When Your Child Says “F*ck You”: Managing the Unthinkable

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By Seth Meyers, Psy.D.

By saying or shouting “F*ck you” at a parent, a child is violating a sacred law about respecting roles within the family system.

As a practicing psychologist and a parent of 7- and 9-year-olds, I’ve seen a lot. I’m like most therapists who will say that very little surprises them. In my clinical work, I see both the positive and dark sides of people, confirming what I have always believed: Human nature isn’t always pretty. Human relationships are so complex because everyone has a different personality, and problems in getting along are bound to develop. With parentinging particular, the parent-child relationship is especially complex because there is such an extreme power differential in how that relationship starts, with the child’s complete dependence and reliance on the parent.

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