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Please wise mamas....what do you do when your three yr old snarls at you in a really ugly voice to "SHUT UP!!!!" whenyou have asked them to do soemthing?

We've tried the "Mom feels sad when you tell her to shut up." thing. He is using it as a way to vent frustration and try to assert his will. I see this. I tell DH to shut up in a joking/loving? way when we are teasing each other, NEVER in the tone that ds is using it in. I know he learned the words from me, but the hate with which he uses them takes us both by surprise. I've told him it hurts people's feelings, makes them sad, etc.

What else to do? It evokes a VERY strong reaction in both me and dh emotionally...having a hard time dealing with it in a gentle, non angry kind of way.

TIA,
Anno
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by canadiangranola
Please wise mamas....what do you do when your three yr old snarls at you in a really ugly voice to "SHUT UP!!!!" whenyou have asked them to do soemthing?

We've tried the "Mom feels sad when you tell her to shut up." thing. He is using it as a way to vent frustration and try to assert his will. I see this. I tell DH to shut up in a joking/loving? way when we are teasing each other, NEVER in the tone that ds is using it in. I know he learned the words from me, but the hate with which he uses them takes us both by surprise. I've told him it hurts people's feelings, makes them sad, etc.

What else to do? It evokes a VERY strong reaction in both me and dh emotionally...having a hard time dealing with it in a gentle, non angry kind of way.

TIA,
Anno
Talking about how it makes you feel is one thing, but weather it registers in his head is another. Remember Three year olds are totally Egocentric. No one has any feelings but them. So address HIS feelings when he sais that. Ask him, are you feeling angry? If you are here's a DIFFERENT word to use" And teach him a different word to use when he's angry/frustrated. Dont give into the shock of "Shut up" That'll make him do it even more.

When he gets a little older and it continues, THEN you can address the rudeness factor, till then he wont "Get it". Teaching him new words will be your best bet.

Does he usually do it when you're asking him to interrupt one of his activities? If so, say "I know you're angry because I asked you to stop XYZ, how about using another word to say that"
 

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My suggestions:
1. Acknowledge his feelings - "you sound angry"
2. Offer information about that phrase "it hurts people's feelings"
3. Teach appropriate ways to get across what he's trying to say "Excuse me" "may I speak now" "would you let me have a turn" "I don't like what you are saying" "that bothers me" etc.
4. Recognize he's learning. This is a normal thing. He needs more information and help learning to express himself better. And, don't expect results overnight. Understanding what to do is part of it. Having desire to do it and impulse control maybe something else.
 

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when either of my boys say a word i dont like, i take a deep breath and shrug and say well ok, but please dont say i have stinky, mouldy feet, or that i have worms on my head or anything as daft.

i generally find it is the attention / reaction they are looking for. if i get really 'mad' that they say i have yucky worm hair, i can chase them around and pretend to be really angry, and we have a good time.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sphinx
not to hijack - but a different age group - what about when it's a 6.5 year old, and then she says "and I hate you!"
i would try and reflect what he was so angry about, you are really cross that.... you think its unfair, etc

i would steer clear from trying to justify was it was fair or reasonable and just try to reflect his feelings, or give him a bit of space if thats what he needs

maybe reflect his feelings in writing for him to read if he is a competent reader
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by oliversmum2000
i would try and reflect what he was so angry about, you are really cross that.... you think its unfair, etc
i do this but she goes wild - hates any kind of validation or acknowledgement of feelings. says it is "embarrassing" to say out loud how one feels. the games don't work with her either, because she is really furious. i do try playful parenting when i can... ah well..
 

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maybe the note or the space to be allowed to be angry would help

can you think of any ways you could let her express her anger? on the climbing frame i have one of the options on the swing bar in place of a swing at the end is a punch bag. i always thought this would be a good anger release for the whole family
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sphinx
i do this but she goes wild - hates any kind of validation or acknowledgement of feelings. says it is "embarrassing" to say out loud how one feels. the games don't work with her either, because she is really furious. i do try playful parenting when i can... ah well..
ah, perhaps you need to point out that when say she says "I hate you" she's talking about her feelings. And, of course always respond "I can tell that's how you feel now, but I love you".


Some kids do like their privacy and that's okay. Maybe she's like to just have space first. Also, I'd be careful about your reflective listening. It may be possible to talk about the feelings without the feeling words. So, instead of "you are sad because your tower fell" "drat, the tower fell". I really wouldn't appreciate it if someone said to me "you are sad" or "you are angry" but I like it when they share my reaction "oh that stinks" "no fair", etc.
 

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I'd tell him that it makes me very angry when someone talks to me that way, and that if he talks to me that way again there will be consequences.

I wouldn't want my children to grow up thinking that anyone can speak to them that way, and I try to model demanding respect in my relationships with them. That is what I want for THEM, not just for myself. I know that they will likely internalize many aspects of the way I'm being with them. What I want for them is the intrinsic belief that they DESERVE respect, and an intolerance for the lack of it.

Of course, this will not work for everyone here. I don't know if it would be comfortable for you, but I'm just throwing it out there.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Delacroix
I'd tell him that it makes me very angry when someone talks to me that way, and that if he talks to me that way again there will be consequences.

I wouldn't want my children to grow up thinking that anyone can speak to them that way, and I try to model demanding respect in my relationships with them. That is what I want for THEM, not just for myself. I know that they will likely internalize many aspects of the way I'm being with them. What I want for them is the intrinsic belief that they DESERVE respect, and an intolerance for the lack of it.

