How to Be a Parent to a Teen Who ‘Hates’ You

GoodTherapy | How to Be a Parent to a Teen Who ‘Hates’ YouOften, I meet a mom who is on the verge of tears describing how her teen hates her. She can’t understand it, and she wants her baby back. The teen looks on sullenly, once again exasperated by a parent who just doesn’t understand.

As a nonparent but a therapist for many kids, teens, and families, I can easily understand what this teen is going through. I remember it well. I hated my mom, too, and she was a sobbing mess due to my abrupt withdrawal. All I wanted was independence and for her to get off my back. Looking back, I want to kiss my mom for being so annoying. She saved me from so many negative experiences by having rules and expectations, but she also pushed me away by being emotional and reactive to my teen antics.

The preteen and teen years are filled with intense emotions and conflict. Historically, this change has been attributed to hormones, which is certainly a large part of it. Through our entire adult lives, we wrestle with hormones surging in our bodies, but after our teenage years we have developed enough to manage most of the residual emotions. Teens, on the other hand, have not. They feel so many different and new things, and they don’t always have the ability to slow down their reactions.

Educate Yourself

Learn more about what your teen is going through and try to develop an objective lens through which to look. This may help you make meaning of some of the wilder behavior your teenager exhibits. It won’t buffer the sting of hateful comments, but understanding where they come from may help you think rationally about it all and not question every parenting move you make. Read books, articles, and websites about teen development. An informative, easy-to-read book I recommend is The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults by Dr. Frances E. Jensen.

Remain Calm

When the situation is tense, take three deep breaths before responding to your teen. Don’t respond impulsively, as doing so may fuel the fire and create a bigger rift in your relationship. Attempt to process your emotions with another adult if you need to, and present yourself as calm, cool, and collected when approaching your teen. When this is not possible, try your best not to engage in an argument and instead walk away. If you are losing your cool or crying, your message may not be as effective and may further contribute to your teen’s negative perception of you.

See It from Their Perspective

It may not be sensible to you, but there is usually some merit to your teen’s argument. Validate it. Let them know that you get it, and you want them to be happy.

Guide Them

Looking back, I want to kiss my mom for being so annoying. She saved me from so many negative experiences by having rules and expectations, but she also pushed me away by being emotional and reactive to my teen antics.Almost all teens need some major guidance. Many lack the ability to think far ahead and weigh all the consequences of their choices. Part of your job as a parent is to control impulses. Your teen may rail against you, but don’t give up! Letting your teen run wild will help neither you nor your teen. Teens can be harsh, hurtful, and even intimidating to their parents, but you are the adult in the relationship and it’s your job—not your teen’s—to stand strong and maintain boundaries.

Stay Strong

Forget the messy rooms, don’t worry so much about the heavy eyeliner, and simply focus on safety and love. You love your teen because they were once your baby, and even though they can seem cold, moody, and sometimes downright mean, your teen loves you underneath it all and they do NEED you.

© Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Alexis Hansen, LCSW

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • Leave a Comment
  • kim

    September 3rd, 2015 at 8:28 AM

    don’t all teens hate their parents at some point? just keep loving them and eventually they will come back to you

  • La J

    September 16th, 2017 at 3:40 PM

    Yup, keep loving them, it sounds so nice, yet it’s hard to find what shape love must take each minute. Loving, that’s a given. How can you not love them! But HOW much to tighten rules, and how much to allow, when there’s permanent rudeness and rioting against authority, etc. A great challenge… It often wears one out to the limit. But true, avoiding showing negative emotion is effective. They actually do want you to keep your cool: they feel safer. God help any teen parent!

  • Trevor

    May 8th, 2020 at 5:02 PM

    Ok so I’m a teen in this quarantine and my mom is being a b**** what should I do and don’t give me any of the bs like oh she’s not a b**** you Don’t know her I do

  • Poppy

    May 9th, 2020 at 4:18 PM

    Trevor when anyone is being a b**** all you can do is keep away and concentrate on yourself and what keeps you sane and what is good for you. You have to separate their behaviour from your opinion of yourself. Faith helps if you have that. Good luck. X

  • DR

    May 9th, 2020 at 6:09 PM

    Hi Trevor, I think we need a little more information to properly comment. Would you mind telling us the scenario?

  • Sharon

    May 9th, 2020 at 7:13 PM

    Hi Trevor! When I read you post I wondered if my daughter had written it. As you said, we don’t know your mom and I’m not sure what she has done to make you feel this way. I’m finding that a lot of parents are parenting from fear (in general but especially now!) so they are on top of their kids and “riding” them for every little thing. Again, mainly because they are afraid. Afraid of raising a lazy child, an unhappy child, an ungrateful child, a child who makes bad decisions and has poor judgement. …etc… many parents have unrealistic expectations of their kids right now and what they should and should not be doing. I fell into this trap a week ago. Ugh. I apologized but damn I wish I had thought that through more. so, what do you do? Depends what you want from the relationship. Can you talk to her and share how you are feeling? If not, maybe write her a letter? Even you do something so small like make her a cup of coffee…or do the dishes…or make her a card. Even if she’s being horrid to you, this should have her bawling like a baby and you will have a changed mom on your hands. Its not saying how she’s treating you is ok. Your goal here is to get her to a place where you can share how you feel about the way she’s treating you, that you need space (or whatever it is you need) Avoid telling her she’s a b****. That won’t help you. :)
    Good luck!!!

  • Hilly

    May 11th, 2020 at 4:31 AM

    Dear Trevor, I’m so sorry to hear you’re finding your home situation so hard, and it’s really good that you’ve taken this first step to finding support. I don’t know what country are you based in, but most countries have online or telephone help and support for young people in difficult situations, e.g. Childline in the UK. You will be able to share your problems with someone who is trained and experienced to give you the support you need. Here is a link to Child Helpline International:
    I hope you find some help and that things get better at home.

  • Madalyn

    September 3rd, 2015 at 1:41 PM

    Above all else, I just want my children to know that I love them beyond belief and that nothing that they could ever say or do will change that. I might not like them at times, and they may not like me too much either, but that will never change the fact that they are my children and I will love and support them through the good times and the bad.

  • Deanne

    September 4th, 2015 at 5:31 AM

    Poignant and very well written. Thanks for an article filled with advice that’s helpful not only to mothers but also to teachers of teenagers.

  • annie

    September 4th, 2015 at 11:35 AM

    I have this tendency to shut down when I feel like I am being attacked and it is easy to feel that way with kids who are this age. The guiding light here is that this is not the time to shut down on them. They need you more than they know right now, and for you to shut down on them will only be one more thing in life that they feel is working against them. Be strong

  • La J

    September 16th, 2017 at 4:10 PM

    Thank you, Annie for this insight. It’s helped me a lot. Today I’ve felt at the end of my rope. Just wished I could pack up and leave forever, never to have to fight so hard for my teen’s well being by myself. Shutting down is a normal reaction. Yet I know I need to regroup, take it less personally, and fight diplomatically. And almost impossible challenge… But we also need to accept our limits, our failures, our imperfections. We too are persons, and we have needs and feelings. And that’s that. It’s hard to know you’re not going to be perfect, but it’s good to know you are doing you’re best and all you can, and even more… The painful thing is teens will blame and rant at the parent who is present… and the one missing or other family members that make no effort look good or at least don’t take the blows. It’s easy to love them — really hard to like them at times…

  • Lorri

    March 15th, 2018 at 2:35 PM

    I had such a rough day yesterday with my teenagers that I left the house, went for a drive, and thought of driving West maybe to California? I feel like such a horrible mother, but also,don’t deserve to be treated the way they are treating me. I give, give and get nothing in return. Maybe I’m giving too much. Really struggling with my first born 17 year old daughter. Did I mention she was strong willed? I can’t seem to say anything that doesn’t make her angry. I love her to pieces but don’t particularly like her right now. Any suggestions on how to break the silence that has occurred? I feel like there’s a power struggle right now.

  • Sara

    September 15th, 2018 at 8:21 AM

    Lorri – it’s been a few months since you left this post…I have a feeling things got way better…and then bad again…and then better and bad. :) I also have a 17 year old daughter. It is incredibly hard. We are super close on day, she hates me the next. A friend (also a parent coach) told me “Never ride the roller coaster”. That is WAY easier said than done. We are human, with emotions….sometimes I can’t keep them in. I never yell or raise my voice…My daughter typically tells me everything…boys, what she’s doing with friends, etc…until I lecture on the “why this is bad for you..and your future..your health as an athlete..blah blah blah”. She told me, and this is a gift, that she won’t tell me anything if she thinks she’s going to get a lecture. So, sometimes I’m read to explode on the inside, but I smile, ask a few questions and let it go. SO. HARD. This same parent coach friend told me to set boundaries that are in line with our family values and to hold firm to those. Your teen may fight back, complain, etc… however, they all need those tight boundaries while they are navigating their crazy, hormonal world. They will “get it” one day and come back apologizing (maybe). ;)

  • mel

    November 14th, 2017 at 12:27 PM

    I’d like to ask about the shutting down. 9 times out of 10, I take deep breaths, I keep the conversation going. The one time I break down and let loose, my 16 year old boy shuts down. I’m having a hard time breaking down the wall (it’s been 48 hours). How do I chip away at getting back to where we were (which was “normal” teen behavior, lots of time on his own and figuring out letting out the rope, but we could still find times to connect , the car, the dinner table, but right now it is complete shut down school and back to his room with no words.)? And for the record, his dad tends to shut down, I’m the one who always keeps the conversation going.

  • don m

    September 4th, 2015 at 1:24 PM

    Hind sight is 20-20, wish I had been able to have the knowledge and insight that comes with living through the challenge of raising teens prior to being a parent.

  • Gail

    November 14th, 2017 at 3:38 PM

    Me as well. I have two generations kidds. My son was 24when my oldest daughter was born… Now I have 2 teenage girls and there is nothing about raising a boy that can prepare you for the hell that teenage girls put you through…Have lots patience, choose your battles, try not to let them know that you are loosing it, pray alot and love them alot. (even when they hate you)
    We will all get through this!!!

  • Alexis H.

    September 5th, 2015 at 11:04 AM

    Through my work, I have seen how the teen years can be such a challenge because the parent has to basically go through a grieving process to let go of their child. The desire of the parent is to have their child stay a child, while the desire of the teen works in opposition, with their goal being to become an independent adult. Navigating this is not easy, but as some of you have commented, keep loving them and in the end they come back to you!

  • Chris (Dad)

    December 26th, 2016 at 11:43 PM

    2 teen girls15 and 16. Their mom tells them I am the anti-christ. Was falsely accused of abuse and won and now they are back. They won’t go to counseling and I only have them every other weekend Friday to Sunday. So this is on me to fix. I am thinking of no phones no tv regime until there are some changes. But i don’t know if thats cause they hurt me tonight, or cause I feel like ive tried everything else. Suggestions

  • Sara

    February 1st, 2017 at 12:08 PM

    Their mom has already made you out to be the evil, bad dad. So it’s going to be tough for you to show them that you’re not. Yes, you need some guidelines but talking to them together about what would be reasonable guidelines (phone use, TV use) might help. And most importantly, have fun with them! Go bowling or out to eat. Play board games. Get into what they are doing on their phones- join Snapchat, Instagram. Be patient and caring and have fun!!

  • Linda

    May 1st, 2017 at 1:15 PM

    Always reach out to them and continue to love them. I promise one day – they will come to you. They will want to see for themselves what you are really like. Hang in there. I know this is hard.

  • Gail

    November 13th, 2017 at 1:19 PM

    I hope so… She hurts my feelings almost every day… She was the sweetest baby, toddler, and preteen
    She woke up the morning of her 13th birthday I did not know who she was. She has gotten worse ever since…
    This morning she told me she would rather me not kiss her anymore… That my friends ripped my heart right out of my chest… She doesn’t know that.
    I have raised two other teen’s neither ever made me feel like that.

  • Irene

    April 4th, 2018 at 2:24 PM

    Same with my 11 (soon to be 12) year old daughter. We fight everyday and sometimes i feel that she hates me to her core. I took away her beloved celphone and despite her attachment to it, she refuses to change her attitude towards me. She woukd rather lose her celph than treat me with respect.
    The confusing matter is, the change in her did not happen gradually. It happened almost overnight. Like she woke up one morning and decided she hated her family.
    Most times i stay up late and cry and pray. Its tough. :(

  • Poppy

    August 17th, 2019 at 11:11 AM

    This is so helpful. Does it go on for years though? My daughter at 12 has changed overnight from wanting to do everything with me to hating everything about me. She tells me not to look at her, or touch her. Even my voice is “creepy and disgusting”. It’s horrid as if I have abused her in some way. We don’t argue over anything and I don’t stop her independence, she needs very little boundaries except there are these dreadful things she says to me.

  • Molly

    May 12th, 2020 at 9:21 AM

    Hi there. As a teen myself, I might be able to see why your daughter is behaving the way she is. When you say you took away your cellphone, that often sets kids off. She would rather not treat you with respect because she may feel that you don’t deserve it, for various reasons. The important thing would be to talk to her about it, and not say nasty things to her during said convo. I hope I helped! :)

  • Joyce

    September 6th, 2015 at 2:48 AM

    It is one off my fear already, mine daughter is only 3 and she is strong will already, as the article illustrate first you need calm yourself down first, listen to what they are saying and then you can try to give your best advice also mention the risk that may occur, be honest, because sometime our own fear can cloud everything, we can only try and do the best we can, be an example, be their role model, these kids are very smart, sometime they act all tough or rude just for attention or want to know that you care.

  • victoria

    September 6th, 2015 at 7:59 AM

    No one ever said that raising them through the teen years was gonna be easy, but if you can find your way through the maze that is adolescence you could find yourself looking at a pretty cool kid once the two of you are finally once again able to meet in the middle.

  • Meg

    September 7th, 2015 at 10:49 AM

    It’s not that they actually hate you, but they are going through a point where they are trying to figure out quite a few things on their own and that can be so frustrating and confusing to them all at the same time. I think that it is definitely a time where you have to be willing to give them a little bit of space space to grow and space to fail, and just let them know that you are still going to be there for them whenever it is that they decide that they need you again.

  • marilyn b

    September 7th, 2015 at 5:19 PM

    I would rather they hate me now than go out and do something stupid

  • Jeanna

    September 8th, 2015 at 10:36 AM

    The thing that has been the hardest for me is that I have always been so close to my girls when they were young and now it almost feels like they don’t want me to be involved in anything that they do anymore. I know that this is a natural phase for them to go through but it still doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt that they do not need me the way that they once did.

  • Di

    November 8th, 2018 at 5:24 PM

    Hi Jeanna, I read a lot of the posts on this site and yours hits home for me. I was just crying because I found out through the grapevine that my 18 year old daughter got a promotion in the Navy and never told me. I guess I’m writing you because I want to know how things are going 3 years later. Have things gotten better? I’m trying to figure out how long this emotional jail sentence is going to be. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!!

  • Sally High

    September 9th, 2015 at 3:20 AM

    Take a deep breathe. Realizing they are trying to spread their wings of independence, we as parents represent boundaries, consequences, set of guidelines. Understand that although it feels personal it is not. Try to better understand the hidden message behind what they are saying and not directly listen to the words.

  • maureen

    September 11th, 2015 at 10:08 AM

    I would never say that this will be easy because I can assure you that after going through this with four kids now, there is nothing all that easy about it. But at the same time It can be so rewarding once you establish a new relationship with your children after they have grown into young adults and you can truly see what a wonderful specimen that you have helped to mold and create. They will be their own person with their own identity but at the same time if you can just weather the storm with them they are going to become fabulous young adults that I promise you will be so proud of.

  • Papa

    December 22nd, 2016 at 3:51 AM

    Ok my daughter “hates” me. She probably thinks this is really cool. I am mortal and will die in time. Then all the times we might have had will be lost and she will be left without wonderful memories. Just hate that she is bringing no matter how much I try to stop it. This is not a wonderful life it sucks and I am sorry to be living it.

  • Alexis Hansen, LCSW

    December 28th, 2016 at 4:54 AM

    Sorry to hear about your experience. Teenage years can truly be hellish, and I can feel your pain! Stick with your daughter and remember she is likely going through a tough phase in life. Be curious, maintain your rules, and otherwise try your very best to remember that she doesn’t mean what she says right now.

  • Deb

    August 24th, 2017 at 8:15 PM

    I agree…life sucks without one of your children…I have 5 boys 19 to age 1….my 17 year old quit talking to me 3 months ago…I have no idea why….he only lives with his dad now….it’s sooo hard! And sooo painful to send texts that he won’t respond is too short!

  • Solaceraya

    June 11th, 2018 at 8:27 PM

    6 years ago, my teen daughter left me after high school to live with her grandparents on her dad’s side (they are wealthy). She has never spoken to me again, wont respond to texts, blocked me on all social media. I never received any explanation whatsover why she would do this. I am so distraught over this, She was never even a bad teen, just one day decided that she hated me. All this talk of, just wait it out, they will come back to you, sometimes just doesnt happen, in my case it did not. I am extremely worried because I have 16yo who is much more emotional and hard to get a long with and I feel that she is going to do the same thing because she saw her older sister do this. I honestly am clueless why this happened and do not know how to handle my 16yo daugher, she says the cruelest things to me and treats me horribly. Nothing I do for her is good enough, she blames me for everything. I just feel like giving up.


    June 12th, 2018 at 9:20 AM

    Solaceraya, I have given up. I haven’t given up on my daughter but I’ve given up trying to placate her because it just plays into her hands. I’ve accepted she’s immature, I’ve accepted she sees life in black and white with no room for any grey areas and certainly no room for any understanding. It’s really up to them to catch up with the rest of the world and not the other way round like I was pandering to.
    Keep your chin up, my older daughter was the same but I have a great relationship with her now she’s grown up!

