being mean - how do you handle it? — The Bump
Pre-School

being mean - how do you handle it?

lately DD has been very mean, like just saying hurtful things to DH and I, and our parents.  I've told her in the past that she could hurt people with her words just as much as she could hurt people with her hands but she doesnt seem to get it. 

Well I'm having a really bad week and DD was mean to me in the car and I just totally lost it.  I told her that I loved her so much and it hurt my heart so badly that she's being so mean to me.  I asked her why and she stopped and thought about it for a minute and said she was sorry and she still loved me but she just didn't want to listen to me talk.  So I told her that it really upset me that she didn't want to listen to what I had to say or that she didn't find my thoughts to be important and how would she feel if I said that to her.  She cried and was very upset.  Eventually we both calmed down and told each other we loved each other and I was sorry I hurt her and she was sorry she hurt me, and then we moved onto some silly song on the radio. 

I'm not sure if I went too far or even if she understood where I was going with this. Just wondering how others handle situations like this, when their preKs are mean or not so nice.

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Re: being mean - how do you handle it?

  • Sounds like you handled it great. I think kids this age have zero filter and are very self centered. My DD will say mean things but it is my job to teach her like you did that words hurt.




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  • imageKKDRAGONFLY:
    Sounds like you handled it great. I think kids this age have zero filter and are very self centered. My DD will say mean things but it is my job to teach her like you did that words hurt.

    Yes you are not alone! i also think they are getting to the age that they want to turn us off a bit so i usually give the old "would you like it if blah blah blah happened to you" and leave it at that. it typically works.

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  • imagelasposa425:
    Ask yourself how she's learning to say mean things.  If you think she's mimicking your behavior, try to change your behavior/words and see if she follows suit. I'd also ask her this question next time  "How do you think soandso feels when you say something like that to them?"  That usually triggers them to understand that their words can make people feel bad.  Good luck!

    Ditto this.

    I've also tried to coach DD on something she can say to me when she's mad that makes her point, but isn't yelling or nasty/hurtful, because honestly, IMO she's entitled to whatever her feelings are, but she can't be nasty.  So. . . now instead of "I don't love you" or "I hate you" when she's mad, she'll say "I'm very frustrated with you Mama!" so she can make her point.  Later, when we've made up, I'll normally congratulate her on not being mean and tell her I know she was mad, etc.

    I would talk about the whole thing less when its actually happening - you can't convince her that you're right.  If DD starts getting mean, I will normally leave the room, if I can't leave and we're in the car, I'll just stop talking to her/ignore her.  I don't want to be around mean people, period, so regardless of whether its DD or someone else, I'm not subjecting myself to that.

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  • If they are being mean to the other one, I give them a moment to work it out.  If it gets out of hand, I go to the mean-ee and coach him/her how to deal with a meanie.  I want them to go to kindergarten with the skills to deflect a meanie. And when the situation is deflected, I call the meanie over to me in private and talk about the situation.

     DS often says mean things to me out of the blue and I know he is getting a feel for his power, or place, or maybe to see how consistent I am.  He doesn't actually want to hurt me, I am sure.  I kiss him on the cheek and walk away with, "well I DO love you."  My failure to engage results in him begging me listen to him while he says nicwe things.

    DD#2 doesn't say mean things, but does get sassy-voice and bossy at times and I say "Sorry for being rude, Mommy." And then I repeat back to her what she "meant" to say.  And walk away, or go back to what I was doing.  And then I ignore her until I hear a nice voice apology.

     A big eye opener here is asking them if they treat their teachers that way.  And they flip out if I say "And what would Miss Susan think if she heard you say that to me????"  And they realize on their own that it was a poor choice. 

    Essentially I am glad they try being mean out on me. They will ALWAYS love their Mommy and it is a necessary stage in development to learn about interactions.  I want them to know when they behave like that, they are conveying x, even though they are feeling y, but too impatient to express it.  And I'll tell them that straight up. 

    If you really want to be happy, no one can stop you.

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  • imageLoveEeyore:

    If they are being mean to the other one, I give them a moment to work it out.  If it gets out of hand, I go to the mean-ee and coach him/her how to deal with a meanie.  I want them to go to kindergarten with the skills to deflect a meanie. And when the situation is deflected, I call the meanie over to me in private and talk about the situation.

