Thursday, May 25, 2006

Hating and Killing

David spent all day on Monday telling everyone he came into contact with that they had a choice, he could kill them or hate them. Heidi and I were a bit surprised by his new vocabulary and the joy he took in pointing his finger at his target and declaring it "killed".

Monday was the first time David told me that he hated me. I was giving him a time out and on our way to the time out stair he let me know that he hated me. I can't say I blamed him, but I am not sure he even knew what he was talking about. I think I was administering the time out because he had just "killed" his little brother. Heidi had been working all day at stopping the "killing" and I believe that our trip to the time out stair was not David's first of the day.

The episodes of hating and killing subsided dramatically the next day, and I have not heard any of it since Monday night. These concepts spilling out of a two and a half year old are a little disconcerting, however it has to happen sometime. We live in a great big world full of hating and killing and as much as I wish my kids could be insulated from it forever I also want them to be in it understanding and taking it on.

Exposure that I couldn't control was the biggest fear I had about sending Merry to pre-school. All of these children grow up with different influences, what is OK in my house may not be OK in Sally's, or more importantly vice versa.

What I have learned is that Merry comes home with a new vocabulary word every once and awhile and if we do not find it appropriate she stops using it. I hope and pray that the boundaries we set inside our home stay with the children while they go about their business outside. I know the boundaries my parents set for me stayed with me, even if I didn't pay as close attention to them as I should have during my teen's and twenties.


Blogger JenLo said...

It is lovely to live in constant peace and tranquility, but since this is the real world, you can only hope to steer the hating and killing to the appropriate targets, like 'hating snakes' and 'killing spiders'. That should work with a 2-1/2 year old.

12:27 PM EDT  
Blogger Mamacita Tina said...

It sure seems that you've helped steer Merry in the right direction since it's been days since he's said anything of hating or killing. I may be coming to you for advice when my little guy goes through similar phases.

12:40 AM EDT  
Anonymous twoboysmom said...

Hi Peter, I just found your blog through Mary Poppins. I have 2 boys (5 & 2 1/2). We have a fair amount of sword play, shooting bad guys, walking the plank and other such aggression in our home on a regular basis. I'm killed (shot, blown up by a grenade, or stabbed) at least once a day. At this point I should mention my husband is in the Army Reserves and teaches 15th century sword techinique.

About a month ago the boys were playing Legos when a fight broke out. They started saying "I hate you" back and forth. A few days before I noticed the experimenting with the "I hate..." phrase. This was all I could take. I brought them in and sat them down and explained that hate is a very stong word and I didn't think they were old enough and experienced enough in life to really determine if they HATE something. (Yes, I sepak to them this way.) I reminded them that family is family for life and that while they were angry at each other and didn't LIKE what the other was doing, I NEVER wanted to hear them say that they hate each other. I then told them they are not allowed to use the word hate until they are 12, and experienced enough to use it properly. They were then put in their shared room to play together exclusively (no talking to mommy or daddy) for 30 minutes. They came out best of friends again.

So far it has the rule has worked well. I've only had to remind tehm once. I HATE the word HATE!

12:35 PM EDT  
Anonymous freezio said...

David seems like he's looking right at me, and that he hates me, and wants to kill me.

Great photo.

9:38 PM EDT  

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