  • Sara

    August 1st, 2018 at 7:41 PM

    Hi Deb, I am in the same boat as you do. I have only one son. And I raised him on my own as a single mother. I was always focused on him, He turned 16 in January this year. He use to be a very lovely boy, always well behaved and well manners. but all of the sudden everything changes, he is very rude and very disrespectful. He said to me that he hates me and he wished that I die. Now he moved with his father. I called him but he blocked my number from his phone.I keep texting him, my first couple texts he ignores and never replied back. but for my recent two texts, he replied me back (and what he replied I can’t even write here) was very very bad language. I am so broken heart. And always keeps thinking that what I have done wrong? I am always worried about him. Miss him so bad.

  • June

    September 9th, 2019 at 4:56 PM

    Hi, I’m in a similar situation with my 16 year old twin boys. They left to their dads house last week and don’t want to come back.

  • Martin

    December 29th, 2017 at 10:34 AM

    I feel less alone after reading of all your experiences. My 17 yr old daughter is so hurtful to me, she gets up and leaves the room when I walk in, she talks to me like dirt. She can see how much it hurts me but doesn’t seem to care. My wife has tried to reason with her but apparently I just annoy her. This makes me feel like I can’t spend time with the rest of the family because when I try, she just leaves the room. I feel so isolated,

  • Becky

    July 22nd, 2018 at 5:52 PM

    Hi my name is Becky and i seen your comment about dealing with teenagers. Yours stood out to me the most and I’m hoping I could get advice or anything because it feels like there’s no help out there and I’ve got to deal with this alone. I’m going through the same thing with my 16 year old who’s behaviour changed just after mum mum and died died in 2015 he was getting sent home from school the lot but his behaviour changed rapidly about a year ago I’m in and out of court and police stations with him all the time (nothing serious). I would give him anything he asked for especially money just so i could get abit of peace but i stopped all the money because I’ve had it upto my neck with how he treats me. He smashes things in my house even on a good day weather his clothes are not ironed or cant find socks and hes smashed my things when i dont give him money so my sister said to stop all the money and i said no because he gets worst and she told me he does it weather i give him money or not so that opened my eyes a bit and thought she was exactly right. He would rather go out with his mates than do anything at all with me . He wakes in the morning goes out all day, comes home at night (iv told him 10.30 and hes never been late) and goes on his game. He’s got no interest in speaking a word to me. Now that I’ve stopped all money till he does something around the house he’s gone worst he won’t do anything for me and refuses to talk to me at all and starts coming in later than late and doesnt care what so ever if I’m worried or not. I’ve asked him why he’s treating me like this and he says because I don’t like you. I cry almost every day and night and wonder what my purpose is for living.
    Hope you can help. I would really appreciate it.
    Many thanks.

  • Chris (Dad)

    December 26th, 2016 at 11:45 PM

    every other weeekend Dad, 2 teenage girls 15 and 16. Poisoned by the mother. But i meed to get through to them.Could use some suggestions on how to have conversations that mean something. and ae fruitful. Suggestions?

  • Alexis Hansen, LCSW

    December 28th, 2016 at 4:51 AM

    Hello Chris,
    Without knowing the situation , my only suggestion would be to have some empathy for the girls for being put in between both you and your wife. This may not be your fault, but it sounds like they still feel pressure to be on their mother’s “side” which can be a terrible position to be in for any kid. Recognize that their actions may not be their own and try your best not to respond with anger, but rather with curiosity about what their experience is like. It wouldn’t hurt to seek counsel yourself to help you navigate this situation.

  • Nadia

    February 21st, 2017 at 1:37 PM

    Teenagers are the devil. They need to be disciplined…… American teenagers are spoiled and need to learn some respect!

  • Janice

    March 6th, 2017 at 7:58 PM

    I raised my son for 15 years, suddenly he decided to move in with his father. I had no warning, was in the middle of buying a house with a garage and workshop for him. He knew he was moving in with his dad for months and never told me. I now only see him every other weekend and one night a week. I miss him terribly and when I cry or try to tell him, he gets angry with me. I dont know why he does not miss me and why he gets upset when I say do you miss me. He had been getting very rude to me and sometimes wonder if it was Gods way of protecting me from it and now he is treating his dad the same way. I spoiled him rotten and treated him like a king. I hope he remembers one day. He told me he spent fifteen years with me and now he wants to spend some time with his dad. I am trying to be understanding and support him but feel like he abandoned me. sometimes on my weekend he wants to see his friends,,,it is hard as i look so forward to evey cherished moment. I am single so when he is not here I am alone but he always has one of us so i guess thats why he does not miss us as much. My heart has never been so broken and he can be so cold…I never dreamed a child that use to cry when I left the room could walk away by the time he turned 15 like he never had such a close relationship. Its like a death… worst nightmare all opinions are so welcome

  • Anonymous

    March 11th, 2017 at 6:14 AM

    no need to worry, that is normal teenage behaviour. He thinks that he doesn’t need you but he will always approach you when in trouble, deep inside he knows that you truly care about him and can do anything for him, but he has started taking your love for granted, he knows that you will always be there for him. He is an adolescent right now as he grows up he will start valuing you again. Just make sure he doesn’t fall into bad company. Cheers :)

  • Janice

    April 24th, 2017 at 8:10 AM

    Hi…thank you to all who took time to reply. Your advice and kind words are appreciated. I have seen some improvements in my son’s behavior in some situations. The funny thing is he had been getting angry that I was keeping some of his clothing in his room so he had things when he is here. He was very angry and Sked why I’m obsessed with withholding his clothing from him. I spent a fortune on his wRxrobe and only wanted to make sure he had some things here for going out fancy or for play. Last week I poked up all of his clothing…in Ludington stuff he does not wear often…suits ..belts old no fault of items cloths….pyjamas…..everything in his suitcases ND told him with genuine smile thato I had packed all his things for him. He was in shock….almost looked embarrazssed. I said that is what you waneed. ..he said…ya UT I did not think you would do it..or at least everything..just like that. I gave him what he wanted…gave up the fight…and suddenly I think he felt I did not care so much any more. He lost his power abd control. He was very taken back when he got what he tbiught he wanted….interesting. you never know what you had until it’s gone. Next will be some of his clutter from his room that I thought remind me he is still here while his room at his dads condo looks like a hotel. I am left with cages of lizards hamsters etc…none of wich were allowed to go to daddy’s house…but are they not his sons belongings…feeling used. But I am realizing g he is seeing now all what he had….but it does nit bring him home. Then last week wanted me to buy him cool clothing for summer. I tried to explain to him that now that is daddy’s job because now I am the one paying 800 dollars a month child support….he said but daddy always says no…we have to wait for sales. I
    My son took away my parenting tools….he isaid not here but expects the same rights. I am left feeling the pets…cleaning the cages…walking his dog…..he ditched us all. If his dad wanted him. ..he should have taKen all of the responsibilities that come with him.

  • Maggi

    April 20th, 2017 at 9:42 PM

    Oh Janice, I am so sorry you are going through this terrible pain. Please know that your love for your son is good and as mothers, our love for our children no not depend on them. You must trust that there is a Father in heaven that loves you and your son, and even your son’s father. You are not alone, there are so many mothers like you – we should have a group to encourage each other and pray for our children. God is good, He is very good.

  • Becky

    July 22nd, 2018 at 6:01 PM

    Hi my name is Becky and i seen your comment about dealing with teenagers. Yours stood out to me the most and I’m hoping I could get advice or anything because it feels like there’s no help out there and I’ve got to deal with this alone. I’m going through the same thing with my 16 year old who’s behaviour changed just after mum mum and died died in 2015 he was getting sent home from school the lot but his behaviour changed rapidly about a year ago I’m in and out of court and police stations with him all the time (nothing serious). I would give him anything he asked for especially money just so i could get abit of peace but i stopped all the money because I’ve had it upto my neck with how he treats me. He smashes things in my house even on a good day weather his clothes are not ironed or cant find socks and hes smashed my things when i dont give him money so my sister said to stop all the money and i said no because he gets worst and she told me he does it weather i give him money or not so that opened my eyes a bit and thought she was exactly right. He would rather go out with his mates than do anything at all with me . He wakes in the morning goes out all day, comes home at night (iv told him 10.30 and hes never been late) and goes on his game. He’s got no interest in speaking a word to me. Now that I’ve stopped all money till he does something around the house he’s gone worst he won’t do anything for me and refuses to talk to me at all and starts coming in later than late and doesnt care what so ever if I’m worried or not. I’ve asked him why he’s treating me like this and he says because I don’t like you. I cry almost every day and night and wonder what my purpose is for living.
    Hope you can help. I would really appreciate it.
    Many thanks.

  • Lee

    April 22nd, 2017 at 10:23 PM

    Yes Alexis its easy to say when you dont have kids. Its like teaching someone to drive when your instuctor has never been behind the wheel of a car. Kids are like flowers (Ihave 3 )You give them lots of sunshine and love and food and shelter and support there dreamsand goals. I love being a dad and having a family there is no greater gift.But one thing that my kids have to do is treat me with respect.I may not have my phd in child physic and I dont believe I need one. I treat others like I want to be treated.I try to be as understanding and reasonable as possible but on the other hand I have my limits.Like in the the words of Rose Kennedy “I give a lot and expect a lot” . If my kids disrespect myself or my wife I will not tolerate it for 1 sec and I dont need to be calm and patient and understanding.They wouldnt receive any special treatment in school or any organized sport or group so why would parents who give them everything besubject to that sort of treatment. Just because they are our children it doesn”t mean that they can control our lives.

  • Alexis Hansen

    April 23rd, 2017 at 2:21 PM

    It sounds like you have a good handle on parenting. I wrote this article in response to the many parents I have worked with who felt very hurt by their teens anger and either gave up on parenting them or reacted to them in an aggressive manner. As a non-parent, I recognize that I am no expert in parenting. However, I’ve supported a lot of parents in managing their own emotions as they parent kids who have entered the mental health system for one reason or another, and I’ve seen good results when parents take a step back and react intentionally.

  • Holly

    April 24th, 2017 at 5:04 AM

    The BEST coaches in the NBA never played professionally. Alexis, keep counseling and giving advice. Non-parent or not, you are spot on. If you have helped even one parent you have added sunshine in someone’s life. I had a terrible fight with daughter last night and googled to find this. Thank you for your counsel. This was an excellent article and I am taking advice from it this. From one parent of many to a NON parent, I am grateful for your gift of wisdom.

  • Joshua

    June 26th, 2017 at 7:40 PM

    I dont know what to do. My 15 year old son tonight said in a calm tone he hates me and if I died he wouldnt care. This feels like the final straw in a battle I always felt I was losing. As a man I feel defeated and broken. I feel I have lost him. I feel weak for even writing this. I love my son but I feel like he has finnally crossed a line I cannot return from. Ever since my ex wife died of cancer he has changed. I am so angry she died and took my relationship with my son with her. For the first time in my life I feel helpless. I have no idea how to fix this. My younger daughter is doing so well and my fiancee loves him so much, our lives could be so good.

  • Jeanette

    August 13th, 2017 at 6:26 AM

    Yes I know that feeling. I guess for me its getting criticism for doing the very best possible. I have a disability and still hold down a full time job, have a house and have brought my girls up with no family or ex partners. But even when I am sick for a day they are yelling at me, slamming doors, saying they hate me. I just feel parents always have to be 100% there for the kids but aren’t they also supposed to grow up to be caring individuals? I completely understand that they go through hormones, and school troubles, but honestly I would never have spoken to my mother this way and it seems children don’t need to have respect anymore. Parents are just supposed to keep loving them regardless of their behaviour, but my concern is, what if they really don’t have the ability to care? I mean if there is no respect for the many years you have been everything for them, how do you actually know they care? I realise things get said in haste by teenagers, but more and more it seems they have less remorse and we hope they care, but don’t really know, and there are no real expectations. I was brought up strictly with manners and now parents have greater pressures as well now. So, if there is no mutual respect, how is it everyone just believes they care when you don’t know. I understand how you feel Joshua. When they say they don’t care if you die or not. It may be in haste, it may be manipulative, it might be they were angered with something else, but it is not acceptable. Sometimes they come back and apologise but then is it truthful? Where does this thinking even come from? I have taught my girls not to go to bed angry, to accept anothers point of view, to communicate rather than react and to do what makes you happy as long as it doesn’t hurt others. I am not sure this has rubbed off on them now. The real test is when you are down, do they ignore you, kick you when your down, or hold out their hand like you have done for them growing up? I guess only this shows if they love and respect you or not. And no, I don’t believe being a good parent gives you a guarantee they will love you back. That’s why it’s so hurtful after years of trying to be the best parent, that you may have a child / teenager / young adult that has iced you out. Watching many others go through the hurt, sometimes they turn it around and sometimes they don’t. All that is getting me through now is to slowly make time for me. Be a good parent but as they get older, ensure you make time for you. Be kind to yourself. If they don’t respect you, call them on it. I have said nothing for too long as they are more forceful speakers than I am. I have decided that I won’t be shut down. I deserve to be treated as I treat them, with kind words and care. Fingers crossed. At least now I have my own outlets so my soul is not always being crushed by them. Thanks for listening.

  • dolores

    August 21st, 2017 at 10:21 PM

    My kids are older, 23, 20, 17. My oldest seems to get it and appreciates me, but my two younger ones honestly hate me. I can never get it right. When they are home for the summer, I don’t even ask them to do anything around the house anymore, it’s not worth the aggravation, and they won’t do it anyway. I now have an empty nest, and I thought I would be so sad, but after awhile I get tired of doing for them and I never get a drop of appreciation back. I have tried to friend my daughter (17) on social media, only the sites that she doesn’t really care about like facebook, (not snapchat or twitter) she is friends with our whole extended family, but will not friend me, she has even blocked me. I know she doesn’t do much with facebook, so what is the big deal? She has even told me, “we are not friends in real life, why would we be on facebook?” They never acknowledge Mother’s day or my birthday, other than a text maybe. My middle one did remember my birthday this year and even got me a gift. He was even kind enough to sign his brother and sister’s name, and I made sure I thanked all of them and showed my appreciation. They never gave him the money for their part of the gift, even after I gently reminded them, more than once that they should payback their brother. My older one forgot, and my youngest, my daughter had no interest in wasting money on me, so I just gave my middle son all the money for it. I don’t need anything from them, but it would be nice to just be appreciated. I was lucky enough to stay home with them when they were little, and I loved it. I loved being a mom and I love my kids, just feels like I failed. At least they are kind to pretty much anyone who is not me, but still.

  • Carol

    September 2nd, 2017 at 7:31 AM

    I really needed this article and the comments from parents. My normally happy teen is “icing me out” as others have mentioned. The pain I feel is unlike anything I was prepared for. I guess you could say I was not prepared at all because my child was so obedient and kind all of his life, until now. He tells us to “not take it personally” and that he is “just figuring things out” but how could he need to figure out that he loves his own parents??? We have done nothing different or wrong and he has had a wildly better life than we experienced and I don’t remember treating my parents like this at all. People always think we look like a model family but I just think, ‘You have no idea how my son treats me, with no smiling, ignoring us online and in person, one word answers, glaring, blaming us for every little thing, twisting things that have happened in the past that were perfectly good memories, treating us like are horrible, etc.” The pain I feel is all-consuming. This is the best article (and most understanding comments) of any I have read. Here is another article that has helped: Good luck to everyone. I know there are far more difficult situations than mine. I wish we could have a support group. Who knew this would be so very hard?

  • Paige

    June 15th, 2018 at 4:05 AM

    Carol, It’s his teen angst, hormones, etc. that make kids change, or even think it’s “funny” to hurt us. Later, he’ll regret the pain he caused. (But that’s later.) RIGHT NOW: tell him you will always love him. Keep all conversations light (nice weather today!) DO NOT respond to a negative comment and don’t start one. This only leads to more fighting and resentment. Hang in there. I survived, so will you!

  • Alexa

    September 5th, 2017 at 7:50 PM

    Tonight my daughter told me that “everyone ” agrees that being around me is bad for her mental health. She blamed me for her depression and for her eating disorder; for her social problems and her pretty much everything else. Talking to me is bad for her health and everything I say is stupid. Her Dad left me and them 7 years ago and moved 3000 miles away but I am the problem. I have only tried to love her and do right by her. It is so easy to feel like a failure and hopeless. I have never loved anyone like her and her brother. Clearly, love is not good enough.

  • La J

    September 16th, 2017 at 3:44 PM

    Alexa, God bless you — I have heard this all summer from my 17 year old. I am the cause of all his troubles! Don’t take it to heart. It would be a mistake. They often contradict themselves, and it’s a sense of power they get from making you feel guilty and inadequate. As a single parent, myself, I know we second guess ourselves and our sense of inadequacy can be exploited. You must be doing a lot right, if she needs to tell you that. Courage! And thank you for your comment. It’s helped my sanity tonight, after another struggle with my son. We love them, and they know it, yet they push the limits…

  • Alexa

    August 28th, 2018 at 7:00 PM

    Somehow I never saw these responses until tonight. I hope your son is treating you better. My daughter came through most of the anger and acting out and is now at college. Just the first week, but she has been confiding in me and I can see that she knows who has been here for her. Thanks everyone for the responses. Hang in there everyone. xoxo

  • Maiken

    November 5th, 2017 at 2:11 PM

    Going through it myself with my older two. Left their father when they were babies over his domestic violence. He had more money and resources and took them away. Both kids distrust me. It’s really, really rough. Hang in there, both of you!!!

