I hate my parents

“I hate my parents.” I hear students say this all the time. Sometimes it’s a good thing. Sometimes not. It is imperative for parents to take on the role as a parent and not as the friend. Our children may not alway see why rules are enforced or why limits must be set. Later in life, we understand the implications of having structure and expectations.

As a teenager, I was very close with my parents. I was the exception to the rule. Participation in extra-curricular activities kept me busy and loyal. I rarely spent time with my peers outside of the classroom or gym. I did not want to deal with the pressures that my peers were faced with every weekend.  I was okay with my choices. My older sisters (5 older sisters), did “hate” my  parents at times. They did push the envelope or question authority. My parents set limits and had consequences for bad choices. I grew up in a loving, safe home.  In college, I felt the first time the feeling of not understanding my parents. I wanted my own identity away from their opinions.

Now, as a high school teacher, I hear my students often complain about their parents. Initially, I always seem to be biased towards the parents. Today, I felt a different perspective. He said,” my parents hate me.” Having two precious boys myself, I have a hard time understanding not loving my boys. He continued from his perspective about things his parents have said to him. I was so sad. Yes, it was only his side of the story. However, even if there were only half-truths it was sad to hear. I fumbled for words to comfort him. Being a beam hit me. How can I be the supportive adult model for him? How can I show I appreciate him as a person?  Everyday, I will give him at least 5 minutes of my undivided attention. It is a small step…but hopefully he will feel the support.