I was cleaning out a closet

and found an item written by my teenage son. He said how much he hated me.


On one hand, I feel like I’ve been slapped in the face. But then, on the other hand, I feel like I was probably doing my job as a parent when the item in question was written.

I’m not sure when he wrote this. I don’t get around to cleaning out closets very much but it was near the top of a pile of sweaters so it probably was written in the past six months or so.

Do I show it to him and ask him about it? Or should I let sleeping dogs lie?

I’m used to little ones raging that they don’t like me (like when I won’t let them eat their Easter candy in one shot) but this is a first with my teenager.

Words of wisdom are requested. :o

My first instinct is to say let it go. You know he doesn’t mean it.

Really, his feelings towards you don’t really matter. But, you want him to feel loved. The Five Love Languages of Teenagers is a neat book.

I did the same thing once myself. Except it was about my Dad. He must have found it or my mom gave it to him. I dont know how he got it., I never asked.

One day he told me grandma was lonely and not well. Did I want to go with him to see her to cheer her up? Well, I loved my gran and of course I willingly went even though I did not look forward to being with him in the car the way there or back. What ended up happening is gran telling me all sorts of stories about how Dad was such a pain in the keister to her when he was a teen.

Then I saw how they both laughed about it, together. Then I realized, that no matter what kind of a pain in the Keister my dad seemed to be, it cut both ways. :o

On the way home my dad asked me if there was anything I wanted to talk about. I ignored him. Silence. He finally told me he “knew all about how much I hated him” (and quoted some choice words from my letter) and not to worry, because he will love me anyway.

I cried my eyes out and got even more mad at first, but then I felt as if an enormous weight was lifted off my shoulders. It was never discussed again, and I still got mad as all get out with him and still do. But, I am glad he confronted me.

Teenage years are a roller coaster of emotional highs and lows and extremes.

A word not of wisdom, but of experience: when I was a teenager, I wrote a similar note. I don’t remember if it was about hating my mom or father or siblings - it was against my family, I guess. I can still feel the anger, the unreasonable, unexplainable rage and frustration that made me write that note. My mom made the mistake of demanding me to show it to her (she could cast a glimpse on it and naturally, she got all worked up). I teared it into pieces, I felt humiliated, and angrier than ever. I felt she wanted to undo my hard work done in order to cope with my temper. I felt she intruded into my intimate battle against bad feelings. I didn’t want those feelings that made me write the note, and to make that note public would have made those feelings real.

That note you found was never meant to be read by anyone. It was meant to be written, not read, if that makes sense. It was meant to help your son get rid of his feelings. It would have done more harm if he had tried to suppress an incontrollable wave of anger.

Let it go. To demand an explanation would be like forcing him to lay bare every bit of her mind and soul to you. The biggest mistake you can make with a teenager.

PS: (((hugs)))

Unless there are other signs of a problem, I wouldn’t worry. Boys become men, and they do so by a cycle of rejecting authority, making their own mistakes, and eventually claiming the truths they had been taught all along.

Unless it’s excessive, habitual, and accompanied by escalating problems, such writings as the one you found are probably healthy. They are an outlet for feelings, not a statement of belief.


What a wise father. Thank God for him.

Congrats, I’m sure your doing a wonderful job as a parent. :thumbsup: I’m giving that your not being abusive or anything like that.

I say maybe you should bring it up. Put it in a time capsule and bring it out sometime after he has some kids, when it can really be appreciated.

burn it, forget it, and work on your relationship with your son as if you had never seen it. consider it in the same category as the 3 yr old who screams I hate you mommy when he has a tantrum.

That note you found was never meant to be read by anyone. It was meant to be written, not read, if that makes sense. It was meant to help your son get rid of his feelings. It would have done more harm if he had tried to suppress an incontrollable wave of anger.

Exactly. As someone who wrote a similar note ‘to’ my sister a few years ago, I can say that the entire reason I wrote the note and never gave it to her or anything is that I wanted to vent some feelings that I knew I wouldn’t have forever, and I didn’t want to hurt our relationship over this one thing that I had to get off my chest. So I wrote the letter and kept it for about a week and then shredded it. It was more for me than anything.

This may be kind of like those letters some counselors have people write to family members about their grievances. They are never meant to be sent, just to make the person get out in coherent words and to provide structure for what the person is holding on to. This may have been just a cathartic exercise for your child.

If you were meant to see it, you would have. Trust me. It would have been “accidentally” left in the middle of the coffee table or somewhere else public like that.

I wrote a poem once that ended with my own suicide. Rather colorful and dramatic, actually, with blood from my wrist spreading across and into the texture of a linoleum kitchen floor. I was not going to commit suicide, but I made sure my mother saw it, because I needed someone to know how miserable I was. She freaked out a little, and I know she was watching me closely for a while, but she could tell after a bit that I wasn’t serious about hurting myself. But I purposely put that where she could see it. If I hadn’t wanted her to see it, she wouldn’t have.

Keep an eye out for other things like this, but for now, on just this one statement, I would not confront or overreact. React in that you are keeping an eye on your child’s emotional health, under the radar, but don’t say you found the letter.

I knew I could count on you guys. Thanks for all of the replies.

I totally understand the ‘writing to vent’ thing. I actually do it myself. It puts the anger I’m feeling someplace safe and I’m able to sort my emotions out rather than lambasting somebody, which usually hurts the situation rather than help it.

I guess I’m dealing with hurt feelings. I don’t know why I assumed that I was immune to teenage anger. He really is a good kid and he hardly ever gives me a problem. Sure, he can throw the attitude if I don’t let him do something he wants or if I ask him to do a chore when he wants to watch tv, but it’s normal stuff. But hatred? Jeez … I didn’t see this one coming.

I’m not going to say anything. I’ll just try to let him know, in a roundabout way, that if he disagrees with something I say to talk to me about it. I may not agree with him or change my mind but at least we can talk. Other than that, I’m not sure there is anything else I can do.

Polled my 16 year old son on this, he says to toss then note.

Spend some extra time making sure he knows you are there for him.

BTW - you might get a copy of “Why Christian Kids Rebel”…

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