The Dreaded “I Hate You!”
September 21, 2018
“I hate you!”
“You’re the Worst Mom ever!”
“I wish I was never born!”
“Why do you hate me so much!”
Whatever the phrase may be it still stings to hear these words form the one person you have dedicated your life to, the person you spend every waking moment thinking of. Like a dagger to your very soul it could lead you to tears, wondering “Where did I go wrong?”
During such situations it is important to remember:
1) Not to take it personally
The same way you have been studying your children, your children have been studying you. They know that you care for them and at this moment when they feel like you are an obstacle in their desire to be independent they are trying to hit back where it hurts. They might not realize the impact of what they are saying so try not to take it personally and if possible you can diffuse the situation by saying “Well, I love you”.
All in all, remember that your child does not hate you.
2) Don’t overreact
The worst thing you can do in such a situation is have an outburst of your own in response to that of your child. This will only make things worse. Remember that you are the adult hence take a deep breath and stay calm. Then with a level head follow through on whatever decision you had made in the first place, such as finishing their lunch first before going out to play.
3) Be a Parent and Not a Friend
As a parent you need to know that your child will not always like what you have to say and since they are a separate individual from you, they will not hesitate to let you know how they feel. This will lead to some moments of tension and disagreement and that should be fine. If the decision you have made is in their best interest then stick to it and rest assured that they will come around eventually.
4) Acknowledge what they are going through and Talk it over with them
As mentioned in our article on “Dealing with Tantrums” children still haven’t fully learned how to deal with their emotions. As a parent it is your job to help them understand what they are going through and guide them on how to deal with it. Therefore, don’t ignore what they are feeling but rather acknowledge it, for example “I understand that you are upset but…”
Once your child has calmed down, sit down with them and make them understand the impact of the words they use and why it is not okay to use them. Also take this time to explain to them why you made the decision you made. As a parent you might feel that you don’t have to explain yourself to your child, but remember that your actions teach them how to they should behave. Therefore, explaining to them why you made a certain decision teaches them how to be responsible and make decisions of their own as they grow older. It will also help avoid (to some extent) a similar situation in the future as you have already stated what not acceptable behaviour is.
5) Listen to your child
As a parent as hard as it might be to admit we also make mistakes. It is important to make a habit of listening to your child and understanding what is making them upset and why it is making them upset. This is key, as it will help you make an informed decision on whatever the issue might be.
Not listening to your child might cause mistrust which will mean that they won’t be able to come to you later when they have a serious issue which needs your intervention.
Therefore, pay attention to your child and don’t be afraid to acknowledge when you are wrong it will teach them to do the same.
6) It’s never that serious
Yes, I said it. “It’s never that serious”. Take it easy and pick your battles. Not every broken glass, or muddy socks requires a nuclear war. Sometimes it is okay to let one or two things slide. Sometimes!
Plus you will be surprised to find that the fear of you complaining or getting caught at times is more effective than a punishment (though depending on the crime).
7) It happens – You are not alone
I left this point for last because I feel that it is important to know that you are not the only parent going through this and that it is only a phase. Many mothers have heard this 3 dreaded words and many more mothers will. So take a deep breath and remember that to your kids, they are just words.
It’s also important to note that a child can only be a child, so accept that they are a child and take each day as it comes.
Are you or anyone you know going through this? Let us know how you or they handled or are handling the situation by leaving a comment below?