React Calmly When Your Child Lashes Out at You

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by Patrice on February 12, 2011 · 1 comment

in Behavior

Young children have different ways of displaying their anger at different stages of their emotional development. After the tantrum stage, where displeasure can only be shown with cries of distress or hitting out, they often come out with verbal attacks as a way to express their anger and frustration.

Most single moms have been told at one time or another by their child that they are the meanest mommy in the world. Often, a young child may come out with the dreaded statement “I hate you”.

The first time mom hears this it could stop her in her tracks is she hasn’t been prepared for the possibility in advance. Don’t let the child know that they have thrown you by their expression of displeasure. Calmly keep your mind focused on the situation at hand and stay in control of the situation.

The worst response for a single mom to make is to try to convince the child that they really don’t mean it. The child knows how they feel and if this is the only way they know of to express their feeling, telling them they are wrong won’t work. In fact, this could show the young child that they have found a way to push moms’ buttons. The child could also interpret it to mean that mom isn’t taking their frustration or anger seriously and the frustration and anger level could quickly escalate.

Young kids have a hard time expressing their frustrations verbally. When they lash out because they are angry and frustrated because you are enforcing a rule that they don’t want to follow, stay calm. Don’t back down or put off the task or disciplinary action while you try to convince your child that you’re not the meanest mom in the world or that the child really doesn’t hate you.

Let the child know that you have heard the complaint and understand that they are trying to express anger or frustration. Continue to enforce the rule or the discipline. But, do it calmly so that child doesn’t get the idea that using these tactics will get a reaction from mom that could work to his benefit at a later time.

If the child is frustrated and lashing out because of a game of other circumstance, offer options to the child. Acknowledge that the task at hand is difficult. Suggest that they ask for help instead of showing anger. Let the child know that you are available to offer guidance before the frustration sets in.

A single mom should remember that even adults have times of frustration when they have to struggle to make their feeling known without lashing out. Adults often use words like hate to describe their own frustrations. For instance, how many times do you comment “I hate it when they do that” when someone leaves a shopping cart in the ideal parking space at the supermarket?

About Patrice

Patrice Campbell is a freelance writer working from the Denver area. Campbell started her writing career in the 1980’s, working for several Wisconsin local papers as a news, human interest and features writer, as well as a photographer.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jessa February 15, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Before, I have felt concern about my child’s behavior. As a single mom, I find it hard training and talking with my kids while trying to have those means to bring them to a better social interaction not only in dealing with me but as well as with the everyone. And after looking in this site of parenting help for single moms like me, it’s like I’m the perfect mom for them. It was a great feeling helping me in making immediate improvements in their behavior because it shows me how to make those improvements permanent. It’s not much saying thank you for this great and resilient help.


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