‘If you don’t mutter under your breath “I hate you” atleast once in your life, I am not doing my job properly.’

What do you think of this promise?ย 
parenting The words go:

“For as long as I live I will always be your parent first and your friend second. I will stalk you, flip out on you, lecture you, drive you insane, be your worst nightmare, and hunt you down like a bloodhound when I have to, because I love you. When you understand that, I know you will have become a responsible adult. You will never find anyone else in your life who loves, cares, prays and worries for you more than I do. If you don’t mutter under your breath “I hate you” atleast once in your life, I am not doing my job properly.”
Shared by Ashwathy this with this message:
“I understand the sentiment behind the message, but I am not sure that “tone” is necessary. You do not necessarily have to be a child’s worst nightmare and drive him/her insane to be a good parent. I felt this message is over rated.
But then I am not a parent. ๐Ÿ™‚ So I could be having mistaken notions.
My parents used to drive me insane at different points in my life, and I didn’t particularly enjoy it.ย Nor do I understand why they were so, even now, when I am an adult. I prefer to remember my grandfather who was my friend and gave me a free rein. It didn’t mean I took him for granted, the respect always remains.
It’s about a certain style of parenting I guess.”
What do you think?
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45 thoughts on “‘If you don’t mutter under your breath “I hate you” atleast once in your life, I am not doing my job properly.’

  1. Generally most of us do have an occasion or two when we think that I hate my parents.. I have had a fair share of those, but in hindsight they were mostly times when mom was doing something to discipline me or helping me in the long run..

    However there have been friends who have never felt the same for their parents, and those who are not over bearing on their kids.. So it all boils down to the equation between the parent-kid.. Respect them, but be free with them


  2. I completely disagree with the message. You really do not have to be a villain in a child’s life to bring him/her up. Completely overrated. I think any person who agrees with it will be trying to be some sort of a martyr by giving excuses of being a bad parent.
    I agree that a firm hand is required sometimes but this message is too negative.


  3. Then these kind of parents have to accept that their kids would NEVER come up to them when they goof up..kids with such parents generally end up living a double life, one, for their parents, and other for their friends..


  4. Rebuttal to the poster of this distorted view of parenting:

    โ€œFor as long as I live I will always be there for you. I will talk to you, listen to you, teach you, guide you, be your source of strength, support, and inspiration because I love you. When you understand that you are human and can accept and love yourself and accept other people, I know you will have become a responsible adult. You will hopefully find other people (friends, a life partner) in your life who loves, cares, prays and worries for you as much as I do. If I can be the person I want you to be, I know Iโ€™m doing my job properly.โ€

    Parenting is not about control โ€“ itโ€™s about teaching your child self-control.


  5. Not a parent yet, and I hopefully won’t be one for a while, but I can kind of understand the message in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way? I’ve seen parents joke about this a lot, when in reality they do in fact give their kids a lot of free reign and allow them to make their own mistakes and learn from that and so on. So I can see it being a joke, and even the best parents in the world will, one day, be hated by their kids. It’s inevitable.

    At the same time, I think stalking your children is very unnecessary. At the end of the day, all the helicopter parenting will just wind up leaving them completely unequipped for life. I’m not saying that you should let your children fly in the face of danger, but unless you allow them to grow without hounding them for every little thing, they will fall flat on their faces at a point in their life when they can’t really afford to. Sheltering them from the world will just create a rude culture shock once they get out on their own (if they ever do that). And a lot of the time, it’s parents like this who complain that their children can’t behave like adults. Well, whose fault is that?! It’s also those same parents who complain that their children never call or visit. Can you blame them when their home environment is so stifling? If you’re going to be a “villain”, don’t be surprised when your kids think that you are and don’t want to spend time with you.

    Besides. Being overbearing is not going to solve anything. The strictest parents create the sneakiest children. (I say this part from experience. ;])

    As for the, “I’m only doing this because I love you.” excuse. Well, I hate to break it to the All-Encompassing Indian Parenthood/Elder Authority (TM), but you’re still human. And just because you love them doesn’t mean that your behaviour doesn’t hurt them.


