When My Child Says I Hate You. A toddler holding a teddy bear cries in anger.

When My Child Says I Hate You

This week, we have a topic that some might find controversial, but that is all too common in families with children of speaking age, and that is when my child says I hate you.  It might sound like an unpleasant thing to talk about, and to be sure, it is an unpleasant thing to hear, but as with most undesirable behaviors, it most often comes from a known (and benign) cause, and presents parents with a unique opportunity to engage, to teach, and to learn.

For those believing, my child would never say I hate you, for those wondering, why would my child say I hate you, and for those contending with their own emotional responses to a child’s outbursts, this episode is for you.

For parents interested in exploring attachment issues in newborns and children in their pre-toddler years, you can find our previous episode on this subject here.

“A child saying ‘I hate you’ is almost inevitable once you have a child who can put those words together.  It’s going to happen.  And, of course, it doesn’t mean that your child actually hates you.  Your child loves you.  So why do children use those words?  It’s because they’re human beings.  They have a wide variety of emotions, the same emotions that adults have.  And I think that every adult out there can remember a time or two in their lives when they were upset and said something they didn’t mean.”

– Susan Glaser

Episode Highlights:

– Things to Consider, and Things to Understand.

–  When My Child Says I Hate You: What Do They Really Mean?  What are they telling you?

– The differences between trauma and disappointment.

– Typical responses from parents.

– Finding agreement in conflict.

– Allowing feelings but setting boundaries on behaviors.

– The difference between discipline and punishment.

– Responding when a child is hitting.

– Are timeouts the answer?

– Forcing apologies versus making amends.

– The dangers of avoiding conflict.