  • Tania

    March 2nd, 2018 at 12:13 AM

    Alexa… Yes love is enough even when it feels wasted on them. My daughters father turned up in her life (behind my back) when she was 15. Within two months of meeting him she moved in with him. What followed was 18 months of sheer hell. She only spoke to me to yell and scream at me, blocked me from all social media, and was COMPLETELY disconnected from me and everyone who truly loved her. I got help from everywhere I could and never gave up on her. Slowly but surely she started to see where the love truly is. She’s home now – and still hates me – but in a way that all teenagers do. Guess who she comes to when she needs help though.
    So hard not to take it personally because it hurts so much but I just remind myself that she takes it out on me because she knows I will always love her regardless and that she can trust that love no matter what.

  • La J

    September 16th, 2017 at 4:03 PM

    Wonderful article and God bless you all for the helpful comments. Had another awful night with my son. As a single mother now, I struggle with a teen (16) who used to be a great kid, loving, a reader, listening to great music, from classical to all kinds, playing violin etc. Now he found ”friends” who smoke, drink, etc. and loiter. He gave it all up for them, and since one of them hates his mother, he hates me too. He tries to identify himself with them, for popularity. One of them has a dad who’s ”cool” and drinks, is permissive and the son goes to clubs from 14 overnight. Now my son thinks and tells them I am a psychopath because I worry and call him, sometimes get angry at him throwing away his future and wasting his life. He loathes to be told anything. After a serious illness and major surgery, he still doesn’t help me much at all, while, of course, showing off muscles all the time. Sadly, he has the least consideration possible, and he says he wants to be the opposite of me because I am a goody- goody and play the Christian. I try to take it all with a grain of salt, but not having another adult to support me, it does get to me and I cry a lot. I know I should try to keep calm, but it’s practically impossible. Thank you for saying that we shouldn’t give up. I will fight to the end, although it’s not easy to know how. I wish I knew how to keep him away from these ”friends.” No way, really… they are in the same school, and when he goes out, he meets with whomever he wants…. Hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. And most painful. Courage to all.

  • Maiken

    November 5th, 2017 at 2:13 PM

    Oh, I could have written 95% of this myself. :(
    I am so, so sorry. It’s difficult to be the “bad guy.” Going through it with my own 18 year-old son right now.

  • La J

    November 6th, 2017 at 7:38 AM

    Thank you Maiken — good to know we’re not alone. Hope and pray your son grows up (somehow I was hoping 18 was more sane! I guess it takes even longer…) Best wishes and thank you for your encouragement.

  • Karen

    October 1st, 2017 at 5:22 AM

    Hello, I am very concerned for my grandchildren. You see my son is in drug rehab, his wife really could have used it also. They have a son 12 a daughter 9 and another son 3. I love them all the kids and even my son. But my son and his wifes drug issue have been a huge financial and emotional strain on myself and my husband who for the last 5 years has been 100% disabled. We support them 100% except for gov food stamps, thank God for those. They live within 15 min walking dist from us, in a house we own. I could give more history but I am worried about my oldest grandson. He has been disrespectful to his mom for the last 3 years its been a slow growing thing with saying you know why I hate you so leave me alone, which no one can get him to say what happened. But he has always shown respect when at my house he is calm and always follows house rules. But recently he constantly fights with his mom, leaving ang coming to our house then he refuses to leave. She has called the sheriff’s office several times to have him taken home. We try to support the whole family but its hard. He has gotten so much bigger this summer that him and his mom are closer to the same size. Now when she threatens him he threatens her right back.
    He is now at the point he cusses her out bad, and dares her to hit him in the mouth (I pray this is not happening)
    Today his 9 year old sister came to our home with him they were both upset. When the mom came they were both loud and cussing threats at her. At one point I had things almost calmed down when the 3 year old gets out of the car and points his little finger and said no mommy you lie mommy you bad go home, and I knew at that time something had to change before my son gets released, or my grandchildrens options change. Please if someone has an idea, wisdom, anything. We are praying. My 12 yr old grandson is so filled with anger, its consuming the other children im afraid.

  • Ren

    October 14th, 2017 at 6:24 PM

    i have a 12 year old daughter and just had the worst night ever with her. All i was doing was trying to get her to help me do some housework and i got the “i hate you and i wish i lived somewhere else.” i admit i got really upset, i told her to go to her room where she has been since, a few hours later and i am still crying, its just me and i really don’t know how to handle this, please help!

  • Hilly

    March 9th, 2018 at 9:32 AM

    I hope things are better for you. I know that pain of rejection.

  • Ren

    March 24th, 2018 at 8:25 AM

    thank you for the support, with the help of family and my daughter’s school things have got a lot better and our home is once again peaceful :)

  • Ren

    August 28th, 2018 at 7:32 PM and my daughter now get on amazingly well..her school helped me be able to sit down and talk to her so we were able to find out what was wrong and causing her to act the way she was..and with suggestions from my mum and friends as well like getting into the music she likes..its actully pretty good.. (i’m a fan girl at 39 hehe) but in truth its given us something thats pulled us back together..i hope this helps any of you..try and talk and try and find something you have in common..if not then just try and keep an open mind to things they are intrested this keeps working i don’t know but i am alot more hopeful of the future now. :) good luck and my best wishes to all of you <3

  • Estela

    October 25th, 2017 at 9:28 PM

    It just hurts so much to feel my sons rejection. I understand that his teen’s brain is still developing and changing, and his emotional reactions are like a roller coaster, I try to be patient and understanding, but he can be very rude and insensitive, I ask God for strength and intelligence to survive this difficult period he is in.

  • La J

    November 6th, 2017 at 7:34 AM

    I can SO relate. This morning I have cried and barely felt able to do any work from the shock my son’s behavior can be. Sadly, I worry that he is in bad company or is smoking weed again, etc. He wants to rise back to the way he used to be, a boy with many interests, a reader, a classical musician, yet his friends drag him down. I represent the reminder of who he still is or could be, and he can’t stand being reminded. So I am the number one loathed enemy. Painful, but CAN NOT be taken personally. Deep down, they are different but can’t admit it right now. It’s like a mental disease. The more we detach emotionally and treat it like a symptom, the more success we may have and the more rational solutions can surface. God bless you and stay strong.

  • kim

    December 12th, 2017 at 5:36 AM

    I am going through **** with my 16yr old son at the moment. I am a lone parent and we have had a lovely relationship up until he was 15 but now I can’t talk to him without him biting my head off! He tells me he wishes I would commit suicide! He never wants to do anything with me anymore and he spends most of his time at his girlfriend’s house. I feel such a failure as a mother! Why doesn’t he love me anymore? he has no respect for me or our home. He refuses to tidy up after himself, which I can accept in his own bedroom but not every other room in our home! I try to be understanding and I encourage him to bring his girlfriend home and I invite her to many family occasions ( even though it is difficult to pay for a third person as I don’t get maintenance etc… from my ex husband) I often sit and cry to myself as I love him to bits but he pushes me further and further away. He loves spending time with her family and I wonder whether he resents me for not being able to give him the family he deserves, as it has only been the two of us from when he was a baby. His Dad didn’t choose to see him which wasn’t my choice for my son but he seems to want to punish me for it! I can’t see any end to this and it is breaking my heart. Please tell me this is normal teenage behaviour???

  • kim

    February 6th, 2018 at 11:21 AM

    Hi, I am going through **** with my 18 year old daughter, who is a senior. She is on the verge of failing her senior year. She was licensed last year in May, got a car, wrecked it in 4 days, it was totaled, got another, she has been in 4 accidents, smokes weed constantly. One accident I am involved in a lawsuit. Has a possessions charge for marijuana. She came home last Monday night, high as a kite, I took the keys and the car, since then, she said she hates me and is never coming back home. I have given her warning after warning, I haven’t slept in four days. The pain I feel is so immense, I can not stop crying.

  • Suzanne A.

    May 26th, 2018 at 7:07 PM

    I’m so sorry you are going through this. I know that pain and I hope you find your way through it.

  • tammy t

    February 14th, 2018 at 7:09 PM

    its heartbreaking knowing you can give life to a child and one day they just decide they don’t love you anymore ! My daughter just turned 14 and I sware she has it out for me …..she looks up to her aunt but seems to degrade me as her mother …I feel like her aunt should have given birth to her they way she puts her up on a pedistool…just how I feel almost positive her aunt downs me around her …..anybody else face these same issues daughter hates me

  • Hilly

    March 9th, 2018 at 9:30 AM

    We are in despair with our 13-year-old who has Asperger. She has been difficult for a number of years, with episodes of rudeness that go well beyond normal limits. Now she says she doesn’t want to live with us any more and is making life awful for all of us, including her 15-year-old brother all the time. She has explained some grievances she has, mainly that we live in the country so she can’t walk to shops or friends’ houses, we have given her a lot less money than her school friends, and we are validating her feelings and trying to find compromises. When we do this, she says we are just horrible and she can’t live with us. I find it so hard not to get upset, even though I know this is not helpful. How can I feel less hurt by this and be able to keep my cool?

  • claire1357

    May 30th, 2018 at 11:40 AM

    hilly and everyone in pain
    So sorry to hear that you are suffering
    I guess every parent wants to know what is normal and what behaviour is an indication that things are not right and need special treatment, or whether the outcome of the relationship will be not what you have hoped and end sadly for you.
    I speak as someone who rarely has communication with my son in his 20’s; his choice. he does have problems and I understand and do not take it personally now. Suxh things may be out of our control. Life can still be good if we take steps to help ourselves.
    My advice would be to find books to work on yourselves and about parenting. Choose therapy to deal with your sadness if necessary, get the kids therapy if you think it will help. they may be able to talk to somebody else about what you cannot bare to hear.
    I also recommend the forum conduct disorders for parents who are having sustained problems. You will find support there and a lot of wisdom.

  • K3v1n

    May 22nd, 2018 at 2:02 PM

    Thanks to everyone who has posted about your experiences with your teen. I was looking for any nugget of wisdom I could dig up and apply to my situation, wow, I found a whole mountain of wisdom from these comments. My 15 year old son is displaying some very destructive behavior. Caught at school with a marijuana pipe and had to appear before Teen Court. He is not abiding by the program or taking it or anything else serious. He is defiant to any type of authority right now, yes of course, with parents, family even our pastor. I guess I messed up by showing too much emotion and feeding into his power. I always look to God first anytime I am faced with a situation that I do not know how to handle but as we know the God plan often takes some time and I needed to hear something now. Makes me believe this article was an answer to prayer, God speaking to me through all of you, how cool. It eases my heart knowing that I am not alone and based on what I’ve read here today things do get better. Please don’t anyone hesitate for telling your story, your words may be an answer to someones prayer.

  • Anna

    June 22nd, 2018 at 5:20 AM

    When did it become okay to allow such disrespectful behavior. I get the hormone aspect of it, but we all were teenagers at some point. In my day we would never think of disobeying our parents. The kids today, including my own, have NO regard for authority. They have a sense of entitlement and YES agree we most continue to love them but at what cost to our emotional well being. A mother’s love is unforgiving however, the verbal abuse that my teens display can really start to stretch that bond.

  • mom of 3

    July 20th, 2018 at 2:48 PM

    I need some help with this too, My 14 year old hates me, and i have done nothing but love her and give her everything.. she chose to live with her dad after he walked out on us 11 years ago. he was never there but now can be father of the year and hes all happy she chose him. Every time she has problems, its my fault.. she seriously cant stand the sight of me… i like reading all these comments.. you guys have helped me alot

  • Dolores

    July 20th, 2018 at 4:18 PM

    I wrote a comment a about a year ago. Things were miserable in my home. One year later so much has changed for the better. My youngest went away to school and came back a completely different person. She sought out help all on her own. I just have to say what a complete pleasure she is now. For my birthday this year I just asked for everyone to write me a letter about a memory of me. I was blown away with how appreciative the tones in all their letters were. My point is, there is hope. Seriously my kids pretty much hated me, but with my daughter changing the dynamic of the family for the better, well, what a difference. Hang in there!

  • Vicki

    August 24th, 2018 at 6:26 PM

    I have a 17 year old daughter: Who doesn’t speak to me. We live in the same house. But we do not communicate. I have been very patient with her for 3 years. She came down with an eating disorder at the age of 14. The silence and rejection I’ve put up with. But I can’t any more. She will not communicate. She doesn’t want help. And my pain has reached its limit. So, forgive me if I don’t see any comfort in “hold on, they will one day come back” I’ve been strong. I’ve been alone and strong. But I’m tired. And I don’t like her. And I don’t know what to do.

  • Martin

    August 28th, 2018 at 9:09 AM

    Hi Vicky, I don’t like my daughter either and I don’t take any comfort that she will be a nice person to me one day. I do take comfort in knowing I’m not the only one going through this horrible situation with someone you love.
    I grew up with respect for my parents and would never of dreamed about treating them as my daughter treats me. One day they will regret how they’ve behaved but it’ll be when they’ve made some mistakes for themselves and realise life is not so black and white! So don’t hold your breathe!
    Keep your chin up and take care.

  • Hilly

    August 28th, 2018 at 9:55 AM

    Hi Vicky, I’m so sorry to hear how hard things are for you. Like you and Martin, I also don’t like my daughter most of the time, even though I guess I still love her. What we are going through is traumatic and abusive and perhaps it helps to recognise this and realise it’s understandable if we are not coping well.
    I think the main thing you can do during this awful time is take care of yourself. I find that not all friends are helpful, but choose wisely and make sure you have some support from friends and family, as well as professional support to cope with the situation. This can help you to survive. Also do some good things for yourself: exercise, cooking yourself good meals, outings, whatever makes you feel good. In the end, we can’t force our children to behave like reasonable human beings, or even to accept the help they need, but we can minimise the effect their behaviour has on us, and if we are making sure we look after ourselves and even have some fun, that puts us in a stronger position. This makes us less vulnerable and takes away some of the power they have over us.
    And like Martin says, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone, and one day we will see ourselves as survivors who are stronger for what we have been through.
    Take care and treat yourself to something nice today!

  • Vicki

    August 28th, 2018 at 11:26 AM

    Thank you Martin & Hilly. It’s true that by doing good for yourself, it takes power away from them. I figure, if she won’t talk or share, well, I can do something I like that makes me happy. Or like you said, eat out or make something I enjoy. Watch a funny show. I’m done letting her inaction cause my suffering. Thank you again.

  • Sara

    September 15th, 2018 at 8:29 AM

    Vicki, I am so sorry you are going through this. Just know, you are not alone. My parent coach friend told me once “never ride the roller coaster”. I seriously have to repeat this every. single. day. It’s important that our feet are firmly planted on the platform as they go upppp and doooowwwwn and around and around and around…eventually, the roller coaster will stop. Talking to many parent coaches in my life, I’ve learned what is the best approach and what could be the worst. Silence is the worst. It’s okay for a little while..give some space… however, I have found when my child goes silent, after some time has passed, I start talking to her. Not big questions or conversations. Little things like “Would you like to go to Target?” “Do you know where the yellow boots are?” “I’m going go to the grocery store.” Even if she doesn’t respond, I carry on like this is a normal, fully functioning house (fake it till ya make it!) ;) And eventually she comes around and starts chatting. At the moment, she is not talking to me…This seems to be the worst ‘episode’ so far. I blew her trust (cause she had blown mine) and I apologized so now I’m giving her space. We shall see. I wish you all the best….and I highly recommend a parent coach/counselor/therapist for you. For YOUR sanity!

  • Vicki

    September 16th, 2018 at 5:12 AM

    Thank you so much Sara. You’re right. Stay OFF the roller coaster. And silence for too long just makes for isolation & then you get to a place where you are dying of pain. SO, I have finally found some answers & it requires me to change my tone when speaking to her, do not bring up the problematic areas but bring up lighter things in trying to regain conversation. And laugh. Lighten up. Stay off the negative. Oh, and the best advice yet: Love; like you’ve never been hurt. Love overcomes all. It may take lots of time. But if I can do this, I believe things will begin changing.

  • Susan

    October 9th, 2018 at 12:26 PM

    It has been just over a year since my husband has died, I am now an only parent & my daughter is 18 next month. I have supported my daughter in every way since the passing of her dad, in the recent couple of months my daughter has been getting really mad/angry with me, mostly when I say “no to her”, then she will call me horrible names. It is difficult as I do not have her dad or another adult to back me up or to explain why I had to say no. I am left as the worst person

  • Vicki

    October 10th, 2018 at 11:03 AM

    Susan, boy do I know how you feel. My daughter will go talk to my dad who lives next door, but give me the silent treatment. I am alone also to make all decisions. Been that way for years. But only lately she will not talk. We can drive in car & there’s never a conversation. I have learned to talk to her anyway. I do better with coping with it when I have others I can talk to and just take some time out for myself & do something I enjoy. When I feel like no one appreciates me, I decide, ” I am worth valuing even if I must do it myself.” Hope this helps…..

  • Lib

    December 8th, 2018 at 6:33 PM

    I am in the same boat as all of you. My daughter and I have our moments and she is still only 12. I think what is most upsetting is that we didnt treat our parents this way. There was no way for us to be prepared for this! There was no social media, there were no computers, or cell phones. Our parents dealt with us with a firm hand and we knew what to expect when we got into trouble. There were no lawsuits, no DSS knocking on your door due to your teen calling them “because he or she got grounded”….therefore you are charged with mental and emotional abuse. Times have changed. In my opinion, not for the better. My mom always says that “raising kids is the toughest job you will ever have, but the most rewarding”. I tend to like the sign I have in my kitchen that reads ” Raising kids is like being pecked to death by a chicken”

  • Vicki

    April 25th, 2019 at 6:35 AM

    Laughing at this phrase. So true. So true. Pecked to death. Absolutely.

