Inappropriate Comments

3 Year Old Making Inappropriate Comments

Q. I was in the store with my “3 year old” daughter, and she looked at another little girl and said “oooohhhh my gosh!!”. I asked her “What is it?” She said “She is FAT”. I felt so bad, and to be honest, I was speechless!. I told her that was not very nice and big girls don’t say things like that!! My question is: Where do little kids pick up comments like this? And how can I prevent her from saying things like this again?

A. At 3 years old, children learn new words and phrases all the time and want to use them. It happens to all of us. (just wait until they repeat something inappropriate that you’ve said or done!)

What I’ve done in the past is to say to my child “That was an unkind thing to say” and if the person obviously heard the comment I will also apologize or have the child apologize.

Later, at home, when the humiliation has worn off, is the time to discuss talking about other people in general. There are all kinds of adages to use here “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything”, “If you wouldn’t like someone saying that about you, don’t say it about someone” that kind of thing.

Talk about hurting feelings and unkind words and use the experience as a teachable moment focusing on empathy and kindness.

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