Dr. Tarra Bates-Duford
15 Common Reasons Why Some Children Hate Their Parents
Most parents love their children unconditionally for the moment they find out about the pregnancy or the child is born. Parents often love their children with the expectation they will be loved with the same ferocity and intensity as they love their children. A lot of parents dote on their children, making sure both their needs and demands are met. Parents often cater to their children’s needs, fulfill their demands, help them when required, stand by their side, support them & care for them. Most parents will do almost anything for their children, to improve their life or secure their future.
Unfortunately, some children may not share the same feelings of love and adoration for their parents as their parents have for them. Although, they may respect their parents, or show that they love and care for their parents, deep down they may even hate their parents for one or more reasons. Hate is a very strong word that encompasses a lot of overlapping emotions. It could be envy, jealousy, distrust, dissatisfaction, personal discovery, resentment, etc.
Reasons for Hate May Include:
Jealousy and envy
Over protecting or feeling suffocated in the relationship
Family secret revealed or shock
Greater affection towards sibling(s)
Unrelenting pressure from parents to excel or exceed
Felling like they aren’t enough
Feeling like their parents aren’t paying attention and/or giving time
Feeling like they are being forced to take on a “parentified” role with younger siblings.
Feeling like parents are putting restrictions to their ideas to impose their own
Denial of freedom
Feeling as if their parent is trying to be their friend rather than their parent.
Feeling like one parent maybe responsible for breaking up their family (divorce).
Parents insisting a child do what they say not what they do.
Unfortunately, many parents tend to be too strict towards their children in an effort to protect them from harm and all things unpleasant. However, when rules are too rigid or too strict, rules can go beyond the healthy limits that children can tolerate. Parenting style can also create tension in the life as a child as both parents must be on the same page when it comes to chores, responsibilities, and discipline. When there is discrepant parenting, or mixed messages, confusion and frustration usually follows. Too often, many children will be asked to follow rules that are confusing or difficult, leading to failure to adhere to parent’s demand. If children fail to follow a directive given by a parent, parents will usually scold them or use excessive discipline to correct the undesired behavior, promoting compliance. This kind of discipline may not be the best parenting choice as compliance should be encouraged through love not fear.
Today, most of the parents are working. Thus, both father and mother are unable to pay proper attention towards their children due to lack of time. They are hardly aware of how their children spend their day, i.e., what they like, dislike, friends, dreams, ambitions, social influences, and what they expect from their parents. Failure to know what is going on in the life of their children may be due to demanding or conflicting work schedules, desire to avoid conflict with your children (this is especially so in a child’s teenage years). Parents that have demanding work schedules are sometimes too preoccupied with the demands of work and providing for their family to give children time, both quality and quantity.
Children typically want their parents to talk to them, play with them, understand them and be friendly with them. Parents that are unable to or struggling with providing quality time to children may gradually lead to severe hatred or resentment from their children. One of the most common reasons for children hating their parents is due to the ‘generation gap’. There is usually a difference of about 18-40 years between the ages of parents and children. Therefore, children tend to behave differently than the children of yester year. They perceive things in different manner due to many factors such as societal tendencies, advancements, technology, ideals, thoughts, media influences, family, friends etc. Moreover, the new generations are more open to new technologies, modern thoughts and modern ways of living life and they find them more appropriate and practical than the older, conventional ones. This leads to a mismatch between parents’ and children’s thinking. Parents usually do not approve of the modern thoughts or cultures, say for example gay marriages, live-in relationships, pre-marital sex, greater exposure of kids to new technologies or new things etc. This creates a mental divide among children and parents.