After all the parenting books I have read I would have thought I would have known how to respond when my little girl of 2,5 years old screams "GO AWAY!".....?!
mmm....I am not offended that she expresses anger towards me/my husband, but I am not sure how to guide her to do it more appropriately. I don't know how to word the following: "I know you want me to go away now, and I will, but please don't scream at me and speak to me with disrespect". Or am I being unreasonable to think that she could understand that tone of voice is something that one should consider when expressing your feelings?
I am glad that she does express her negative emotions towards us as I know it is a vital step in being able to put boundaries in later in life. If she can't say "No/go away" to us without feeling rejected, how will she say that when somebody tries to harm her/molest her.
I am just not certain how to respond to this at this age. Should I just leave when she screams "go away" to me or should I tell her that if she wants me to go away that she could go and lie on her bed untill she feels better?
I know you should always first reflect the childs emotion, like: " I know you are angry with me now for taking the knife away, but it can hurt your or someone else." and then give an alternative.
But when she screams "go away" I am a bit floored. I have said to her that I can see she is angry with me right now (not sure why really? maybe just because she is 2 years old?!), but could she please ask nicely when she wants me to go away? Then I thought by myself, that sounds so stupid! ha ha!
Maybe I shouldn't make a fuss about the fact that she said that I should go away and just redirect her to vent her frustrations more apropriately like hitting/kicking the floor, punching a pillow or running outside, or lying down for a few moments????
I look forward to hearing Antjie's response to this. It is a good question.
Personally, I think they have the "right" to get angry with us at times and that saying: "Go away" is probably better than hitting (as I have seen some children do). Chances are, they don't REALLY want us to go away, but when we do, they may realise this and stop saying it?? (one can hope, right?). I would just do as Julz and go away. WE all need a "time out". Maybe when she is calm again, you can tell her that when she gets angry and needs to be alone, she should rather just go to her room instead of shouting at you. But then you need to remember that sometimes when she is angry, she likes to be left alone. Let's face it - when we, as adults are angry, even we would find it hard to say anything to the "offending" person in a kind manner.
GW, I read all the responses now. I chat to my play therapist friend a lot. Not sure of any of this will help but this is what I do with Nienke whenever she is having a bad day or is in a bad mood.
I do believe they understand everything. I talk to her like I would talk to you. It also depends why she is saying go away. Sometimes when N is on the toilet, she tells me to go away. Nicely, yes, but then I stand around the corner and tell her I will wait for her when she is done.
If she is angry, which I must admit doesn't happen a lot, I ask her why she is angry? Is she feeling sad or frustrated or angry? I try and get her to identify her emotion and then talk about it. I will explain to her that you do not shout at mommy, because it hurts mommy's feelings or it is rude. That I love her and want her to talk to me in a loving manner.
Sometimes you have to wait for the anger to subside and then talk and ask. N has this thing now when I scold her, she tells me she is "hartseer" (sad). I'll then ask why and she'll say because I scolded her or whatever. I'll then explain even though I love her and I hear that she is now sad, I am just telling her what I feel is right. (For instance: when she has to sit in the car seat and we "disagree" on her being buckled in. I will buckle her up because it's non-negotiable and she'll cry for instance. Then tell me she is "hartseer" and I'll explain she is entitled to feel sad but that I want her to be safe and that is why I want her to wear her seatbelt. You catch my drift?)
Don't know if that will help in your situation but that's what works for us at the moment.
O yes, getting back to the anger-my play therapist friend suggested that if a toddler wants to hit something, you must give them a pillow, for instance, to take their anger out on. You then explain that it is okay to be angry but you do not hit or shout at mommy. Tell mommy if you are angry and you can hit the pillow to get rid of your frustration. But we do not hit people etc...