WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR KIDS HATE YOU
Date Published: January 3, 2014
Their dad’s car pulled up to my apartment in Key Biscayne several weeks ago and as I opened the back-row door I found two snarling dogs avoiding eye contact and ignoring my request to get out of the car. One snapped back that he wasn’t getting down. They threw themselves on the narrow floor with their legs in my direction. “We hate you!!! We want to live in New York with daddy. We don’t want to be with you!!”.
Wow. Confused, angry and out of control! Their dad looked at me with certain pride that they wanted to be with him. He had texted me during the weekend that I was a disgraceful mother who didn’t take care of her children. He could take care of them better and requested they go live with him. My boys reaction made sense and not really… these were energies beyond normal comprehension.
I managed to get them into our apartment and the drama continued. The little one beat the ground with his fists screaming ‘daddy’ and the older one stabbed me with frozen eyes. They have been away for less than 48 hours and they hardly resembled my adorable boys.
So how do you move on from there?! What could I do?
1) Remember I’m the BEST mom I can be. Yep. I’m a rock’in momma with the intention to give my kids love, inspiration and the tools to create an amazing life for themselves. Doing my best doesn’t mean I’m perfect. Specially not in the eyes of someone else. I choose to detach from drama and disrespect; I simply won’t collaborate with it anymore. That means not participating in offensive exchanges or even feeding more thoughts.
2) Give them options and explain the alternatives. “Of course you can live with your dad if that’s what you want! I would miss you terribly but if that’s what you choose, let’s talk about it”, I said to them. Did I really!? Yep and some more. ” Understand that he works all day and he would see you only on weekends. I would travel and visit you every other weekend in NY. That means you wouldn’t see your dad more than now AND you would miss out on being with your mom every weekday”. Also, I had to explain that the vacation mode they experienced each time they went over there would not continue: new school, new friends, etc. Quickly they realized that their plan was not solid; since they were given a choice, they found space to think things through and decided staying with momma was best.
3) Make things special. Drawing cute pictures on the zip lock bags for their snacks. Teaching Sebi to ride has bike without wheels even though he was committed to waiting until he was five. Letting them get their groceries at the supermarket. Allowing them to make lemonade at home. Reading extra books and acting each part. Sending loving messages in their lunch bags. Going to their school to read a book. Even MORE! My boys are my joy and we are silly together. Making their life more magical makes mine amazing too.
4) Explain that in a team (family!) there are ultimate decision makers (parents!). Wait a minute! Just because I’m nice and fun doesn’t mean you can take advantage of it. Giving kids choices backfires when they don’t want to comply with instructions given to them. They MUST learn how to function in a team and understand that they are NOT the final decision makers. My favorite threats are: making the iPad disappear, canceling the Netflix account, no play dates, or cold water showers (to interrupt tantrums). Mostly I don’t have to get upset, they make a smart decision based on the imminent consequence.
5) Make the most of situations. “Happiness is a choice.” I repeat often. “The best thing we can do is accept situations as they are and think about how we can change them for the future. Chose to be happy! ” They’ll be spending spring break with their dad and also one month over the summer. I’ll spend my birthday without my boys and will certainly miss them in June. I’m sure I’ll find a great way to make the most of that time.
Last week I found a love note, flowers, water, snacks and a teddy waiting for me on my desk. They cuddle with me with so much love. I hear their concerns and their dreams. We have so much fun together. What can I say? I’m grateful for the opportunity to become a better mom, to be even more committed to making my boys happy, respectful individuals, aware of the impact our decisions have on our lives and awake to possibility.
Tell me I’m not good enough and I’ll thank you for awakening in me the passion to vibe higher.
Being a parent is one of the most challenging responsibilities we can have. What do YOU do when your kid seems to forget your love? Share below in the comment box so we can learn from your experience. Blessings!!
Love, Light, Laughter!