Of course, this will not work for everyone here. I don't know if it would be comfortable for you, but I'm just throwing it out there.

i think most parents find that the way their children speak to them when sad/tired/hurt/hungry is very different to how they talk to others.

we put on a front to others who we are not close to but feel freer to express our full range of emotions with those who are nearest and dearest to us as we feel safe.

for me i personally want to accept all of my childs emotins and let them know i love them regardless and undrestand and see the good in them

at a time when they werent so obviously feeling sad/angry/upset i would discuss other ways to express themselves when feeling that way. but when they are actually feeling that way i wouldnt get into a confrontational situation with them as i feel that will only escalate the situation, and create a win-lose situation.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by oliversmum2000
i think most parents find that the way their children speak to them when sad/tired/hurt/hungry is very different to how they talk to others.

we put on a front to others who we are not close to but feel freer to express our full range of emotions with those who are nearest and dearest to us as we feel safe.

for me i personally want to accept all of my childs emotins and let them know i love them regardless and undrestand and see the good in them

at a time when they werent so obviously feeling sad/angry/upset i would discuss other ways to express themselves when feeling that way. but when they are actually feeling that way i wouldnt get into a confrontational situation with them as i feel that will only escalate the situation, and create a win-lose situation.
I agree with the bolded statement. I've seen many families that treated each other in ways that they would NEVER treat a stranger. To me, that's not what I want. Home is a place to be yourself, but not to kick the dog, so to speak.

IMO, it's possible to love a child and allow them to express their emotions in appropriate and respectful ways. To me, that's a very important aspect of parenting.

Personally, drawing healthy and respectful boundaries is a top priority for me, hence the course of action I described works for me. I understand if your priorities are different of course.
 

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i think the biggest difference that i can ascertain is that time at which we do something about the way our children have expressed themselves

i find that with my 2 children, with my oldest if i engage with him when he is looking for an argument because he is in a fowl mood that disciplining him then will send the situation spiralling into a major crisis.

with my younger son i find he is generally looking for attention and i divert his interest into getting my attention in more positive ways.

i would later discuss with older son about words we use and words we dont use and how that makes people feel and talk about what else he could do. with my younger son i generally just divert and may briefly tell him later that whatever words he used are not very nice. but not go on about it too much.

i think as i said our main differences are the time at which we choose to talk about it with our children, which i am sure is based largely on their personalities and how well they cope with different situations.
 

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basically at 3 years old she really does not understand the full meaning of what she is saying - so feeling hurt really is not at all justified ....! the feeling that you describe behind what she says could just be her way of getting over the intensity of how she is feeling .........ie. that she really means it and wants you to take her seriously and listen to what she is saying

I would really just not react at all and pass on to something else - try to see what is behind this behaviour - maybe it is just that she does not want to do what you are asking her to do and has found a novel way of stopping you in your tracks - great for her because it seems to be working !(these 3 year olds are soooo creative)

(I love Oliversmum's suggestion about the mouldy feet and wormy stuff - I really must try this myself the next time my 3.5yr old says something that I don't like ...........)
 

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I concur with what many of the others have said. We tend to "let it all hang out" at home, and not get to ruffled by what DS says or how he says it. Rather, focus on the WHY of his actions and words and then validate the feelings and emotions that are fueling them. "You're really letting me have it there. You're very angry with me!" And then I wait, listen, etc.

We also tend to use a playful approach where appropriate but sometimes that can be tricky. If DS is really smarting about something, the playful approach can come across as insulting and doesn't allow him to process his feelings. OTOH, when he's saying something "naughty" and it's clear he just in a devlish mood, I tend to take the same approach as Oliversmum2000 and this can be a wonderful reconnection tool. If he's saying something to get my attention, then that's what he gets, we have a laugh and move on.


One thing that helps me enormously in these kinds of situations is to take charge of my own feelings and put them in perspective BEFORE I respond to my DS. The wise and wonderful Naomi Aldort (Raising our Children, Raising Ourselves) suggests NOT saying the first thing that comes to your mind when your child evokes a reaction in you. Those first things in your mind are about YOU and this situation is about him/her. I take a breath, process my feelings and if necessary, put them on hold for when I can deal with them myself. Only then, do I possess the ability to focus on DS and what it is that he needs to process his feelings. I validate and we move on. "You're really upset with me." And let him take it from there, LISTEN.

I remember being so very taken aback when DS started incorporating "colorful langauge" into his verbal repetoire. But anymore, I realize that trying to control the uncontrollable (what someone else says) is painstaking and futile. Even with (especially with?) our own children. Taking the words LESS seriously and the child MORE seriously has been a huge and helpful change of pace for me.

The best, and hang in there!

Em
 

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I know that with my kids, we dont allow words to have that kind of power. My dd has come out with some doozies, and we actually kind of think shes funny so we dont really give HER any reaction, whilst we giggle to ourselves.


I have two friends with kids the same age that spanked, washed out mouths, yelled, shamed..... those kids were contantly yelling "shut up!" or "f u!!" to their parents. Toddlers dont get it....

My 5 year old... thats a bit different, and while i dont let him get a strong reaction to bad language or attitude, I do let him know when I dont like something. " I dont appreciate being spoken to like that"
 

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The OP is about how you ask the child to do something, and then he says something that he knows upsets you.

Do you still want him to do whatever it is? Then the answer had better be, "Very funny, I'm your mother, now let's pick up your toys. I'll help." Because if you get derailed into shutupland, then he doesn't pick up the toys.
 
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