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Your Seven-Year-Old: Life in a Minor Key
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Your Seven-Year-Old: Life in a Minor Key

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  199 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Your Seven-Year-Old is devoted to the delightful but often anxious and withdrawn child of Seven. Although any seven-year-old will have moments of exuberance, security, and happiness, in general this is an age of introspection. As it begins, parents and teachers may welcome the quiet after the tussles and tangles of Six. But once the child of Seven starts to withdraw it’s a ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published March 1st 1987 by Dell (first published 1985)
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(showing 1-30 of 309)
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I love this series. I have been reading them since Elizabeth was 3, and so far I find them incredibly insightful and wise. Almost every time I feel frustrated with my children's behaviors I can find a calming solution and answer in these books.

Here is a gem from this book: "In addition to having many worries and fears, the child of this age often feels that he has "all the bad luck." As one girl expressed it, "Why do I always have the bad luck? Why do things so often happen to me? I might as wel
As I began reading this book, I was impressed at how well the authors were describing my child: they characterized her interests and behavior, and some of the quotes they used from seven-year-olds might have been overheard at my house the past few weeks. If I'd turned the page and read, "Eh, she's just seven. Have a glass of wine and she'll be eight before you know it," I wouldn't have been entirely surprised. Sadly, that's not actually what they said. In fact, I wouldn't say that I took a lot o ...more
Deanna Brauer
Jun 21, 2009 Deanna Brauer is currently reading it
I'm fascinated about how right on this book is. It's helping me understand my soon-to-be 7-year-old much better. I love this author and have every book in this series.
Leta Blake
I truly wish someone would take on the task of updating these wonderful, reassuring, and helpful books. They are incredibly helpful in terms of discussing behaviors associated with the various ages, but are definitely outdated in many regards, unfortunately. That doesn't mean you shouldn't buy or read the book! It simply means that you should be prepared for outmoded thoughts on gender (to a degree) and no longer acceptable terms like "Gyp" which is understood these days to be a racial slur. If ...more
Lee Anne
While it is always helpful to do some reading up on my child, and this book did give me some insight into why a seven year-old is more introspective and pessimistic than previous years, my main takeaway from this book is that it is in MAJOR need of an update. The copyright date is 1985 (with what appears to be an original date of 1980), and the pictures and text reflect that. There is little mention of computers (and of course no internet), a suggested fun party game for girls is "pin the bow on ...more
Mar 01, 2010 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents of 7 year old children
This is a short book that outlines the typical personality characteristics and quirks that defines the seven-year-old child. So far, in my limited experience, it's fairly spot on and it highlighted to me the cyclical nature of child development, where children drift in and out of inwardized behavior and outwardized behavior as well as shifts in disequilibrium and equilibrium.

While not all situations or behaviors will fit every child, it is still a good guide for what to expect. As it was writte
Has some generally helpful insights into typical behavioral changes between six and seven. I never got around to the precious book (Loving and Defiant. Still resonates) but I'll have a seven year old in a few months so I got a jump. I've seen her evolving.

I like the personal letters from parents. I found those far more concrete than the bulk of the writing. I realize that one book can't pin down every child but still, I had a hard time really sticking with this all the way through. I jumped arou
Meghan Pinson
Sep 07, 2008 Meghan Pinson rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents & teachers
These books are great -- the Gesell series has one book for each year, and I've been reading them since the year I spotted the title "Your Three-Year-Old: Friend or Enemy?". Their theory is that children go through periods of equilibrium and disequilibrium, during which they are more or less organized, which means a different set of behaviors and attitudes for different ages. They describe the nature of the beast at each point in time, and very good and reasonable ways of managing difficult time ...more
Karen Hipson
If you have a six or seven year old, I strongly recommend that you get this book and read it several times. Read some of it with your child, even. It is one of the best books I've read about this age group. I am a huge fan of "The Wonder Weeks"... this is the same idea but taken so much further and into higher ages. If your kids is confusing, frustrating or overwhelming you, this might give you some insight to help you see what's going on inside.

