5 year old calls me stupid - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 28 Old 12-30-2010, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
green_momma2007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Miami
Posts: 587
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Jeremy learned the word stupid and now anytime he disagrees with me about the slightest thing I get an automatic "you're stupid,mom". I had the brilliant idea to put what i'm learning from GD into work. I explained to him that I understood he was using the word stupid when he was upset at me, but that a more appropriate way of expressing himself would be, "Mom, I'm not happy with you."
So now I get "Mom, I'm not happy you're stupid."eyesroll.gif
What else can I do to get him to stop? He knows it's not a nice word because when his little brother says it he'll tattle on him.

Dalila, mom to two boys, 7 and 5

490/2013

green_momma2007 is offline  
#2 of 28 Old 12-30-2010, 01:11 PM
 
sydlou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

ROTFLMAO.gifOk, I'm sorry but that is quite clever and funny.

 

Ugh, the "stupid" word. It's so annoying. We have a case of the stupids over here too.  It has decreased dramatically over the last few months.

Honestly, you can't get him to stop, but you can help him express anger in a way that is powerful to him and not offensive to you (very helpful when they get older and have that RAGE along with hormones!).

 

We always talk about it after the word/emotion has passed, because truly, it IS a way they are expressing their frustration and I don't want to take away the importance of her feelings in the moment. I've also found that when people are feeling that strongly, anger/frustration/sadness, it is NOT a teaching moment, but just where they need me to be compassionate.

 

After the fact, I remind DD that she can go and yell in her room, hit her mattress, growl out her anger if she needs to, but that that word doesn't make sense to use when she's angry (because really, she's angry and telling me I'm not smart....). I also help her find words that feel powerful to her that are OK to use, "I'm REALLY ANGRY at you mommy!"  "That was NOT OK!" "I DON"T LIKE THAT" have been some that she feels powerful using.

sydlou is offline  
#3 of 28 Old 12-30-2010, 04:32 PM
 
lookatreestar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 987
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

we just learned the word stupid over here too... i really don't think she gets the word it was more of a repeating thing so i just ask her to go say it in the room if she is going to say it. she runs and shouts stupid a few times then comes out and is over it. since we first had the talk about it she is always correcting me and my use of stupid duh.gif


mama to one '07 and one '09
lookatreestar is offline  
#4 of 28 Old 12-31-2010, 05:32 PM
 
moon girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Washington
Posts: 79
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I have been through several rounds of "stupid" and other assorted words.... with my kids.  Several things come to mind for me.  I think when kids find words like that they are experimenting with power to some degree.  Do these words hold power?  How do I use power?  We often resort to some types of name calling when we feel powerless so getting to the source of the frustration is important.  I think your approach of helping him reframe and express what he is experiencing is right on.

 

I also noticed that when this was happening for me, that there was another piece of the puzzle.  I had to look at my own discomfort around being called stupid and why I wanted my child to stop.  When I was at home, I would notice that I was much less reactive about it.  I could simply say "I don't like being called stupid, if you feel frustrated with me, you could say "Mom, I'm feeling really angry about this" etc.  It pushed my buttons more if we were around other people, and I realized that I was worried about other people's judgment about how I was handling things.  That gets really tricky because kids seem to have a radar for those areas where we're blocked in some way.  And the more attached I got to the idea of needing the behavior to stop, well the more they seemed to exhibit that exact behavior.  

 

So, I started to look at all those situations as gifts.  My kids were showing me, where I was stuck in some way.  This definitely is a practice and it takes time to get to the heart of it.  A really good book is "Raising our Children, Raising ourselves".  I found it really helpful.

 

One of my takeaways from the name calling experience was this:  Whenever someone calls my children a name and they come to me about it.  The first question I ask them is "Is it true?"  So and so called you stupid, are you stupid?  They always look at me and say "no".  Ok, well,  if someone says something that's not true, why would it bother you?  It's important for me that my children know that they get to choose how they feel.  No one can make you angry.  Truly, even if someone does something truly heinous to us, we still get to choose how we feel about it.  If we allow someone else's behavior to affect how we feel, we are giving our power away.  Now this doesn't mean that we have to just accept being treated in a way that doesn't feel good.  It is completely ok to say "I don't like being called stupid and I don't let people talk to me that way"  

 

So I realized that If I reacted to my children calling me names in a way that was really attached to needing it to stop, I was negating my own advice.  I could state my preferences for sure, but if I got upset then I was doing the exact thing I was trying to teach them.  And the funny paradox is that the moment I stopped needing a behavior to change, that seemed to be the moment they stopped doing it.

 

Hope that all makes sense, 

 

Christine

KoalaMama and starling&diesel like this.

Christine, mom to ds Myles(3/02),dd Zoie(1/05), ds Sojourn(1/07) and dsd Saige(10/94).  Professional hand analyst, WAHM.
Discover your child's biggest challenge and truly Parent on Purpose
www.christinegulrajani.com
moon girl is offline  
#5 of 28 Old 12-31-2010, 09:39 PM
 
lookatreestar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 987
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


thumbsup.gif

 

Quote:


Originally Posted by moon girl View Post

I have been through several rounds of "stupid" and other assorted words.... with my kids.  Several things come to mind for me.  I think when kids find words like that they are experimenting with power to some degree.  Do these words hold power?  How do I use power?  We often resort to some types of name calling when we feel powerless so getting to the source of the frustration is important.  I think your approach of helping him reframe and express what he is experiencing is right on.

