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Fayette-Mom: Life of a seven-year-old

Posted January 31, 2011

Jennifer Joyner

I now have a seven-year-old.

I don’t know about you, but my memories of being seven years old and the reality that is my daughter’s life couldn’t be further apart. Does the mind play tricks on us, making us forget huge important details in order to simplify the recollection of days gone by? Or have things really changed that much? Really, I am dying to know the answer.

For one thing, I don’t remember being so in tune with pop culture at the tender age of seven. I know I loved reruns of the Brady Bunch and listened to my dad’s vinyl collection on a stereo that looked like a casket in our living room. But was I up to date on the popular entertainers of the day? Hardly. And yet, my daughter is fascinated with all things Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga ( the latter requiring lots of filtering on my part!). She constantly listens to her iPod (a far cry from the coffin I used to hear my music), and constantly begs to watch music videos on You Tube (again, requiring work of Censor Mom). She’s way more in tune to what’s hip than I ever was.

For another thing, girl drama. Certainly, the idea of “Mean Girls” was part of my growing up, but the first memory I have of it is from about fifth grade. My daughter has experienced varying levels of girl fighting since *gulp* preschool. Sure, most of it is innocent; lots of “Why won’t she play with me?” and some of “Well fine, then, I’m not your friend!”

We’ve had one or two times where it’s delved into the pretty nasty, leaving me breathless, and bewildered as to how to address it. It used to be my daughter was mostly on the receiving end, but lately, I’ve become aware of her dishing some out, too. I can’t help but think if these girls were home watching the Brady Bunch instead of the more sophisticated fare marketed to their age group today we wouldn’t be dealing with this problem so soon.

Being the mother of a seven-year-old girl is certainly not for the faint-of-heart. And I can’t help but wonder if it’s like this now, what in the world awaits me during the teenage years?

You know what…I’ll just take my seven-year-old drama and thank my lucky stars for now!

Jennifer is a mom of two and WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville. Her food obsession memoir, “Designated Fat Girl,” came out in September. Read more about Jennifer and her book on her website. Find her here on Go Ask Mom on Tuesdays.


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  • lizmccabe Feb 1, 2011

    You should not let society raise your child and you should be ashmaned if you have let you 7 yr old watch you tube and have ipods. There is no reason for that. My children 9.7.5 would much rather play outside than with technology Why? bc I do not let OTHER people raise technology or society. So think about how we were raised. Not so bad.

  • bikely Feb 1, 2011

    My 6 yr old girl is not so much into pop culture and trendiness.
    But, she is already boy crazy! Since preschool, she has always had a "boyfriend", and they change regularly. This worries a little about the future! She has an older brother (age 9 and only interested in video games and Legos), so maybe it is just that she is used to boys and prefers their company. She does have some mean girl tendencies that come out of her natural bossiness..we try to punish those out of her....

  • Killian Feb 1, 2011

    I had my kids before the days of ipods, but I will say this about technology -- at age 4, my oldest had a Sony Walkman on which she played her Barney and Sesame Street and Disney music cassette tapes. Let me tell you how beautifully that saved my sanity, because I despised Barney. =)

    As for teenagers, a lot of the BS can be prevented, but you need to start right now. Start with open communication (something you clearly have with her!) and keep it that way. Do NOT flinch when you hear some of the stuff, and do not react. Just stay composed and discuss quietly, even if you're freaking out inside!

    Mutual respect goes a long, long way in preventing a lot of teen problems. Kudos for already being on track!

  • moppie Feb 1, 2011

    We limit technology during the week, but weekends are generally open in terms of computer use (which is monitored) and tv. I firmly believe that somethings are just innate. My almost 8 year old daughter has been "reading" Vogue magazine for the past couple of years. It is carefully edited by me, and pages are torn out that I feel are not appropriate. But I love the commentary, "I can't believe her Daddy let her out of the house wearing a skirt that short", or "That shade of red lipstick does not go with her skin tone". Things of which she has never heard out of my mouth!!!

  • blahblahblah Feb 1, 2011

    howdiditgettothis - perhaps you didn't read my complete statment. I prefaced it by saying it was just my opinion. I'm not casting blame on anyone. In my house, we choose what we deem as age-appropriate toys. Just as in your home, you choose to schedule play time. Whatever works for each family.

  • statelady Feb 1, 2011

    I dont have the pop culture stuf going on with my 7 year old-BUT I do have the girl drama-you know-friends yesterday and enemies today, etc. even to the point where she cries and her stomach hurts. She's beginning to come out of it now thanks to alot of talk time from us, her teacher, granparents, etc.

  • theartistformerlyknownasspeedy Jan 31, 2011

    My 8yo daughter (and her peers that I know) wouldn't know any of the pop artists if they knocked on the front door (possible exception - Hannah Montana), only watches YouTube if told it is funny and all the girls play together at school (not the icky boys, well, maybe sometimes).

    My conclusion is it ain't the age, it's the environment. True, we can't always control that!

  • howdiditgettothis Jan 31, 2011

    I agree wholeheartedly with you regarding the woes of "technology."

    I try to pick my battles, while also trying to give my 7 year old choices. Certainly between work stuff, home stuff, laundry, meals, etc. finding a balance with everything is difficult, and some days go better than others. We try really hard to present "moderation" in whatever we do.

    We own several various electronic devices. We don't make a big deal of any of it with our kids. They are allowed approximately two evenings of "playtime" for about one hour, and probably average 30 minutes of tv time twice during the week. We read a lot or talk or play games otherwise. They are allowed 2-3 hours on Saturday morning of TV.

    My in-laws think our "scheduling" (as they call it) is weird -- but it works for us. Our children are mild mannered, and generally pleasant.

    blahblahblah - let's not play the blame game.

  • smartmomma Jan 31, 2011

    Wow, I have a 7 year old boy who doesn't have any idea about pop culture. IS this a girl-boy thing? My son is only interested in legos, cars, and Phineas & Ferb.

  • blahblahblah Jan 31, 2011

    Just my opinion, but I don't think I would give a seven year old an i-pod. I would give her a babydoll.