Mum’s the Word: When Your Child Thinks You’re an Idiot
Friday, September 11, 2015
She’s outgrown two sizes of clothing, expanded her diet beyond PediaSure and chicken nuggets, and has finally stopped calling me “Miss Hannigan” in public.
Recently, she’s also began the dreaded journey into the world of name-calling and talking back.
I don’t remember the first time my daughter called me an “idiot,” but I can definitely assure you that I thought it was a one-off situation.
“Maybe she doesn’t really know what that word means,” the innocent mother thought.
However, after denying Lia her natural-born right as an American citizen to drink juice after 8pm, I learned that Lia definitely knows what the word “idiot” means.
“Fine! I guess I’ll stay thirsty forever, you big idiot,” Lia shouted while also slamming the door in my face.
“Idiot” isn’t the only insulting word she’s taken to dishing out, though. In fits of rage, she also enjoys calling me “big pig,” “ape,” or “ya dummy.” “Ya dummy” actually happens to be my particular favorite because I always picture her as a cast member of Bugsy Malone when she says this… “No gummies for supper? Say, what’s the big idea, ya big dummy.”
As much as I am not personally offended by the rage of a four-year-old, though, I do recognize that it’s important to nip this behavior in the bud. While I’m not sure what inspired this change in her behavior, I know that it needs to stop as soon as possible.
Despite her fairly young age, I also know that I’m not the only parent out there with a mouthy four-year-old. In fact, the National Association of School Psychologists acknowledge the fact that it’s actually pretty normal for preschool children to engage in these sorts of behavior. (Trust me, I look up EVERYTHING to ensure I did not actually give birth to an adorable alien.)
So, in effort to help my fellow mothers (and fathers) who are out there on the child-rearing battlefield, here are some tips for dealing with a rowdy child.
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Related Slideshow: Mum’s the Word: When Your Child Thinks You’re an Idiot
I admit that due to exhaustion and busyness, I would really rather just ignore my daughter’s occasional outbursts. After all, they never last for very long. However, to ignore problematic behavior is very dangerous. Just because I may not be personally offended by the insults of a person who can’t wipe her own butt yet, doesn’t mean she won’t one day call a child her own age a mean word. More than likely, the other child won’t have as thick of skin as I do. So be sure to address any name-calling immediately. Acknowledge that your child is angry and that the anger is an okay feeling to have sometimes, but emphasize the fact that it’s never okay to take your anger out on another person in the form of belittling them.
Photo Credit: Inside Out IMDB Page (Image Cropped)
It might be tough, but try and think about why your little one is suddenly using hurtful language. Sure, no matter what you do, your children will be exposed to teasing and name-calling at playgroups or school. However, do your best to make sure this is not a behavior that they’re witnessing at home. Monitor your language. Are you calling yourself stupid when you make a mistake? Are you calling the dog stupid when they misbehave?
If you do use words like stupid or idiot flippantly, don’t waste time feeling guilty. Instead, acknowledge that you may not be setting the best example at present and try and be better in the future.
Time passes quickly. Sure, your little one, or maybe even your teenager, is being a real pain in the derriere right now. However, unless it’s a really extreme situation, their disdain for you will quickly dissipate. In the midst of stressful moments, just breath and hold on to the precious moments that you know lie ahead.
Photo Credit: Dennis the Menace IMDB Page (Image Cropped)
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