This was taken from Wasatch Woman Magazine March/April 2010 issue.
Do you ever find yourself at a loss for words in a sticky situation? Read on to get answers from relationship expert Julie de Azevedo Hanks, MSW, LCSW director of Wasatch Family Therapy.
Q: What is the best way to handle when my preschooler says, "I hate you Mommy!" It breaks my heart to think that she hates me.
A: Most moms hear those words as a normal part of parenting, and it hurts. Your daughter is feeling intense emotion and has limited ways to express herself. Instead of believing her words, listen to the underlying emotion that she's trying to express and reflect that back to her. Try something like, "Wow, you're really mad at me. You want to go play outside and I said you can't play because it's nap time. You really want to play." What she needs from you is help to learn how to identify and manage her feelings. Providing your child with the words to say to you and then having her repeat them back to you will help her to better understand her own feelings (while helping you salvage your own).
- When you want someone to change their behavior try, "It would mean a lot to me if..."
- When someone asks you about another person's personal life try, "That's a good question to ask her."
- When your child is expressing anger to you try, "Wow, you're really mad at me."