What do you do when your teenage child tells you "I hate you!"?
If there is one phrase to make parents to fly off the handle it is this one "I hate you!", but there is whole repertoire of very effective combat starters like "You're ruining my life!", "I am sorry I am such a disappointment to you!", "It's not fair!", "You just want somebody who is perfect!", "You never..." and "But why?"
This usualy happens when the child in question is not getting their way. I have always just let it be. They do not normally really mean it, they are mad. We all say things out of anger fro time to time. Let them cool off, and bring it up later. Maybe even wait a few days. Then, unless there are real issues, they will probably tell you they didn't mean it at all.
There is an old adage that goes something like this; If someone is not doing what you want them to do, look at yourself for answers.
If your child talks to you in that manner you are doing something wrong. That is just a simple truth. No matter what the cause or reason, including emotional disorders, If anyone says that to another person, that person better figure out why. Because they are a teenager and your child does not stop our obligation to treat each other with enough respect that "hate" is not in the vocabulary.
ps. My wife has said I hate you to me, and she really did, I had to change. Years later she does not. And I am better for it.
What do you do in this very tricky situation when the one you love tells you to your face that their love has turned to hate? As a parent of two grown up young men I've faced exactly this situation. It's not at all easy to redeem the situation but somehow you have to. The best thing to do is to keep cool, say nothing that will provoke further anger and try and bridge the gap. It's probably better to say something rather than nothing (unless the young man/woman has already stormed off out the door!!) because an uneasy silence could attract more of the same.
Perhaps we can talk when things have calmed down?
Maybe we should sit down, have a drink and talk things over.
Please tell me what it is you want? Maybe we can reach a deal?
Bear in mind that this sort of teen hatred is fairly common in most families. There's great stress and tension in all teenager's heads and hearts and often it manifests as anger towards the parents. It may seem extremely selfish, you will definitely not want it or understand it but it's going to appear in some form sooner or later. Try to appear sincere, keep a sense of humour and maintain a dignified position.
If it becomes a real issue then you should seek help from other family members and close friends, and in extreme cases, seek professional advice.
Look them in the eye and say "good for you" then inflict more punishment.
I'm surprised if this has not happened to everyone with a kid. I just say, "I'm sorry to hear that, but I still love you."
I always said something to the affect of "I'm sorry you feel that way...but" and then add "you are still going to do what I asked" or "you are still not getting what you want!" If they try to continue to argue or spout things they really don't mean, I say "I can talk to you when we are both more calm."
Usually the teenager says these type of things when a parent refuses to give in to them....
Wow these responses seem like and ego power trip over someone younger. I hope I guide by reason and set examples of love that preclude such a response. It is not like fate that teenagers act that way, it is by parenting.
Eric - there are many types of parenting styles - no one style is perfect. As parents, we all do our best and that is all we can do. When teenagers get to the point of "I hate you" they are usually beyond calm reasoning.
No just a teacher, It would be nice to wipe our hands and say it is fatalistic, but such would be a cop out. I have taken 5 through teen years as a father figure. By twenty we laugh at my role. They have all hated life and the cards they were dealt.
Justateacher, I agree with you. There is an old film when the main character thought his father was horrible until he became one himself. It's called "Parenthood" with Steve Martin and young teenager Joaquin Phoenix. Teenagers learn & become a
You REALLY have to remember what the turbulent teens felt like.............
Raging hormones, acne, dancing dresses, broken dates, friends revealing your secrets, growing pains, ill fitting clothes, fast changing fashion trends...........
Love them anyway, this is when kids need their parents the Most.
They do get past it, and will, one day, appreciate you again.
Great answers that I am glad to read. Although, in the back of my mind are these young kids (young adults) who have been in the news when they feel they have been betrayed. I will surely keep this in mind and still stand my ground in a open communicative yet compromising manner.
I have never been told that by any of my three children. My oldest daughter will be 42 this coming August, my middle daughter just turned 24 and we have a 14 year old son. Hate is not a word we use to frequently... I guess because I don't hate anybody or anything. I don't really understand hate. Thank God. but for anybody who said that to me I would just love them more, seriously. My wife has told me that, to think about it, in the past and I kept loving her. Love, it fixes all pain... His In Service
I wrote a hub about allergy testing for children because the elimination of certain foods made a big difference in the attitude of one of my children. We didn't find out she was allergic to foods until she was an adult. I suggest you consider allergy testing.
I also have another thought in the case of your son. I am concerned about the comment you wrote, ie: "My son, not a teenager yet, kept saying "I hate my father!" and I asked him to just stop saying this. He looked at me, sat down quietly in the corner and started crying. I had to deal with the feeling, not the decorum."
You really need to sit and ask him why he hates his father. Your son is trying to tell you something. It upsets him enough to make him cry. Please don't just tell him not to say it ... accept that he means it at this moment in time, and ask him why.
It might be something as simple as the fact that his father doesn't spend enough time with him when other kids at school have fathers who spoil their sons, or it might be something you would really rather not hear. But you have to be strong enough to ask him and to listen to what he says without telling him he is wrong or trying to shut him down.
This is about your son, not about you. And at this point, not about his father. Of course it might become about you and his father, depending on the answer but I urge to be strong enough to invite your son to talk with you honestly so that you can help address the issue and find a way to make things better.
Your son is trying to tell you something and your role and responsibility as his mother is to listen. You have a lot of teenage years ahead of you and he needs to be able to trust you to listen to him, otherwise he'll just stop trying to talk to you.
Have the conversation with your son when his father is not around and simply say, "I'm sorry I didn't listen to you properly when you tried to tell me why you hate your father. I'm listening now. What's going on with you and your dad? Why do you say you hate him?"
Don't put words into your son's mouth, and don't try to make excuses for his father. Just let your son tell you what's on his mind. You have to listen to him and then you have to tell him that you will work with him to figure out a solution. Ask him what you can do to help make the situation better. Please don't make him feel stupid for expressing how he feels. Encourage him, and love him. Please include in your answer something like "Okay, I hear you. Thanks for telling me."
Remember one simple thing - your child is not your property. Every child has a soul. You can educate your child. But if you will try to change the soul of your child - the child will hate you!
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