 

I also noticed that when this was happening for me, that there was another piece of the puzzle.  I had to look at my own discomfort around being called stupid and why I wanted my child to stop.  When I was at home, I would notice that I was much less reactive about it.  I could simply say "I don't like being called stupid, if you feel frustrated with me, you could say "Mom, I'm feeling really angry about this" etc.  It pushed my buttons more if we were around other people, and I realized that I was worried about other people's judgment about how I was handling things.  That gets really tricky because kids seem to have a radar for those areas where we're blocked in some way.  And the more attached I got to the idea of needing the behavior to stop, well the more they seemed to exhibit that exact behavior.  

 

So, I started to look at all those situations as gifts.  My kids were showing me, where I was stuck in some way.  This definitely is a practice and it takes time to get to the heart of it.  A really good book is "Raising our Children, Raising ourselves".  I found it really helpful.

 

One of my takeaways from the name calling experience was this:  Whenever someone calls my children a name and they come to me about it.  The first question I ask them is "Is it true?"  So and so called you stupid, are you stupid?  They always look at me and say "no".  Ok, well,  if someone says something that's not true, why would it bother you?  It's important for me that my children know that they get to choose how they feel.  No one can make you angry.  Truly, even if someone does something truly heinous to us, we still get to choose how we feel about it.  If we allow someone else's behavior to affect how we feel, we are giving our power away.  Now this doesn't mean that we have to just accept being treated in a way that doesn't feel good.  It is completely ok to say "I don't like being called stupid and I don't let people talk to me that way"  

 

So I realized that If I reacted to my children calling me names in a way that was really attached to needing it to stop, I was negating my own advice.  I could state my preferences for sure, but if I got upset then I was doing the exact thing I was trying to teach them.  And the funny paradox is that the moment I stopped needing a behavior to change, that seemed to be the moment they stopped doing it.

 

Hope that all makes sense, 

 

Christine




mama to one '07 and one '09
lookatreestar is offline  
#6 of 28 Old 01-01-2011, 11:00 AM
 
chaimom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 485
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Frankly, I know I'm not stupid, but I still wouldn't like being called stupid. No one would, kid or adult.  Kids need to know that talk like that is unacceptable and other people don't like it.

 

In our family: "That's a rude word and it's not the way we talk to each other in our family."   If he continues talking that way, he can go to his room until he can think of words that don't hurt people's feelings and can apologize.  You're doing him a favor by letting him know what's socially acceptable.  My boys thought the "s" word was bad, and would whisper in horror to me if they heard someone say it.   They're 8 1/2 now and know how to use the word, but it was funny when they were in K and reported that their teacher used the "s" word in school.  But she hadn't called someone the s word, so I told them it was OK!

chaimom is offline  
#7 of 28 Old 01-01-2011, 11:16 AM
 
philomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 9,430
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by chaimom View Post

Frankly, I know I'm not stupid, but I still wouldn't like being called stupid. No one would, kid or adult.  Kids need to know that talk like that is unacceptable and other people don't like it.

 

In our family: "That's a rude word and it's not the way we talk to each other in our family."   If he continues talking that way, he can go to his room until he can think of words that don't hurt people's feelings and can apologize.  You're doing him a favor by letting him know what's socially acceptable. 



Thanks. I had handled it much the same way with my kids. I'm glad to know somebody out there is teaching kids manners besides me.

vermontgirl and Octopus8 like this.
philomom is online now  
#8 of 28 Old 01-01-2011, 01:18 PM
 
rabbitmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Norway
Posts: 981
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

notes.gif Me too!

rabbitmum is offline  
#9 of 28 Old 01-02-2011, 06:10 PM
 
madskye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,219
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

DD is five and lately she's been stamping her foot and telling me that xyz is "all YOUR fault!"-- I just keep telling her that it hurts my feelings to be spoken to like that, and then help her rephrase it.  She seems to try out "bad" behaviors and though it's always something new...once we talk about it she does seem to get what's acceptable and what's not. 

madskye is offline  
#10 of 28 Old 01-03-2011, 07:56 AM
 
habitat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: In Love.
Posts: 263
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by chaimom

 

Frankly, I know I'm not stupid, but I still wouldn't like being called stupid. No one would, kid or adult.  Kids need to know that talk like that is unacceptable and other people don't like it.

 

In our family: "That's a rude word and it's not the way we talk to each other in our family."   If he continues talking that way, he can go to his room until he can think of words that don't hurt people's feelings and can apologize.  You're doing him a favor by letting him know what's socially acceptable.

