Your sweet, angelic child has actually suddenly said average things come you. Here’s how to respond when your child says hurtful things to you.

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My kid asked, “When deserve to I get a skateboard?” to which i responded, “When you have the right to ride the scooter well.” My thinking was: very first master the scooter, then friend can gain a skateboard.

Except my son didn’t take it it choose that. That sniffled and also asked, “Why would certainly you say that?” every he had heard was that he hadn’t master the scooter yet.

He to be so uncomfortable he locked self in the bathroom and also yelled, “Go away and don’t ever come back!”

I felt stung. This to be the an initial time I might recall he had hurled hurtful words in ~ me. And also even though ns knew the reason—he suspect I assumed he wasn’t good with the scooter—I to be shocked come hear my sweet boy be for this reason angry through me.

I didn’t desire this to it is in a typical response, or have actually the type of connection with my kids where retorts space commonplace. Yet I likewise understood the his feelings to be valid, also if he had actually said harsh native in the process.

What come do once your child says hurtful points to you

At some suggest or another, we’ll every hear hurtful words from our kids.

Yours can throw a tantrum and also scream, “Die now!” She’ll speak she doesn’t love you (or even that she hates you) and also that you’re not her friend anymore.

It’s hurtful and also devastating, even if you know she doesn’t completely understand what she’s saying. You understand she’s frustrated, but that’s no excuse to resort to speak hurtful words.

Thankfully, this hurtful native are merely that—words. I uncovered that certain steps deserve to make this phase, if that is one, pass quickly. It all boils under to how we respond, and the function we pat in it as well. Take a look at these advice so you recognize what come do once your child says hurtful points to you:

1. Don’t take your child’s hurtful words personal

Hearing your son say hurtful points is difficult to stomach, specifically when they’re offensive. She may have hurled insults at just how you look, the meals you cook, or also how you to speak things.

This isn’t the time to internalize what she notices around you or wonder even if it is she loves you less. She speak from charged emotions, after ~ all. Whether v a tint of honesty or not, don’t emphasis on what she said however on calming her down.

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2. Provide your son time and space to calm down

Many parents do the mistake of turning every strength struggle right into a teachable minute right away. The problem? kids are too angry to hear to, much less process, anything we say. You have the right to imagine why—even adult can’t think clearly when we’re as well angry.

Instead, provide child a chance to patience down, even if it way leaving her be or ignoring she hurtful words. She’s also upset to hear to factor or discipline, unable to procedure anything you’re saying best now.

Later—whether in a few minutes or also the next day—you have the right to talk about what she said. Explain why speak hurtful indigenous isn’t right and what she can do following time.

Instead, offer her the moment and space to cool down. Later—whether in a few minutes or also the following day—talk around why she said what she did. You’ll likewise learn she true feelings and intentions when she’s calm, no in the moment when she’s upset.

Learn how to get children to hear without yelling and also losing your cool.

3. Don’t say hurtful things earlier to your child

If you’re just as reactive together your child, you can feel tempted come blurt devastating words right back. This is especially true if her words motivated deep-rooted ache or guilt you can be feeling.

But as you most likely know, retorting v your own hurtful indigenous is dorn on plenty of levels.

For starters, it’s the very behavior friend don’t desire her to do and are trying to steer her away from. You’re additionally not modeling exactly how someone need to respond once angered. And with both of friend upset, you will do it spiral right into chaos rather of calming down and learning indigenous the moment.

Get advice on exactly how to stop yelling at her kids.


4. Identify your child’s emotions

As hurtful together it is to hear insults hurled in ~ you, these space still your child’s emotions. Yes, she expressed them poorly, but it’s normal and also okay for her to feeling frustrated, annoyed, or sad. Don’t chastise she for not feeling happy all the time.

