What Your Teenager is REALLY Saying When They Say I HATE YOU!

angry teenager

Do you have an unruly teenager that says the “H” word?  Do you want to know what your teenager is REALLY saying when they say I HATE you?

Besides the obvious, “My emotions have come to a head and I don’t know a better way to express myself.”  What you really want to know is what is BEHIND all that built up emotion. Right?

If you are a parent, you know that raising kids, especially getting through those teenage years is a journey, perhaps a roller-coaster better describes it!  I’m not a therapist or a counselor just a REAL parent talking about the joys and the nitty-gritty PAINS of parenting, the stuff that keeps parents awake at night!

Growing up I couldn’t wait to be a mother!  I loved kids!  In fact, I wanted TEN children – I thought how hard could raising TEN children be? I was certain all I had to do was “love” them and be the “cool” mom and have great communication with my children and they would grow up without a hitch.  That was my plan!

My husband Scott and I were mostly on the same page in how to raise our children, at least we had the same end goal, which was to raise our children into responsible, independent and productive adults.

We had our first five children in six and a half years – now that alone accounted for some craziness in our home – especially when I blinked and realized all FIVE were TEENAGERS at the same time!!  Double yikes!  ….and three were GIRLS! Triple yikes!  Yes, I wanted TEN children, but when number seven was born it felt like ten and our family felt complete, so we named him Skye, cause sky’s the limit.  And that youngest son just turned 18!  Another YIKES!  They grow up too fast.

It didn’t take long after becoming a mother before REALITY set in and I realized every child was born with their own unique and distinct personality, and I discovered what worked for one child did NOT work for the next.

It’s no secret that children come into our homes without a “How to properly raise me instruction guide.” – it’s a learn as you go process.  And just when you think you have it figured out they hit puberty and you are back to square one!

What was suppose to be a straight line from A to Z turned out to be all loop-de-looped and squiggly.

As rough as it may sound, there is a lot of JOY in raising kids, yes even TEENAGERS!  In fact, my husband Scott says,

“If you are not having fun then you are doing something wrong!”

But when you are in the midst of a trial it is rough! There is a reason I color my hair and have bags under my eyes and calluses on my knees from the many long pleading prayers with God over a child – especially during those teen years.  Don’t get me wrong – the TEEN years were and are some of my favorite years!

NOW back to the question of the day….

What your teenager is REALLY saying when they say I HATE you?

If you are a parent, you too have had episodes of getting upset, during which you lose all logical and reasoning brain cells and say something you wish we had NOT said.

One thing about kids is that they don’t hide their feeling.  You know when they are happy – you know when they are sad, mad etc…  They don’t leave it up to you to guess their mood – they show it!  They whine, they suddenly strike out at a sibling, they scream I HATE you!  Their feelings and moods can change on a dime.  Their emotions come to a head and they don’t know any better way than to shout out what they are feeling.

Do you remember the first time your teenager said “I HATE you”?   Perhaps you were like me, livid, you couldn’t believe what you had just heard – you their parent, their provider, their nurturer was being told “I HATE you!”   I wanted to give them something to really hate me about.  But as a parent and an adult, I restrained my initial thought to lash out, and I replied as calmly as I could muster, “I’m sorry you feel that way, but you are not exactly at the top of my like list right now.”

Sometimes the hardest parenting task is keeping your own emotions in check.

The top 3 parenting tips to dealing with an unruly teenager:

#1 Keep your cool - Don’t get too worked up when your teenager says they hate you.  If means you are doing your job!  You are being their parent which trumps being their friend.  Don’t get me wrong, you want to be their friend too, but being their parent comes FIRST and far most.   Wait until things have calmed down then talk about it.  It doesn’t do any good to try to resolve a conflict when emotions are running high.

#2 Get to the root of the problem - What is behind the built up emotion?  Every situation is different.  Sometimes what’s behind the anger is obvious, other times you are completely BAFFLED and clueless.  LISTEN and LOOK for the hidden clues – the non-verbal clues – their body language.  The words “I hate you” may be the outlet from having a bad day and you just got the brunt of it OR it may be masking something more serious. 