 

I understand what you're saying about how important and powerful language is, and how crucial it is that our children understand its potency and how to use it appropriately. Still, asserting my dominance and privilege as the bigger person by sending someone I love, and who loves me, to what is essentially solitary confinement if they don't express their emotions the way I want them to or in a way that is "socially acceptable" (whatever that means) is not my idea of a superior model of good manners. That shouldn't work in the "adult world", so why should it work elsewhere? A good manner of behavior, I've come to understand, is the manner of love. Depending upon the situation, lots of actions can be well-considered and loving. Children will know that you don't like something if you tell them. While telling them how you feel may not immediately change their feelings or the way they express them, it will show them that you are invested in broadening their emotional intelligence. Sending them away is a coercive threat that changes the behavior, yes, but out of fear, rather than understanding. If I am spoken to out of anger, I can't expect an authentic improvement of understanding if I react by asserting my power as the bigger person. I get frustrated and I say so. I get sad/mad/angry/upset and I say so. Sometimes I have a hard time controlling my tone of voice, and sometimes I have to apologize for the way I speak out of anger. I ask for space and do my best to control my own body to take it, by finding a quiet room or by paying attention to my breathing. These are all things that young people are able to do, too. They are coping strategies that I hope to model as positive and powerful, because they are. These things are acceptable ways to cope for all involved parties. But, when I begin asserting myself as the dominant, and take advantage of powers I have that they don't, I'm not modeling something that they can practice and I'm losing something valuable - the chance to work it out as an equal to the other person involved. As an equal is how I expect people to resolve conflict out in the world, so why would it be different in our home, just because the person is younger than me? Can I teach a child to resolve a conflict as my equal if I'm always asserting my dominance in an assumed hierarchy?

 

I have beliefs and principals that guide the way I live in very applied and practical ways. I do a lot of things that, to some people, are not "socially acceptable". I assume that my children will, too. So I do not ask myself, "How do I teach them the socially acceptable way to behave". Instead, I ask myself "How do I model conflict resolution with equality and empathy?" and "How can I find the source of the behavior? Why is it making me uncomfortable? Where is it coming from? Why am I responding this way? Why are they responding this way? How can we better communicate our needs together? How do I use this challenge to come to a deeper understanding of this person that I love? How do I speak and behave in a way that promotes a sense of emotional safety?". Sometimes not all the questions are answered before the problem is resolved. But by asking them, both inwardly and out loud, I can really stand behind what I do on principal. The "manners" that I value are not simply aesthetic. They're about a real understanding for people's feelings and I intend on practicing what I preach.

KoalaMama likes this.

Forest For The Trees  stillheart.gif  Radical Family Support Consulting for Growing Families (ask me!)
10+ Years in Professional Holistic Childcare and Support / Alternative Education / Unschooling my Friend, Z (4)

Future Community-Dwelling, Stay-at-Home, Sole-Parent by Choice!

habitat is offline  
#11 of 28 Old 01-03-2011, 07:58 AM
 
D_McG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,122
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by chaimom View Post

Frankly, I know I'm not stupid, but I still wouldn't like being called stupid. No one would, kid or adult.  Kids need to know that talk like that is unacceptable and other people don't like it.

 

In our family: "That's a rude word and it's not the way we talk to each other in our family."   If he continues talking that way, he can go to his room until he can think of words that don't hurt people's feelings and can apologize.  You're doing him a favor by letting him know what's socially acceptable. 



Thanks. I had handled it much the same way with my kids. I'm glad to know somebody out there is teaching kids manners besides me.

me too.  Sometimes I feel like I'm in the twilight zone here.  
 

transylvania_mom and Octopus8 like this.

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

D_McG is offline  
#12 of 28 Old 01-04-2011, 09:12 AM
 
philomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 9,430
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)


 

Quote:

 Sometimes I feel like I'm in the twilight zone here.  
 



ROTFLMAO.gif  Me, too. I hope my kids pick spouses that have been raised with some manners and sense. Cause I'm defiantly seeing the handbasket here.

philomom is online now  
#13 of 28 Old 01-04-2011, 09:39 AM
 
mom2happy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 992
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by habitat View Post

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by chaimom

 

Frankly, I know I'm not stupid, but I still wouldn't like being called stupid. No one would, kid or adult.  Kids need to know that talk like that is unacceptable and other people don't like it.

 

In our family: "That's a rude word and it's not the way we talk to each other in our family."   If he continues talking that way, he can go to his room until he can think of words that don't hurt people's feelings and can apologize.  You're doing him a favor by letting him know what's socially acceptable.

 

I understand what you're saying about how important and powerful language is, and how crucial it is that our children understand its potency and how to use it appropriately. Still, asserting my dominance and privilege as the bigger person by sending someone I love, and who loves me, to what is essentially solitary confinement if they don't express their emotions the way I want them to or in a way that is "socially acceptable" (whatever that means) is not my idea of a superior model of good manners. That shouldn't work in the "adult world", so why should it work elsewhere? A good manner of behavior, I've come to understand, is the manner of love. Depending upon the situation, lots of actions can be well-considered and loving. Children will know that you don't like something if you tell them. While telling them how you feel may not immediately change their feelings or the way they express them, it will show them that you are invested in broadening their emotional intelligence. Sending them away is a coercive threat that changes the behavior, yes, but out of fear, rather than understanding. If I am spoken to out of anger, I can't expect an authentic improvement of understanding if I react by asserting my power as the bigger person. I get frustrated and I say so. I get sad/mad/angry/upset and I say so. Sometimes I have a hard time controlling my tone of voice, and sometimes I have to apologize for the way I speak out of anger. I ask for space and do my best to control my own body to take it, by finding a quiet room or by paying attention to my breathing. These are all things that young people are able to do, too. They are coping strategies that I hope to model as positive and powerful, because they are. These things are acceptable ways to cope for all involved parties. But, when I begin asserting myself as the dominant, and take advantage of powers I have that they don't, I'm not modeling something that they can practice and I'm losing something valuable - the chance to work it out as an equal to the other person involved. As an equal is how I expect people to resolve conflict out in the world, so why would it be different in our home, just because the person is younger than me? Can I teach a child to resolve a conflict as my equal if I'm always asserting my dominance in an assumed hierarchy?

