When Your Child (or Teen) is Mad at You... Let Them


You've done so much for them, slaved for them and sacrificed for them, and then if you don't give them what they want, they get mad at you. It hardly seems fair, all the things we do for our kids and they don't appreciate it. Then we hear them say things like, "I hate you," or "I hate this house." We hear, "You're a mean mom," or "I'm mad at you!" It's common for kids to get mad at their parents but the solution is the hardest for parents to do... just let them be mad. Good parents learn quickly that they are not their child's friend, they are their parent. But if the parents aren't prepared to hear it and know how to respond, they get defensive or they get even. Worse, they give in to regain the love child is withholding.

Read the full article here: What to Do When Someone Is Mad at You (60+ Helpful Tips) (upjourney.com)

I was in the toy section of a department store one day, shopping for a gift for my grandson. A mom and her little boy were in the same aisle and the little boy about seven was admiring a toy airplane. "Mom," he said, "I want this airplane." 

The woman replied with, "No sweetheart, you have toy airplanes all over your bedroom floor, I'm not going to buy you the plane." 

The boy quickly replied, "Mom! I want this airplane." 

Mom replied, "No, I said no airplane, I don't have any extra money." 

"But mom!!!! I want this airplane!: The volume and intensity of the boy's voice was increasing.

"Honey, your father is on a business trip and he took all of our money, I'm not buying you the toy." The boy continued to demand that Mom buy him the plane and the woman continued offering different excuses.

"Your birthday is right around the corner and I'm sure your grandparents are going to buy you a new airplane." With the intensity of a near scream, the boy demanded she buy him the airplane and mom quickly complied.

Children, especially young children, either love us or hate us; there is nothing in between. They get mad at us because in a moment of not getting their way or not having the emotional intelligence to know how to deal with frustration, they act out in a way that tells us they are mad at us and don't like us; it hurts our feelings. Often times our initial response to that hurt is to act out some sort of retaliation or, as in the case of the mom above, to give in to get them to like us again and not be mad.

Children getting mad at the parent is just emotion and emotion is not right or wrong, it just is.


The best response to your child getting mad is to just let them be mad. That means not reacting and not getting mad back. Conjure up your best listening skills and don't talk at first. Just stay physically close to them, get to eye level if you can and hear them. If you do feel the need to speak, tell them what you see. Say to them, "It looks like you're made a Mom," especially if they say, "I hate you!" If they agree, let them agree. Don't react and don't talk... just listen. Getting mad is energy and when the parent allows that energy to come out, the mad moment will evaporate.

When your child or teen is mad at you, don't get mad back, don't ignore them and certainly don't try to make it all better. Your child needs to feel that emotion so that they will eventually learn to let it be and then move on. It's the beginning of the development of their emotional intelligence. We spend years teaching children reading, writing and arithmetic but do very little in the area of emotional intelligence. The prisons are filled with adults who can read, write and add numbers just fine, but it was probably their inability to manage their emotions that got them there to begin with.

Tune into Bill's NEW podcast CREATING COOPERATIVE KIDS.

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