing that to them.

And finally I suppose just the sheer nosiness of him. He's not a bad child by any means, though he is a good child with some bad habits.

He's naturally very inquisitive which is great and we try to encourage, but he is nosey beyond the point of rude, and will happily take himself off to other rooms in our house just to nose through our things and often looks for excuses to do so.
We were at a campsite in the summer and he invited himself in to a friend of a friends caravan and went through their things too. Fortunately they were very understanding, but unfortunately them being okay with it didn't really set a great example of that not being okay.

Sorry if I seem so negative. We've been trying to break these habits for years but as he's gotten older they are getting worse, and as he is coming up to the second half of year 2 we're very keen to try and get a handle on them before he goes to junior school. Also I will add that he is mostly with with his mum and we only see my step children on weekends which is probably adding to why it's taking so long to tackle.

Any advice or input greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading x
 
 

 
Status: Offline
 
 
 
russellmuscle
PF Addict
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Clydebank/Glasgow
Posts: 11,599


Dec 10th, 2015, 16:00 PM   #2
 
Oh, that is a hard one.

I am super nosey. Always have been always will be and I make no quams about it. If I want to know something I ask. I don't particularly eary wig but if I hear office gossip etc I cant just unhear what I have heard.

My wee brother is quite similar. He wont pass off ideas as such, but he just always sits. My mum tells him now when I am in if we are talking hushy and hes looking over to leave as we are having a private discussion. My wee brother is a bit older now mind you. But I feel you maybe should be a bit more up front with him. ie if your wanting to say something in private then take it in private.

Its not an ideal situation obviously. Especially you wish you had freedom in your house to speak. But also, nosiness isnt a bad thing. They say curiosity killed the cat, but coming from a "curious" person, I always think if you don't ask you wont know. So being nosey, or curious is perfectly natural.

Maybe perhaps go over when he is over stepping the mark, ie going through people's personal things, things that are rude an are socially unacceptable.

xxxx
 
 

 
Status: Offline
 
 
 
Phoenix85
PF Enthusiast
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: West Yorkshire
Posts: 1,298


Dec 10th, 2015, 22:40 PM   #3
 
The listening & repeating issues are normal 7yr old behaviour. So is reading over your shoulder.

My 11 yr old still sits next to me and will read facebook or whatever page I am on on the computer even though I tell them they shouldn't because the content might be private or inappropriate.

He's not doing it to wind you up or be annoying.

As for the "nosiness" it also sounds pretty understandable for a naturally curious 7yr old child.

I do think he needs reminding that it's not ok to go into other people's property or look through other people's things without their consent, but ultimately he's just a young boy and I don't believe there's any maliciousness in his actions.


You may need to re evaluate your expectations of him.
 
 

 
Status: Offline
 
 
 
madsticks
PF Savvy
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 240


Dec 11th, 2015, 00:59 AM   #4
 
Thank you for the replies.

I think the issue is more that we have been / are/ and frequently do address this with him, but it is getting worse not better or even staying the same. Which perhaps I hadn't made clear in the above.

We always try to encourage and direct his curiosity positively.

I think I'm just feeling stumped because from many years of caring for and looking after children, I've never found one to be so relentless. My nieces always needed an expected amount of reminding, but they got the hang of it fairly quickly.

Even if we go to another room or ask him to leave a room he manages to eavesdrop. Or says he's going to 'find something' and starts pulling my things out of boxes.

I think I'll put part of it down to him being 7, which is a "fun" age.

I don't think he's doing most of it to be malicious, he is however a very calculated child which when using it for good means he can achieve so much. However, the listening to other people's ideas / points and trying to pass them off as his own has even something he has done since he was little, and as he moves up through school I can see it causing problems for him so would love to try and break that bad habit.

I was hoping there might be some tips or tricks that others have used to combat similar, because clearly what we are doing isn't getting through to him. Again this is hindered by them not being with us the majority of the time.


Thanks again
 
 

 
Status: Offline
 
 
 
russellmuscle
PF Addict
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Clydebank/Glasgow
Posts: 11,599


Dec 11th, 2015, 01:10 AM   #5
 
Sorry my comment was no good lol.

Ultimately alot of consistency is key to raising kids. And if the same rules dont apply across the board ie if his mum isnt doing the same he wont learn when or when not to pry.

Has his dad sat down and had a word with him 1 on 1? Perhaps hes listening on behalf of someone? Some mums do quizz their kids coming back from the other parents.

xxx
 
 

 
Status: Offline
 
 
 
Phoenix85
PF Enthusiast
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: West Yorkshire
Posts: 1,298


Dec 11th, 2015, 01:22 AM   #6
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by madsticks View Post

However, the listening to other people's ideas / points and trying to pass them off as his own has even something he has done since he was little, and as he moves up through school I can see it causing problems for him so would love to try and break that bad habit.
I could be wrong, but it doesn't sound like an issue to me.
Have the teachers mentioned it as an issue?

