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Dealing with Parents

Everyone’s family is different, but nearly everyone will have disagreements with their parents or guardian at some stage. You might fight with your parents because you don’t see eye to eye on a particular issue, or there might be more serious issues causing conflict.

Why do families fight?

There are lots of different reasons families fight, sometimes it might just be a misunderstanding. Common reasons for conflict include:

  • your parents not letting you do what you want to.
  • your parents finding out you did something you’re not allowed to.
  • family changes like family separation or the birth of a new sibling.
  • pressure to perform well at school.
  • misunderstandings caused by a lack of communication.

These types of fights can be stressful and upsetting, but there are some strategies you can use to resolve them.

Strategies for managing conflict

Talk to your parents

Tell them how you feel and explain your point of view. This might be really difficult but if they understand where you’re coming from they might be more sympathetic. They’ll also get to explain their point of view which might help you understand where they’re coming from.

Think before you speak

We all say things in the heat of the moment that we don’t really mean, give yourself time to think about what you’re going to say before you just blurt it out. If this seems too tricky try telling your parents that you’d like to talk about it a bit later, and work out what you are going to say to them.

Get out of the house

Sometimes all it takes to calm down is some time alone. Go for a walk or to see a friend. This will give your parents some time to cool off too. Then you can either try talking about the issue when you’ve all calmed down, or just let it go.

Talk to someone about it

Sometimes it can really help to just tell someone else what’s going on. Try talking to one of your friends about how you’re feeling.

Reachout have some great tips on dealing with family conflict. If you’re still feeling upset or stressed you can  call Kids Helpline or talk to a counsellor’s through eheadspace‘s online counselling service.

What’s the difference between a fight and family violence?

Although misunderstandings happen in every family, sometimes these are part of a broader behaviour called family violence. Family violence is when one person uses violence to control, or scare, others in the family. It can include domestic violence, child abuse and sexual abuse. It is a pattern of abusive behaviour; usually it will happen more than once. It is a way for one person to control and have power over others in the family, by using fear. Women are more likely to be victims of family violence than men. Family violence often occurs within romantic relationships (like between parents) but can occur in other family relationships too (like between a parent and child). You can read more about family violence here.

If you are experiencing family violence at home the best thing you can do is talk to someone about it. Try talking to an adult you trust, like a teacher or the school counselor. You can call  1800 RESPECT or Kids Helpline for confidential counselling and advice. If you are ever in immediate danger you should call the police on 000.