15 Year Old Son Hates me.....do I Believe Him or Let It Slide?

Updated on May 27, 2012
B.G. asks from Lakewood, CA
40 answers

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.

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answers from Los Angeles on

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.

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answers from Los Angeles on

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


answers from Norfolk on

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


answers from Portland on

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


answers from San Diego on

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


answers from Hartford on

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


answers from Joplin on

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


answers from Washington DC on

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


answers from Biloxi on

I too have a 15 year old son who thinks it is okay to be rude and temperamental with me. I simply don't allow it. When he misspeaks to me I tell him that it is unacceptable and that I will not tolerate it. If he continues then I punish him - take away a privilege, etc. Under it all, I know that he loves me - but he is 15, spreading his wings, testing boundaries, oh, and spending more time with his Father who thinks it is okay to bad mouth me to the boy. Yeah, gotta' love that.

Anyhoo, you and hubby, need to first talk and decide together what will and will not be tolerated. Then decide what the consequences are for disrespect. Once you have done that, sit down with your son and calmly explain it to him. Then stick with it. If he insults you, there must be a consequence.

Telling you son that he is the problem will not solve anything but will alienate the child further. This is, from my experience with mine, a horrible age for boys. They want to be grown, they begin to see us, the parents, as people, we come crashing down off our pedestals, and it is up to us to help them figure out a "new" relationship with us. It requires effort from everyone - I have had to re-think how i interact with my son while maintaining the "upper hand" and still parenting in a positive manner. And frankly, I put way more effort into the relationship than he does - but he is the child so I should lead the way.

I tell my son he can think whatever he wants - but he needs to think before he speaks. It does hurt my feelings when he is ugly to me - and I let him know that also. To me, this the age where I can help him to learn to cope with his feelings and teach him how to communicate in a positive, effective manner - without ugliness.

I hold out hope that we will make it through this.

Good Luck
God Bless

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

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


answers from Charlotte on


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Do not let it slide. He needs to understand that he cannot behave in this manner end of discussion. We have a son, who is 18. Ages 14 to 17 were terrible. I mean bad. I was going to send him to military school for his junior year. He was like "you would miss me too much". WTH? I don't think so buddy is what I told him. He had a friend who could run at all hours of the day and night and our son felt he deserved that "freedom" as well. We explained that those were not our rules and that we loved him and we would not sit by watching him throw his life away. Tough love but it did work. You must be consistent with them. Doesn't matter how old you are be consistent with them.

Its amazing what happens when you take their car, phone, and allowance away! :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

I am so sorry you are going through this. I responded earlier today to a question if we had an "easy kid". I do have the easiest going 18 year old, respectful, hard working and kind daughter and I think I would be crushed if she had said that at any point in her life. I think hubby should have backed you and demanded respect and I think I would have made his life very uncomfortable. I don't know why that kind of behavior is expected and accepted from teens. I have a ton of rules and high expectations and mutual respect is so important for us (and ex-hubby who lives a mile away). I wish I had a solution. I will continue to talk with my ex on a daily basis on how we hit the jackpot with our only. I am so thankful.

Added** Wow Laeh G. Very rude. You don't know why she had him at 38?? My guess is she wanted to be a mother. Not every woman births at 22. Show a little sensitivity and common sense.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lake Charles on

I'd ground his a$$ and tell him "hey , if you hate me fine, but you WILL NOT disrespect me or you will spend the rest of high school locked in your room". I "hated" my parents at this age too and now we're best friends. Put your foot down, realize it's normal for him to be irritated and do NOT let him disrespect you. Get on the same page with hubby then sit down and have a talk and lay down some tough love. If he "hates" you then surely he hates all of your support and the things you buy him? Start taking it away and show him how much he can really hate you. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Reno on

When my then-teenage daughter said to me, "So you don't even care if I hate you?" my answer was, "If you are asking if I'll change the rules to suit you, the answer is, 'No, I don't.' You can feel however you want to about it, but the rules stay the same." She could not even tolerate my existence then. Now, in her 20s, she's loving and delightful.

Every kid feels that way at one time or another. Many say it out loud. Virtually all of them grow out of it.

