Just a Big Monster

by Melanie Edwards on April 27, 2011 · 8 comments

in Baby Girl, Parenting, preschoolers

Kid Screaming

You’re just a big monster!”

You may be used to hearing such words on the playground as one preschooler screams out to another after doing something he/she didn’t like. It happens all the time and more than likely after a few minutes, they’re back to being best friends again.

But, never, did I think I’d be hearing those words directed at me, much less from my own daughter. Well, at least I thought I had quite a few more years before the dramatic accusations came my way from an over-hormonal teenager. It seems, though, that is not the case. Five-year-olds, apparently, can be just as hormonal and dramatic.

In the past few weeks, my daughter has been hearing what she calls my “serious voice” quite a bit – more than I’d like. But, we try hard to be firm and consistent and though I know we’re still undergoing a transition in our house with a new baby, that does not excuse the misbehaving. So, when needed, serious voice it is.

However, every so often, the use of the serious voice causes her to begin crying. Sometimes, this escalates into a full-out dramatic scene of shouting out random phrases like, “You just don’t love me!” When asked why she’s crying when she knows she was doing something wrong and the situation wasn’t so severe, she once screamed out, “You’re just…you’re just such a big monster!

Later that evening, I shared the incident with my husband and confessed that those little words were like a knife to my heart. I told him: “I don’t want her thinking I’m a big monster!” He laughed, because of course, she doesn’t really think I’m a big monster. He spoke to her during her bath that night and asked her why she said that. Her response: “Sometimes…when mami uses her serious voice, it scares me, like a monster.”

She apologized, we talked it over, and I reminded her that no matter what she does and no matter how upset I may be, I will always love her. I was also reminded that sometimes words are just words. In my daughter’s case, she may just be trying to express her frustration and doesn’t necessarily mean what she says. In short, I should not take all her outbursts to heart…especially when there will be many more to come as she grows into her teenage years.

How do you deal with emotional outbursts?

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1 Angelica Perez April 28, 2011 at 9:19 am

I have been there too. My girls have always been quite expressive, and interesting enough, both at the same age as yours — at the age of 5. They have saids things that can be painful to hear but before I even have a chance to feel bad about it, I quickly feel good about the fact that these young girls are comfortable expressing themselves and expressing how they feel. To me, that’s very powerful. I do, however, take the time to help them find better words to express the emotions they are feeling, and I never, never hold a grudge at their self-expression.

Love this article, Melanie.

2 modernmami May 26, 2011 at 7:43 pm

No grudges being held either! You’re right that it’s not a reflection of me, but more so something empowering for themselves. You always have the right words Angelica!

3 Shafeena Y April 28, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Ayaan’s teenage years scares me !! 🙂 but yeah i can remember saying stuff like that to my mom all the time and not meeting it !

4 modernmami May 26, 2011 at 7:44 pm

It’s good that you remember saying it and also that you didn’t mean it. That’s comforting to know…

5 Teresa May 1, 2011 at 5:12 pm

When my children were little, because now they are young adults, once in a while they shout at me like any other kid in the wolrd, but I tried to remain calm and eventually explained to them that words and attitude matters. We can hurt people. But to be honest, what they say when they are five is nothing compare to what is comming… be prepare… even if when they are really good kids.

6 modernmami May 26, 2011 at 7:44 pm

haha well, I guess she’s slowly preparing me for what’s to come!

7 Roxana A. Soto May 4, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Mel, did you write this just for me?? I totally get you when you say her words were like a knife to your heart. I’ve been there too…
In fact, just the other day she called me “estúpida” and I almost fainted! I’m sure she has absolutely NO CLUE what the word means, but she obviously knew it wasn’t nice and knew exactly when to use it. On Monday, I found out from one of the mom’s at her preschool that his son had been using that word too and that apparently a couple of the kids in her class were using it during recess!

8 modernmami May 26, 2011 at 7:45 pm

See that’s the thing that gets me. They might not mean it or know exactly what things mean, but they know exactly when to use it and know that it will get a reaction out of us…

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