20 Reasons Why Most Sons Are Mean To Their Parents

Being a parent is complicated and difficult. You may have dedicated yourselves to making your sons healthy and safe. As a parent, you have done your best to raise your kids. However, you still think, “Why is my son so mean to me?” or “Why is my son disrespectful and rebellious?” Having disrespectful sons is so discouraging and painful. 

It would help if you dealt with the situation. Try to discover the reasons why your sons are so mean. There are many factors underlying the disrespectful sons to their parents. We have summarized 20 reasons to help answer the question, “why is my son so mean to me?”.  

1. Lack of healthy coping mechanisms

why is my son so mean to me

Your son may take his anger on you as he has a severe temper. It happens because he lacks healthy coping mechanisms to curb his outbursts. He feels his life is miserable when experiencing something in his life. He will act out against his parents as the most accessible outlet to vent his anger.

He will always look for someone he loves to blame. He expresses his anger as self-protection. He feels powerless and needs to defend himself. To deal with the situation, you should be a good listener. Listen to what he wants to say. Just focus on his problem and teach him how to assert his anger in a healthy way.

2. Calling for healing

why is my son so mean to me

Why is my son so mean to me? He is probably experiencing his repressed trauma, making him wrong. He keeps his past unpleasant emotions. When he can’t control the feeling, he will take out his anger on you. For blaming his past emotions, you, his parents, are the most straightforward outlet to pour out his past trauma. 

You may get irritated with his behavior. But, he is struggling with his trauma. Just give him attention and affection to deal with his problems. You can invite him to meet with a therapist. The professional therapist is able to heal his trauma. Your son is also free to have a deep talk and release all of his emotional feelings.

3. Overly strict parenting

why is my son so mean to me

You may be a strict parent because you want what is best for your son. You think he will be a good boy if you impose rules and guidelines. But, your parenting style doesn’t always result in your desired outcome. He is probably so mean to you, because your authoritative parenting style makes him frustrated.

The type of parenting leads to a higher level of conflict intensity. Your son chooses to rebel rather than obey your rules. It can also increase his depression and anxiety. If you notice it, change your parenting style immediately. You can change it into a permissive parenting style. Let him figure things out for himself under your non-threatening supervision. 

4. Feeling undervalued

why is my son so mean to me

If your son acts out, he may struggle with his self-esteem and confidence. He feels undervalued and insecure. As his defense mechanism, he directs his emotional feelings toward you as the closest party. Perhaps, his feeling has been going on for so long. As he is not able to maintain it, he feels worthless.

He will keep his distance from you because he thinks he doesn’t deserve anything. Feeling undervalued often underlies depression and anxiety. Both of them make your son angry and rebellious. 

How to help your son? Validate his feelings and use your active listening skills. Let him unleash his feelings. When he has cooled off, you can talk to him in a therapeutic voice. Help your son to figure out the best solution to his problem.

5. Asserting his Identity

why is my son so mean to me

When your son asserts himself, he is going against you. He wants to gain independence. Of course, your beloved son will express himself with defiance and anger by saying “no” to everything. It happens since he can’t get it on his own. His behavior belongs to a self-affirmation. It is a natural process you should understand and follow. 

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 Even though his behavior is annoying and exhausting for you, he is healthily building his identity. When asserting his identity, a tantrum is also typical. All you need to do is validate his feelings and allow your son to make his own decisions. Let him express his emotional expressions while setting the boundaries.

6. Bad Name-calling

why is my son so mean to me

Have you ever called your son bad nicknames like “stupid,” “buffalo butt,” or others? If the answer is yes, this can destroy the parent-child bond. You might call him a bad name when he makes a small mistake, like misplacing a smartphone, leaving the doors open, and more. It belongs to parental verbal abuse that can influence his critical growth.

If you love calling your son by other names, please use fun and cute nicknames like “Babyface,” “chubby cheeks,” sweetheart, handsome, and others. These names will not have a bad impact on him. Moreover, it is effective in enhancing the parent-child family bond.  By giving him nicknames he loves, it can also increase communication. 

