It’s bound to happen, eventually. No matter how good, or terrible your superhero mom efforts are, they will come to a point where they’re no longer good enough. And they’ll hate you for it. (Well, at least they think they do.) This is how to deal with life when your firstborn, perfect child, tells you in the most flippant way possible, you suck.

Why Kids Lash Out

Children have a limited range of emotion and little experience dealing with anything that ventures outside of what they’re used to feeling. They like discipline, order and control. These things make kids feel secure because it’s a concrete path of what happens next. This is exactly why many kids adapt so well to basic routines. When routines are interrupted, kids feel powerless, and that’s never a good feeling. In the effort to gain control, they will throw tantrums or use powerful words to make a stand.

Why It Hurts

You do everything for your kids, and always have. It’s shocking when they can turn around and take all the good, and dismiss you like you’re absolutely nothing. When your child confesses their hate for you, everything flies out the window. It doesn’t have to be that way. When your child experiences disappointment, they’re bound to lash out and strike as they best see fit. This might mean attacking the one constant thing they depend on. This is hurtful as the provider, but a wise parent knows these words are just words meant to express anger and lack of control in a situation. Remove the word’s power, and focus on why they’re being delivered.

Attention Matters

Ignored, neglected, and challenged children will always look for new ways to get parent’s attention, and to learn about their environment. A patient adult will help kids understand their emotions, whereas an oblivious parenting technique will produce the results of an uninspired, and angry child. Make time for your kids every single day. Make time for homework. Make time for cuddling, and make time for imagination and dreaming. Kids will seek attention and go to whatever means necessary to obtain it. If your kid says they hate you, perhaps they just hate how little time you spend with them.

Positive Encouragement Changes Behavior

Once your child has muttered the hate word, there’s nowhere to go besides a better understanding. Rather than punish your kid and send him to their room, pull up a seat and discuss what just happened. Chances are your child is equally as shocked he spoke such a nonsensical thing, and they probably wants to make it right and get past the guilt and the shame for speaking aloud, what they couldn’t quite put into the right terms.

Let your child know that expressing themselves is healthy, yet certain words are simply hurtful. They serve no purpose in solving a problem or situation, and they misdirect anger or disappointment and result in a very negative outcome.

Together, with honest communication and encouragement to speak their mind, you and your child can learn how to communicate effectively. Rather than take every “I hate you” as a blow to your own parenting ego, use this expression to understand more about your child, and what they seek.

You signed up to be a parent, and that’s forever. Understanding the unique wants and desires of your child will help you grow as a provider, and teach you to respect the feelings and emotions of those who are smaller than you. Once we get rid of the “hate” from an argument, we can focus on rebuilding. Understanding is usually where we can find all the answers to what we hate. Make a connection today and ban the hate talk. Your kid will love you for it.

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