toddler's anger at being talked down to - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 05-10-2010, 11:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a 2 1/2 dd who gets very upset when adults talk down to her in a childish manner. For example, when they say things like, "DD, you are so smart" or "DD, you know such big words!" I think a lot of it is the tone which is hard to describe, but not a way you would talk to an adult. I can see why it would be annoying to her, but I'm not sure how to direct her on how to respond to these adults. Currently she will yell "No!" at them and then if they continue to use that tone will hit them. I would like to find an effective solution for her to express her feelings about this while also not hurting the feelings of the adults that do not realize how they are coming across. Any ideas? I'm also curious if most toddlers are bothered by this?
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#2 of 6 Old 05-11-2010, 01:18 AM
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My dd never cared about things like this, she loved having people tell her that she is good at things and really internalized that very nicely. A kid that age did ask my mom why she was talking down to him and she rethought how she talks to young kids after that. You may be able to teach your dd to do this by do a little toy play about it. Have one of the toys talk down to the other toy and then the other toy ask that question. You can also model the other way with hitting and then tell the toy that hitting hurts and what to say instead of hitting. I found modeling through play to be a very effective way to teach dd how to deal with all kinds of things.
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#3 of 6 Old 05-11-2010, 05:07 PM
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My toddler tends to eat stuff like this up, so I don't have any btdt tips for you. I think the toy play is a good idea, and to deal with the hitting, maybe find appropriate ways to model how hitting hurts, is not nice etc. Just is general, I talk to my DS (3) about how it's rude to yell and hit, and that it's okay to be upset about something, but that it's important not to hurt peoples feelings, and to try and express why he is upset. Good luck
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#4 of 6 Old 05-11-2010, 05:18 PM
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My DD is really bothered by this. I'm not sure how to handle it when we are in a public situation. The best I can do is remove her from the individual making the comment and tell her it will be okay. With family, I just blatantly ask them to leave her alone and stop talking to her and then try to comfort her. I feel bad for her that those comments upset her so but at the same time wonder what it is all really about.

Married to my soul mate and totally devoted to DD (6/08) and enjoying our 2 cats and many fish. Wishing for a "green" house in the country where we can raise more children!
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#5 of 6 Old 05-12-2010, 02:10 PM
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I read somewhere that when you praise & label a child by saying how GOOD or how SMART they are, it causes them great anxiety because they know they have moments where they are NOT good, or not smart, as we all do. They want to live up to expectations but because they are human, they can't always, so they have a bit of a freakout about it.

That's what I heard. And it makes lots of sense, to me.
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#6 of 6 Old 05-12-2010, 05:48 PM
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Not sure how common it is, but this was me as a child. Was she very verbal at an early age? Is she otherwise shy?

I do think it might have something to do with perceived pressure as NellieKatz mentioned.

Just brainstorming--would she be able to ask "what do you mean?" or say "I'm not a baby" or something like that?

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