When Your Kids Say Things They Shouldn't
Find out what to do when your kids say things they shouldn't...
You haven’t seen your mum and dad in months and they are finally going to get to come for a visit. You can’t wait to see them. And they can’t wait to see their adorable grandkids…oh, and you, too, of course. But moments after they walk through the door, your mother has your four-year-old hugged close only to hear… “Nanna, your breathe smells like poop.”
So, how do you deal with potty mouth?
Don’t try to brush it off and don’t let Nanna and Grandpa brush it off, either. But…don’t make a huge deal out of it. Instead, take little mister or miss by the hand, tell them that their words were rude and hurtful and let them know an apology for being rude is in order. Once done, let it go. It’s done and over with-you just hope that’s the only episode there is.
You can always hope
Yes, you can always hope, but with a preschooler in the house, you know things don’t always go the way you want them to.
As the days go by, your preschooler is completely unpredictable. One minute he/she is loving and fun (like you know him/her to be) and the next minute they’re saying things like ‘Leave me alone’, ‘I don’t want to’, ‘No!’ or simply ignoring their grandparents altogether-including not answering questions or acknowledging their attempts to play or interact with them.
And you ask yourself, ‘where is my child?’
Here’s what to do
If this scene is all too familiar to you, you’ll be glad to know you are not alone. But even knowing you aren’t alone doesn’t fix the situation, does it? Fixing things…that’s what you really want to do, right? Then let’s do it.
- Unkind remarks toward visiting relatives should be, as indicated earlier, handled promptly, calmly and then let go. Dwelling on the situation makes adults uncomfortable and puts your kids on the defensive. They look at the visiting relatives as the enemy-the ones who got them into trouble for telling the truth. Hey, her breath really did smell like poop.
- Potty mouth outbursts are sometimes for attention. Now if your preschooler spouts off curse words they hear you use on a regular basis, then shame on you and you have not a leg to stand on. Sorry, that’s just the way it is. On the other hand, if your preschooler is into interjecting the word ‘pee pee’, ‘boobies’, ‘poop’, ‘penis’ or something similar into every sentence, that’s just the life of a preschooler. It can get out of hand, though, so the best way to handle that, is to put them in a room nearby and instruct them to repeat the word over and over and over and over until you tell them to stop. They’ll get tired of saying it before you get tired of hearing it.
- Ignoring attempts at conversation is a toughie. Are the visiting relatives bombarding them with a question out of desperate attempts to make up for lost time since they only see them once or twice a year? If so, gently ask your parents (or whoever) to back off by saying something like, ‘Darcy, Grandpa and Grandma want to know what you like to play and what your favourite television show is.’ Let Darcy do the talking and grandparents do the listening. Some kids, though, are shy when it comes to strangers-and sadly to them, grandparents who visit once or twice a year are just that. You need to respect this in your child and encourage your parents or other relatives to do the same. Let your child warm up to them. FYI: regular SKYPE dates can help to alleviate this situation.
- Resisting hugs and kisses. This is also something that needs to be left to the child. Don’t force it. Some kids just aren’t as affectionate as others and some are shy. Simple statements like ‘Dax isn’t a huggy-kissy kind of guy, are you, Dax’ will hopefully get the message across.
- Refusing to play games or interact with the company. This one needs to be swayed toward the visiting relatives. It’s not going to hurt your child to play a board game or have a tea party. If they are holding back due to shyness, participate with them. This should help.
Just give it some time
Having company in your home can be disruptive to your preschooler’s world. If they have to give up their room or even share it or if they are normally shy and introverted, you truly can’t expect too much. You can and do have the right to expect them to be kind and respectful, but if they truly don’t know who is in their home, it’s not quite fair to expect them to share your enthusiasm or that of those who have come to call.
Just give it time. By allowing your preschooler to warm up to their guests and by using things like SKYPE and regular phone calls or Facebook pictures and messaging, your preschooler will soon come to love and appreciate family just as much as you do.
Got more tips on what to do when your kids say things they shouldn’t? Share with us by leaving a comment below!