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3 year old using the term "bad boy"
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3 year old using the term "bad boy"

Yep, another question from me.  Can't help it, I get such good advice here and my son is going through so many new changes and phases.

He has recently started using the term "bad boy".  He told one of his little friends that he was a bad boy when he took a toy from my son.  This morning he was playing with some of his figures, and he had the two of them talking to each other (with him being the voice for both) and he was saying "your a bad boy" and replying "no, your a bad boy".  He was mad at his dad the other night (who had told him no candy) and told daddy he was a bad boy.

I'm sure this isn't a huge issue, but I really don't like it.  My husband and I are extremely conscious of, and never ever use the term bad boy when our son does something he shouldn't. We don't feel any child should ever be told they are bad.  I know he didn't pick this up from home, so he must have heard it at school.  I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be from a teacher, so I suspect another child has said this.  I'm trying to talk to him about not using that term and that it really hurts people's feelings.  We've told him that even when someone does something he doesn't like, they aren't bad, just like when he does something he's not supposed to he isn't bad.  Think I should just ignore it?  Or should we keep talking to him about it?  A little thing, but I cringe when I hear it coming out of his mouth.  I don't want him to think anyone is bad, at least not at this age.
7 Comments Post a Comment
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi.  I'd personally ignore it.  He's too little to really reason with.   My 9 year old will say "I'm terrible and bad." Then I correct him that I don't like what he did but that he isn't a bad person.  And that we ALL do the wrong or 'bad' thing as we are human.  And that I will always love him regardless of his doing the wrong thing (just try not to do the wrong thing please).  

but you can't have that kind of talk with a 3 year old.  I'd make sure to keep the word bad out of your dialogue with him and use no no or something else like that.  Sounds like you do but I'll be honest----  I've never heard you describe Ryder as the kind of boy that has self esteem issues.  I think it is just a phase and how he is expressing himself so would not worry about it for now.  
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377493_tn?1356505749
Thanks my friend.  I'm not really worried that he thinks he is bad.  We make sure he gets lots of positive reinforcement.  If he does something he shouldn't, he gets a time out with an explanation. He will usually say sorry and we make a big deal out of how good a boy he is for saying sorry.  So I don't think it's self esteem or him viewing himself that way.  I'm more concerned about him viewing others that way and saying so.  After I posted this, he told the cat that the cat was a bad boy.  I just hate it!  I don't like him saying those things to others, even in play.  He understands the concept of hurting other people feelings, so I've been trying to teach him that saying that to others will hurt their feelings, but so far not a lot of luck.  I won't worry about it for now - although you know me....I don't know why I worry about dumb stuff.  I'm working on it.  Its so helpful to have an outlet though where I can talk about it with other parents who hopefully won't think I'm crazy...lol.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Well, you can correct that like anything else and say something like "honey, we don't tell kitty she is bad.  That might hurt her feelings."  

???  That would be what I try.  
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377493_tn?1356505749
That's what I've been doing.  I just wondered if I should just ignore it instead.  I guess I thought maybe my reaction to it and trying to talk to him about it might make it continue?  And I hate that he has even heard the term.  Anyway, probably a silly thing for me to think about, it's just bothering me I guess.  
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Avatar_m_tn
    Kids of his age do repeat things.  I am guessing that he heard some adult make that comment and (perhaps how it was said) it stuck.   Give him something else to say.  But you will have to practice it with him.  And certainly don't make a big deal of him using "bad boy" - you don't want to reinforce the term.  So it gets a bit tricky.  You might want to explore the book, "Words are not for hurting"  http://www.amazon.com/Words-Hurting-Ages-Best-Behavior/dp/1575421569/ref=pd_sim_b_1
   I think he might be a little young for it, but it has some good ideas in it.  Best wishes.
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377493_tn?1356505749
I'm going to order it, thank you.  Again, not sure why this is bothering me so much, but I need him to understand how not appropriate that term is.  And I wish I knew where he picked it up.  Thanks!!
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757137_tn?1347200053
If you start with the premise that all children are slightly loony, you will see this latest habit in perspective. If it really bothers you that much, tell him he is not allowed to say "bad boy" every again. With that out of the way, he will think up something else to trouble you.

Do you think I am not taking you seriously? You are right. I am not.
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