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If your child will tell you anything then you know you’re doing a good job.
Your child can make your day completely awesome if they give you a hug. They can also completely destroy you by telling you that they don’t like you. Some kids don’t really understand the meaning of their words or how they can really hurt. Ultimately, as a parent you want to teach your child to be able to openly communicate their feelings with you in a proper way, even if those words may hurt you.
What that really means is that you want your child to be able to trust you with whatever they’re really thinking and feeling, and they know how to properly communicate it. Your child telling you that they “don’t like you” isn’t really helpful. This is just your child being emotional in the moment and it doesn’t help anyone resolve the root of the problem. Your child needs to be able to communicate their actual problem with you.
Why does your child not like you? What is it that you’ve said or done that has actually upset them. Teaching your child how to effectively express their feelings and what has led them to those feelings will lead them to be far better adults - many adults don’t know how to do this properly either. Your child will be far more emotionally stable if they’re comfortable and able to express the reasons for their feelings.
When you’re upset with your child, don’t just punish them. Make sure to explain to them that you’re upset or disappointed with them for a specific behavior. If you punish your child and don’t explain to them the reason for the punishment, they’re not going to learn. They won’t know how to fix their behavior and they’ll learn that it’s alright to not explain the reasons behind their own actions in the future.
When your child does open up to you and communicate their feelings or ideas, don’t punish them for it, and don’t make them feel bad for it. Guess what? Your child may say something that hurts your feelings when they’re openly communicating with you. They may tell you that they’re scared of you, or that they love the other parent more than you because of something that you’ve done.
You should never punish your child further because they’ve hurt your feelings when being honest and open with you. If they’re being rude or swearing at you, that can deserve punishment. But if they’re being honest and openly communicating, then you need to listen to them and try to understand where they’re coming from. A quick negative reaction is one of the worst things you can do.
If your child knows that you will listen to them and let them speak their mind openly and without consequence, then they will come to you again in the future. And those things in the future may be even bigger or more important than them being upset with you with something you’ve done. Building a level of trust with your child through open channels of communication is one of the best ways you can help your child stay out of trouble in the future.
Don’t be quick to anger or reaction when your child is honest with you. Teach them to openly express their feelings, and explain why they feel that way. The more trust you build now, the better you’ll be able to raise them in the future.