Your husband should make it clear that it's not OK to speak that way to ANYONE, much less you. You should do the same if harsh words are directed toward your husband.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

My mom told me that if your kids don't at least tell you once in your life that they hate you, you are not doing it right. My brother was really tough on my parents, and I also wanted independence at age 15 and of course my parents did not give it to me. You think you know it all at that age, but you don't. I do believe in not controlling your kids because then when they get freedom at 18 they go crazy wild. So keep it up, you are teaching him right from wrong. But be very honest with yourself and him - if you are setting rules let him know the reason, if you are being controlling just to be in control he will know it and resent it. Be open and honest but be the parent. Let him know you want to communicate and realize he will soon be able to do whatever he wants legally, so aks how does he believe you can best guide him to be able to handle the world on his own. In my opinion the best way to get through is not to yell or cry, but to speak to him while calm and keep the sentence short. The last thing he needs right now is a lecture. Hang in there mom, he will appreciate your guidance when he is 25.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Reno on

Oh, my, I feel your pain. My 13 year old and I have bouts like this and it's a killer. Here's what works for my family.

First and foremost, the rule of the house is that children respect their parents. My husband would've been nose to nose with either of my sons had they spoken to me this way. It is your husband's job to demand respect for you, just as it's your job to demand respect for your husband. And, yes, I use the word demand very deliberately. It is non-negotiable; it is your due as the parents.

Second, with you present, your husband should step your son through "better ways" to express his frustration. Yes, you are technology challenge (what parent isn't?). Yes, you bug the bejeebies out of your kid. But, your son can express his frustrations in a more socially acceptable way. The approach my husband and I use is the "boss" paradigm. What would happen if your son popped off like that to his boss? He'd get fired, of course. In exchange for due respect, your son gets a loving family, a warm bed, warm meals and maybe a few cool extras, like tv, a computer, a cell phone, etc.

Third, new house rule: if you can't say anything nice (or at least politely), stay in your room. NO ONE has the right to impose a bad mood on the rest of the family. That includes you and your husband. When everyone is out of the bad mood, the family discussion can begin. Time to strip all fun electronic gadgetry out of your sons room for this to work. The tv, the computer, all electronic toys (including his cell phone) are in the family domain, under your control. If your son wants access to his gadgetry, he'll learn to show you and your husband respect. Otherwise, he can lie on his bed and read all the books in the world.

Last but not least, when everyone is calm, maybe as a weekend project, take your son through the basics of budgeting, wages and the bills of being a grown up (rent, utilities, food, etc.). Show him just how bloody expensive it is to live on your own. Show him how a minimum wage job (or higher, depending on where you live) just doesn't cut it. Show him that roommates can be a real pain in the butt (he would be the prime example). For many teens, this is a huge wakeup call because the door swings both ways when he turns 18. He may leave, but you may also kick him out. I've taught high school/jr. high school for nearly 19 years now and I can't tell you how many parents boot their kids out and change the locks shortly after their 18th birthdays (even before they graduate from high school). Those hard feelings add up and these parents obviously hit their limit. For all the students to whom this happened, they were utterly shocked that their parents wouldn't suck up the bad behavior any longer. "But, Mrs. F.," they would say, "I was just being a teenager!" Yeah? How'd that work out for you?

Last but not least, take a deep breath, tell your son you love him and one or two things you'll try to do better...and then do it. Then, when you do it, point it out very matter of factly. It'll sound something like this..."Sweetie, remember how we went out to lunch today and then to the bookstore? Yeah? Fun was it? I had fun, too. But, see, I just asked you NICELY to empty the trash and you're giving me attitude. Now last week you accused me of not treating you with respect, and here I did these nice things for you AND and I asked nicely and YOU are treating me with disrespect. I'm not sure I think that's reasonable, do you?" Perception is reality; both of you need to remember this. What he THINKS he's doing doesn't count, it's your PERCEPTION that does. He must meet YOUR expectations. That works both ways. Model the behavior you want (not that you don't, I'm sure you do, but it's always good to keep it in mind when dealing with teens).

Try to find at least one thing you and your son can do together each day to stay connected (even if he's the last person on Earth you want to be with). For my sons and I, that's our daily dog walk. Even if we walk in silence (generally, I can get them talking about something), we're together. Whatever you do, try not to give up on trying to make that connection.

In the end, what goes around, comes around. My mom yelled at me once, that she hoped I'd have a daughter JUST LIKE ME! I told her I wasn't that bad and I hope I did get a kid JUST LIKE ME! Well, I got my wish and--I say this with lots of laughter--it's not as easy as I thought! Your son will get a kid JUST LIKE HIM and then he'll call and beg your forgiveness. I've certainly told my mom sorry enough...and I was a good kid!

