|Kids Say the Meanest Things||| Print ||
|Written by Kim Droze|
|Monday, 24 May 2010 15:23|
You might be so focused on helping your child soothe her hurt feelings that you may not even see the day coming when she hurts yours. Inevitably, at some point, your child will utter those awful words - "I hate you," "You're the worst mommy ever" or something equally hurtful. And while it's tempting to retaliate with a snarky reply or simply tears, there are better ways to discourage kids from saying disrespectful things to you, your partner or other family members. First, assess why your child is saying such awful things. Younger children realize the power that words like "hate" or profanity have, and that's why they use them - for the drama and reaction they create. When you underreact to hearing those words, while still acknowledging their inappropriateness, then you'll hear them less and less. When they're younger, they still lack the communication skills to articulate frustration appropriately.
A good way to deal with that frustration is to reiterate the child's needs to her: "I understand that you want another cookie, but we're about to eat dinner. You may have one after dinner." It's tempting to reply with a snappy rejoinder - when told you're hated, it may be satisfying to say something like, "Well, I'm not very fond of you right now, either." Or "Maybe you should find another mom" when you hear declarations that you're the worst mom ever. But when you give kids this kind of reply, you're stooping to their level and seeming glib about their proclamation. Validate the child's feelings by figuring out why they're saying what they're saying, and convey that understanding. Communicating that you understand the child's frustrations can help ease them for many kids.
|Last Updated on Monday, 13 August 2012 10:14|