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gentle responses to 12 year old DD hating me

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
What do you do when your 12 year old says I hate you? It does no good for me to say I love her (I did say it) because she says I am lying. I know she is in the middle of an emotional tantrum and can not be reasoned with, but seriously, what should I *do*?

By the way, this started because I got fed up with her snarky talk to me an hour ago, so I abandoned a project we were going to do. I told her to let me know when she was actually ready for my help again. She snarled, "I am ready." I said that wasn't going to be good enough because it didn't show me that she cares or appreciates anything I do for her ... and it went downhill FAST from there.

I am really, really tired of the disrespect from her. My mother would have spanked or slapped me if I dared to talk like this, but that is not the type of parent I want to be. Instead, I have reacted in anger and denied her allowance or tv or computer for a week - until and unless she begins to SHOW us that she is willing to be a member of the family by helping and being helpful.

I really wanted to do this project. I don't want to put the materials away for another day ... but at the same time, why should I reward her for the hate?

I asked this question in the gentle parenting group, as well.
post #2 of 25

I try not to escalate and I try to be calm & matter-of-fact. When my kids get dramatic 9or even operatic), that's when  I try to be more and more low-key.


If my DD was being snarky and rude and I decided to not continue on a project, I would try and say something like:


"I feel hurt and angry by the way you are speaking, so I don't want to do this project with you now."


Then if she said "I hate you!"  one thing you could do is say very calmly


"I'm sorry you feel that way. Telling me that hurts my feelings more & certainly does not convince me to want to do this project with you."

 -Exit, Mama to go and read a book or do something more pleasurable...


If she chases you down, you could say something along the lines of  "I don't want to deal with you now. Maybe later when I'm calmer and you've apologized, we can start over.."

post #3 of 25

First of all, hugs to you for wanting to be a good parent, for wanting to avoid the snare of give-and-take screaming. Tis challenging when our sweet little girls become hormone-stricken banshees--that we love more than life itself :)


I agree with skreader, try very hard to remain calm and not escalate the situation while still letting your feelings be known. I used to put myself in time-out for a few minutes. That always shocked my daughter--when I'd tell her she was being hurtful and I needed a time out and I locked myself in the bathroom for a bit. It seemed to shock her out of herself for a moment.


This is an insane time of life for your daughter, hormones hit and your little girl has no earthly idea how to manage these psycho feelings. She takes them out on those she loves, those she trusts to be there for her. If you can ignore most of her jabs and simply carry on, speaking calmly or not speaking at all and being there when she returns after being ugly, you show her that you are there for her. Remember that she really feels out of control and that, with experience, she'll learn how to handle that better.




(I'm DanaB, new to this forum--momma to Jay (19) and Meghan (17) **waving hello**)

post #4 of 25
Check out Parenting With Love & Logic. they advise parents to stay calm, offer up lots of empathy and then a natural or logical consequence. The empathy must come first.

I am guilty of the same reactions you have, too emotional, too much talking, unclear expectations & not enough empathy for my child.

The L & L response might be: I'm happy to work on this project when your ready to be kind, or when your voice sounds like mine (your voice must be pleasant when you say this, lol).

The response to "I hat you", is "nice try" because you know she doesn't really hate you, she's baiting you into an arguement.
post #5 of 25
I hear "I hate you" - especially from a hormonal preteen girl - as "I am not feeling our connection and I need more." I would try to look past her words and find her need, and then try to meet that need.
post #6 of 25

My general response to "I hate you" is "That's too bad because I love you".  My response to generally disrespectful behavior is "I am sorry but I can't work/play/be with you when you are being so disrespectful.  We'll do this later when both of us are calmer." 

But because my instinct is much closer to "reach out and slap", I also know that I have to quickly exit so I can stay calm and things don't escalate.  So usually my next move is to walk into my bedroom, close the door and try not to cry.  If either of my children (ages 9 and 13) try to continue the discussion, I try to very calmly say "I can't deal with you when you are so upset.  Please leave me alone until things are calmer."  I've been known to retreat to the bathroom at that point.  If said child is really out of control (slipped in the screaming stage) then I will ask them to take a break in their room until they can calm down.  Generally they will still go willingly, which is good because at least DS is much too big to force to do anything anymore. 

post #7 of 25

Wow Evan&Ann's Mom described pretty much exactly what I do and our kids are even about the same age (my 8 year old has a birthday in a couple of weeks).  So weird to see a post that feels like I could have written it.  


My 8 year old is pretty explosive, so I can't say the I hate you's even bother me anymore.  They annoy me more than anything else, and I have found myself saying things like, "Yes, I know, you hate me, so what else is new?" in addition to telling her I still love her even if she doesn't love me right now.  But, come to think of it, I don't think she's told me she has hated me in awhile.  Once she knows it's not that big a deal to me, she moves onto something else.

post #8 of 25

Oh this is hard! I have a 15yr old girl and a 12yr old boy. I have heard a whole lot worse than just I hate you out of them. They can curse like sailors! Anyway I have to use completely different approaches with each of them. With my DS it looks like "I know you are angry and frustrated right now but you cannot curse like this. Why don't you go chill in your room for a while or maybe go ride your bike to get some of that anger out". Then I just disengage. With my daughter I threaten to take away her cell phone if she doesn't stop the nasty language. I tell her you have the skills to express yourself in a more appropriate manner. This works with her.