Hang tough, sister. Teens think they know everything until they're working crappy jobs trying to make ends meet (without the Bank of Mom and Dad). THEN, they figure it out. Hammer home the message; maybe it'll stick. And know, in your heart of hearts, that he doesn't hate you, he's just 15 (not an excuse for bad behavior, and he should be held accountable, but it explains a lot).


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sarasota on

When I was that age, everything my mom did and said irritated me. However, I never would have said anything like that to her face. Never. The one time I did say something intentionally hurtful to my mom, I was 5 or 6. My dad came down on me like a ton of bricks. "How DARE you hurt your mother..." He made me feel like you know what. It was the first and only time I ever said anything mean to my mom. I expect my husband to stand up for me in the same fashion when our child is older. I think your husband should have really HOLLERED at your son.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

It is normal for adolescents to have extremely strong, hormonally-driven, intense feelings. That's fine - you can't tell someone how to feel.

On the other hand, it is NOT okay for them to treat you or anyone else with such disrespect. If you wouldn't talk to him that way, even though he challenges you, it's time to have a sit down - after things have cooled - and explain that. The rule in our house was "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything" - the alternative is to take a time out from the situation until you've cooled, not to blast each other with hurtful words.

Until there is a SINCERE apology, do not do anything for your son. He needs to understand that we don't take the people we love for granted or use them as our verbal punching bag.

I'm so sorry you're hurt. This is a teachable moment though. I don't agree with "let it slide" because people (of any age) will continue their behaviors until they have reason to stop. It won't stop on its own. He needs a reminder and instruction on appropriate and healthful ways to vent his anger.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Of course everything you do irritates him, that's how 15 year olds are. That does not mean he can get away with saying mean things. The rule in our house was "You can think whatever you want but you better not say it!" It worked great to get them through those horrible years. Mine are now grown and I have to say they would give me really nasty looks but they did keep their mouths shut, mostly anyways. You have to still be in charge but it only works if you are calm with them. It is much like dealing with a two year old again. Good luck, this will end at some point and then you get a decent son again. Don't take it personally.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hello B.,

I too am the mother of a teenage man-child. Mine is 14, 15 in November.

I ask myself daily "where is that sweet, loving boy I used to know". I thought I was SOOOO lucky to have a boy, as I knew the teenage years would be a snap!! I assumed wrong!!

Hormones are hormones ..

Anyhow, my mom keeps telling me this will pass (and makes fun of me, remindning me what a gem of a teenager I was ..) I believe her.

There is so much going on inside them right now, they are as mixed up as can be.

Maybe suggest to your husband he talk to kid and let him know how much he hurt you. Maybe hearing it from someone other than you might make kid look at it differently?

My husband is military, so I am basically a single mother most of the time, in a situation like this, I would have to be the one to let my boy know what he said was hurtful and it's not ok to intentionally hurt ANYONE .. especially mama. Respect for mama is the most important thing.

Good luck, and remember this is a phase .. it WILL pass.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Oh M. it hurts so much when they are like that.
THe other mamas are right, and 8kidsdad.
Rehearse what you will say to him when he says it again, or something very similar, like, "you never let me do xyz, or anything, blahblahblah."

Stand your ground, set your rules and consequences. Love him through it.

The Faber and Mazlich book is great, so is the 5 Love Languages. It is more for adult relationships but I read it and use the tactics/advice with my children and our relationships have been so much better.

My oldest is 22. He said terrible things to me and my husband at 16 and 17. When he went to bootcamp he actually apologized to both of us and thanked us for being his parents. I still have those letters.
Your son will grow out of this stage.

Oh and to put a smile on your face. I have a plaque in the bedroom it says

So true, so true.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Eau Claire on

Congrats! You are raising your children right! Every child goes thru the stage where parents know nothing and they know everything. My kids have told me they hate me a few times.

However, I would talk to him about being disrespectful. I would explain calmly that it doesn't matter if he likes you or not. He will treat everyone with respect while he is living there.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

Wow, my grandson spent some time with us recently (13 soon to be 14) and he is entering high school this year. I observed him do something similar as his did would do when he was that age and called him his dad name. A few minutes later he walked away when I called him and would not stop. So when I got in the car I told him I apologized if I said or did anything to make him upset. When we made our last stop while out I stayed in the car because I was upset and I didn't feel like climbing in and out. He and grandpa when and got what they needed at the sports store. Grandpa told me that he got upset with me because he said I commented on everything he did.