 

I have beliefs and principals that guide the way I live in very applied and practical ways. I do a lot of things that, to some people, are not "socially acceptable". I assume that my children will, too. So I do not ask myself, "How do I teach them the socially acceptable way to behave". Instead, I ask myself "How do I model conflict resolution with equality and empathy?" and "How can I find the source of the behavior? Why is it making me uncomfortable? Where is it coming from? Why am I responding this way? Why are they responding this way? How can we better communicate our needs together? How do I use this challenge to come to a deeper understanding of this person that I love? How do I speak and behave in a way that promotes a sense of emotional safety?". Sometimes not all the questions are answered before the problem is resolved. But by asking them, both inwardly and out loud, I can really stand behind what I do on principal. The "manners" that I value are not simply aesthetic. They're about a real understanding for people's feelings and I intend on practicing what I preach.

I wouldnt define telling a child he/she has to be seperated from the family until they pick better words to be "solitary confinement".

Solitary confinement is when an authority locks you up in bars until they decide you are coming out, treats you disrespectfully, makes you use the toilet in front of everyone.............

If a child is not getting the message that they have to learn to communicate properly, how will they EVER esgtablish the self control to stop themselves?

I understand how you feel and I wish it were that simple for me. I've come to believe that kids need some boundaries to learn.

We talk about EVERYTHING, but sometimes words dont teach.

My kids picked up "stupid" this year and it is not a nice word. DH and I don't use words that are strictly for insulting or hurting another person to each other or even in conversation- so modeling the way to communicate wasnt enough for this. I buckled down and told them to step into their rooms until they could figure out better words. The word is almost phased out now, because they dont want to waste their time.

The thing is, we as parents have to be in charge. Children are children. They are new and dont know. Being in charge doesnt mean asserting dominance in the wrong way.

Someone has to be the grown up, and they need us to teach them.


 

mom2happy is offline  
#14 of 28 Old 01-09-2011, 12:59 AM
 
moon girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Washington
Posts: 79
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2happy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by habitat View Post

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by chaimom

 

Frankly, I know I'm not stupid, but I still wouldn't like being called stupid. No one would, kid or adult.  Kids need to know that talk like that is unacceptable and other people don't like it.

 

In our family: "That's a rude word and it's not the way we talk to each other in our family."   If he continues talking that way, he can go to his room until he can think of words that don't hurt people's feelings and can apologize.  You're doing him a favor by letting him know what's socially acceptable.

 

I understand what you're saying about how important and powerful language is, and how crucial it is that our children understand its potency and how to use it appropriately. Still, asserting my dominance and privilege as the bigger person by sending someone I love, and who loves me, to what is essentially solitary confinement if they don't express their emotions the way I want them to or in a way that is "socially acceptable" (whatever that means) is not my idea of a superior model of good manners. That shouldn't work in the "adult world", so why should it work elsewhere? A good manner of behavior, I've come to understand, is the manner of love. Depending upon the situation, lots of actions can be well-considered and loving. Children will know that you don't like something if you tell them. While telling them how you feel may not immediately change their feelings or the way they express them, it will show them that you are invested in broadening their emotional intelligence. Sending them away is a coercive threat that changes the behavior, yes, but out of fear, rather than understanding. If I am spoken to out of anger, I can't expect an authentic improvement of understanding if I react by asserting my power as the bigger person. I get frustrated and I say so. I get sad/mad/angry/upset and I say so. Sometimes I have a hard time controlling my tone of voice, and sometimes I have to apologize for the way I speak out of anger. I ask for space and do my best to control my own body to take it, by finding a quiet room or by paying attention to my breathing. These are all things that young people are able to do, too. They are coping strategies that I hope to model as positive and powerful, because they are. These things are acceptable ways to cope for all involved parties. But, when I begin asserting myself as the dominant, and take advantage of powers I have that they don't, I'm not modeling something that they can practice and I'm losing something valuable - the chance to work it out as an equal to the other person involved. As an equal is how I expect people to resolve conflict out in the world, so why would it be different in our home, just because the person is younger than me? Can I teach a child to resolve a conflict as my equal if I'm always asserting my dominance in an assumed hierarchy?

 

I have beliefs and principals that guide the way I live in very applied and practical ways. I do a lot of things that, to some people, are not "socially acceptable". I assume that my children will, too. So I do not ask myself, "How do I teach them the socially acceptable way to behave". Instead, I ask myself "How do I model conflict resolution with equality and empathy?" and "How can I find the source of the behavior? Why is it making me uncomfortable? Where is it coming from? Why am I responding this way? Why are they responding this way? How can we better communicate our needs together? How do I use this challenge to come to a deeper understanding of this person that I love? How do I speak and behave in a way that promotes a sense of emotional safety?". Sometimes not all the questions are answered before the problem is resolved. But by asking them, both inwardly and out loud, I can really stand behind what I do on principal. The "manners" that I value are not simply aesthetic. They're about a real understanding for people's feelings and I intend on practicing what I preach.

I wouldnt define telling a child he/she has to be seperated from the family until they pick better words to be "solitary confinement".

