Sunday, August 23, 2009

Expressing Anger

For the most part, I truly believe that a "school" setting is great for kids in their toddler years. At least my kids, that is. You know, for the typical reasons, such as learning to share, expressing oneself in a group setting with peers, respecting authority, experiencing more creativity from their teachers than they could ever get from their pretty-boring mommy, yada, yada, yada.

However, even though this is the first time I've written about a bad habit that Ivie's learned at school, I'm certain it won't be the last...

Apparently, at least in Ivie's class amongst the 3 year-olds, there's this "thing" that the kids say to each other when they get frustrated/angry. They look each other in the eye and, with a mean look on their faces, say "You're not my friend any more!". (Until, like, 5 minutes later when they "make up" and say, "You're my BEST friend!")

And, of course, Ivie has decided to bring this negative phrase home. So any time she gets frustrated with Dale or me (usually when we ask her to do something that she's not ready to do), she looks at us and utters this phrase. With an expression similar to this on her face.

Lately, in an attempt to get her to stop, I've asked her how it makes her feel when her friends say that to her at school. One such time, we had a great discussion, and Ivie said that "it hurt my feelings" when her friend had said it to her. A breakthrough, maybe?!? I actually thought that she was finally beginning to understand that this was not an appropriate way to express anger. So, since then, each time she says it to me, I explain to her that it hurts my feelings when she says it, and that I wish she wouldn't use those words. Especially since we all know that I will always love her and be her friend, even though she certainly won't always agree with my decisions as her mommy.

Sounds great, huh? Well, I wish I could say that it's working. But, so far, it's not. I know it's going to be an uphill battle, particularly given that she spends 8+ hours a day at school where "the phrase" runs rampant! But we'll take on the challenge. And I'll hold off on writing my child psychology book for now...


Mark Nguyen said...

Wow. That is one seriously mean look. I don't as a 3 year old what I would've done if I'd gotten that look AND the "I'm not your friend comment." How soon do you figure until Macie is able to say that (or something close to that)?

Texas Gal said...

Ok, this is so right on. Addie (now 4) started saying that phrase last year. It has recently been replace with "I don't like you anymore" which we are quickly putting a stop to (since if she said hate, that is what she would be saying).

I don't understand the 'you're not my best friend anymore' especially because, as you said, it is quickly replaced with 'you're my best friend mommy'.