Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Name Calling

TRex has taken to calling people names.  He loves the attention.  And no matter how often we tell the Dancing Queen to ignore him and explain to TRex that it is not nice to call names and show him how to get positive attention, he still does it.  His favorite a couple of weeks ago was calling everyone "baby".  That drives the Dancing Queen crazy.  She is most decidedly NOT a baby.  We were working on this with both kids, trying to stamp out the attention and stamp out the urge to get attention by angering your sibling.  It was a slow process, but we thought it was working.  Then, the Mad Scientist picked TRex up from school and witnessed him call his classmate "baby".  Said classmate also decidedly in NOT a baby and looked as if he was going to clobber TRex.  The Mad Scientist then forbade TRex from calling anyone baby.  Immediately, "baby" became a bad word to TRex.

So, every day last week, when I would pick TRex up from school, he would tell me all of the people who used the bad word "baby" during the day.  Later in the week, he also informed me that a classmate was using the bad word "poopy".  When I questioned why he thought the words "baby" and "poopy" were bad, I was informed because you can't use them.  I quickly realized the horrible path we were headed down.  Soon, every word would be "bad".  I had to explain that it is the intent behind the word that made it bad and not the words itself.  (Thank goodness, we were working on "baby" and "poopy" and not F*%K or something else!)  The lesson stuck for about an evening and now he is back to calling people names.  Ugh! 

I continue to explain it is not nice to call people names.  This week, everything is "poopy".  I ask TRex how he feels when he is called a name and try to get him to empathize.  I explain it is not good manners to call people names.  I try to show him how to get positive attention and when he wants positive attention, I am very generous in my compliments.  I always laugh at the knock knock jokes.  So far, the name calling is sticking.

Anybody have any useful advice?

As an aside, sorry for the overuse of quotation marks!


  1. I wish I had an answer for immediate "relief"; however, TRex is four. He's finding out that he has "power" and he's going to exercise that power. It's getting him attention and, at that age, they don't seem to care whether it's positive or negative attention. It will pass! It will be replaced by another annoying little habit. I think you are doing what you need to do. Continue to calmly explain why it isn't right. I just hope the Dancing Queen doesn't become so frustrated that she bops him over the head with something!

    Have a glass of wine and good luck!


  2. Bonnie,

    How the Dancing Queen reacts is a whole other post. She has some very bad habits that have become more ingrained since her hospitalization last week.

  3. I think it is another example of preschoolers wanting to test their limits. They fixate on a particular action or saying, and just keep doing it until someone screams at them to stop or else. (Who me??) We get poopy-head, doo-doo face, and lots of other potty talk. That seems to be a big hoot for this age range. I usually just explain once or twice and then ignore it until she finds something else that is equally annoying to me.

  4. Sorry, I'm not quite there yet with my Bubba as far as name calling. But, we are very strict about not allowing him to speak to anyone disrespectfully, so I think that all plays in together. We just keep reminding him to be polite and respectful and crossing our fingers that it will eventually stick. I suppose it falls under that annoying "just a phase" category...


Having a child with a CHD is like being given an extra sense---the true ability to appreciate life. Each breath, each hug, each meal is a blessing when you've watched your child live off a ventilator, trapped in an ICU bed, being fed through a tube. Each minute is a miracle when you've watched your child almost die and come back to you.
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