  6. Parenting Is according to me THE toughest jobs on this planet and especially in our times.Children do not come with manuals and parenting is not a skill you acquire it is huge learning and unlearning process for anyone who aims at coming close to that slippery option of a perfect parent.
    Parenting essentially involves physical,emotional,social,intellectual and to some extent economical support for me Kahlil Gibran’s words are the closest to an ideal essence:

    Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you,
    And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

    You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
    which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them,
    but seek not to make them like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.


  7. I’ve met many a kid in university who went wild with newly found freedom–and most of them had parents like that. My parents have done their fair share on driving me nuts, and I suppose they still drive me nuts sometimes (and probably will always do so), but they’ve never threatened to hunt me like a blood hound and stalk me. That’s just crazy.

    Before I left for university, I got three phone calls from other brown girls in my school who wanted to know which school I was going to so they could room with me. None of these girls were particularly close to me, and I hadn’t even talked to one after the 9th grade. The only reason they wanted to room with me was because their parents wanted them to room with a fellow South Asian girl and be free of the ‘corrupting’ influences of all other races. If the parents knew what I was really like, they’d go running the other direction (and take their kids with them).


  8. I have never muttered under my breath โ€œI hate youโ€ ever in my life and I my parents have done a wonderful job in bringing me up :). muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuaaaaah mom and dad ๐Ÿ˜€


  9. disagrees with the message coz it smacks of colonial parenting. I feel a parent should treat their child as an equal, give them respect and make them understand things. But, somewhow down the line, parents are quite right but there is a way in doing it. Many of us have hated our parents at some point coz of our rebellious streak but at the end of the day, parents are the ones who instill discipline and educate us:)


  10. I agree the tone is very self righteous. If this message was not by a parent and directed at his/her child wouldn’t it sound obsessive?

    “I will stalk you, flip out on you, lecture you, drive you insane, be your worst nightmare, and hunt you down like a bloodhound when I have to, because I love you. ”

    Because they are parents does that mean their stalking and hounding is not only justified but also idealised?

    “You will never find anyone else in your life who loves, cares, prays and worries for you more than I do.”
    Agreed love is a very basic need for everybody but is it required to measure and compare how much and who loves more? obviously love of a parent is diffrent from that of a sibling or a friend or a spouse. So what makes him/her think that their love is more or better and gives them the right to sit on a high horse. Is a parent or anybody’s love for somebody a justification for him/her to be their worst nightmare? I would still agree with the message if it was ‘ I lecture you or drive you insane because I am responsible for you.’ Loving and praying for someone does not give you stalking rights by default.


  11. I can’t really agree with the post..i have seen most of my friends whose parents behave the way as described, hiding many things from their parents. They manipulate and prepare a presentable version of their deeds to tell their parents. They don’t share their problems and tensions with them. I have seen how much stress it gives the kids because their parents don’t understand them and stand by them when they are in trouble. These kids have one face at home and another outside. they are desperate to be independent asap to get detached from their families..i think it will be best if parents are friendly enough and approachable..


  12. If parenting must be such a harsh promise then it is sad.

    Btw, I started reading it as a joke. If it was, then it did bring a smile to my face.

    If people take this seriously as a guideline for being a parent, then it is totally bad because they might try and carry out this promise.


  13. I wish i could articulate how much i hate this kind of parenting. Atleast i have a platform to voice my thoughts here. Anywhere else talking negetively about your parents is considered a blasphemy…as if parents should are Gods and not humans.

    I hope with all my heart that i dont ever become such a parent to my daughter. Its easier to discipline the child by being strict and highhanded…. but, like in our workplaces, a true, loved and respected leader is one who achieves all this without being a terror….it takes a lot more hardwork, patience and caliber. And ones shirking this hardwork (and/ or minus the caliber) write articles like above…in my opinion.