Asking questions, once they have cooled down, is a good way to find out what’s bothering them. Getting to the root of what is making them feel so angry and frustrated is key to resolving conflict – this is not always easy and sometimes it’s like peeling an onion.

#3  Love UNCONDITIONALLY with no BUT’s. Look for the good and sincerely tell them how much you appreciate them and love them.  Rather than only praising your child’s accomplishments, encourage and praise effort.  Teens love to know they are appreciated and needed.

As I have traveled the world speaking and coaching as far away as India.  I’ve yet to meet anyone, especially a teenager that does NOT want to “fit in” to feel loved, safe, trusted, respected, appreciated and valued for who they are.  Most important at the end of the day is that your teenager knows you LOVE them, both in words and in action.  It’s as simple as an “I love you” and a heartfelt hug.

What your teenager is REALLY saying when they say I HATE you….   

“You’re doing your job as a parent – I don’t like it, but love me – even when I’m an idiot.”

 

Becky Mack’s Life Lesson:  See past, through and beyond the “I hate you.”

Put the FUN back in parenting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The SECRET To A Happy Marriage!

The SECRET to a HaPpY Marriage!

Growing up in the 60′s, 70′s and even into the 80′s I knew only a handful of people who were divorced. Today unfortunately, that number is much higher and some are my dearest friends who have been through some really tough stuff. It wasn’t the ending they imagined, but the right ending for a new beginning.

Experience and life has shown me that no marriage or person is perfect, that’s part of the learning and growing process. But to go through life’s challenges with someone you love by your side makes life sweeter.

SooooOooo… you are married or thinking about getting married and want to know….

What’s the SECRET to a HaPpY marriage?

Here’s what I have seen and experienced to be the REAL secret behind a happy marriage…

Marriage is a two-way partnership of Respect, Love, Integrity, Loyalty, Honesty, Forgiveness, Compassion, Empathy, Trust, Communication and Commitment!

When any of those virtues are tarnished, relationships suffers – some beyond repair.

Marriage is not for wimps or the selfish.  Marriage is NOT 50 – 50.  Marriage is 100 – 100.” 

I married a man that had all the qualities on my “must have” list and I was confident that we would work through any challenges that came our way.  And guess what? I was RIGHT! It hasn’t been smooth sailing, but so far we are 100% in getting through the challenges that life brings, including raising 7 children.  And that is something to celebrate!  

September 22nd, is our 31st wedding anniversary.   I am grateful to have a man that loves me, adores me and gives 100% to not only our marriage, but to everything that he does.  He’s not perfect, I’m not perfect, but we are perfect at being committed to each other – perfect at getting through the tough stuff, and perfect at trying to DO better and BE better everyday.

Thank you Scott Mackintosh for thinking that girl you bumped into on the dance floor of  Frisco Bay 31 years ago was worth pursuing!   I’m that lucky girl – I’m married to not only the BEST.DAD.EVER, but I’m married to the BEST.HUSBAND.EVER.

There you have it!  The SECRET to a HaPpY Marriage is Respect, Love, Integrity, Loyalty, Honesty, Forgiveness, Compassion, Empathy, Trust, Communication and Commitment!

WAIT!  There’s one more thing…

Make each other smile and laugh - 

EVERYDAY!

me & scott

Happy Anniversary Scotty Mack:) 

Healing Hearts Saving Lives

quote-prints_202020-1

Healing Hearts Saving Lives

In 2012, our 24 year-old son told his father and I that he was gay.  After keeping it secret for two years, we chose to go public in hope of letting others know they are not alone. Within days of posting our video and article, we were inundated with messages and emails from people across the nation with a son, daughter, brother, sister, or who themselves are same-gender attracted – sharing their stories, their hurt and their desire for a better tomorrow.

This experience opened my eyes to the masses that are hurting and contemplating suicide, families that feel broken, and hearts that need to heal.

