There are days when parenting can seem extra tough and where parents become emotional. Sometimes kids just do things that really frustrate parents. But what do you do when you start hating your child because of this?
If you feel as though you are starting to hate your child, you must evaluate where the emotion is coming from. Analyse what triggers the resentment so that you can develop methods to reduce it. If these are intense or ongoing feelings of hatred, you should consult a counsellor to resolve the issues.
It can be scary to hate your child at times. But you can build a support network and coping mechanisms to help feel better.
The first thing to do if you start hating your child
When you start to feel hateful emotions towards your children, you need to take a step back from the situation at hand. Recognise this feeling and let yourself accept that it’s possible to feel this way towards your kids at times. After you take a breather to come to terms with your emotions, you can start to process and understand them. It’s important to not avoid dealing with feelings of hate towards children because otherwise it will build up and turn into resentment. It’s important to deal with this feeling of hate early to avoid acting out and causing potential harm to yourself and your children.
What should you do if you start feeling hatred towards your kids?
We’re going to go through steps of actions to take if you start hating your child:
Admitting your feelings out loud
You can’t begin to resolve any feelings if you don’t admit to them and accept that you feel some kind of hate towards your child. This doesn’t make you a failed parent. But if you don’t start recognizing your emotions you risk ruining your relationship with your kid. Resentment that hasn’t been dealt with is a driving force in parents and children not getting along. There are so many things that we see from the time our kids are born until the end of our lives. Co-existing without some irritation is impossible and things beyond our control can cause feelings of hate. The important thing is to let yourself accept the fact that you are having these feelings so that you don’t bottle them up. Instead, you can work on identifying the root of the problem.
Identify the triggers behind your hatred to your child
To be able to regulate your feelings of hatred, you need to pay attention to what triggers the emotional response. Be conscious of the things happening around you when the feeling of hate begins to pop up. By identifying the triggers, you can find ways to prevent whatever action causes your anger. This could mean you just need some time alone because children can be a lot to be around. Maybe your feelings are stemming from the way your kid speaks to you. This realization can make you focus on what causes their tone and attitude. This understanding will help you find the resolution to potentially making your child feel better and reducing the trigger of your hatred.
Listen to your child more
Often the actions of children that can cause feelings of hatred are a result of them seeking your attention. This can make kids act out, speak more rudely or not listen to you at all. When this happens, instead of yelling at your kid and becoming really angry, you need to encourage them to talk to you. Learn about your child, how they cope with overwhelming feelings, what makes them happy, what majorly impacts their daily life. Kids will talk to you if you are willing to listen. By dedicating specific time and attention to your child, you can reduce your feelings of hate. You will grow a better bond together and they won’t act out trying to get your attention.
Explain what is going on to your children
In line with listening to your children, when you’re starting to feel hatred towards your kids, you need to talk to them about it. Be mindful to help them understand why you feel this way. You will need to stay calm and be clear. This will teach them about how to handle emotions and process them. You shouldn’t come right out and tell a kid you hate them. But you can explain that there are some things that they do which you don’t like. This also encourages them to do the same in return. You will see that a good line of communication will develop if you can have these discussions with your children. It shows them that it’s okay to be upset with each other at times.
Get some extra help to cope with feelings of hate towards your child
There are so many resources and people around that can help you learn to cope when you start hating your child. There are parenting courses that help increase your parenting skills which might reveal a way you can make the situation better. You can reach out to fellow parents and talk to them about the different emotions you’re feeling. There are also lots of professionals like therapists and counsellors that can help unpack your hatred. If you’re experiencing these feelings in an overwhelming manner or if they continue for a long time, you should talk to a professional. In the same way you can love your child too much, you can dislike them too much. Sometimes a third party is very helpful when learning to cope with these feelings.
Is it normal to not like your kid sometimes?
It is normal to have periods of time when you don’t particularly like your kid. They aren’t just kids; they are their own person and personalities do clash. You can simultaneously love your child to pieces and not like them in a specific moment. These feelings are where phrases such as ‘I do love you, but I don’t like you right now,’ have developed from. You can feel this way towards anyone in your life, but parents scare themselves when they realise they don’t like their kid at times.
If you don’t let these feelings get in the way of your relationship, they will pass. It only feels concerning because this isn’t something that parents discuss often. This can leave you feeling isolated and as if there is something wrong on your behalf because it seems no one else experiences it. Rest assured, there are plenty of parents out there in the same position.
It’s normal to become irritated and annoyed at your kid sometimes. But if your dislike for your child extends long term, you should consult a professional to discuss the problem.
One very frustrating aspect about having kids at home is the mess that can occur with toys being left out everywhere. You should check out our article explaining why too many toys are bad for children to help with this frustration! We also have tips to increase your child’s common sense. There is lots more parenting, health and lifestyle advice on our Vidar Australia blog!