Solitary confinement is when an authority locks you up in bars until they decide you are coming out, treats you disrespectfully, makes you use the toilet in front of everyone.............

If a child is not getting the message that they have to learn to communicate properly, how will they EVER esgtablish the self control to stop themselves?

I understand how you feel and I wish it were that simple for me. I've come to believe that kids need some boundaries to learn.

We talk about EVERYTHING, but sometimes words dont teach.

My kids picked up "stupid" this year and it is not a nice word. DH and I don't use words that are strictly for insulting or hurting another person to each other or even in conversation- so modeling the way to communicate wasnt enough for this. I buckled down and told them to step into their rooms until they could figure out better words. The word is almost phased out now, because they dont want to waste their time.

The thing is, we as parents have to be in charge. Children are children. They are new and dont know. Being in charge doesnt mean asserting dominance in the wrong way.

Someone has to be the grown up, and they need us to teach them.


 


Yes, your example of solitary confinement is a bit more dramatic, but honestly, I think that sending children away when we don't like how they behave is punitive and it doesn't "teach" them how to have manners.  It teaches them to measure themselves against someone else's approval.  The lesson they actually learn is if I have a conflict or problem with someone, I can withold my approval and use my power to force them to conform to what I want.  So many adults get stuck on this very issue, seeking love and approval from outside of themselves.  I'd much rather teach my children in a way that they have an internal sense of right and wrong, one that isn't swayed by someone else's love or approval.

 

It is completely ok and very necessary to set boundaries as a parent.  However, I would argue that there is no such thing as setting boundaries for your children.  I think it's an illusion that we can set a boundary for another person.  We set them for ourselves.  It is perfectly valid to say, "I don't want to be called stupid and I'd like you to find another way to talk to me".  No one can argue with you when you set your own boundaries.  But if you tell a child "You do not speak to me that way" they could argue with that statement (uh, I just did mom), it comes across as patronizing in my opinion.  It's more honest and much more powerful to state your needs as just that, your needs.  It gives them permission to do the same and teaching kids to ask for what they want in a clear way from others is pretty powerful.

 

Whenever I hear someone say things like "children need to learn.....fill in the blank", I think there is an underlying belief that children are not social beings, that left to their own devices, they would never do the right thing.  I just don't believe that to be true.  I think children are inherently social and that they do want to be kind.  Will they test things out and make mistakes?  Of course, and we are free to advocate for our own needs as parents and ask for what we want from our children.

 

My children are very kind people, they are polite to others and genuinely caring.  I didn't force any of those lessons on them or use fear to get that behavior.  I treat them kindly (and apologize when I slip, I am human after all), model polite behavior.  They have their moments when their emotions short circuit or they get angry but we work through it.  I don't focus on the behavior, I look to the root cause of the behavior and it makes a huge difference.

 

Help I'm stepping into the Twilight Zone  sorry couldn't resist LOL

KoalaMama likes this.

Christine, mom to ds Myles(3/02),dd Zoie(1/05), ds Sojourn(1/07) and dsd Saige(10/94).  Professional hand analyst, WAHM.
Discover your child's biggest challenge and truly Parent on Purpose
www.christinegulrajani.com
moon girl is offline  
#15 of 28 Old 01-09-2011, 06:29 AM
 
khaoskat's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 2,366
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My now 7 1/2 year old loves that word too.  No matter how much I explained how bad of a word it was, he wouldn't get it.  So, what I started doing was letting him know when he says certain words he has to pay me $1 (or could be 25 cents)  (and it is words like hate, stupid, etc).  That seems to have curbed it a lot.

 

khaoskat is offline  
#16 of 28 Old 01-09-2011, 07:48 AM
 
McGucks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: among the wildflowers
Posts: 1,250
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Don't have time to read all the other responses, only wanted to mention that my older son, who is now 15 and remarkably polite (if I do say so myself--but it is a descriptor about him I hear from others often enough to know it's not just momma pride) went through about a 6 month period...when he was around 5...during which, when he was mad at me, called me "stoopie mommy."  As someone above said, though I'm not stupid, I didn't like hearing it--especially when he loudly and publicly would say it.  I was pretty consistent (as I remember it) in saying "I am a smart mommy, and you need to use nicer words."  Now we kind of joke about it.  I think this is a "this too shall pass" candidate.  Try not to take it too seriously.  Kids say all kinds of mess.  They still love us and we still love them.  Good luck.


 sleepytime.gif I got tired of my signature, but I still love my children and husband and miss my little brotherkid.gif

McGucks is offline  
#17 of 28 Old 01-09-2011, 09:28 AM
 
heartmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In the bat cave with Irishmommy
Posts: 6,262
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

 

Quote:
In our family: "That's a rude word and it's not the way we talk to each other in our family."   If he continues talking that way, he can go to his room until he can think of words that don't hurt people's feelings and can apologize.  You're doing him a favor by letting him know what's socially acceptable.

 

This is what we did too and honestly ds got the point fast and we never had a big issue with this long term. He is a very polite teen now (most of the time!).


Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
heartmama is offline  
#18 of 28 Old 01-09-2011, 10:25 AM
 
Callimom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 3,000
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)



Separating oneself from someone who is speaking rudely or unkindly is not (always) punitive - it's often a logical consequence and as an adult it's a strategy I employ and see put into play regularly.  Now from a practical standpoint at home it makes more sense for the child to be the one to be removed from the common living space. As the adult in the home I am most likely doing work that benefits the family, supervising other children, preparing meals etc and so to remove myself in our small house means that work wouldn't get done or my children wouldn't be properly supervised. (not an issue now but it was when I had littles).  I agree with the idea that we need to start with clearly stating our needs/boundaries and by explaining to children the implications of their choices. But I also think it's important that the logical consequences of a situation be experienced as much as possible by the child  rather than have them be imposed on the rest of the family (as would be the case of the mother had to continue to remove herself from the child - which I also think can be more emotionally damaging than "exile").   I also think that in an effort to avoid power plays with children some parents misguidedly hand over an unhealthy amount of power to the children which doesn't benefit anyone. 

 

OP - one of the best things we ever did as a family was to work out a set of family rules (which are more principles really)  which the kids participated in drafting and which to my delight have covered almost every sticky situation we have found ourselves in  as a family or in our social interactions.  One of those "rules" is to be kind and so when we went through the testing phase all I had to do was ask my kids if they thought those words were kind.  Rarely did we see any repeats of those sorts of comments.

Good luck.

Karen

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by moon girl View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2happy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by habitat View Post

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by chaimom

 

Frankly, I know I'm not stupid, but I still wouldn't like being called stupid. No one would, kid or adult.  Kids need to know that talk like that is unacceptable and other people don't like it.

 

In our family: "That's a rude word and it's not the way we talk to each other in our family."   If he continues talking that way, he can go to his room until he can think of words that don't hurt people's feelings and can apologize.  You're doing him a favor by letting him know what's socially acceptable.

 

I understand what you're saying about how important and powerful language is, and how crucial it is that our children understand its potency and how to use it appropriately. Still, asserting my dominance and privilege as the bigger person by sending someone I love, and who loves me, to what is essentially solitary confinement if they don't express their emotions the way I want them to or in a way that is "socially acceptable" (whatever that means) is not my idea of a superior model of good manners. That shouldn't work in the "adult world", so why should it work elsewhere? A good manner of behavior, I've come to understand, is the manner of love. Depending upon the situation, lots of actions can be well-considered and loving. Children will know that you don't like something if you tell them. While telling them how you feel may not immediately change their feelings or the way they express them, it will show them that you are invested in broadening their emotional intelligence. Sending them away is a coercive threat that changes the behavior, yes, but out of fear, rather than understanding. If I am spoken to out of anger, I can't expect an authentic improvement of understanding if I react by asserting my power as the bigger person. I get frustrated and I say so. I get sad/mad/angry/upset and I say so. Sometimes I have a hard time controlling my tone of voice, and sometimes I have to apologize for the way I speak out of anger. I ask for space and do my best to control my own body to take it, by finding a quiet room or by paying attention to my breathing. These are all things that young people are able to do, too. They are coping strategies that I hope to model as positive and powerful, because they are. These things are acceptable ways to cope for all involved parties. But, when I begin asserting myself as the dominant, and take advantage of powers I have that they don't, I'm not modeling something that they can practice and I'm losing something valuable - the chance to work it out as an equal to the other person involved. As an equal is how I expect people to resolve conflict out in the world, so why would it be different in our home, just because the person is younger than me? Can I teach a child to resolve a conflict as my equal if I'm always asserting my dominance in an assumed hierarchy?

 

I have beliefs and principals that guide the way I live in very applied and practical ways. I do a lot of things that, to some people, are not "socially acceptable". I assume that my children will, too. So I do not ask myself, "How do I teach them the socially acceptable way to behave". Instead, I ask myself "How do I model conflict resolution with equality and empathy?" and "How can I find the source of the behavior? Why is it making me uncomfortable? Where is it coming from? Why am I responding this way? Why are they responding this way? How can we better communicate our needs together? How do I use this challenge to come to a deeper understanding of this person that I love? How do I speak and behave in a way that promotes a sense of emotional safety?". Sometimes not all the questions are answered before the problem is resolved. But by asking them, both inwardly and out loud, I can really stand behind what I do on principal. The "manners" that I value are not simply aesthetic. They're about a real understanding for people's feelings and I intend on practicing what I preach.

I wouldnt define telling a child he/she has to be seperated from the family until they pick better words to be "solitary confinement".

Solitary confinement is when an authority locks you up in bars until they decide you are coming out, treats you disrespectfully, makes you use the toilet in front of everyone.............

If a child is not getting the message that they have to learn to communicate properly, how will they EVER esgtablish the self control to stop themselves?

I understand how you feel and I wish it were that simple for me. I've come to believe that kids need some boundaries to learn.

We talk about EVERYTHING, but sometimes words dont teach.

My kids picked up "stupid" this year and it is not a nice word. DH and I don't use words that are strictly for insulting or hurting another person to each other or even in conversation- so modeling the way to communicate wasnt enough for this. I buckled down and told them to step into their rooms until they could figure out better words. The word is almost phased out now, because they dont want to waste their time.

The thing is, we as parents have to be in charge. Children are children. They are new and dont know. Being in charge doesnt mean asserting dominance in the wrong way.

Someone has to be the grown up, and they need us to teach them.