It is part of a series that starts at age one and
Samantha Hines
Excellent series for understanding child development -- a little out of date but still useful

This series always surprises me with its ability to reassure and educate me as a parent. Each book always provides an exact example of one of the behaviors I'm concerned (or feeling impatient!) about. In this case it was that 7 year old children will typically feel that EVERYTHING bad happens to them. This, after I was just explaining to someone that our #3 might be a bit of an "Eeyore." How does Louise Bates Ames do that? Who cares. I felt instantly reassured. And for that, Ms. Am
Obviously dated but overall very insightful. I learned a lot, and though it doesn't give a ton of relevant information in dealing with children, just knowing my daughter's behavior at this age is totally normal helps tremendously.
I'd probably give it 3 1/2 stars if I could. Was written in the 80s, so has a bit of a dated feel, but I didn't mind, it was charming in a way. Easy read. Best part of reading this is to find that a lot of the behavior I'm seeing in my seven-year-old is normal and is probably a phase that will pass. And reading about the problems that other kids/parents are having often makes me feel better about my own situation! I also liked that the author seems laid back--not a hyper-parenting type.
It was definitely good explaining what kind of behavior to expect with a seven year old, and we've definitely seem and been stymied by some of the behavior (until we got the book). The recommendations that they make (however few) for dealing with certain behaviors are not ways in which I would treat my child, and the stories in the back are kind of sad. All in all, a decent book, especially for the information about the withdrawal and expansiveness patterns of the seven year old.
Ginger Clausen
This is the best series of books for parenting children aged 1-8! These books have helped me countless times in raising my four kids! The books show the stages of learning that chidren go through so you can understand why your child is behaving the way they are- what they are learning and how that affects their behavior. Kids are pretty predictable as they go through the basic stages such as self awareness and attachment to parents, learning, etc.
This book is sometimes hilarious with how spot-on it is! So many behaviors that I questioned in my seven year old are just typical seven year old behaviors (even reading the back cover is reassuring!) This book is part of a series of books for every age. However, one word of advice: be careful if you read this book after your seven year old has gone to bed because you just may find yourself wanting to wake her back up just to give her a hug.;)
I always manage to read the books in this series right when I am convinced I have forever screwed up my children and failed as a parent. My takeaways from this one- 7 year olds are overwhelmingly negative and this disequilibrium phase lasts an entire year.

For people who've never read this series, they are very dated but chock full of great developmental information.
Dec 23, 2009 Monique rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Parents of 6 1/2 to 7 year olds.
If you want to know why your almost-seven year old is driving you nuts, pick this one up. I'm not sure how much help it's really going to give you (this seemed a bit less helpful than other volumes in the series) but at least you know it's *not* you and you are not crazy...though you may be nuts by the time your child turns 8!

Jody Florence
I know these books are outdated and somewhat old-fashioned, but I consistently find some very helpful nuggets of information to help explain a behavior quirk I am seeing in one of my kids. It is immensely helpful to know that a quirk is normal for his age as opposed to wondering/worrying that it is something I need to correct/change.
Every book in this series is great! Your seven year old explains what you can expect from your child and how (very little) you can influence their behavior. These have saved me much worry and fruitless effort. My daughter is so perfectly described, it's almost like she read the book to get her role just right!
I read the series at the suggestion of a friend. If I hadn't had so much respect for the friend, I would have quit after the first book.

So far, the books have not described my child or given me any insight or help. I might as well have read Tarot cards. Perhaps Tarot cards would have been more useful...
I'm always so surprised when I pick up one of the books in this series (usually when I'm wondering what has possessed my otherwise lovely child!) how spot-on on they are. I was nodding my head just reading they synopsis on the back, and even more so when reading the book itself. Definitely reassuring.
So, my library didn't have a copy of Your Six Year Old, but my daughter is 6.5 so I figured this was the next best thing. Glad I read it, it touched down on some of the six behaviors I'm struggling with right now so I'm off to but a copy of Your Six Year Old.
This whole series of books, while dated, is really interesting. I feel like they give me some knowledge for dealing with different behavioral stages my daughter is going through. And you can read them in an afternoon. I highly recommend them.
Aug 30, 2012 Sarah rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
Already feeling better in the first few pages because its totally describing my seven year old: moody, argumentative, "you like her better", and anxious. So relieved to hear that's "normal". Looking forward to reading the rest.
I've been feeling the need to find some ages and stages books again and this is highly acclaimed but sereiously and laughably dated. Even so it gave good insight and I'll keep checking the series as we move along.
Helpful to get some insights in what to expect during the age of Seven. Even though each kid is different, it is helpful to get a base line of what might be happening in my little 7 year olds heart, mind and head!
Kristin Boldon
Dated, but a helpful reminder that some of the behaviors that are driving me nuts--unwillingness to answer questions or be hugged, clowning--are all characteristic of this generally inward-focused age.
Diane Webber-thrush
Uh-oh, it's almost time to order this one, the last in the series of my favorite parenting books. Highly recommend these slim volumes from the previous generation of less crazy parenting.
This series is a bit dated, but the basic information is helpful, and the books are quick reads. Turns out my eldest is not clinically depressed--he's just seven! :)
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