4 year old told me he wishes I was a dead body(7 Posts)
My ds has become very vocal in his anger. When I tell him not to do something or deny him something he will start telling me he'll break my things and rip my clothes. Last week Dh and I told him not to do something and he went upstairs and told his sister he wished we were dead. Then today I caught him biting my coat and trying to rip it when I told him off for ripping up his paper plane. He followed me upstairs and told me he wished I was a dead body, then denied he'd said it to me.
Otherwise he's a happy and very smart little boy. I told him after he'd calmed down that it's not nice to say things like that because My mummy died too and I had no one to hug me and buy me nice clothes and cook my nice things etc. I don't know if I've handled this correctly. He told me he'd cry in my bed if I died and this made me so so sad.
Why is he saying things like this? Is there something wrong with him or have I done something wrong? It's 😔
He won't really understand what being dead means yet, but he has picked up on the fact that those words and ideas get the biggest response from you when he is feeling angry. You've done nothing wrong, he doesn't really mean it and he will grow out of it.
Talk to him about his feelings, acknowledge when he feels angry, pick your times for telling him off (if the plane was paper and belonged to him then maybe leave him to it if he wants to rip it up - he'll learn that it is then gone and the problem is his (no more plane) rather than yours).
Maybe teach him some new ways of dealing with his anger. Could he roar like a lion, punch a cushion, take himself off to sit in a quite spot (so he can calm down not as a punishment for being angry)? Teach him to count to 3 or do a silly dance.
And if he talks about wishing you dead, just calmly say "I can tell you must be really angry, so we'll sort this out once you've calmed down". And give him a hug once the worst of the storm is over.
I wouldn't worry, i have 4 kids and they've all said similar things at that age. I think it's just shocking as they go from being ur babies to being very vocal and picking everything up at 3-4. I agree with above that children don't understand the meaning of death at this age probably more likely he's repeating something he's heard (could his sister have said something to him when u weren't around) my 4yr old repeats all kinds of random things she hears, her two older brothers are quite boisterous and into wresting at the mo - she picks it all up and will say things like "il rip ur head off" "I'm gonna kill u" etc.!! I just tend to say "that's not very nice, please don't say that again" and ask the boys to mind what they say in front of her.
This is pretty normal so please don't worry, He doesn't know or understand what death is, he's saying it because you react to it.
What others have said: he does not have the emotional maturity to understand what "mum being dead" means. In fact, I wonder if it isn't a bit much to lay on him what it was like when your mother died: he is too little to have to deal with those thoughts. I think it would be better to go with the brisk "that's not very nice" as suggested by Salfordlass. Trying to develop his emotional empathy by making him experience something that he isn't ready for is not necessarily the best way.
I was doubting myself when I said it to him and reading replies I know I shouldn't have said those things about my mum. But I was so sad. I hope it hasn't affected him.
I'm not going to talk to him about it again unless he says it again. He's behaving like his cheeky self again today (minus the playing up).
About the paper plane, I'd folded one for him and his sister. His one unravelled slightly and he ripped it up in frustration then went running to bite and rip my coat because I asked him why he did that and I wouldn't be making another one.
I'm sure you haven't affected him negatively by what you said. It might not have been the ideal response in the heat of the moment, but only in the sense that it might not be the most effective way of dealing with this when you're upset. But there is no reason why, in a calm moment, you can't talk to a four-year-old about the death of a loved one, and why it's not a kind thing to say you wish someone was dead. Whilst death might be a difficult concept for them to grasp, they can certainly empathise with the sadness of losing someone.
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