  • MFS

    April 23rd, 2019 at 8:31 PM

    I just came to this thread after my 15-year-old son screamed in my face about how much he hates me, how sick he is of me, how he thinks everything about me is disgusting and pathetic and he hates himself for being associated with me and he can’t wait to get away from me and never see me again. This because I found out that he’d bought a train ticket and planned to run away – first he denied this, but then when I said I had the proof (he used my credit card, saying was “buying me a birthday present”…as if) he flew into a rage, saying I should be grateful to him that he stayed, against his will. This is the second time he’s planned to run – over Christmas he spent an Amazon gift card he’d been given on survival stuff, and later admitted in a screaming rant that he meant to run away then. We managed to live rant-free and he was actually being pretty nice for the past few months, and I didn’t want to doubt, but still, my nagging suspicions wouldn’t go away. I guess I was right not to trust.

    Anyway, we’re both kind of stuck at the moment. I’m a single mom, he’s an only child, he dropped out of school (technically homeschooled, to avoid truancy trouble, but he would not ever stay in class or the school building for more than an hour or two, and it’s not like I could camp outside the school building all day to catch him when he ran, one of us has to earn an income), he’s still a few months short of being able to get a job where we live, and actually the first major rant came right after he thought he had been offered a job (which he later did not get when they looked twice at his birth date), so obviously the prospect of employment isn’t a cure-all for his adolescent angst. His only friends are online, I do not know them, cannot get involved in this private world of his, but nor can I cut him off from it. Right now I am kind of torn between being seriously pissed off – we just spent my entire spring break going out to eat or to movies or shopping or wherever he wanted to go, at his request, like he would come into my room and wake me up and say let’s go out to breakfast, we did this for a whole week, and now he’s telling me how much he loathes my company and I’m thinking, wait, that wasn’t me forcing any of that…? Also that pretend birthday present thing was beyond harsh – yeah, some present, my worst nightmare. And one I’m paying for, no less. But I’m still scared to death that one of these days he will make good on his threats to run, and then…I don’t know. It really is my worst nightmare. He must know this, and he really must hate me, to be threatening me with this. I’ve been living in fear, whether low-level or code red, for the past 6 months or more, but when I hear him screaming out his hatred, and I see his carefully laid out plans to escape…I find it hard to believe he will ever just grow out of this and actually start liking me again, and how will I ever trust him anyway when he’s telling (and showing) me now that all his attempst to be “nice” to me were just because he felt sorry for me and/or was trying to misdirect me? I don’t know if his intent was to kill off any last shred of trust I had in him, but that’s how things are working out.

  • Vicki

    April 25th, 2019 at 6:31 AM

    Oh,gosh, I do feel for you. I think teenagers sort of “lose their minds”. They go somewhere and we don’t know where or why. ” I don’t deserve this” is my thought. And I have told her this. But it’s to no avail. Still dealing with the silence. Still no improvement. I too, know the experience of her coming to my room when I’m asleep, out of the blue saying: I know what I want to do for my birthday. And then telling me something completely not practical and undoable. She has applied for a job in another state in the worst area in the state without considering how she would get there or how she would live. ???? Uh, I’m just in a state of ???? I have no idea what’s going to happen next. She’s been blessed with acceptance into college with many requirements to do before fall. Many big requirements. As of now, she has 8 days left to send in the paperwork to tell them she accepts to enter the program!!! Her future awaits and yet what’s going to happen, I have no clue. These times are so difficult. A time to let go of control and let them begin control, and then try to give advice. If I think about it my head spins. So I don’t. This is her life. She has to make decisions. She wants to block me out. But she really doesn’t understand anything about life. May the Lord have mercy on our souls. Being a parent who cares about our children is like having our hearts ripped out piece by piece, then in one moment of hope we get a glimpse of how it could be and may be one day. Be the adult. Let the ocean waves go back and forth. We can’t control them. We can supervise while they are in the home. We can lose our tempers but that won’t help. So keep an even keel. Keep the boat steady. Put down that anchor and weather that storm. Refuse to give up. Refuse to let it get the best of you. Get out of the house. Take a drive. Go treat yourself to a tasty lunch. A delicious drink. And then go back and remember who you are. The one with experience. The head of the household. And if you don’t know Jesus, my advice is: find him. Without God, I shudder to think where I’d he now.

  • Hilly

    April 25th, 2019 at 4:38 AM

    Dear MFS,
    My heart goes out to you in this awful situation and I understand your conflicting emotions. You are quite rightly pissed off, but you still love him. When I wonder if I still love my daughter, I realise that if her attitude to me changed I would put everything behind me and move on. Also, I care what happens to her. Perhaps the strength of our love is what enables them to treat us so badly, as we are the only people who are always still there for them. I also believe those feelings of hatred are very real and strong, but perhaps their feelings about everything in life they hate and are frustrated about, most of all themselves, is focused against us. If I have a brief good time with my daughter, perhaps a shopping trip (always on her terms), I know it’s not the light at the end of the tunnel, but perhaps it is a light to make the darkness of the tunnel less unbearable.
    I’m concerned that you don’t have any support. What you are living through is too much for one person to cope with, so please try to find someone who can help you through it. I don’t know where you live, but there should be some level of professional support for you, and even though most of your friends or family may not be able to understand your situation, I hope you find a few who do.
    Also, remember to do good things for yourself. Treat yourself to something you enjoy, regularly. You sound like an amazing mum, and you can’t be responsible for the mess that’s going on in your son’s head.
    And we can also stand together in this forum.

  • Mother Goose

    May 7th, 2019 at 5:10 PM

    Reading the article and comments was helpful for me. I am going through the same things. Single mom, 15 year old son, divorced his father when son was 5 due to extreme alcoholism – we only see his dad when he is in sobriety which is maybe a few times a year. So I have been working and raising my dear son by myself and he was a delight as small child. He is super smart, but does have ADHD. I spent all my free moments with him, and I thought we had a loving and close relationship. But. All of these circumstances contributed to his view now that i am and was a terrible mother. He said i did no parenting because I was not home when he got home from school. He had baby sitters and afterschool programs and for a few years when he was very young my parents came a couple times a week, too. I had to work long hours to support us. He begged me to be home when he got home from school and i always had to tell him I could not because i had to work. For years i was supporting us and also supporting the ex – that was the divorce deal – i got sole custody if I supported him financially for some years. Also because of dear son’s ADHD i had to spend some of our precious time together correcting and redirecting him, reminding him not to forget things, trying to get him out the door, transitioning him, and working closely with him to get him to complete the homework. These things might have devolved into nagging, I will admit. But it wasn’t easy – the constant calls from the school about the forgotten homework, or that he couldn’t stay seated, he would blurt out answers, he had trouble making friends because he misread social cues. Thank goodness he is so smart because regulating himself to get through the day was a real struggle for him. It took a while to get a diagnosis. He was in therapy for the divorce since age 5 but it wasnt until he was 7 that he was diagnosed ADHD. I admit i thought he was just lazy or oppositional for a while, and I might have said some things that were hurtful to him. But he was all love until he became 14. Then at age 15, it became so very bad. I agree, he is right to be sad and upset and mad that there was no parent waiting for him after school – and longer because my job is not 9-5 and there is a one hour each way commute. I feel guilt and shame for the pain it must have caused him and how he must have felt abandoned and unloved and all alone, especially since he had so much trouble making friends. (In high school he finally has a pack of friends, so that is great). But, what was I to do? I was barely surviving myself for so many of those years. I was pretty proud of myself for just keeping it all together under the pressure. Then, after I got home, he interpreted all of the reminders and redirections as just plain criticism and being mean. He is a very sensitive child, extremely sensitive to any perceived slight, much less those times I actually did lose my temper or get angry when overwhelmed and he was being oppositional. Sometimes you just don’t have the energy left to do all them fancy negotiations you are supposed to do and you snap back to, screaming and yelling “because I said so” and giving time out. That did not happen often but now, it is the only things he remembers. He deserved better. I am sorry. I wish things had been better, I wish I was better. But he will not acknowledge my humanity. I am not absolved by him for my inability to be perfect, despite the tremendous stress to me, the fact that i delivered him from a life with a physically and verbally abusive fall down drunk, that i held down a good job and supported us and the ex,, how tired i was all the time, never any break for me, no time for friends or just to be to myself, except while sleeping (and he co-slept until he was age 11 because he would cry desperately otherwise and i did not have the heart to hear it). No dispensation for how much i still tried to be engaged and make it fun and loving when i was home with him. We did lots of things together, on weekends and on vacation, to museums and shows, circus and skating and bowling and hiking and camping and skiing and trips to the beach and in the mountains, sailing, and then later i sent him to his beloved camp, by his choice, all summer long. I tried to provide for him more opportunities and more “quality” time than I had growing up. (both my parents worked too but back in those days, kids were second class citizens and weekends were about being dragged to some adult party and being left in the coat room with snacks and some books to read). I spent every living moment with my son doing child oriented things with him and for him. I even saved money for college, too. He hates me now. Literally hates everything I do: how i breathe, how i walk, how i talk, how i eat, how i dress – its all irritating to him to the point of real hatred. He tells me he does not like or respect me at all. Literally my entire being is annoying to him. He says I am fat and unattractive, and I don’t dress well (unfair – no money left over for a personal wardrobe and no time to go to the gym or go shopping for me!). He tells me I am stupid all the time. I have a graduate degree, but since I did not grow up with the electronics, and video games are his entire life, and I am terrible at gaming and really do not enjoy it, I am stupid. Also, i was a liberal arts person and so he talks math at me and when i don’t understand the equations, that is because I am stupid. When he talks to me about his feelings, so infrequently, I do listen and I think I have understood, but if I try and repeat it back he says that is not what he said and i never listen and I got it all wrong, and I am stupid. It is hard to hear anyway because he doesn’t say, I feel this, he says you are terrible because -, so its really hard to hear the litany of how terrible you are when three quarters of the things listed were out of my control, I already feel terrible about them and if I had do it over again i would not have any choice but to do the same thing over again – unless we are presuming we can turn back the hands of time AND give me a trust fund. Like the author mentioned, I have been reduced to a sobbing mess so many times. I read online about kids that move away and never talk to their parents again and I think that is where this is going. Those estranged kids point to things their parents said or things their parents did not do for them that are similar to our situation. Like actual people trying to do their best under less than ideal circumstances and that was so scarring emotionally that the child has cut their parents off. I would have imagined that you would have to be really awful and abusive for a child to never talk to you again. But instead, it can just be the accumulation of “not being there” moments, the accumulation of him feeling low self esteem from me constantly nagging, did you brush your teeth, did you bathe, did you do your homework, get off the computer and do your chores, that’s a fascinating story but we have to transition out the door can you please just put on your shoes and coat so you don’t miss the bus, and if you studied harder you could have had an A instead of a B, or if you did not forget to hand in 10 homework assignments you would have had an A instead of a B. All he wanted was for me to say he was great, listen to his story, let him be late sometimes, tell him a B is fine, just give him unconditional positive regard. I now wish I had done that and just let the teachers or other people be the ones to correct him, and then let natural consequences take effect. The depth of his hatred and contempt for me frightens me. His rewriting of history to only see every time I worked late, had work travel, lost my temper, said no, found fault, or generally was not on my A game as a parent, is so upsetting. It just invalidates everything good I did and worked for to all these years. And the worst part of this teenager situation – it is like coming home after a long day of work to your abusive husband, and you still have to make dinner for him, knowing he will either give you the silent treatment or start telling you how terrible you are and storm into his room and slam the door, and then you still have to clean up after, go to bed and get up the next day and go to work. It really makes you want to give up, and it makes you wonder what is point of any of it, of life even. So, I must say, it is actually helpful to read that I am not the only one. All of these stories are like a page from my life. I still don’t feel very optimistic that he will ever forgive me for marrying the wrong guy and generally being an absentee parent, but if other people can live through it, maybe it won’t destroy me.

  • Anna M.

    May 8th, 2019 at 8:12 AM

    Dear Mother Goose,
    Please don’t be so hard on yourself. You truly are a good person. The fact that you are a single mother/father says a lot. You went and continue to work to give to your son, don’t give UP. The children today are so sensitive. We as a generation given so much to them so we can be loved and appreciated, instead they are entitled and do NOT appreciate anything. However, from what I can observe the rewards comes much later. When they are married with children it all COMES to them. It seems like its such a long wait, which it is, but life goes by very fast. You now have to start living for yourself. You need to take care of YOU and he will follow eventually. Please do NOT despair because it will all work out at the end.

  • Hilly

    May 8th, 2019 at 9:51 AM

    Dear Mother Goose,
    Thank you for sharing so honestly with us what you are going through. I am also scared that the relationship with my daughter won’t heal and that she will have nothing to do with us once she’s left home. It sounds like you did the very best for your son in really difficult circumstances, and if you made mistakes, that is because you are human. Most children survive the mistakes their parents make and don’t end up hating them. I have a pretty good relationship with my son and a horrendous one with my daughter, but we raised them pretty much the same. Your son has ADHD, mine has Aspergers, so I think these special needs play a role, or perhaps just that some children are far more sensitive than other.
    I hope and pray for a happy ending for all of us and I know many people who now have a good relationship with their former nightmare teenagers. We shouldn’t give up hope, but in the meantime we need to let go of the guilt, take care of ourselves and survive.
    Let us know how you are doing. It’s good to keep these connections.

  • MFS

    May 13th, 2019 at 12:55 PM

    So is anyone else really relieved that Mother’s Day is over so we no longer have to feel like crawling in a hole every time we hear about how happy families are supposed to be celebrating? Me, I “celebrated” by taking my son, who wants nothing more than to be living on a different planet from my pathetic, loathsome, horrible self, to stay with my father and sister some 1,000 miles away from where I live. He’s not all that happy about this compromise plan since his fantasy is to run off and be a cool homeless guy living on his own, all independent…without a job or any ID or even any marketable skills. No transportation. Very little money and no idea how to budget and only the vaguest, most unrealistic ideas about how to get more. At least he’s away from me, though, and he is with the only people in the world I really trust to look out for him, to the best of their ability (they can’t be on him 24/7 either) but not to encourage him in his hate rants about what an awful person I am. They actually like me, go figure. And now I am all alone with no-one but my dogs – but, on the upside, they actually like me, too.

    I think the only hope for him is if he ever gets his head out of his butt and stops focusing on himself all the time – funny, since he is relentless in mocking anyone he thinks is an attention-seeker or who think s they are special in any way, and he doesn’t want me focusing on him, but at the same time he seems to live in a world where there is no-one else but him him him and his unhappiness. Well, duh, only focusing on yourself and your needs is pretty much a surefire way of staying unhappy and making sure that any friends you have are superficial at best. He seems to have this idea that he has to become “a man” and that the way to do this is by completely amputating any “mushy” crap like having any regard for anyone else’s feelings. Death to sentiment. Oh, except for collecting a massive hoard of crap which is important to him for unknown reasons and that I am expected to babysit until whenever he decides he wants it back. Oh, and also babysit the pet rats he bought a few days before planning to run away. 100% impulse, doing what he wants, expecting all messes will automatically be cleared up for him – and yeah, not like I’m going to starve or neglect the poor rats, they never asked to become abandoned pets. The hoard of crap, though – I told him I wasn’t planning on staying in our rented house forever, and if I have to move all by myself, well, the stuff gets thrown into boxes and stays there.

    I think the only hope for me is if I, too, can stop thinking about him all the time. I kind of am pathetic, I guess. Yesterday, before I flew back home alone (I’d accompanied him out to my dad’s and sister’s), my sister and I went shopping and almost everything I bought was for him. I have got to stop doing that, it’s not like he’s going to be grateful, and may actually resent it. I was going to send him a package with all the stuff he forgot, but now I think maybe I should wait until he asks, and he might not ask. He is going to be in for an unpleasant surprise, though, when/if he tries to get a job or learn to drive or anything and finds out he still needs me to sign off on it. Ha. I might be 100% expendable in his eyes, but in the eyes of the law I am still, as always, his one and only legal guardian.

    And right now I think I am being mad so I won’t be sad. I didn’t expect an empty nest so early, and I never expected to be hated, either. For the first 13 years or so, I think I was living in a fool’s paradise, really expecting that we’d always be close. For the past 2 years, ever since my life did a complete 180 and closeness turned to his hating me, I’ve been afraid that this was the new reality and that he’d never, ever grow out of it and get back to at least liking or even tolerating me. I really don’t know what to think or expect anymore, since we are not dealing with anything remotely resembling normal teen turbulence here. This is just two people, completely miserable, and each blaming the other. The difference is, he lives in hope that all he has to do is turn 18 and then he can be free of me and instantly become happy (which isn’t too likely, since I think if he took 2 seconds to think it over, he’d realize he’s got other problems which have nothing to do with me and would not be any better once he gained his “freedom”), whereas I…can’t envision ever regaining my own happiness. I can’t ever stop caring for him entirely, and as long as he’s happy, I’ll be unhappy, and I will also be unhappy if he achieves his dream of erasing me from his life. I can’t even dream anymore. I don’t really know how to carry on when what little hope I have seems to shrink every day and is now barely there at all.

