My first "I hate you" how do I deal with this? - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-04-2005, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So my 3 1/3 year old Madeline was playing with Olivia in the living room as I went and got their clothes ready for the day. After I was finished I asked the girls to come into the bedroom. Maddy SCREAMS "NO!!!" I asked again nicely... again another scream (she's been yelling at me basically all morning... she had a bit of ice cream last night and while I thought it was natural red coloring.. I'm suspecting it was not... she acts out TERRIBLY with red food coloring)

So I asked her why she felt she needed to scream, she yelled at me again and then struck out at me (we don't hit in this house...) so I told her that if she was going to hit she had to go into her room for a bit until she could act nicely. She then screamed again and wouldn't come with me. I picked her up and put her on her bed and walked out... saying she could come out as soon as she felt she was able to be nice.

So what follows me out the room? My very first ever "I HATE YOU! I REALLY HATE YOU!"

She didn't get that from me!!!! She continued to scream I hate you's and I don't love you's while I cried sitting on the floor outside of her room.

I've never had to deal with this! What should I do! Suggestions (any and all) will be welcomed. All I could think of to say was "well I love you"

I am so sad right now

Tammy
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Old 02-04-2005, 07:04 PM
 
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We haven't gotten to that stage yet, but I just wanted to offer you some empathy...my eyes teared up just thinking about how yucky that must feel for you.

I guess you just need to try and keep in mind that she is exploring emotions, and the power of words, and that she is using words to express feeling really mad at having to go to her room. She has little power over where she is (as you have told her to stay in her room), but she still has power over what comes out of her mouth. Try to take comfort in the fact that she doesn't know or understand the power in those words, and that she really doesn't hate you.

If i were you, after things have settled down abit, I would go talk to her about what she said and explain that it really made you sad.

Hugs mama,
Anno
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Old 02-06-2005, 04:50 PM
 
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"Yeah yeah yeah, I know. Get your coat on anyway."

Be flat. If it is colouring or whatever, she is not really in control.

"Yeah yeah yeah, I know. You can't hit me though. I'm (change the subject)..>"

Flat. Real flat.

a

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Old 02-06-2005, 04:56 PM
 
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My DD said it to me (well, she said the "I hate" part and then stopped). She looked so scared after she said it that I just gave her a hug and said that I know how it feels to be so angry that you want to say something mean but it's important to try to not use hurtful words.
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Old 02-06-2005, 05:17 PM
 
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I usually say, That's fine, you can hate me but you still have to xyz. Or just validate what they are saying, Yes, i hear you that you are angry and you hate me but I still love you and you still have to xyz.

I am really into repeating what I hear so they know I hear them. Loving me is optional, I will still love them. plus I know they dont mean it.
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Old 02-06-2005, 08:17 PM
 
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That must be really tough to hear..

I'm not at that stage either as ds is 17 mos and I cringe just thinking he may say that one day. I read in my most cherished parenting books that when they say "I hate you" basically it means "I don't like what you're doing/saying" and/or feel hurt and try to take revenge by saying something awful to hurt you.

So I would say something along the lines of "You feel upset because you don't want to go". Validate her feelings and move on.

Hugs!
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Old 02-06-2005, 08:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chanley
I usually say, That's fine, you can hate me but you still have to xyz. Or just validate what they are saying, Yes, i hear you that you are angry and you hate me but I still love you and you still have to xyz.

I am really into repeating what I hear so they know I hear them. Loving me is optional, I will still love them. plus I know they dont mean it.
Exactly! This is how I handled it too. Saying, "I hate you!" is a very normal 3-year-old thing to say. I bet they all say it (both my girls did when they were 3). They don't really understand the implications of what they're saying. Please don't get your feelings hurt. By the time they are 4 they develop a little more tact and self-control. Just stay calm and don't give them the satisfaction of wounding you.

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Old 02-06-2005, 10:18 PM
 
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We started a sort-of-list of "Strong" words. Hate tops the list. In the thick of "the moment" we do the "Flat. Real Flat." thing too. But then we have worked on having our son understand what we mean when we say "'Hate' is a strong word." [Or what ever. FYI "Stupid" is #2 on list] Usually he calms down pretty fast and says sorry, not what I meant, etc. He does still balk at what ever got him started, but he is much easier to deal with, etc.
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Old 02-07-2005, 09:20 PM
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I would probably be shocked, hurt, ect too...but I think it is normal at that age because children are feeling out that they can get strong reactions from people, also that they may not have the words to adequetely express themselves, they don't know the impact of how strong that word can be yet, and they are still working on impulse control (crap, so am i and I am 27 : )