 


Yes, your example of solitary confinement is a bit more dramatic, but honestly, I think that sending children away when we don't like how they behave is punitive and it doesn't "teach" them how to have manners.  It teaches them to measure themselves against someone else's approval.  The lesson they actually learn is if I have a conflict or problem with someone, I can withold my approval and use my power to force them to conform to what I want.  So many adults get stuck on this very issue, seeking love and approval from outside of themselves.  I'd much rather teach my children in a way that they have an internal sense of right and wrong, one that isn't swayed by someone else's love or approval.

 

It is completely ok and very necessary to set boundaries as a parent.  However, I would argue that there is no such thing as setting boundaries for your children.  I think it's an illusion that we can set a boundary for another person.  We set them for ourselves.  It is perfectly valid to say, "I don't want to be called stupid and I'd like you to find another way to talk to me".  No one can argue with you when you set your own boundaries.  But if you tell a child "You do not speak to me that way" they could argue with that statement (uh, I just did mom), it comes across as patronizing in my opinion.  It's more honest and much more powerful to state your needs as just that, your needs.  It gives them permission to do the same and teaching kids to ask for what they want in a clear way from others is pretty powerful.

 

Whenever I hear someone say things like "children need to learn.....fill in the blank", I think there is an underlying belief that children are not social beings, that left to their own devices, they would never do the right thing.  I just don't believe that to be true.  I think children are inherently social and that they do want to be kind.  Will they test things out and make mistakes?  Of course, and we are free to advocate for our own needs as parents and ask for what we want from our children.

 

My children are very kind people, they are polite to others and genuinely caring.  I didn't force any of those lessons on them or use fear to get that behavior.  I treat them kindly (and apologize when I slip, I am human after all), model polite behavior.  They have their moments when their emotions short circuit or they get angry but we work through it.  I don't focus on the behavior, I look to the root cause of the behavior and it makes a huge difference.

 

Help I'm stepping into the Twilight Zone  sorry couldn't resist LOL




Blessed partner to a great guy, and mama to 4 amazing kids. Unfortunate target of an irrationally angry IRL stalker.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~ Buddha

Callimom is offline  
#19 of 28 Old 04-09-2014, 06:49 AM
 
lovingnteaching's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I am with "moongirl", what I like about her words is they don't tell me if Im wrong or right, or if I am a good "social" teacher mom, because that is not what I am looking for here, for that I have my mom, my very strict sisters(which kids are grown, no much to learn there)  but instead moongirl's words tal about what can be learn, on how to react and how can help your child learn about emotions and reactions. Now, that is what I am looking for. My husband and I are always trying to learn how to teach our children about life, and realities, and yes, of course social too, but much of our grown up mistakes come from repressing feeling because "that is not socially acceptable". Learning right ways to express their emotions/feelings (respectfully, kindly even if you wish) is more important and this will carry them on life and hopefully help them make better choices  in life ..

Thank you moongirl!

lovingnteaching is offline  
#20 of 28 Old 04-09-2014, 08:34 AM
 
starling&diesel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: West Coast, Canada
Posts: 3,799
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
We have words that we just don't use in our family. 'Stupid,'' hate,' 'dumb,' and 'boring' come to mind. (I could write a whole other post on the word 'boring.' I know it's not a 'bad' word, but it is one that we don't use in our family.)

This goes along with our unofficial family philosophy, which has been posted at kid-height for the last three years, on 3 laminated notecards:

speak kindly
be mindful
gentle touch

Those are our family 'rules.' That's it. Just three.

I actually posted if for me in the beginning, when my oldest was coming into her own and I felt the urge to be more forceful than I wanted to be, either physically, mentally, or verbally. But then it became our family mantra, so to speak.

When our kids are very small, we say, "We don't say ___ in our family. It's a hurtful word. Let's think of another word."
When they're a bit older, we explain more about why we don't say it. That's about the same time that we talk about how other families might do things differently, but in our family we ______. That comes up a lot in other ways too, so it's good to have it as something they're used to hearing. We don't pull it out with a lot of fanfare or dramatics, or even a particular heavy tone or expression. But it's true. It might be acceptable in other families to say 'hate' or 'stupid,' but we don't.
If they did keep using an offensive word, we'd keep our reaction to an absolute minimum and say something like, "I know you can think of a better word." And they always would.
If they didn't, I'm not sure what I'd do. My kids are quite horrified when they hear the words 'stupid' or 'hate' and I can't stand how often they show up in books and stories and movies, but even with that kind of exposure, my kids think they're about equal to adult curse words, which serves us well at the moment.
What would I do if they continued using the word? Hmm. I'm not for censorship at all, and as my kids get older and are able to use the words appropriately instead of as slurs, they can use them all they want.
But right now, their friends and peers who do use those words are almost always using them in a directed, hurtful way, and so long as that's the intent, I'm not okay with it.

