Translating Eye-Rolls And Decoding ‘I Hate You’s!’

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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Yesterday I posted this on my Twitter-
"I hate my life!" -signature words spoken by my 13-year. Annndddd... We're doing the right thing as parents!

She was mad at us, big time! We were “ruining her life,” so she claimed. But she had herself to blame. Her bad choices led her to the predicament she was in. Later on in the day, that moment, and my tweet, got me thinking…

I’m pretty sure that if any of you who are reading this have a teenager, or a pre-teen, you have similar experiences in your home. If you are anything like our family, you had this experience yesterday and will probably have it again tomorrow! 🙂

Raising teenagers is super-fun because you get the whole experience! You get the pleasure of having fairly civilized, adult conversations with them about life, their likes and dislikes, and other cool mysteries. And then, in nearly a split second, you get the joy of watching them stomp their feet, roll their eyes, sigh, grunt, moan, and rant over the boundaries you’ve set up for them.

The more I thought about my daughter’s behavior yesterday morning, the more this truth came to life: If she’s going to stomp her feet, and claim that “she hate’s her life,” or that “we’re ruining her life,” because we’re doing what we’re called to do as parents, and lovingly enforcing consequences for her bad choices, we’re right on target!

In that regard, I’m okay if she hates her life! I’m okay if she thinks her world is crashing down around her.

If she stomps her feet because we stepped up and shut down her selfish behavior, so be it!

If she cries and cries because we took her phone away for texting a boy she was told not to text, her life will go on! This is about boundaries.

If she’s mad because I made her change her suggestive clothing and put on something more modest, I’m doing the right thing! It’s about protecting her heart, not allowing her to live with a false self-confidence! (Side note- My daughter never dresses suggestively. This was just an example. If she did, however, I’d tell her to change).

Friends, I’m not sure how you feel about these issues as parents, but in our household we have one goal in mind with the boundaries we set for our children:

To raise healthy, respectful, responsible children who turn into healthy, respectful, responsible adults someday.

That’s the target we are aiming for. That’s our end-goal. We are not in the business of making our children happy by giving in, or satisfying their wants by allowing them to run wild and free. That has the potential for disaster. Sure, we want our children to love their lives, but that doesn’t happen by allowing them to behave however they want to.

If you really are doing the right thing as a parent, and choosing to raise your children with boundaries and guidelines, the eye-rolls and “I hate you’s” are a good thing. It means you are doing what you need to do to raise healthy kids. Stay the course, even when it gets dark and lonely. And believe me, it will! We are in the trenches of this right now.

When you set your sights on a healthy target for your children, they will not be always be happy with your decisions. But they will grow up with respect for themselves and other people.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.