"I hate you mommy, you're not my best friend!" - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 03-21-2002, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Help please!!!
My ds (3.11 ys - does that mean he'll be 4 in April? He will be, I'm just not sure how to do the number thing) anyways not the reason I'm here....
my ds has lately been saying "I hate you mommy, daddy, I'm not your best friend" whenever he doesn't get his way. For example, he asks for a cookie for breakfast, he asks to have a snack after he's eaten enough for a horse just after he's gotten into bed...etc etc just about each time he's denied something.

We let him know the reason he can't have the cookie/whatever and when he can have it "you can't have a cookie for bfast because it isn't good for you or healthy, but after lunch you can have one." Now some days he's fine with this, but the days he's not----look out ---- not only can he say these hurtful things (although does he really know what it means?) but he has also taken to tossing things around if they are in his path.

Ie last night he fell off the side of the couch onto some of his toys and tossed them (with good force). We have tried to exlain to him his toys may break and he really shouldn't toss them, that the toy didn't hurt him, we suggest he say oh silly toy it hurt my bum, it was in my way... etc..none of it seems to work.

Any suggestions around these ? I am expecting late May and just envision ds trying to toss a crying baby...uugh!
Rose Ann:
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#2 of 9 Old 03-21-2002, 06:54 PM
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My ds age 4 1/2 has been going through almost exactly the same thing; when I told him "no" for whatever reason he would make an angry face and say "I hate you!" It really bothered me at first, but it seems to just be a phase he's going through, because he's doing it a lot less lately. I think kids experiment with different ways of expressing their anger, and they really don't know the depth of hate (unless unfortunately they are exposed to it regularly at home). Whenever ds said "I hate you" I would respond with "I love you", sometimes I would try to explain why he should not tell someone he loves that he hates them, but I think the best thing is to reassure him he's loved and let it go at that. I made the mistake of overreacting emotionally the first time he said it, and that just frightened him.

I don't have any ideas what to do about tossing things, but again he's probably just experimenting with ways to express his temporary anger. I have a 3 month old baby and both kids (dd is 2 1/2) seem to understand that he is a little person too, not something they can hit or throw around. They show a lot of love towards their baby brother and instead of being upset when he cries they seem to empathize with him--maybe kids have the innate capacity for this.

It sounds like you're doing the right thing. Hang in there and good luck!

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#3 of 9 Old 03-22-2002, 04:27 AM
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My boy did this when he was about 2 1/2--he's just turned 3 now. He would say "I dont love you mommy" or "daddy". For everything. I had to sit him down every time, and show him that words are power. Every time he would say it, we would cry (pretend) and tell him how much it hurt our feelings. We would explain that you cannot say things like that, that those words are very powerful and hurt our feelings. He would usually end it by giving us a hug and telling us he does love us.
I think your boy says it because he knows its getting to you, that he gets what he wants. I would really put my foot down, and talk it out to get it to stop, esp. with a new baby coming. Kids will really do whatever you allow them too. They will walk into the road in front of a car if you dont stop them and tell them how dangerous it is. Kids really need guidance, with room to explore themselves. But, it does not hurt a bit, and will hurt you a lot less if you make things clear to them, as to the effect their words and actions have on others.
WHen he throws his toys, he if frustrated, and mad at that toy that it hurt him. So, he acts it out. Get him to do something, maybe try actions, rather than words to get his frustration out. Like, my son, when he gets hurt, growwllllssss a big growl and says "THHaaatttt hhuuurrrttt mmmoooommmm" all stetched out like that. And then I kiss his booboo, and say, "well, if you looked where you were walking, then you would have seen that toy on the floor and you would not have tripped over it. So, next time, look where you are going. OK?" And it is usually Ok.
I had a really hard time with my boy for the first 2 years. I never punished, or guided rather, because even now, I rarely punish. I would just let everything go, thinking that he was just exloring his new life, and it caused me a lot of problems when it all went too far. There just always comes a time, if you want to have a child that is smart, can think for himself, and has knowledge of right and wrong, when you will have to really start with action.

Good Luck, Hope I did not rattle off too much.
Much Love to ya,
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#4 of 9 Old 03-25-2002, 04:49 PM
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Hi, have to be quick, 3 yo is piling up some books for me to read.

