Why do I hate children

«Mom I hate you!»

What to do if you get that child furious and full of contempt bad words throws at the head? First of all, stay relaxed. Such sentences are usually nothing more than an age-appropriate expression of frustration.

Text: Anna Gielas
Pictures: Joel Sartore / Getty Image and Frank Muckenheim / Plainpicture

My child recently "I don't love you anymore!" said to me. How I deserve this
have? I turned off the TV for my 4 year old daughter. Then she jumped from the sofa with flushed cheeks and narrowed eyes, put her hands on her sides and shook her head wildly. She no longer loves me at all.

«I don't love you anymore!», «You are stupid!», «Stupid mom!». Most parents are familiar with such outbursts of anger. These and similar words from the mouth of their own child turn the hearts of many mothers and fathers on. And the worst of these sentences is “I hate you!”. It can catch parents cold and shock them. But how can you deal with it? How can you help yourself and your offspring in an unpleasant situation?

Prevent short circuit reactions

Immediate help in case of shock and sadness offers deep breaths. Breathing exercises bring back an initial balance. On the other hand, if the anger simmers in your stomach physical distraction is recommended. Like jogging or working in the garden. Such actions relax, reduce stress and can prevent short-circuit reactions and an escalation of the situation.

Entertaining distractions also help with the feeling of overwhelming helplessness. For example watering flowers, folding laundry or going for a walk with the dog. And if the child has dropped the sentence in public, it means: ignore other people as far as possible in order to avoid further excitement.

"It is by no means unusual for children and young people to be carried away by the words 'I hate you!'"

Beate Schwarz, Professor of Developmental and Family Psychology at the ZHAW.

At the same time, it helps to realize that the reaction of the offspring is generally not a cause for concern. “It is by no means unusual for children and young people to be carried away by the words 'I hate you!'” Says Beate Schwarz, Professor of Developmental and Family Psychology at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences. For kindergarten and primary school children it is difficult to bear when someone wants something different from them. Children of this age are not yet able to control their emotions and articulate their thoughts. The childlike "I hate you!" is therefore mostly an age-appropriate expression of frustration.

Set boundaries without harming self-worth

In the case of children, during the defiance phase - i.e. between the ages of two and around six years - ugly comments can arise. School children tend to do this less often. It is different with young people: They are at an age when they have to distance themselves from their parents and develop their own identity. This can make the do's and don'ts of their parents seem like an overwhelming influence on their lives. The contradiction between their need for independence and their dependence on their parents manifests itself in frequent quarrels - and also in words such as "I hate you!".

"Nevertheless, parents shouldn't just ignore this sentence, because the child's anger and disappointment are both real and strong at the moment," explains Beate Schwarz. In addition, mother and father should address the comment in order to encourage more respectful interaction between the offspring and themselves. The goal of this conversation: children and young people Set boundaries without harming the son or daughter's self-esteem.

That is why it is important to first signal to the offspring: "I still love you." In both a child and a teenager, sentences such as: "I'm sorry you hate me because I love you."

"Help your child to get in touch with his own emotions!"

Parents should also show their offspring that they are aware of their feelings and take them seriously, for example with sentences like: "I can see that you are very angry." In this way they help your child to get in touch with their own emotions. Especially younger children can give parents specific recommendations so that they can deal better with similar situations in the future, for example: «If you are angry, say 'I'm angry' and we will look for solutions together. "

It is also important that mother and father explain why they cannot or will not respond to the child's request. For example: “If you watch TV longer, you will get less sleep and tomorrow you will be tired all day. This means you won't have any fun playing. " By briefly explaining their reasons, parents prevent the child from perceiving their prohibition as arbitrary. Instead, mother and father make it clear: Our actions are understandable and linked to your well-being.

Parents shape communication with the child

But there is more that parents can do to ensure that the ugly three words are used less often. You should ask yourself whether your child may have adopted the hurtful comment from you. For example, have you often heard a sentence like: "If you don't do what I ask, then I no longer love you"?

Especially when things have to go fast in everyday life, such comments are all too easy - and possibly without you noticing. "However, mothers and fathers should forego them for the good of their relationship with their children," says Beate Schwarz. Due to their great role model function, they can greatly shape the communication with their child.

In some cases, parents will not be able to improve the dialogue with their offspring. Then comments like "I hate you!" too often. If there is no longer any room for a quiet conversation and if the mother or father is under pressure, it is advisable to seek professional help.

But as a rule, an occasional "I hate you!" a normal comment, both by children and teenagers. When parents then help the child to cope with their strong emotions and are also willing to compromise Setting boundaries respectfully, then not only strengthens the culture of argument in the family - it also promotes the future communication and conflict skills of your child.

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4 tips for dealing with child hatred

  • That is important Exchange between parents and an agreement on how to respond to the "I hate you!" responds. Children and adolescents should not experience two fundamentally different reactions from their parents.

  • If the dismay at the three words continues, mothers and fathers can fall in Parent groups Looking for an exchange. Talking to other affected parents can be an important emotional support.

  • Parents should come with Adolescents at least two Communication rules obey: attentive mutual listening and respectful excuses.

  • The earlier the parents their offspring the Reasons for the bans explain briefly and comprehensibly, the more beneficial this is for long-term communication in the family.

Parents can find help here

"Young people should propose their own solutions"

During the puberty there are often arguments with parents. If bad words are spoken, mothers and fathers should take a quiet moment to explain the underlying ones Conflictsthematize, advises psychotherapist Gabrielle Marti.

Interview: Anna Gielas

Ms. Marti, young people in particular often go on a course of confrontation with their parents. How should they react when their teenagers say "I hate you" to them?

This statement is usually not to be taken literally for young people. There are akute feelings of powerlessness, anger and desperation, move the adolescent to such sentences. As adolescents often react impulsively due to their level of development and take little account of the consequences, it is important to grant them “conditional puppy protection”.

This understanding of development helps parents to gain emotional distance in an escalated conflict so that they can respond to "I hate you" do not react equally impulsively like their children. After that, it usually takes time to sort out your own feelings. Only then should you resume the conversation with the child about what triggered the outburst. In the case of adolescents - in contrast to children - this may take a few days.

How should this conversation go?

It is helpful if mother and father provide a suitable place and time. This can also be outside the four walls. Parents can start the conversation with the young person in the sense of "I saw you extremely angry yesterday and would like to understand what's behind it". With this attitude, parents enable their child to learn to represent their point of view respectfully and to feel that they are being taken seriously.

And then?

Is it about talking to the young people about the consequences of the behavior criticized by the parents? Mothers and fathers should get an impression of the abilities of their teenagers in the conversation: Is their child able to assess the consequences of the problematic behavior? How much freedom of choice does it make sense?

It often makes sense to specifically name opposing positions between young people and their parents in order to be able to negotiate them afterwards. It is helpful that parents and young people not only represent their position, but also the underlying worries and desires. When looking for compromises, it is helpful to ask the son or daughter to propose their own solutions and to take on age-appropriate responsibility. Written agreements on rules can help clarify and make them binding.

There are also situations in which parents and young people can no longer talk to each other for a long time.

If conflicts about essential things cannot be resolved for a long time and the relationship is blocked in a power struggle, it is helpful to seek counseling. Specialist centers such as psychological youth counseling centers or the emergency telephone for parents can be helpful so that parents and their adolescents can talk to each other again.

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