I would think that as he gets older he will naturally develop empathy and realise that in most situations it's not nice to take credit for someone elses ideas.

Right now he is probably doing it because he wants the recognition or praise associated with saying or doing something good. As he gets older and realises that he doesn't need to always have all the ideas or right answers etc and not doing doesn't impact his status, he should grow out of it.
 
 

 
Status: Offline
 
 
 
Phoenix85
PF Enthusiast
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: West Yorkshire
Posts: 1,298


Dec 11th, 2015, 01:28 AM   #7
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by russellmuscle View Post
Perhaps hes listening on behalf of someone? Some mums do quizz their kids coming back from the other parents.

xxx
I also wondered if some of his nosiness was in part due to either acting on behalf of his mum (either with her direction or due to intrinsic loyalty to her) or due to the change between his house with his mum and your house.
At the house he lives at with his mum, I'm sure no room is off limits and he doesn't need to 'snoop' because he knows what things are where (or probably assumes he does), there is not the same mystery as at your house where there are cupboards etc that are 'yours' and he's been told not to look in etc.

Similarly I wonder if his need to pass other people's opinions etc off as his own stems in part from him seeking you & his dad's approval and praise.

Swapping between two homes can't be easy and perhaps in a way some of his behaviour is related to that, either stress or just upheaval etc, or trying to deal with not seeing his dad very much etc.
 
 

 
Status: Offline
 
 
 
Eryinera
PF Addict
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 5,707


Dec 11th, 2015, 09:43 AM   #8
 
Your 7yo needs to meet my 7yo who is the complete opposite lol. He just won't listen to anything especially if stampy cat is on! and trying to get him to show an interest in anything that's not what he wants to know about results in a screaming match lol. My son will ask you a question directly like "why is old grandma in hospital?" and then zone out for the answer whilst looking at you and then say something like "so the darleks turned to the cyber man and said "you are inferior!""


But seriously I don't think it's that much of an issue. Has he expressed what he wants to be when he grows up? Maybe he wants to be a detective? Does he do this at his other house? I know my son will constantly do something if he thinks it will annoy me. He's not a bad boy he's just going through a stage where it's funny to annoy mummy. As soon as I got ill that behaviour stopped (not suggesting you get ill lol) but that reassured me it's just a phase he's going through.

As for how it's seen at school. This may sound harsh but.... let him make his own mistakes and it will quickly stop and at this age it's not going to be remembered after the the next holidays. There is no better way than getting you child to do something than peer pressure. We have been wanting our son to go swimming lessons since the age of 3ish he just wasn't ready he was scared of the swimming pool until the age if 5 or 6 until we went to ibiza. it's on when children in his class are bringing in swimming certificate's and talking about their swimming achievements that he's been interested! we jumped on the opportunity when it arose (that's a key thing praising when he doesn't listen in rather than shout when he does).

Another thing that helped with one of my child's bad habits was he would use silly made up language for certain things and we completely ignored it and when he got stroppy about it we just said "oh sorry we don't understand that so we ignored it" maybe a varient would be when your son passes of someone else's idea as his own completely ignore it and when he strops say "oh but that was daddy's idea not yours so we didn't need it repeating but thank you daddy for that wonderful idea" that should flip the tables a bit and if it starts to annoy him he will quickly stop
 
 

 
Status: Offline
 
 
 
Eryinera
PF Addict
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 5,707


Dec 11th, 2015, 10:35 AM   #9
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by madsticks View Post

I think I'm just feeling stumped because from many years of caring for and looking after children, I've never found one to be so relentless. My nieces always needed an expected amount of reminding, but they got the hang of it fairly quickly.
That is because he's your child! Hes more confident around you because he trusts you and knows how far he can push you and what the consiquences would be.

When I looked after a "problem" child he was on the best behaviour as he had no idea what my punishment would be or how far he would have to push to get said punishment. I asked his mum what his usual punishment was she was like "oh when he starts throwing stuff I send him to the corner when he kicks me I send him to his room" the moment he didn't sit when I asked him to I sent him to the corner and thankfully that set the bar and I never once saw any bad behaviour but we had lots of fun. But if I lived with him that just wouldn't happen at all. He would know me too well and I would be too worn out

Likewise when my son is with anyone that's not me or his dad we get "oh he's such a wonderful thoughtful pleasant well mannered boy" and me and my oh look at each like .... "are you sure your talking about our child.... you've not swapped him or had a knock to your head?"

Lol kids need to annoy people. It''s like a weird disease they have lol. They are this new race and won't be happy until their parents are sitting in the corner of a padded room rocking backwards and forwards in a straight jacket with clumps of hair in their hand's! Even then they will look at you and say "I asked for jam on toast not marmite on toast!"
 
