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"I'm going to kick your head/butt/arm/etc off." DS has been experimenting with violent statements like this the last couple of days. He is four and a bit. I'm not really sure what to say to him. We've been responding with "that is inappropriate and violent and we don't kick people." Is this a normal stage? Or is he picking up nasty things from kids at the preschool he goes to? We are not a violent family, though we do engage in occasional horsing around type stuff but it is always in good fun and respectful of others' words/comfort zones.<br><br>
I guess I'm just looking for other experiences regarding this stage and other responses to the behavior.
 

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I try to elicit an emotional response from my kids when I want them to change a behavior. I try to ask them how it would feel if someone said that to them, or I explain that it hurts my feeling when they say they are going to hurt me etc.... Playing on the emotion and trying to get them to see how what they are saying could hurt someone's feelings works for us.
 

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When DS1 says something like that, I think he's just trying to express strong emotions. I might respond like this...<br><br>
"OUCH! That would really hurt me if you did that. I hope you won't do that. You must feel really, really, really frustrated (or angry, or whatever)."<br><br>
...and then see where it goes. Often he just needs to vent about something and be heard. He hasn't actually kicked anybody's butt yet. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>hubris</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10271454"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">When DS1 says something like that, I think he's just trying to express strong emotions. I might respond like this...<br><br>
"OUCH! That would really hurt me if you did that. I hope you won't do that. You must feel really, really, really frustrated (or angry, or whatever)."<br><br>
...and then see where it goes. Often he just needs to vent about something and be heard. He hasn't actually kicked anybody's butt yet. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"></div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: When ds#1 is very frustrated or angry, he will say similar things. We try to approach it in this way, too. It seems to help to diffuse his strong feelings, and then we're able to talk to him about better ways of expressing them.
 
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