Adolescence is a time of significant change for your child. Gone are the days of playing with toys and instead you might notice a new interest in going to parties, dating, and rebelling against authority. While this can be a shock for parents, changes in behavior, interests, and attitude are completely normal when it comes to the mind of a developing teenager.
That’s why it’s important to not take it personally when your precious bundle of joy utters those three little words: “I hate you.“
Puberty is a confusing time for your teenager. It’s a time where their bodies begin to noticeably change, and hormones start racing.
Expectations begin to increase academically, and peer pressure becomes more intense than ever. With all things considered, it’s no surprise that your teenager might feel overwhelmed and lack total control of their emotions. After all, they are still human.
There is good news though. There are things you can do to help your teenager through this phase so you both make it out relatively unscathed.
Be There For Them
One of the most important things you can do for your teenager is to be there for them. This could mean sitting next to them in silence until they are ready to talk or simply letting them know that you are there for them no matter what.
Although they might feel like they don’t need you anymore, teenagers need guidance and support from their parents and it’s important that they know they can rely on you. You should always work on keeping a calm demeanor and help them when asked even if your help has been rejected before.
Don’t Take It Personally
As we said, you shouldn’t take your teenager’s behavior as a personal attack. While it’s important to expect your teenager to be polite to everyone, their behavior has nothing to do with you.
Instead, recognize that they are struggling to find a sense of power and control in their life and wanting some space from you is totally normal. Although we agree that most teenagers can work on their tact when asking for independence from their parents, it’s important to validate how they are feeling and respect their need for growth.
Be Their Parent and Not Their Friend
Although we have been talking about the importance of respecting your teenager’s space and independence, you need to ensure that your role as parent isn’t being overshadowed.
Teenagers are built to challenge authority but it’s up to you to ensure your teenager learns to control impulses and behave responsibly. There is a good chance that your teenager will fight you along the way, but it’s important that you don’t give up on being their parent.
Your future relationship and their ability to be a productive adult depends on it.
When your teenager says that they hate you, it can feel like a personal attack and the end of your relationship. It’s important to stay strong and remember that your teenager still needs you even if their actions and words say otherwise.
Remember, like diapers and sleepless nights, this stage will not last forever and you will both make it through together.