iamtheinvisiblehand

I don’t love you anymore, mommy

Posted on: January 27, 2012

My five year-old daughter finally pronounced these piercing words to me yesterday. It felt like I was being stabbed to death, or at least what I assume it must feel like.

She’d been acting up for some time now and the day before, she decided to throw away her dinner in the garbage and then lie to me about it. So, she had been warned that there would be no movies or TV the next few days and that she would have to stay in her room as soon she got home from school.

She was truly sad, I could tell by the way she was crying, but I knew I just couldn’t let this one go. I had to follow through with the punishment, come what may. First, she just begged and tried to negotiate, as only little ones can do. Any adult who’s tried ignoring a toddler with negotiation skills knows what I’m talking about, because even though you are sure you have it covered, after a while you figure out that you have yielded something you didn’t mean to and suddenly you have agreed to do things you hadn’t even thought of to begin with. (That happens a lot to my mother and my mother in law when they’re trying to deal with my daughter, the expert negotiator. It’s amazing how, as adults, we think we have everything under control when it comes to our kids, until we realize that we don’t).

A few minutes later, seeing that I wasn’t budging, she then said she would never play or have fun with me again. The point of the knife’s blade started sinking into my heart at this point. And then she told me “I don’t love you anymore, mommy, and I’m serious”. And that was that.

The worst part is, at the time she said it, she probably meant it, even though by bedtime she was her usual sweet self.

I know that as parents it’s up to us to guide our kids so they grow up to be good, responsible people. I know that everything I do is for my daughter’s own good, even if she can’t (and will probably never) appreciate or understand it.

So does this mean that if my daughter tells me she hates me (which will surely come again at some point in the not-so-far-away future)  it’s because I’m doing my job right? Because if it is, then these 5 years will have been the shortest ride into adolescence. Ever.

Honestly, I was expecting this type of behavior 10 years from now (I know, too optimistic, right?), but not now when my daughter is supposed to be sweet, innocent, good and pure, but most of all, willing to go along with mommy’s instructions.

Wow, this was a rough awakening!

I know kids have changed a lot since I was a kid myself. I remember being an obedient and respectful child (most of the time) because I knew the consequences of bad behavior were serious and proportional to the infraction. And I remember most of my friends were raised the same way too, so in general, we were all more or less well-behaved.

I also remember just trying to swallow my veggies with a mouthful of something else to help them go down, because they would not go down on their own, and not even attempting to persuade my parents not to make me eat them because that road would lead nowhere.

Tantrums, whining and all these other unpleasant scenes were swiftly dealt with and the urge to start them wore off immediately because they weren’t tolerated. At all.

But I see kids like my daughter now, and I have to marvel (or freak out is more like it) at how much things have changed in 30 years since I was her age.

It’s not just my daughter, who at age 5 is already acting like a teenage drama queen and diva, but all her friends as well. 

I don’t know if we (and by we I’m referring to the generation of parents ranging from age 25 to 40)  have become pushover parents because we were so restricted as children, or if we just don’t have the guts to be strict parents, but something is seriously wrong.  

I consider myself to be a strict parent, and so is my husband. This doesn’t make her declaring her absence of love for me any easier. I’ve tried to instill in her that actions – good and bad – have consequences and that she must accept what comes to her accordingly. I’ve had to do many things in my attempt to teach her right from wrong. And yet I feel I am failing horribly.

I know I’m not a pushover, but I also don’t feel the need of being as strict as my parents were with me, so where on earth is the middle of that?

I don’t appreciate my daughter’s efforts at negotiation, because at some point she must realize that there are some things that can’t be avoided and just have to be done no matter what (picking up her toys after playing, eating her meals, going to bed when she’s told to, etc.). I do, however, let her speak her mind even though I know that the answer is no.

I’m not an absent mother and my husband is not an absent father either and I feel she is well looked after and has everything she needs, nothing more, nothing less. So where is she (and all her friends) getting all this attitude?  Do they know something we don’t? Or is just that we are such bad examples that they disregard everything we say and do?

All I know is I was hoping I would still have some more peaceful years before age, growth and maturity kicked in, but I see the new generation is way ahead of us.

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8 Responses to "I don’t love you anymore, mommy"

The title of this entry caught my eye! I have 2 daughters, age 1 and 2, and my 2 year old told me the other day that she doesn’t like me anymore! It made me laugh, but underneath, it stung! Same as you, I thought I’d hear phrases like this when she was a teenager, not in her terrible 2’s!! Thanks for writing such an open and heartfelt post-i can totally relate!!!

Hi Shannymore!
Thanks for stopping by – you’re the first person to comment on my blog, I won’t forget that!

I’m glad someone could relate to what I’m saying, as this is the whole point of my blog.
Hope I’ll be seeing you around some more!

Ouch. I haven’t experienced the verbally expressed dislike from my sons (don’t have daughters), but I certainly get the eyerolls and grunts from my teenager. I wonder if it is different for boys and mothers vs. girls and mothers.

Insightful post. Looking forward to reading more. Thanks for stopping by my own site 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

I didn’t get to tell you that I truly enjoyed your post, mainly because it hit close to home.

I hope I’ll be seeing you around!

Can’t wait to show this post to my sisters. Their daughters, even though they have not started being interest in boys (thanks god), do behave like teenagers. They are only 9 and 8!

sure, send it to your sisters and have them let me know what they think

They have already threatened to leave the house!!! Of course, the answer is when ever you want!

oh, yes, the “leaving the house threat”…I’ll be expecting it shortly

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