My 4 year child is telling me “I hate you”


Hi there,

I can use some help, My willful 4 year is constantly telling me "I hate you" and "it's not fair", when he doesn't get his own way. We use the naughty step for "unacceptable behaviour", but what is the best way to stop the constant rant of "I hate you" when even the simplest things don't go his way? We have tried to explain to him that this is not a nice or acceptable thing to say.

Please advise.


The best way to stop the constant rag of "I hate you," is to not allow it to penetrate. Ignore it. He knows that it gets to you emotionally. There are some things he gets and are fair and some things he doesn't, and that's just plain old life. But do take a look at the situations.

Is it not fair because he gets no choice and could have been part of the decision-making process? Or is it just that it's not a decision for him to make. At this age, it's part of the growing process and not really meant. It's used freely to convey feelings of wanted independence and the struggle to get more. I would brush it off. It's amazing how children at such a young age learn to manipulate with their words!

xo Jo

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