My Kid Hates Me. Now What?

My Kid Hates Me. Now What?

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  1. When my eldest daughter was much younger, she had quite a temper.  She would often become angry and yell at me that she didn’t love me.

     Naturally, my first reaction was to yell back or remind her that she did love me and that I loved her.  I even tried this the first few times, but I quickly abandoned this approach.  It occurred to me that she was just expressing her aggravation the only way she could think of and that we both knew she really did love me.

    I began replying that she didn’t have to love me, but she did have to obey me.  The first time I said those words were like magic.  Suddenly I was allowing my daughter to be angry without giving her permission to disobey.  There was a different dynamic to our relationship, and it worked well.

    By acknowledging my daughter’s feelings and allowing her to communicate them, I was validating her as a person.  This lead to fewer outbursts as there was no longer a need for my daughter to prove to me just how upset she was.  She could now simply tell me that she was upset.

    Bad days and bad moods happen to everyone.  It’s up to us as their parents to teach our children that there is no such thing as a bad emotion, there are only bad reactions.  Every adult has days when they feel like they hate the boss, but the work still has to get done.

    When I gave my daughter permission to be upset and to insist that she hated me, I gave her coping tools she will carry with her for the rest of her life.  She is now 15 and understands that it is OK to be upset, but it is not OK to act out.  But perhaps the best part of all of this is that she frequently proclaims her love for me, even when she is angry.

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