Skip Nav

When Kids Say They Hate You

How Do You Handle a Child Saying She Hates You?

Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this one about when your child says she hates you.


So, it's happened: She hates me. And I'm not sure what to do about it.

But before I get into that I should tell you something about my two girls. On the outside, they're obviously sisters, both with the same brown hair and cavernous eyes, long, lean limbs and sweet, gap-toothed grins. Scratch the surface, though, and they're different in just about every way imaginable.

Related: How to reduce your children's sugar intake

My oldest has always been sensitive and empathetic, the kind of kid who cries when she comes across a squished worm on the sidewalk. The neighbors cut down a tree in their yard when she was 3 years old and she was inconsolable for a week. She writes me thank you notes for making her school lunches. Given the choice, I think she would rather spontaneously shatter into a thousand pieces than hurt my feelings.

Her 3-year-old sister has been fire since the day she was born. She's funny, loud and full of life. She's magnetic, a force. When she's happy, she practically vibrates with it; when she's mad it's a red hot rage.

Which brings us to today, to the two of us driving home from the library and to her screaming at me: "I HATE YOU!" The first time she said it was actually a few months ago, those three words came firing out of her as she threw a fit over brushing her teeth. My jaw dropped. I looked at her sister, who was of course immediately on the verge of tears.

Since then I've tried different ways of dealing with it: Ignoring, explaining, disciplining. Nothing seems to have made an impact. It's one of those parenting moments that I knew would probably come, but I still feel unprepared for it. And even though I know she doesn't really mean it, that she loves me, that she's just frustrated and upset and using whatever words she can find to let me know that, I have to admit that it still kind of hurts. As far as mommy milestones go, this is one of the worst.

More great reads from BabyCenter:
How to add ceiling accents to your nursery
Expert advice on how to manage flu season
How to respond when your child's left out
3 weird things that happen when you're pregnant

Source: Thinkstock
Latest Moms