  14. I think it was a joke. Or at least it was meant to be taken in a lighter vein.
    As a teenage girl, I can safely say that most of us do NOT want our parents to be our friends. We have plenty of friends. We need our parents to be firm, to provide guidance, and to support us. Obviously they should listen to us and take our views into account, but in the end, they are our parents for a reason. And I’m pretty sure every teenager has complained about their parents at least once.


  15. Doesn’t this parent realize that this kind of “love” will either create children with commitment phobia, or children who never grow up? Who will always keep looking for security in the parents, instead of in themselves and their own family? What a nasty, selfish attitude!


  16. This sort of behaviour is NOT a parenting method, as it is being made out to be. These types of parents are people with control issues.
    It’s easier for them to act out this on their children, as Indian society pretty much forgives any actions on the part of the parents in the name of ‘all for the best’. This includes violence, constant undermining, comparisons to other children,and immense academic pressure.


  17. My parents are parents first and never my friends. I love and respect them for the struggle and sacrifices they have done to raise me and because I know they love me and that their parenting style was the one they have acquired through social conditioning. I have always told my parents “when you scolded me, beat me and controlled me, I agree you were doing it for my good and that you love me but at the same time I would never agree that such things ever did me any good. In fact your such actions have always harmed me”. Their typical answer is ” You will know only when you are a parent”.
    Now I am a parent. I am aware of the harm my parent’s controlling kind of parenting style has done to me. I never shared my fear and tensions with them, I have lied to them many times, hid many things, to sum up, I lived a double life. Till now my parents don’t know what is their daughter’s true personality.I don’t want that to happen with me and my kids.
    I have surely realized it is easier said than done. I have realized its very difficult to raise a kid who is self-confident and independent while making sure that s/he does not become a spoilt and self-assuming brat. But my efforts will always be in this direction. I may fail sometimes but I wouldn’t fail to correct myself where I would have gone wrong.
    I can never agree that a parent who -“drive you insane, be your worst nightmare, and hunt you down like a bloodhound” – does it because they love the kid, but for their status in the society, so that they can proudly present the kids to the society and be appreciated by the society as someone who is “doing my job properly”. It is very selfish.


  18. I got this really uneasy feeling after reading this , because i recently heard the same words or something on similar lines from a friend who is in a physically abusive marriage . her husband tells her the same things, that she will never find somebody who will love her more than him,that he is doing things to her either bec she needed to learn a lesson or bec he only wants her best nd tht she wronged and offcourse that he is terribly hurt nd sorry for what he had to do. Well i tried to help her but she turned over me, she stopped picking my calls nd left a message saying “she learnt a lesson and that she didnt ask for my help ” ( i have suddenly become the only reason for their marriage going bad!!! Unbelievable!)

    I m starting to see through the general social conversations ,the customs, the tradition nd culture..it all adds up u see ,its so deep rooted that I’m afraid i will only end up fighting (it) all my life.!

    I might have gone out on a limb here, I’m sorry .i just wanted to share IHM. Hope u don’t mind.


  19. I dont agree to this.
    I’m a parent of twin boys, I’m their parent and first – equally. Yes i lecture and rant about their misdeeds . I tru to repetedly teach them stuff. but at the same time, there is no degrading their feeling or choices. unless they choose something that will hurt them terribly, take their life or cause harm to others i don’t stop them,
    children just like us learn from their mistakes, of course i give them the evil eye whent their grades slip, but i have never ever pulled them up for slipping grades in subjects i know they have no aptitude for. put their best effort and leave it.
    Likewise make sure you know their friends but dont control, so what if there s bad apple int he pack, maybe he’s turn better , teach them to not emulate bad but they can still be friends.

    i think i have been immensly lucky in that both are strong willed but together, so chances of being led astray are less with both backing the other up at the same time you will be horrified at what 2 of them together can think up.. I attribute all my grey hairs to them and my husband who gives them a looser leash than i do and actually smiled when they wrought mischief on us . the key is be open.

    now that they are older, it’s such a joy to see them fly, learn, enjoy life , ahh youth so much fun for them and us.


