What your kid really means when they say "Go away! I hate you!"

Learn about: What your kid really means when they say "Go away! I hate you!" from Ross W. Greene, PhD,...
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What your kid really means when they say "Go away! I hate you!"

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You know kids can say some very interesting things when they're letting us know that they're having difficulty or they're stuck. Go away. I hate you. Leave me alone. Among some of the milder possibilities. They can get a lot more colorful than that at times. But we have to understand it for what it is. If we take it as disrespect, we adults are going to get our dander up and we are going to respond in a way that actually makes things worse, that throws fuel on the fire. But I wouldn't take it that way. I would take it as what is this child communicating right now? He might not be being especially articulate at the moment. He may be losing points on style. But what is he communicating? He might be communicating, I can't talk about this right now. He might be communicating, the more you push me, the less I'm able to do it. He might be communicating, you can hover over me and try to get me to do these math problems for the next 3 hours if you'd like to, but until we figure out why I am having difficulty doing these math problems, I can promise you, they're not going to get done. When kids say things like that, first and foremost we have to figure out what they're trying to say.

Learn about: What your kid really means when they say "Go away! I hate you!" from Ross W. Greene, PhD,...

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Ross W. Greene, PhD

Psychologist, Author & Researcher

Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., is the author of the well-known books The Explosive Child and Lost at School, and the originator of a model of care (now known as Collaborative & Proactive Solutions) emphasizing collaboration between kids and adults in resolving the problems contributing to children’s behavioral challenges.  He is also associate clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, on the professional staff at the Cambridge Hospital, adjunct associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech, and senior lecturer in the graduate program in school psychology in the Department of Education at Tufts University.  Dr. Greene founded the non-profit Lives in the Balance to provide free, web-based resources on his model and to advocate on behalf of behaviorally challenging kids and their parents, teachers, and other caregivers.  He lectures widely throughout the world and lives in Portland, Maine, with his wife and two kids.

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