Another 'stupid' question(17 Posts)
Why do children from teens to young adults hate their mothers? I have been liberal with my kids, understanding I thought, given money and been there whenever they needed something. To find now that my oldest dopant like me is devastating.
They don't hate you. I speak as a parent of an almost teen who says he hates me.
I'm a lovely mum
My son said to me the other day 'I know I do really love you because I imagined you had died and I cried real tears'
I think thats as close to 'I love you' as I am going to get.
What age are they and what makes you think they don't like you?
In my experience, telling you they don't like you/ hate you/ you're the worst parent because everyone else does x y z except them, doesn't translate into anything meaningful other than needing somewhere to let off steam.
I have 15 and 14 year olds (nearly 16 and 15) and whilst I am sure that they find me a bit annoying, I am also sure that they don't dislike or hate me...yet! (I suppose)
It's just all part of them struggling to assert their independence and be their own person, I find that acknowledging that they are indeed their own person and a valued one at that seems to defuse a lot of the push back. Actually discussing things such as giving reasons for why you don't think things are a good idea rather than just saying "No" also helps as does actively saying to them things such as "I think you've made a good choice there" or "I don't necessarily agree with the choice you've made but I do agree that it's your decision to make - if it doesn't work out then that's just life and that's how you learn, but don't think that you can't tell me"
I think as long as they know that you love them and will support and help them then that goes down well. I'm always made it really clear to them that we all make mistakes in life and the majority of them can be dealt with and sorted but their Dad and I can't help if they don't tell us, so never be scared to tell us when something goes wrong as we will always help and if we get angry, it will be very short lived.
I can't claim to be an expert but it's working for me so far. Who knows what the future will bring.
a) most of them don't
b) the fact that they say they do doesn't actually mean they do: it may be about trying to achieve independence, taking out their general frustrations with life on you, testing the boundaries or a million other things that have nothing to do with you
c) nobody has ever felt warmer towards another human being by being told that "I gave you everything, I have sacrificed so much for you"
On top of the excellent advice given by OneMagnum above, I would also calmly but firmly insist on a certain amount of outwardly good behaviour, something along the lines of "of course I can't force you to feel a certain way but as you are an almost-adult living in this household I do have the right to insist on (e.g. no name-calling, no violence, no destruction of my property, no drugs)". Be as calm as you can: there is nothing that triggers rage in teenagers as much as (what they see as) emotional guilt-tripping.
Thank you cory Not guilt tripping as such, but I have said to my younger son that how he behaves to me says more about him than me, i.e. I will happily do things for him and take him places and how behaves to me wont change that, I'll still happily do it. However, it does make him look a bit of an arsehole if he behaves badly to someone who loves and care for him for no reason.
I used to be a bit of a shouter and a bit controlling, but I get much better behaviour by treating them with respect and speak to them as if they were a friend at work or someone else's child. I am by no means a soft touch though but I haven't needed to do any discipline as such for a few years other than insisting that a particular task is done by a particular time. i.e. You need to iron your shirts today so you have them for school tomorrow, you can do it now, before dinner or after dinner but they need to be done today and I wont ask again but I will remind you if you want me to. It stops me nagging The usual response is that I'll do them after dinner but can you remind me. I keep waiting for my bubble to burst though...
My response to them when they shouted "I hate you" when they were young was to say "well I love you very much and that makes me sad..." probably a total guilt trip...oops!
"Not guilt tripping as such, but I have said to my younger son that how he behaves to me says more about him than me, i.e. I will happily do things for him and take him places and how behaves to me wont change that, I'll still happily do it. However, it does make him look a bit of an arsehole if he behaves badly to someone who loves and care for him for no reason."
That sounds exactly the right approach: "you will look a bit of an arsehole" suggests a parent who is calm and in control; I like it.
I think I'm going to adopt that now, OneMagnum.
