Often during a quarrel, people utter hurtful words in their hearts. Even if the conflict is settled, the sediment, sometimes, still remains. It is harder when such words are spoken by a child. At such moments, the parent, as a rule, experiences a different range of emotions: from bewilderment to anger and disappointment. What to do if your children regularly say angry, repulsive words and try to hurt mom or dad?
Causes of behavior
Until about the age of four, the child says «bad» expressions only as a way of expressing his emotions. This is because his ideas about what is painful, offensive or unpleasant are either not yet available, or very vague and are only being formed. The baby may not even understand, for example, what the word «fool» means. Sometimes kids pronounce a word only because it seemed funny and funny to them — they overheard someone and decided to repeat it.
But older children can use such harsh words and phrases quite consciously. However, first you need to understand what prompted the child to utter offensive and angry expressions.
- Imitation. Sometimes a child strives to be like an adult in everything. He sees how parents swear, what words relatives use during quarrels and conflicts, and, of course, he notices what statements hit the sickest person (“I hate you!”, “You always spoil everything!”). That is why the child quickly learns this type of behavior — after all, it seems to be acceptable for the family in which he grows up. If you are firmly convinced that such behavior is excluded in the family (even when the child is sleeping and whispering!), Perhaps the matter is in relatives, school or friends — it is worth taking a closer look.
- To attract attention. If a child feels that he is not receiving attention from loved ones, he will do everything to draw it to himself. Even in such an unpleasant way, because in the children’s picture of the world, negative attention is much better than its complete absence. Sometimes kids just don’t know how to get attention in a different way. For example, mom and dad think that 4 or 5 in the diary is a matter of course and there is nothing to comment on here, but 2 or 3 is already a reason to have a serious talk. What the child will do in this case, you have already guessed.
- Self-assertion. This reason for hurtful words is the most common in families with overprotective parents and grandmothers. When moms, dads, grandparents suppress children’s independence and control literally every step, the child can say hurtful and angry words as a protest. In fact, in this case, evil words are a special manifestation of children’s will and desire to do at least something on their own, because otherwise they cannot make a breach in hyper-custody on their own.
- Manipulation. If the child did not like something (grandmother asked to collect toys or dad does not want to buy another dinosaur), then in this case offensive words are also used as a means of manipulation. These phrases are spoken, rather, from helplessness and resentment than from a real desire to hurt. Sympathize with the child, show that you understand his experiences, but be firm in what you have decided and that you cannot be offended.
If you think about it, behind every touching and even shocking childish phrase lies a certain message. For example: “I hate you” can be about removing accumulated explosive emotions, “You are a bad mom / bad dad” — about the desire to express dissatisfaction or reach out to a parent, “Leave me alone” — most likely protecting your personal boundaries, “You are old / you don’t understand anything ”- a feeling of lack of understanding and support, of close partnership with a child who believes that your experience will not give him anything. Of course, this is just speculation, everyone is different.
What to do if the child says hurtful words
How should parents react if children utter hurtful words with enviable regularity? Psychologists advise this:
- Watch your own speech. If a child has before his eyes an example of parents or grandparents who, in the heat of a quarrel, like to throw offensive phrases, then there is nowhere to draw a positive example from.
- Teach children to express their feelings, to pronounce them, to recognize them. Sometimes behind the hurtful statements of children is the inability to correctly express their own feelings. Frank conversations about emotions, educational cartoons and books that develop emotional intelligence will help in this. And you can also invite the child to blow off steam: scream at the wall, beat a pillow, write a letter about your emotions and tear it into small pieces, draw your anger or discontent, just cry from the heart.
- Parents should give more freedom to their children: let the child do something more or choose for himself in accordance with his age.
- Speak to the child all the emotions that arise in response to his words. For example, that you are hurt, sad, unpleasant when they shout at you so loudly. Be tactful but persistent in sharing childhood experiences and suggesting that they be expressed in a more environmentally friendly way.
- It happens that the parent is wrong, and the child says hurtful things, as mentioned above, out of impotence. Admit you were wrong. Talk about what happened, ask for forgiveness. In addition to being valuable for a child, this is a great example of how you can behave when you are wrong.
- Ask your child directly: “What do you not like?” After that, you can start a dialogue, come to a compromise or a solution to the problem. Teach children to express their needs directly, without detours or hurtful words about others.
But how to react to parents if the child suddenly began to swear, we recently wrote.