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Child Saying Mean Things When Angry

I have a friend on FB who posted things that her son said to her today. She said he was mad because he had to clean up a mess he made and was posting and joking around about the things he said to her. The one that got me the most was him telling her that he never felt like he belonged in or fit well in the family...and she was laughing about it.

So...when your child says something like that or just plain mean to or about you when angry, do you think it is just them being angry and wanting to hurt you or do you think that is just a time when they feel no inhibitions to speak the truth and they really feel what they are saying?

I don't know...I get the "you are mean" or "I hate you," but that what she said he said just seems real. If my DD said something like that, I think I'd be re-evaluating how we are as a family.

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Asked by AllAboutKeeley at 11:52 PM on Apr. 14, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 33 (59,731 Credits)
Answers (3)
  • "I never felt like I belonged in or fit well in the family" would stop me dead in my tracks. That seems, like you said, too real to be just the run-of-the-mill "you're mean and I hate you" stuff.

    Answer by Ballad at 12:04 AM on Apr. 15, 2013

  • I take feelings seriously but I also understand that the words aren't always accurate or literal. That doesn't mean they're not important or aren't "true," but just that it's not always about the literal content of what's said. That's true for many things!
    "I will always love you!" is less a contract (even if the "promise" is kept) than it is a statement of how intensely happy the person feels in that moment.
    "I'm never bringing you two back here" or "We're never coming to this restaurant again" is really "I'm so frustrated right now!" or "I feel utterly helpless & furious right now!"
    I don't know how old the boy is or how he stated those comments (retaliating, tearful...)
    But I take any declaration as an accurate statement about that moment in time. I try to take my kids seriously (so I wouldn't laugh them off or pose as remote/distant or uncaring) but my goal is to do so within a context of staying regulated, myself.

    Answer by girlwithC at 12:04 AM on Apr. 15, 2013

  • And I frequently evaluate & re-evaluate how we are as a family! lol

    That's a part of basic course-correction, I think, and a part of keeping in touch with how well (and whether) my short-term decisions & strategies are supporting my long-term goals for my kids. So many things that "work" or "get results" in the moment actually undermine the things I want for them, and for our relationship, long-term. Taking kids seriously is one way of staying in touch.

    A statement like that boy's could be more than one thing. It could express his resistance & his resentment around their conflict; it could speak to a deep sense of alienation; it could indicate doubt about his real value to his mom; it could express his perception of being loved conditionally (i.e., not really loved.) I actually don't think it's "less" important if it's "just" peevish. Taking it seriously helps on any front. I believe response is what matters most, anyway.

    Answer by girlwithC at 12:30 AM on Apr. 15, 2013

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