I'm at a loss..."You're a stinky poopy head" - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 31 Old 10-21-2006, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DS has started calling everyone a stinky poopy head--sounds innocent enough, I guess, since it could clearly be worse. But he does this everytime things don't go his way, and it really, really bothers me! He's just turned 3, by the way.

I tried ignoring it, thinking that if I did that maybe he would see it wasn't effective and he would stop. But he hasn't. In fact, he probably says it 10+ times a day.

We have a couple of 5 year old boys on our street, and this is where he heard it. Half the time when he says it he's laughing, because he thinks it's hilarious, the other half he is yelling it in anger.

Up to now, I've told him that's not how we talk to our friends, mommy and daddy, etc. Now I tell him that I can't be around him if he's going to call me names, and I leave the room. Often he continues to yell it at me when I'm out of the room.

Any advice?!? Do I just make it no big deal?? I have to tell you, not only does it just make me really angry, it's pretty embarrassing when he does it in public. He just sounds like he's completely disrespectful...

Thanks!
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#2 of 31 Old 10-21-2006, 03:33 PM
 
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One thing that sometimes works in these situations is to ask what it means, and to be persistent in your inability to understand.

Mom: "Stinky poopy head? What does that mean?"
Kid: "It means you're a stinky poopy head!"
Mom: "But I don't understand. No one here has poop on their head. Why are you saying that?"
Kid: "Because it's funny."
Mom: "...I don't understand what makes that funny."
Kid: "Because there's a stinky poopy head!"
Mom: "Does something smell? Does something need to be cleaned up in here?"
Kid: "No, I'm just saying it."
Mom: "I still don't understand. What are you trying to tell me? Do you need to poop in the potty?"

Obviously you need to be very serious, and not at all like you're playing a game about using potty talk. The right tone is probably slightly worried and earnest. Most kids will get bored quickly and decide that potty talk is not worth the endless explanations.

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#3 of 31 Old 10-21-2006, 03:37 PM
 
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My ds does this, but it is "stupid." Anytime he gets angry he calls the other person (usually me or ds2) stupid. It makes me insane. We have discussed it, I have tried ignoring it, and sometimes I tell him that I don't talk with people who speak to me that way. I can't say it's been solved, so I don't have any real solutions. I'm curious to hear what others have to say.

Oh, and I have discussed with him the impact of saying stupid, such as people getting very angry. The ultimate natural consequence - you call mommy stupid when she's only had 3 hours sleep, and you might get yelled at. Mommy will probably apologize for yelling, and explain that her feelings were hurt, but in reality the name calling may very well result in an unpleasant reaction from the other person, anything from getting angry to not wanting to play with you.
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#4 of 31 Old 10-21-2006, 03:41 PM
 
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My 3.5 yr old ds was,for a while,saying a few words that were,um,worse than that. : Honestly,I ignored it,and even with ignoring it,it took a few weeks to "eliminate" the offending words. But he did eventually stop.
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#5 of 31 Old 10-21-2006, 03:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by oceanbaby View Post
My ds does this, but it is "stupid." Anytime he gets angry he calls the other person (usually me or ds2) stupid. It makes me insane.
Same here. My youngest daughter just turned 3 and everything is stupid whenever she is unhappy. Even if I'm just disagreeing with her or showing displeasure. She used to do it in a laughing way but now it's usually angry. For awhile she was saying I'm gonna kill you, I'm gonna throw you out the window. She's stopped that, but she still says, "Stupid, I hate you." I am sooooo tired of it.

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We have discussed it, I have tried ignoring it, and sometimes I tell him that I don't talk with people who speak to me that way. I can't say it's been solved, so I don't have any real solutions. I'm curious to hear what others have to say.

Oh, and I have discussed with him the impact of saying stupid, such as people getting very angry. The ultimate natural consequence - you call mommy stupid when she's only had 3 hours sleep, and you might get yelled at. Mommy will probably apologize for yelling, and explain that her feelings were hurt, but in reality the name calling may very well result in an unpleasant reaction from the other person, anything from getting angry to not wanting to play with you.

