Ask Amy: My Child Hates Me!

“My 6 year old told me recently he hated me and he wished he had a different Mother. I couldn’t believe it! It hurt my feelings and at the same time made me furious. I told him that was disrespectful and he was not allowed to talk to me that way. I then sent him to his room. I don’t know if that was the best thing to do. What should I do if it happens again?”

PWA Sept Ask Amy

It is hard to hear a remark like this from someone we’ve invested so much into for the last 6 years, isn’t it? You will probably hear it again, so let’s come up with a plan.

Rest assured that most young kids I know that say things like this do not really mean it! It usually comes on the heels of them not getting something they want or things not going their way. In other words, they are mad when we say no! The bottom line is they haven’t learned how to use their words to let us know they are feeling angry.

Here’s what we should do.

Acknowledge the fact that they are mad, give them permission to feel that way and then teach them to use their words appropriately.

The next time you hear “I hate you,” respond by saying “I think you’re trying to tell me you are mad because I said no. I want you to know it’s ok that you’re mad and you can always say, Mommy, I’m mad at you because you won’t let me buy this toy”.

You are modeling for him what you want him to do the next time he’s upset with you. That’s addressing the real issue, which is his anger.

Getting angry with him, telling him to stop talking to you like that, sending him to his room, making him apologize to you are all things that further ignite his anger.

Let me know if this helps!

There’s Always Hope,





Need more help?  Parents often jokingly ask Amy, “Will you go home with me?”  While she can’t do that, Amy is available to consult with parents through her consultation services.  Click Here to learn more.

Family Spotlight: Brooke Mulford

Before we came to see Amy, I would describe my husband and I as frustrated, end-of-our rope parents. We were struggling with a child who took all of our attention and energy, and then some. I would say the problem persisted for close to a year. We would halfway attempt methods discussed in the multiple parentingBrooke Mulford books we had bought or checked out from the library, but we had no real success and were even more frustrated when nothing worked.

After multiple incidents at home and our daughter’s school, involving hitting and anger, I called Amy, who had been recommended to us by our daughter’s preschool teacher.

Our concerns were that we needed to ‘figure’ our daughter out before it was too late. We also wanted to be better parents.

In the beginning, the processed helped us by making us accountable, which meant that I had to report back to Amy about how things were going. This helped us tremendously! I felt like if we were spending the time and money, we needed to also put forth the effort. And after that, the process changed us. We finally had the tools we needed to be successful parents. We learned that our parenting style just didn’t work, and really clashed with our daughter’s personality. Honestly, I never would have thought that some of the things we were doing wrong were such a big deal until we started making just a couple of ‘small’ changes and saw the improvement!

Our daughter is now beginning to recognize her own feelings and learning how to express them. Her anger and physical aggression towards others almost always stems from frustration, so Amy gave us tools to help her express herself in more appropriate ways, and in turn, help her to make better decisions. I think the thing that was the most shocking to me was how quickly these changes affected our household- it is literally life-changing!

We still have rough days, but they are few and far between. I feel like now we can regain control of the day, as opposed to going from one frustration to another. I believe it has made us happier people over all, and has had a positive impact on our marriage as well. Two less frustrated people who finally feel like successful parents-which is what I believe all parents want at their core-to raise happy, healthy children who are able to cope with life and things that come their way.

Things are good. I feel like we enjoy being parents to our daughter now, and can give her the time and patience that she deserves. That might sound terrible, but when the days were full of frustration, I honestly didn’t want to be around her most of the time. It was a tremendous learning experience for all of us, since we all play a part in our children’s upbringing. Things in our family are very different…we have changed from reactive parents to active parents-which is what our daughter needs and deserves. Our daughter hasn’t had a bad day at school in almost two months-I can pick her up from school and not hold my breath while asking her teacher how the day went! Things are still going great!!

Brooke Mulford