"My parents hate me!" "My dad tells me I'm stupid and worthless!" "My mom said I was fat!" "Why don't my parents love me?"
Have you or your friends ever made statements like these? It’s not uncommon for teens to have disagreements with their parents. Sometimes a simple spat or unpleasant punishment can feel a whole lot worse than it really is.
But what happens when you seem to be fighting with your parents all time? What do you do when your parents always seem to be angry or negative towards you? Parents are people too, and their moods can be affected by all kinds of things – a busy day at work, a traffic jam on the way home, financial struggles. The way they were raised, the coping skills that they have developed, and their own inner struggles or strengths will affect the way they approach parenting as well.
The bottom line is, most parents do genuinely care about their kids and want the best for them, even if they don’t always effectively communicate that love.
Reading Nonverbal Cues – Approaching your parents when they would rather not be bothered is probably not a great idea (unless of course there is an emergency). Do you know how to read your parents' nonverbal cues to know when they are frustrated, stressed, sad, or busy? Be sure to pay attention to facial expressions, their tone of voice, their body posture, and where their eyes are focused. Pay attention to your nonverbal cues towards your parents, too.
Talking to Your Parents – Sometimes parents don't realize that their words can carry so much emotional weight. They may even be willing to work with you to change how you both communicate. Sometimes it is easier to put your thoughts on paper and write a letter to your parents about how you are feeling.
Talking to Others – There are times you simply can't talk to your parents about how their words make you feel. Is there another relative that you can rely on? Friends are a great source of support. What about a school counselor or teacher? Sometimes, another adult can be an advocate for you with your parents.
Using Coping Skills – When you are feeling down, and your parents aren't a resource that you can turn to, developing your own set of coping skills to make yourself feel better is essential. Check out our article 99 Coping Skills to get some ideas for how to deal when you feel down or hopeless.
Whose Fault? – We all tend to want to blame someone when life is unpleasant. Some teens blame their parents for everything. The reality is, most situations are a result of a variety of factors, and multiple parties share responsibility. Do your best to make the relationship as pleasant possible and reach out for other support when you need it.