Later that night he apologize and hugged me. I told him that he just reminded of things that his dad and aunt did in a good way. If he had been in trouble it would have been a different reaction from me that he would have gotten. So all turned out well.

It is the age of insensitivity and ill reasoning plus it is part of growing up and finding their space in life from parents. Try anger management classes while you are at it since he came in yelling and demanding things. Not good in my book. Manners are a good thing no matter what age child or parent are and he needs some quick. Otherwise at 18 he will be very rude and walk all over you. You are still his mother and he nees to respect that. Do ask him for help so you are not technically challenged.

Good luck to you.

The other S.

PS When your son came in with your husband and started yelling your husband should have stepped up and defended you and told him to stop and apologize if only for respect. If he doesn't get this under control I feel sorry for any girlfriend or future wife because it will not work with this attitude. He is in for a very lonley life.

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answers from New York on

I have teenage daughters. Although I think this situation is much more common with girls than with boys, but I'd consider this to be quite normal for a teen. He's experiencing alot right now, hormones, testing his boundaries, discovering the type of man he wants to be.

I'm guesssing this is the first time that he has said it out loud to your face and that's why you're so upset. I don't blame you. Have you ever said things when you were angry or irritated that you later regretted? Your son probably doesn't regret it now, but someday soon he will.

After things calm down, I would suggest you and hubby have a talk with him explaining that you do understand how he feels, but that showing you disrespect is not acceptable.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Ouch, that hurts. I am going to suggest to sort of let it slide but when things are calm ask him if he would like to discuss it. They are unfortunately at that age still babies in great big bodies. They are being challenged from the outside (i.e. peers) and then you are facing someone you don't know. Keep on him, gently of course. It is really tough. If need be, get support for yourself, here, friends, etc. and stay on it. I don't mean high pressure, I mean don't ever stop TRYING to communicate. That is essential. He may not want to talk about it today, but may do so another time. He doesn't hate you. He is a young man, new hormones taking over, highschool filled with a variety of obstacles as well as virtues and he is trying to do what the world says and not necessarily how you feel. The world is filled with a bunch of well meaning other young men who also cannot fathom how they are supposed to grow up in this world but they all egg eachother on that they should be independent. Do not fall for this statement. It is only feelings. He loves you. And if I could I'd give you a hug.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I feel ya mama! He's a teen, learning about himself and dealing with the hormones and all. My son will be 15 in September and I often wonder if he likes me. I know he loves me, im the mom, but does he like me? I don't know. Im a young mom, just 32 but he acts like im a dinosaur. I just take it in stride and love him no matter what everyday. Sometimes teens are a whole different breed! Give him his space but let him know your there! That's what im learning! Good luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I have a 5 year old that thinks he can talk to me rude, yu5 years old. It is almost a daily battle with time outs, swats and taking toys away. Both daddy and I dont allow it one bit. If we know he is extremely tired, we send him to his room, if he is having a bad his punishment could be more. But this is not a battle he will win and he knows it. Being a parent is not easy and alot of persistance. He is 15 and tehy are in the middle of being a child and adult, some of this is normal but not excectable. You and hubby need to work together and come up with a plan and not aloow him to talk to you that way... Good Luck!!!



answers from Los Angeles on

Let it slide. He'll get over it.

Or use it as an opportunity to teach him how to communicate. Talk to him. Explain how that made you feel. Explain how he should handle himself. Ask him to communicate with you and give him an opportunity to explain himself.

It's your job to be a parent, not a friend - so you must be doing a pretty good job!




answers from New York on

Hi B. :

It's too bad that I don't have an answer for you, but I wanted you to know that you are not alone. That doesn't make it any easier for you. I am new to blogging, but I see that you posted this question last year, so maybe things have worked out better between your son and you by now.

My husband and I are older parents as well, giving birth at age 35, almost 36, and only having one child, I can relate a bit to what you are experiencing.

Our son is 19 years old and is very disrespectful to me most of the time since he was about 11 or 12 years old. My husband and I have bent over backwards to do nice things for our son, as well as take him on really great trips that we thought he would have appreciated, but truly didn't.

