It can be soul-crushing when your child utters these words, no matter how old he or she is. But stay calm, because how you respond makes all the difference.
As a parent, you work extremely hard to give your child the best life possible. You feed them, do their laundry, help with homework, drive them to soccer practice or piano lessons, and stay up all night when the flu strikes—to name just a few of the never ending responsibilities of parenthood. So the last thing you’d ever expect for your child to say is, “I hate you.” But, it happens, no matter how great of a parent you are. While we hope that you never have to hear your child speak these hurtful words, you should know how to pull yourself together and respond appropriately if and when it happens.
The first thing you should do? Take a deep breath before reacting. “Realize the words are only as hurtful as you allow them to be,” says Friedemann Schaub, MD, PhD, anxiety expert and author of The Fear and Anxiety Solution: A Breakthrough Process for Healing and Empowerment with your Subconscious Mind. Try not to take it personally and focus on figuring out what your child is really trying to express.
Once you’ve calmed down and taken a moment to collect your thoughts and emotions, you can then address your child and respond appropriately, which will depend on his or her age. CONTINUE READING…