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Basic tips to overcome the dreaded crisis of 7 years in children


You've already been through the 2-year crisis ... and survived. However, it is also common to talk about the 7 year crisis, although there are children who go through it a little earlier, at 6 years old. The childhood of our children is full of adjustments and readjustments. Of imbalances, insecurities, advances and setbacks. Because growing is a process of ups and downs, of discovering limits and possibilities. A stage to explore and, above all, to make mistakes in order to learn. To know and to know each other.

And on this road to maturity, where the children gradually build their personality, the different crises they go through are necessary to vindicate their 'I'. That is, they need to differentiate themselves from others and build their own way of being and, of course, of being in the world.

Throughout these 7 years the child's brain has not stopped developing and expanding. These little explorers are getting older and their possibilities for thought and action are expanding at a dizzying rate. Eager for freedom and autonomy it is common to see how they rebel against limits and norms that we establish at home.

Their language is now much more elaborate, so the anger and frustration they feel at not being able to get what they want, and which they once expressed with their body through tantrums and tantrums, are now capable of verbalize it through expletives, insults or swear words. In addition, it is common to hear them complain about how unfair what happens to them is.

It is a stage where feelings are on the surface, as soon as we see them jumping for joy and sulking for whatever reason. As we will see below, it is normal to find them moody without us knowing very well why. The truth is that they are very sensitive to what we say to them, both praise and punishment, and they feel hurt very easily.

Between 6 and 7 years we can observe that, after a period of relative calm, there is a new opposition crisis in which our children:

- They rebel again against authority.

- They are in a bad mood without really knowing why.

- They cry and get angry with relative ease.

- They make excuses.

- They are rebellious, stubborn and dominant.

- They become more serious and thoughtful.

- And they complain about how unfair things are and that nobody loves them.

Despite the concern they generate in parents, all these behaviors are absolutely normal and typical of this stage. Since, as we have seen previously, the brain of 7-year-old children is still developing, it is still very immature and remains unfinished.

At this age, their cognitive and emotional abilities are still are constantly growing and evolution. The child's brain is not at all like that of an adult, since it still needs more time to configure the structures and experience necessary to achieve greater control of impulses, better plan the consequences of their behaviors and understand the point of view of others.

As we have been advising, educating is allowing our children to learn to fend for themselves and offer them the necessary tools so that they can be responsible adults in their lives. And this happens to promote their autonomy but also to establish clearly, and without fear, limits and rules of coexistence.

Faced with the opposition crisis that a 7-year-old child may be experiencing, parents must try:

1. Tranquility!
It is important to remain calm in the face of emotional outbursts that children at this age can experience. Understand that they are part of their development and that they need role models to learn to manage all the emotions they experience.

2. Adapt limits and norms to age
Remember that what served us in one evolutionary moment may not be useful in another. Now that they are able to do more on their own, they require new rules and limits that they must know. But don't overdo it, the 'less is more' premise is fundamental.

3. Be constant and consistent
We must be constant and consistent in the application of consequences in case of non-compliance with the rules without falling into inflexibility or authoritarianism.

4. Do not neglect habits and routines
At this time they are absolutely essential. This is a stage with new school obligations and working on habits, although it is expensive at first, will allow them to find the security and balance that they so much need.

5. Listen, empathize and emotionally educate our children
For this, there is nothing better than being a role model, because we educate more by everything we do than by everything we say. Listen to his complaints and everything he has to say, let him know that he is important to you, although this should not mean allowing him to do what he wants. Put words to their emotions and don't deny them any. Accompany him in moments of imbalance, this is when he needs you most.

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Video: Celeste Headlee: We Need to Talk: How To Have Conversations That Matter. Talks at Google (November 2020).