If you’ve got kids, I bet there have been times when you don’t like them very much. Maybe you feel guilty about that but you know I’m an anti-guilt crusader so I’m here to tell you that I haven’t met a parent yet (and I’ve met a lot of parents) who likes their children 100% of the time. This is because kids — like most people — sometimes get on our nerves and just as we don’t always like our partners, our colleagues, our best friends or anyone else we normally adore, we aren’t always going to like our kids.
That’s OK. Usually not liking your children is a sign that something needs to be shaken up; either your kids are in a stuck mode or you’re in a stuck mode. It’s painful to be at odds with your children and since we’re the grown ups and better at this whole relationship thing (theoretically), we’re going to need to be the ones who change even if they’re the ones behaving in ways that are really not likeable.
I know, it’s not fair but parenting rarely is.
So if your kids is being thoroughly awful and you’re really not enjoying them, you have some things to consider.
- Is this a developmental stage? Do you need to adjust your expectations or parenting tools?
- Is this one bad mood (yours or your child’s) and you can hug or laugh your way through it? Can you take a breather or hit do-over? Pop in a movie, have peanut butter toast for dinner, and take the heat off of all of you?
- Is this a serious problem that needs serious help? Is this more than a bad day or a bad week? Is your child also making it hard for other loving people in his or her life? Is your child making it hard for him or herself?
- Is this your developmental stage? Do you need to look at your life beyond parenting? Are you needing a break from your kids or a change in some other part of your life that’s eating you up?
Like I said, it’s normal to dislike your kids sometimes and you don’t need to feel badly about it especially if you use it to inspire change. Find a trusted friend (or therapist) who can help you figure out what’s really going on and can maybe help you discover some solutions. Dust off your favorite old parenting book or see if there’s a sequel if your child has grown out of that stage. And of course, think about getting on the membership waitlist because that is just the kind of thing we’ll talk about and support each other through.