"I Hate You"
When young children are angry, they scream or throw a tantrum. As they get older, they say hurtful things, like "I hate you". When they're mad, they go right for the jugular. How should you respond?
- First: Respect your child's need to express angry feelings. Don't take these exaggerated comments personally. You can reply, "Well, I love you anyway, but you still need to take that time-out." Don't allow her comment to change the rule.
- Second: At a later time, discuss anger with your child. Explain how people who live together normally have both positive and negative feelings about each other. You can add, "Sometimes I get angry with you, but I always care about you."
- Third: If your youngster threatens to run away; you can calmly state, "That would make me very sad." Most children then drop the subject.
- Fourth: As your child gets older, she may try to put you on a guilt trip by saying, "You don't love me". Your response can be, "Of course I love you, but that has nothing to do with this," and then stick to your guns about the consequence.
- Finally: Do children try to play psychological games on us? What do you think?
If you have questions about your child's behavior, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.