B.G. asks from Lakewood, CA on July 17, 2011
15 Year Old Son Hates me.....do I Believe Him or Let It Slide?
Hi. I am so down today. I always knew it was "normal" for a 15 year old son not to like his parents, but it hurt me so badly today when he said it out loud. He told his Dad right in front of me that everything I do irritates him, and he only tolerates me. It started when he came in the house looking for a chip for a camera that Dad asked him to get. When he said "Where it it?" I said "I don't know what you're talking about." When I saw it in his hand, I said "that's it, isn't it?" I asked him to go out and ask Dad if that's what he wanted. He started yelling at me, and told me I was "technology challenged". (I am, that didn't hurt at all.)
When they came back about 20 minutes later, I told my husband what had happened, and the boy starting saying all the stuff that hurt me. Husband told kid that he is the problem, and to stop it, but kid just yelled back, and left in a huff. I have not stopped crying, but I hate this feeling. I feel like I can't go on from here. Please give me any advice. He is our only, and we are older, having him at 38 years old. Thank you in advance.
B.V. answers from Los Angeles on July 19, 2011
Tomorrow is another day. It will probably be better. Cook nice meals
and buy the kids stuff and listen to what they say. Forget today.
B.C. answers from Los Angeles on July 17, 2011
I feel for you. I'm sorry you only had one child and that this happened to you.
I had 8 kids and one child said this to me when he was about 16, like yours. He had been far more rebellious than my other 7 kids, but I knew from my experience from my other kids, that this was him.
I had been somewhat prepared for this because I'm one to have thought out possible occurances like this and then thought about possible answers. When my 16 year old yelled, "I hate you, dad ! ! I hate you!" I had the answer ready for him. In a clear, calm voice, "I'm sorry you feel like you hate me now. I love you. I'm your dad and I'll always love you. I'll always be here for you when you need me." And he walked out the door and slammed the door.
Think about what you want to say so you'll be prepared for the next time. My son eventually came back and he eventually grew up and we love each other.
Good luck to you and yours.
8 moms found this helpful
B.C. answers from Norfolk on July 17, 2011
Oh I wouldn't be sad - I'd be livid.
It's not normal, it shouldn't be expected nor excused.
So everything you do 'irritates' him?
Does that include laundry, preparing/serving meals, driving him where he needs to go, putting clothes on his back and keeping a roof over his head?
You changed his diapers, nursed him through sickness, threw him birthday parties.
Honey - he owes you respect/gratitude in heaps.
If he appreciates nothing - fine! he deserves nothing.
He can start doing his own laundry.
He needs to get a job because you'll only buy him bare basics for clothing.
Gaming system? Computer time? Cell phone?
He can use the library and he'd better start paying his own phone bill.
I don't care if his hormones are surging - it's no excuse to bite the hand that feeds you.
My son's 12 and has only grumbled a little so far, but I've told him if he wants to cop an attitude - I can out attitude him 24/7 with one hand tied behind my back and it's NOT a pleasant way to live.
Dad won't put up with disrespect towards parents either - we are precisely on the same page.
Cooperate and show some respect and life can be sweet.
You want to be difficult - I'll SHOW you difficult.
You'll get through this.
7 moms found this helpful
J.R. answers from San Diego on July 17, 2011
I think the title of your question is way off the mark. The choices aren't "believe him or let it slide." Who cares if he really means it? He probably does a little bit, but who here has never been irritated by their parents? The issue is that he is being disrespectful and rude. Do NOT let it slide.
Seriously, that is not at all acceptable. You wouldn't let him speak to your friends or other relatives that way, would you? Why should you take it?
He needs to apologize to you and be told in no uncertain terms is he not to speak to you in that way again. No matter how angry or annoyed he is at you, you are his mother. He needs to treat you with respect and courtesy.
5 moms found this helpful
P.M. answers from Portland on July 17, 2011
Your son hates that he is driven to separate and individuate but still has so little choice or freedom. He hates that (like almost all teens) his parents don't understand him. He hates that he's craving things he can't even name. So you become the target of his hatred. It's not really about you so much as about him.