  • Hilly

    May 14th, 2019 at 1:53 AM

    Dear MFS,
    Please don’t give up hope. You have done the very best thing for your son by taking him to a safe place with people you trust, and this may be what he needs. It will certainly give hmi the opportunity to discover that you are not the cause of his problems. Even with “normal” teenagers, parents are often the last people who can help them and tend to be the default people to blame for everything they are unhappy about.
    You have gone through hell and now you are suddenly on your own, feeling traumatised and unloved. It is understandable if you feel empty and hopeless, but please use this time to build up your own life and friendships. Enjoy your dogs, spoil yourself, reconnect with old friends or perhaps take up a hobby where you can meet people. If you use this time to strengthen yourself, you will be in a better position to face your son again whenever you see him. And I can’t help thinking that if you had a good relationship with him in the past, this means the foundations are there, and you will have a better relationship again in the future.
    Let us know how you get on.

  • DR

    May 13th, 2019 at 7:20 PM

    Dear MFS,
    One year ago my life was turned upside down as well. So much happened, way too much to write. At that time, my 17 yr old daughter joined the military to show me how grown she was, how she didn’t need me and, how easy it was to make it on her own. Over 9 months, she barely spoke to me. There was 1 unenthusiastic phone call and a couple of brief texts. My heart was broken. I was so devastated I cried all the time. I realized I had to comply with her need for space. I decided that I would be patient, keep my distance and I would “Lead with Love” in every communication with her. I did not give my opinions or suggestions on what she should do. I bit my tongue A LOT! I let go of ALL control I used to have. I was just an “ear” when she needed one. Every now & then I simply texted her “Mommy loves you”! Sometimes she would respond, sometimes not. But I wanted her to know that no matter what happens, I love her and I am here for when she needs me.
    The next thing I had to do was become a full fledged life all on my own. This was a major undertaking of Inner Engineering for me. I had a huge void and felt like my life didn’t matter. I would suggest starting off by reading the book “Why You’re Stuck” by Derek Doepker. It got me moving in a positive direction. I had to reinvent myself with no husband, no parents, no job, no place to live and no daughter. It was extremely difficult but the only other option was to give up, withdraw from society and let depression get the best of me. Looks like it’s time for you to find your true self as well. Many times we lose ourselves trying to be everything to other people. Especially when it comes to our children. Then when we find ourselves alone, we are LOST and BROKEN! We forget who we are and that one time we mattered too. I dedicated the last year on ME! I am changing careers and getting a degree in something I love! I have joined several “Meet up” groups and made a ton of new friends. I got a place at the beach and I’m living my best life for me and everyone I come in contact with. I have been able to help all the kids in my class and my new friends. I volunteer and try to make people feel special. It feels wonderful to be around people that WANT to be around me. It’s the best medicine. Another thing to do is, smile and say hi to strangers!
    One of the biggest lessons I learned was that when it comes to relationships you should not try to extract happiness from another person. Meaning, your happiness should not be in the hands of another person. That’s a big responsibility to put on a person and when they are tired of trying to keep you happy, they will be done with you. It’s best to enter a relationship trying to enhance the other person’s life vs having a list of expectations they are expected to meet. Over the last couple of months my daughter has started sharing things with me more & more. She has even facetimed me a half dozen times. I got a beautiful card from her on Mother’s day with some specialty items from Japan (where she is stationed for 4 years). Our children need to know that we are ok without them. The apron strings need to be cut so they find their independence and learn their life lessons on their own. This is how it’s designed to work. Once they know we have loosened the grip we had on them, they willingly come back. This gives us time to work on ourselves to become a better human being and being more inclusive of all people instead of being exclusive just to our immediate families. When we isolate ourselves to just your immediate family, we are excluding a whole world of people that can listen. understand, lend you a shoulder and share a laugh or two. There IS life after teenagers (smiley face). From what I’m told is that we have about 5 years (18-22) until they find their way back. Coincidentally, this gives us plenty of time to figure out what WE are going to do with the 2nd half of our lives. It’s time to create your life the way you want it to be. Things I’ve employed over the past year has been: Live with absolute unprejudiced involvement, evolve beyond your limitations, lead with love and be all inclusive of people you come in contact with. Once I started doing this, I saw amazing results. Hang in there! Sending you a hundred hugs!

  • MFS

    May 14th, 2019 at 7:45 PM

    Thank you so much, Hilly and DR. DR, I am going to read your story over and over, as that was about the most inspirational thing I’ve read since I started spending half (or more) of my down time at work and home frantically researching what to do about a depressed, angry teen who is growing more and more distant (so, like a year and a half). Your story – this is exactly what I want to do, what I wish I could do, what I am having so much trouble visualizing. What I really want/need/wish for is a nice movie montage sequence, some inspirational music and a series of short film clips showing me somehow starting from scratch and rebuilding my whole life in about 3-4 minutes. Ha. As if.

    A year, though – could I do that? I don’t know. I can’t, I just can’t spend a year or even a week in bed with the covers over my head. I want to, yes, but I still have to work. I do not love my job, but I’m still managing to do it despite all the drama/trauma. I have even earned a qualification that will open some new doors for me, maybe, and am also managing to juggle a few side gigs that will also allow me some options. I talked to my sister some, when dropping my son off, about maybe looking to move back to the general area where my family lives – way more expensive than where I’m living now (why can’t I come from a nice cheap hometown instead of a way-out-of-my-price-range DC suburb? could be worse, I guess, my dad’s originally from NYC where I couldn’t even afford a whole refrigerator carton on a halfway decent steam grate).

    Ummm, making friends….scary. I really haven’t had too many of these in years. And yes, I have completely lost my identity. Although I can see, in a way, how my son might feel he’s lost (or failed to find) his, as well. Too many things – it’s like, is this your thing? Is it my thing? Do I have to stop liking it because you like it? I feel like we’re divorcing and we’re splitting up, not our friends but our interests. I keep the dogs (and, I guess, the rats now), I keep baseball, he keeps wrestling (or maybe we’re splitting it), he keeps music (his playlist full of stuff I used to listen to way back when, but I’m too old to deserve it now – the fact that the artists who made the music are even older, and in many cases deader, seems lost on him) he gets history, I get literature, neither of us gets (or wants) math and science.
    Oh, and he wants to go into the military too (another “his thing”, despite the fact that I was a military wife for 10 years – not his dad, but his dad was also a former Marine – and he didn’t ever know his dad, but I did – but I’m the one who knows nothing of the military and he’s the expert because…well, because he wants to be and ok, he can have custody of that one, too). I have anything and everything that could be considered “old people stuff” apart from old movies (his), old music (ditto) and anything that could be considered history (he is, of course, an expert on all kinds of stuff I actually lived through, since I am way too boring to be part of or even have any memory of anything that could possibly be considered of any historical interest…guess I have to get 9/11 amnesia and completely forget where I was and what I was doing that day, as if any of us ever could).

    So…yeah. I have no idea who I am anymore. I’m trying to remember. Who was I before my son? Before various boyfriends, before an ex-husband, before I was defined by someone else (a series of someone elses). I was…a moody teenager. In the same house where he is living now. Great, guess he’s got custody of my youth as well. This is so confusing.

    But I am trying to figure out who I am. This week I am…insanely busy, working 14 hour days (main gig, then side gig) and collapsing into bed. This weekend, though, I am going to start trying to take a few baby steps, thinking of places I can go on my own where I won’t be too embarrassed. At least, though, if I do go out somewhere on my own, I can just go, instead of having to wait half the day for someone else to wake up or hope someone’s bad mood (other than my own) won’t sabotage the outing. Also I can pick the destination, choose how long to stay, eat where I want, order what I want, and it will only cost me half as much. Little things, but things nonetheless.

    My one work friend, someone who actually knew my son when we first moved to town, has had a very different experience with her daughters, as they both went off to college without experiencing any hate-filled drama, but she’s still being my empty nest mentor. She keeps telling me to look for those little perks like less laundry to do and fewer messes to clean up. (Just the dogs’, and the rats’, but at least none of them punches holes in the wall.) Maybe we’ll even get around to having lunch one of these days, although we’ll probably still keep calling each other by our last names since this is a job hazard of working at a school (or a prison, which I also did, just another year in the life of the World’s Most Boring Person According To My Son).

    And even though maybe it’s not the healthiest thing, and I don’t want to hang onto it forever, I feel like I’m secretly rebelling a bit against my rebellious teen by acknowledging (to myself, not to him, since I’m allowing him a respite from communication) that yes, I am pretty pissed off at him. I’ve just had one of the crappiest years of my life, thanks to him and his drama. I know teens aren’t supposed to be big on empathy or appreciation, but the stuff he’s pulled is way beyond anything else anyone has ever done to make me miserable (with the possible exception of my ex-husband whom I haven’t spoken to in 20 years for good reason). I can and will and must forgive my son, as I hope my parents forgave me for the horrible stuff I did, but whatever legitimate reasons he may have to be angry with me at present, I’ve got more than a few legitimate ones of my own and it won’t hurt anyone for me to vent just a bit 1000 miles out of his earshot about how pissed off I’ve been. He thinks I’m just pathetic, crying over him and lost without him…no, I’m not crying, I am angry and I’m going to enjoy my righteous anger for just a tiny bit longer before I start that incredibly difficult, painful, and entirely un-movie montage-like process of wrestling with my own anxiety and insecurity and trying to create some kind of life where I’m not trapped in a box made out of my own fears.

  • DR

    May 19th, 2019 at 6:31 AM

    Tears are running down my face just reading your story. It reminds me SOOO much of myself a year ago. So much pain. I cried for 45 days straight. I never thought it would stop. But what I have learned is the deeper the suffering, the greater the lessons. In everything that brings you pain, there is a message and then a lesson. In school they teach you a lesson and then give you a test. In life they give you a test that teaches you a lesson. On the other side of suffering is freedom.
    I love your sense of humor too. If you want to take the hybrid course vs the year long course I took, I can give you a few tips that will get you there quicker.
    #1: Solitude. This is where you do some deep diving inward (Inner engineering). Go on youtube and type in Sadhguru loneliness, teenagers, forgiveness, anger, relationships, etc… Anything you are feeling, there’s a video. Sadhguru is a Yogi that saved my life. I stumbled across his youtube channel searching “how do I not be so lonely”. After that, I was addicted. Hours & Hours of self help videos. I know you are VERY busy right now so don’t stress too much. Work might be serving as a type of distraction for you now. We are all, where we are supposed to be at any given time. The key here is self help as much as you can.
    #2: Once you identify the areas you should focus on, START RIGHT AWAY! It’s going to be extremely hard. This is where the past events start to rear their ugly heads. You have to commit to addressing everything that bubbles up. I’m not gonna lie, it’s going to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. BUT, it’s life changing and will free you in so many ways. This is where you will break free from the chains that have bound you.
    #3: Go to and see if there are any groups in your area that interest you. Do NOT be shy. There are so many women out there in our same shoes, and even worse. This is where you start building a new support system. It’s critical to being in balance. Only talk to and hang out with people that make you feel good about yourself. Try & stay away from negative people until you are stronger. This includes family.
    #4: Start working on rebuilding yourself so you are a full fledged life all on your own. Seriously ask yourself……Who am I? What do I want to do with my life? What do I love to do? What makes me happy? What was I like before the kid, before the taint of all the unpleasant memories of the past? Look back at the happiest times you can remember and get back to that time. Start doing the things that brought you joy. You are a beautiful person so let that shine on everyone you meet.
    Try and help 1 person every time you are out & about. Smile at everyone you see. Take a minute to look someone in the eyes and say “hi, how are you”? And really care what they say. We are all part of this creation and we should appreciate everything around us. Afterall, THE most important thing right now is that we are alive. If you have a pulse, you have a purpose. Do what’s needed today and you will make a difference. We need more people like you out there sharing your joy to people that appreciate it! I appreciate you!
    #5: Once you find yourself, always be true to yourself. Keep balance and live your best life for you.
    I can relate to having to care for your kids pets. I am left with my daughter’s dog to take care of. Her dog beats up on smaller dogs so she has worn out her welcome at all the local “in home” doggy daycares. If I stick her in a kennel, she’s a psycho for a week after she gets home. And, pulls out her hair so she has bald spots. Arrgghh!
    One of the best things I did was go back to school. I instantly was around a ton of kids my daughter’s age. I quickly became “class Mom” and they all wanted to be my partner. Just what I needed! You too will get the boost you need. Get out in nature, keep your eyes open and be sensitive to all living creatures. Try it and lemme know how it goes. Please!
    Did you say you were in DC? I’m in DE.

  • MFS

    May 25th, 2019 at 2:51 PM

    DR, thank you again! So much help, just hearing those words from you. One word, in particular, I am repeating to myself pretty frequently these days: Solitude. It kind of puts a positive spin on what I might otherwise be tempted to consider unbearable loneliness.
    And I am working on identifying what I did wrong – what I did, and continue to do, is – I put someone else (my son) at the center of my life, which was fine for him when he was younger and actually liked it. Then, when he was around 8, I totally lost my mind. I lost a job, and my own mother (with whom I always had a somewhat strained relationship, only realizing when it was too late that this was 99.9999999% my own fault as well) died, and I met these “friends” who were fun at first, and flattering, and…well, we never had much stability but by the time my son turned 9 I’d chucked it all up in the air, moved away from family again, and my son and I set off on a several years-long cross-country odyssey of stupidity featuring various not-great freelance gigs, some really substandard accommodations, some very haphazard, very minimal “homeschooling” (certain states really do not care what you do as long as you’re out of their hair and their budget), one kind-of bad boyfriend and one incarnation of pure evil. And through all this, no matter how bad things got, I never once doubted my son’s love for me. Until, oddly enough, when I finally got my crap back together, pulled my head out of my butt, exorcised the evil completely from my life (apart from a few months 3 years back, he’d at least been a long-distance evil and had no contact with my son) and…at that point, once I’d finally regained my sanity, my son went into a huge depressive spiral and started hating me. So I exacerbated the problem by trying to make up for my stupid years by refocusing on him 100% at a time when he least desired this. Then, when I realized that he was depressed and beginning to hate me, my own anxiety and obsession kicked in big time and everything went nuclear. And here we are. Yes, he has reasons to hate me. I am not blameless. But I still can’t keep from wanting to atone for what I’ve done, and to make things better between us. After all, he did still love me when I was at my worst – so confusing that he hates me now when I am trying my hardest to be better.

    So. I can’t undo the past. I can, and have, and do apologize for it, although we cannot directly speak of it. cannot fix my son’s depression. I tried, I tried so hard, I tried too hard. He does not want to see a therapist. I took him to see one a few times, I spoke to a different therapist myself another time, and…you know, talk therapy really does not work for everyone. Nor do medications. I spent several years before my son was born trying to fix my issues with therapy and meds, and was also dragged unwillingly to counselors for several years throughout my own adolescence and…well, I’m not really sold on the therapy and/or meds are the only cure for depression thing.) He also did not, does not, want to do anything else I suggest. Or, now, that my sister suggests, since he is living with her as of 2 weeks ago. (900 miles away from me. I hate this SO MUCH. But it’s better than fearing that he’ll run away every single day.) He seems to have adopted 100% the depression world view that life is pointless and hopeless and he will never have friends or goals and that even if he did ever try to do anything it would fail. Which, self-fulfilling prophecy, but then, depression is just that, and nothing can help unless you want to be helped, and he doesn’t.

    So, I can’t fix his being depressed. And I can’t undo whatever happened in the past to contribute to this. Not to mention, I can’t undo the genetic component, since to paraphrase Cary Grant in Arsenic and Old Lace, “Depression and anxiety run in my family. They practically gallop.”

    And a 2 weeks’ absence definitely doesn’t make the heart (his) grow fonder. I have been calling once a week, and mostly talking to my sister, a little to my dad (who is definitely going downhill, cognitively as well as health-wise) and then having some very strained, awkward, and obviously reluctant on his part conversation with my son. I try not to prolong it unduly, and I keep it as light as I can, although he got angry with me yesterday when I asked if he still wanted to take driving lessons since he’d texted me about these on Monday but then not responded when I sent info. He was upset when he found out they cost money (private driving school, since he is not enrolled in the local school – there are only a few weeks left, and since he was expelled from his school here there’s no guarantee he could even go to another school if he was willing to, which he isn’t), and said he didn’t want me to sign him up since he “wouldn’t take charity”, but since he also isn’t taking any steps towards getting a job, it’s going to limit his options quite a bit. Weird that he gets mad if I try to provide for him, and also frustrating. But I let it go.

    Sadhguru – I looked up and listened to some of the videos, first off the one about dealing with teens, and it kind of helped, kind of didn’t. His stories about his own daughter were confusing and inconclusive – so, he used to call her on a payphone and…what? Did she have any adolescent difficulties? Did she ever not want to talk to him? He didn’t say. Some of the generic stuff was better, though, talking about how our kids don’t belong to us, they are always their own separate beings, but they don’t quite realize this until they’re 14 or 15. Ok, yes. That makes sense. That helps a bit, too. I have tried to listen to what he has to say about anxiety, but I listen to these at night, and I fell asleep before he got to anything applicable. Or YouTube screwed up and put the wrong title on the video, since the part I heard, he was talking about success in business. That I don’t care about. I want to stop being such a panicky, anxious, obsessed mess fixating on my son’s whereabouts at every second of the day and trying to determine his mental state from tiny and probably meaningless clues (trash he left in his room, stuff like that). I want to see my way to even imagine a life for myself outside of being a mom, since it seems I failed at that, the only thing I ever really cared about.

