When Your Child Says… I Hate You

Have you ever been on the receiving end of mean remarks from your child? I’m guessing that you have. It’s all part of parenthood. Right? We set rules and boundaries for our children because we love them. We go out of our way to give them a good life… Because we love them. So when your child says those 3 magic words, “I hate you”, it hurts. It doesn’t matter if you expect it because they are kids or teens and that’s what they do. It doesn’t matter if they are saying it out of exhaustion and frustration. It hurts.

I am often on the receiving end of some pretty mean remarks from my son. He takes out all of his frustration and anger on me. Before my parenting is questioned, let me say, I am a damned good mother. I say that with confidence and surety. Although I certainly didn’t feel that way a few days ago. Let me tell you why…

My son had a rough week. He was having issues in school with the curriculum and children being mean to him. He was also adamant that I didn’t need to date or have a man in my life. His philosophy was that I have my 3 monsters and don’t need anyone else in my life. This led to a careful explanation about how love is different between a mom and her kids and a girlfriend and boyfriend. Needless to say, my explanation didn’t work as I had planned. All it did was piss him off.

I’m used to him taking out his anger on me. Most times, his anger isn’t directed at me. It’s due to something that happened at school (bullies or not understanding the lesson) or something that is weighing on his mind that we haven’t talked about yet. So I get the frustration. I get the crying. I get the mean words. And you know what? I can usually handle it. It still hurts but I can handle it.

This time was different. He was upset after our conversation but it didn’t take long for him to pull himself together. I didn’t expect any blow back.

I found the note a few days later when I was doing laundry. He usually hides toys in his pockets then forgets to take them out. A thorough inspection of his clothing is always necessary. The note was on a blue sticky note that was folded up in his pocket. It said, “My mom isn’t loved. She thinks she can still be loved. Well nope not from me.”.

It felt like I was punched in the chest. I’m grateful I found it when they weren’t home because I couldn’t control my tears. It was like all the hurt from all the times he has said mean things to me came out in those tears. It’s one thing for him to be mean to my face when he is in the heat of the moment and overwhelmed. It is another thing when he has taken the time to write something mean and carry it with him all day.

The note was just the beginning. He was angry with me for opening it and went on a tirade telling me how much he hates me. I know he didn’t mean it but it still cut like a knife. The funny thing is, I thought this wouldn’t start until he was a teenager. I thought I had, at least, 3 more years before this started. Granted, our circumstances are a little different. His ability to regulate emotions and express himself are not that great due to his ADHD and autism. Still…

What do you do when you find something like that? What do you do when they tell you they hate you? 

I can tell you what I did. I cried. Then I cried some more. I doubted my parenting. I was pretty down on myself. I questioned every decision I’ve ever made with regard to my children. Then I took a deep breath and had a little internal pep talk (maybe it wasn’t all internal… there may have been some talking out loud to myself). Do you know what I realized? I’m not a bad mom. I am a mom who does the best that she can. There are many nights I don’t sleep because I am up taking care of sick babies (sickness bounces around this house in the winter time). I weigh every single decision and research like a crazy woman before deciding what to do. I teach them to be good little monsters… To love and care for others.

I am sure that you raise your monsters to be good too. Do your monsters ever say those 3 words to you? How do you handle it?

13 thoughts on “When Your Child Says… I Hate You

  1. Yes actually my 4 year old said it recently. It was quiet time and pretty random I think he was just annoyed I wasn’t playing with him and was seeking attention. Still it caught me off guard and those words still hurt a little. But you’re right we’re working hard questioning our decisions to be sure they’re the best for our children and sometimes we have to do things for us too! You’re doing great momma!

  2. My 7 year old says it often to me in the heat of the moment, and boy does it hurt. I hear you. I didn’t expect it really, but maybe I should have. His life has been turned upside down recently and he’s doing the best he can.Thank you for sharing your experience and please know that you are not alone.

  3. My youngest also can get pretty nasty and say mean things. I swear its the diet sometimes. I notice when she has too much sugar or dairy she gets really nasty. YOU ARE AN AWESOME MOM, We all go through it sometimes

  4. It’s such a hard thing to hear, but I know they don’t mean it. Just like I didn’t mean it when I said it to my Mom. I usually ignore it, then go back to them a few moments later and we talk and hug it out. They’re usually craving our love.

  5. I would have no clue what to do if my son said that to me ! He’s still so young but I know that someday it could happen. Parenting is definitely one of the hardest jobs

  6. Well my son sometimes say that “You are not my favourite, rather my dad is”, it pains a lot from inside. But I just keep mum, have patience & try to think ways that would have urged him to say so. As such he is just 3.5years and these talks are momentarily right now. The next hour he is seen hugging me all around.

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