I suggest you give him other ways to express anger/frustration. My 3yo shows me how mad he is by holding out his arms" I'm this mad" it gives him something physical to do. Also had him draw a picture the other day, a bunch of squiggly lines to show me how mad he was. I found this defuses him physically wanting to hit or throw things. Also suggest he say "I'm really mad" instead of the hurtful words.

time to read!!!!
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#5 of 9 Old 03-25-2002, 05:00 PM
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I really liked forestmas ideas. We do not allow the word hate in our house, so have not gotten THAT yet. One solution I heard that I liked was to say "we're not talking about ______ (love, hate) right now"

I think that kids need to be able to express themselves. I was always allowed to say I hate you. Of course, I thought I meant it at the time. My ds has been saying "you need to go to jail" which is also not allowed anymore, it is just too mean.

I know this sounds like it's not making any sense. (deep breath)

It's important for them to be able to express their feelings. "You're not my best friend" "I don't love you right now" but there are some lines that just must not be crossed, "I hate you" "you need to go to jail" I also tell ds that it's hard to feel loving feelings when you are angry, I understand, even when he feels like he doesn't love me I know he does. And when I am angry with him, I still love him just as much. There is a really good book about this called "why do you love me?" by Laura Slessinger ( I know some don't like her, I do and it's a good book)
One of the lines is "love is like the sun up in the sky, even on the dark and cloudy days, it is still there even when you can't see it"

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#6 of 9 Old 05-08-2002, 11:31 PM
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Owen went through this from about 2-3 yrs old...

It was SO SAD!!!

He would say "I don't love you anymore! Go to work!" or "mommy, you're not my best friend anymore! Go to work!" (no idea where that go to work thing came from!)

It was a phase.

When he would say it, I would just validate his feelings with "I know that (whatever) makes you feel (whatever), but... ... ..."

And I would talk very gently with him, and rub his back while talking, and have him sit on my lap, or I would hug him, or something totally affectionate.

From this stemmed him saying... "Mommy, you made me so (mad, sad, angry, frustrated)... But I no longer here that he doesn't love me!!!

His newest thing is to say "Mommy, I don't like this day!!"

The phases are hard for us parents to go through, and some times I wanted to loose it on him, but you just have to remember that he wants to see how you react to this... So don't react in a way that would show him it bothers you, and that SHOULD help it pass quicker!!

Good luck! I PROMISE you, you ARE his favorite person, and he REALLY DOES love you more than anything else in the whole world!!


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#7 of 9 Old 05-09-2002, 12:08 AM
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I just posted the same thing a few weeks ago in Gentle Discipline! My daugher tells me "I don't want you, I only want my daddy" when she dosn't get her way.

We were out of yogert the other morning and I didn't have a car - She had the biggest tantrum!

Now that I don't bawl my eyes out anymore. We've talked about it. I asked her (when she was calm) how she feels when she tells me that. She cried and said "I love you mommy, your my best mommy ever". I said "you were feeling angry with me. You can tell me your angry - that's ok". Now when she get's upset I'll say "your feeling angry arn't you?" She'll say "I'm so angry right now, leave me alone" (and I do).

What I learned is that she needed some words to go with her emotions. She has every right to be angry at me, but she was feeling bad that she called me names. She's still telling me stuff like that, but much less often and she'll usually appologize immediately and say "No I'm just angry" now.

Dosn't it just break your heart?
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#8 of 9 Old 05-10-2002, 10:50 AM
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DS (4yo) does the same thing. His other thrilling statement is "nobody loves me anymore." All that for want of a cookie (or a toy car, or a [fillintheblank])

When he says those things I honestly don't know what to say, so I don't say anything. I roll my eyes in exaggerated fashion, throw up my hands in the air and shake my head, and walk away.

I figure he'll get the point that it's not a useful thing to say soon enough.

Anyone wants to tell me I'm doing something wrong, I'm happy to hear another suggestion ...

- Amy
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#9 of 9 Old 05-13-2002, 11:42 AM
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I could use some suggestions, too, Amy! My 5yo dd does the same thing -- actually, she has a whole litany: "Nobody loves me, I have no good family, I have no friends, I never have any good days, nobody wants to be with me ...." The first time she said that (a couple of months ago), it just broke my heart. It was so horrible to imagine that she really felt that way, so I cuddled her and told her how much I loved her and made a big deal of showing her how important she is. In retrospect, I don't think I responded correctly, because now she uses that little speech as an attempt at manipulation when she's denied some insignificant thing like a cookie or one more cartoon before her bath or whatever. Whenever she starts in with that stuff now, I just say, "Now Lydi, that's silly. Of course we love you, but you can't have a cookie because we'll be eating dinner in a half-hour." At that point she usually gets angry and starts yelling, and I walk away and "ignore" her until she calms down. Any better ideas?

At-home mom to a teenager, an infant, and three in between!
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