I got my first “I hate you” from my son

My son had quite the meltdown yesterday when it came time to turn off his game. It was a combination of losing, his cousin not doing what he wanted and being told it’s time to turn it off. It was just too much… when he broke the game remote and started calling everyone the worst words he could (stupid and dumb are about the harshest words he knows) is when I had enough and gave him a time out in his room.

Don’t make any mistake, this was quite the meltdown and I didn’t get mad… I just removed him from the living room to give him time to cool off. That’s when he yelled back that he hates me.

Now, I tweeted about it shortly afterwards… not that it hurt me, but that I it happened. In my mind, it was as if I had finally joined the club… because most parents have heard this from their children… Autism or not.

Children in general have no filter on the things they say. They don’t know what “pushing it too far” is… they just know they’re mad and they need to express it in the loudest, most hurtful way they can. It’s only in time that they learn (hopefully) how to dial it back, how not to say things that they don’t really mean just because they’re filled with so much emotion.

We as parents can’t take it personally… we all know that it’s simply a reaction and that once they do cool down, all will be back to normal.

However, it can be a bit more extreme when Autism is involved. The yells are louder, the rage is more intense, more things are likely to get broken and in some cases, someone can easily get hurt.

After I tweeted, a lot of parents tried to console me… telling me it’s ok, he still loves me… which I shrugged off. I tweeted it with pride, not pain. I wasn’t proud exactly, wrong word, but as I said, I felt like a part of the club now.

Anyway, upon reflecting on it, I get why they consoled me. As fellow parents of Autistic children, they know just how hard it can be… more so than other parents.

angry boyWhen a toy shatters against the wall or… in this case, a game remote breaks as it’s slammed onto the ground, you can start to feel a little bad as a parent. You start to picture movies where troubled families have troubled kids who break things, become bullies and eventually put on a mask and go around killing people. Yes, I watched the Halloween remakes recently. Anyway, I digress…

More extreme or not, harder or not, our children still love us and I still feel like I’ve just graduated into the next level of the group. I don’t need consoling but I do appreciate the support… so very much so. Because that’s what our community is all about and it’s truly wonderful to know it’s there.

When your child first tells you something hurtful, and they will, you don’t have to share it with pride and you certainly don’t have to share it because you feel hurt.. but share it anyway. It’s a very heart warming feeling when you get that little reminder that there are some truly great people out there that waiting for you in that new group you just joined.

About Stuart Duncan

My name is Stuart Duncan, creator of http://www.stuartduncan.name. My oldest son (Cameron) has Autism while my younger son (Tyler) does not. I am a work from home web developer with a background in radio. I do my very best to stay educated and do what ever is necessary to ensure my children have the tools they need to thrive. I share my stories and experiences in an effort to further grow and strengthen the online Autism community and to promote Autism Understanding and Acceptance.

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7 Responses to I got my first “I hate you” from my son

  1. Heidi Bowden April 8, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

    I’m a parent of an 11 year old with autism. Funny, my first thought Stuart was, “That’s great!” He felt it, internally matched the feeling with the word, said it and used it appropriately in a sentence! You can’t ask for any better. It’s good….

  2. Pat Shaver April 8, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    My son is 13 with both Down Syndrome and Autism. I haven’t gotten those words yet, but I understand the feeling of going to the next level. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Aasiyah April 8, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

    This is a huge milestone, congratulation, you must celebrate. only autistic parents can understand the significance of this statement. The other day a friend called me so excited crying laughing telling me her teenage son lied to her. She was very happy. I hope you get many more mile stones, and enjoy the club you have entered.I am still waiting for the moment when i can tweet about something great like this.

  4. Rachell April 9, 2011 at 12:44 am #

    Your title intrigued me and I just had to read. That is great, and you could handle it so well, too.
    On a positive note, this past week has been full of firsts. I got my very first real “thank you” from my 4-yr-old on the spectrum ! He’s asking for help, he’s calling me “mom” (the last two days he’s been calling me “sweetie” instead of mom), he’s showing me all sorts of things, and asking me to play with him. I’ve actually had “conversations” with him. And he gave me a real kiss–only the second time in his life. Huge, huge milestones for him!

  5. Mylinda April 9, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    Congratulations! lol I remember the first time my oldest daughter put her hand on her hip and rolled her eyes at me. She was sixteen. I just felt so honored that I had her attention on that level.

    Mind you she wasn’t my oldest and I was well acquainted with the fact my children did were not always going to agree with me. It had, and still on some level is, so hard to teach her to have an opinion of her own. The fact that she thought I was a bother was delightful.

  6. Jenny April 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    That’s funny, Stuart. I know what you mean. It reminded me of the first time my (also on the spectrum) son told me he was going to call the police on me. I wrote a post about it! (Wasn’t on Twitter yet…)

  7. Elizabeth April 10, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

    I completely understand. I have 2 young boys on the spectrum. My almost 7-year-old used the word “hate” at me for the first time last week. I wasn’t as upset about it as I probably should have been but he is so literal and I know he doesn’t actually hate me that I was kind of excited for him to use a commonly exaggerated phrase like hate. As much as I don’t like the word, it was “healthy” for him to use it.

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