Posted in Behavior, Preschoolers

My three year old is rude.


I have a three year old son who understands to say please and thank you and is sweet as can be at home. But when we leave the house he's awful to anyone who speaks to him. If the say hi he looks down at his feet and grunts or will refuse to speak at all. A woman asked about a toy he had with him today, and rather than answering her he threw it. I let him know I don't like the behavior every time.. it's embarrassing. I never had this issue with my older two. Anyone else go through this or have advice?

  • MamaNukesYopolo
    May 13

    First, I doubt he’s truly being rude. I don’t believe at this age kids are consciously trying to be jerks, even though it feels like sometimes. I would try not to approach like that. Instead I would try to sit with him and ask what he was feeling at that moment and why he did that action. Maybe he’s really shy, or uncomfortable with these people and he can’t find the words to express it. Maybe he misses you guys and blames the people watching him for you leaving. Anyone who knows three years old should not be offended by weird behavior like that and I would work on you not being embarrassed about behavior like this too. This is probably just a personality thing or a shyness thing, and demanding he be social prob puts him way outside his comfort zone and really isn’t fair to him in my opinion.

  • Anonymous
    May 13

    I agree with above. Sounds shy not rude. Maybe ask him what’s going on, and try to find ways to make him more comfortable

  • Nana
    May 14

    Practice appropriate behavior at home. Role play and reward when he responds well.

  • Mrs. HHH
    May 14

    Sounds a lot like my 3yr old as well! He knows he isn’t supposed to talk to strangers so I’m trying to have him understand that if mom is with you and mom is talking to the stranger it is ok for you to also answer questions. I think for our son he has just been getting mixed messages (“wait for years you’re saying I can’t talk to strangers and now you want me to talk to them?”) that’s my guess. Also he’s shy.

  • Elissa
    May 14

    My almost 6 YO SS was still grunting at people and refusing to talk to anyone. I work at Walmart and we go in frequently. Everyone tries to say hi and he was just always mean. I finally told him that’s very rude and found out he didn’t really realize it’s rude. (His mom lets him do it and has no discipline or structure for him) I told him to just say hi back and he doesn’t have to say anything else. As long as I’m there, it’s fine. And ever since, he’s been nice and will talk to Walmart employees. Your little is much younger but explaining that it is rude and you don’t want them to think he’s a rude little boy because he’s a great little boy may help. And telling him that saying hi back is ok, because he might not understand he’s supposed to.