7. Stop labeling your son

why is my son so mean to me

Most parents easily label their children. You may also label your son based on various biological and social features, including gender, appearance, age, and more. Perhaps, you often give him bad tags, which can impact his emotional expressions. It has harmful effects, like being so mean to you. Labeling your child is a poor parenting habit you should avoid.

To deal with the circumstances, stop labeling your kids. It affects the way your son is treated. Giving negative label also curb his potential and destroy his childhood. The label also damages his self-esteem and self-image now and in the future. It is better to avoid giving your son labels. Let him grow and develop properly.

8. Inadequacy of Attention

why is my son so mean to me

Your son is mean to you because he probably is the inadequacy of your attention. You do not react mentally and physically when he gets angry. So, he thinks that you don’t care about him. His emotional state gets worse when you freeze up without keeping him calm. He wants to show you that he needs your attention and affection

It would be best if you showed your attention by handling his anger to cool him off. Paying attention is effective in curbing his outbursts. The attention will make him stay calm. No need to worry about him venting his emotions. Make sure to respond to his outbursts calmly. It is helpful to lower his tantrum effectively and quickly.

9. Getting Physical

why is my son so mean to me

If your beloved son easily acts out, he might get physical with you, his friends, or someone else. In the past, you might haven’t controlled your emotion and punished your son with physical sanctions. Your son felt that you should apologize to him. But you haven’t done it. You felt that your son began escalating the problems.

His past situation led to his anger. He quickly blames someone else and gets angry with you for your past actions. To solve the problems, you should make a genuine apology to your son. If necessary, you can make amends. By making an apology, you will teach him how to take responsibility. It is also helpful to make him solve his problem without aggression.

10. Overly Harsh Punishments

why is my son so mean to me

To make your son disciplined, you may give him punishment. But, he felt that the punishment was too harsh. It leads to his anger and defiance. He sometimes screams and shouts at you to express his anger. The more you give punishment to him, the worse your son gets. It makes his anger out of control.

What should I do? Just keep calm and try to make a genuine apology to your son. Promise to him that you will not give him a harsh punishment anymore. Punishment is not effective in controlling his emotional feelings. It will make him more rebellious at the moment. It would help if you taught your son about the consequence of his anger without taking harsh punishment.

11. Lack of respect, caring, and empathy

why is my son so mean to me

You may implement an authoritative parenting style. You, as a parent, are superior, whereas your son is a subordinate. You control him not to challenge or question your authority. Of course, it causes a lack of respect, caring, and empathy. That is why your son is disrespectful to you. 

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You think fulfilling his basic physical needs, including food, clothing, and shelter, is enough. Remember! He also needs your emotional needs, including love, attention, affection, and caring. If this condition goes on for so long, it will harm his mental development. Instead of meeting his physical needs, you should also build a family bond to meet his emotional needs.

12. Unrealistic Expectations

12. Unrealistic Expectations

Why is my son so mean to me? You probably expect him to meet unattainable or irrational standards. If he couldn’t get it, you gave him a punishment. It causes a rebellious act to you. For example, your son is always expected to achieve an A on every examination in his school. If he can’t, you limit his pocket money. He felt burdened by your expectations and got defiant to fight for your unhealthy standard.

Instead of giving him unrealistic expectations, it is better to motivate him to be the best. Give him a rational target and avoid punishment. If your son hasn’t met your expectations, keep supporting him.

13. Unreasonable rules

why is my son so mean to me

One of the reasons why your kid is so mean is because of unreasonable rules or unilateral regulations. You may often apply strict regulations to your son instead of negotiating with him, talking to him, and allowing him to speak. It means that your rules are dishonest, unreasonable, and unilateral. Moreover, you don’t tell him why you apply the rules.

You may say, “Hey, turn off the TV!” Your son may not obey your instruction since you have no explanation for why he should clean the room. The unilateral rules create a disparity between parents and children.

When you want to rule him, take your son for a reason and avoid using harsh instruction. You can say, “Please, turn off the TV. Go study because you will have a Math examination tomorrow!

14. Parent’s Over-involvement

why is my son so mean to me

Nobody likes to be overly involved and controlled, including your son. His rebellion and defiance may be due to the controlling parenting in several aspects like school, problem-solving skills, emotional and social well-being, and more. Your son also wants to make his own decisions in life. Controlling him just makes your son angrier. 

