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My child says "I hate you!"

- Find out what your child is really saying.

Things you can try

  1. Take a step back – and try and work out what your child really means when they say, ‘I hate you’?

  2. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that what they mean is ‘I need you’ - they need connection and understanding.

    Avoid sending back a hurtful message. Don’t tell them off for what they said or punish them for it. It’s a good sign that they feel safe enough to tell you how angry they are, it’s much better than not telling you stuff because they are worried about hurting your feelings.

  3. If you lose your temper, don’t be hard on yourself.

    Say sorry and ask if they’re ready to talk to you about what happened. It’s important that children see we can apologise when we need to and that we mean it.

  4. Let your child know that you want to know what's wrong.

    Acknowledge their big feelings and tell them that it’s ok for them to feel the way they do. By showing them you can feel and survive their big feelings you are showing them they can survive and manage them too.

  5. Your child is unique and we hope there are some takeaways here that work for you. If you’re looking for help parenting children with additional needs, you can get specific advice from specialist organisations. Check out our list of support that we can recommend.

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