"hate", guns, and rock and roll - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 05-16-2010, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't posted for awhile but I need some expert mothering help! I am completely thrown off guard by 4!! We have had it mild since about a month ago... Anyway...so my almost 4 year old DS out of nowhere seemingly "hates" everything..including me if I have to direct his behavior. He has also started gun play (we have none and discourage-also don't watch violent anything- but recognize that it is something that lots of boys get in to) and loves rock and roll. As you know with yours, outside of all of this adolescent like behavior he is an extremely sweet boy full of "iloveyou" and kisses.

I would greatly appreciate some tips on any of the following...

1. responding to "hate" in general..(I usually redirect to "i don't like" but I am not sure if it is becoming a power thing to ignore that)

2. responding or not responding to "I hate you mommy" ( I usually just say something like "well I will always love you"

3. How to address gun play(currently we tell him how dangerous guns can be and how they hurt people and often he says he will keep them in his pocket and that he is only using them to protect against bad guys) It makes me uncofortable but it is unnavoidable with other boys..and I don't want to make a bigger deal than it is...

4. How closely to watch song lyrics at this age.. We don't let him listen to anything outright but there is certainly innuendo

5. Is there ever a good time for a time out at age 4?


Thanks for anything!!

Married to CH (2005) and mother to DS1 (6/2006), DS2 (8/2008) and DS3 Sept 22nd, 2011!   

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#2 of 9 Old 05-16-2010, 10:26 PM
 
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1. I don't mind so I don't change it.
2. I don't like but I tried to respond to the anger rather than the hate. It was a short lived phase.
3. I addressed gun play the same way but I also tell dd that I prefer it if she doesn't play with the gun and usually she is fine with that. I also redirect the play so the gun shoots out glue to stick the bad guy to the ground or something like that rather than killing the bad guy when the kids she is playing with are insistant on keeping the gun in the game.
4. I try to listen to a blend of kids music from different kid artists and some of my music as well. I censor songs about blatant sex, killing, or suicide but not other songs.
5. I have only used time-out twice with dd and both times were for hitting me. When dd did that I snapped both times and needed her sitting down and not near me while I regrouped. Don't underestimate the power of discussion, I have found that it works with almost every issue. How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk was a really helpful book for me when dd was this age.
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#3 of 9 Old 05-18-2010, 02:18 AM
 
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the word hate is not big deal in my home in fact I hate lots of things, including condiments and certain noises.
I know some people draw the line at hating people but I think I might address hate as, "that's very strong word for being angry with so and so"

I often see people trying to make their kids more innocent than they really are and words like Hate and gun play take away from this perceived innocence of childhood.
I try and protect my kids from things that will harm them but I think playing guns is not harmful in the least. There are articles that say the same.
If your son promises to keep his gun in his pocket maybe just let him take it out when he is playing with other boys who enjoy the same game. When he is playing with you or kids who don't do gun play he needs to put away.
My kids also listen to R&R and they don't understand innuendos so it is really no big deal.

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#4 of 9 Old 05-18-2010, 09:08 AM
 
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1. responding to "hate" in general..(I usually redirect to "i don't like" but I am not sure if it is becoming a power thing to ignore that)-- Hate's not too big a deal here, I don't encourage it but i don't make a big deal either--I handle the same as you do.
2. responding or not responding to "I hate you mommy" ( I usually just say something like "well I will always love you" I would usually just say that hurts my feelings, sorry she feels that way, but she still must put on her pajamas, etc...
3. How to address gun play(currently we tell him how dangerous guns can be and how they hurt people and often he says he will keep them in his pocket and that he is only using them to protect against bad guys) It makes me uncofortable but it is unnavoidable with other boys..and I don't want to make a bigger deal than it is...I have a little girl, so no interest in gun play. She is interested in playing "girlfriend and boyfriend" and that is a whole other ball of wax to deal with.4. How closely to watch song lyrics at this age.. We don't let him listen to anything outright but there is certainly innuendo--Ugh, I never thought I would turn into crusty censor lady, but TikTok by Ke$hia? Catchiest beat, worst lyrics for a 4 year to be singing out loud. DD can memorize most of song after two hearings and it is always on the radio in the car. Lately I have been going right to cd's. I have gained a new appreciation for Hannah Montana--commercial, yes, but at least she can sing the songs without making me blanch.
5. Is there ever a good time for a time out at age 4? I do timeouts for hitting, too. AT this point, it's more of a go to your room for a bit when she gets really wound up and breaks out "the windmill" because she doesn't want to do something. It gives both of us a chance to calm down. DD just turned five. The first 6 months of Four were really hard, the last six months have been great, and so far Five is pretty reasonable.
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#5 of 9 Old 05-18-2010, 09:38 AM
 