Yep! I'm not going to be happy when you keep calling me stupid. It's not a nice thing to say. She understands that. Sometimes she is just being silly. Maybe the fact that I've tried different ways of dealing with it has sent a mixed message, but sometimes she is happy and thinks it's funny, and sometimes she's angry so I try and tailor my responses.
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#6 of 31 Old 10-21-2006, 03:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L&IsMama View Post
My 3.5 yr old ds was,for a while,saying a few words that were,um,worse than that. : Honestly,I ignored it,and even with ignoring it,it took a few weeks to "eliminate" the offending words. But he did eventually stop.
On Friday, my 3 year old was walking around the park saying dammit, dammit, dammit. She was near another mom and her toddler. I was ignoring it, but after awhile I felt like I needed to address it. So I asked her if she was angry. She said no, she was happy. I guess she was just saying the word for fun, the reaction, whatever, so I just let it go after that. I didn't notice her saying it much after that until that night. We called my sister up to sing happy birthday to her, and Jessie started in with dumbass. ??? Honestly, she's never said this before and this is not a word we usually say. After she had a nice long talk with my sister, I finally got the phone away from her and asked my sister what she had said. Apparently my sis, who has a bad memory, asked, "How old were you on your birthday again?" Jessie replied, "3! Dammit, dumbass!" She hasn't said those words since then, though.
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#7 of 31 Old 10-21-2006, 03:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Viola View Post
Apparently my sis, who has a bad memory, asked, "How old were you on your birthday again?" Jessie replied, "3! Dammit, dumbass!" She hasn't said those words since then, though.
omg! There is no way I would have been able to not crack up. Sorry, but that's funny!

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#8 of 31 Old 10-21-2006, 04:04 PM
 
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well i get called "you big pooh" by my 2 year old and she probably was taught it by her brothers, they laugh so she continues saying it. I might just start ignoring it when she says it. So really that's my advice, not to let them know it bothers you!
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#9 of 31 Old 10-21-2006, 04:04 PM
 
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My 4yo just started saying "you're not my best friend anymore." It is super annoying. She learned it from a little girl in pre-school. So, when something doesn't go her way, she will scream, "YOU'RE NOT MY BEST FRIEND ANYMORE!" at the top of her lungs. We do time-out in our house, I know some don't agree with this aproach, but we do. I told her that anytime she says it, she can go find the nearest corner. It worked for a while, but now she says it on her way TO time-out. I'm also at a loss.

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#10 of 31 Old 10-21-2006, 04:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Viola View Post
On Friday, my 3 year old was walking around the park saying dammit, dammit, dammit. She was near another mom and her toddler. I was ignoring it, but after awhile I felt like I needed to address it. So I asked her if she was angry. She said no, she was happy. I guess she was just saying the word for fun, the reaction, whatever
My 3.5 yr old definately says the bad words for fun.: Yesterday,at the library,some kid was making loud noises and my ds said quite loudly,"What the hell was that?" right in front of some lady :. Sigh.
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#11 of 31 Old 10-21-2006, 04:57 PM
 
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Henry picked up "No! You're not my friend!" from MDO, and it drove me nuts. I tried explaining that it hurt feelings, redirecting his words, lots of different approaches, and nothing worked. Finally, I got tired of it one day and every time he said it, I would just look away with a totally neutral look on my face and disengage my attention...not pull away affection, but just look distracted and then immediately move on to something else with him, like reading a story or playing a game...like it simply hadn't happened. It worked like a charm! I went from hearing it about 5 times a day to maybe once per week, when he's tired or otherwise challenged emotionally.

I love Rivka's suggestions, too, that's a great idea, and I'm going to try that when we have more challenging situations come up.

Mama to H (6) B (3) : A (1)
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#12 of 31 Old 10-21-2006, 05:47 PM
 
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Honestly? I would laugh and say, "No, YOU'RE a stinky poopy head!"

It can be just silly and playful. Some of the other things mentioned on this thread would bother me though! It would be really hard for me to deal with "stupid."
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#13 of 31 Old 10-21-2006, 11:45 PM
 
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One of my 4-year old twins is going through a name-calling phase, and, yes, it's super-aggravating. So, you can see you're not alone! He does it playfully when he is feeling "punchy" i guess and more seriously when tired and mad. The big one right now is "stupidious" - I guess i have to give him credit for making up his own word, and honestly it doesn't sting as much as its root . Poopbutt, poopstink, and stinkbutt are popular now too. And its a constant barrage - way beyond my abilities to correct. I have yelled about it, but lately I'm trying to do better explaining how it hurts people's feelings, as PPs have suggested. I think this approach is working better. After a second reminder today that he said he would try to stop saying these words, he said "I just need a little practice Mama" - I'm hoping he meant practice refraining! And when I tried a little guilt by giving him a hurt look after he used one on me, he told me he was just making a joke and gave me a hug. Maybe he's starting to get it!?
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#14 of 31 Old 10-22-2006, 12:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mamaduck View Post
Honestly? I would laugh and say, "No, YOU'RE a stinky poopy head!"

