"i hate you" how to handle or discipline a 3yr old for saying i hate you

Melissa - posted on 03/27/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )

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My 3yr old has recently picked up say I HATE YOU to me everytime i get on to him or when he dont get his way! I tell him thats not nice and it hurts my feelings when he says it but i dont think he understands. is anyone else having this problem with their toddlers? if so how do you handle it?

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[deleted account]

My response when the children I looked after (I do home child care) would say that to me was:
"That's fine. I still like you anyway."
Then what ever was the consequence to their actions was carried out (time out, removal of toy, told to play somewhere else or with something else for a few minutes ect).

Once the realize that its not getting the reaction they think it should get it goes away.

Also don't let him see that it bothers you. Kids are smart they will keep doing something once the realize they can get a reaction out of you for it even if they don't understand why.

Good luck!

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Well disaplin dipending on what it is and the child might make them disliek You even more (for afew mins which will make them want to say it more)
hm try telling them that You love them sooo much every time they say it. and if it get out of hand just show them You are ignoreing them when they say it. if they are throwers (like to chuck things around as they say it or at all) just hold them say i love You and hum no other words needed. .. hope Your doing okay. they really do love You they jsut need to know that they are loved when they are mad. (or when Your mad too)

Kirsten - posted on 03/31/2010

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To Karrie: Sure, children have a right to their feelings but at the age of 3, most kids feelings don't go beyond sad, happy, tired, and hungry. I don't know very many kids under the age of 6 who truly know the word 'hate' and actually FEEL it, especially towards a parent[assuming the parent is not abusive or negligent].

Anywho, I agree with most everyone else.. ignore the behavior. If your child sees that it's affecting you when he tells you he hates you, he's going to keep doing it. Just like right now with my 15 month old & his tantrums-- if I sit there and baby him or show him [positive OR negative] attention while he's throwing a fit then he realizes it's a new way to get my attention and he'll continue. By ignoring him or treating him normally while he throws his fit and afterward giving him love, he knows that he's not in control and fits of anger or frustration, while they may make him feel better, they're not going to change the way I love him or treat him.

My stepson has told me on a few occasions that he hates me, usually because he's not getting his way or something. Usually I just tell him, "Well, I'm sorry that you feel that way but you know I'll always love you." or if he tells me he hates me then wants to play or something, I tell him, "I'm sorry but I don't play with little boys who hate me," and usually he'll apologize or tell me he doesn't hate me.

Whatever you do, don't let it get to you. I'm sure your baby doesn't hate you at all!!! ♥ :)

Lyndsay - posted on 03/27/2010

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I think that if I had this issue, I would tell my son that he is entitled to feel that way but I'm all he's got. If he's just saying it in a fit of anger, he probably doesn't mean it... ask him how he feels when he's calm. If he still says he hates you, then thats a completely different issue. If not, then discuss it with him when he's in a good mood. Tell him that it really hurts your feelings when he tells you he hates you, because you're his mommy and you love him very much. Make sure you tell him that it's okay to be angry and he is allowed to get upset, but that hate is a very strong word and maybe he can replace it with something like "I'm mad at you right now".

Shelley - posted on 03/29/2010

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Yes! It's awful that the one person who can truly hurt my feelings is my 3.5 year old. I tell him the same thing that it hurts my feelings, and that I still love him anyway. He will usually stop after, but there are times when he will just say things that are plain mean. I ask him to talk nice to me. It's amazing how much our kids have power over our feelings and moods. I never would have thought my 3 year old could hurt my feelings.

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Kim - posted on 09/28/2013

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I have a 3yr old boy also and I am going through the same thing except he also tells me that I am stupid and dumb. He also has a problem with hitting. I have tried time out and pretty much everything else for punishment and I think it just makes things worse. Then last night he slapped me across the face and I was dumb founded and shock. I am at a loss with what to do. I have recently got to the point of I just walk away from him. So if anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them!!!!!!

Michelle - posted on 04/03/2010

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my son used to do that as well I used to tell him I was sorry to hear that because I loved him.....because he is just trying to hurt your feelings and if you play into it he is winning

Karrie - posted on 03/31/2010

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To Kirsten: Let me cliarify, I never said that their feelings were hate. It could simple be they are upset because they did not get a toy. You are just saying hey i heard you.

Karrie - posted on 03/31/2010

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They do have rights to their feelings, and this would be a perfect opportunity to tell him that while its ok to feel angry with some one words can hurt. Then tell him, "I still love you!"

Annemaree - posted on 03/30/2010

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I TOTALLY AGREE WITH NICOLE AND VICTORIA JUST SAY U LUV THEM N CARRY ON WITH WHAT UR DOING IT MUST BE HARD MINE HAVENT SAID THAT YET I AM DREADING THE DAY I HEAR THOSE HORRIBLE WORDS .... JUST DONT LET IT GET U DOWN THEY DONT KNOW THE MEANING OF THE WORD AT THAT AGE N THEY REALLY DO LUV U ......

Joslin - posted on 03/29/2010

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I think that he's too young to understand what he's doing, but he's engaging in a power struggle and probably trying to get attention from you. ANY kind of attention. I'd walk away and ignore until he calms down and then I would try to talk to him about using nice words, hurting feelings and give him some positive suggestions to deal with being upset for next time.

Linda - posted on 03/29/2010

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I found the easiest way is to just say "I Love You too" anytime my daughters have said that and if they keep sayin it just keep saying "I Love You too"! Try not to get upset about it they don't really hate you they're just upset about being told off or annoyed about not getting what they want! And don't worry they grow out of it my eldest did the same when she was younger and now my 4yr old does it sometimes.

Victoria - posted on 03/29/2010

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I would just respond "well I love you" and continue with what you were doing. I agree with Nicole - don't let them see it bothers you and when they don't get a reaction they will move on to something else, like "your a poo poo head" - its all the same to them

Jennifer - posted on 03/28/2010

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Remind your child of a time when they felt really sad and let them know that is how he/she makes you feel.

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