  20. I’d have run away had my parents acted like that. With my kids, an analogous message that works for us three will go something like this:” I am your mum and I love you. I trust you, trust you to tell me the truth, trust you to understand that I am a person and thus might need time alone after a rough day so I don’t flip out on you. I will always listen to you, disagree when I do – feel free to disagree with my disagreement…won’t change how I feel about you. But after all the disagreements, in the end, I am the adult. And I will overrule you if I consider it necessary, if it impacts your safety or well being. You are mine to cherish, mine to guide, mine to protect and those imperatives are non-negotiable. So do me a favour, pay attention, learn, get better equipped to take care of yourself, so that I may cede more and more of the decisions to you. For I’d really rather focus on enjoying you than on arguing with you.”

    As you have no doubt noticed a large part of what I say above is on division of power – my kids are fiercely independent and I cherish that about them. Amongst a million other things.


  21. This is somewhat how my parents treated me when I was younger/teenager. They listened in on my phone conversation with friends, never allowed any sleepover even with girls or going to the movies, hounded me if they ever found me talking to a boy after school (went to a co-ed school), read my personal diary even when I screamed and cried that it was private, scrutinized why I would read so-and-so books from the library. Now I am in my late twenties, moved out of parent’s home after leaving for college and unfortunately our relationship has completely deteriorated. I visit them may a week or two in a year and we almost have nothing to talk about when my mother calls daily (again checking if I am home. what I ate, what I did all day). I am just not comfortable sharing my feelings, stress, anxiety or anything much personal with them anymore, which is kind of sad but this is what happened because of their such strict distrusting parenting behavior that I have experienced in my childhood. I just cannot trust my parents to not judge me or yell at me when I make mistakes or have difficult times in my life. They paid for my education and gave me a safe childhood and I will support them financially in old age if they need it, but I am afraid we just cannot not develop a strong bond of trust/love/mutual understanding any more in my adult years.


  22. I am not sure I agree with this message. While the kid is growing up, one needs to change the way you interact with them (based on their age). Sometimes, you do need to be a disciplinarian, be strict and at that times high probability the kid might hate you. I mean, I remember I used to get mad at my parents when they did not let me read story books during my exam time and made me study! I now realise the reason why they were so strict with me and am glad they were strict when necessary. But I also realise that as a kid, I would not have heeded to anything other than strict-ness in those few circumstances.
    This said, I also feel that there is a clear line in being strict and being your kids’ nightmares!! Also, being a parent and being a friend to your child is not mutually exclusive. These roles can and do overlap. And should overlap. I feel the basic guideline must be that you do need to be a friend to your kid all the times, be the support and the listening pad and the confidante. If necessary, a lecture or strictness hear and there never hurts. But that should not be the basis of parent-child relationship, me thinks.
    Another things that bothers me a great deal is this claim that no one can ever love a child more than its parents. This means you are comparing the love with other sources of love. This in itself makes that love seem so petty (for the lack of better love). Yes, a parent’s love is very deep but so is the love between friends, partners and any other relationship. I dont see the point of comparing one love to the other.
    And last but not the least, The only guideline I would probably follow when I have my own kid is Kahlil Gibran’s poem on children. It basically says that your kids dont “belong” to you. Here is the full poem:


  23. My guess is that the author was trying to communicate is that parenting is not a popularity contest and that sometimes you have to make and stand by seemingly unpopular decisions ( in the eyes of your kids).

    What I dont agree with is that you have to be a terror to make unpopular decisions on behalf of your child, for example, enforcing a curfew beyond which they cannot stay out with their friends. You can very nicely explain your stand and still enforce it.


  24. IMO, for ‘Tiger’ moms and dads, parenting is not about their children but about themselves, about superiority, about control. having said that, I don’t believe that children should be allowed to do whatever they like. They need discipline, structure, corrections and most importantly, guidance. Children are not born with knowledge, they have to learn it.