The nagging thought “What can I do?” lead to creating a website dedicated to “Enlighten Minds, Strengthen Families and Heal the Wounded Heart”.  The things that you will find on the Healing Hearts Saving Lives website stem from the many questions people have asked seeking guidance, love and support.

www.HealingHeartsSavingLives.com 

 

Update: Today was the funeral of Mikey Funk, a young man from Logan, Utah who took his life on Sunday who battled same-gender attraction.  And when I say “battled” I’m referring to the judgement, the isolation and hatred that so many deal with on a daily basis. It was hearing too many stories like Mikey’s that lead me to try to make a difference. If something I share can enlighten one mind, strengthen one family, heal one heart, then I’ve made a difference in one. And that ONE is important to God.

 

Christ on a Bench

 

 

How A Father Went From Homophobic To Loving His Gay Son

How A Father Went From Homophobic to Loving His Gay Son.

By Scott Mackintosh, the Father.

In June of 2011, I attended an annual company sales meeting eager to learn how to better my sales skills. In a classroom setting my mind usually wanders, but this day I was all ears listening to a story; a true story, of a sportscaster named Charlie Jones.  Charlie was assigned to announce the 1996 Olympic rowing, canoeing and kayaking events – an assignment that left him less than thrilled, because he thought, “Who watches the rowing, canoeing and kayaking events? Only the rowers, canoers and kayakers …and their families!”

Rowing Team

What he discovered, however, was that it ended up being one the most memorable interviews of his career. AND what I didn’t know is that two and a half years later, this story would significantly change my life.

Preparing for the broadcast, Charlie Jones interviewed the rowing team starting with the basic questions such as “What if it’s raining?” “What if the wind blows you off course?” “What if you break an oar?” The answer to every question was the same,

“That’s outside my boat.”

Finally Charlie asked the rowing team what they meant by their repeated answer “That’s outside my boat?” They explained that they focused only on what they could control, and that was what was going on INSIDE their boat. They refused to waste energy focusing on things OUTSIDE their control.

When the sales meeting concluded it was obvious by the chatter in the room that everyone was impacted by the story. I seriously thought; “Great story, but it doesn’t really apply to me.” I dismissed it and that was that.

Seven months later my entire family was home for the Christmas holidays. I have seven children; three sons, four daughters, and four are married. My son Sean is number three in the family and the middle son – his three week holiday dedicated to the family, was quickly coming to an end and he would soon be heading back to college in Hawaii.

On the night before he was to leave, precisely at 11:11pm, my wife and I received a personal message via Facebook from my son Sean. I opened it and began to read. He cut to the chase pretty quickly after telling me and my wife how much he loved us, and then he dropped a bomb, he told us that there was no sense in beating around the bush and might as well come right out and let us know that he is gay.

I went FREAKAZOID!

I blurted out some things that in retrospect I am very glad that he was not around to hear. (The damage may have taken many years to repair) I didn’t care about his feelings; he obviously didn’t care about mine! He most certainly didn’t care about anyone in our family and obviously the ONLY person that he cared about was himself! In my uneducated way of thinking on this topic, selfishness had to be the single cause and I was sure that this sort of thing was brought on from delving into pornography or other ill meant materials. Why else would he “choose” such a vial and disgusting way of life? (I’m now embarrassed of my ignorant thinking)

I messaged him right back and told him to come home immediately so we could talk. He was out visiting friends and saying his goodbyes for another year. I was furious and again told him to get home NOW! He said he would gladly talk to me, but that it would still be a little while before he’d be home.

I anxiously paced the floor waiting his return. By midnight he was not home and I angrily went to bed.

I woke up at 4:00 am as my wife crawled into bed next to me. She had been talking to my son for the past few hours. She briefed me a bit on their conversation and then I got up to go see him. She begged me as I left the room to be kind and considerate. I assured her that I would.