It can be just silly and playful. Some of the other things mentioned on this thread would bother me though! It would be really hard for me to deal with "stupid."
This is exactly what we do. It is not that we are trying to get the bahavior stopped, it is just our natural reaction. Dh and I have been known to call each other "polly poo-poo pants" so we really cannot blame dd for saying it. It is always in fun. Despite laughing at it and doing everything the books say not to, dd really did not find it useful to say for being mean, although she likes to use it like a joke. She has tried out a few swear words and we really just ignore it. We swear, I see no reaosn why she cannot. We do discuss that it bothers some people and that she should be sensitive about that. And believe it or not, she figures that out fine. She knows grandma would not be amused...... "Stupid" would bother me more, but honestly, I call things stupid..... Whenever she launches an insult at me or dh we simply say that those words make us feel bad. That is it. She might try it out a few times, but eventually she gets the point.
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#15 of 31 Old 10-22-2006, 12:56 AM
 
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I learned a good way to deal with this (normal) behavior from my children's preschool teacher. If she heard a child say "You're a stinky poopy head" another child, she would first see how the other child reacted. Her response would change accordingly.

A) The "victim" has little or no reaction (or the child is calling the teacher a SPH) : "Johnny, you're upset because Jane has the train and she's not done with it yet. You can ask Jane if you can have a turn. You can say, 'Jane, may I have a turn with the train?' " She would then help Johnny and Jane have a discussion about the train. If he said it again, she would calmly address it. "You are calling Jane a name because you're angry. We don't call people names. That could hurt their feelings. You can tell Jane how you feel instead. You can say, 'Jane....'"

You get the idea. The focus is on teaching the child what *to* do when he is frustrated. The name calling is addressed peripherally, but it will correct itself when Johnny learns a better way to handle the situation.

If Johnny persisted in the name calling, the teacher would redirect him. "When you continue to call Jane a name, you'll have to play over here instead. I can't let you continue to call Jane names."

B) If the "victim" is upset by the name calling: "Johnny, you called Jane a name just now. Look at Jane's face. See how sad she is? When we call people names, that can make them feel bad. If you want a turn with the train Jane has, a better thing to do would be to talk to her... etc."

In this case the emphasis is on developing empathy. *Seeing* how one's actions affect others. (If Jane were physically hurt -- by hitting or whatnot -- the teacher would have the hitting child help her in some way if that were practical.) 3 year olds don't always make the connection right away, but it helps them move in the direction of empathy, and gives them a reason why certain actions are "wrong" other than just because a grown up said so. After the empathy angle, the focus moves again to what *to* do.

HTH! It sure has helped me with my kids! (They also use the lovely phrase your ds does, though mercifully, they usually only use it in a mutually teasing manner! They get under eachother's skin in other ways though!)

Stephanie
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#16 of 31 Old 10-22-2006, 01:43 AM
 
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In "Playful Parenting" Cohen talks about letting children try out name-calling and bathroom humor on you rather than experimenting on other children. He gives examples of games to play. "Well, you can say that all you want, but if you say Bobbledyboo you're going to be in big trouble." Obviously, this sort of game is for when children are testing the power of words, not for when they're expressing true frustration.
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#17 of 31 Old 10-22-2006, 01:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mamaduck View Post
Honestly? I would laugh and say, "No, YOU'RE a stinky poopy head!"

It can be just silly and playful. Some of the other things mentioned on this thread would bother me though! It would be really hard for me to deal with "stupid."
Me too. And would probably have added, "fine, call me a stinky poopy head, but please do not call me a silly billy nilly" Which would have caused a rendition of what a silly billy nilly I am. And I would have made up a new "bad" thing I didn't want to be called. Man, we have played this game for close to 20 min in our house
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#18 of 31 Old 10-22-2006, 02:27 AM
 
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#19 of 31 Old 10-22-2006, 05:07 AM
 
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my dd is 4 and still hasnt got over the pee, poop, gass stuff. we make it into a game when she does that.

when she got into name calling i made it v. specific - she can use swear words but not hurtful words. she could say f**k but not stupid. and i explained why. she went thru a name calling phase and would love to start rhyming words with luck so she could say f**k but she never said stupid.

