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My son is 2yrs and 4mos old and has just recently started to tell my husband and I "I hate you"!

This is my first child so I have none to compare him to. Is this normal for his age? The only place he could be learning this from is at daycare :( any suggestions on how to handle this? So far we've just been telling him "do not say that, it isn't nice", and we tell him to say sorry!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 7:36 PM on Dec. 31, 2012 in General Parenting

Answers (15)
  • Yeah. Talk to the daycare. He doesn't know what he is saying. Ignore it or say no we say I love you.

    Answer by staciandababy at 7:38 PM on Dec. 31, 2012

  • Will he ever stop and get that it's not ok? I'm worried he's going to turn out to be a turd :(

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 7:40 PM on Dec. 31, 2012

  • He's only repeating things he's learned (probably from daycare). He has no idea what hate is at this age. He will outgrow it. My son used to tell me "I don't love you..." at that age... He was just teasing me and has long since forgotten about it.

    Answer by Ruthmom802 at 7:47 PM on Dec. 31, 2012

  • It's not necessarily a learned behavior... at this age he isn't all that good at processing disappointment or other emotions and that's how he's dealing. Just explain, then continue to re-enforce how hurtful that is and he will soon grow out of it... until High School anyways!! LOL

    Answer by Crafty26 at 7:49 PM on Dec. 31, 2012

  • Don't make him apologize. Kids don't know what apologizing is until much older. Best to simply ignore it. When they see a reaction on the parents' part they know it is something different and will continue to do it.

    Answer by silverthreads at 7:50 PM on Dec. 31, 2012

  • It is normal and it won't go away. Every time my son says he hates me or that I am mean I do a little victory dance inside because that means I am being a wonderful mommy but not letting him get his way all the time. BTW he will be 6 in February. At his age just ignore it since he doesn't understand what he is saying. When he gets older remind him that it is hurtful and that hate is a strong word and teach him to tell you he is angry with you.

    Answer by amandajoy21 at 7:54 PM on Dec. 31, 2012

  • Nip that one quick! OMG, that is one you do not want to hear on an hourly basis!

    Answer by madmueller at 8:37 PM on Dec. 31, 2012

  • That was going to be my first question...where is he learning that from?? At that age they are only mimicking phrases, not comprehending them so he is most likely hearing someone say that, not coming up with it on his own so no, it's not normal at that age. Just keep telling him it's not a nice word to say but don't give it TOO much reaction. Talk to the daycare as well.

    Answer by maecntpntz219 at 8:53 PM on Dec. 31, 2012

  • my daughter is almost 4 and always says I don't love you any more. I don't know if she ever said hate but saying she doesn't love me is basically the samething. I just say its not nice to say that but since he is so young I wonder why her would hear that at daycare. is he with older children. that is the only think I can think of or does he have older siblings?

    Answer by lambdarose at 9:58 PM on Dec. 31, 2012

  • While the words (phrase) tend to be used because the behavior is learned/observed (he's heard it somewhere), it's true that it still can be authentic communication on the emotional level. That doesn't mean that he "knows" what it means, but that it DOES mean something to him. I think it depends on the context.
    If he simply is chirping the words at random times, he may simply be parroting a phrase. If he's saying it at times when things don't go his way or you have done something he doesn't like (or prevented him from doing something he was enjoying), you can safely assume that these words express his disappointment, frustration or anger. If this is the case, you can acknowledge & accept his feelings by reflecting back his "translated" communication: "Yes, you really didn't like that!" or "You didn't want mama to take that away!!' In this way you are showing understanding (rather than rejecting valid feelings) & also

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:09 PM on Dec. 31, 2012

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