I knocked on my son’s door and he opened it to find my outstretched arms offering a heartfelt hug. I spoke only for a moment and made a slight joke about something to ease the tension and then said, “We can talk another time, it’s late.” I went back to bed and tossed and turned for a while trying to figure out what I was going to do to “fix my son”.

Hours later, I was at work and he was on a flight for Hawaii. Every-so- often over the next year, I would send him emails suggesting that he give God equal time and to study “good things” instead of filling his head with the gay articles that he was reading. I had it all figured out that he should get rid of these silly notions that he had conjured up in his head and get married and raise a family. We weren’t getting any closer in our relationship and I was spending my time on deaf ears. They seemed deaf anyway because every scenario that I could come up with, he would answer with a comment like; “Dad, don’t you think that I know about that? Don’t you think that I have read and studied about this? I have known that I was like this for nearly my entire life and you think that these emails that you keep sending me are going to fix me?”

I had not taken into consideration that this was NEW to me, but that he had been dealing with it for MANY years.

The following Christmas we didn’t get around to talking about “it.”  I didn’t want to bring it up and maybe if I didn’t it would go away.

Two years from receiving this shocking news, Sean was home once again for Christmas. I’m a big outdoorsman and an avid hunter so like any good father would do, I took Sean and my younger son Skye coyote hunting across the state line. (No hate mail please, we didn’t shoot anything, they out smarted us)  On our four-hour drive back home we talked about hunting, school and life in general, but I could tell that he wanted to talk about “it”. Finally Sean said “Dad I thought we were going to talk – really talk.” I don’t remember who started what, but all of a sudden we were delving into everything we had both held in for the past two years.

I wanted so badly to fix the situation. That’s what I did as a father. I fixed everything, that was my job, and this was just another “fix-it” project. At one point in our conversation, I asked; “Why would you choose this lifestyle?”  I was met with a look of shock as he replied,

“Are you serious? Why on earth would I CHOOSE to be associated with one of the most misunderstood and hated groups on the planet?”

His answer resonated deeper than anything said in our prior two years of sending messages back and forth. This made sense! Although I had read many articles stating that same-gender attraction is NOT chosen but is something they are born with, I couldn’t get it through my thick skull until that moment. FINALLY we were actually able to have a really good conversation where we really talked and listened.

That is when it hit me….

A light came on in my head and the story of Charlie Jones that I had heard several years prior came flooding back and NOW it made perfect sense to me. It applied to this situation. It was a game changer.

For the next few days, I began to take an inventory of what was actually IN my boat. I had focused my energy on fixing my son only to discover that I had done a great job of raising a wonderful young man and the things that he was going through were outside my boat. Nothing that I could say to him would “fix” him and would most likely do father-son-relationship damage. Therefore, I took my fears and worry out of my boat and placed them in my son’s boat.

Next, I pondered on my ability to judge. I was his father and felt that I had that right. My mind reflected back on my Christian upbringing that taught Jesus Christ is the judge.

I realized that I needed to STOP judging him – it wasn’t my job to judge, Jesus Christ had taken that role upon himself, so I took that out of my boat and placed it in my Savior’s boat.

As I focused on what was in my boat, I realized that I had only ONE item left and that was my ability to ACT instead of REACT.  I then split it into two categories: to act harshly or to act with love, and because I had placed “judgment” into Christ’s boat, I realized that the ONLY thing left in my boat was to ACT with LOVE! I thought to myself, “I CAN do that!”

I have a wonderful son whom I love dearly and our relationship has drastically changed for the better. It is now stronger than ever, because I no longer focus on what’s outside my boat, instead I focus on what’s INSIDE my boat … LOVE! 

To read my wife Becky’s story recounting her journey and love for our son, along with a video of Sean telling his own story. Click here  

What Happens Next?

Let's Keep I Touch!
Sign Up for my Newsletter and a FREE audio of the REAL Short-Shorts Story!

What Happens Next?

Let's Keep I Touch!
Sign Up for my Newsletter and a FREE audio of the REAL Short-Shorts Story!