It's hard. It hurts. You have so much love and sacrifice invested in raising him.
And it's almost certainly temporary.
I have a very strong suggestion. The most practical and effective parenting book I've ever read is How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Faber and Mazlish. There is a teen version. Get it, read it, start using it, and I can almost guarantee your interactions with your son will improve dramatically. There will still be drama – he is a boy in the throes of change. But it will be better. In fact, you may wonder how you made it this far without coaching from this amazing book.
I wish you well.
5 moms found this helpful
J.S. answers from Hartford on July 17, 2011
I'm surprised that you've gone so long without him having behaved like this and saying hurtful things like this before. My eldest daughter is very headstrong, very independent and very much like me. She's anti-parental authority as well. She, and many other children I know, have hurled "I hate you" around since they were around 3 or 4 years old. The only child who doesn't is my 6 year old.
Anyway, now that my eldest is nearly 11 years old she's starting to get hormonal to boot. She's finding more hurtful things to say but they all boil down to, "I don't want you to parent me, even though I can't make adult decisions in regard to my own safety, and I'm not mature enough to be respectful to you and my sisters. I hate you when you don't do what I want you to do and you don't back down and stay out of my way."
My response to, "I hate you! You're ruining my life!" or some variation is always, "That's okay. I love you no matter what."
EDIT: I do believe that respect and courtesy are important. He's allowed to feel how he feels, but that doesn't mean that every single thought and emotion that flits through his head should be expressed. This is something I'm also teaching my daughters. Not only that I love them in spite of themselves, but that there are more respectful and productive ways to express their emotions.
4 moms found this helpful
B.C. answers from Joplin on July 17, 2011
Boys have hormones just the same as girls. My son is the exact same age, sometimes he is sweet and appreciative and other times he can be so hateful he can have me in tears. You take the good with the bad, but there is a line and you need to make sure he realizes that he is getting old enough to realize that words hurt and have consequences. I always teach my children that they need to be respectful. I am not above sending my 15 yr old to his room to reflect on an outburst. Later you can sit and have a heart to heart, remind him ( as I do with my own son) he can think anything he wants, but once you say it out loud you can never really take it back.
I assure you he doesn't really hate you...kids start at this age feeling a need to push away from the parents some, and it is a phase he will get over. Be consistent. My mom has always assured me there were plenty of times I hurt her feelings and even though she knew I said it in anger that didn't change how it felt at the time...we are super close now, I do not remember everything I ever said to my mom, but enough to be ashamed...and I was not a bad kid.
We are to be our children's parents, not their friends...its ok if they say they hate us sometimes...I don't think in their own hearts they believe it...its just a way to lash out.
Usually when I go sit down and have a heart to heart with my son after he has cooled down, I find out that something else is bothering him, or he is really tired because he stayed up late...try not to take it personally.
4 moms found this helpful
C.O. answers from Washington DC on July 17, 2011
it's his age....I wouldn't let it get to me - I know it's hard - even at 15 - instead of 5....i would say - "I'm sorry you feel that way - I love you...it is my job to protect you and guide you in life .... not to be your best friend right now...you need rules and boundaries and you are angry that these are being established but they are for your own good."
You have to keep the lines of communication open...15 is a VERY tough age...High School, fitting in, peer pressure....
You might want to try family counseling to see if there's a way you can keep the yelling to a minimum and the lines of communication open...
I would also ask my son to show my some patience and TEACH me so I am not technology challenged!! Have him help you!!!
GOOD LUCK!! You are NOT alone!!!
4 moms found this helpful
A.W. answers from Chicago on July 17, 2011
Do not take it personally. He is a teenager. Hormones and feelings are all out of control. I said some really crappy things to my mom when I was a teen. I didn't mean any of it- I was angry/ irritated at those times. The filter is not fully developed at that time. I love my mom and I still feel bad for some of the things I said to her and that was around 15 years ago. As hard as it is, do your best to let it slide off your back and remind yourself he does love you and is just being a teen right now. Hugs to you.
3 moms found this helpful