Parents give nothing to us but love and care, they bring out the best in us and want the best to happen to us. However, sometimes we have the feeling that they just treat us like a stranger or hate us for something we do. But worry no more as we'll explain why and what you can do.
No matter how "magical" the childhood, there may come the point when we feel our parents are treating us as strangers, or maybe you notice that you do not quite get the same amount of attention from mom and dad than you are used to getting. There is a natural separation that happens between parents and children in late adolescence/early adulthood because grown children are developing really separate identities from their family units. We are slowly putting away our childhood pastimes, exchanging make-believe for reality. Growing up, a lot of the way children feel about the world has to do with the model figures they see in their parents and other important adults. During the teenage years and beyond, we start the process of developing our own social circles, our own tastes in music, our own fashion sense, our own favorite celebrities, maybe even your own faiths or other opinions on important issues.
"Parents Just Don't Understand"
The world you are entering is one that is really different than when your parents were teens or young adults. It can seem like they just do not get it, but remember that they were once your age with many of the same emotions and similar experiences. It is ok if you and your parents share different interests and ideas, but even better if you try to share things openly so that more understanding can happen. No matter how far it seems that you grow apart, you still share the same bond.
Try sharing some parts of your new life with them. They might not like all your music, but there may still be some common ground. One young man who had taken an interest in Irish ballads and listened to them with his friends thought to introduce his discovery to his parents. A renewed bond developed between them as they began exploring other aspects of their heritage and attending cultural events.
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When You Look so Different
Your haircut, your clothing, and your choice in body décor are making a statement. You are telling the world what group of youth you identify with, and if that identity is countercultural, your parents will be every bit as alarmed as parents were in the 1950s when their sons wore black leather jackets and rode motorcycles, or their daughters wore bikinis to the beach. Parents can get nervous when their children do not conform to societal norms. They've probably forgotten their own rebellious days, or, if they remember, are afraid rebellion will lead you to make some of the same mistakes they had made. It is important to remember that your parents will not agree it will all of your choices, and that is ok, they are still your choices to make. They do love you even if they express disapproval of some of the things you do.
What seems radical today will not necessarily seem radical tomorrow. Most people do not think twice about young men on motorcycles or bikini-clad girls at beaches. Tattoos once viewed very conservatively, are much more mainstream and acceptable. Neon-streaked hair is fashionable, where once it was reserved for punk rockers. This is because young people grow up, and what they did in their youth doesn't seem that bizarre, it's normalized. A night of home movies that depict the radicalism of their own era might help your parents remember that what often begins as a fad or trend becomes the norm in a later era. It could help them connect the dots that you all do have much in common.
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Why Do My Parents Hate Me? They Punish Me for Everything
Parents are taught to place boundaries on children by setting reasonable limits and expectations. It is part of their sense of responsibility for your general development and social awareness. They want you to understand there are rules both outside and inside the home, and that breaking them leads to direct consequences.
It is normal for parents to reprimand their children for not obeying rules meant to keep them safe or that are meant to promote the social well-being of the child. Common consequences for rule breaking are grounding, taking away favorite video games, or limiting cell-phone privileges. Some parents give their children extra chores as punishment, corner them with an hour-long lecture, or send them to a relative or counselor for the "hard talk." Parents have different ways of disciplining children healthily to help teach responsibility and other life lessons. Your parents do not hate you if they do not let you stay out all night, hang out with people who are doing drugs, not complete your homework or other responsibilities. In fact, these are signs that they love you.
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You and your parents are going through an emotional battle as your body goes through chemical changes and your mind evolves in ways you have never experienced before. Feelings can seem confusing, even chaotic sometimes during these years while you are changing from a child into an adult. It is hard for your parents to watch you become a mature adult, and they are filled with anxieties and misgivings. It is very common for parents and young people to have miscommunication and fights, it can feel like a real power struggle. It can feel like you do not see eye to eye on much at all. Why do my parents hate me? They don't. Anytime you see the communications pathways open, take advantage of it. Share some of what you are learning and the future you see growing in front of you. If you ask someone in their late 20's, you might find that their relationships with parents have really improved since the teenage years. You are in a naturally tumultuous time, a time that is wonderful in many ways. If you are experiencing some rockiness in your relationship with your parents, it will likely change soon. You will start to see each other more as equal adults, as foreign as that many sounds.
It can feel very helpful during these years to talk to people that do understand. Reach out to friends or other trusted people to help give support too. If your problems are seeming overwhelming, it could help to talk to a mental health professional like the ones available on Betterhelp.com. Betterhelp has licensed counselors, many who specialize in working with teens, young adults, and families.
If you ever need to talk to someone else about your life or about what you think and want an outside opinion, don't hesitate to contact a licensed online therapist here at BetterHelp. At some point, you might need someone else to talk to. Now, there is always help standing by.
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