My 7-year-old is purposefully breaking rules: Advice?

I’ve just had baby #3 5 weeks ago and for the most part I’m not doing bad mentally. However my 7 year old pushes the boundaries, purposefully breaking written rules. Telling her off, naughty corner etc. I’ve tried positive reinforcement, reward charts etc… Nothing is working. My biggest bug is she is constantly trying to pick up the baby or always touching her when she is sleeping, thus waking her up when she knows she isn’t allowed. I tell her gently to leave her be, she just smirks and continues. This happens 5 to 6 times before I have to pull her away. She also never listens to me in general and thinks she can do as she pleases. I know she just wants to belong and loved. (Bad history with me and her dad) But this is just killing me. I need help!!! Just to add I also have a two year old


Is there a way you or close family can give her one on one time.


We do wall sits and stuff like that when time out doesn’t work. You’re the mom, you set the rules. You might also try to get a sitter and spend some time with your oldest. She might be having a hard time with the newest member of your family. Get her to tell you how she feels. Good luck


Sounds like she’s having a rough time adjusting and is looking for attention any way she can get it. I’d give her some extra one on one time.


Quit haven kids problem solved


Agreed. One on one time. Even if it can only be 10 minutes of undivided attention for her. Eventually you will get a rhythm of 3 kids and can give her more than 10 minutes. It may sound insignificant, but it will mean the world to your 7 year d!

1 Like

Do a day of just the two of you. We do that with my 9 year old. We have a 2 year old as well.

1 Like

Maybe your consequences aren’t severe enough. I thought maybe she’s testing you by pushing boundaries, but with the smirk it sounds like the easiest way to get attention. Baby takes up a lot of time and she feels left out, and not quite big enough to help. I’d try to allow her more time holding or helping with baby, and make stronger consequences for breaking rules. She’s old enough to understand rules are for everyone’s safety, so breaking them is dangerous. No means no. Good luck.


Sounds like normal sibling reaction. A lot of kids act up when a new baby enters the home. It can take awhile for her to get over it. It’s about including her in stuff as much as possible. Dont be negative or harsh towards her, it will make it worse. I have 3 boys, all went through a similar phase.

1 Like

Bad attention is better than no attention maybe you should try to spend time with only her and see if that helps. I know it’s hard with a new baby but your 7 year needs your attention too. I’m not saying you don’t give her attention but maybe in her mind you don’t.


I’ve got 7 kids between myself and my other half (now they are between 27-7). Whenever we had another kid, I always made sure to let the kids know that if they needed to spend time with me to let me know. A baby is a big responsibility and while they could help me out, I knew they needed their own time with me as well. It’s tough to deal with but prayers it will get better.

1 Like

Sounds like she just needs more attention that’s why she’s acting out. Maybe some one on one with just her

Whoop that ass and send her to her room

It sounds as if that 7yr old needs a butt whooping instead of what it is you’re doing! It’ll be a wake up call!!


If you tell her 5 or 6 times before pulling her away theres the problem. The very first time she doesnt listen she should be delt with.
But i agree shes probably having a hard time adjusting and needs some one on one.


At 7 she is old enough to know what shes doing, If it were my 7 year old I’d put her in 7 minute time outs everytime she did it, (my time outs are not sitting in a chair at the table where they can see everything, they’re nose to the wall with hands behind back so they’re bored as heck, and feel like they’re in time out) but I’d also make sure I did alone time with her so it’s not acting out because she feels left out.

That smirking while breaking rules alone would warrant spanking from me and a time out completely zero attention save for making her stay in time out she’s old enough to ask can I help or mommy let’s do something together


There is 6 years between my kids, who are now 39 & 33 years old. I am sure so much has changed since I raised my kids. I had some of the same issues you are suffering through. All I can offer is time? When I finished nursing the baby I was so tired. Just no strength to play. I wish you well and hopefully some moms can offer you some great advice? I felt like a terrible mom for years, now I know one person can only do so much. Hang in there I can tell you are doing your best. :pray::innocent:

1 Like

Sounds like she’s just being a 7 yr old sibling she’s curious or jealous :smirk: sometimes we pay more attention to new borns who really don’t need so much attention then the true attention seekers the older kids who really need all the attention. Give her some one on one time

1 Like

I was going to say she wants more attention but the smirking would piss me off and she’d get grounded to her room for the day. She may just want more attention but her behavior shouldn’t go unpunished. Shes old enough to know better. If you can, maybe take a day or 2 out of the week and take her out for a girls day. Just you 2.

1 Like