Have you ever thought that your parents don’t understand you, and all they do is nag or lecture without really listening to how you feel? Maybe you feel that your parents treat you unfairly and that you’re the family’s black sheep.
Many teens have asked, “Why do my parents hate me?” It’s part of adolescence and early adulthood to question rules and authority, so fighting with parents is normal. But you must talk to them if these fights affect your self-esteem and mental health. Feelings of being unloved can reveal something in your relationship that needs to be addressed.
In this article, we’ll look at different reasons teens ask, “why do my parents hate me?” and how you can start a conversation with them. It will help them understand how you feel and what you need and can help you understand why they are acting a certain way.
This can improve your relationship with your parents, and make you feel more loved, accepted, and understood.
“My parents are disappointed in me.”
Parents want their children to succeed and enjoy a good life, and they believe that the best way to do that is to get a good education, build lots of skills and talents, and develop that “resume”.
But for young people, that can feel like a lot of pressure to meet their standards. You may feel your parents compare you to others and that nothing you do is enough for them.
Your feelings can also be magnified by stress. If you’re tired and emotionally overwhelmed, you’re more likely to feel bad when they say or do something.
For example, if they say, “Why did your Math grade go down?” they think they’re just reminding you about school. But if you’re in a bad emotional space, it can sound like disapproval or disappointment.
How to talk to your parents
Your parents don’t understand that their high expectations are causing you to feel anxious, stressed, and overwhelmed. That anxiety might even be affecting your focus or energy levels, so talking about this with them can help your performance, too.
Tell them, “Mom/Dad, I’m feeling stressed now. I understand why you want me to do well, but I’m always afraid of disappointing you. It makes me feel you hate me whenever I can’t meet your expectations.”
From there, you can talk about things they do or say that make you feel bad. For example: “I don’t like it when you say I lack motivation. I am motivated, but I feel anxious and overwhelmed.” Or “When you nag me about homework, it makes me want to do it less.”
This honest conversation can help parents understand where you’re coming from, look for better ways to support you, set more manageable goals, or help you manage your stress.
“My parents are always yelling at me”
Do you feel your parents shout at you when they’re angry? Or do they seem to have an “angry tone” whenever they ask you something or comment on something you’ve done? There are three possible reasons.
- Your parents are under a lot of stress. They may be tired and worrying about many other things, so by the time they talk to you, they’re already edgy and irritable.
- Your parents grew up in a home with a lot of yelling. People learn conflict management skills from their parents, so if their own family resolves differences by yelling, they’ll do that too. And when they yell, you yell — so the fight escalates.
- Your parents may feel it’s the only way to make you listen. People look for listening cues. They may yell to get your attention if they say something, and you don’t look up or answer. Or, if they remind you many times and you ignore or forget it, they may yell to show that this is important to them.
How to talk to your parents
Conflict and disagreement are part of any relationship; the important thing is to find a healthy way to express your ideas, then reach a common ground.
Unfortunately, neither of you is listening to the other when your parents yell and when you yell back. It’s become an emotional battle that nobody wins.
Pick a time when all of you are in a relaxed mood. Then say, “Can we talk about something? When you yell at me, I feel angry and stressed, and I get too upset to listen to what you say.” Then, together, talk about:
- The reason for yelling. Are they tired or triggered by specific behavior?
- The everyday things you fight about. Set a time to discuss how you can brainstorm with them for solutions that work for both of you. Instead of fighting about the same problems, you can “troubleshoot” together.
- Ways to remain calm during a fight. Agree to remind each other when one of you starts yelling, and think of what will help you communicate calmly (i.e, taking deep breaths, spending time alone first).
Important: when to talk to another adult
There’s a big difference between occasional yelling during a fight and when yelling is part of verbal abuse. Red flags are:
- If your parents are yelling all the time (at you and at each other)
- If your parents yell at you even without a trigger, or for even small reasons, or things that are not your fault
- If your parents hit you
- If your parents resort to calling names like “You’re an idiot” or “You’re worthless.”
It is never okay for anyone to do physical abuse, and verbal abuse has expected consequences for self-esteem and mental health. This toxic behavior by toxic parents will lead to children thinking, “Why do my parents hate me?”
If this happens at home, reach out to an adult you trust (like a teacher or counselor) to ask for help.
“My parents don’t respect my ideas and values”
During late adolescence and early adulthood, teens will start developing their ideas, opinions, and beliefs. This is a normal part of shaping your identity.
However, some parents may strongly disagree with your ideas, especially if they go against their essential values. They may even think that your friends or the shows you watch are “a bad influence,” or they’ll dismiss what you say with, “Oh, this is just a phase.”
This can be very frustrating and make children feel disrespected or even hated. “You don’t accept me for who I am. You’ll only love me if I give up my beliefs and become someone I’m not.”
How to talk to your parents
If it’s any consolation, this is a normal part of the teenage years. Even loving parents can have strong opinions, and not everyone is open-minded (unfortunately).
You can’t change how your parents think, just like how they can’t change how you think. You just have to agree to disagree.
However, you can tell your parents if you feel that they are personally attacking you. Focus your conversation on making them understand your emotions and feelings and not trying to convince them about how your ideas/beliefs/values are right.