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Can anyone point to some good articles about the normalcy and innocuousness of gun play?

My 4yo is also heavily into it - he does not have, and nor do any of his friends have, a gun toy, but uses gun-shaped sticks and the like.

I don't make a big deal of it, but it does make me uncomfortable, and I want to examine that and come to terms with it - as well as be able to talk about it intelligently with the parents of his younger friends who are startled by it (their kids not having been to school yet, not exposed to the idea of guns & bad guys yet).

DS 12/22/05 and DD 5/24/09
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#6 of 9 Old 05-18-2010, 01:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hipumpkins View Post
the word hate is not big deal in my home in fact I hate lots of things, including condiments and certain noises.
I know some people draw the line at hating people but I think I might address hate as, "that's very strong word for being angry with so and so"
I agree. My son was big on "hate" when he was 3. I never made a big deal of it, it was just his way for saying he didn't like something or someone at any given moment. There are things I hate, too, and people. There's nothing wrong with feeling that way.

My kids also play guns . . . I don't think it's any different than playing vet, or family, or doctor or superhero, or dog, or whatever else they want to pretend. They understand that it's pretend and that real guns are not toys.

We don't censor movies, music, or anything . . . song lyrics have led to some terrific discussions between my kids and I.

We don't do timeouts (who are these children who actually sit where they're told and stay there??) but I will send my kids to their room if they're being unbearable, hitting, or taking toys from each other/other kids. I can't remember the last time I had to do it with my daughter (who is 7), and my son goes weeks without being sent himself . . . but it's effective when they need to calm down and think about their behavior.

Proud Anti-Adoption, Atheist, Reproductive-Freedom Fighter Mama
Rylie is 7, Ronin is 3.5
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#7 of 9 Old 05-18-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Limabean1975 View Post
Can anyone point to some good articles about the normalcy and innocuousness of gun play?
Watch the Kindergarten segment of Raising Cain. The program is chronological - the first is about infancy, the second is preschool, and the third is about Violent Fantasy Play in Kindergarten boys. That's the one you want.

Active or Aggressive is an article on the PBS site which addresses some of the same issues.

Quote:
In their fantasy play, boys turn sticks into guns, balloons into bombs, and pencils into swords....
I think Michael Thompson's work is very good for understanding boys and violent play (and other 'boy' issues). He brings up points like:

Violent fantasy play is about expressing power.
It is also a way to gain control over scary or powerful feelings.

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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#8 of 9 Old 05-18-2010, 04:00 PM
 
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Thanks, Asusan!

DS 12/22/05 and DD 5/24/09
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#9 of 9 Old 05-18-2010, 04:18 PM
 
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It's pretty normal. Gun play has always been fairly popular in my house. We don't discourage it at all, just enforce some rules about it. My older son never went through the hate stage, but my almost 4 year old is going through it now. We've talked about not liking things, but mama doesn't like to hear "I hate you". He's doing pretty well about saying "I don't like....." instead lately.

And my kid always asks for rock and roll. Not that he has any idea the difference between rock and roll and not rock and roll. They listen to what I listen to, nothing too terrible, but I don't mind a few bad words here and there. There are plenty of songs that I don't let them hear, but those are pretty extreme songs that I don't even like.
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