I’m certainly not the first or the last Mother whose heart has been broken by a child who demands “I want a new Mummy!” or who declares indignantly “I hate you Mum!”
In my 33 years I have never ever said that to either of my parents.
One of my children has said it, (3 guesses!) and I had to hold my tongue when the words ‘Oh yeah! Well sometimes I hate you too!’ popped into my head. Of course I don’t ‘hate’ any of my kids, even when they are the most deplorable little monsters alive.
CC hasn’t actually said the words ‘I hate you Mum’ but he did graffiti the inside of his wardrobe with it.
Really? I could probably have dealt with a simple ‘I hate Mum’ but ‘I love Dad, I hate Mum’ !!!!
AND he wrote it twice!
In different colours for emphasis!
I know he doesn’t mean it. Still, when I found this my heart lurched a little.
I realised that I am the Wicked Witch from the West and my Husband is Glinda. (Oh yes Dear, there is simply no denying it.)
Similarly, The Actor, while he is far too thoughtful and sensitive to say ‘I Hate You’, he has said “I’m sick of this place! I’m leaving!” and he slams the front door behind him and marches off down the street.
The other kids all come to me terrified that he will get lost, or be kidnapped or that he’ll run away with the circus, (the latter is probably more out of concern that he will get to have more fun than they will.) I just giggle to myself because I know that in 5 minutes he’ll have begrudgingly dragged his feet back up the street, and be hiding in the back yard.
The unanimous chorus from experts?
Don’t take it personally.
Oh sure, easy enough to say that when the flesh of your flesh, the child you gave life, the product of your blood sweat and tears, is dissing your Mothering skills. How do you not take it personally?
You have to realise that kids are kids, and ‘hate’ doesn’t mean to them what it means to us adults. Kids say these things when they have no other way to express their frustration and anger.
It does not make you a bad parent.
Of course, allowing your child to think that you’re all too happy for him to leave; or worse, that you hate him too, is probably not cool.
When my kids do this I simply say:
“Well that’s a real shame ‘cus I really love you a lot.”
I guarantee immediate difusement of a highly charged situation and a very repentive child with a big cuddle for Mum.