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Stop Feeling Guilty for Hating your Kids

It may seem a bit taboo to claim publicly that there are moments when we actually hate our kids. We worry that we will be judged by others who feel we should live in a plastic bubble of reality where people are always happy, satisfied, and joyous. Unfortunately, others may live in such a bubble, but our kids definitely don’t. As a result of this, our kids might tend to burst our happy bubble now and then—at which time, we may feel a bit of resentment.

What makes us hate our kids

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First, let’s get it straight that we don’t actually hate our kids…instead, there are times that we have a strong disliking or disdain for them. This feeling within some of us as parents becomes heightened when our kids become mouthy teenagers who feel compelled to let us know that we know nothing, we always make them sick, or we are making their lives miserable on purpose.

It is at that moment that we realize that our kids are no longer the cute little mini-me’s that they once were. Instead, they are struggling to find their own identity, which is great. The only problem is that in their struggle to become independent, we parents are somehow on the receiving end of their anger and fight to become their own people.

We are the target of their spit-fire commentary and we are blamed for almost everything that makes them unhappy. If we are honest as parents, we will internally admit that we are completely disappointed in how the relationship with our kids is turning out.

The hate can turn to love, once again

The best way to end the internal disappointment, anger, and resentment that we sometimes feel toward our kids is to first admit that we sometimes feel this way. You can’t address or change something that you won’t even admit you have or feel. After you secretly admit these feelings, the next step is to slowly begin the process of addressing the things that make you so angry.

It won’t be easy but taking the time to make a list of the things your kids do to upset you is a great way of identifying the problem. If talking to you in a disrespectful manner is the number one item that angers you about your kids, then put that on the top of your list to be dealt with. Pull your kids aside and let them know that the time has come that you are no longer willing to accept their tone or angry words that are meant to hurt your feelings.

Let them know how they make you feel and then ask them how they would feel if the shoe were on the other foot. Empathy plays a great role when trying to get others to see your point of view. Of course, kids will continue to make us angry, but the ball is in our court to address those issues personally and without backing down.

In the end, we love our kids and we only want what’s best for them. As a matter of fact, no one can hurt us like our kids—which is why we tend to feel so strongly when they disappoint us or hurt our feelings. We must remember that just because our kids have the ability to talk doesn’t always mean that they have the established ability to reason or think through everything before they say it.

Much like little toddlers, our teenagers are still capable of having temper tantrums, only now they know more words. Unfortunately for us, they are still learning how to use them. If we keep this in mind, we won’t allow their words to do such damage within us. We can love our kids, again. It’s just going to take a bit of work on our part.

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About Audra L.

Audra L. is an author, columnist and community activist who's dedicated to finding truth through research and effective communication. She received her degree in Public Policy and teaches Community Development, Public Speaking and Communications Law to youth throughout the nation. She is the recipient of over 23 awards and honors for her commitment to community outreach initiatives.

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