Irrespective of their age, a child or adult who associates hate with their father has a real problem. Whether that problem is abuse, abandonment, or some other issue, the child who hates their father deserves to be heard. The ideal emotions associated with fathers include love and respect. When a child says ‘I hate my dad’, something is definitely wrong.
I have heard a lot of children explain why they hate their fathers. Here’s some of the main reasons, and a few thoughts that might help.
Some dads abuse their children. No wonder their kids hate them.
I find it hard to imagine that any woman would deliberately choose to have a child with a man who would subject any member of his family to physical, mental, or emotional abuse … but you just have to look at the statistics to see how common abusive relationships are. When a child says ‘I hate my dad’, it is important to establish if the child is a victim of abuse. Instead of simply assuming that the seemingly pleasant man we meet in the street or see at work or at church is a good father, we owe it to every child to give them the chance to tell us what their father is really like.
Many children are victims of abuse. Because they do not have the power, knowledge or ability to resolve an abusive relationship, they require intervention to help resolve the conflict.
Kids hate violent father.
When children see their mother crying, they hate whoever or whatever causes her grief. You’ll hear a child whose mother has cancer say, ‘I hate cancer’. After watching their mother’s repeated frustration with an unreliable car, a child will commonly say, ‘I hate our car’. Similarly, a child who witnesses their mother’s distress during arguments or issues associated with their father is likely to announce, ‘I hate my dad.’Staying together for the sake of the children is often a mistake. If both parents cannot be happy, pleasant or at the very least polite and civil to each other, the emotional outbursts in the child’s home are likely to generate emotional responses in the child.
He’s a control freak
Many fathers are genuinely surprised to discover their child hates them. They worked hard to pay the bills and buy the essentials and provide gifts and afford tuition and yet, after all their effort and willing contributions, their child as a teenager or young adult announces, “I hate you!” If you deny your son or daughter the space and freedom to explore and experience and exercise their own individuality in their early years, be prepared for trouble as they mature. Nobody likes a control freak. Every individual needs a certain amount of space for personal growth. If you try to control every aspect of life, there’s no room for a child to develop and discover who they are and what they are capable of.
Sooner or later, they will demand the freedom to be themselves. If they resent the restrictions you placed on them year after year, refusing to allow them to make their own decisions, pursue their interests, and have the power to reject the sports or school subjects they had no interest in but you insisted they pursue, don’t be surprised if they hate you.
If your child can’t meet your expectations, you are destined for a failed relationship. Don’t confuse constant criticism with supportive advice. It should be mandatory for parents to regularly tell their children “Well done”, “Good job”, and “I’m proud of you!”
I always point out that it seems inappropriate to hate a father who is trying to do his best, and that there are many other fathers who are more guilty of bad parenting. For example, if you have a sixteen year old son or daughter and you’re still beating him or her with cane or “koboko”, then you have a HUGE problem!