  25. I find the post a little funny, but also a little true. Both my parents are my friends AND my parents, at the same time, and will don the appropriate hat depending on the situation. Yes, they’ve been strict at times, especially when I was a teenager, and yes, I have sometimes been resentful of what they’ve said or done. But, because of the relationship we share, I’ve never had to hide anything from them, and I know they will always be there to support, guide, and advise me, no matter what. Truthfully, I still sometimes resent what they say, though I have more courage today to speak my mind about it than I did back when I was younger.

    They’ve never ‘stalked’ me, but they always know where I am and who I’m with. Yes, they lecture me, and God knows they drive me insane sometimes, but they’ve never been my ‘worst nightmare’. I would say parents are supposed to protect you from your worst nightmare, not become it!

    I do sort of agree that no one else will ever love me or worry for me the way they do, because a parent-child relationship IS very unique. Surely, other people in my life worry for me, care about me, and love me, but never the same way my parents have done and always will. I don’t necessarily think of this love in terms of quantity, but rather quality. The love between friends or lovers or spouses is quite different from that between parents and children.


  26. ๐Ÿ™‚ My views on parenting is a lot different from the wordings given in your post…. I believe that a child learns and lives best when parents do not interfere in their daily activities. Giving freedom right from birth is the best environment for a child to grow up… So running behind my kid and trying to keep her from doing something is mostly avoided in my way of parenting ๐Ÿ™‚
    But given that, I equally respect others freedom to love, care for and protect their child in all ways possible.


  27. First of all, this seems to have been written by a menopausing mentally unsound control freak! :O
    Anyway, jokes apart… IHM, I feel this sort of.. ahem.. stalker-ish behaviour, can only be normalised in a country with messed up concepts such as ours. :/

    In a country like India, we give too much heed to stuff like ‘hierarchy’ and the concept of ‘superiority’, and the idea gets so deeply entrenched in our bones, that we sort of start gaining/giving justifications to the concept of an individual, even if by mere accident or coincidence, being in a superior position or more powerful to another.

    This concept broadly has paved way for a lot of things which are WRONG with this society, such as patriarchy, caste, class, women’s issues, female foeticide (since if one believes they are racially or class-wise superior, the question of bloodline and carrying forward the family name and so on arises, hence leads to a spiral of social wrongs), age being a justification for anything (the question of ‘respect’), and coming to this post, parents conveniently asserting their ‘position’ to justify their unsound, controlling, obsessive and obnoxious behaviour towards their children.

    In a rationally challenged society like ours, one is eventually conditioned to swallow in, a subtle and sometimes even blatant form of ‘power-play’. Very often seen in a post such as this one.
    Phrases like respect, teach, make, protect, etc. used in such a context (having a negative effect that is) has become part of our daily vocabulary, and only a few seem to question their very existence.

    I shudder to imagine the amount of people who would’ve agreed with this post and justified (and smirked in their heads, even felt proud of) their actions to being normal.

    I guess, ultimately, in a case like this, if one manages to get rid of power dynamics and embraces a more egalitarian, equal approach to relationships (especially parenting), one can nurture a healthy and beautiful relationship with one’s child rather than bringing up kids with fear or stockholm-ish tendencies.

    PS: IHM, please forgive the banter, cultural studies really messes with one’s head.. ๐Ÿ˜›


  28. I hate and disagree with it, You don’t have to do any of those things to be a successful/good parent. And of course I speak from the perspective of a parent.


  29. My parents were very very strict (B’s were unacceptable growing up and I was terrified of my parents the one time I received a B in high school). Even after college, my parents read my emails, text messages, and were always trying to see what I was doing on the computer. I’m not allowed to speak my mind because it is being disrespectful. Because of this control, I cannot open up to my parents about my failures or hard trials. We really don’t have a relationship, which is sad. I hear about parents being their kids best friends, but I have had nightmares about my parents (which involve them controlling everything in my life). I will give them money when they are older, but I will move as far from them as possible to escape this type of control. Parents love their children the moment they are born, but for me, love towards my parents has to be earned, not demanded.


  30. I completely disagree…I have said I hate u to my parents when I am a fullgrown adult …its because of them making me feel orpaned in extreme times after marriage just because I am a girl …..so does that mean they did their job correctly ?


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