    And I am definitely failing at being kind and loving to others. I work at a school, we’re going into our last week, and I honestly can’t even fake it. I feel like the one person I truly love turned his back on me, so I can’t love or really even much like anyone else. Ok, I hug the 4-year-olds when they hug me, since I’m not completely evil, but I just can’t even get into all the phony sentiment around the upcoming 8th-grade graduation since I know darn well they’ll forget me within minutes of walking across that stage and I will forget them, too, and it’s really no big deal to any of us. But I could be nicer about it. I could act kinder, and more loving, but right now I just can’t. I feel like I’m being tremendously selfish now, since it takes a real effort even to engage in polite small talk with anyone, although I excuse myself (to myself) by telling myself that it’s kind of like I’m suffering from a very painful disease and it is taking all of my energy just to keep breathing and surviving the pain. I imagine people who are undergoing some type of excruciatingly painful cancer treatment might be unable to inquire about other people’s spouses, kids, and pets or chat about the weather – although, perhaps, I could be wrong. Maybe I am more selfish and self-centered than even somebody in great physical pain. I know this too is something I have to work on, as soon as I can breathe.

    And I am not in DC now, but my son is, or rather just outside it. I’m stuck in the upper Midwest, although I am packing to move. I haven’t lined up a job yet, but my sister and I have been talking about my moving back there so I won’t be the one left out and I can also help her out with my dad and stuff. We just haven’t been able to bring this up to my son yet, since I am terrified that he will say he doesn’t want me anywhere within 100 miles of him, that he wants to stay there with my sister without me. Or else he might say he wants to come back to where we, well, I currently live since he does have some kind of hardly-ever-gets-to-see-her (like, seriously, 5 minutes every 6 months) girlfriend in town here whom I do not know at all. (I used to say he could invite her to do stuff with us, but evidently, her parents are the ones who are very very strict and will not allow her out – which, again, is weird since that’s what my son accuses me of, but I am not the one keeping them apart).

    So, I know nothing. 2 weeks of separation from my son, 2 weeks of solitude, and all I have learned is that 1) I am extremely self-centered, but I tell myself (and I HOPE I am somewhat right), that this might change when I get somewhat used to the pain. Or it might not change. If I had to sum myself up in one word right now, that word would be “embittered”. (Ok, actually it would be “devastated”, but I’m trying to hide that. The embittered part, though, I’m wearing that all over me.) And 2) A change of scenery wrought no miracles in my son, either. And 3) I do still have a tendency to be jealous, at this point of my sister, but I’m probably wrong in this as all indications are that my son might already be starting to dismiss her as well. I think he still has enough basic decency to feel some sympathy for my dad, but is just seeing my dad’s inevitable decline (he’s 86, and has been widowed for nearly 8 years now) as confirmation that life is sad and meaningless. Which my dad would vehemently disagree with were he still able to understand what’s going on with my son, but he isn’t, and my sister and I can’t tell him a darn thing.

    So, yeah, I know I need to get over him and allow him to grow and separate and all that, but the serious depression thing (his, and now mine) is kind of getting in the way of my acceptance since this isn’t really a natural part of the maturation process. But despite the insanity continuing to gallop, I’m still at least managing to pack a few boxes a day, so at this point that is my goal. Pack. Then move. Then sort out rest of life. Or not.

  • DR

    May 31st, 2019 at 9:44 AM

    Oh my MFS! You have come so far. Thanks for sharing your story. We all have one don’t we. Here’s your story book for today. You might want to get a beverage and a comfy chair… Tee Hee (Smiley face).
    I’m really sorry to hear about your Mom and the devastating realization you had after she passed. With every situation where we have regrets, we can’t help but beat ourselves up. Why do we feel we have to punish ourselves so hard and for so long? Especially, when our creator is in charge of our punishment. One always pays for their sins, no exceptions. And it sounds like you have paid for your sins. So please don’t be so hard on yourself! Trust the creator will take care of your punishment and hand it over to him. All our job is to learn our lessons and become a better human. That’s all the creator wants.

    It’s really great that you have already apologized for all your bad decisions to your son. Some grown ups don’t think they need to say sorry to their kids. I applaud you for that! So has your anxiety been addressed? Or, are you working on that now? It’s impossible to think straight when you are having anxiety. What has helped me is I remind myself that these are just thoughts that I created. They only exist in my head and I have learned how to change my thought process to decrease my anxiety. The hardest part is nipping it in the bud as soon as it enters your brain. We tend to want give it all our attention and then we just spiral down. The key is to stop it at the front door. When it bangs on the door, don’t answer it. Or slam the door in its face! It really works! I also take 20 minutes a day to meditate (focusing on breathing and saying OUM). You do NOT have to clear or shut up your brain. It’s like any other organ in your body. Would you want your heart or liver to shut down? No, so why your brain. I have worked through many issues during meditation. That’s its purpose.

    When we make a mistake what can we do? If possible, we can make things right. If you can right a wrong, that’s the best option. If you have a chance to make things right, order will be restored (that’s a blessing in itself). If it’s not possible, all we can do is make sure we don’t repeat that mistake going forward. The option you don’t want to pick is….get stuck in regret. This one, all you do is live in the past and you miss out on the unlimited possibilities life has to offer today. The past is pointless. You can’t change it so why waste your time living in a place that no longer exists??? In every mistake there’s a lesson to help us grow. Next time you make a mistake, say “thank you for the opportunity to learn and grow as a human being”. It is an opportunity if you really think about it. Be grateful.

    I tend to agree with you about the therapist/counselor and meds. Meds are supposed to be short term to get you through the shock of something traumatic so you can start dealing with things. Medication treats the symptoms but doesn’t cure the problem. The real work is done within. Facing things head on with a CLEAR head. Medication prolongs the process & progress. However, it is helpful to have someone you can trust to talk to that doesn’t judge you and has empathy.

    You did the best you could with what you had (at the time) with your son. It seems like your son just needs a break from everything to sort through some things. This might sound harsh but you can’t be his “everything” and he can’t be your “everything”. You have to give him his space. It’s perfectly normal to want to hear the opinions of other people. It’s wonderful that he will have a relative to talk to. Keep in mind that this is his journey, not yours. Well, you both have your separate journeys. We have to face that we can no longer control our children and it’s hard letting go of control. All parents have to do it. Some do it well, and some don’t. You hear people say, ugh, I have to go see my Mom. That’s a Mom where the child only goes to see her out of obligation. Their the ones that didn’t do such a good job letting go. Our children have to want to be part of our lives. Now all we have to do is become a person where our children WANT to talk to us and not out of obligation. You are very fortunate that you know where he is and that he’s safe. My sister doesn’t know where her daughter is and it’s going on 3 years. My sister was an over bearing home schooler and it was just too much for her daughter. So, it’s helpful to list all the things you are grateful for: 1) You’re alive 2) Your son’s alive 3) You know where your son is 4) Your son is safe and with family. Do you know how many people only have 1 of those blessings, the ones that didn’t wake up today don’t even have one blessing.

    Sometimes we get all wrapped up in ourselves. We forget that in every situation there’s many people involved. The outcome we should get used to praying for, is the highest good for all involved. Sometimes it’s not about us. I don’t say that to be insensitive, but the lesson sometimes is for someone else. We must let them learn their lessons. Believe that your son will realize how much you love him. All you have to do is give him the space to realize it on his own. Trust that he’s a good kid and will come around. In the meantime, get busy on being that Mom where her son loves to come home and get his favorite meal! Or, calls out of the blue to say hi or remembers his Mom’s favorite color is blue. This is what we want so figure out how to do this and start today. You can do it. I’m rooting for you!

    Sounds like your son is already learning some lessons. He will now be seeing that his actions have consequences. If you get expelled from school you have to pay for driving school (duh). This is not your fault. All kids need to see that Mom isn’t the cause of all their problems. They won’t be able to see this unless they are separated from us and start making decisions on their own. We know how that’s going to turn out (wink). But that’s ok. It’s their lesson. My daughter went through something similar last year. She even said to me recently “why do I make so many bad decisions”. I said, “because you are a teenager and that’s what teenagers do”. I said, eventually you will get it right. Practice makes Perfect! I followed up listing all her strengths that I loved about her. I also thank her all the time for making my job easy. Your son could use some confidence boosting. You might want to try and send him cards saying your thinking about him, you’re proud of him and list the things that make you proud, you’re here if he needs you and you love him. Keep it short & sweet. Here’s another word for you…..Patience! It’s like planting an apple seed and watching it grow. You have to give it just enough water, sun, nutrients and care. It’s a slow process but eventually, it will bear fruit. Time to focus on yourself. This is not a chia pet where you have grass hair in 2 weeks… LOL!

    So, the only way to stop obsessing is to find your own life and dive into it. I know exactly how you feel. The day my daughter was leaving for bootcamp in the Navy, we had breakfast at Bob Evans. She spent the whole meal telling me all the things I did wrong over the years. I was crying so hard I had to get my meal to go. She asked me why I was so upset. I said because the only thing I ever wanted, the most important thing in the world to me was to be was a good Mom. And how horrible I felt that I failed. I was beyond devastated. We left the restaurant and I dropped her off to the Navy and hardly ever heard from her. I cried all the way home and wanted to die. I felt my life meant so little to the person I loved the most. Why go on living? I’m crying now just going back to that devastating time.

    I sent her cards & postcards every day. Barely a response from her, only when she needed something. And most of the time she asked her Dad instead of me. Months later she told me she LOVED the post cards. They were also a hit with all the people in the mail room. I would touch base every 2-3 weeks by text. I’ve kept my distance but responded asap when she texted. It’s been a rough year and she is finally coming around. She texts me when she has boyfriend problems, face times me, pays me compliments and sends me meaningful cards. All I did was let her go and only offer advice when she asked (which was never). Teenagers are tricky when it comes to relationships. I tell you this because if I can do it, so can you. If you respect his boundaries, he will come back around. You just have to let go of the grip you have on him. And, have patience….lots and lots of it. From experience, this is no easy task. I’m rooting for you!

    You saying that you can’t act more loving and caring towards other people IS malarkey! You can absolutely do this! All you have to do is shift some of that love you have for your son in other directions. This is called evolving beyond your limitations. You are setting limitations on yourself by saying “I can’t do this” “I can’t do that”. We all do it! The goal is to live life every day with absolute unprejudiced involvement. Wake up, open your eyes and say, I’m not making any conclusions today. Smile and do everything with intention. If you could control your thoughts, wouldn’t you want them to be pleasant thoughts? We are 100% in control of our thoughts. Really, that’s the only thing we are 100% in control of. Once we realize this, life opens doors to so many wonderful things. Reward after reward. Promise!

    My daughter deployed last week and will be gone for 6 months. She’s somewhere between Japan, Vietnam & Australia. A million miles away. My husband is 3,000 miles away from me right now. They were doing what was best for them so I decided to do what was best for me. I decided to change careers and finally get my degree in something I LOVE doing. So I moved close to the college I decided to attend. I am SO happy in my new house. It’s more perfect than I ever imagined. I live 15 mins from the beach and I have an ocean breeze to die for. I’m loving school! Well, minus Algebra!!! I have met so many wonderful people at college! I work on a Vineyard doing something I love! For all the things I don’t have, I have so much more to be grateful for. An example of looking past the things you don’t have. So, regarding your move, please make sure it’s somewhere that is best for you. Do you love your job and what you are doing? Is this what you want to do until you retire? Is this always what you set out to do? Now is the time to figure out what you want to do with the 2nd half of your life. The sky is the limit!

    If you do end up moving close to your son, he has to know that things will be different before you go. Reassure him that you are doing everything in your power to become a better person. You are making some big changes and you would like his help. Have a family meeting and discuss what his needs are. Just focus on his needs right now and put yours aside. Ask him how he sees you living near him working. Listen to him and keep your emotions in check. Don’t react and take notes on a pad of paper. Show him that you are serious about making this work. These teens want to be treated like adults and they want to know that what they say matters. Up until now, they have been controlled by their parents. This is normal. They have to learn how to live without us. It’s how life is supposed to work. This is what we want for our kids. We want them to be able to thrive out in the world using the tools we gave them. Let them shine and make us proud. We (us as parents) can drop dead at any minute. We want to know that our kids will survive and thrive without us. Not shrivel up in depression. The same goes for parents. Our kids need to know that we will be ok without them. They should never have to worry about us. That way, they can focus on being better humans and making a difference in this giant scary world. Trust the process!

    Since you and I are very similar in nature and have been rejected by our child, I can tell you what I did to take charge of my life.

    Live for the sake of living, not for anyone else. Realize, you are more than the content of your brain. Once you get past the content of your brain, you will be able to see who you really are and what you have to offer the world. There are people out there that need you. Help the people that need you. How can you help make a neighbors life easier? Give back, volunteer at a place that is near & dear to your heart. What do you love? What is your passion? What makes you happy?

    As long as we always do the right thing, have the best intentions and do only what’s needed today, we can be at peace with ourselves. Tomorrow is not promised. You are an amazing person and if you just let other people inside your world, you will be shown how great life can really be. We are all a part of the universe (like a drop of water is a part of the sea) and we will all go back into the universe once we expire. Get outside and take a walk. Be sensitive to nature and everything around you. Open your eyes and realize that all life is a gift, even yours. Appreciate every breath you are given and live life for the people that their lives were cut short. We only get one chance at this life and it’s only a spec in the timeline.

    Jealousy. Boy, that’s an ugly monster. I too suffered this during the “year of solitude”. My daughter was never close to my husband. Mainly because he worked so much. It was really just her & I most of the time. I was the rock that kept the machine oiled and running smoothly. But that all changed when she decided to hate me. She then became best buds with her Dad. Called him all the time, filled him in on things, confided in him and a ton of other things that made me sooooo jealous (even getting matching tattoos). This was the worst feeling ever and I hated this part of me. I finally turned this around in my thoughts. I looked at is as an opportunity for them to develop a better relationship. And, her having a different perspective would make her a more rounded individual. This was good for her and her Dad. Again, it’s not always about us. And, at least she was talking to him and not a stranger. I’m not going to lie, it hurt me to the core. But that was all self inflicted. Shackles I put on my own ankles. I enslaved myself on so many levels. Why should I be upset that she has a better relationship with her Dad? He would always give me updates so at least I was getting some information. Kind of like your sister. But, I had to respect their relationships boundaries. Some things need to be kept private. They have to build trust with other people. If that is broken, the kids will close back up and feel betrayed. You also don’t want him hiding things from your sister because he knows she will blab it to you. My husband & I made a pack that we would NEVER say, “your Dad/Mom told me this” or “never bring up anything that was discussed” “if she tells us something that we already knew, act like we are hearing it for the 1st time”. This has made the world of difference. I know there are things that I keep to myself as well as things he doesn’t share. And that’s ok. You have to trust that you know everything that you are SUPPOSED to know. Nothing more & nothing less.

    One of the biggest life changing things I did was approach any new relationships a little differently. We all tend to enter a relationship with needs and expectations. When the other person “lets us down” or stops meeting our expectations, things go bad real fast. Instead, I’ve changed my focus to enhancing other’s lives. Trying to give something instead of receive something. I now try to have no expectations of other people. I let them live their best life and I’m living mine. It was very freeing! It’s like I busted myself out of the prison that I put myself in. CRAZY HUH! I’ve also noticed that I now have more friends than I’ve had since I was a little girl. Everyone wants to be around someone that doesn’t put expectations on them or doesn’t judge them. We all have to realize that NO ONE owes us anything. We are only here for a brief time so make your life matter beyond the child you popped out or the man you married or the job you have. They are not your sole purpose. We all must become a full fledged life all on our own. This gives us the mental well being we need to live beyond our children, husband, parents and loved ones. Without this, we crumble up and die.

    Most of all, remember that teens are out of their minds. DO NOT take it personally. Your teen is no exception than any other teen (another hard lesson). They tend to be self centered and have limited abilities to see the big picture. They can only think about themselves. They also have crazy emotions with severe mood swings. They have only lived a handful of years for kiekies sake. This is a VERY tough time for them. It’s also VERY scary. They try and be tough but inside they are unsure of themselves. This is ALL a part of the life process and is supposed to be this way. Our job is to build their confidence, teach them right from wrong, empower them by telling them they can do anything they put their minds to, support their decisions (even if we don’t think it’s the best), help them when they ask for help, and give them the space they need to fly and be confident adults. We also have to teach them that death is a part of the circle of life. In order to die, you must have lived. Hopefully, you teach them to make the most out of the time they are here. They should also know that in the event that you up & die on them, that you love them, couldn’t have picked a better child and trust that they will be ok.

    Most of all, let them learn their own lessons. In school, we are given a lesson and then given a test. In life, we are given a test that teaches us a lesson. It’s up to the creator to teach us our lessons, not our parents or other people. We are the creator’s children. He will see that we learn our appropriate lessons. Trust that! After all, he’s teaching us several lessons right now. All our job is to do is learn our lessons and move on & up as better humans. We won’t move on until we learn the lesson du jour. That’s how people get stuck. They refuse to learn their lesson so they sit and rot in depression. We all have that choice.

    I love how you are doing what needs to be done today and not looking too far into the future. It’s important that you only figure out your very next step and are taking it. It’s just like taking a road trip across the country. You get in the car and it’s dark. Your headlights only light up what’s directly in front of you. So you manage to drive only a few miles at a time. Then the next few miles are lit up…. And so on. Even though you are only driving a few miles at a time and as long as you are moving forward, you will eventually reach your destination. That’s how you tackle a huge journey….1 step at a time but always keep moving forward. If you are feeling stuck, take 1 step forward.

