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I don't like you!!!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hey how do other mamas respond to the 3 y.o. saying I don't like you?

When he says it to me he is usually mad about something, so I can say "I think you don't like that I gave you a timeout for pushing your brother..." for example. but what about when he says he doesn't like other kids to their face? I usually say that its not nice to tell other people you don't like them, it hurts their feelings.

what do other mamas say on the subject?

Thanks for your thoughts!

post #2 of 6
My 3 1/2 yr old says the same. I hate it when it's directed right at someone else. I usually cringe and give the person a sorry look or say "gotta love those 3 year olds." Most people understand. Later I will explain that what he said may have hurt the persons feelings and made them feel sad. I might say "Remember when you felt sad..." When he says it out of the persons ear range I say "that's ok, you don't have to like everyone. Can you tell me why you don't like him/her?" Somethimes its for no reason and other times its for some reason like "She's not nice, I don't like her" refering to a new doctor he's afraid to meet. That was my lead in to talking about our upcoming doctors apt. and his fear. When he says he doesn't like me I say "Yeah, that's ok, I remember not liking my mother sometimes when I was your age". He says why and I say "well sometimes she didn't let me do something I wanted to do so it made me mad." And we go onto explore this. I guess the main thing is to accept his feelings good or bad. The lesson is that he learns its okay and normal to have negative feelings and you'll still love him for it. And you can even talk about it. Also you can explain that you can still like someone and not like something they did.

Recently we had a couple guys delivering something to our house. My ds said later that he didn't like one of the guys. I asked why and he said because he didn't smile and he didn't talk back to him. He said he wasn't nice. The man he was talking about was black. I said he was probably just working hard and focusing on what he was doing. Maybe he didn't even hear my ds. I chose to go this route since we don't live in a very diverse neighborhood and I want my ds to have positive feeling toward people of all color. But if the man were white I may not have been so understanding because I do want my child to be weary of strangers entering our house. I want him to know that he shouldn't be nice to everyone! And for the long run I want to teach him to acknowledge his impressions and listen to his instincts.

I don't know who's learning more, my children about life or me about parenting!

Good luck!
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for sharing your thoughtful parenting with me!

"I guess the main thing is to accept his feelings good or bad. "

I agree and will prompt him in the future for more of
the 'whys' behind his I don't like yous. Although I don't like to hear him say it to other kids, he is really just being honest! Can you imagine if adults went around telling people to their faces "I don't like you!" (I'm sure some do, but most of us are more polite!) I think I'm also dissapointed when he doesn't like some kids when I really like their moms! Oh well, he can still learn to play nice and be polite, I just won't make lots of effort to get them in the same room.

anyways, thanks again kdmama!
post #4 of 6
I say, "Well, you don't have to like me. We all have choices."

And I think its true, we don't always like everyone, even (or especially) the people we love the most. CHildren shouldn't be expected to.
post #5 of 6
Hi Michelle, it's me! I'm finally posting!

I have the same problem with dd, who is four. I think I mentioned that to you the other day, but we didn't get a chance to discuss it. I'm constantly being told, "I don't want you any more" when she doesn't like something I've told her.

My answer is similar to yours, "I see you don't like what I've said. It's fine if you want to be by yourself right now" She just recently said it to a small friend... I wasn't sure what to do either. I kind of fumbled for a minute, but then thought, same situation, right? So I said "It's ok if you want to stop playing with ______ for a few minutes, maybe you'd like to play more later."

It's so hard when you feel their behavior is a reflection of you! I keep reminding myself that she's a separate person, and try not to let it bother me too much.
post #6 of 6
Also, I notice that some of the "I don't likes" are short lived and simply a feeling in the moment or for reactions sake. A boy my ds didn't like two weeks ago is now someone he looks forward to seeing---for now that is!
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