Did you see the Today Show’s story this morning on the woman who admitted not liking her child? She wasn’t talking about not liking her for one particularly rough afternoon or weekend full of naughtiness – but years of dislike. This mom’s story also appeared in a recent Redbook Magazine article. I encourage you to read/watch the story – it’s fascinating. And, perhaps surprisingly, not all that uncommon.
I have known several moms (and a few dads) over the years who have simply not liked their children. As the experts on the Today Show point out, this can be caused by a number of factors:
- Disappointment that our child is not more like us, or more like what they thought they would be
- Resentment/frustration over the immense pressures and responsibilities of parenthood
- The child or parent may have a mental or physical disorder which makes it difficult to relate, bond, or connect with others
I have also seen what I term simply a bad “fit.” Sometimes parents and children are so different that they struggle to get along. Often this is a long, on-going process that takes place over the course of many years. Sometimes it never resolves and the parents and child drift apart, or possibly even lose touch as the child becomes an adult. Sometimes I see parents work to find some way to make the relationship meaningful, or find some piece of common ground – even if it is very small.
Regardless of the reason, if a mom or dad find themselves disliking their child for any extended period of time (say more than a couple weeks) it is likely time to get some help. Talking to other, supportive parents, consulting your pediatrician, or contacting a psychologist are all good bets. Parenting is a tough road for everyone at times, and there is no need to go it alone.
Photo by: Noise64