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Old 6th January 2014, 07:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How to make your kids hate you

How to make your kids hate you

By Daniel Wong | SingaporeScene

Do you want your kids to grow up to hate you?

Of course you don’t. All parents want to build a healthy, nurturing relationship with their children.

The main goal of parenting isn’t to become best friends with your kids or to get them to like you. Instead, the main goal is to empower your kids to become mature, well-adjusted adults.

All this being said, if your kids hate you bitterly, it’s a strong indication that you’re doing something wrong.

I do a lot of work with youths, and I realise that many kids do genuinely hate their parents. This is something that troubles me greatly.

Based on the conversations I’ve had with these youths, I’ve come up with eight surefire ways for parents to cause their kids to hate them. If you’re a parent who does any of these things, I hope you’ll stop that behaviour right away.

1. Constantly nag at your kids

Nagging about homework. Nagging about cleanliness. Nagging about attitude. Nagging about diet.

The list goes on and on. Some parents share with me that they feel like nagging is the only weapon they can use against their kids!

At times, it’s definitely necessary to point out areas where your kids can improve their behaviour. The general approach, however, should be to set boundaries for your kids and to establish a set of natural consequences if your kids go beyond those boundaries.

In addition, I recommend that you decide on a specific time period each day where you absolutely will not nag at your kids. This “no nagging” time could be during dinner or the first hour after your kids come home from school.

Having some daily “no nagging” time helps to create a safer home environment, because your kids won’t feel as if they could be “attacked” at any moment by a bout of nagging.

2. Compare your kids with others

“Why can’t you be more like your sister?”

“Why can’t you be more hardworking like Jane?”

“Why can’t you be more well-behaved like Thomas?”

Most parents know that it’s a bad idea to compare their kids with others, but many parents still do it anyway.

When parents compare their kids with others, it makes their kids feel like they aren’t good enough, and that they need to earn their parents’ love and acceptance. This can lead to many psychological issues later on in life.

3. Refuse to apologise even when you’ve made a mistake

We’re all imperfect, so it’s almost inevitable that we’ll break our promises, make incorrect assumptions about others, or lose our temper.

If you make a mistake, I encourage you to sincerely apologise to your kids. They’ll respect you for your demonstration of vulnerability and humility.

4. Continually bring up negative incidents from the past

Maybe your kids have made some terrible mistakes that hurt you deeply. Maybe your kids have apologised and have made amends, but you just can’t let it go. So whenever a new argument breaks out, you bring up those incidents from the past as evidence for why you’re right and your kids are wrong.

Whenever parents do this, they slowly but surely weaken the relationship they have with their kids.

5. Talk about your kids negatively in front of other people

On many occasions, I’ve heard parents say things like the following in the presence of their kids:
  • “My son is extremely lazy. I don’t think he’ll ever succeed.”
  • “My daughter just isn’t ambitious enough to accomplish anything great.”
  • “My son doesn’t have any perseverance or determination.”

I really wonder why these parents would say such hurtful things!

Kids often have a strange way of becoming the kind of person that their parents view them as. If their parents continually tell them that they’re “useless” or “good-for-nothing”, they’ll behave in a way that’s in line with this perception.

On the other hand, parents who see the best in their kids and intentionally seek out opportunities to be encouraging and supportive tend to bring up kids who are confident and who have a healthy self-esteem.

(Of course, I’m not encouraging parents to tell their kids how wonderful, amazing and unique they are at every moment of the day!)

6. Mete out unreasonable punishments when you’re angry

Obviously, it isn’t easy to be a great parent. Parents commonly juggle many different responsibilities, which can result in constant stress.

As such, it’s understandable when parents lose their temper at their kids. Many parents make the mistake of meting out harsh — and often unreasonable — punishments when they’re angry.

If you ever find yourself on the brink of losing your cool with your kids, I encourage you to say something like this: “I’m too angry at the moment. Let’s talk about this in 30 minutes.”

Taking a timeout will allow you to calm down and gather your thoughts, so that whatever punishment you decide on will be commensurate with your kids’ misdeeds.

7. Talk as if you know it all

I frequently hear parents who talk as if they’re experts on just about every subject, from history and science to Internet marketing and social media.

I’ve no doubt that some parents are exceptionally knowledgeable, but their kids are bound to know more about certain subjects than them. Kids get especially annoyed when their parents talk as if they’re experts on subjects that they’re clearly not.

8. Don’t respect your kids’ privacy

Have you ever done any of the following:
  • Cleared your kids’ rooms without asking them?
  • Rummaged through your kids’ personal belongings?
  • Logged into your kids’ social media accounts without asking for their permission?
  • Secretly read your kids’ Whatsapp messages or SMSes?

Parents sometimes feel as if they have the right to do these things because they’re the ones who have provided their kids with their material possessions in the first place.

While this may be true, it’s also true that if you violate your kids' privacy, you violate their trust.

In closing…

Being a parent isn’t a popularity contest. But if you want to build a mature, loving relationship with your kids, it’s vital that you don’t alienate them either.

Wishing you all the best in your quest to become a world-class parent!


"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth". - 1 John 3:18
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Old 8th January 2014, 04:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: How to make your kids hate you

Comparing kids with other kids is a big no no for parents as well as tutors.

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