thread: Go Away! Need alternative words!

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jun 2005
    Blue Mountains
    5,086

    Go Away! Need alternative words!

    My son's favourite catch-cry at the moment. If he's in trouble "go away!", if something's going wrong and you try to help "go away!", if DD goes anywhere near him "go away!". He says it for everything.

    He's obviously received attention for it or something which makes him keep doing it. We've tried ignoring it (and in fact if we ignore it he says "I said go away" so obviously is wanting a reaction) we've tried putting him in his room or on a stool somewhere until he's ready to talk nicely to everyone, I've even actually packed up my bag and grabbed Kayla and said "Tallon wants us to go away, lets go away" and I go out the front door and pretend to get into the car.. he FLIPPED. If I ask him if he really wants me to go away he says "no - don't go anywhere". I ask if he talks to his teacher like this and he says no, so I ask him not to talk like this at home either..

    but last night while he was saying it, I said 'why don't you think of some different words to say" and he was actually receptive to this idea.. but do you think I could come up with alternate words?? I racked my brain, trying to think of something funny he could say, but at the same time I didn't want it to be rude, coz chances are he's going to say this to other people. ARGH! So please.. any suggestions of something else he could say instead of "go away". As I said, it's like it's a habit, and it's just the thing that comes out of his mouth if he has nothing else to say, or if he doesn't know what to do next or whatever. The only thing that came to my mind was Seinfelds "you're sooooo good lookin" PMSL.



    Any suggestions on how to deal with this? He does sometimes get really angry with the "go away" so I do think it's him not knowing how to respond to situations.. i dunno... help??

  2. #2
    Registered User

    Sep 2008
    Croydon, Victoria
    1,754

    When he says it, respond to his mood. Say "Gee, you sound like you are really cross at the moment" or "Do you need help with that"? Try and get him to talk about his feelings rather than pushing everyone away. He might have something on his mind that he wants to talk about...?

  3. #3
    Registered User

    Sep 2008
    Croydon, Victoria
    1,754

    Wanted to add- If you want other words you could teach him to say "I just want to be on my own" or "I need some quiet time"

  4. #4
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2008
    3,132

    We use the idea of 'cool down' with my DD. If she is frustrated or wants some time out then she can say that she is going to cool down. If she is really cranky then I will often say that I think she needs some cool down. Our cool down space is pillows and she can take books there and some toys. It is different from time out as it is not a punishment - we are trying to teach her to recognise when she has had enough and needs some space. So if you set up a cool down space for him then he can say 'I need cool down.'

  5. #5
    Registered User

    Dec 2008
    8,986

    ^That's a great idea.

  6. #6
    BellyBelly Member

    Mar 2006
    Getting to know Brisbane all over again
    2,047

    I guess the first thing is to work out is it that he doesn't want help or that he does? If he wants to work it out he could say "no thank you" or I can do it" if he wants help/attention "help please"

    Good luck

  7. #7
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jun 2005
    Blue Mountains
    5,086

    Thanks. Since we've been using a stool for timeout rather than his room (his room results in toys & books being thrown at the door ) I've been using his room as his calm down space. He knows he's not in trouble, just needs to calm down, and he comes out saying he's calm now LOL. So I can explain that he & Kayla aren't playing nicely together, it might be best if he goes and plays in his room for a while.

    But the go away thing can be soooo random. It's like it just falls out of his mouth. I do try to read when he actually means it or when it's just a random thing out of habit. Sometimes he has a cheeky 'fake cranky' look on his face too. And I do try and say things for him.. altho he's not one to lack words.. he's a great talker, guess he just doesn't necessarily know how to speak his feelings.

  8. #8
    Registered User

    Jul 2005
    Rural NSW
    6,975

    Ubba has some good advice. You can use this as an opportunity to help him identify his emotions. My 5yo used to say "go away!" a bit too. I realised it was coming from a place of injured pride. So, you kind of have to balance respecting that (and allowing him a certain ammount of dignity) with making him face up to consequences. So you might have to spell it out for him "I know you feel cross and embarrassed and I will let you have some time to think about it but...." and I briefly remind him what he did wrong then left him alone. He eventually started to say "leave me alone" which I guess was an improvement on "Go away!"

    So I guess what you are hoping to change is encouraging him to make a request than a demand?

  9. #9
    Registered User

    Jul 2005
    Sydney
    7,896

    I was going to go with 'Leave me alone, please' like Bath. There's nothing wrong with wanting to be on your own if you're embarrassed or unhappy or you've had enough of your sister. If you're more concerned about the tone rather than the words, perhaps you could just ask him to speak in a nicer voice. Tell him that Kayla/Mummy will be able to listen to him better if he speaks more nicely. DD uses similar words and I find focusing on the delivery, rather than the words themselves, works.

    Otherwise, I'd ask him why he wants you to 'go away'. If he can articulate his reasons better then he might find other ways of expressing himself.

  10. #10
    Registered User

    Jan 2009
    5,235

    We teach our kids at work to say 'STOP I don't like it'.

  11. #11
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2008
    3,132

    I tell DD to "Use your words and calmly tell Mummy what you want". I have been doing it with her long enough now that she find me using that phrase very calming and mostly will express, as best she can, what she wants. I don't accept whinging and whining. She has to tell me in a calm way. I also respond instantly within the boundaries that we have set so that she know that if she tells me calmly, then she gets a response from me.

    Since your son sounds like he is great with words, he might like being encouraged to use his words and tell you what he wants. It might be good to have a talk to him about saying 'go away' when he is calm and not telling you to 'go away'. You could try telling him how it makes you feel. Ask him how he is feeling when he tells you to go away (even draw some different expressions on a piece of paper and talk about what they mean and then ask him to pick one if he isn't good at expressing how he feels).

    I don't know if that is helpful but I find fewer words when working with upset kids, the better. Phrases like that tell kids exactly what you expect and they are able to respond without it becoming a power struggle or too wordy.

    I was a behaviour management teacher before I had kids and worked with kids with severe behaviour difficulties. Unfortunately, they were all a bit older than this age group so I just try strategies that I learned while working with those kids when issues arise and see what works and what doesn't. Some of it doesn't because it is too far above DD's head, but I am surprised how much of it does work. So some of the things I said maybe a little beyond what is age appropriate, but they are things that I would try and see how they went. Then I would just try and adapt them to his level.