“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?