Our son gives his father compliments and tells him that his dad is handsome as ever, and our son credits his good looks after his dad. That's all well and good, but when I asked our son if he wouldn't mind giving me compliments once in a while, he just gets mad. Also, I asked him if he thought that I was pretty, but he didn't respond at all. I have gained a lot of weight lately, but I still don't think that I am ugly.

I have made delicious desserts for him and taken them to the private boarding academy that he attends. He shares the goodies with his friends, but never ever thanks me for doing this. Also, we live only an hour away and I have made many visits when he calls to ask me to take him something that he got at home. But the harder I try to appease him by doing really nice things for him, not once he thank me unless I remind him too.

Just tonight at a band performance that our son is in I put my arm around him and told him how proud his dad and I are of him. He immediately replied with disgust in his voice, "Get off me!" I cannot begin to tell you how truly hurtful it was to hear this from the son who my husband and I have, for the most part, giving our son nothing but praise and encouragement .

Our son is a senior in high school level attending a private Christian boarding academy only about one hour from where we live. He was awarded "Man of the Year" award by the boy's club and boys deans. I have to say with a heavy heart that he is certainly not son of the year. He used to be so kind and loving, but the older he gets, the more he resents me after all that I have done for him. No thanks, no respect at all. It's so hurtful and I am sorry that you are experiencing a similar situation with your teen son.

Again, there are no answers or resolutions that I have to offer, but I hope and pray that things smooth out between your son and you. So many people have told me that this is only a phase that they are going through, but for our son to look up to his father and not me is so h*** o* me emotionally, as I am sure it is for you.

My husband has not stepped up to the plate in showing respect and support to me when our son says such hateful and cruel words that I am either thinking of leaving my husband and son to carry on with their lives without me, and I know that I would not be missed by either. I hope that perhaps you have a stronger resolve than I do, but my husband's family shows no respect for me either and have become even more critical of everything that I do and say.

I wish you the best and happier days ahead. Take care.



answers from New York on

I have a 13 yr old daughter who can say some pretty rough stuff to me but i know that she is just being ugly and that is how i have to take it. My husband seems to think that i believe that i walk on water and never did a damn thing wrong growing up, which is far from the case but i never treated my mom the way my oldest treats me. It is a different generation and people can say what they want about things, but it is rough for parents to get children today to treat us w/the same respect we showed our parents. The whole fear we had of our parents doesn't exist these days, I knew that if i did something out of line, i'd be in a world of hurt. Take what your son said from where it's coming, I realize it hurt, but don't take it so hard. Trust me, it'll be forgotten about in no time by him. As far as on your end though, I would discuss things w/your husband and him to make him realize this isn't going to be tolerated again though. It's not fair for you to have to go thru this again. Best of luck to you.


answers from Kansas City on

I think he just felt that he "hated" you in the moment. Nothing you can really do about teenaged angst and hormones. I don't understand why not only you, but also your husband allow him to speak that way without punishment.



answers from San Diego on

Hello, You are exactly right, it is expected that a 15 year old will hate his parents. However, it is not okay for him to talk to you in a disrespectful way. I raised four of my own kids and have done daycare for many, as well as worked in a elementary school for almost 15 years. Now, I babysit a couple of my grandkids. One of them lives with his parents and me. When his father was 15, I told him one day that I knew that he was angry with me and that at that moment, he probably hated me, but that it was okay because I also knew that by the time he was 35 he would understand why I made the rules I made. My grandson who lives in my house is pretty rude to his mother. I have talked to her about it and she just makes excuses. I think it is because she feels guilty about the three years my husband and I had custody of him. Anyway, I tried to explain that the way she allows him to treat her may turn out to be the way he treats his wife later. He recently yelled something rude to me from his bedroom. I called him out and told him that it was NEVER okay to talk to me that way and that he was being rude and disrespectful and that it hurt my feelings and that he was never to do that again. It has been about a month and he hasn't tried it again. If he does, I will handle it the same way. If that doesn't do it, I will set a consequence. Just make sure he knows that you love him, but don't let him do this to you. You don't deserve it.
Good luck with your precious son.
K. K.


answers from Chicago on

I don't think he really hates you. Kids throw that statement around all the time. My 9 yr old has said that to me more times than I can count since she was about 3. She says some pretty hateful things to me on a regular basis. I no longer get upset. I just tell her that she doesn't have to like me, or love me, but that I will always love her anyway. No matter what she does, I will love her. Then she usually cries and apologizes. When they are in the heat of the moment, they speak out in anger. I hope you can realize this and not let it upset you so much.