An unemotional approach is pretty much best in any case. Plus I always figured being told I hate you by your teenager was a rite of passage duck.gif

post #9 of 25
Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom View Post
Generally they will still go willingly, which is good because at least DS is much too big to force to do anything anymore. 

 Isn't that the truth! Both my 15yr old and 12yr old are physically bigger than me. There is no more 'carry the screaming toddler out of the store anymore'. Now it's how do I convince this large irrational person to chill . . .

post #10 of 25

I usually say something like, "Me, Hitler, and people who kick puppies." We've had talks in calmer times about how the word "hate" is extreme and should be reserved for extreme situations. And how hyperbole diminishes their cred. Not the conversation for an angry moment -- I think it came up when they said something like, "I hate these shoes."


Most of the time when mine get to this point, I am diffused by seeing the resemblance that their adolescent "angry face" has with their toddler "angry face." This makes me realize how similar this stage can be... and also makes it difficult to keep from laughing. I also think that once those words are out, my kids often regret having said it, and calling them on the carpet for it is more likely to get their backs up so they can save face than it is to give them the space to recalibrate and respond more appropriately.

Others have good input already, imo. Not getting sucked into the drama is a good starting point, and probably more useful than any one approach with words or actions.

post #11 of 25

My mom used to say "You don't hate me, you are just anger. When you grow up you'll understand the difference."  Pissed me off to no end, but it was a great response!

post #12 of 25

We struggled with this a lot in the last few years, but seems to have stopped now.  I adopted my daughter, so it was also mixed with a lot of "you arent my mom" and other hateful words.  My standard line was "love is stronger than hate.  and I will ALWAYS love you, you cant change that"   When she was being particularly hateful, I would say "i love you, but i wont allow anybody to talk to me that way" and remove myself from the situation.  I cant tell you how many times I put myself in time-out, locking my bedroom door for a few minutes, because I knew things would escalate if I let her keep screaming at me.  Doing this not only gave us a chance to calm down, I feel like it taught her a valuable lesson that you must respect your own self-worth and not accept people treating you like this.  Given her history of abuse I think it is important she learn now how important it is to stand up for yourself.


Dont try to have rational conversations in the middle of an escalating battle.  Let things diffuse first.  Just let her know you will always love her.

post #13 of 25

12...not a fun age.  I remember it well, and remember doing/saying the same things to my mother.  If it's any consolation, I also remember that it was almost instinctual, it would come flying out of my mouth, but I didn't mean it. 


Like other people said, avoid getting sucked into the drama, and if necessary, leave the room if that's what it takes to disengage.  "I hate you" never leads in a rational direction.  Remember, it's NOT about you--it's all about them.  Usually "I hate you" is code for "I want more control in this situation", or "I feel out of control in this situation". 


Love and Logic is great for dealing with teenagers and their repertoire of charming behaviors.  Some good lines at times like these might be:


"I'm sorry you feel that way."  (but we're not going to do this project right now)


"That may be true, but..." (we're done)


"We'll talk later." 


Never argue with irrational people. 

post #14 of 25
I don't have a teenager but seeing this thread reminded me of this blog I read. http://m.xojane.com/family/first-time-daughter-i-hate-you

Mother got her 15 year old a cake for the first time she said I hate you to her. I liked her take on it. Please read the post before you reply, I would summarize it better but my arm is falling asleep typing on my Kindle wink1.gif.

Sent from my Kindle Fire using Tapatalk 2
post #15 of 25
I'm an adult and I *still* say "I hate you" when I'm mad at someone. The translation is "I am furious about what you just did, and at this precise moment I can't see ever being able to forgive you or understand your side". It's that simple. No response or action is really necessary. She's giving her feelings words! That's a good thing. Much better than hitting you or breaking something. And usually after I calm down I *do* forgive or understand. By that time I've generally forgotten I said "I hate you", so I don't think to apologize for it. If you're hurt by her words, at a time when you're both calm, talk about it and tell her it hurts and you'd like, in the future, for her to apologize when she's no longer so angry.
post #16 of 25

"That's okay.  I still love you." 


If you can say that without feeling angry at having been told "I hate you," please let me know!  Still, I think it's a good response. 

post #17 of 25
I may start a thread about hate. How many times a dat do we say we hate people, things, or situations? It's a vent. Why shouldn't children get to vent, too?
post #18 of 25
I grew up in a home where my parents "vented". If is not ok to scream at people that you hate them because you are angry and frustrated.

My husband and I dont speak like that to each other or our kids. If one of our kids were to do that, we would send them to cool down, and then later remind them it isn't ok. they would need to apologize.

12 is a tough age.I think kids go through a stage when they are trying to separate from us, but they don't know how tom do that and behave politely.
post #19 of 25
Sorry. I missed the screaming part. I have to be honest and admit I do say I hate you, not often, but when really pushed. I wonder what everyone else does when reaching the breaking point.
post #20 of 25
Walk away . Take a break from the situation. Not have people in my life who treat me badly.

My husband and I have "rules for fair fighting" that include only fighting about the issue at hand and NO personal attacks.

Do you tell your children you hate them when you are frustrated with them?
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