How deserve to you acknowledge her emotions? need to you must respond to her child ideal away, you have the right to say, “I’m i m really sorry you feel that way.” when she’s able to listen, girlfriend can discuss the emotions she felt. “It seemed like you feeling hurt earlier because…”

5. Apologize for your part

For some parents, saying “I’m sorry” is a difficult ask. Probably we fear losing our ground, together if an apology forfeits ours authority. Admitting mistakes renders us feeling vulnerable, and our proud holds us back.

Still, no parental is perfect, and also that’s why us should always apologize to our kids when the require calls for it. Most problems aren’t one-sided.

Our youngsters need hear wherein we walk wrong and how we might have contributed to their outburst. They find out that they’re not constantly at fault, and that we’re simply as bound to the results of our mistakes.

Knowing the adults room imperfect sends the message that they have the right to question something the an adult has actually said or done. Considering exactly how much we want to safeguard our kids, it’s vital they understand that adults have the right to be wrong, too.

6. Describe how words have the right to hurt

Still, even though her child has actually a ideal to feel frustrated, she need to still discover to do so respectfully. The way, should she feeling angry again, she won’t resort to hurtful words. After all, while you might be much more forgiving, others in her life likely won’t.

That said, don’t do the failure of simply mentioning where she walk wrong (“Don’t say the to me”). Instead, start by sharing your point of view (“I feel hurt when you to speak things prefer that”). She’ll feel less protective and much more empathetic to just how her words impact others.

Get more tips on anger monitoring for moms.


7. Display your child far better ways to express emotions

You’ve identified your child’s emotions, apologized for her mistakes and also pointed out how her native hurt. Next, present her other methods to express her frustration.

For instance, the next time she feel compelled to hurl hurtful words, she can:

Walk awayTake a couple of deep breathsSay “I’m mad”

Remind her that feeling upset is normal and also okay—but the there are better ways to let others recognize without hurting their feelings.

8. Praise once you watch your child manage frustration well

The best way to curb poor behavior is to praise good behavior.

Now, you can be quick to think, “But she never behaves!” and at times, it could feel the way, particularly when her behavior takes up so lot of her energy. But I’m ready to bet the you can discover even the smallest thing to worship her for.

Maybe she chose much better alternatives choose saying she’s mad or walking away. Or probably she stated that dinner to be yummy or that she was having fun play Bingo. Recognize the time she behaves well (“Thank you for your sort words!”). That means she’ll continue the actions you want to encourage.

And don’t just praise for “perfect” behavior, but for the actions friend value. It to be wrong for her to press her brother, yet praise she for having admitted it.

9. Reflect on your very own actions

It’s tempting come assume the parenting is all about the kids. We assist them control emotions, administer boundaries, obtrude consequences. Yet I’ve learned that parenting is more about us, the parents. The best means to assist your boy is come reflect and also learn from the experience as well.

So, ~ you’ve calmed down and discussed her child’s emotions, revolve inward and ask yourself:

“What lessons deserve to I find out from this?”

It’s so easy to emphasis on the kids and also what we must teach them, but this is our journey also and, together I’m certain you’ve realized, us all have actually lots to learn.

Take a couple of moments to find the triggers that led your kid to feel angry. How is the stress and anxiety levels in your home? What alters is she going v that might add to she frustration? room your responses aligning through her temperament? dig deep and also ask yourself inquiries to discover from this endure as well.


Hearing your kid hurl hurtful words have the right to sting also the staunchest parent. Thankfully, you’ve learned how to control your very own emotions and aid her far better communicate.

For starters, don’t take her words personally. She’s speaking from charged emotions, and also doing for this reason keeps you from concentrating on what she needs right now. Provide her time and room to patience down rather of disciplining or even talking right away.

Refrain from retorting back with your own hurtful words, and instead recognize what she feel deep down. Apologize for the function you played in gaining her upset, and follow up with explaining how specific words and also behavior hurt her feelings.

Show her far better ways to interact her frustration, and praise she for the times she does handle it well. And lastly, reflect top top your own actions and use the suffer to obtain lessons come learn.

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I’ve since learned how to respond once my youngsters say hurtful things to me—including far better ways of saying when my son can ride a skateboard.

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