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When Kids Say I Hate You!

Joey & Carla Link

February 27, 2024  

Love is one of the strongest positive emotions we have. It causes us to sacrifice our lives for others and to care about them in a way we wouldn’t normally. 

Hate is the strongest negative emotion we have that can cause someone to lash out with verbal or physical daggers, with the intent to hurt someone we believe has offended us. It is the total opposite of love.

When a child says those hurtful words “I Hate YOU,” it comes from being hurt so much they feel they have to strike back to have any dignity. Or, you or someone else has made them mad because they didn’t give them something they want. 


How do we teach kids to love when they have been hurt so deeply?


1. We have to set the example and even talk to our kids about how we have been hurt by others and how we have chosen to love those people instead. Admitting to our kids it’s not easy can be helpful for them.


2. Try to step back and understand the context of the situation. What caused them to hurt them in the first place? Maybe it wasn’t an international hurt, maybe it was an accident. Clarifying what really happened and their motivation can help defuse the hurt.


3. Forgive them. That means letting it go and choosing not to bring it up again. But Jesus took it one step further by telling us to “pray for those who persecute you.” 

When your kids are in the emotional hurt stage, it may not be the best time to pray with them, but after they have calmed down, or when they are getting ready to go to bed, find time to talk more with them about their hurt, and ask them if you can pray with them. 


Helping your child work through their hate, can really set them up for success in life vs. growing up bitter and hateful towards people.


For more on helping your kids learn to deal with hate and those who hurt them, listen to our new podcast, “When Kids Say I Hate You!” (Feb. 27, 2024) where we delve much deeper into helping parents help their kids with hate and hurt feelings. Search Parenting Made Practical in your favorite podcast app to listen!

“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 

bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

Luke 6:27-28


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