Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In the bat cave with Irishmommy
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It's impossible for someone online to make the distinction between a harmless phase or a serious underlying issue for your own specific child. Only you can make that call.
If you are just asking whether it's possible for a child to say things like this without there actually being an underlying "problem", then my opinion is "yes, absolutely". Again this is just my personal opinion, but unless my child were otherwise acting unusual (eating or sleeping badly, not wanting to play etc.) then the use of "powerful words" during an angry outburst wouldn't alarm me. Children experiment with powerful phrases at all stages of their development. It isn't just at age 3 or 4 that kids try out "shocking" statements. Children of all ages struggle to manage strong emotions. "I want to die" has fantastic shock value and kids from preschool to teens are apt to use it when they are emotional. I don't think this is "manipulation" so much as experimentation. I would focus on helping my child learn to manage strong emotions without resorting to shocking or dramatic statements. I would want them to learn that such statements are counter productive to getting their needs met, since they tend to confuse and upset others, and distract totally from the real underlying emotions (frustration, anger, etc.). Role playing, trying out different statements to use instead, talking about death and what it really means to say "I want to die" etc. I would engage in lots of dialogue, and then following up with encouragment to use more accurate words to express strong/angry emotions.
Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray