how do you respond when your child hurts your feelings?

My son is eleven, and is at that age where of course he'd rather be with friends than his parents. I told him last night we were going out this weekend for an early dinner for my birthday. His response was that he had wanted to be with his friends instead.

I was so hurt, and lost my temper with him (I did not yell, though). I did later explain calmly why I was hurt.

He did later apologize, but it is still bugging me. I think I felt especially bad since just this past weekend he had a friend stay over all weekend. We took them to the mall, out for dinner and ice skating. On Sunday morning I cooked them pancakes and made them fruit smoothies for breakfast. He spends a lot of time with friends after school and on the weekends, and I think going out with us to celebrate his mother's birthday is not too much to ask!

How do you handle it when your child says something hurtful to you?

I apologize for rambling. I am finding this pre-teen age to be very difficult, and I'm sure the teenage years will be worse. He really is a very sweet, loving and thoughtful person, but I feel like I'm seeing those traits less often lately!

Sherry
I have one of those at home too. I tell him I'm very disappointed and that he's hurt my feelings. I try not to sulk but it's very hard. My son always apologizes, but it it doesn't take away the hurt feelings.
Thanks, Medussa. I am sorry you are going through the same thing. My husband until recently always worked nights/ weekends, so my son and I spent a lot of time alone together and were really close. I'm finding this age really difficult.

Sherry
I think you and your boy are going through some normal growing pains. Hang in there.
It doesn't sound like he was intentionally trying to hurt your feelings, he is just not at a stage in life where he realizes his wants are not the only important thing. I know it hurts, but let it go, he sounds like a great kid.

ETA: I know you want this to be a learning experience, and it is a wonderful teachable moment, but make sure what he doesn't take away from this is that his mom can't let anything go. I am always SO guilty of this!
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Last edited by Poodlehead; 02-22-2011 at 02:56 PM.
Thank you both. I appreciate it. I know he wasn't trying to be hurtful at all. He just isn't like that-this is a child who used to pick up catepillars off the sidewalk and move them so no one would walk on them and kill them.

I think I'm really struggling also because my parents were REALLY strict, and if they said you had to do something, we just did not question it or voice any type of opinion. We knew if we did that meant big trouble for us. I'm not really aware of what is "normal" at this stage.

Poodlehead-thanks! I made a big effort today to not mention it at all. My mom would hang onto things and guilt me like crazy-I don't want to do that to our son.


Sherry
It doesn't sound like he was intentionally trying to hurt your feelings, he is just not at a stage in life where he realizes his wants are not the only important thing. I know it hurts, but let it go, he sounds like a great kid.
Originally Posted by Poodlehead
I was going to say this. I think there's a difference between, say, them saying something like, "I hate you, Mom!" and "I'd really rather be with my friends." When my daughter was that age, if it was the latter I'd say, "Well, there's time to hang out with friends but tonight is a night that we're doing something for me because it's my birthday and I demand you be there." I'd say it jokingly, but she'd get the point.

My sister and I used to have a saying when my daughter was that age that was a play on the "blood is thicker than water" expression: Friends are thicker than family.


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Thanks, Springcurl. That is a great point. He has never said "I hate you" or anything cruel. He just seems to speak without thinking sometimes, but we're all guilty of that

Sherry
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What does hubby say about this?
He needs to support you...imho
Yeah, I agree w/ what's been said.
I'll be there soon, as well...hang in there!
I'm on my fourth 11 year old...

I guess I'm just old and broken-in now, because I really don't care if they want to blow off my birthday to see their friends. I'll just have my birthday another night, or we'll have it without him. No biggie. If we can't fit it in the family schedule for 2 weeks, so be it. Kids struggle with their social life, and I don't want to add to their stress. As long as my kids are generally courteous and considerate to me and others, and meeting their school obligations, I'm happy. Backtalk and nasty words will get them punished, but just asking to see their friends rather than go out to dinner with me?!?!?!? That's not even a blip on my radar.

I suggest you lighten up and choose your battles, or you're going to find the teen years excruciating. Teens are meant to grow UP and AWAY from us. They have to do that. It's a normal part of life.
I'm with RCW on this one.
I'm with RCW on this one.
Originally Posted by misspam
Me, too. It sounds like he's growing up and he needs a bit of independence.
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Thanks-I appreciate the input-RCW, I can't imagine going through this four times. I totally respect your opinions and experience. I'm not going to battle him over it.

To be honest, I didn't discuss it with my husband. He is extremely stressed with his job right now and it's not worth discussing it with him. I'd rather just move on.

Take care,
Sherry
I remember the thread you started awhile back about your son speaking to you in a different manner when his friends were around. There does come a time when kids become all about their friends. I think the key is to remember that this is developmentally appropriate and that your relationship with your son will change, as he grows.

Do you have things that fullfill you and keep you busy? Close girlfriends? An attentive husband?
I'm currently job hunting, (finished school and professional exams recently) so I"m pretty isolated right now. Hopefully that will change soon.

Thanks for asking-you're very sweet!

Take care,
Sherry
I don't know...It doesn't seem that big a deal. Let him bring one of his friends with him to dinner.
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To be honest, I didn't discuss it with my husband. He is extremely stressed with his job right now and it's not worth discussing it with him. I'd rather just move on.
Why should you take on everything? Your son is his child, as well....jmo

An attentive husband?
I'm guessing no...
I don't understand why women take on so much?! We should not have to do this. What if you were stressed? Just sayin'. I'm sorry...tho this stuff rubs me the wrong way. I see the mom doing it all w/o any support....

Last edited by Wile E Coyote - CFF Champ/Lone Ranger; 02-22-2011 at 05:57 PM.
My husband is attentive to me and our son also. I was in a rush and didn't reply to that question.

Sherry
I think it's so wrong to make your child feel bad for that. He didn't do anything wrong and shouldn't had to have apologized. He SHOULD want to spend time with this friends rather than you. You can explain why your b'day is important and why you would like him there without making him feel like sh*t for his natural response. Poor kid.
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My mom use to say, "When they are little, they will step on your toes. When they are bigger, they will step on your heart".

Teens want to spend time with friends over you. Go have a nice dinner with hubby. How often can you guys have alone time? Your relationship is the most important. Kids will grow up and leave and you both will be left on your own together. You need to keep your relationship good and alive.
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