If you’ve read some of my previous blog posts you’ll know that I do not have children. Therefore, I may not know the title of my blog post from the perspective of a parent, but I do know that it strikes a cord all the same.
As I’ve noted previously I work with children. I’ve worked with so many kids over the years that it sometimes feels all blurred together. I’ve worked with kids that have been simply amazing, some that have been a bit frustrating, some you don’t connect with, and then those whom you develop a really great understanding and relationship with.
I have that really great relationship with some of the kids I currently work with. Regardless of this great relationship though, moments present themselves when they find my existence simply annoying. Typically those feelings are ok with me as it usually means I’m doing something right. I’ve also worked hard to gain a decent understanding of the maturing psyche, so I know some of it’s pretty much an ingrained need to despise everything and everyone. However, there was one moment when one of the kids told me they hated me, that cut right to my core and made me feel completely awful. The prolonged rant about how terrible I was didn’t help either.
At that moment I instantly thought of how young kids and teenagers tell their parents they hate them, usually over something completely trivial. If I, just a worker, felt terrible in that situation, I can only imagine how it must feel to be the parent of someone who is spouting about how much they hate you. To have a person, that you would do anything for and care about more than anything in the world, tell you they hate you, makes me wonder how long it takes to recover from that awful feeling. Yes, I know that being a parent makes you thick skinned, and at the end of the day you know you’re working hard to raise a respectful and productive member of society, but still. Also, when a child is young it may be easy to recover from those moments of them telling you you’re awful, but then you get to the teenage years. Once those years prove to be in full force, they’re very aware of how to rub salt into wounds and hold a grudge. The salt in the wound typically comes in the form of the look of completely hatred, the silent treatment, and the under the breath comments about what a terrible parent you are. What I want to know is how someone deals with those moments? How do you ride it out?
Anyway, back to the moment of this child telling me they hated me. At that point in time I wish I could have gone back and unsaid every awful and/or hurtful thing I ever said to my parents. Undone every silent treatment, comments under the breath, and death stare. If only you could appreciate your parents as much as a teenager as you do when your’e an adult.
If I ever have kids I’m sure I’ll run across that moment when I get some form or another of the “I hate you” act, but it sure doesn’t seem any easier even though I’ve got many years to prepare.