Ok, I need a little advice.

Bowie picked up a new phrase at some point, and started using it quite a bit while we were on our trip.

“I hate you!”

As in, I hate you Mommy, for making my PB&J with different jelly than what we have at home. I hate you Daddy, for making me put on sunscreen before sitting out in the hot, Hawaiian sun. I hate you Grandma for making me listen to my mommy. I hate you Grandpa for telling me to listen to Grandma and Mommy and Daddy. I hate you random kid I don’t know for splashing me in the pool.

Hate hate hate. One of my least favorite words, over and over. And I have no idea what to do about it.

If I ignore it, he keeps repeating it, louder and louder, until the entire universe has decided that I’m a bad parent.

If I respond, in any way, he wins. He gets attention. Negative attention, but attention nonetheless. And I seriously don’t think he’s not getting enough attention otherwise, though who knows. Maybe some kids need more than others?

So, help me bloggy universe. I think that this is a relatively normal phase. But, I would still like to nip it in the bud. Believe it or not, I don’t enjoy hearing “I HATE YOU!” 300 million times a day.

What do the “experts” say? What have you tried? What works? What doesn’t? HELP ME.

10 comments on “Ok, I need a little advice.

  1. Wow, the “H” word! I taught my kids from a very early age that hate is a very bad word and a very bad thing. Maybe, you could offer your little guy different language to express himself.
    Maybe, say that he’s angry at you or daddy or the world. And, it’s ok to be angry.

  2. Heya Beth!
    Whenever my kids said something like that in my house, I just said “oh! That’s not very nice. We don’t talk like that in this house.” And told them not to do it again. If they did, they got a time out for saying hurtful things to someone else, and had to apologize. I never made a big deal about it, but made it clear that it was unacceptable behavior. Same goes for anything that was insulting or mean. The world has enough of that stuff, and mean words can do just as much damage as physically hitting someone, I think. I still enforce that even though the kids are 11 and 8. If I hear them say something mean to each other, I will step in. I don’t know if that’s the right thing to do, but I won’t have family members talking to each other like that. Just my 2 cents! 🙂

  3. I would probably try to ignore it as much as possible… Maybe respond by saying I love you very calmly and non-reactive? Good luck! That’s one of my least favorite words too 🙁

  4. I would say something like, “We don’t say ‘hate’ and its rude and disrespectful to others, so choose another word, please. You don’t have to like everything, but we don’t say hate.” And then I’d walk away. And when he says it again, remind him how his words are rude, and to find another way to say what he means, or he can go into time out to think about it. And put him in time-out the next time.

    Le sigh. This job is haaaard, yo. I feel you, sistah. Hang in there – show him where the line is and DO NOT let him cross it. Ever.


  5. I sat you kids down one at a time – as you each said that phrase. “You are allowed to feel like you hate me. But, I don’t have to listen to it. It hurts my heart and it is hard for me to be with you when you say that to me. Please go to your room until you like me again.” At a young age, this seemed to work really well and puts a pretty quick – not instant – stop to it. No one likes to hurt Mommy’s/Daddy’s heart.

    The teen “I hate you” is another animal altogether!

  6. Yup, Kaelin picked this up in school too. Now she “hates” everything. She hates me, she hates certain foods, she hates certain clothes. WOW!. I feel for ya. I have not come up with any good responses. When she is speaking of people (like me) I say..”wow tha tis really too bad because I love you with all my heart, and it hurts my heart to hear you talk like that.” Then we “take a break” and when we can use kind words we can go back to the activity. The latest version of “hate” is to interupt me when parents are picking up their kids and voice her “hate” for something that they did during the day. Yikes that puts me in a tough spot..
    So the other night she did something in the bathtub and used “I hate you mommy” I asked her if she needed to take a break..like a reminder..and she says to me, “well you have not washed my hair yet, so if you want to fill up the tub again mom, water is expensive..” geez, I can’t win.

  7. Hate is a serious word. They don’t understand its power yet. That said, would you allow him to run around, dropping the F bomb? Probably not. We don’t ignore swear words in public. So, my advice, is don’t ignore any word that causes you or anyone else to feel really badly is something to pay attention to. I like your mom’s advice. You don’t need to give him angry words in return, but he probably needs to be removed from the situation after a warning. Ignoring words over here has never brought the results we wanted but Time outs and privilege removals did.

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