answers from Los Angeles on

I know its hard, but you can't let him get away with not respecting you! I say this cos I had the same problem with my son (who is now 18 years old). After we'd both had time to calm down, I went into his room, closed the door and had a "heart to heart" talk with him. I told him that, even though I'm not the one who normally disciplines him, and just because I love him unconditionally, it does NOT mean that he's allowed to be disrespectful to me! I made sure that I did not "attack" him by saying something like "you hurt my feelings". Always use "I" statements - "I feel like a bad mother when you talk to me like that and I don't know how to connect with you again." Also ask him for solutions - "I think we're not understanding each other, what do you think we can do to make things better between us?" Crucially, WAIT QUIETLY for him to respond! Often teens feel that we don't hear them. Let him talk and just listen, then try and sum up what you understood from what he said (eg. I hear that you don't like that I don't know much about technology. Would you like to teach me something new every day?). Btw - my son, supergeek - 90% of what he says might as well be in a foreign language! I still have to ask him to "dumb things down" for me and 99% of the time its easier for him just to "fix" my technological challenge than to get me to understand it! :) As long as you have your hubby's backing, you should have no problem re-asserting your parental rights! Best of luck, you're not alone and "this too will pass"! :)



answers from Philadelphia on

Hang in there. It will get better! I always console myself when such things happen that it is a normal developmental stage, where the child is trying to assert independence and break away a bit from the parents. If it helps, I think it was much worse with my daughters when they hit that age than with my son. BUT my son was much worse with his dad on such matters. My son, who is now 20, has a VERY close relationship with both me and my husband. So it does pass. But at the same time, they are not allowed to be disrespectful, and I always remind them of that --- but pick your battles on that front too. Because it will probably get worse before it gets better.



answers from San Diego on

I have ALWAYS told my children that they can BE angry with me but that they may NOT disrespect me. He may be upset about everything PLUS the kitchen sink but he may not speak to you in such a manner, you need to demand this. You can tell him you love him and that you understand while he may be angry, you will NOT tolerate being spoken to in such an awful way,



answers from San Diego on

I'm sorry for your pain, B.. Sometimes when it's hard to talk one on one, a letter can be very effective. Have you thought of writing a letter to him? There are several benefits that I can see here:
1) You have unlimited time to get your thoughts in order, exactly as you'd like to present them, with the chance to 'edit' what you say before you say it :)
2) He can read it BY HIMSELF, not feeling defensive, or 'tuning out' when you are talking.
3) You can say things like "I love you so much and I know it doesn't feel like it right now" and other 'embarassing' things that he might seemingly ignore if you verbalize them, but if you put it in writing, he can read it over and over again without having to feel uncomfortable by sitting in front of you while you say them. ***Believe me, NO CHILD shies away from knowing that his parents love him, even if they act like they are ignoring you when you express it :)
4) He doesn't have to respond right away. It's OK for him to sit quietly and not say anything. If you were sitting across from each other, it might seem rude for him to do so.
That said, if he is outwardly rude to you like that again, I would definitely say something RIGHT AWAY like "It's not OK to speak to me that way. I will not tolerate it." Do not let him get away without atleast acknowledging that statement by saying "OK!!!!!!!!!". If he apologizes, well, that's even better. But simply stomping off without responding is not acceptable.
Good luck and hang in there. Teenagers can be awful but as long as they know they are loved, they usually grow out of it :)



answers from New York on

They go to bed one night a nice boy and wake up a crazed teenager. I know
it is upsetting, but he is being normal. I am not saying what he did was
right, but BTDT and understand. Eventually they turn into nice young men.
Just getting there is tough. Keep the lines of communication open and
hopefully this stage will not last long.


answers from Los Angeles on

when we were teenagers, we didnt just hate our parents, we hated the entire world, everyone was against us, we knew everything at the same time we were trying to figure out who we were. those stupid adults used to tell us that the real world was harder than adolescence but we knew they were lying and that only made it harder!

you don't hate him do you? didn't think so.
go to him right now and tell him how much you love him.
give it some time. he loves you more than even he knows. a childs love is unconditional. no matter what stupid things come out of their mouths!

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