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Do other kids say these things?

My son is three and a half. About a month ago he started saying "I'm a bad boy", and "you don't love me". Ususally this happens when he is told something he doesn't want to hear or do. Also, if I he asks for something, like he wants to draw, and I say yes you can but you have to draw at the table, he starts to whine and say "you said I can't draw? I can't play with my crayons?". It's like all he hears is the but and not the yes. This happens daily. And with the first scenario no one has ever told my son he is bad and our family tells each other we love eachother daily. I am concerned about his self esteem. How to I respond to him and is this normal or something to be concerned about.
Thanks

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Johnathonsmomy

Asked by Johnathonsmomy at 1:56 PM on Nov. 16, 2008 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (7)
  • Instead of saying but (which is like giving 2 directions which can be hard to grasp for a 3 year old) say yes you can color at the table. Or say Sure the table is a good spot to color! For some kids especially boys I noticed they do have a phase of you dont love me etc. Sounds to me like he is seeking praise from you to evaluate his self esteem. Remind yourself to praise and praise. I would bring it up to your ped at your next visit just so they are aware :-).
    Crystal42683

    Answer by Crystal42683 at 2:02 PM on Nov. 16, 2008

  • My son does pretty much the same thing. Especially when I tell him to go sit in time out. He says things such as "Mama don't like me" or "Mama don't look at me". I asked a pediatrician, and he said its actually him trying to control the situation. He told me to not give into it, because otherwise, he will run circles around me. Also after we are done with time out, I have him come over and we tell sorry for whatever that he did was unacceptable. And then I tell him that I love him and hug him. I feel he needs to know that I can discipline him, but I also love him, even if I don't like his behavior. Like I said we all love our children, but sometimes we don't like them. Do you know what I mean. I wouldn't worry about self esteem. He's just trying to see what you are going to do, and if he can get his way. Good luck
    Reggie2

    Answer by Reggie2 at 2:13 PM on Nov. 16, 2008

  • I think it will come with him learning to listen better (in time) and you can help by telling him sequences, like first we will go to church, then you can have some popcorn in the truck, so he can distinguish time and waiting, ect. He will :) Already is :)
    TXdanielly

    Answer by TXdanielly at 7:51 PM on Nov. 16, 2008

  • My 6 year old is going through similar actions. I just stop and give her a big hug. Look her in the eyes and tell her Mommy loves her very much. The more attention she gets the less she does it. I noticed it got worse when her younger brother started talking. I think it is more attention seeking than anything - but in my case I am taking her to see someone just to make sure it does not get worse.
    MomRealtor201

    Answer by MomRealtor201 at 9:55 PM on Nov. 16, 2008

  • My son has been doing that kind of thing with my dh. He works 3rd shift, so he sleeps during the day. Sometimes our son will go in there and wake him up before he's ready to get up and dh will tell him to leave the room or whatever. Xander comes out just crying and saying "Papa doesn't love me, Papa doesn't want to play with me". I just make sure to give him lots of hugs and explain to him that Papa does love him, he just can't play right now. Then I make dh tell him the same thing again when he gets up. It happens with other things too, if we're too busy to do what he wants us too. I just try to tell him over and over that we DO love him and explain the situation. It can be heart-breaking though to hear him say that!
    mom2XandZ

    Answer by mom2XandZ at 10:46 PM on Nov. 16, 2008

  • Oh yes!! I hear it daily.
    vsrillo

    Answer by vsrillo at 3:43 AM on Nov. 17, 2008

  • Yeah i agree its a phase. My son did it, my daughter hasnt yet. But i agree that it is a way for them to see what they can get away with and see if they can run the show.
    SparklesOfAmber

    Answer by SparklesOfAmber at 9:11 AM on Nov. 17, 2008

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