Not long after my first child was born, I had a conversation with a good friend. Our talk turned to children telling their parents they hate them. My thoughts at the time are still very clear, even though it's been 14 long years.
I looked down at my beautiful, angelic, baby girl, that I created. I just knew that if this child, I loved sooo very much, ever felt hatred for me, much less actually said it out loud, I would be completely devastated!! Totally and utterly, devastated!!
Well that was then. What I don't remember is when exactly I first heard her say she hated me. I do remember the circumstances. We were in the midst of our first huge power struggle. She wasn't backing down. I definitely wasn't ever going to back down. There was no end in sight. Suddenly, she stomped off and mumbled those dreaded words, "I hate you." I was stunned. My mouth dropped open and I'm pretty sure my heart stopped. Devastation. I was right all those years ago...I was right!
What I didn't know back then was what would happen next. My world didn't end. In fact, for a split second, I thought about ending hers. That's when I realized something. It was silent. The argument had ended. I stood very still in the silence for several minutes. I didn't feel hurt or rage. I felt victorious!! I had won! With three simple words, the struggle had ended. I had been a parent long enough to take my victories where I could get them.
To this day, when I hear those three little words, I know I'm doing something right.
Dr. Chirag Shah, Guest Speaker
3 years ago