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"you're not my friend"

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

My 3yo dd, learned this from a friend (or a NOT friend :) and she has been saying it to me whenever she doesn't like what is going on...and she is 3, so I get it all day long.  I have told her that it is ok to express dislike for a situation, but telling me that we aren't friends could make me feel very bad and actually ruin a friendship.  I tried to give her other words, but she has progressed to "I don't love you" as well.  A stage to wait out?  I try and say, I understand that you are disappointed, you really wanted that____, but I still feel like your friend, I still love you.... but man....all day long- I am not always this present and sometimes I just feel awful/mean/mad/frustrated etc.... 

 

post #2 of 17

It's completely age appropriate and something I usually either ignore or tell the child that it makes me feel sad.  I wouldn't make it a bigger deal than it is. 

post #3 of 17

My now 4.5 year old went through that.  It progressed all way to "I hate you" before he got through it.  For the most part, I ignored it.  It was his reaction to not getting his way and he obviously didn't mean it.  He was looking for a reaction and didn't get one. 

post #4 of 17

My daughter learned "I don't like you" from other kids and tries it out on me & her dad. I've been surprised how hurtful I find it since I know it's just a thing kids go through. I have resolved to NOT say it back to her no matter what, and other than that, just telling her over and over "that hurts my feelings, we don't say mean words, we all like each other in our family..."

post #5 of 17

My DS went through this also. I found it helpful to talk with him about how he was feeling, modeling what I felt was more in line with his concerns.

 

"You sound very upset with me. Are you disappointed that we can't go to the park right now?"

 

It's kind of the same thing as with two-year-olds when they don't have the words to express their feelings.

post #6 of 17

I get "you're not pretty" when my  3 1/2 YO son is upset with me. LOL Not at all sure where he picked that one up. I just acknowledge it and move on. Totally normal. :)

post #7 of 17

DSD brought it home from school with her and now my almost 4 year old says it too. 

 

oh well. i'ts an annoying stage but a stage and goes along with the pouting. i give him/her a minute to work it out by themselves and when they are ready to talk to me again i just don't bring it up or continue down that path (unless it was something hazardous or otherwise needs to still be dealt with) and move on.

post #8 of 17

My 4yo has been giving variations on this theme for about 18months.

 

I answer differently depending on what she says.  "I hate you" gets "well, i love you, even when you're mean to me".  "You're not my friend" gets "That's right, i'm your Mama, not your friend" (an important and valid distinction to me).  "I don't like you" gets "i like you, but i DON'T like the way you're acting/talking to me right now!".

 

I don't take any of it to heart, she's obviously exploring language right now.

post #9 of 17

my dd is 8 now (sheesh how did that happen so quickly) and i've had I hate you at 3 and 5.  oh i've also had you are mean. all when she doesnt like what i told her.

 

at 3 it was an easier statement to make for her rather than say i dont like what you are doing. i got that later on. but not at  that point. 

 

the thing is being a single mom and afraid that everything was a sign of a 'broken' child, it really helped me to understand its more an expression of how close she is to me. how much she feels comfortable to air her views. how much she must feel accepted by me to air her 'not nice side'. and frankly i prefered that to the full body thrown wherever she was - even on the street, kick her legs and scream a huge tantrum.

 

at 5 i got to understand her inner workings. she would later come and tell me - mama you know i dont hate you. sometimes i get mad and i want to hit out. but then later i feel bad. at that moment i lose my head. 

 

at 7 i have helped her to seriously control those emotions. and find other ways. which usually is putting some distance between us no matter where we are. its becasue its when consciousness is developing. and i find my dd is harder on herself than i have ever been. so i no longer ignore her behaviour. because one time seh was sad and upset for a week for doing what she did (which while it was happening i found hilarious and was trying really hard not to lol).

 

so my whole point of this is that if you are getting upset look into what is coming up for you. why are you getting upset so easily. the other times when i was upset i realised it brought back past issues and had nothing to do with dd and i hated taking it out on her. 

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by averlee View Post

My daughter learned "I don't like you" from other kids and tries it out on me & her dad. I've been surprised how hurtful I find it since I know it's just a thing kids go through. I have resolved to NOT say it back to her no matter what, and other than that, just telling her over and over "that hurts my feelings, we don't say mean words, we all like each other in our family..."


Maybe it's just me (although I suspect not) - No, we do NOT always all like each other. We DO always love one another, but sometimes my kids don't like me, and I don't like them. Or their behavior.

post #11 of 17



 

Quote:
Maybe it's just me (although I suspect not) - No, we do NOT always all like each other. We DO always love one another, but sometimes my kids don't like me, and I don't like them. Or their behavior.


This is exactly what I tell my boys when one of them is upset with the other.  They don't have to like each other all the time, but we always love each other.  I also like the strategy of pointing out the difference between disliking a person, and disliking how they are acting. 

 

When my kids tell me they don't like me or love me, I go at it with humor.  I tell them that I'll go live with the neighbors, then, and sleep on the floor with their dogs.  They know I'm joking.  I think it diffuses the comment because they know I'm allowing them to vent but not taking them too seriously - since I know they don't mean it seriously.
 

post #12 of 17

They don't even have to learn it from a friend.  It's hardwired in them at this age.   I am amazed that over my 30 years of working with preschoolers, they will ALL say this around age 3-5.  

 

Kids also become obsessed with panties.  "I can't wear Scooby doo!  I want my Shrek".  They if you watch them for a few minutes after they get to preschool, they all discuss underpants.  We say "How are you?"  They say "What underpants are you wearing".  Sometimes, they all yank their undies up to show each other.  "See?  hello Kitty".

 

They also use birthday parties to threaten each other.  "You aren't coming to my party".  ("your party was last week.. you don't have another one for almost a year")  

 

Oh... and about age four.... that's when they do the "Rhyme-y made up words"... it's cute for about a day.  Then it makes your ears bleed.  

 

http://www.loveandlogic.com/pages/oneliners.html  Here are some one liners.  I don't know if any of them will work for "You're not my friend".  But, I'd use the "That's OK, because I;m always your mom". 

post #13 of 17

This thread is amazing.  My daughter is three and she says you're not my friend ALL THE TIME!! 

post #14 of 17

I see this as a child learning about the concept of unconditional love, when you think about it is a complicated idea - that we love each other even when we have negative feelings.  So I use it as an opportunity to teach about that.  "Well I still love you, even when you're so angry at me."  Or whatever fits.

post #15 of 17

I think you have to remember that "friend" has a different meaning to a 3-yr-old.  My 3.5-yr-old DD says this all the time too, but to her, a friend is anyone she plays with, really.  So if she doesn't want to play with me, then she doesn't want to be my friend.  It doesn't mean she wants to end our relationship--it just means she's too angry to be playmates at the moment.

post #16 of 17
We went through this phase earlier this year, when that sentence went viral through the preschool!

I ended up sitting down DD and a friend, when I heard it one day, and helped facilitate communication between the two of them, focusing on their feelings and how hurtful it is to hear a friend say that. "You're mad at her, but you don't want to HURT her, you still love her even when you're mad." That kind of thing. (They ended up hugging and telling each other "I Love you!")

When it came up at home, again I focused on how much that language hurts. After months of ignoring it or taking other approaches, this was the one thing that really hit home. I told the other moms about it and within a week the kids had stopped saying it! Might not work for every kid, but it did for us.
post #17 of 17

My son will be 4 in Feb and he's been doing this for months.  Mostly to his dad...we always tell him that his words are hurtful.  Sometimes if I'm grouchy, I'll tell him "good, I not your friend, I'm your mom"...

 

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