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

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  314 Ratings  ·  58 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Your Seven-Year-Old is devoted to the delightful but often anxious and withdrawn child of Seven.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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Community Reviews

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Jul 15, 2009 Jenny rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
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
Leta Blake
Nov 05, 2012 Leta Blake rated it really liked it
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 They are incredibly helpful in terms of discussing behaviors associated with the various ages, but are definitely outdated in many regards, unfortunately.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
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.
Tara Tiger Brown
Jul 01, 2017 Tara Tiger Brown rated it really liked it
I felt like this book was written about my son. I read it out loud to both him and my husband and we had very thoughtful conversations about some of the topics. I can't express how relieved I am to know that he's a normal kid. I'm also grateful for some of the suggestions on how to communicate with him and empathize with his feelings. Is the book super old and the social examples outdated? Sure, but it's pretty easy to look past that and focus on what matters - how your son or daughter is develo ...more
Elizabeth Bober
May 07, 2017 Elizabeth Bober rated it really liked it
A short, useful look into the typical development of a 7 year old. Turns out a lot of us have a muttering, quickly offended teenager-in-a-7s-body on our hands.

One note: this series was published in 1980 and wow does it show in the social applications. Example: "a party for a 7 can be accomplished with two people: Mother and a helper." We've had a generation of change in households and parenting styles and an update would help these books along.
Feb 11, 2015 Amanda rated it really liked it
Honestly, I mostly just needed the subtitle ("Life in a Minor Key") to reassure me that my struck-with-ennui 7-year-old was within the bounds of normal behavior. Lately my husband and I have been asking ourselves how we suddenly have a mopey 15-year-old in our lives in the body of a young boy, but this book explains it.

I've enjoyed the other age books in this series and try to pick up the coming age just as my children are turning it. Unfortunately, our library didn't have the one for 3 years ol
Lee Anne
Jun 22, 2012 Lee Anne rated it it was ok
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
Feb 05, 2014 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
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
Feb 25, 2010 Dolly rated it liked it
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
Meghan Pinson
Aug 28, 2008 Meghan Pinson rated it really liked it
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
Jul 30, 2012 Rebekah rated it it was ok
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
Karen Hipson
Nov 19, 2011 Karen Hipson rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 29, 2011 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: mamalove

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
Ginger Clausen
Oct 13, 2012 Ginger Clausen rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 01, 2013 Jill rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 17, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
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.
Jody Florence
Sep 18, 2012 Jody Florence rated it liked it
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.
Aug 13, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-books
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.
Dan Cloak
Jul 08, 2016 Dan Cloak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reassuring and on-target

My daughter turned seven only three weeks ago, but I already see much of the pensive affect and inward focus described in this book. The advice is often obvious and/or outdated. However, the reassurance of seeing that my own child's changes are "normal" for seven made the read time very well spent.
Apr 07, 2013 Grace rated it did not like it
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...
Nov 09, 2009 Monique rated it really liked it
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!

Oct 13, 2011 Jenn rated it it was amazing
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!
Jan 18, 2012 Stacy rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 23, 2015 Christie rated it really liked it
The Baudelaires end up in yet another unhappy place. The vile village is filled with stuffy elders and more crows than one can count. The rules are stifling, the children are basically slaves, and they still haven't found where Count Olaf is keeping those Quagmire triplets.
Jun 15, 2013 Jill rated it really liked it
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!
Aug 27, 2012 Ylva rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting-etc
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.
Jan 29, 2011 Tawnya rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 22, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
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.
Jan 25, 2017 Inder rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely and reassuring.

As with this whole series, this was so lovely, calm, reassuring, and softly humorous. Out of date or old fashioned? That's your call, but I find it still relevant and useful. As to seven year olds- the title says it all!
Aug 07, 2014 Dayna rated it really liked it
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.
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