February 13, 2020
When my children were young, one of my friends gave me a dog-eared copy of a book by Louise Bates Ames, Carol Chase Haber and Frances L. Ilg. The book was titled, Your Seven-Year-Old; Life in a Minor Key.
At the time, my husband and I were struggling with our second grade son, who seemed so oppositional and seemingly always crabby. He complained that everyone picked on him and every task seemed too difficult, and his tears came easily. We began questioning our parenting techniques and were becoming increasingly frustrated with him. He was making life at home pretty miserable for all of us.
Your Seven Year Old is one book in a series of parenting books (for ages 1 year to 14 years) based on remarkable research conducted over several decades. The book was just what we needed at that point in time; A perspective on what is normal behavior and what are the common characteristics of a typical seven year old. The book gave us sensible and reassuring descriptions of the natural phases in our seven year old’s development.
Over the years, I have made a practice of recommending these age-leveled books to parents who reach out to me. Parenting is hard work, and it’s important to pace ourselves through the years. It’s important to take time to understand your children and to recognize the developmental stages of their lives. I think these wonderful little books will help when you come across those challenging moments in parenting. It may well be just a phase that your child is going through and patience and understanding can make life a whole lot easier.