Sad To Hear Hate On My Kids’ Lips

Lots of stuff has happened in my parenting before I was ready.  Examples? Teeth on my nursing babies.  Repeating curse words after hearing Mommy say them all the time once.  Getting in trouble during dance class for “not paying attention.” 

Those little surprises have kept me on my toes from Day 1, and I am learning to roll with them.   Except for the ones that involve my pre-kindergarten children acting like teenagers.  No one told me that eye rolling and looks that convey Mom, you are so STUPID would start so soon.  And I don’t like it.  On the one hand, I have a daughter who is scared to get into a swimming pool, but thirty minutes later she can tell me how lame it is that I don’t know all the words to The Green Grass Grows All Around.

And who’s the genius who taught my kids to throw around the word “HATE”?  You know what I have for that person? I have a standing invitation for that person to come to my house and hang out with my kids from the hours of 5-7 PM on the days when neither of them naps, but both have been slipped some super sugary snack.  Yeah, come on over and spend some time in the darkest rung of hell, then let’s talk about the appropriate vocabulary for preschoolers.  (For a few more choice thoughts about being a hater in my house, click here.)

To cope, I am taking shelter in rage and indignation that my children think it’s ok to say that they “hate” Willie Nelson’s music (unforgiveable offense) or that they “hate” what I cook for dinner (understandable, but still not cool). 

But really, I’m sad.  I don’t want to hear about hate, and I don’t want it directed at me (or Willie), even though I am committed to supporting them in expressing their anger. 

To my ears, there’s something particularly hurtful and cutting about the word “hate.”  And while I am sure there is plenty in their little worlds to hate (see, e.g., eating my “cooking”, having to brush their teeth every night, being stuck in the car with only 7 Willie Nelson CDs, etc.), I was still hoping that we had some hate-free years ahead of us.

But we don’t.  So here are some synonyms I’ve offered them:

VERBS: abhor, scorn, digust, loathe, resent, repulsed, repelled, object to, revile

What about you? Do your young children say they hate you? Does it pierce your very soul?


35 thoughts on “Sad To Hear Hate On My Kids’ Lips

  1. I always dislike the word hate, but I definitely grew to despise it more when the children got to the wonderful age where they could shout ” I hate you Mom, you’ve ruined my life I wish you would die” of course there are variations of this sentence. Three out of 4 children have screamed this. They wonder why I laugh and say I am sorry you “hate” me when I love you so very much. Sigh. Move on with my day.

  2. My kids have not said they hate me…yet. But, my 4 year old kept saying, “I hate this cereal and I hate that too” etc. I told him to stop saying that word because I don’t like it. That word bothers me too when it comes from the mouth of little ones, but I guess I need to stop saying it so nonchalantly myself. :/

  3. My grandfather visited us for a few weeks when my oldest son was 2. My grandfather said the phrase “goddammit” a LOT. Guess what my son said all the time for months after that visit? The worst was when he said it in church…

  4. So, we’re the slackest parents that ever waddled into the suburbs…but the first time our kids used the word “hate” we descended like night, teaching the rare proper use of it. Words carry weight around here. Cuz Mom’s the most sensitive baby-brain and…ehh you can read it in my daughter’s eventual memoirs like everyone else.

  5. Examples? Teeth on my nursing babies.
    I remember this pretty well– when either of our kids had teeth and bit, they were done. (As in weaned.)

    Repeating curse words after hearing Mommy say them all the time once.
    I was horrified when my daughter first said “shit”. Years later, though, we had the swear talk with her, and she chooses not to swear, even though I’m a horrible example. But, she’s 11, and some of her favorite videos have some nasty language. The other day, one of her Minecraft videos had “motherf…” and I said, “Damn it, the only person I want to hear saying ‘fuck’ around here is me!”

    *sigh* My kids saying “hate” is probably the least of my worries.

  6. Our neighbors growing up were not allowed to say “hate”, but they could say they liked it “less than diarrhea”. Which I always though was hysterical. It makes you ponder if you really dislike something so much.

  7. Ah, “hate.” They learn very quickly the power that word has. My eldest didn’t know that word until he was almost six. My youngest, three-and-a-half, uses it all the stinking time. He apparently hates things he’s never tried, hates things he liked yesterday, hates everyone who bugs him even once, hates things he actually hates.

    I calmly tell him I don’t think he actually means hate. I offer suggestions. And I let it go. Because he wants to say hate this week to repay me for the week where everything was “beeyooteeful, mommy!”

  8. I find it weird that not only do we seem to be going through similar things but our kids too. First it was the “shooting” everything that made me crazy and now it’s “hate” in my house too. The first time I heard it it almost took my breath away. I’m trying to ignore it and hope it goes away. But it doesn’t sit well with me at all.

  9. My girls are three, and while Ellie doesn’t talk yet, Laurel has picked up “hate” from her cousins. The first time she said, “Momma, I hate pink.” I almost died. I mean, sure, I hate pink as well, but to hear that word come out of a little mouth really caused a double take. We don’t use the word hate around the girls. I don’t want to teach them hate. Goodness knows they will have to deal with enough of it in years to come, but no yet. Just….not yet. Please.

  10. This reminds me of an episode from Roseanne where her daughter said she hated her and her response was: Then I’m doing my job! Haha. Thought that was more for teenagers though. Little ones saying it does hit harder. I’m not sure why. I mean, teenagers are more likely to understand how saying “hate” is hurtful, but it’s still disturbing when a 3 or 4-yr-old says it. Must be the “innocence subverted” type of thing.

  11. The other day my 2.75 yr-old (not exact math on that decimal BTW) said “I love you mom….but I don’t like you, I like dad”. When I responded “you can like both of us” he said “NOOOOOooooO!!!! I LIKE DAAADDDDD!!!!”. So not exactly a “hate” reference, but still I was not at all prepared for that dagger through the heart at such a young age.

  12. It’s a word I don’t allow in my childrens’ vocabularies. They can say they dislike something very much, but no “hate”. I dislike that word very much. 😉 But I have 3 daughters, so I’m expecting the “i hate you, Mom!” I expect it to the point that I tell my children, “If you don’t hate me at some point in your life, I’m not doing my job right.” There were SO many times I said I hated my parents, but I’m glad they gave me those opportunities to hate them since I learned some valuable life lessons. Why did I hate my parents? They made me do things I didn’t WANT to do. Well, as an adult there are so many things I have to do that I don’t WANT to do, but HAVE to. It’s life.

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