Debra, I don't suppose you can condense this into a single post, but how is it that you are "strict", what does that look like in action? I'm assuming you do not yell or spank, so what do you do?
I find that what I'm working on is changing basic attitudes and outlooks on life at this point. She is seven and a half, so misbehavior is usually being uncooperative, contrary/contradictory, rude, inconsiderate, stuff like that, mostly getting along with others kind of stuff. She seems to me to be somewhat pessimistic, so we talk a lot about "cup half full" vs. "cup half empty" and keeping a grateful journal a la Oprah.
I have been working on this kind of stuff for awhile now and it is very frustrating. She seems to leap to the negative conclusion first, rather than last, i.e. so and so stepped on her foot on purpose rather than because they stumbled into her. I do try to look to myself for some of it and try to change my attitude, tone of voice, etc., but I'm pretty laid back, optimistic, tend to give people the benefit of the doubt etc. so it's not all me. She does have a little friend at school who has a pretty foul mouth. I really don't know.
When I think about my day with her, the things I would like to change are the constant complaining, about having to get up, not liking what we to eat in the house for breakfast, for making lunch, her sister's annoying toddler behaviors, the fact that the toddler gets more attention, that she has to go to school, that there is no school today, that she has to help me, that she has to do her chores today and everyday, (those darn cats, cant' just feed 'em once and have done with it!), that she has to take shower, you get the picture. I also would like less back talk/nasty comments/rude tone of voice. Things like "Why can't you shut that baby up?" Actually, I would like none of that! :LOL And the constant back talk is driving everybody mad. It's like a nervous tic. "Boy the sky sure is blue today", "No, I see several clouds" "Ellie you need to sit still for a minute", "No, she can roll around if she wants to", "It just rained buckets!" "It was just a little rain" and so on. She is also very loud. How do you teach a child to use a quieter voice? Repeated reminding for that last five years has made only a small dent!
In her more stellar moments she is enthusiatic, cooperative, helps out without being asked, and can entertain herself with books, art supplies, small toys, and one of the biggest imaginations I have ever seen.