    You have done some really great inner work so far. You know what you need to address and focus on. That’s one of the hardest parts. Narrowing it down and getting to the root cause of your pain. Pain isn’t caused by other people or their actions, it’s caused by us and how we react to things. We are all made up of a heap of memories and past experiences. The goal is to purge all that garbage and see things without judgement. Always remember, you are in control of your thoughts & emotions so you can change anything you want to change. It’s all up to you and how bad you want to be a better person. Solitude will expedite this process so keep doing what you are doing! Two weeks under your belt “congrats”! Depending on how long it takes you to learn your lessons depends on how long you should stay in solitude. Sometimes we are separated from people just to learn a bunch of lessons. And only until ALL PARTIES INVOLVED learn their lessons, will we be reunited. So do your part and let your son do his part.

    The last thing is to put your focus around everything that you are grateful for. If we look beyond all our needs that aren’t being fulfilled, all our blessings will automatically appear. Our needs are the clouds that block our ability to see the truth.

    I’m really excited for you! I know that sounds crazy but you are about to make some huge strides in becoming a more stable and complete person. Once the ball gets rolling you are going to be blown away with your discoveries. Unfortunately, only in our misery promotes the biggest growth in our happiness. Take your licks with grace and move on & up! Hang in there! I believe in you!!! Hugz!

    Here is a short video that explains the fundamentals of being alive and how to go beyond your mind & body.

    Here’s a quicker video that tells you how to be in control of your thoughts.

  • MFS

    September 5th, 2019 at 8:13 AM

    Baby steps forward, giant leaps back and…I don’t even know anymore what is my failure and what is entirely outside of me, except I cannot put a foot right, nor can I even speak without being accused of being condescending or making it all about me. Which I’m trying not to do, but I can only speak from my own perspective so in that sense, yes, it is “about me” since I can’t really speak for or as anyone else.
    At any rate, after 3 1/2 months of my son living with my dad and my sister, I did have to ask him to make a choice – he is only 16, and although he was expelled from high school, there are still mandatory attendance laws. In order to comply, we’d at least need to be living in the same state. I offered to move to the state where he was, so he could continue to live with my dad and sister, but by that point he’d decided he hated them too but I guess was maybe feeling the strain of having to be on better behavior with them. He chose to come back to where I live, and I managed down my anxiety to allow him to take a 20 hour train trip by himself. I also, as soon as he moved back, arranged to move to a new house, a bigger one, and one I let him choose.
    Well, wasn’t that a big mistake, he now hates the new house like it’s his brand new hell on earth. He also got a job, something he’s been wanting to do for years, and now, in his 2nd week on the job, he hates it, too. Needless to say, he hates me worst of all. According to him, he’s never loved me, never known a moment’s happiness, all he feels for me is pity and also a whole lot of loathing. And while he did actually talk to me about a lot of this last night, it was a very one-sided conversation since almost every time I tried to speak he would hit me in the face.
    No, I did not call the police, nor did I kick him out of the house, since above all I fear his endangering himself. But I am not going to drag him in for a psych eval, since his biggest fear appears to be being brainwashed, and he seems to have embraced his current misery (or, according to him, his lifetime misery) as a, or perhaps the, core part of his identity. He seems to feel that losing his pain, anger and hatred of everything and everybody and above all himself would make him into someone other than who he really is, and this would be a fate worse than death.
    I can’t even think, much less hope, for anything at this point. I’m almost numb from so much…I always thought of myself, despite my own anxiety and depression, as someone who deep down retained at least some hope that life could change and get better; that I could change and be better. And I thought I had made a tiny bit of progress towards doing so…nothing dramatic, but a little improvement when it came to managing and definitely towards concealing my anxiety. But no, according to my son, I’m way worse than whatever pitiable wreck of a person he fled from last spring.
    I feel almost like I have Stockholm Syndrome here – he tells me the world is nothing but pain and misery, and that I am pathetic and the biggest loser on the planet next to him (since he hates himself worse than anyone), and the only part of this worldview I don’t share is that of hating him. I still love him, he says he doesn’t care in the least, he still despises me and always will. It’s kind of hard to hold out any hope in he face of this. I know he is disillusioned by the new house and the job and turning 16, having hoped that at least one of these would provide some sort of catalyst for a desperately-hoped for change, but this did not happen and his friends have changed in different ways and he no longer feels any closeness to them, but still tries to hang on so he can at least have the illusion of friends. As he does not want the illusion of a mom, he feels free to express his true feelings to me, and his feelings are all hate, hate, hate.
    I know I am supposed to move on, detach, live my own best life despite his utter rejection, but I just can’t. The world now seems as bleak to me as I does to him. I always told myself I’d follow him into hell if need be, and now I have, but it isn’t helping him at all. Misery may love company, but he doesn’t love mine, so we’re kind of each in our own private hell and I can’t see any way out, any more than he can.

  • DR

    October 27th, 2019 at 4:36 PM

    Sounds like there’s more lessons to be learned. It’s like this, in school we are taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, we are given a test that teaches us a lesson. The reason we suffer is because we have not learned our lessons yet. In every difficult situation, there is a lesson waiting for us. If we do not learn our lesson and move on and up, our suffering will continue. Life will only flow through you if your mind is open for growth. You will know if your mind is open for growth by asking yourself this question, does life slam up against me causing friction & pain, or does it flow through me causing joy? Our misery is all self inflicted. We are 100% in control of our thoughts and emotions. To see this, we must be open to all possibilities and be 100% willing to look inside and do the work.
    Your son is 2 years away from being an adult. He should be able to take a train ride by himself. It’s our job to make sure our children are confident, capable and ready for what life is going to throw at them. It’s best you start now so if there are problems, you will be there to comfort them. My daughter has been flying alone since she was 11. Now at 19, she’s living in Japan and doing well. We should trust that every moment is inevitable and we can’t change anything so it’s important we accept everything as it is. To think we have the power is arrogant. Let it be. Our job as humans is to live our lives, making this world a better place.
    As far as your son hating his job, that’s completely normal. It’s very rare that WORK is a source of joy for teens. It most certainly CAN be a source of joy, but that’s usually a little later in life. It’s good he doesn’t like his job. That hopefully will give him incentive to go back to school so he can get a better job. This is not something you can tell him, it’s something he must figure out on his own. You can subtly guide him by figuring out what he wants to do for a living. We have to be like ninjas when it comes to communicating with teens. We need to listen 95% and talk 5% and choose your words very carefully. We only get a few so make them count.
    You are doing him and our society no favors letting him physically abuse you. He may end up hitting another female and then he will go to jail for sure. Before he leaves home is the time that he learns right from wrong. This is our jobs as parents. And we need to take whatever measures needed to make sure they get the message loud and clear. Respectfully, it sounds like your lack of discipline to win his love and affection might be a root cause for some of this. I think you even mentioned this in a previous post. I’m agreeing with you.
    I’m not sure but I don’t think teenagers are supposed to pick where the family lives. I still think that’s the job of the guardian. This is not about appeasing him and catering to his every need so he loves you again. On the contrary, children want guidelines, discipline and they need to know that one day they will have their chance to run their own household, but right now, that’s your job, not his. Life isn’t fair sometimes. It’s best they learn this as early as possible so they learn the emotional intelligence skills to handle not getting their way. This helps build their problem solving skills. They need this to survive without us. Our wish as parents and their goal is to be independent and thrive and we need to make sure they are equipped. Or, the vicious cycle of struggles gets passed down generation after generation. Let’s be the generation that stops the cycle. Disfunction breeds disfunction. If a parent is teaching their children how to be dysfunctional because they themselves were raised in a dysfunctional setting, what do you think is going to happen. Groundhog day!
    If you are not going to get him the help he needs, things will only get worse. What you basically said was that you’d rather your son live in fear, than face his problems and properly deal with them. Fear is imprisonment and is no way for anyone to live. Please teach your son to face his fears and do the work to get past it. Living in the past is wasting life. Fear & anxiety is a source of misery. If we truly love our children, we must encourage them to free themselves from the shackles they put on themselves. Only they can take them off. We want the best for our children.
    This was REALLY hard to read: “He seems to feel that losing his pain, anger and hatred of everything and everybody and above all himself would make him into someone other than who he really is, and this would be a fate worse than death”. Please tell your boy that humans are not born full of anger and what he is feeling. This is accumulated from our experiences and memories. This is NOT who he is and who he is meant to be. It’s so sad that he believes this. He definitely needs a psych eval and a treatment plan ASAP! Once he talks to someone he will realize thinking he would be brain washed is silly. Nobody can take over another person’s brain unless they allow it. They must have permission first. I was a court appointed special advocate for children & teens for 9 years. This is a routine starting place so the proper treatment plan gets put in place.
    Life can be amazing for all. The only way things are going to get better for any person living in constant misery is looking inward and doing hard core inner engineering. That means getting help for yourself and your son separately. You both have your own issues and individual work to do. The only person that can fix you is you. This goes for every living being on the planet.
    For years I tried to conceal my depression. I can tell you 1st hand that there’s no such thing. It seeps out and finds its way into the lives of the people we love most. We should not be proud of concealing our true selves or be teaching our kids that this is what we are supposed to do. This is the wrong way to handle issues. We should be transparent and be working to fix these issues instead of hiding them. Emotions & thoughts are created by us and exist only in our thoughts. Once we realive we have complete control over our thoughts, can we begin to release them. We create them, we feed them, we keep them alive and flourishing. No, instead we should be feeding our well being and recovery. If we invest in our recovery full throttle, wonderful things will happen. This I promise you!
    If what you are doing isn’t working, it’s time to try something different. Or, you can continue to do the same thing and get the same results. You are in control of this.
    You can’t make your son love you. All you can do is show him you care by getting him the help he needs. Then tell him that you are also getting the help you need and you 2 are going do this together. It’s the only way. My wish is that one day this becomes clear to you. I know you can do this! I know you know this needs to be done. I send you the courage you need to save the rest of your lives. Great big hug! I’m rooting for you & your son!

  • Rachel

    September 14th, 2019 at 9:09 AM

    My heart aches as I write this comment. I raised 2 wonderful boys who both are in college without having to face anything like what I am going through with my 15 years daughter. I came across her journal by accident and read the meanest comments about me that I would have never expected, not 1 in a million. She wants nothing to have to do with me except when she needs my money or my car. She calls me a walking credit card. I have spoiled her and now I am facing the consequences. I am surprised to see talk about hormones and such… I grew up in a house with 6 sisters and one brother and I am right in the middle in term of age. Never any of my sisters, neither older nor younger, showed anything like this plain bad behavior and disrespect. The real problem is not hormones, it’s how they are raised: we give them so much and then they think of themselves as the center of the world and they give nothing back, worst they turn into the devil in person.

  • Richelle

    September 17th, 2019 at 10:52 AM

    Rachel, I totally agree with you on many levels. I am one of 5 girls and that hormone part seems too generous of an explanation. I spoiled my teenage twin girls and am paying for it dearly now. They think the world revolves around them. Social Media doesn’t help at all. That’s the ‘go to’ place for all matters life. And they get it raw and unfiltered from all directions. Sorry to admit that am looking forward to 2020 when they go off to college and maybe I can have some peace and quiet. This phase is but a season that we will hopefully laugh about one day. Hang in there!

  • C

    January 16th, 2020 at 6:35 AM

    The problem is this culture is immature, uncompassionate, selfish and spoiled. The influences and programming from society are very strong. Humans do have a “spiritual” side they need to connect with. It’s not natural for children to behave that way.

  • Eulalia

    January 22nd, 2020 at 1:14 PM

    Perfect just what I was looking for! .

  • Paula

    February 17th, 2020 at 2:20 PM

    I am at the end of my rope. I have twin 17 year old girls. They both think they know everything and mom knows nothing. As soon as I ask a question I immediately get shot down and they go upstairs to their room. I am just so confused right now. I love them both with all my heart and would give my last breath so they could live. We have a bittersweet relationship, partly my fault because I suffer from Depression. I have triggers and they know what they are. One minute, everything is great, then all of a sudden I am the devil. It hurts so bad, more so because of my depression. I love my girls so much. They are graduating this year and will be off to college. I know I have Instilled the right values in them, they make good decisions and are great kids. I just feel like a failure. Like I have let them down because I can control my emotions and I think that sometimes they prey on that. HELP!

  • Sandra

    February 18th, 2020 at 2:03 AM

    It’s hard enough to cope with teens harsh words with a strong faith, good husband, and no depression. You sound like you have done a good job with them, you have done your best, they have come out well and you are not a failure. It’s up to them now to be good people and respectful of you. You sound like you need something for you, a strong foundation of happiness that allows you to come home refreshed to deal with their acting out. A good friend perhaps. Perhaps they could talk to you about why they don’t like the questions. Everyone is important and deserving of kindness from others. I think when they go away to college they may appreciate you more and how hard it has been for you.

  • sharon i

    February 17th, 2020 at 3:24 PM

    Oh Paula, you are certainly NOT a failure! If anything, this shows absolutely successful parenting! They are 100% acting the way they should for teens who are nervous about the future of adulting, leaving home, and leaving childhood behind. It’s a very scary and strange in-between time. The push and pull…..Everything you describe here is totally normal. I’m not a therapist but I have an 18 year old daughter who is exactly the same and I have read every book under the sun, talked with therapists, and other moms and have found that this is totally normal. They may be confused about how to approach you if there are times when it’s not predictable. Also, very age appropriate! :) The book (and therapist author) that saved my bacon is Untangled by Lisa Damour PhD. I recommend listening to it…something about her voice. There are also videos online of her…. She has probably saved my relationship with my daughter. :) Although, my teen is NOT liking me right now…even when I’m super mellow and stay out of her business. lol
    I’ve found, with my teen, the best thing to do (and I repeat this in my head 5Mx a day) is to not ride the roller coaster. Do not ride the roller coaster. I do my best to stand firmly on the platform for those moments of calm that are SO few and far between! I bet your girls are amazing….other parents probably love them. :) They act out where it’s safe to do so. And, ya know..girls and moms aren’t always on the same page….They DO come back to us though. I certainly did with my mother.
    Please know you are not alone….this too shall pass…..Take care of YOU so you can stand on that platform and be ready to catch them when the time comes.
    Sending loads of love and good mamma vibes to you Paula!!

  • Vic

    September 28th, 2020 at 3:17 AM

    I feel MUCH better having read the above and the comments – looks like I’m not alone!
    I have a 15-year-old daughter, who was growing up as a reasonably happy child. Then the switch got flipped and now she sees herself as a mental mess because of what her father and I did. What did we do?
    1. Didn’t help her make friends at school.
    2. Didn’t take her to a therapist when she’d cry a lot over nothing (she was 7 at the time).
    3. Didn’t do the sex talk with her when she was 11 and she HAD to learn about it from school.
    4. Told her she was a burden – actually, her father said she should wait when I came home from work before burdening me with any problems to solve. He has apologised for this repeatedly but, as she says, it happened and she will never forget it.
    5. Didn’t take her to the therapist when she started refusing to eat a variety of foods.
    6. And the list goes on…
    I spent most of last night trying not to flip out over this. Yes, I’m a terrible mother. I should have seen all these things when they happened and done the right thing. I just didn’t know what that right thing was – guess I should’ve researched potential mental health problems online. I should have done this… I should have done that…
    I’m so tired of being blamed I’m close to disengaging from her. It breaks my heart to see that nothing I’ve done is right.

  • Poppy

    September 28th, 2020 at 7:14 AM

    Hi Vic, I have a 15 year old and a 13 year old. Let her work these feelings out and just listen. I know it’s hard not to take it to hard, sometimes I have a good cry then deliberately shake it off and try my best again. There throw a lot of complaints our way. I think it’s our job to listen but remain strong in our convictions. When she is a little older she will see these things differently. Hormones go wild and they have many ups and downs as their brain is still developing. I wouldn’t stress over any of those things on the list, just ask how she wants your support and listen without saying much. For example if she refuses to eat a variety of foods I think it’s best to let her, just have the right things available to tempt her and don’t make it a big deal. It is her decision to make and we can’t force them. A therapist makes it a bigger deal, so I think you did the right thing.

  • Mum from Wales

    October 2nd, 2020 at 3:51 AM

    Hi Poppy and Vic, my daughter completely flipped at the age of 13 and for two years we lived through hell. She hated us, asked repeatedly to be taken into care and was either completely withdrawn or verbally abusive. We listened, accepted all the crap she through at us, apologised where we could, made changes and concessions where these seemed at all reasonably and basically removed almost all boundaries. Fortunately she was doing well in school and well behaved, so it was kind of containable at home but unbelievably awful to live with. I fully expected it to continue until she was old enough to leave home and then hardly ever see her again. After two years she became a human again. It was a little better for a few months and then a friendship crisis at school somehow made her rediscover that I was her mother and loved her. It’s not been smooth sailing since them, and she still frequently blames us for stuff and throughs insults. BUT, most of the time we get on fine, we laugh together and she seems to have turned into a person with compassion for others, strong principles and integrity. As parents it’s so easy to blame ourselves, and people can forever tell us to keep strong boundaries, but when they are offloading all their crap onto us, really all we can do is be there for them. Gradually we are even re-introducing some boundaries. If she is still willing to see a therapist, you might want to consider that, but our daughter always refused. Remember to look after yourself through all this and believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

  • Sandy

    November 24th, 2020 at 3:52 PM

    I have a 16-year-old male teen. Long story short, my son used to be so outgoing, smart, hilarious and so loving. I’ve noticed since covid started, he completely withdrew from me and his siblings. His father passed in 2015, and his stepdad walked out without even saying goodbye in 2016. I’ caught him vaping and he’s watched porn. He says he hates me and that I’m not his mom, and he even hates his diseased dad. He is just not the same son from one year ago. I feel a sense of grieving. I’ve lost my cool with him at times because I get so frustrated at the current situation. I honestly do not know what to do.

