My son hates me

My son hates me. I spoke with a brave mum last week who wants to help her son because he sits indoors all day on his games console and becomes aggressive when she askes him to do even the simplest of things.

She told me that she is worried he doesn’t have any friends except the ones he plays with on line. She is worried that he will never learn how to get into the outside world and make friends and connections and develop a professional life that will make him self-sustaining. She told me that when she asks him to come off his game he invariably gets angry, tells her he hates her and she ends up feeling like a nag and ends up finding herself in a place where she becomes punishing.

I imagine she feels anxious and probably angry because despite everything she has given him in terms of things and advice, he still does not “get it”. She asked me to speak with her son. Although she did not ask directly, I know that she needs me to use some magical words that will enable her son to suddenly “understand” what she has been saying for so long.

I don’t think this strategy will work, particularly as her son does not want to come to counselling!

What do I think? I think that she and I need to speak. She needs an opportunity to tell her story and in the telling it we will see how she and her son came to this place.

This is essential, not because we are going to retrace the steps it took for them to get to where they are, nor because we are looking to blame anyone but because with understanding comes relief and clarity. 

This will enable her to take action (depending on how much time her son spends on the computer, she may need to take positive action regarding the availability of the games console) in a way that is consistent with her own values and principles.

Ultimately I will not give her a step by step instruction manual. Beware of this kind approach, the kind you find in parenting books, on the TV (Supernanny and her ilk are not what I would advocate) and home spun wisdom from people who seem to have it all sussed (appearances can be deceptive).

The kind of help counselling will give her will enable her to make her own decisions based on what she thinks, not on what someone else thinks.

I believe this is the only way forward. Please contact me if this makes sense to you and you would like to find your own way through with your children.