Parenting is a beautiful thing, but it’s also very challenging and emotional. Children are never who parents want them to be; they grow up to be their own person, all parents can do is teach them the right values and give them the tools and love they need throughout their development.
So, it’s very difficult for parents to admit that sometimes they don’t like their child. They love them, but they just don’t like their character, personality, fashion taste or choice of friends, etc. If you feel that way about your daughter, let us tell you that this is not unheard of. Maybe you don’t like her personality, beliefs, or the way she dresses.
That doesn’t mean you don’t love her! So, instead of feeling guilty or upset about it, here are 5 things to do when you love your daughter but don’t like her.
5 Things to do when you love but don’t like your daughter:
1. Acknowledge your feelings and their cause:
However uncomfortable these feelings may be, don’t bottle them up. If you do that, they will come out to the surface in the worst possible way. What you want to do instead is acknowledge how you feel. The truth is that, no matter how perfect your daughter is, you will dislike her at times. She won’t always like you either, it’s perfectly normal.
Acknowledging your feelings is important and it’s also important to determine what’s causing them. After you ask yourself “What am I feeling?” ask yourself “Why am I feeling this way?” Perhaps your daughter is having problems at school or maybe she chose an outfit that you don’t approve of.
Perhaps she’s being defiant, rude, or she’s unable to ever see your point. Just remember that what’s bothering you is her behavior or choices, not her as a person. Plus, it’s probably just a phase, and when she grows out of it and becomes a self-reliant brave, and strong young woman, you’ll be happy to have such a close friend and confidant.
2. Learn to manage your expectations:
Parents often have such high expectations for their children, that can be difficult for them to accept. It’s normal to find things you don’t like about your daughter because you’re two different people and you’ll never see eye to eye. However, you have to accept that your daughter is different than your expectations.
So, you have to learn to manage your expectations. You can’t control anyone else but your own self and being a parent doesn’t change that. You cannot make your child into a mini you or want them to achieve and make true all the dreams that you could not.
You can’t control your daughter, all you can do is guide her and educate her. However, you can’t educate her if you can’t remain calm and objective.
3. Get to know her better:
Getting to know your daughter better is one of the easiest ways to understand her and accept her the way she is. Understanding is key because even if you don’t like certain things about her, you can learn to see where she’s coming from. If she’s open to suggestions or advice, you can provide that, but ultimately children just want to be listened to and understood.
So, spend more quality time with her. You don’t have to sit down and interrogate her, just do fun things with her and develop trust between you. Sooner than later she will open up to you, ask you things, and be willing to answer your questions as well. Why? Because she will safe to do so instead of feeling judged or scrutinized.
4. Don’t criticize her:
No one likes to be criticized unless it’s constructive. Even then, it’s tricky to deliver constructive criticism the right way. We suggest you start by not criticizing your daughter at all. This is a very conscious habit you need to create because criticism comes naturally to all of us. We do it automatically, but we need to be careful about what we say to others.
Words matter and they leave an impression on our children. Instead of honing in on the things you don’t like about your daughter, make the conscious effort of focusing on the good and complimenting her on it. Start showing her appreciation and you’ll notice that she will prefer to do the things that get her praise and acknowledgment.
5. Focus on the positives:
Last but not least, you must stay positive. Even when you are telling her “no” or you’re explaining something you don’t like, do it with love. Screaming at her won’t make anyone any good. No matter how disrespectful or rude she’s being, you have to be the bigger person.
Plus, there must be things about her that are sweet and nice so focus on those. These things could be the mere fact that she’s providing companionship to you. You can take her with you while running errands or for a spa day and she’ll slowly start talking and you’ll slowly get to find a friend in her away from any judgment.
And, who knows all it could be is that she’s going through a phase right now and will grow out of it to become your closest bestie when you need one the most.
So until then, be soft but firm with your tone. You don’t have to raise your voice or belittle her to get your point across. Respect her even and set boundaries rather than use violence or force. So try and explain why the way she’s acting is not acceptable and what you will do or resort to if she doesn’t listen. Overall, you want to lead with love as a parent.
Not liking your daughter 100% of the time is something many parents experience. After all, children are different people so you won’t always see eye to eye.
What’s important is that you strive to understand and accept them the way they are! Keep in mind that children also try their absolute best to find a middle ground and a nicer smoother way to communicate with their parents. But, it’s not always easy when the parents feel entitled and have a superiority complex just because they’re the ones who gave them birth.