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Crisis of seven years

Crisis of seven years – a stage of mental development between preschool and younger school age. It is characterized by the aspiration of the child to master a social role of the school student, to carry out socially significant activity. It is shown by imitation adults, a manernichanye, obstinacy, willfulness, loss of naivety and a spontaneity. Diagnostics is carried out by the psychologist, the children's psychiatrist. The method of a conversation, observation, pictural tests is used. The child does not need treatment. Within psychological consultation to parents make recommendations of change of the relations, behavior for the purpose of correction of negative crisis symptoms.

Crisis of seven years

Maturing and developing, the child endures the stable and crisis periods. The first differ in a quiet current, gradual improvement of the available abilities. Crisis is followed by the high-quality changes of mentality affecting the personality, the social relations. At seven-year-old children game activity is replaced by educational, the circle of contacts extends, the social role – the pupil is formed. Crisis signs – disobedience, obstinacy, irritability – are shown from 5 to 8 years. Duration of a transitional stage makes 6-9 months. To end "the internal position of the school student", idea of the child of a social role is formed (expectations, the relations, activity).

Reasons of crisis of seven years

Crisis of seven years coincides with the beginning of school training – internal changes of mentality are followed by change of a social situation of development. The child feels the need to master social roles, significant activity (study) in society. At the initial stage external attributes of "maturity" are important. The kid asserts the right to choose, independently assesses a situation, makes decisions. Contents, sense of acts remain hidden. There is no understanding of responsibility, consequences, there are conflict situations with teachers, parents.

The second feature of the crisis period – need to accept rules, the bans, the rights, the pupil's duties. The research of borders of legal is carried out by "method of tests" – the child ignores, denies, resists to requirements of adults. Expressiveness of symptoms of crisis depends on psychological features of family members, education methods. Crisis is sharply endured by excitable children, at hyper guardianship and authoritarianism of mother, father. The third feature – development of a new role is followed by rejection of former. Having become the pupil, the child refuses to carry out usual things – to play with younger sister, early to be put to bed. Resolution of crisis happens together with development of contents (sense) of educational activity, a maturity.


Changes of a crisis stage have a physiological basis – in 6-7 years the frontal lobes of bark of big hemispheres which are responsible for randomness actively develop: ability to plan, to control performance of actions, to predict consequences. The mobility of processes of excitement braking which is shown restlessness, a hyperactivity, emotional lability remains. At the level of mentality there are following changes: experiences become intelligent, are generalized, the image "I" is divided on internal (self-assessment) and external (assessment by people around). The child builds own system of values, differentiates "badly" – "well", "correctly" – "incorrectly". There is a formation of idea of itself as about the personality in society. Actively the role relations with teachers, peers accustom. Crisis symptoms are observed during development of a new position (the pupil, the school student).

Symptoms of crisis of seven years

The main manifestations of crisis are the capriciousness, negativism, disobedience, irritability. Imitating adults, the child simpers, wriggles. The movements, phrases do not correspond to age, become ridiculous, deliberate, exaggerated. Literal repetition of parental words, intonations, gestures – approbation of attributes of a maturity. The aspiration to change the existing rules of conduct, ways of interaction with family members are followed by frequent disputes, ignoring of requests of seniors. After the address of the adult the child maintains a pause, delays performance of unpleasant duties, choosing tactics (resistance, submission). He compares the rights and duties of relatives, finding injustice, openly shows discontent, goes obstinate (refuses to sleep, walks without scarf as the father).

The behavior of children differs in disobedience. The refusal of habitual requirements, duties is explained by change of a social position – there was a child, there was a pupil. The kid throws out toys, refuses favourite food (juice is pleasant – has tea "as mother"), does not follow the set mode. Willfulness is shown by resistance to questions, requests of adults. Formation of a self-assessment happens through approval/condemnation of people around. The child often asks opinion of seniors on results of work – asks to estimate the drawing, a hand-made article, quality of cleaning, beauty of the chosen clothes. The criticism forms uncertainty, passivity, lack of initiative.


Gain the importance of a problem of adaptation, psychological readiness for school from first graders. Normal crisis and the beginning of training coincide, the child easily adapts to unfamiliar conditions, quickly masters a social position of the school student. Children with the dragged-on, late crisis experience difficulties of transition from the preschool childhood to younger school age – a game remains the leading activity, external signs of a role of the pupil are accepted, but strong emotional affection for mother remains. The compelled visit of school provokes reactions of an active/passive protest (violation of behavior), development of neurotic frustration, psychosomatic diseases.


Diagnostics of crisis of seven years is carried out by psychologists and teachers, at the expressed behavioural and emotional deviations consultation of the psychiatrist can be required. Standard inspection is carried out by clinical methods, assessment of psychological readiness to school training is in addition carried out. The full complex of inspections includes:

  • Conversation with parents. Poll of parents remains by the most informative method of a research of children's crises. The expert asks on manifestations of a transition period, changes of behavior of the child, adaptation process.
  • Observation. Sometimes symptoms are shown during consultation. At interaction of the child the negativism, obstinacy, willfulness decides on parents – does not sit down on the specified chair, does not react to the offer to behave more quietly, defiantly turns away at a request to talk to the doctor.
  • Child's poll. Questions concern a psychological component of school readiness: Whether "You want to go/go to school? Why?". On a razvernutost, an orientation of the answer the formation of a position of the school student is estimated.

Differential diagnostics with emotional, behavioural violations is carried out at the heavy course of crisis. In such cases the children's psychiatrist who on the basis of data of the anamnesis draws a conclusion about possible frustration is connected to inspection. In addition complex psychological testing (the informative, emotional and strong-willed sphere), tool inspections (brain EEG, MRT) can be required.

Recommendations at crisis of seven years

During crisis there are changes of behavior, a way of life, feeling of the child. Adults should develop new ways of family interaction, to reconsider the relation to future pupil, in advance to begin preparation by academic year. These measures will allow to accelerate a transitional stage, to correct negative crisis manifestations. On consultations psychologists recommend to parents:

  • Observance of the mode. It is necessary in 4-6 months prior to study to develop a habit early to go to bed and wake up. It is important to alternate walks, games, studies.
  • Acquaintance to school. It is recommended to visit the building of educational institution prior to the first occupations. The child will become surer, quiet.
  • Designation of the rights, duties. The disobedient child needs to explain – all have duties. Future school student has to understand that requirements of parents are based on trust, expand its rights, increase responsibility.
  • Providing freedom. There have to be ways of realization of independence. Example: cleaning in the room is obligatory, but it is authorized to child to choose time, a way.
  • Permission to a mistake. You should not prevent the predicted negative consequences of actions of the child (on condition of safety for life, health). The analysis of result will teach to expect problems, to bear responsibility for own acts (chose games instead of homework in the evening – received the two in the morning).


The successful completion of crisis of seven years forms at the child the pupil's position, responsibility, ability to accept rules and to follow them, promotes school adaptation. Prevention of complications and the long course of crisis is based on change of the attitude of parents towards children. It is necessary, to show respect, equality, to provide to the child more freedom. In education it is recommended to show flexibility, to adhere to system of the accepted rules, but to leave space for independence, the choice, change of a role. It is not necessary to go into open conflict with the child, it aggravates negative symptoms.

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