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So your kid says he hates you (here’s a secret – he doesn’t mean it)

Fatherhood – it's not all fun and games, is it? Sure, there's nothing better than spending precious moments with your children, but being a parent requires patience, sacrifice and – let's just get real here – nights without sleep and fights with your partner over whose turn it is to drive your son or daughter to school.

Then there's the issue of hurt feelings. In the same way children can so easily dole out hugs and kisses and make you feel like God's gift to the universe, they can sling insults and hurtful comments as if they were vying for the lead in Problem Child 4. The meanest one of them all? "I hate you."

Let's say it together now – ouch. As a father, this one is likely to sting. Still, once the initial burn wears off and you've taken some time to stop those three words from playing on repeat in your brain, you may want to remember one important tidbit of information – your little one doesn't mean it.

Remember, most kids (and yes, that includes teens) aren't fully aware of the damage they can do with words, and it's quite possible they haven't fully understood their own feelings for that matter. Let your son or daughter simmer down and then you'll soon find he or she has returned to loving (and possibly worshiping) you once again.