When parents feel negative emotions towards their child, the cause is mostly his inappropriate behavior. Understandably, parents become frustrated because they are tired of constantly repeating the same stories, shouting and arguing. Or they are annoyed by the way the child treats them, siblings or teachers at school.
All parents have expectations of how their children should develop and behave, and when those expectations are not met, it can be very painful for them.
It should be borne in mind that in the period of adolescence, the formation of the child’s identity implies separation from the family, and that can sometimes turn into very unpleasant, irritating and inappropriate behavior of teenagers. Because the bond between parent and child is so strong, the process of separation often becomes very tense and overemphasized for both parents and children.
Many parents often find it difficult to discern that they do not actually like the child’s behavior, and not the child as a person. This is not strange because the child’s behavior somehow becomes part of his personality. It is not possible to say where a person ends and where behavior begins. In the end, however, the words come out of your child’s mouth, you can see that facial expression and hear that tone in the voice that is sometimes full of hatred and contempt.
The good news is that when your children are rude or uncomfortable and angry, there are effective ways to avoid taking their behavior personally. Psychologists advise that parents, instead of being unhappy and feeling guilty, should try to establish a healthier relationship with the child and accept him as he is.
Be aware of your feelings
Don’t hide your emotions because you feel guilty or think it’s wrong if you don’t seem to love your child enough. You don’t have to accept those emotions – it’s enough to realize that sometimes you have them. Change cannot happen until you are honest with yourself. Just ask yourself, “How do I feel and why?”
It is also important to accept the fact that you will not always like your child, nor will you.
Try to determine the cause of your feelings
Take time to think about the root cause of your feelings. Are there external reasons that affect your child’s behavior, such as problems at school? Or is it more related to your expectations?
Maybe you don’t like the child because he is so different from you. Or you may not like it because it behaves badly, is defiant and unproven and wreaks havoc on the house. These are all understandable reasons to feel dislike for your child. Why would you love someone who treats you badly?
If this is the case, try to remember that you do not like that behavior, not the child. We can love our children and hate their behavior, but sometimes the two mix.
If you look closely, you may realize that not liking your child has more to do with you than with the child – because it’s basically your reaction to his behavior.
Sometimes, as parents, we are moved by memories of our own childhood, which causes feelings of inadequacy, fear or anxiety, and then we project those feelings onto our children. For example, if you were severely criticized as a child for not having all fives, you may find it difficult when your child has poorer grades. Keep this in mind and don’t let it control your parenting.
Try to discover other causes that cause such feelings in you. For example, you may be passing on your feelings about your partner to your child. Your partner (or you) may not feel that the child is responsible for their behavior.
Manage your expectations
Accept your child as he is and you can move towards establishing better relationships. If the child is not what you expected, then consider your expectations.
It is important to keep in mind that after all, the only person you can control is yourself. Learn to draw a line between your child’s behavior and your reactions. Try to be calm and control your emotions. No matter how the child behaves, promise yourself that you will try to stay calm.
Get to know your child better
Find time for something fun. Learn what a child likes and dislikes and what causes him to behave badly. Try to listen to him without condemnation – children will surely react negatively when they feel that they are under pressure and supervision. The child will appreciate the opportunity to open up and trust you with how he feels.
Try to stay positive
Talk to your child as if you are not judging him, even when you say ‘no’ or punish him. Don’t frown and address him in a calm tone that sends him the message that you care about him.
Staying positive can be difficult, especially when you are frustrated and the child defiant.
However, be as positive as possible when dealing with a child because he easily senses your negative feelings and internalizes them quickly – or rebels aggressively. And remember, the expression on your face and the tone of your voice send a stronger message than your words.
Focus on what is good and start building relationships with your child on positive examples. Don’t be obsessed with negative things or try to change them at any cost.
You will build a much better relationship if you try to praise him and support good behavior. Often as parents we have atomic reactions. We should try to pay more attention to what we say. Remember: a child needs a coach, not a critic.
Finally, bring more playfulness and less seriousness into your interactions. Try to accept them as they are and love them and don’t worry too much.
Promise yourself that you will not criticize the child
We are not even aware of how many times during the day we say an objection to someone’s behavior. We automatically criticize children, and half the time we don’t even know how to do it. So do your best.
Notice when your child is doing something well. Point out the good sides of the child’s behavior and describe to him what you noticed.
For example, you can say, “It looked like you were going to hit your brother, but I noticed that you refrained and walked away. How did you do it? Well done!”.
If you succeed in this, it will help you to establish mutual respect with the child.
You are completely different personalities
What if you and your child are completely different people? Maybe your child is not the person you would choose as your friend. You may be too different or too similar. Problems arise when someone disappoints you every day and you try to change them. So he falls into a vicious circle.
Keep in mind that your child is not your friend. Your role as a parent is unique, and you can act friendly without becoming friends. Realizing that you don’t have to be a friend to your child can help you understand who your child is – and accept him or her.
By taking responsibility for your emotions and hard work, you show the child that you want things to be better. Tell your child, “I know we didn’t always get along in the past because I was too hard on you. I apologize and I’m working on it. ”
Calm down, accept the child and help him become the person he was supposed to be.