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My Kid Says, “You’re So Mean!”

Our kids’ words have the power to make us feel like superheroes or villains. While we feel proud when kids tell us they love us, things can quickly take a turn for the worse.

If your child is angry, they may say some really hurtful things. If your child tells you that you’re mean, you’re not alone. Chances are that you aren’t even mean, you’re just being a parent.

Why Does My Kid Think I’m Mean?

If your child says your mean, you’ve reached a new parenting milestone. While a personal attack never feels good, it’s more about them than you.

Parents often can’t separate their role as a parent from any mean thing their child says. While you may want to take their verbal attacks personally, don’t. The truth is that your child is just acting out. If your child is unhappy they aren’t getting their way, they may mistake your parenting with being “mean”.

Pay attention to when your child is saying that you’re mean. If your child saves this word for times that you tell them “no”, they need help accepting that no means no.

If your child usually gets what they want, they may try to hurt your feelings by calling you mean. Whether or not you give in, calling you mean helps them feel better about not getting what they want.

What Do I Do If My Kid Is Mad At Me?

It’s natural to want to rectify a situation if your child is unhappy with you. While you may want them to think that you’re nice, you shouldn’t bargain with them.

Know that they won’t think you’re mean forever. The first step in targeting this behavior is to help them accept your rules as a parent.

The goal is to stick to your guns and make sure your no means no. Avoid stooping to their level; don’t engage in a defensive shouting match claiming you’re not mean.

Help Your Child Stop Being Mean

Kids often turn to unsavory behavior in the hopes that their parents will give in. Parents need to cement their authority by establishing clear boundaries.

While your child may indeed take no for an answer, the key is to put an end to the name-calling. Though you can ignore what they say to you, this doesn’t make for a healthy relationship.

Make sure your child understands the power of their words when calling someone mean or rude. Tell your child that this type of reaction isn’t nice and that it hurts your feelings. While you can’t punish your child for being unhappy, you can give them consequences for disrespecting you.

Am I a Mean Parent?

You may take your child’s words to heart and ask yourself if you are a mean parent. Don’t let guilt or shame creep in here.

Parents that want to give their child a healthy upbringing aren’t mean or rude, they’re doing their job. Know that you won’t always be the popular one with your child, but that’s okay. Kids need boundaries, limits, and structures, even if they don’t know how to accept it.

Finding Healthy Outlets for Your Child’s Frustration

In order for your child to change their behavior, they need to work through their frustration and anger. When your child is unhappy with you or something else, they should channel their negative emotions elsewhere.

Physical activity is always a good outlet for anger and frustration. Running in the backyard or going to the park may help your child put their focus on other things. Likewise, channeling their anger into creativity is another effective option.

If your child calls you a mean parent, don’t worry. Eventually, they will learn that your guidelines and rules are there to help them. While they may not understand it now, be patient and know that your child loves you.

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