Sticks and Stones

May break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

Obviously whoever said this never had their 3 year old child tell them they didn’t love them!

Just as I never thought about my babies on day not being babies, I also never really gave much thought to my children's ability to reduce me to tears with a few words.

Until now.

sticks and stones

The ease with which my children have been able to pick up words and put them together to form sentences has been nothing short of astounding.

Words I don’t recall them hearing, or being used in a particular context, are hurled at me with little to no thought behind their meaning or impact.

I expect once the boys grow in stroppy teenagers, their hurtful words will be said with slightly more bite behind them, yet not be meant to cause lingering hurt. 

But somehow those words from the mouth of a 3 year old, who still needs me to kiss his boo boos, cut his triangle sandwiches, hide him from the monsters, tuck up at night and carry him down the stairs when his legs feel tired hurt more than any other words.

A 3 year old should not be uttering

“Go away mummy, I don’t need you”

“I don’t love you”

“I don’t want to listen to you”

Maybe I’m being too sensitive, I don’t know, I just wasn’t expecting it.

How do you cope, as a parent, when your child says something hurtful to you? Can you just ignore it or does it linger and settle, making you question whether or not your child does actually hate you?


  1. :( it is just the worst thing, when my eldest says things I know she's just saying it as like you say they still want you when they are said etc... But when my youngest copies it breaks my heart.
    Try not to let it affect you, nothing was meant by it, intact I don't even know if they know at that age what it means xxx

  2. Bless, that's really sad. I know what you mean about it possibly being more hurtful from the mouth of a 3 year old but similarly they probably don't grasp the full meaning behind "I don't need you". Perhaps they view it as a temporary state i.e. I'm getting on with things now, I'll need you later? At least that's what I'm going to cling onto next year when I have all this to look forward to!

  3. It's awful when they say something like that, especially when you don't know where they've heard it from. It's like being punched in the stomach a bit I think. I always just try to think of it as, they're only three, they don't mean it to be hurtful, not in the same way that a teenager would hurl it out there. *Hugs*

  4. Oh god it always lingers. It cuts straight to the core doesn't it? But they are just testing boundaries - pushing to see where the limits are - and I console myself with the fact that they feel safe enough with me to try it. When I say console...doesn't always work. But their love for their mummy is unconditional - they don't know how NOT to love you. Hugs x

  5. I remember the first time both of my two said that and it really hurts but at this age they don't really understand it and definately don't mean it. My eldest who is seven never says anything like that anymore as he understands. Give it another 7 years though and he might start again!


  6. Bless you, this is a toughie and yes, very hurtful. It used to play on my mind but as they get older and it is said more regularly, I have become slightly more immune! I read once that children do this as it is actually the self they are frustrated with/confused by/angry with. That helped me to understand x x


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