     DS often says mean things to me out of the blue and I know he is getting a feel for his power, or place, or maybe to see how consistent I am.  He doesn't actually want to hurt me, I am sure.  I kiss him on the cheek and walk away with, "well I DO love you."  My failure to engage results in him begging me listen to him while he says nicwe things.

    DD#2 doesn't say mean things, but does get sassy-voice and bossy at times and I say "Sorry for being rude, Mommy." And then I repeat back to her what she "meant" to say.  And walk away, or go back to what I was doing.  And then I ignore her until I hear a nice voice apology.

     A big eye opener here is asking them if they treat their teachers that way.  And they flip out if I say "And what would Miss Susan think if she heard you say that to me????"  And they realize on their own that it was a poor choice. 

    Essentially I am glad they try being mean out on me. They will ALWAYS love their Mommy and it is a necessary stage in development to learn about interactions.  I want them to know when they behave like that, they are conveying x, even though they are feeling y, but too impatient to express it.  And I'll tell them that straight up. 

     

    What do you coach the mean-ee to say? I always struggle with that when another kid is mean to my kid on the playground or when one DS is mean to the other. I don't know how I should coach the offended one react or say.

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  • I always like to go for a "less is more" approach. A phrase I often use is "speak to me with love." I feel like when I start lecturing, she just tunes me out. My DD definitely goes through phases where she's short with me. :( If she's said something that's rude, I will make her rephrase it or make her repeat after me until her tone is better.
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  • imagejalaiaa:
    imageLoveEeyore:

    If they are being mean to the other one, I give them a moment to work it out.  If it gets out of hand, I go to the mean-ee and coach him/her how to deal with a meanie.  I want them to go to kindergarten with the skills to deflect a meanie. And when the situation is deflected, I call the meanie over to me in private and talk about the situation.

     DS often says mean things to me out of the blue and I know he is getting a feel for his power, or place, or maybe to see how consistent I am.  He doesn't actually want to hurt me, I am sure.  I kiss him on the cheek and walk away with, "well I DO love you."  My failure to engage results in him begging me listen to him while he says nicwe things.

    D

    What do you coach the mean-ee to say? I always struggle with that when another kid is mean to my kid on the playground or when one DS is mean to the other. I don't know how I should coach the offended one react or say.

    One example was a boy was throwing pea gravel from the playground at DS's face.  I resisted my urge to throw a handful back and told DS to put his hand up and say "Stop that! Don't throw rocks at me!" 

    I am very aware that if I were to step in and tell the kid to knock it off, I am setting myself up for a playground mommy brawl, so I put my back to the aggressive/rude child and only address my kid.

    When it happens between my own kids, I will tell both to stop and encourage to find his own words.  My "formula" is Stop + I don't like that or I'm not done with that, or if need be, getting up and asking me for help.

    If you really want to be happy, no one can stop you.

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  • I tell dd (she's a bit younger) that what she said makes me sad

    and that would she should say is 'xxx'

    after enough times of me saying it, it eventually sinks in

     

    Also with the bully thing - dd tells me regualrly about things that kids have done to her at school (push, throw things, etc) I say the same as pp - I tell her put your hand up and say 'Stop - don't throw that at me, that's not nice' and if they don't stop, to tell her teacher

     

  • My son is a real daddy's boy and craves his attention a lot! Often if its me that's doing something with him such as bathing him or getting him a snack he will insist that I can't do it and his daddy has to. He will often follow this by telling me he doesn't love me. It used to really hurt me to the poin I would walk out of the room and cry but I found it easier to say to him that it's not a kind thing to say and it's a shame he has hurt his mammy who loves him very much. I tell him words can hurt as much as physical pain and he shouldn't say things that he knows are unkind. We be we give in to his demands so I always finish whatever it is he demands his daddy does.

    Aside from this, he can sometimes forget his manners and say he needs a drink or I want Xxx. I started by correcting him to say I would like XXX please. He now corrects himself if he forgets because he knows I won't give it to him if he demands it. I'm quite harsh with him but I think it's important to teach good manners and respect from a young age.

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