Sunday, May 12, 2013

"I Hate You"

 With these words, a six year old boy joined the “I hate  you” brigade. But his words are not unusual, most kids try it at some point. Of course, it is a form of childish blackmail at being denied something he wants. Important not to let him know it works by capitulation!

There are a number of things to remember with this attack, distressing though it may be. First, it’s the only opposite he knows to both “I love you” and “I like you.” That can be explained to him by the reply: “I don’t like you sometimes either, but I will always love you!”

Second, with some exceptions, you have to work very hard to destroy a boy’s love for his parents. Even in the rebellious teen years, that bond is only buried, not lost, behind his bellicose behaviour. It may take a teen a while to rediscover it.

Third, that six year old’s mood generally passes. Life at that age is too varied and absorbing to remain in that mood for long. And a “sorry Mom,” if it is verbalized, is an added bonus. But even without that, the boy’s affection will reassert itself.

My father held that children were the proof of original sin. Evil comes naturally to them; they have to be taught to be good! Parents have to wrestle and train against the fallen state, and should expect flashes of the old nature.

Today is Mother’s Day. Knowing that youngster, I’m sure the relationship will be reaffirmed today!

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