So, what is the appropriate response when your son tells you he hates you?

a. "Well, I LOVE you!" and then smother him with kisses.

b. "I hate you more."
c.  Fear for your safety and lock your bedroom door at night.
d.  Ignore him.

Of all my children, Charlie gets the most compliments about how cute he is.  Why do the cute ones always have the worst attitudes?

For example, on any given morning, Charlie calmly enters my room and stands over me while I lie in bed. "Hi, Mommy.  I just woke up.  We are all out of bananas. (He sighs loudly.) You are the worst mom in the world.  You never buy bananas! I hate you! (long pause) I'm going to go get dressed."  Some kids climb into their parents' bed to snuggle.  Charlie effortlessly hurls insults at me.  He's like the Simon Cowell of 5 year olds.

Obviously, he has discovered how powerful these words can be and now he just loves to use them against me. For that reason, I've leaned towards ignoring him.  If I pretend he hasn't said it, then he won't realize how much it hurts.  The first 50 times he said he hated me, it was easy to brush off, but after awhile it starts to sink in, even more so when he yells it at me in public.  It's getting harder to ignore it and keep that happy face.  What is happening? Wasn't it just recently that I was rocking him to sleep? Nursing him through thrush while my nipples bled and tore?  Holding his hand everywhere we went?  Now, he likes to note everything that is wrong with me.  "Hey, Mom.  My last birthday party was really dumb.  You did a bad job. Oh and you should buy corn tortillas."  His complaints almost always ends with, "You need to buy more corn tortillas."

Don't get me wrong.  He can be sweet and wonderful.  Those times are just far and few between at the moment.  It catches me so off guard when he is nice boy.  I want to run and squeeze him anytime he says something thoughtful.

His bluntness has extended to strangers as well. As we were riding on an airport shuttle bus to pick up our rental car recently, he loudly criticized the people beside us who had failed to secure their luggage on the appropriate shelf.  While their suitcases were sliding around, Charlie loudly said, "You should have put your suitcases in there." They stared in disbelief at the 5 year old lecturing them on automobile safety.  I wasn't surprised.

I can't help but wonder if his behavior is any way a reflection of me.  Am I too blunt?  Rude?  Mean?  [Note to family:  These are rhetorical questions.  Don't answer them or I will totally hate you.  60-40]

All I know is that it's getting tiresome and he's only 5.  Eventually he'll grow out of this.  Either that or end up in juvi. The only thing I know for sure is that I have this overwhelming desire to apologize to my own parents for everything mean I ever said to them. To quote Justin Timberlake, "What goes around, comes around." Don't I know it, JT.

Of course as I'm finishing writing this, he comes in, wraps his arms around me and tells me he loves me.  Go figure.  


  1. Chloe has tried that. I simply say "That's ok, I still love you anyway." I just tell myself that kids say that stuff to get what they want and my feelings never get hurt. She hasn't said it in awhile so I hope she has realized that line doesn't work on me.
    She has said some other nasty things and it did shock me at the cruel things she was saying so I went back in her room and asked her how it made her feel when she said those things to me. I told her that saying things like that only make you feel worse and then proceeded to talk her ear off for a few mins.
    I'm the opposite of an ignorer. If anything she learns that she has to sit through a lecture if she says nasty things.

  2. Oh, man. I generally do the, "Well, I LOVE you!" with a hug and kiss option. My boy is only 3, so I don't know what/if I might change if he were a little older. He doesn't say he hates me, but he sometimes tells my husband, "I don't like you, Daddy." Real charming. He's usually really sweet, but I can foresee him having a phase like this. Around 20-24 months, he went through a phase of calling all his favorite adults "yucky" to see what we'd do. And today at naptime, he held his blankie between us and said out of nowhere, "I'm just tired of seeing your face." Good luck on this one.

  3. I CAN not stop laughing. seriously. the corn tortillas are the best. I have found that leaving and not being in the same dwelling when my family rises makes for a much better/peaceful home...just saying.

  4. Yeah I agree with Megan. Salesi knows that he just can't be around when I get up in the morning. Yeah I was laughing a lot about the corn tortillas.

  5. I have no experience but I guess you wouldn't consider washing his mouth out with soap? Cry and let him know he's hurting you? Other than that, I vote for Ashley's method.

  6. My middle child is also what we like to call "special." He acted like he had middle child syndrome even before he became one. I definitely do not ignore him when he says mean things. I want him to know what he says hurts people. I get that if it's happening all the time you're not going to give the same lecture over and over again, that would get tuned out very quickly, but I at least put him in his room or give him an extra chore. Good luck!

  7. My middle child has the same attitude. You are sooooooo not alone.

  8. Argh. At least he's cute, right?
    I'm sorry he's not the kindest right now. I like the advice smarter and wiser people shared with you--I'll probably have to use it in a couple of years when my kids get older, but for my 4-year-old, I let him know that "hate" is a very strong word that we only use for spiders and other bugs. Never for people, and certainly NEVER for mom's cooking (but that's another story).
    Good luck with your constantly broken heart!



Related Posts with Thumbnails