From good boy to nasty child

Ok, so the title’s a little OTT, but N’s no longer the sweet child he was.

happy toddler
From smiling cheery toddler…

The last week or so, we’ve seen (what I’m hoping is a fairly normal phase) N start shouting unpleasant things at people.

It’s like he’s been indoctrinated by violent video games (Talking Cat, maybe?), been watching too many Quentin Tarantino movies, and listening to too many awful news reports.  But actually he’s not been doing any of these.  I’m hoping it’s just being a typical 3 year old.


‘Kill, kill, kill’

‘I’m going to chop you all up’

‘I’m going to smash your house down’.

He’ll come out with these things, rarely wielding an implement, or actually hitting, kicking or throwing, so thankfully it all seems to be just words.  But it’s wondering where he’s got this from.

It’s not like we go round saying things like this, he doesn’t watch violent tv (well, I suppose Peter Rabbit is always trying to escape from a badger, owl and fox, although with little success), and I’m sure that the children at both his pretty middle class nurseries aren’t going round being violent to one another.

At the neighbours’ daughter’s birthday party yesterday, one boy fell off a bike, and N just walked past him and laughed at him, blatantly, as he walked past.  I don’t think the boy noticed, and N does have a tendency to just laugh at random things, but even so, I was quite embarrassed.

Having spoken to a few friends, it seems that it’s not just N.  Other 3 year olds (mostly boys) are going through the same phase.  Delightful!  Although I do remember our now 8 year old god-daughter and niece saying ‘kill, kill, kill’ to people who turned up at their house when she was about 3 too.

I’m just hoping it’s a shortlived phase.  Although it is a little amusing, it’s also a bit disturbing to hear such horrible things from angelic looking children.

Have your children gone through the same?  How have you reacted?  As a non-parent what would you think of a child coming out with these type of things?

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  1. My eldest daughter went through this phase, it was horrible and really worried us at the time but I can’t remember when she came out of it. Youngest is almost five and just threatens us constantly: “read me a story or I’ll hit you / punch you / etc”. Delightful children. Sigh. I think it’s quite common, and not just boys. No idea where it comes from though – peer group? TV? couldn’t work it out. Just boundary pushing, and lots more of it to come 😉

    1. Yes, definitely a mystery, but reassuring that lots of them go through it. Thankfully he’s not actually physically violent with it, although I don’t know whether that would be easier to stop than the words.

  2. Oh wow, this is a phase I’m not looking forward to living through! I have no advice but children really do pick up the strangest things from the most random of places! x

    1. It’s such a weird phase, as it appears to just come out of nowhere. Hopefully it’ll buzz off that way quickly too! Thanks for stopping by Donna.

  3. I can really relate to this post. My 3yo boy is going through exactly the same thing…suddenly transformed from sweet and caring to angry and a bit mean. I remember a friend once telling me there is a massive boost of testosterone around age 3-4 so maybe it’s that…? x

    1. Ah, that would make sense. Might have to go and read up and see if I can find out more about the testosterone bit. It would make sense. Thanks for commenting (and making me feel like it’s more normal, however horrible it is to hear/see)

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