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OMGoodness Where did I go wrong?

My DD (3 1/2 year old) just went to my husband and said "I'm going to push Gabriel (my son) down the stairs and then say I am sorry." I am at a total loss of words! We are trying to teach our kids to never intentionally hurt another human being (ESPECIALLY for no reason) And we always make them apologize to each other when they do hurt one another even when its an accident. We understand they are 3, but where did she get the idea doing that would be okay? She didnt actually do it but its scary that thought was even in her head. Do you think she has got info mixed up or that she didnt know what she was saying?


Asked by LovinEveryDay at 1:49 PM on Nov. 25, 2008 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 1 (3 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (6)
  • (1) She knows she shouldn't hurt someone on purpose.
    (2) She knows if she does hurt someone, she needs to say I'm sorry.
    (3) She said this to see if it's OK to hurt someone and then say you are sorry. She's testing the boundaries. This is a serious question to her and she is trying to work out just what is OK and what isn't. She also needs to know that making threats is wrong.
    (4) She has NO idea that she could do a lot of damage. No matter what you have taught her, she does not KNOW this. Not even if you push a vase down the stairs so she can see it will shatter.
    (5) She will be in her early 20's before her ability to evaluate the consequences of her actions BEFORE she does something is mature.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 2:25 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

  • no. I am pretty sure she knew what she was saying. my own son went through that phase around 4 when he would say he was going to do things to intentionally hurt another person. you just have to keep reaffirming the boundaries of what is and is not acceptable behavior. she was giving you a chance to tell her the right and wrong of it before she actually did it so you could let her know that was not acceptable. she will probably do it more and more until it is firmly planted in her head what is too far and what is right.

    Answer by Suni at 1:52 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

  • I believe that 3.5 year olds dont really grasp the idea that their actions can cause serious consequences.......she doesnt realize that pushing him down the stairs could cause bad bad things.....I would work really hard on teaching her behavior = consequence.....for instance (if you do this, then this happens)

    She thinks that if she says she is sorry....then its ok......also try to start teaching that.....even though you say your sorry....which is are still going to be punished for your action and their is still a consequence......

    Do you use a time out spot? Even if it is an accident I would use the spot....(in a nice way) just to reinforce the idea of consequences of accidents......even unintended.....

    Gotta stop rambling.... ;)

    Answer by mom2twobabes at 1:54 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

  • Whoa! Being that young, I would have to think that she's pretty smart to put that thought together! My kids get in trouble for accidently hurting each other too. My big sister used to hurt me all the time and would just tell my parents it was an accident when it wasn't. She's almost 5 years older. I tell my kids that they're in control of thier bodies and if the hurt each other it's not an accident.

    Answer by Lornamay at 1:57 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

  • I have heard Dr Phil say 100's of times that even until kids are teenagers their brains are still developing.....and they have a hard time seeing whats around the corner.....what might happen if they do this behavior.....

    I am not saying kids are dumb....she probably knows that he might get hurt....but she probably doesnt realize just how bad it could be....broken arm, concusion.....ect

    I still however believe in punishment for all these behaviors to help them understand about consequences.

    Answer by mom2twobabes at 2:04 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

  • I do teach them if you do this, this is what happens in a chain of events. I cant punish them for an accident. Like for example my son looks the opposit direction he is running and we are trying to make him understand he needs to look forward, but if he runs into our daughter its an accident and we just reinforce him to watch where he is going...but he doesnt get in trouble for it. If they were to say punch one another then say it was an accident they would get in trouble because no, that was not an accident because at this point they do have control of those kinds of things. I am am just so shocked. She is a very sweet little girl.

    Answer by LovinEveryDay at 2:11 PM on Nov. 25, 2008