Written by MaryNovember 11, 2008
If you are parent to a teenager, you may have heard these awful words: “I hate you! You’re the worst mother ever!” Some of you may be taken aback by the fact that a child would even think of saying these words to a parent; the disrespect, even thinking they could get away with speaking like that to an adult, and so on. Sad to say, in today’s society, it happens more often than not.
A friend from church recently shared with me that her son said those very words to her just the other day. He’s 13. She was so devastated that her son would think that, much less say it to her face. As you can imagine, it was during a heated discussion. She was in tears over it! Have you ever experienced this? I have, unfortunately. And as mom to 4 kids, I have on more than one occasion and by more than one of my children and it too sent me to tears. I began doubting myself as a parent, as a mother. I had thoughts of, “why did I ever have children? I thought they were supposed to love you eternally, without question?!”
Now, I’m not going to get into the whole thing about children must respect their parents and so on, that’s a whole ‘nother discussion! What I want to talk about here is how to deal with it. I am no expert, I’m not a psychologist or anything like that, nor am I a counselor. I am just a mom whose dealt with some pretty bad stuff as 2 of my kids went through their teen years, and the other 2 are still going through them.
First of all, let’s talk about the emotions of teenagers and what they are going through. Especially in the early years, teen’s hormones are all over the place! My husband read one study that said that children are literally insane during their early teen years. The frontal lobe of their brains are not fully developed yet, and they are being washed by hormones. They are so full of emotions, highs and lows, and yet have no idea how to deal with them or even why they feel the way they do.
As my kids have grown through the years, I know they love me, and they did not mean those words spoken out of anger. They never meant them and my two older ones have apologized to me for the way they behaved sometimes as kids.
I know when you’re in the moment, those words are devastating, but remember, if you just keep loving your children unconditionally (is that hard or what?!) and keep guiding and directing their steps, they will grow up to respect you and love you, and may possibly even apologize for saying such things to you. They may, in fact, even wonder how or why they could have even thought such things! Who knows. Just hang in there! I know you’re not the worst mother EVER, and you’re kids don’t hate you! They may hate that you just told them no to something they wanted or wanted to do, but they don’t hate you! Try to remember that. I know it will be hard, especially when those words are ringing through your ears, but trust me, they don’t hate you!