Have your parents been acting crazy lately? Always trying to punish you, not listening to you, or calling you names? Are you left wondering, "Why do my parents hate me?”
Hate is a big word. But we all sometimes feel flashes of it. Something goes really wrong, we just want to scream, and for several seconds we can feel hate toward whoever upset us.
But it tends to pass. Hate is too heavy for most of us to stick with it long.
And most parents are no different. They might be really angry at points, and act horrible or take out their mood on you. They might be going through a midlife crisis, even, and having crazy thoughts about wishing they never had kids. But they still love you.
There are exceptions. Some people are not made to be parents. Or they are simply not good people.
But most parents can't hate their children. Just like, even if sometimes you feel like your parents are truly horrible, you deep down can't hate them, either.
A good answer only comes when we have the right question. So, do your parents really hate you?
Sometimes the truth is we are having one of those brutal weeks, where we are angry at the world and blaming our parents for how alone and misunderstood we feel. It happens.
Other times, it might be worth asking:
The above issues would also raise connected questions.
Feel your parent or parents hate you because they are always blaming you for things?
This can happen when they are afraid of you growing up. Think of it this way — they wouldn’t blame you if they didn’t see you as able to be responsible for what they are throwing your way.
Or they might be using blame to avoid admitting they don't understand your world or you anymore, and feel lost.
Worried your parents hate you as they always fight when you are around?
Unless they are directly fighting about you or saying horrible things about you, then it’s truly not about you. It’s about them.
Parents are just people. The older we get the more we have to realise this uncomfortable truth. And sometimes they make messes of their relationships.
Think your parent hates you as they suck at showing love, and being nice to you?
Then they might have their own set of issues.
One of the biggest reasons we can’t show love to someone else is as we can’t show it to ourselves.
Another thing to consider is if they are showing love in a different way than you like to show love. Writer Gary Chapman, in his book "the Five Love Languages", identifies these ways of communicating our love:
So if you have a parent who has never said they love you and never hugs you but always does things for you like cooking and driving you to school, they might be an ‘acts of service’ sort.
Feel like your mother and father never trust you with anything?
This can just be because they are struggling with the fact that you are growing up and are not adjusting fast enough to the fact you are becoming an adult.
Adults can get stuck in their ways and be worse at dealing with change than you are. And when their kids grow up it can make them feel like things are going too fast, or they are getting too old. So they can unconsciously try to keep you a kid by treating you like one.
Look, being a teen is physically a tsunami. You are dealing with hormonal changes, and your brain is actually growing. Your sleep cycle or ‘circadian rhythm’ isn’t at all matching the weird schedule school is making you keep, meaning you are tired all the time. Long story short, you might actually be way more emotional than usual.
But if you are crying because your parent is being properly mean, if they are verbally abusing you, or, worse, physically abusing you, then that’s not okay.
It might come from mental health issues or substance abuse, yes. But that doesn’t make it okay. It’s important to talk to another trusted adult about it. Another family member, a counsellor at school, someone you trust in your community or church.
Do you feel like the advice above is way out there? Because you could never, ever talk to your parents about anything without them freaking out?
Some parents just aren’t a natural at parenting. Or their own, not dealt with issues are so massive they just can’t see beyond themselves. It's impossible to communicate with them.
Or they are just simply a bad parent or person. It happens. Not everyone is a great human, unfortunately.
If there is really no way you can talk to your parents, would they maybe agree to help you get help to talk to someone else? Like give you permission to do counselling, if you are 18 or under and need their approval? (Read our guide to talking to parents about mental health).
If that is seriously out of the question, and you are really struggling with your home life and feeling anxious and/or depressed? It’s important to get some support. Talk to your school counsellor, another family member, or call a free help line for young people. You can also talk to you GP, although they might have to tell your parents some of what you say.
If you are 18 or over, you can book counselling for yourself. Why not use our easy booking tool now to see if there is a therapist who is perfect for you and your budget?