 

 
Status: Offline
 
 
 
BunnyN
PF Addict
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 4,884


Dec 11th, 2015, 11:01 AM   #10
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix85 View Post
Swapping between two homes can't be easy and perhaps in a way some of his behaviour is related to that, either stress or just upheaval etc, or trying to deal with not seeing his dad very much etc.
I was thinking the same. It sounds a bit like it could be anxiety related, like he has a need to know what is going on because he has had a certain amount of instability in his childhood. As others have said it does sound like pretty normal 7 year old behavour, maybe its just been a bit exagerated.

Telling him off for listening from behind a closed door is one thing but when you are in the same room it seems like a lot to expect anyone not to listen. It isnt the most polite thing to have lots of hushed conversations with someone else in the room when you dont want them to hear. I know he is only 7 but you wouldnt do that infront of an adult. If you actually dont want him to hear a conversation try to be in a different place from him. As much as possible keep conversations you have infront of him open and include him. It seems a bit like you are creating an enviroment of secrecy which is fueling his intrest in listening in. To him it could be like you are constantly talking about interesting things that he is not included in and the only way he can be a part is to 'eavesdrop'. Instead of constantly telling him off, maybe try giving him a positive way to join in conversations. If you see him listening ask him what he thinks. When he passes ideas off as his own etc, just say, oh you heard us talking about that did you, do you think its a good idea?
 
 

 
Status: Offline
 
 
 
madsticks
PF Savvy
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 240


Dec 11th, 2015, 19:53 PM   #11
 
Thank you ladies for your responses.

Russellmuscle - no, thank you! all comments are helpful!

I imagine his mum does ask him a few things, but this has been routine since he was 3 and I think she's mostly over the 'prying' stage that some mothers in step situations can go through.

Phoenix85 - thank you, it's reassuring to know that this level of 'nosey-parker-itis' behaviour is normal. I know it's a typical behaviour of children around that age but as I've never experienced it on this scale before with any other child I didn't know it was quite so common.
I do think though that it needs to be handled appropriately, it's typical of five year olds to pick their noses, still have to address it with them.

Eryinera - thank you for your post, I think you managed to gather (though I'm not great at explaining) that it's not that I don't understand the possible reasons why, and that I know it's normal, but that it is excessive and a bad habit and I was looking for ways to address it.
I think you're right about the school thing, natural consequences, after he's fallen out with a friend over it I'm sure he'll reign it in a bit. Still, not nice, no one ever liked 'that child' at school and I hate the thought it's him. He does it to other children at the park too

BunnyN- I like your tip for what to say with the ideas stealing. I have been saying 'oh, what a good idea, how ever did you think of that?' Which he usually just shrugs off with an 'I dunno'.

We don't tell him off for it, though unfortunately both of my stepchildren have a lot of work to do in the manners department and being siblings we're often calling them out on arguing and hitting. But we do try to positively address as much as we can, or explain why we don't do certain things. We do however tell him off for not listening to our instructions or warnings, which is fairly normal.
We don't set him up to fail, or have inappropriate conversations when they are here, but sometimes there are things you need to have a quick word about, which is impossible. Actually impossible. And if I'm trying to suggest something as a spur of the moment surprise or treat, well, it will never be a surprise.

In general -

His dad has sat down with him and spoken about how it's okay to ask about things, but rude to just include yourself in other peoples conversations, if they weren't talking to you then don't but in, it's not nice to eavesdrop, not to interrupt adults in conversation unless it's an emergency etc.

To be honest he responds well at the point of talking to him, but then straight away gets right back in there doing it.
Currently both he and his sister are going through a fantastic phase of 'do exactly what you just said NOT TO DO, straight after you just said not to do it'...it's very entertaining to say the least.

Access with them has been in routine since he was 3 years old and they don't stay over night (their mothers choice not ours). So there's no upheaval. And he actually gets much more quality time with his dad now than every before so it shouldn't be that.


Overall thank you, it's been great to have some outside insight in to this. We'll just have to carry on letting him know it's rude and hope that one day instead of getting worse it gets better.

thank you, all the best to all of you x
 
 

 
Status: Offline
 
 
Reply

7yo, advice

Thread Tools


Related Threads
Thread Forum
Urgent advice needed please ( long story but desperate for advice) Relationships
Advice please after mc Coping with Miscarriage & Loss
help/ advice please :) Am I Pregnant?
Need some advice.... Coping with Miscarriage & Loss
I need some advice Trying to Conceive
Can I have a little advice please? Trying to Conceive
Scan Advice...And Cyst Advice Please.... First Trimester
MMR jab advice.. Kids Health
oh, need advice again! Relationships
Advice Please!!! Third Trimester