Toddler putting down sibling... help!

United States
April 22, 2009 8:19pm CST
My 3.5yo has picked up over the last month or so the following not so nice comments... *Dummy *Stupid *Looser (this one I know came from us when we watch NASCAR hubby & I rip on each others driver.... as a big looser or such a looser that..joking of course ) But how do I get her to stop? Her older sister is her usual victem and gets her upset & she laughs even when being tattled on. I've told her that it's not nice. Those words hurt peoples feelings. I've put her on the naughty square every time she's said such things. I realize she has no idea that they can be hurtful depending on the context. But I'm out of ideas beyond trying to get my 6yo to ignore the comment. As I've also tried to explain to the 6yo that the 3yo doesn't realize those are not nice things to say and every time she gets worked up when her sister throws out one of those comments to ignore her as the 3yo gets a charge off her sissy's feelings. HELP!
1 person likes this
7 responses
@chigawaga (593)
• Canada
23 Apr 09
thats really hard one because everychild is differnet,she could say it more in looking for a reaction,my younges is turning 3next month and he has picked up a few words mainly the female dog word because my hus band likes to call me the b word alot.he started it last week and the first time he said it i put him in a time out chair for 2mintues and told him no he hurt mommys feelings,but he continued it,so i just ignored him and gave him no reactian watsoever,today so far he hasnt said it once and yesterday it only came out twice:D but i gues that might not work for every child,i would def try the timeout chair a minute,but i guess to your oldest will have to try her best to not let her little sister know its gettting to her caue then the youngest is gonna think its more funny and jsut keep doing it.i think maybe if u can get your oldest to try and show no reaction she will get bored of it soon enoguh
2 people like this
• United States
23 Apr 09
I guess I'm alittle floored by this too. Your son is being given mixed messages by you and your husband. Your husband calls you this, but when your son does - you put him in time out or ignore him. Think about it this way. Your husband calls you that and it's okay, but your son does and you ignore it or time out - so are you really telling your son that dad is wrong? Or are you giving him the example of how to treat his future gf/wife? When I raised my sons it was to make them better men. I taught them the value of another person and about respect. Your son might be 3 years old now, but the impressions that he's being given are more powerful than you think. I'm sorry your husband disrespects you. More that your son is confused because not only is he being given the impression that dad is wrong, he's also see that woman are to be disrespected by calling them names. Best of luck to you.
1 person likes this
@busyB4 (875)
• United States
23 Apr 09
I agree with chigawaga. It is going to be hard for the child not to use it if imatating one of you! I had that happen with one of my younger children after I called someone a stupid idiot for coming across a parking lot ninety to nothing and almost him us. All the way home, she said "stupid idiot" So they learn what they hear. Sometimes you may just have just try ignoring it once or twice and see if it stops. Sometimes if they know it warrants your attention , they may try it more.
@eichs1 (1934)
• Philippines
23 Apr 09
I think you are doing good putting her in punishment every time she uses those words. She may not realize it yet that those are hurting words but when she does, she will definitely remember why she has to go to be in the "naughty square". Maybe, your kid was just fascinated by the sound of the words. Children sometimes learn new words that kind of stuck with them and they just want to say such over and over again. But still, you have to make the right move and show her that those are still bad words.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Apr 09
She's in speech therapy due to her clarity in her words. I wonder too perhaps because she can say them well and clear that she knows everyone understands her is a lil bit of if?
@Trensue (5247)
• United States
23 Apr 09
Words are either garbage words or they are not. So either everyone throws them in the garbage and stops using them or they are a part of the game. The 3.5yo thinks it is the same deal as when she has heard you adults use those words. If the six year old really can understand and she is just trying get little one in trouble - everyone gets punished when we use it because we are a team - that is how we had to eliminate sh*t in our house. Often the adults were the problem but everyone had the punishment - we got it under control fairly quickly.
• United States
24 Apr 09
My 6yo is a bit of a tattle tale when it comes to that stuff, but the important stuff when the 3yo is getting into something it's a crap shoot if she'll tell ya right away.
@kprofgames (3018)
• United States
23 Apr 09
I can understand that completely. First thing, is don't let your 3 year old hear that kind of language on tv. The way it was being preceived was a joking around. She doesn't understand the full concept the word. It is very true that ignore a behavior and then she'll realize that she's not getting her sisters goat. I think instead of punishing her with a time out - next time your 6 year old comes to you to tell what she said. Direct your attention at your 6 years old. Give them a hug and tell them you're sorry that your sister hurt your feelings - then think of something you too can do together. Make a cake or do something together. Make sure the 3 year old see all of this and when she wants to join in, tell no because you called your sister a bad name. Sounds harsh? No, I think she'll remember it because not only is she being left out of something, she's learning when you're mean to people that people don't want to be around you.
• United States
23 Apr 09
I agree about the language on tv. However I can only monitor what's watched when I'm home. My hubby got po'd @ me the other week because he was watching a movie that was inappropriate on his laptop (they couldn't see from his angle) but I found a few books and we went into their room away from his movie. He doesn't understand that what he likes isn't always appropriate for the kids and if he wants to watch it, it's away from them. Like my big peeve is family guy! Such a vile show, but if I'm @ work he lets the kids watch it with him. But when I'm home I turn the tv off or change the channel. *sigh* We will being doing a project tonight... cookies ;) I don't like to leave her out as I think it's a bit of middle child syndrome as their 1.5yr brother takes up alot of my time as any mischevious toddler would. But darn it I'm just one person & they all want me @ the same time....ALWAYS.
• United States
23 Apr 09
As everyone has said, children (of all ages) pick up words, habits and actions from what is going on around them. We can all try to be model parents but in reality not everyone can be "perfect" twenty-four hours a day. If being put on the naughty square or being told that their words are hurtful isn't working, then maybe its time to resort to the "removal of privileges" stage. When nothing else is working with mine I move to loss of a favorite television show (or something along those lines) until an apology is made. If the behavior continues then the next time there is no turning it back on, they miss it completely. After a few times they realize their actions are causing them a problem and it is less likely to happen. Of course all kids are different so you have to find the privilege that will most make your point and go with it. Works for mine anyway.
• United States
23 Apr 09
Other than watching tv, I don't know what other privledge to take away for a 3yo. And of course if the 3yo (or the 6yo) is being punished, everyone is basically punished, but I don't mine the quiet :0)
@dragon54u (31608)
• United States
23 Apr 09
Has your older daughter tried crying to get the point across that it hurts to be called names? If not, that might do it. Children pick up on what they see and hear no matter how well we try to behave and she would have heard it eventually anyway. You might explain to her that you were wrong but the drivers couldn't hear what you were saying and if they could you wouldn't have said those things. Still doesn't make it right but maybe she'll understand. I'd go for the crying, though. If that doesn't work, you do the crying and tell her how much it hurts to see your two daughters acting that way. It worked on my boys when they were little!
• United States
23 Apr 09
My kids have little empathy unless you are truly in pain/injured it seems like. I think the 3yo gets a charge out of the 6yo's reaction (she's usually laughing when she says it) wich is why she keeps on doing it I think. But I cant get the 6yo to ignore her lil sis.
@lingli_78 (12846)
• Australia
23 Apr 09
toddler picks things up very fast from adults and they will definitely mimicking whatever adults are doing or saying... so i can't blame your 3.5 y.o. daughter for doing that because she is picking it from adults... all you can do is to keep on telling her over and over again that it is not nice and stop saying those words... may be punishing her by taking away some of her privileges (things that she loves) might work such as her favourite toys, foods, TV time, shopping time, etc... good luck... take care and have a nice day...