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4 yr old daughter has bad thoughts in her head
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4 yr old daughter has bad thoughts in her head

Hello everyone, this is my first time posting but a long time reader of this site. I have a question I hope someone can give me some insight on. We have a 4 year old daughter that over the past week or so has started telling us she thinks of bad words. This really all started when she put a scratch on our table, she told my wife she accidentally scratched the table and my wife told her it was ok and that telling her was the right thing to do, since then it seems she has to tell us everything, at first we didn't think much about it but it is still going on. She tells us "mommy/daddy, I was thinking of a bad word, but she wants us to guess what it is, when we finally get her to tell us the word it is usually something like stupid, weirdo, fat, ***, damn, etc. We tell her that those words aren't nice and asked if anyone was calling her those names at her pre-school, she says she hears them on tv or the radio. We have been really careful with what we watch now but this seems to consume her evenings, it goes on and on, she will say "I'm thinking of a bad word again" when we address it, it isn't 5 minutes she says the same thing, it is usually just one word at a time that she gets stuck on. She is a very very smart little girl and has no problems learning at school, she is actually ahead of most of the class. Is this just a phase or what? it seems she has a conscience now and understanding right from wrong and she is torn, we have raised her in church and she tells us she knows they are bad words, she just can't stop thinking about them? Help me understand this!
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13167_tn?1327197724
I keep hearing versions of this on this board.  

Some kids say they can't stop thinking about people's bottoms,  they can't stop thinking mean things about people they like,  etc.  

Kids at this age suddenly realize they have thoughts that no one else knows they have,  and that a lot of them are inappropriate to communicate to others.  It's a realization that they can privately entertain naughty thoughts.  Some kids take it in stride and keep their private thoughts to themselves,  some kids get extremely upset by it and cry about it,  and some kids - like your daughter - try to entertain others with them.

It'll pass.  Just say I really don't want to know what inappropriate things you're thinking,  how was your bike ride today?
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535822_tn?1389452880
Sounds like she is wanting more attention very often negative attaention is better than none, so focus on her positive side , and praise her when you see her doing something right. Has she any siblings as children can feel left out if a sibling gets a lot more attention than they do ,they get jealous when a  new baby comes into the family .Maybe ignore some of it, as with making more of it ,the behavior is unwittingly enabled,by making an issue of it, distract her to other thoughts and games.  
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13167_tn?1327197724
I keep hearing versions of this on this board.  

Some kids say they can't stop thinking about people's bottoms,  they can't stop thinking mean things about people they like,  etc.  

Kids at this age suddenly realize they have thoughts that no one else knows they have,  and that a lot of them are inappropriate to communicate to others.  It's a realization that they can privately entertain naughty thoughts.  Some kids take it in stride and keep their private thoughts to themselves,  some kids get extremely upset by it and cry about it,  and some kids - like your daughter - try to entertain others with them.

It'll pass.  Just say I really don't want to know what inappropriate things you're thinking,  how was your bike ride today?
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the fast responses, it makes me feel better hearing from others. I should have said she is an only child,  she doesn't go to daycare, we have a family member that watches her and my mom gets her by lunchtime at least 3 times a week. I understand the attention thing but feel she gets plenty at home, I guess we are guilty of watching TV sometimes while she entertains herself,  we recently started playing games or I will let her help me outside with house chores. My wife and I are very upset and don't know what to do, we have tried timeout sessions which do nothing as soon as she can come out she says "Im thinking of that bad word again". When you google online for information ofcourse we see OCD, Bi-Polar etc. and wonder if its those and should we see a doctor, but don't want to make it worse or have her feel something is wrong with her. She sometimes does get tupset about them and wants to tell us but just cries and say "mommy please dont get mad at me" over and over and it takes awhile for her to finally tell us. She knows they are wrong as she tells us. One other disturbing thing she said one morning when she woke up was (after begging us not to be mad) "I feel like I need to kill something , but I don't wont to" we were very shaken by that but after talking to her she said she heard that on a movie we watched, I have no idea what movie she is referring to, I also watch the outdoor channel sometimes and she said they say "kill" on there as well, which they do. I guess she is picking up on everything she hears and doesn't forget! We are getting better with what we watch and say around her, but the kids at school say "bad words" to so she still hears them while there. I hope it all blows over, I am emotionally drained worrying if something is mentally wrong with her.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks to all, this has improved considerably. She still does it time to time but has been her normal self for a week now. It is just a phase, it actually went from making her upset to her being ok with it and saying the bad words,  after she realized we were not going to tolerate it, it stopped.
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757137_tn?1347200053
Why are you playing this game with her? Next time she comes up with her "bad word," ignore her. You would be surprised how quickly she gives it up.
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Avatar_n_tn
my 5 year old granddaughter just started experiencing and telling her Mom about the bad words in her head. This is also accompanied by rapid jaw movements which is new also. We have so far connected this to OCD,lime disease,and of course ADD. All blood work has come back negative. The next step is an appoitment with a child psycologist.

Do you have any updates
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for this posting!  Our 4 1/2 yr old has recently started saying that she said a bad word, but after much probing we realized she actually was just thinking these words.  These comments were very helpfully!  I do think in our case it is an attention issue (we also have a 2 1/2 yr old).  And it is expected that the whole concept of thinking and realizing she is the only one that can "hear" that, is only now developing more fully.  It makes sense now.   I too was very close to calling the pediatrician!  So instead we will try ignoring this behavior and focusing on positive things, etc.  let's hope it works for us too.
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Avatar_f_tn
Any update? We are going through this. I've tried everything. IM so worried!
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi we are going through a similar situation with our daughter that turned 4 at the end of October. She keeps telling us she can't get the bad words out of her head. She is not actually saying any bad words but the "words" in her head seem to be really bothering her and bringing her to tears at times.  She won't quit talking about it. This has been going on for the last week. I am hoping it is just a phase. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
J.S.
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Avatar_f_tn
I rememer when I was a kid I use to have bad thoughts I don't remember them being bad words but thoughts of what could happen when I'm older I use to worry my self crazy thinking about what if one day my mom an dad died I use to cry myself to sleep over my bad thoughts this lasted till I was 10 I'm 22 now an I go see a dr now cuz I worry my self a lot more now I have kids of my own but me seeing a dr helps me a lot
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Avatar_m_tn
  my daughter is 4 and started with bad words and when we asked her to stop it went to whispering to us that she almost said a bad word. this lasted a week or so. then she started talking about bad words in her head and that if we were quiet then they would go away but we are never quiet. I will be honest it scares me. it has lasted a week or so now  any help suggestions thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello, Not sure if your still on here or not but what if our daughter says she wants to tell us because if she doesn't, she is afraid we will think she is not thinking them and we will think she is ok and she is afraid as to why she is having these thoughts.  She wants help and is very upset.  I hope he hear from you.
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