You should avoid overly involved and controlling parenting because it harms his developmental skills. Give your son a little space to manage his life. You can also help him deal with decision-making processes. It is better to improve his emotional skills in handling problems that arise in his life.

15. Overwhelmed feelings

why is my son so mean to me

When your son has overwhelmed feelings, he may act out, kick something, or have tantrums. In several cases, he may get physical symptoms like bedwetting, nightmares, and even a stomachache. Your kid may also cut himself off from family and friends. These belong to signs that your son has trouble with his feelings. 

Most children cannot name their big feelings, so he easily gets overwhelmed. To help your son discover the triggers for why he gets overwhelmed, you can help him label his feelings. Then, invite your son to mindfulness activities. Getting out or staying active is effective in regulating his emotions.

16. Feeling criticized 

why is my son so mean to me

Why is my son so mean to me? He may get angry because you often criticize him, even for a little thing. You think that criticizing your son has the good intention of helping him overcome his problems. It is not true at all.

When you overly criticize him, your son will internalize the criticism and store it in his heart. It turns into lasting emotional wounds in his developmental period. Stop being extremely critical, parents. Instead of criticizing him, you can give him advice and directions. It is much better for his childhood.

17. Divorced Parents

why is my son so mean to me

Your son is mean to you, probably due to the divorce. You have separated from your spouse, and it has changed his behavior. He feels angry, uncertain, and shocked. His feelings lead to depression or aggression, which impact his future. The parents’ separation has happened, but you should keep an eye on your son’s well-being.

To cope with an angry kid after a divorce, talk honestly to your son about the divorce. It will prevent potential problems like anxiety, depression, or outbursts. Then, encourage him to share his feelings. Let him healthfully express his emotions. It will make him cool down.

18. Toxic Friendships

why is my son so mean to me

When your son is in a toxic friendship, he often starts to rebel. He behaves rudely to you and other family members. He also doesn’t hesitate to break the rules. It happens because he mimics the bad behavior of his friends. 

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Suppose you notice that your son is in an unhealthy friendship. Please help him understand what a healthy friendship is. Listen to him and give him empathy. It will be helpful to build his trust in you. When his anger worsens, you can talk with a school counselor about the best solution.

19. Too much-playing video games

why is my son so mean to me

If you find that your son is so mean to you, it will probably impact video game addiction. Your son is crazy about playing video games. It easily leads to aggressive behaviors and attitudes. Besides that, too many video games also cause less reading, lower grades, poor social skills, poor school work, and mental disorders.

Talk to your son about setting a time limit when playing video games. Keep the gadget out of his bedroom so he will not play the games anytime. You should teach him how to use the phone properly. Invite him to have more activities away from the screens, including sports, playing hide and seek, and more.

20. Learning Disabilities

why is my son so mean to me

Your son often gets angry because he experiences learning disabilities. He can’t manage his emotional feelings because he is overwhelmed with school issues, including exercises, homework, and more. So, he expresses his anger and frustration by behaving rudely toward you. 

To cope with his condition:

  • Validate his feelings. You can help him to solve learning challenges.
  • Let him vent his learning problems. Just be a good listener. 
  • Talk to the school counselors to help your son handle his learning disabilities. 

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How do you deal with a mean son?

First, I will control my emotions. Then, make sure he is safe and comfortable to vent his emotional feelings. Try to give him advice and teach him the consequences of his disrespectful actions. 

What do you do when your child is mean to you?

Validate his feelings. Let him unleash his feelings. Keep calm, and don’t be offensive by saying hurt backs. You can teach him how to curb his anger without taking punishment. He will comfortably state his feeling to you. 

How do you deal with a nasty son?

Keep calm, and don’t blame your son. Let him express his feelings, and get ready to help him manage his emotions. After he has cooled down, try to give him consequences for his defiant acts without a physical sanction.   

What causes a child to be mean?

Lack of attention, affection, and love mostly cause disrespectful children. They easily get angry, say rude, and act over to gain his needs. Biological factors, including mental disorders, hormone levels, brain chemistry, and genetic influences, also affect his development and growth. 

Suzy Prichard

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