Aww thanks cory I am actually genuinely enjoying my teenagers and I've no clue whether that's because they are pretty good or whether they are pretty good because I am enjoying them. Don't get me wrong, they are both inclined to be a bit lazy and their rooms are not the best and they spend way to long on their computers, but they are doing well in school, have some outside interests and have nice friends and a bit of ambition in that they want to have a good job and a nice house and car and a partner and kids. DS2 would like to do a bit of travelling which is fine too.
My nearly 18-year-old was on Facebook last night and said to me that he was grateful that I was his mum and not like some of the mums his friends had.
I went through hell with my DD now 19. I divorced her dad after years of being unhappy (probably bordering on abuse) but she took it really badly. She had some really unhappy teenage years; self harmed, low self-esteem etc...
It seemed she hated me. Now she tells me she took it out on me because I was the closest and the safest person. We now have an amazing relationship. She's a first year nurse, lives very close (by choice) and I'm so proud of her. But god it was hard.
Hang in there. I wish I was a MNer then.
I enjoy mine too, but there is no denying that we have been through the wringer: school refusal, suicide attempts, various ways of deliberate and probably non-deliberate self-harming, panic attacks, more panic attacks... If nothing else it has taught me that I have to learn to distance myself a bit in order to be able to love effectively
and not be reduced to a screaming blob. so I am not at all agonising about dd's latest HE rejection letter, oh no, not at all, because I am spending the whole day thinking about totally different things, oooo yes
I was a teenager once - I really disliked my mother. She was everything I didn't want to be, I despised her. Thought she was selfish, overbearing, antagonistic and went out of her way to make me miserable.
I'm a grown-up now and have a brilliant relationship with my mother and have had from around my mid-20s. From 13-19 it was like an evil gremlin had taken over my ability to have any sort of reasonable relationship with her. With hindsight, I can see who she was then - she hadn't changed but the person I was is a stranger to me. I've kept my diaries from that period and seriously, I don't recognise me at all.
Charlie Taylor's book 'Divas and Doorslammers' is based on the theory that teenagers' brains actually go through structural changes during puberty, during which they can lose some abilities - empathy, the ability to control their temper etc. Iirc he describes it as almost a form of temporary brain damage - the key word being temporary, because these abilities do largely return once the brain has gone through the changes and settled down again. I'd be more specific about what he said - but I gave my copy away to a friend whose teenager was being difficult.
I had a bad time with ds3 - the older two had their moments, but nothing too dreadful, but ds3 was much harder work (my mum helpfully pointed out I'd had an easy ride with ds1 and ds2, and this was my comeuppance - thanks mum!). We had lots of rows, door slamming, name calling (I got called a cunt more than once) - and there were times that I absolutely despaired.
It did seem as if the worst of his behaviour was directed at me - but in hindsight I wonder if that was because he knew I would still love him, so he could get rid of his frustrations on me. Didn't make it any nicer or easier at the time, though.
He is now 18 (we both survived his adolesence - lol), and his behaviour and attitude have improved beyond recognition. He is, by nature, fiery tempered, but is much better at controlling it now - I can see when he is getting cross, and he makes a real effort not to lose his temper. He is self-motivating with regard to his academic work, and is an affectionate and caring person.
These changes were gradual, but I could see improvements from about the age of 15 or 16. I well remember a couple of days where he tidied his room without being asked, did his homework without being reminded, and gave me an entirely unsolicited hug! We did ask him if he'd robbed a bank, though...
Jeez that sounds hell cory the worst I've had is taking forever to get ready in the morning and the odd bit of back chat - I know I am very lucky and hope it continues - there must be a n age that you get to where you feel safe
Our current issue is that DS1 is painfully shy, he's about to turn 16 and our concern is that he will discover that alcohol will make him a lot less shy and we have a history of addictive personalities on both sides of our family - not DH or I though. By which I mean alcoholism/gambling/smoking - no drugs luckily. Sooo, do we start to allow him to have a beer/shandy when he is out with us for a meal which he can legally do in the hope of developing a normal safe attitude to alcohol, and social drinking or is it the road to ruin and giving him a taste for it? he does like the taste - when he was about 4 he licked DHs spilt beer from the tablecloth! He likes a can of shandy which is only beer flavoured lemonade really.
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