I do not understand what my dd says: tantrum - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 02-27-2002, 12:26 AM - Thread Starter
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She is almost 4, very verbal but with a funny, "private", self-made language. Sometimes I do not understand what she says; she repeats hundreds (literally) times, in tears. Best strategy so far has been ignoring; she gradually calms down, asks to nurse and falls asleep, or, just changes topic. If I try to guide her to telling me about it in different words, I just fire her misery.

It sure doesn't sit right with me to ignore her but what should I do?

My dh and I have been using her words, under some criticism from family members, who I begin to think, might have had a point...
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#2 of 4 Old 02-27-2002, 12:58 AM
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My dd (5) does the same thing with the private, made-up language. It is quite clever and complex when she gets going. I've always thought she was very creative, imaginative, and intelligent to do that, so I don't want to stifle it or her. That said, I find it terribly annoying when she talks to me in it and expects me to understand her. I guess some part of me feels it is disrespectful to talk to someone in a language they do not share. I think the response on my part may be somewhat irrational. After all, she is probably just trying to get me to play a game with her, join her in her world, etc. I find that very difficult. Lots of moms on here talk about playing with their children, but I don't do it very well. I do try and am learning, but find that many of the other adults she is close to, do it gladly and willingly so I cut myself some slack. Anyway, I am off an a tangent! What I do is explain to dd that I think she is very funny, clever, etc. and it is good to use her imagination, but that I don't like it and not everyone likes everything, so she can play those games with people who enjoy them, or when she is playing by herself. I do sometimes hear her dolls and toys "talking" to each other in a made-up language.

I don't know if that helps. It is kind of a different situation, but maybe your dd would be able to differentiate times when she can use her language in games and play, and times when she needs to communicate with you in a language you both understand. Of course, you would probably have to talk to her about it when she is not in the middle of a tantrum!

SMC to Sophia, age 15, and Eleanor, age 9, and mother hen to too many nursing students to count!

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#3 of 4 Old 02-27-2002, 08:08 AM
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Your feeling frustrated because you can't talk to her during the tantrum and you feel your ignoring her. I can see where your comming from. But, if she's getting upset when you try to be a part of the trantrum, maybe she's telling you see needs a few moments to rage and be done with it.

I don't think your ignoring her, but if you feel you need to say something, maybe you could say "I'll be X when you need me, I love you" and leave her alone (not necessarily leaving the room).

It's hard, you don't want your daughter to feel alone when she's so upset. However, you said she comes to you when she's done. I think she knows your there for her when she needs you.
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#4 of 4 Old 03-06-2002, 06:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I've found both replies so helpful. I have since let myself be there but not actively participating during a tantrum, no tantrums since!

Sofiamommy, my situation is actually quite similar. Her private language is very creative; and I cannot yet get myself to play with her enough.
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