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#20 of 31 Old 10-22-2006, 05:25 AM
 
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my 3 year old calls everyone stink pants right now, but i am not sure he means it as an insult as when he stayed the night at my mums house a couple of nights ago when i talked to him on the phone he said 'i love you stink pants!'
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#21 of 31 Old 10-22-2006, 09:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Rfribbs View Post
My 4yo just started saying "you're not my best friend anymore." It is super annoying. She learned it from a little girl in pre-school. So, when something doesn't go her way, she will scream, "YOU'RE NOT MY BEST FRIEND ANYMORE!" at the top of her lungs.
OMG, ds1 picked this up from the neighbor kid, who got it from his preschool. It drives me insane.
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#22 of 31 Old 10-22-2006, 11:01 PM
 
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This is great- it is why I love MDC. mY 3 yo DS is totally saying all of this stuff right now. Thanks for all of the new ideas on how to deal with it. I don't mind it too much, except when it is in a super angry voice. It is my MIL whp dpesn't like it too much and we are seeing her at Thanksgiving - gotta work on it before that.
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#23 of 31 Old 10-23-2006, 01:24 AM
 
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Hi--

I'm on my fourth three-year-old. He says, "I hate you mommy," "Poo Poo head" and "stupid." He also gives big hugs, says "thank you" without being provoked, and likes to be helpful. All of the rest of mine have grown out of this faze--although sometimes the four-year-old can be drug back into funny potty talk. My sister-in-law who homeschooled all her kids through college (great kids), said, "don't take these sort of things serious."

I do take my kids being genuinely rude and disrespectful to me, each other, or others very seriously. But--sometimes I think three year olds are just trying to exert their powerful little presence in some way!
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#24 of 31 Old 10-23-2006, 01:44 AM
 
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Just act very serious as a pp said... he'll get bored and will decide it isn't worth the effort it takes to explain.

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#25 of 31 Old 10-24-2006, 12:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mamaduck View Post
Honestly? I would laugh and say, "No, YOU'RE a stinky poopy head!"

It can be just silly and playful. Some of the other things mentioned on this thread would bother me though! It would be really hard for me to deal with "stupid."
I've done this before, but I have to say that sometimes she can dish it out and not take it. She gets hurt feelings when I do it back. I think you're right, too, and it doesn't work as well with some phrases. I was being kind of silly one day when she kept telling me she hated me and I was stupid. And I was saying, "Oh wow, you hate me and I'm stupid. I guess I'm ugly too, huh?" Ummm, what the heck was I thinking? Not one of my better ideas. She told me I was ugly for awhile, then got tired of it. Usually with the I hate yous I just keep telling her I love her.
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#26 of 31 Old 10-25-2006, 02:35 PM
 
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Me too. And would probably have added, "fine, call me a stinky poopy head, but please do not call me a silly billy nilly" Which would have caused a rendition of what a silly billy nilly I am. And I would have made up a new "bad" thing I didn't want to be called. Man, we have played this game for close to 20 min in our house
This approach has worked wonders in our house too. I have witnessed to my dismay a 5 yo getting spanked for saying a bad word again and again one evening and I mentioned this approach to the parents, and I thought they would spank me too by the look they gave me!
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#27 of 31 Old 10-25-2006, 08:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamaduck View Post
Honestly? I would laugh and say, "No, YOU'RE a stinky poopy head!"

It can be just silly and playful. Some of the other things mentioned on this thread would bother me though! It would be really hard for me to deal with "stupid."
Ditto this exactly. I would crack up laughing at being called a "Stinky poopy head" and i would probably retort something like - "You think my hair smells like poop? Maybe I should go wash it?"
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#28 of 31 Old 10-26-2006, 01:25 AM
 
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I believe there is an actual line in the book Playful Parenting (L. Cohen) that goes something like, "If I had a nickel for everytime I've been called a Poppyhead, I'd be rich!" I take a playful approach to this usually. Something along the lines of, "Well, it has been awhile since I washed my hair. Smell it, does it really smell like poop?"

Seriously, I try not to worry to much about words. I find they come out the most when DS is feeling hurt or sad. He hates to admit he feels sad or has been hurt in some way (emotional hurt that is) and will often project it onto the other person. For example today when the neighbor girl (whom DS has a terrible crush on) was ready to go home after being at our house for several hours DS exclaimed, "I hate Audrey!" Of course, knowing what I know, he really meant, "I hate it when she goes home because I enjoy her company so very much."

Like with action when the words won't come, I treat offensive words as code for whatever they're feeling at the time and try to react very little to the words themselves, and do my best to locate the feelings and validate, "You're angry with me" or "You're frustrated because you want to stay home and play and I need to get these errands done now."


I remember when the "colorful language" started creeping in I was taken aback, but I've gotten quite used to it and try to keep it in it's proper perspective. Sometimes it helps to remind myself of some of the words that used to come out of my mouth as a kid. I'm fairly good with expressing myself in a more mature manner nowadays, so I find this reassuring.

The best,
Em

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#29 of 31 Old 10-26-2006, 03:25 AM
 
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Ditto this exactly. I would crack up laughing at being called a "Stinky poopy head" and i would probably retort something like - "You think my hair smells like poop? Maybe I should go wash it?"
haha, that gave me a chuckle.
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#30 of 31 Old 10-26-2006, 03:43 AM
 
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