Hearing something like this from anyone isn't nice, right?
When it comes from your 9 year old it cuts a little deeper.
My amazing little girl Valentina is normally friendly, happy and super creative.
Going to bed brings out a few emotions however.
Something you have had to deal with yourself?
I know with 5 kids of my own the bedtime rituals and routines have always been a difficult one to nail over the years!
In any case - you can either meet fire with fire - in other words get annoyed, shout and take stuff away from your 9 year old.
Or you can put yourself in their shoes.
The reality is that if your 9 year old is telling you he/she hates you - it's just them trying to communicate their emotions.
It's another way of projecting that they are disappointed, angry or worried.
If their little 9 year old brain could speak grown up language they would say - "Dad, things are a bit too much for me right now. I'm feeling upset and a little scared."
Unfortunately - Valentina doesn't always have the skills to respond calmly - so she defaults to saying the meanest thing that she can say to show how unhappy she is.
In the simplest possible terms - it's an emotional reaction.
And sometimes when we are in an "emotional" state we say or do things we don't really mean.
For Valentina it means we have to look at improving her bedtime routine, making sure she feels seen and heard when she's upset.
Reading this you're probably thinking - "what the hell has this got to do with my health & fitness?"
Well first of all - I like talking about my kids!
More importantly though - knowing how to manage your emotions is perhaps even more important as an adult.
Life is incredibly stressful and we unfortunately make many (poor) decisions when we are stressed out.
If you can learn what the emotional triggers are - you're less likely to make rash or poorly thought out decisions like going overboard on the alcohol at the weekend, staying up late watching another Netflix boxset, cancelling your gym membership or ordering another super size take away meal!
In other words - if you can master your emotions, you're less likely to make decisions that will make your physical & mental wellness worse.
So, if you can relate to my little 9 year old in terms of being a bit reactive (later in the day/week) and/or making more emotional decisions on a regular basis, there are a few things you can do to improve this.
As I like to say, it's not rocket science, but it is science....
David "I don't hate you" Knowles
David Knowles is the founder of Evolutis, Dad x 5 & wannabe singer songwriter!