Interesting thread. Lots to think about.

dust.gifFour-eyed tattooed fairy godmother queer, mama to my lucky star (5) and little bird (2.5). Resident storyteller at www.thestoryforest.com. Enchanting audiostories for curious kids. Come play in the forest!
starling&diesel is online now  
#21 of 28 Old 04-09-2014, 09:15 AM
 
luckymamaoftwo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: A beautiful place
Posts: 171
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Starling&diesel, I would love to know what you would do if your child did use those words, especially if they were used in a moment of anger? My daughter uses stupid and hate whenever she gets really, really upset and saying "we don't use that word" does absolutely nothing. So, I'd love some ideas on what you'd do if your child resorted to these types of words. 

luckymamaoftwo is offline  
#22 of 28 Old 04-09-2014, 12:43 PM
 
pranava's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 933
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

My 5 year old DS also experiments with powerful language.  I've gotten plenty of the typical, "I hate you", "you're mean/bossy/stupid/bad/worst mom ever"  along with plenty of plain crass speech like excessive use of the words butt, fart, poop, and actual curse words.  Sometimes he uses these words in anger and sometimes he is just looking to see if he can get away with it.  He's the kind of kid that if you draw a line not to be crossed, he will IMMEDIATELY step over said line.  :irked

 

Also, the whole "we don't say that because it hurts others" does not affect him.  He doesn't much care about the feelings of others when he has strong feelings going on himself.  He is still very much in the egotistical "world centers around me" stage.  

 

When these words are directed at me, I assert my right as a human being to be treated fairly.  This is a lesson I hope he also internalizes.  I say something like,  I do not allow others to speak to me that way or treat me badly, and then I go to another room, or ask him to go to another room.  If someone ever treats him badly, this is what I would want him to do.  This works in the moment, but hasn't stopped the behavior from happening the next time.

 

What seems to be working lately, is having discussions about respect and how good it feels when people respect him.  We talk about how to earn the respect of others by being a respectable person, and how foul, crass, and demeaning language are not respectable and will not earn him the respect of others.  And of course, I also have to watch that I am respectful of his needs and feelings so he doesn't feel so powerless.  We've been having these conversations for about 3 weeks, and I think it's sinking in - fingers crossed ;)     


Life is strange and wonderful.  Me read.gif, DP lady.gif, DS (3/09) blahblah.gif , 3 dog2.gif  and 4 cat.gif

pranava is offline  
#23 of 28 Old 04-09-2014, 06:23 PM
 
tadamsmar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 297
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)

He's not expressing his anger.  He doing it because it's rewarded with lots of parental attention.

 

Redirect your attention to the civil or polite communication from both boys, the communications that you are currently taking for granted and ignoring.   Celebrate what you want and you will get more of it.

tadamsmar is online now  
#24 of 28 Old 04-10-2014, 05:54 AM
 
tadamsmar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 297
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)

Most parents allow this kind of stuff to trigger them to give attention to the kid, and attention functions a reward so you get more of the unwanted behavior.

 

Instead, focus on what you want.  Catch your children doing that and give that positive attention for that.   Using this method, you can draw your kids toward what you want.

tadamsmar is online now  
#25 of 28 Old 04-11-2014, 12:15 PM
 
vermontgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Northern Vermont
Posts: 2,124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I am pretty laid back about this sort of thing because I am guilty of saying things too when I am frustrated. I have a five year old, and she is pretty sweet but when she says something of this sort, I just say something like this:

 

"Hey! That is rude!" 

 

Or

 

"Nah, I am not stupid, but I can tell you are frustrated with me. Can you find a nicer way to tell me that?"

 

Or sometimes i even get silly. 

 

"Actually, I am not stupid. I am stupit (with a t), but you are not stupid or stupit. You are VERY smart and cool." 

 

If she was to keep being rude, I would ask her to give me space and maybe even tell her that I would like her to go read books or do art until she feels better. 

 

I don't like to freak out about the small stuff. 

starling&diesel likes this.

Living the Joyful life as a mama of three beautiful children who are just right the way they are.

I blog at www.saboss.blogspot.com chicken3.gif

vermontgirl is offline  
#26 of 28 Old 04-11-2014, 01:27 PM
 
Spiderpig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Gone forever
Posts: 540
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Vermontgirl, that's a good way of cummunicating. Nice and clear cut, leaving no room for misunderstandings. :)

Spiderpig is offline  
#27 of 28 Old 04-12-2014, 10:09 PM
 
starling&diesel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: West Coast, Canada
Posts: 3,799
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
In the heat of the moment, when I use words that I wouldn't normally use, I feel badly.
When my kids say hurtful things to each other, I take care of the offended person, and when the moment has diffused, the other child (if not both) will talk about other ways of communicating. At 39 I still say things that I'm not proud of, on occasion. I can empathize.
I do try to be generous with understanding and the benefit of the doubt when I hear my kid verbally act out in frustration, anger or hurt. So long as the intention to hurt isn't there, it makes it easier to talk about other ways of getting your message across.
I don't demand a big long process in the moment, other than to let them know that it's not okay.
But when we talk about it later, I make sure that they fully understand the impact of their words, and how powerful they are. I make sure they know how the other person felt, and if it's me, I'll say something like, "When you were so mad about your broken ____ earlier and you called me stupid, it hurt my feelings. I know you don't think I'm stupid. I know that you were frustrated/angry/disappointed. Next time you feel the urge to use a word that is hurtful or untrue, thing of a different one instead. What are some ideas? Shnoozaramadingdong? Hoogleflubber?" Humor rocks.

dust.gifFour-eyed tattooed fairy godmother queer, mama to my lucky star (5) and little bird (2.5). Resident storyteller at www.thestoryforest.com. Enchanting audiostories for curious kids. Come play in the forest!
starling&diesel is online now  
#28 of 28 Old 04-13-2014, 01:38 AM
 
Spiderpig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Gone forever
Posts: 540
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks, I'll remember that! :)

Spiderpig is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off