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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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My four year old daughter is saying terrible things to her

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My four year old daughter is saying terrible things to her friends. For example today I helped a friend out by picking her daughter up and we didn't even make it to the car before mean things were coming out of my daughters mouth. The first thing was she was bragging that she gets to sit in a booster seat while her friend will sit in her carseat. She was so mean about it. Then while in the car it was you can't play with my toy. It kept on with me threatening to call her dad and she wouldn't get to go to the bounce house. She would cry and I would give her another chance, and another. I am so embarassed by her behavior that I am scared to have playdates for fear of what nastiness will come out of her mouth. Today she lost a favorite new toy and didn' get to do a project that she was really looking forward too. When I try to talk to her by saying she won't have any friends if she continues to talk badly to them she gets very upset. If this behavior does happen with like a neighbor child I will tell the child we have to end the playdate and take the child home immediately. I hate this because I feel that I am punishing this child too. Today I felft that I didn't have a choice because I had to keep this child and had to have my daughter too. What could I have done that would have stopped my daughter from saying the mean things? I just feel like their is a disconnect and wonder if something is wrong or if she is just slower at developing empathy.
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Dear friend,

Your daughter is quite young and is not able to understand that she is bragging or trying to be one up on her friends. She may be a bit insecure when friends are around when you are there as well, because she is afraid of losing attention. and affection.

Try giving her a little bit more attention at these moments, and if she acts up, tell her gently and not in front of her friends that she needs to be a bit more respectful. Do not get angry with her however, but use a pleasant voice and a smiling face. You might try to overlook a few things, and just give her some more slack.

Spanking her will just make her more insecure, and using her dad as a threat is not fair to dad.

Children can usually work out their differences when playing together. Ending a play session early has the effect of making future play sessions moments of anxiety, and this should be avoided unless the children are coming to hard blows against each other, which is very unlikely.

It is possible that you are worrying a little too much, and have expectations about her behavior that are a bit high. She is not really a defiant child

I believe that with a some more positive reinforcement, she will come around and be just fine.

If you have more to add or ask,I shall be available in the morning.

I wish you great success and urge you to stop worrying.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Dear friend,

Thank you so much for accepting my answer and for your generous feedback.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC

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