What to say when your child says “I hate you”

Once upon a time, you gave birth to your own little bundle of joy. You know the pain of childbirth. But it’s all forgotten once you see this teeny tiny, gorgeous little thing in your arms. You raise him the best you can.You shower him with love, with attention and with presents.As he grows,you startto discipline him. And then things happen. You realizeyou can actually lose your temper with this once-innocent,now-bratty little toddler. And before you know it, he’s off to school, doing many grownup things. And one day, you just have to say “No” to something. “I hate you”, is the response. And that’s when you realize, childbirth wasn’t so bad. Not as bad as listening to this from the very child you birthed.
Well, take a deep breath. Congratulations! You’re raising a totally normal primary schooler. Kids are just learning to vocalizetheir feelings and they have no idea how to be refined yet. They obviously hate whatever it is that you’re doing or saying and not you as such. And now you need to be armed with responses to the “I hate you” . Because if you cry or show some weakness, they’re totally going to manipulate you and get it their way.

Here are 18 responses parents gave when asked to retort to the “I hate you” from their child (courtesy – The Stir Café Mom) –

1. My husband tells them (much more calmly than I can manage), “You don’t hate me, you don’t like what I am telling you. There is a big difference. I love you!”

2. “Sorry you feel that way, that’s too bad ……” Long pause (guilt, the gift that keeps on giving!).

3. “Oh, well, I guess that means you don’t want to go to Disney with me this year then. Looks like it’s a kid-free vacation this year!”

4. “I love you, but I don’t like you right now.”

5. “It’s OK; I love you enough for both of us.”

6. “OK, I’ll find you a new mom then.”

7. “EXCUSE ME?” (I don’t yell at them, but if you say it really loudly, it’s shocking enough that they almost always apologize.)

8. “That hurts my feelings.”

9. “That’s fine. I’m doing my job then. But mommy still loves you!”

10. “You will hate me many times as you grow up, and I’m prepared for it and will always love you.”

11. “It’s OK; you’ll get over it.”

12. “You do? That’s not very nice, and I don’t feel that way about you.”

13. “You’re allowed to be mad at me; however, you’re still not allowed to wear shorts to school when it’s 20 degrees outside.”

14. “I know you’re angry, but that is not an OK thing to say to your family.”

15. “You’re not exactly my favorite person right now either, Kid.”

16. “Well, it’s my house, so you’re free to move out anytime.”

17. “I know you are mad at me right now and we can talk about the situation when you are calm.”

18. “That’s OK, honey; you’ll love me soon enough.”

What do YOU say when your kids say “I hate you”?

 

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