Image result for I hate youI remember being a kid and watching some show and the teen on screen shouted "I hate you" ran off, slammed door and the parent looked upset and then knocked to see if they could go in. 

What?????? This girl grew up with Eastern European parents "I hate you" would have led to serious repercussions, slamming doors - too scary to think about  and a parent knocking still chuckling, as if!.  Who were these people who parented this way ?  I mean for sure TV writers were way out there - not the experience of the mostly immigrant based parents I knew.  Hell doors meant nothing to them. 

I have never told my parents I hated them.  I know I thought I hated them at times.  I mean my mom I more "hated" her in typical angst "you just don't understand me" and the fact that she was a woman who was so different than the woman she was raising in terms of my independence.   My father I "hated" because he did not appreciate the fact that I was growing up and because his narcissism made him manipulative and mean.  Yet while thoughts with words that will not be repeated went through my head at various times and snarky attitude paired with classic passive aggressive teenage "whatevers" were said, the I hate you, run out slam door just did not happen in my house. 

In my own parenting I have come across the run out from my boys.  I struggle with it.  Do I let them have the time to cool down, do I go and let them work through whatever we are doing with me and not alone, are they entitled to that privacy that I too have asked them for? You know the one you as a mom have said "you need to leave me alone for a few minutes for your own good..." - trust me it is for their own good, 

The one rule I have asked to be followed is that they never shout "I hate you" at me.   I cannot control their thoughts (no you cannot though you can help form their thought process) and they will hate situations and when I help them make the right choices but they cannot say they "hate" me.  So far, and we are only at the 12 year old stage, hasn't happened.

Hate is such a harsh word and so overused because we feel it is ok to be that dismissive, that harsh, that frankly mean to another person from our parents to strangers.   Hate diminishes both the person who says it as well as the person who is the recipient of it because it takes energy, it is the word for hurt, anger, powerlessness.  Hate should be reserved for situations and for those who create those situations.   Maybe we use hate and it's energy to dis-empower them.  It is not ok to tell your parents you hate them even if you think well you saw others do it or you saw it on TV.  

We work really hard at being good parents, talk to one another on how to be better parents, are dedicated to making life better for, easier for, way more about the kids than previous generations because our parents did the same compared to their parents.  We are fallible and sometimes unreasonable but we are madly in love with our kids and deserve no part of the word "hate". 

Part of growing up means being against those things that keep you a child and being a parent means stepping back a little to appreciate that kids need to do this.   

I treat my children with respect and part of that respect is telling them that I love them especially when they least seem to deserve that moment of affection.   The sense of confidence, happiness is what kids that get praise (yes we love hearing praise) from other parents and teachers seems to be pretty tied to parents who have set boundaries that are not about being in control but about teaching these future adults how to be good people who add to the world.  One of those things is dealing with what kids don't like and as much as a part of me was fascinated by the storming off, door slamming, "I hate you" screaming tv characters the truth is teaching kids to deal with adversity and learning to make their case is more the reality I live in  Empowering them to be better than that is hard but hearing those words would break me and they know that and maybe the fact that they know that and don't use them so they don't break me means I am doing pretty damn good for now in this parenting gig. 


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