A Few Parenting Truths When You Don’t Like Your Child

raising personalities

As a mom, we don’t often confess the things that weigh us down the most.  We keep some thoughts to ourselves because we feel guilty for feeling emotions beyond the scope of lovely, nurturing mothering.  When my daughter was two years old I had a deadening moment of truth arise from within the bowels of my heart … “I love my daughter … but I don’t like her.”  Spoken from a mom who stood outside her daughter’s bedroom and witnessed in horror as her precious little pony tailed, blonde girl violently screamed and threw everything out of her room into the hallway, including all neatly folded clothes, toy’s, lamp, bed covers & pillows (anything and everything she could lift).  Why? … because I wouldn’t let her stand on the kitchen table.  In my experience, time-outs don’t work on two-year-old’s.  😕


How can a mother even whisper those words?  “I don’t like her.”  A mother who gave life to her child, nursed and nurtured … surely a mom who can think of such things is unfit and unworthy to raise children! Believe me, all the terrible, guilt filled thoughts have already taken residence in my head.  I’m acquainted with all their ugly ways, and yet, from time to time in the midst of personality clashes, I find that terrible thought standing there, heaping loads of guilt and shame.  If you’re a mom who’s felt the load of shame that came with the thought, “I don’t like my child right now,” or “I can’t even be in the same room with them!” … sit here with me for a bit, I have words that will bring comfort.


“Motherhood is swimming and learning to swim at the same time.”  – Unknown


Let me reiterate how much I LOVE my daughter … I do.  She has brought out the best and worst in me.  As much as I would like to say God gave her to me so I could train and equip her … mostly, I think He strategically placed her in my life to kick my mothering ass.  She has given me the boot camp experience of parent-hood.  In fact, I think Father chose the little blonde-haired terminator to break me, humble me and equip me.


Sitting on the couch midday, I received a phone call from a friend who had to cancel our lunch date.  Being the true introvert that I am, I mumbled, “I like it when I don’t have to be obligated to socialize.”   My daughter jokingly spoke up, “I can’t imagine being your friend.”  Sometimes jokes reveal heart issues … this one left me glancing over at the talking-back-two-year-old thinking, “Will you and I ever be friends?”


Thankfully the terrible twos are long behind me, however the fire within a strong-willed child is always burning.  I’ve learned how to navigate that fire and in the process, have suffered many burns.  You could say our job as parents is not to raise children, we raise relationships.  We do the tiresome, ugly, painful and beautiful work of cultivating.  I’ve parented long enough to realize I’m not responsible for my children’s choices, I’m responsible to show them relationship with Father.


We raise relationships through the cultivation of character.


Parenting perspectives


→  It’s not that we don’t like our kids … we don’t like certain behaviors.  Rid yourself of the guilt for not loving every part of them.  I get it, sometimes you want to smack the behavior and kiss the heart.  Keep in mind not everything needs to be confronted.  Some things, behaviors, will work themselves out in the wash … in daily living and learning from your example.  The behaviors that are disrespectful or down right defiant, address them after the heat of the moment has passed.


→  Recognize some behaviors are personalities and not problems.  My daughter is a low sensitive extrovert and I am a highly sensitive introvert.  To say we have differing views is an understatement.  It’s a constant line of tension between our personalities.  I’ve had to realize that I can’t receive her personality personally … meaning, her attitude or perspective on a matter is not a correlation with my parenting, it’s how she handles conflict as well as seeks enjoyment in life.


→  Lastly, and this requires a whole new post … let them be who they were created to be even if that is entirely different from who you are.  We’ve placed ideal expectations on our kids from behaviors to careers to how they socialize.  We have imagined what a perfect child would look and behave like and, unknowingly, we try to shape our child into that image.  Seeking Father is imperative to understanding your child, He knows them better than you and will instruct you in how to nurture them uniquely.


Parenting brings out the best and worst in us.  I think we’ve all whispered, “I don’t like you either” or screamed silently (or not so silently) when our kid spewed ugly words.  I’m guilty of fighting for the last word and scolding the one who uses my battle tactics.  When seasons change and little ones grow, if we can look back and say, I sought my Father and did the best I could … He will fill in where our parenting fell short.


Our ultimate goal as Mom, is to one day transfer our kids from our parenting to Father’s parenting.  Remain steadfast in growing and cultivating your little to big relationships.  As we allow Him to conform us to His image, His image is what our children see, trust, hear and become familiar with.


Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”  Isaiah 30:21


Let’s stay connected,  :-)

November 29, 2017