Why are you threatening me mom?


Active Member
Over the last 5 minutes...
Me: Kanga, those pants are dirty.
Me: Kanga, why did you go in that cupboard? It's off limits.
Me: Kanga, brush your teeth in the hall bath.

Kanga: Why are you threatening me?

What part was the threat????????


Well-Known Member
She's not perceiving things right, that's for sure. I hope that was an isolated incident & not a harbinger of how your day will be. Ugh!

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
Triple J,

difficult child seems to perceive questions/statements of fact a bit differently. wm frequently skews a question or an observation as a threat.

Hard to keep your cool when a kid is taking a statement of fact as a threat.

Appreciate the absurdity in this - some days it's the only thing you can do.


Active Member
my difficult child often says I am yelling when I am not. I do not think my tone of voice is severe, but I cannot hear myself. I think some days he is just extra sensitive.


Well-Known Member

could be that she just used the wrong wording and meant "Mom, why are you bugging me so much?" (or harping, or telling me what to do, etc.... Just a thought.



Active Member
difficult child 1 often gets words wrong. It's like he has his own definitions that he's worked out for himself. In a situation like that, I always ask, "Please explain. In what way was I threatening you? I don't understand." Then I might give him the correct word. "Honey, I wasn't threatening you, I was bugging you. And I was bugging you to do those things because it's my job as parent to help you learn to look after yourself."

We also write the list of things on a small blackboard, for difficult child 3 to tick off as he deals with each one. Then instead of nagging/threatening/pestering/bugging, I just point to the board.


Karen & Crew

New Member
Sounds like something my difficult child would do. Like Sharon said, maybe KT was just using the wrong word? Mine does that frequently too. I'll take anything over "Why do you HATE me?" which is what I generally get when I ask him to do ANYTHING!


Well-Known Member
difficult child misperceives like that quite often. Sometimes I really think
he is doing it on purpose...and then...it becomes apparent that
he isn't. With him it seems to be getting slightly worse lately
and although I am trying to chalk it up to hormones, I feel a little paniced that it could be indicative of pattern. Matter of
fact I am pushing the School Board for a new evaluation to explore changes that have taken place in the past few years.Some
have been positive for sure. Others, make me frightened for his
future. DDD

Asking a series of questions or giving a series of instructions
to difficult child in a short period of time triggers off responses. You are not alone on that one!


Active Member
DDD, that sounds like a multitasking problem. We get that from difficult child 1 if he's hit with too many instructions or a verbal list of things to do. He doesn't say, "I hate you" or anything like that, but he begins to go into classic autism withdrawal, hands over ears, crouching over, trying to shut it all out.

We write it down for him, if there are more than two steps or two jobs. If necessary, we also prioritise the list for him ("feed the birds first, then peel potatoes and get the clothes off the line BEFORE you light the barbecue.")

It's a sort of memory thing - he can't hold too many separate steps in his head because he can't remember them if it's not slotted into his long-term memory. And that takes time and patience.


Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
I was also thinking it might be a simple wording problem. N does it with everything and always has. She always uses the opposite word to what she means to say, or will use an opposite phrase.

We're long used to it. If I think I need to for clarification I will ask did she mean to say so and so? Otherwise we pretty much ignore it. We came to accept years ago that correcting her doesn't make the problem go away or better.

It has gotten her into trouble outside of the home though on occasion.


Active Member
Well, Kanga got off to school with a bit more grumbling but was fine when I picked her up and all afternoon and evening (course she was busy with activities most of the evening).

She definitly meant that she felt threatened. A few months ago she started having violent flashbacks to physical abuse in previous homes. Ever since then she's been positive that I want to hurt her.

It makes for some very difficult conversations when I just want her to pick up her dirty socks and she goes into flight-or-fight.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts

kt often has these same flashbacks - last week during her total disconnect she kept screaming "don't touch me". It's devastating to watch & hear when your child is so very fearful.

I understand your frustration - you try to love difficult child & she is terrified.



Active Member
Was just reading the following article on msn, and thought of this post. Add in gfgness and some of the things our kids have been through, and no wonder we have such a "wonderful" time getting them through these years. I know some of my difficult child's reactions to some simple questions or requests the last couple years has baffled me.

The Tween Brain
"Communicating with preteens is tough because they process information differently in their brains," says Dave Walsh, Ph.D., author of Why Do They Act That Way: A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain For You and Your Teen. For example, they are prone to misinterpret nonverbal cues and rush in the direction of aggression or anger.

The brain develops from back to front, which means the part of the brain that helps adolescents reason, plan ahead and manage impulses (the prefrontal cortex) is one of the last areas to mature. It doesn't happen until around age 25!

An adult brain processes verbal cues - tone of voice, facial expression, gestures - in the prefrontal cortex, but adolescents process these cues in the anger center of the brain, or amygdala. In addition, the part of the brain that manages emotional urges is under construction. This explains why preteens may interpret a parent's normal tone of voice as yelling. "What might start off as a very calm question can mysteriously, from a parent's perspective, end up in a shouting match," Walsh says.