Youth Alternatives: How to react when your kids say mean things to you

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CHEYENNE, Wyo - From time to time, kids are going to say mean and hurtful things to their parents, like "I hate you." "I am leaving the day I turn 18." "You're the worst mom in the world." "I wish you were dead." Generally when they say mean things when they are in trouble and would like to shift the focus off themselves, they were just told "No" and they didn't like it. You want them to do something they don't want to do.

Cheyenne Youth Alternatives sent us some Do's and Don'ts in dealing with those situations.

-Don't scream, yell or say hurtful things back.
Reacting on their level shows them that they can push your buttons and take the control away from you.

-Don't try to reason with them in the moment.
They're usually too riled up and it just doesn't work.

-Don't give in because you are hurt.
If your daughter wants to stay out past her curfew at 11pm she might call you a name or two to get you to change your mind. Don't reinforce her mean words by giving in and changing the curfew. If it works kids will keep doing it.

What you want to do is:

-Stay calm
Reminding yourself that he or she just wants to win.

-End the conversation as quickly as you can.
It can't go anywhere positive.

-Stick with what you said.
Curfew is still 11pm, if your child discovers that saying mean things doesn't work, they will move on to other ways of getting what they want.