"She hit me!" - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 03-27-2005, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
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The other night my son and I were playing on the bed, and he pulled my hair accidently. We talked about it, that it hurt, and he needed to be careful, and he was very sweet -- patted my head and said "Sorry Mama!" like he almost always does when he accidently hurts anyone.

However, about 5 minutes later, he deliberately grabbed a handful of hair and yanked. I yelped pretty loud before I could help myself and rolled away from him in the bed, telling him "No, that hurts Mama, that's NOT NICE!" I didn't yell, but my voice was certainly very angry.

Well, he dissolved in a fit of tears and upset and went running for Daddy. Daddy said "What happened?" and Nate said "SHE HIT ME!"


I most certainly did not hit him, I have never hit him, and neither has any other adult. In trying to figure out why he would say that, I think maybe he didn't know what to do with my anger -- it felt hostile to him and felt like hitting? Does that seem plausible to anyone else?

At 2.5, he's a very (very, very) verbal child and will usually tell me "Mama, I'm angry; I'm frustrated; I'm sad; I'm _________." So this accusation of hitting just seems really strange to me.

Anyone else ever dealt with this?

Mama to Nate (11/02) and due 4/12/11
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#2 of 6 Old 03-27-2005, 03:50 PM
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My ds, very verbal, has always been a big quoter. He is always trying out phrases he has heard in situations that might be appropriate. Your ds might have heard someone, somewhere (at a playground or playdate) ask "what happened" and heard the response "she hit me!" Just a possibility.

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#3 of 6 Old 03-27-2005, 04:42 PM
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Oh, man. My oldest used to do that. When he was four he told his preschool teachers that I hit him with a wire clothes hangar. I don't know where he picked up the distinction between a wire clothes hangar and a plastic one, but there is was. They were awesome about it, told me what happened and told me that they'd looked for bruises on him and didn't see any and felt like there was something else going on. We never figured that one out.

Later, when he was about four, he started saying that we were spanking him any time we disciplined him at all. Our form of "discipline" relied heavily on logical consequences . If you break your toys we throw them in the trash because they could have sharp edges and hurt someone and you're showing us that you don't care about them, that kind of thing. Every time we did anything that he perceived to be discipline, he said we were spanking him and he told the whole world. It was a nightmare.

I'd downplay it, tell her that you did not hit her, and leave it at that. My son used to get really upset when we explained that we weren't spanking him, that he was confused, and it made things about a million times worse.

Actually, I don't have any advice, just want to let you know that you are not the only one.
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#4 of 6 Old 03-27-2005, 05:28 PM
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My daughter came out with that right around two. It would be immediately after some form of thwarting her or getting her to stop something she was doing-once she and DH were playing and she slammed a toy, hard, on the table. He asked her not to do that again. She turned to me and said "Daddy hit me". I was sitting three feet away. She told grandma that I hit her, and told me grandma hit her, several times in one day. Not.

I think it lasted about a week, she never said it again.

As an example of how kids pick up weird phrases, last week we were in the car talking about something, and DD said, "Mom, we forgot the library books." I said, no, I have them right here, patting the seat beside me. DD said "I stand corrected." My jaw about dropped. She is very verbal for 3, but jeez. So a few days later I pop in a Clifford video and I'm watching with her, and sure enough, there is that phrase. At least she used it correctly!
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#5 of 6 Old 03-27-2005, 06:05 PM
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My 2.5 year old has done this too. But I know where she got it from, DH! She hit him in play a couple of times a bit harder than she should have and he said to me "she hit me!" (this was a phase where DD was hitting DH and I was telling him not to be harsh on her, so for a while he would just "tell on her" - yeah thank goodness that didn't last long, honestly it was like having THREE kids, lol). But she has said it when I was right there and she wasn't hit by anybody or anything. ITA with the OP that it's like they have a "bad feeling" in them (frustration, defensiveness, etc) and this is one way to get it out. I don't make an issue out of it at all. It's not lying at that age; they really don't understand that concept yet.

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#6 of 6 Old 03-28-2005, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts!

4evermom, you may very well be right -- he might just be trying on the phrase, seeing how it fits, seeing how we respond. It totally astounds me every day the phrases that he picks up sometimes!

Mothra, we pretty much did what you suggested -- tried not to make a big deal out of it, but explained to him that I didn't hit him. I told him even though I was angry and he heard that, I would never hit him or hurt him because I was angry. I'm trying hard not to overtalk things with him, but it's really difficult sometimes!

pickle it, I'm glad it was a short-lived phase for your daughter. Did you ever get the feeling that she was worried that you would hit her? I think that's one of the things that I'm afraid of. Lately Nate seems to be processing a lot of fears by telling us things have happened to him that he's afraid of (most recently, that he's been bitten by a spider, after he got scared by a spider on my DH's shirt). I want to make sure that he isn't afraid that I'm going to hit him.

Piglet, if my DH did that it'd drive me batty. I definitely agree about not treating it as "lying;" I know he doesn't have any concept of that at his age. I just want to make sure that if there's something serious underlying this (maybe, like I said above, a fear of being hit) that we address it. We are the only non-spankers in our extended families, and I am adamant that he not see any spanking, but at the same time I'm afraid he might be exposed to it and I want to make really, really sure that it's very solid in his mind that his Mama and Daddy are never going to hit him, and aren't going to allow anyone else to do it either.

Okay, that's been a bit wordy, but I really wanted to say thanks to you all for your stories, letting me know I'm not alone, and advice. I really appreciate it. I don't say much in this forum, because so far this parenting ride has been easy for us, but I sure do learn a lot here.

Mama to Nate (11/02) and due 4/12/11
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