Remember, the one thing parents and children will always agree on is that you want a good relationship. Your parents love you, even if they don’t understand or agree with you. So if you tell them, “Our fights are making me feel unloved, ” they might realize that they can’t push their opinions on you.
“My parents are too strict”
Parents set rules to discipline a child and to protect him or her from danger. Ideally, as the child grows older. To instill a rule, they set consequences so you can remember what to do and hopefully develop the proper habits.
This is part of their job as a parent. It would be neglectful and irresponsible for them to let you do everything and anything you want.
You probably know someone who thinks the world revolves around them or always expects others to do the work for them. You don’t like that person, right? Would you have wanted to grow up to be somebody like that?
So, discipline can be a form of tough love. But ideally, the discipline also allows you to become more independent. As you prove that you can be more responsible, you should also be allowed to have more freedom. It’s like taking the training wheels off a bike.
How to talk to your parents
When you both feel calm, ask your parents if you can sit down and discuss the rule you want to change. For example, you want them to extend your curfew.
You can say, “Mom/Dad, I think I’ve shown that I can be very responsible when I am out with my friends. I have never gotten into trouble. Can we extend the curfew?”
You can offer suggestions that can allay their fears or concerns. For example, you can call them at a particular time to let them know how they are. Or, they can pick you up. They may also feel more comfortable if they meet your friends and get to know them.
This rational discussion, where you give options and listen to their concerns, can help prove that you are responsible and ready for more freedom. Parents hate it when kids just yell or bang the door when they don’t get what they want. So, the way asks for more freedom affects the chances that your parents will listen.
“My parents play favorites”
Sibling rivalry is one of the most common reasons teens feel “my parents hate me.” You may feel that they are more affectionate with your other siblings or that one child gets more praise or less punishment.
This may make you wonder, “Why do my parents hate me? Why do they love my brother or sister more?”
There are two ways of approaching this situation. One thing to consider is that while rules should be consistent, children are different.
Parents may be stricter with a younger child and give more freedom to an older child. They may also take in personality types or emotional needs: a shy, anxious child may need more motivation than an independent child who can do things independently.
However, your parents need to know that this is affecting you. They probably don’t realize that you feel unloved or less loved than your siblings.
Tips on how to talk to your parents
Sit down with your parents and tell them what you feel and why. You can bring up examples or situations where you felt the treatment was unfair or you were hurt by something they said.
They may rush in to tell you that you misunderstood but just tell them: “Please hear me out. I want to share how I feel.” Sometimes, just being able to share your emotions can help you feel better and make you feel closer to your parents.
You can also talk about specific rules which you feel are inconsistent. They may explain why they treat kids differently, or maybe they simply didn’t realize it. So, having an honest discussion about it can help them.
“My parents aren’t affectionate with me”
Do you feel that your parents are constantly distracted or are emotionally distant? They don’t give hugs and rarely give praise. You may not think your parents hate you, but you wonder if they care about you.
Most parents do love their children but are not very good at showing it. There are a couple of reasons for that.
- Generational trauma. If they grew up with parents who weren’t affectionate, they might also have problems being affectionate with their kids.
- They have a different “love language.” Some people like to verbalize affection by saying, “I love you.” Others like to give gifts, while others like to do things. So when your mom always makes you a good dinner, that may be her way of showing love.
- They may be stressed or going through something. Parents are people, too! Just like you, they have moments when they’re overwhelmed or depressed. However, they may hide their emotions and try to cope with adult life problems. That can make them look distant, but they’re just dealing with something you don’t know.
- They are busy and tired. Perhaps the question isn’t “Why do my parents hate me?” but “Why do my parents not have enough time for me?” They love you but aren’t giving you enough attention because of their busy schedules.
Affection is very important in any relationship; your parents don’t realize they are not giving enough of it. They love you, they just need to show it more!
How to talk to your parents
Tell your parents you would like more quality time with them. For example, you can have a weekly movie night or take walks after dinner. If you have many siblings, ask for one-on-one time, not just a big family activity.
You can also tell them what kind of affection or attention you want. Remember, parents can’t read your mind… they may already think that they’re showering you with love, but it’s not your love language.
This can be as simple as, “Mom, I want a hug!” or “Dad, can we not talk about school today? Can we just please hang out and have fun? I miss talking to you.” They’ll like that you’re reaching out to them.
You want a closer relationship with your parents, who feel the same way. All you need is to find more ways to spend time together daily.
The question “Why do my parents hate me?” can be triggered by different situations or problems in the parent-child relationship.
No parent hates their children (unless they’re toxic parents with deep-rooted mental health issues that need psychological and professional intervention).
However, the feeling that “my parents hate me” can’t just be brushed aside by saying, “Of course we love you!” And you need to articulate how you feel — not just for your well-being but your relationship with your family.
So, once you have a more specific idea of what’s causing your feelings (and not just “my parents hate me”) sit down and talk to them. They don’t know that you are hurt, or something is wrong, so they need to hear the matter.
The conversation may be hard to start, and you may not be able to express everything clearly. But no matter how hard it is, it will be much easier than carrying the pain of thinking that your parents hate you. Talking to them creates hope and the chance to heal your relationship and become closer again.
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