I would wait til everyone is calm, but not too long after the incident to first validate her feelings "I understand you were very angry at mommy because ______ but mommy wasn't doing that to be mean, she was _________ but we should be careful because words can hurt and mommy felt hurt when you said _______"

something along those lines, varied of course to what works...basically, validate her feelings, validate your feelings (without guilt trips) and offer alternative solutions...

good luck!!
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Old 02-07-2005, 10:37 PM
 
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My 3 yr. old has started saying, "I don't like you!" lately--when he's upset or frustrated. A couple of "you're a bad mommy!"s, too. I've been surprised that I don't take it personally--it's just so obvious that he's expressing his frustration with me for doing/not doing something he would like. And at that moment he probably *doesn't* like me! :LOL

I think it's important to not gloss over ("yeah, yeah, yeah" seems too dismissive for me). I really try to empathize and help name his feelings, "I know, buddy. You're really upset that we have to leave, huh?" or "You're really disappointed that I don't want to play hide 'n seek right now, huh? I'm sorry, I'm just too tired right now. How about library books, instead?" (as my tired, pregnant self wants to lay on the couch).

And if it really does hurt your feelings, then I would definitely talk about it later.

I emathize on the food sensitivities--it can make normal situations absolutely explosive, no? Dairy is my son's "angry maker!"
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Old 02-08-2005, 12:44 AM
 
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I have done several things.

I have commiserated ("I know it's tough to have to do blah, blah, blah").

I have reasoned ("Wow. That was a mean thing to say. Do you really hate me or are you just very angry right now?").

I have educated ("Do you know what 'I hate you' means?").

I have been educated ("What do you mean when you say you hate me?")

I have gone for the sympathy ("You hate me?! I am so sad! How could you say that to me?").

I have turned and walked away.

I have gone over and instantly hugged the "offending party".

But, I have never, never let it hurt my feelings. Because I know it's not true. People get angry and say mean things, sometimes.

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Old 02-08-2005, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That you guys so much for all of your support and help. It means the world to me. What I settled on doing was (when she did it again... today ... sigh)

" I know that you are very angry right now because mommy wants you to have some quiet time (it was nap time) but I think that you can find a better way of telling me that you are mad can't you?"

to which she responded... "I'm so mad because I was watching Dora and you want me to sleep! I want to watch dora!"

I really didn't give her time to change gears... I just turned off the tv and told her it was nap time. We agreed that next time I'll set the timer for 5 minutes and when it goes off then that means nap time.

We'll have a go of it tomorrow and see how that goes!

Tammy
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Old 02-09-2005, 06:09 PM
 
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That "I hate you " hurts so much! it is interesting the only time I got that from my dd was when she was strung out on junk that someone else gave her.

Besides the behavioral advice...

find out the ingredients in the ice cream...see if there is red food colouring...or preservatives

don't give her red food coloring. It isn't fair to her. You are basically causing her out of control bad behavior...It is like someone slipping you a drug in your drink. Would you be able to behave if someone slipped you a drug? Not fair is it(I am not trying to sound harsh-just you need to be fair to your daughter

Parenting is so tough!
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Old 02-09-2005, 06:21 PM
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That you guys so much for all of your support and help. It means the world to me. What I settled on doing was (when she did it again... today ... sigh)

" I know that you are very angry right now because mommy wants you to have some quiet time (it was nap time) but I think that you can find a better way of telling me that you are mad can't you?"

to which she responded... "I'm so mad because I was watching Dora and you want me to sleep! I want to watch dora!"

I really didn't give her time to change gears... I just turned off the tv and told her it was nap time. We agreed that next time I'll set the timer for 5 minutes and when it goes off then that means nap time.

We'll have a go of it tomorrow and see how that goes!

Tammy
Good job mama! You validated her feelings, offered an alternative, she explained in an alternative way, you both made an agreement...awesome! What I would probably do now is remind her of the aggreement gently---don't harrass her lol...just casually mention a couple of times near nap time "remember we agreed that after dora we would lay down? Remember when we said we would set the timer,"...etc...so she feels some control over her "fate" (the nap lol) as it were and knows what to expect..

let us know!
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Old 02-10-2005, 03:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Nap time has gone GREAT the past couple of times now!!!!! I can't believe the difference!

Oh and I KNOW she has red food dye allergies. She has not had one speck of red food dye in about 8 months before this. But we went to the local ice cream place and she had a banana split (part of one) and I thought that the strawberry sauce was just that... strawberries. I never would have given it to her had I even a smidgen of an idea that it would not have been natural... now I know My bad

Tammy
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