Why your kids rejecting you is a sign you're a good parent.

Online there are hundreds upon hundreds of articles telling parents exactly what to do when their child rejects them

It could begin in the toddler phase when a kid is insistent they don't need to be held because they can walk on their own. Or when they are a teenager and pushing their mother or father away from them. It could also be when a child is now actually a full-grown adult, wanting to live independently and out from under the watchful eyes of their parents. 

Rejection, no matter when or where it happens, is hurtful. If you're a parent, it's a feeling you're probably used to. 

But rejection isn't necessarily bad - it might even be a sign that you're on the right track as a parent.

Watch: Be a good mum. Post continues below. 

Video via Mamamia.

Dr Katherine Iscoe, a researcher and keynote speaker, tells Mamamia that rejection is healthy and if you're dealing with it from your children? Then you're on the right track.

"You want your children to be loyal to you, but to what aspect is it; loyalty or blind loyalty? There's a big difference between blind loyalty and then a child having a healthy level of scepticism and this is when you start seeing independence," Dr Iscoe says.

"They might say, 'I hear what you're saying but this is what I think.' That's called confidence, independence and having a mind. Fostering critical thinking is how presidents are developed. This is how people go out and innovate without preparation. They're able to critically think on their own."


To be rejected by your child points to an independent individual - someone who can think for themself and wants the ability to learn on their own. That's not to say rejection doesn't hurt, of course. 

But it's paramount for your child's growth that your ego is removed from the equation.

"A parent has to be prepared for their child to be their own person," Dr Iscoe urges parents. "It's very challenging because it sort of kicks up against your ego. One moment, you have children that are dependent on you. Then all of a sudden, your child is independent. 

"Sometimes a parent's ego might say, 'They must not love me because they no longer need me anymore."

She continues, "I think parents need to approach any form of rejection, whether that's slamming the doors, or them screaming, 'I hate you, mum. You don't understand me,' to the rejection when your child is leaving the house. Take a beat and approach it with empathy, curiosity, and also a willingness to put yourself into your child's shoes and see their perspective. 

"Because what's happening in rejection is, 'You don't understand me. You will never understand me and this is how I'm coping. This is the only way I know how to cope'. We need to be guides rather than teachers. Because it feels really good to get up on your soapbox and say, 'Well back in my day, this was how we did it.' Because it feels so good to be right but being a parent isn't about being right. It's about doing what's right. And there's a big difference between the two."

Dr Iscoe also says that any mother or father dealing with rejection from their child should also remember it's not a permanent feeling. Rather, one that will eventually pass. Almost like a lesson.


"Parenting is kind of like allowing your kids to go over this bridge where there is a scary ravine underneath, and allowing them to just explore on their own. But you make them understand they can use the handrails if needed," she explains. "You are the handrails. They will come back to you when they need you."

To deal with rejection, a parent should ask themselves why they feel this way before reacting. It usually always comes down to the ego feeling attacked, Dr Iscoe says. 

"I think the best way to deal with it is to understand what's going on for your kid rather than, 'What are people going to think about me as a parent?' when a child doesn't want you or says they don't need you," Dr Iscoe says. "Especially with social media. With ego, ask how you can understand the long game rather than the short social game? To put your ego aside might be harder for you. But in the long run, it's better for both you and your child."

Dr Iscoe urges parents to move forward with compassion and grace, rather than a bruised ego.

"Remember a kid's brain doesn't really develop until they are 25 years old. They're like drunk toddlers making stupid decisions and I think from the point-of-view of a parent, they have to understand that they didn't make great decisions either when they were that age," she says. 

"It's hard, but you have to roll with the punches."

Dr Katherine Iscoe is a researcher, keynote speaker and media commentator with over 20 years of experience in health and wellness, backed by 13 years of academic study. Dr Katherine can be found on her website or Instagram.

Feature Image: Getty.

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