  • DR

    December 1st, 2020 at 3:35 PM

    Hi Sandy! I’m a Mom of a now 20 year old girl so I’ve been thru the horrible teen years. I bet 99% of parents of a teen has heard the words “I hate you”. If they didn’t physically hear it, their teen has no doubt said it under their breath. Teens don’t usually mean it. Most teens are super hormonal (boys and girls) and they can’t control their emotions and lash out. Heck, most adults can’t control their emotions and STILL lash out like a teenager. They never learn how to effectively communicate their feelings. So what do we do? No matter what, we must always keep calm and lead with love. Pray for an outcome that’s the highest good for all involved. This might mean that it’s not the best for you, but you have to truly be ok with that. If we are trying to teach our teenager that “it’s not all about you” we need to lead by example and realize, it’s not always about us either. When there are 2 people involved in a sensitive conversation and both lose their cool, resolution will never happen. That’s a guarantee. Part of our job as a parent is to be a good role model and teach them how to maturely and lovingly work through whatever life throws our way. If we don’t, we fail as a parent. All their future relationships will suffer if they don’t know how to effectively communicate.
    Don’t try and make sense of irrational words either. It’s really hard to talk about the painful things that happen to us (no matter what your age). There’s obviously some emotional trauma with your son. We all have a touch of trauma and most of us don’t know how to process it. Children don’t know if they can trust us enough to be vulnerable (this is normal). Being vulnerable is difficult even as an adult. It’s up to us to earn their trust and respect. How do we earn their trust & respect? First, we have to realize they don’t owe us anything. They don’t “belong” to us and they are not our property. They didn’t ask for this life which can be challenging at times. So many of us didn’t automatically appreciate the life that has been given to us. We had no choice in the matter. Parents decide for us and then expect us to bow down because they gave us life. That parental mentality will take you down a miserable, lonely path with children that won’t speak to you. Try to deeply understand this and come from a different angle. Be supportive, non reactional, non judgemental, don’t be critical and do NOT give your opinion unless asked. Whatever you do, don’t raise your voice. Teenagers shut down when parents lose it. You can say anything in a respectful calm manner. It just takes a little self awareness & lots of practice. If you want a favorable reaction, you have to be in the same mindset as you would be in if a friend was opening up to you. You wouldn’t yell at your friend would you? You wouldn’t force your opinion on them would you? You wouldn’t judge them or tell them what to do would you? Ask yourself, what would I tell my best friend. And if you don’t know, say you don’t know. Work through options as a team. Both of you come up with as many options as possible and explore them all. Do this as a team, respecting everything being put on the table. If you know something they suggested is not possible, start asking pointed questions. Let them discount the idea based on the questions you are asking and the answers they comes up with.

    Simple example: Your child says they want a car. Start by saying, that you would really like that because then they could go pick up groceries, run errands, get your car washed and fill up your tank for you. Then you say ok, lets try and work this out and make it happen. Ask them what their budget is, how much do they have in savings and how they’re going to earn the rest of the money. Brainstorm with them. Raking leaves, shoveling snow, a part time job, mowing laws, babysitting etc. Create a chore list and assign dollar figures to each chore (what you’re willing to pay of course). You could also say, you will contribute a certain amount once they reach a certain amount. Or, you could finance a portion with a monthly payment to get them in the habit of paying bills. That’s what I did with my daughter. Then tell them you will call the insurance company to find out how much it’s going to cost to insure them so they can budget that in. You can say that you are willing to contribute a certain amount per month for insurance to help them out. If you can’t afford to help out, explain that you really wish you could but right now you just can’t. And that you are truly sorry. Be sincere!

    In order to support your child, you have to want what they want (within the law of course). That’s the definition of support (just like you would do with a friend). Let your child decide which option and support that decision no matter what. Even if you know it’s not the best course of action, support it. We shouldn’t try and save our children from the wisdom they will earn from making bad decisions or mistakes. This is an important part of growing up and life lessons. It’s not our jobs as parents to save them. This teaches them nothing and ill prepares them for life. What if something happens to you? They will flounder and suffer. We don’t want that for our children. Tomorrow isn’t promised. We all need to be there for our children when they need us… NOT when we need them. No kid likes an over bearing parent! Whatever you do, do not treat them like a child. Some of these issues our children are dealing with are ALSO adult issues. The sooner they learn how to deal with adult issues like an adult, the sooner they will be able to enjoy good mental health and well being. Do a lot of listening with no interruptions. Before you say something, try asking your child “would you like to hear how I dealt with that in the past?” or “I have an idea or suggestion, would you like to hear it?”. Always, always, always remember, you can try and guilt your child into spending time with you but it will always be a “chore” for them. Would you rather them tell their friends “Oh God I HAVE to go see my Mom/Dad with a big sigh of dread” or “I’m spending the day with my Mom/Dad while they are smiling and looking forward to it”. We all want our children to WANT to see us. Not see us out of obligation. Lastly, if you regret something you’ve done or said to them in the past, make it right. Say your sorry. Ask your child if there’s anything you did to them that brings them pain or sadness. Then be quiet and listen. Don’t ever defend your actions. Instead, try to carefully explain your actions. If you’re embarrassed about how you acted, tell them you’re embarrassed. You have to acknowledge their complaint and say you’re sorry. It’s important for all humans to know it’s ok to say your sorry. It needs to start with us. They need to know it’s ok to make a mistake, say you’re sorry and the world isn’t going to end. And most importantly, we will still love them. This would be a great opportunity for you to share a story about one of your mistakes. Pick a doozy of a mistake (this will definitely grab their attention). The idea is to humanize ourselves. We are all flawed humans and it’s important they know this. We can also explain that we can’t live in the past keeping our mistakes alive. So be sure to never bring back up and throw a mistake they made in their face. That goes for them doing that to you as well. Keep the past in the past because it only exists in your head and keeps you from enjoying today. Being on a high parental horse will get you no where. We have to start small and be patient. Getting a teenagers trust is very hard and takes a while. They are going to test you so make sure you pass each test. If you are honest, real, sincere and consistent in your words, it will pay off. I promise! I hope some of this was helpful (smiles) Best wishes dear Sandy!

  • Julia

    December 3rd, 2020 at 8:53 AM

    Im 15 years old and i hate my dad, honestly it because of what he does. He’s not a farther- more like a stranger. He forces me to do everything, im tired of dealing with the emotional abuse. Last night he yelled at me for not cleaning up a wrapper, i was making dinner and because i left the thing on the counter, i get yelled at. Also the reason i hate him is because of what he did when i was younger, him and mom my got in a fight and he packed all my stuff and threw it in the trash ( you might think im lying but i watched him pull my stuff out the bin.) Another reason why i hate him is when i had some money on my and out of anger he forces me to give him all my money, and when i went to pack my bag he forced me to leave all my stuff behind. months later i move back in with him and we get in a fight. All i wanted was for him to man up and admit that he kicked me out with out anything. We fought and all i did was yell at him and he slapped me and put his hand around my neck so i started punching and kicking to get him off of me . i just want out im done.

  • Arizona

    December 5th, 2020 at 10:01 AM

    I am a 14 year old and my dad is being a jerk right now. I am a tomboy and my dad always yells at me that I need to act like my gender. I have fun with my other family members but right when my dad shows up he is so rude. I even stayed in my room for like a week just to get away from him but every time I go hang-out with my real friends he always stops me. I just hate that he is a jerk.


    December 8th, 2020 at 11:04 AM

    Thank you so much for your reply. I truly appreciate your time in responding and giving me a new perspective on how to help the situation. It is not always about me. I need to be more patient and loving towards my son. I will definitely apply what I’ve learned in reading your experiences and suggestions. God bless you and your daughter!

  • Poppy

    December 8th, 2020 at 11:20 AM

    Hi Julia, your Dad may be a narcissist like mine and they don’t change. It is 30 years since I was at home and he is still the same although kinder to me than he was when I lived with him. He is a very controlling person. Hands around the neck are a big danger sign so you are right to leave, the sooner the better as you are not safe there.

  • DR

    December 8th, 2020 at 4:24 PM

    Hi Julia, Adults act angry because they are miserable with their lives. It probably has nothing to do with you. You’re the one that is there so you get the brunt of it. Adults also act with rash behavior because they are unable to work through their emotions. When your Dad threw your stuff away it was most likely because he felt helpless and was out of his mind with his emotions. I’m not saying this is ok because it’s definitely NOT! I watched my husband’s Dad do the same thing with my husband’s stuff. His wife left him and he was throwing everything in the dumpster, including the stuff we were there to pick up. He took the stuff out of our hands and threw it in the dumpster and kicked us out. YEARS later my husband brought it up to him. Guess what? He didn’t remember doing that. He said he was on meds to deal with the divorce. I tell you this because people have psychotic breaks and and do the worst things and can’t recall doing them. With these psychotic breaks comes denial. No excuses! I have no idea what your Dad is dealing with but it’s obviously taking a toll on him and everyone around him. Trying to get him to admit what he did is a waste of time. I’m still waiting for that from my parents and I’m 52. It will never happen. All you can really do is truly accept that your father is seriously flawed and either you accept him and love him flaws and all or, you walk away and live your life free of the pain that he causes you. If parents don’t treat you like you deserve to be treated (you’re a human being after all) then you have to walk away. Leave the bitterness behind and surround yourself with people that lift you up and make you happy. Life is too short to be mistreated by anyone….that includes your parents! They don’t have special privileges just because they forced us into this world. Children are people too. Until your Dad works on his issues, I’m not sure it’s going to get better. No one can force him either. He has to want to make the changes. It’s hard work to work through painful issues. He might not be strong enough to face the man in the mirror. All you can do is focus on what’s good for you and keep moving in that direction. You sound like a good kid and I’m sorry you have to go through this! Please keep us posted on how you’re doing. I’m rooting for you! Hugs!

  • DR

    December 9th, 2020 at 8:05 PM

    You are most welcome Sandy! Reach back out if you need a a shoulder! Hugs and Love sent your way!


    December 10th, 2020 at 8:52 AM

    DR. I will definitely do that! Have a happy Christmas!

  • Sylvia H.

    January 16th, 2021 at 6:03 AM

    I had a great relationship with our daughter up untill she was 14.She finially made her First Holy Communion then with the 2nd graders since it was put off for various reasons over the years.I got her the traditional white,poofy communion dress and veil with the white tights and the white ‘mary jane’shoes to wear.Since the communion dress is considered an extension of the baptism gown,it is a tradition for the girls to wear a cloth diaper and plastic pants and under shirt under their dresses to represent the purity of their baptisms.I told the daughter that she would follow the tradition and wear a diaper and plastic pants under her tights with the undershirt as her top.She wasnt happy about having to wear them,but got thru the day ok.After that,she seemed to regard me as an “overbearing” mom and our relationship became more distant!

  • DR

    January 16th, 2021 at 5:12 PM

    Hi Sylvia, I was brought up catholic with the communions and confirmations and because of all the mandates & restrictions that religion and parents put on me, I changed religions as soon as I moved out at 18. I’m now practicing spirituality and evolving as a human being and am much, much happier.

    I’m a parent of a 20 year old and I don’t believe any parent should force a child to wear anything they don’t feel comfortable wearing. If that was your child’s last day on earth, would it really have mattered whether she wore a diaper & plastic? Would you want your child’s last day on earth being uncomfortable, full of anxiety and feeling powerless? Children are young adults and should be encouraged by their parents to be themselves. They should have choices and make decisions about what they do and do not want to wear. Just as we do. If you don’t allow them to make these simple, unimportant choices, how do you think they will do when they are behind the wheel of a car or out in the real world? We don’t own our children. They are not property. They have voices and should be heard and parents should listen. No one likes to be controlled by another human being (parent or not).

    Please do this reflection activity: Take an hour, sit in a quiet place, close your eyes and give some thought to the following question:

    Is diapers and plastic panties/pins worth your relationship with your daughter? Do this with everything that brings tension to a situation. Think of the big picture. Once she is old enough and moves out, she no longer owes you anything and doesn’t have to listen to you anymore. She doesn’t even have to (by law) talk to you anymore. Do you want her harboring all the things you made her do against her will? Do you want her carrying all that baggage with her in this already tough world? Simmering anger towards you?

    She has the right to surround herself with ONLY people that lift her up, make her own choices and allow her to be herself. I promise you, if you are not one of those supporters, you will barely hear from her. If you do, it will be out of obligation. Do you want your child visiting you out of obligation or because they can’t wait to see you? Surrender your control over her and be more of a supporter. You won’t be sorry!

    If you want to gain some good graces, sit her down and tell her you are sorry that you made such a big deal out of that. We should pick our battles carefully. In the scheme of things, was that a battle you HAD to win? I hope the answer is no. So tell her if you had to do it all over again, you would have listened to her and the outcome would have been different. Also tell her that you will listen more. This would be a good time to ask to be forgiven for any other things you regret doing (we ALL have regretful moments that we wish we could take back as parents). Take them back now. Don’t wait till your death bed because you may not get the chance to make things right. Give your child time to process her emotions. It’s ok to say you’re sorry if you are, and you mean it. Be a good example. Do NOT focus on what you will be getting in return. Because what you will be getting in return is a healthy relationship with your child. As a parent, that should be your ultimate goal!!!!

    I hope you find the courage to make things better. And realize we as a society shouldn’t sweat the small stuff. There’s much bigger issues to focus on.
    Good luck and remember, her mental wellbeing starts with us as parents. 

  • Ali

    March 12th, 2021 at 10:09 PM

    Reading this in 2021, after almost a year in Covid lockdown with a teen who makes me feel like crap. It’s so hard to deal with and so hard not to cry. I have struggled with depression for years and this is so not helping. I’m not sure it’s about wanting independence. She’s not like a normal teen. She doesn’t care about her looks or makeup or going out. In fact she’s withdrawn for everyone, no matter how nice they are to her, but I’m the one she really seems to hate. It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday and I don’t know how I’ll get through it, because I feel so unloved. I’ve tried staying calm. I’ve tried talking to her. I never make a fuss about her trashy room and I do give her plenty of space, but she still thinks I’m a horrible person. She used to love a cuddle, but now I’m not allowed to and she even flinches when I try to put a reassuring hand on her shoulder. She screams at me that I like seeing her upset, which is so not true. Literally the only thing that makes me happy is seeing my kids happy, but she doesn’t believe me. I have one other daughter, 20 months older and she’s been absolutely lovely! I have a great relationship with her and always have, but as far as my 13 year old is concerned….I feel like I’ve lost a daughter and I don’t believe she is coming back.

  • Anne

    March 16th, 2021 at 3:36 AM

    Dear Ali, my heart goes out to you, as your daughter sounds so much like mine was for years. We had been having difficulties for years but from the age of 13 to 15, she made our life hell, hating us, asking to be taken into care, interpreting everything we said or did in the worst possible way. She already had a diagnosis of Asperger (which she won’t accept to this day), and I wonder whether your daughter might just be on the autism spectrum. It might be worth your looking into, as it may give you a different perspective.
    Our daughter is now 16 and a half. For the past year or so, things have been massively better, so I just want to give you hope that things can improve. She won’t really talk about what happened, and I still feel like I’m walking on eggshells most of the time. She won’t eat with us, I know she self-harms and sometimes she can withdraw completely for days. So things are still challenging, but I believe we are over the worst. Although she won’t really talk about the past and she still blames us for a lot, she has said that she never hated us and didn’t really want to be taken into care.
    I have to say that things didn’t even start to improve until we changed our approach to parenting. We had already heard that children on the spectrum don’t always respond to conventional parenting like other children, and looking back, I can see that our system of rewards, positive attention and appropriate sanctions totally backfired. Even though we didn’t have an alternative approach, we did eventually completely back off, stopped all sanctions and basically accepted whatever she threw at us. Neither could we tell her we loved her or show any affection. That is stil the case. I know what Mother’s Day can be like if you feel so totally rejected, but this year, for the first time, she made me a card.
    Even though you feel like you’ve lost your daughter and won’t get her back (don’t I know how that feels like!), try and believe that even now, you are her anchor, the person who is “safe” enough to “hate”. Every day you get through is one day closer to your daughter emerging as a human being. In the meantime, take care of yourself, get help for your depression, treat yourself, reward yourself for being her faithful mum. And give yourself some slack when you do get it wrong. Even perfection wouldn’t be good enough for your daughter right now, but even just still functioning and wanting to see her happy is a big achievement.

  • DR

    March 17th, 2021 at 4:14 PM

    Hi Ali,
    You’re not alone here. I found this Good Therapy blog when my daughter was 16 and hated everything about me. She wouldn’t even tell me why either. I always made raising my daughter a priority so this made me feel like a failure. After figuring out a few things and changing my behavior, we are really good friends now. She’s 20 years old now and she willingly shares her life with me. She calls me her #1 supporter and fan (which I am). I’d like to share a few tips that got me to the other side of the teenager storm.

    I’m sorry you are going through this! And I’m sorry you haven’t beaten your depression yet. One of the biggest mistakes we make as Mothers is putting everyone’s happiness before ours. Then when they don’t need us anymore we are crushed. But while we are crashing & burning, this is the beginning of our rebirth. Now that your daughters no longer need the amount of attention we are used to giving, it’s time to look inward. This new found time is gifted to us so we can finally take time to focus on our mental & physical health and happiness. Ali, this is our time to fix ourselves. To craft who we want to be. To do what we want to do. So get busy because this is a transforming experience if you invest in yourself.

    You say you suffer from depression so this should be your main priority. It’s important that we don’t project our mental illness on our children. That’s probably taking a toll on your daughter. You taking charge of your mental well being will be an inspiration to both your daughters. They will look up to you for your strength, courage and setting an example of how important selfcare is and should be. You can never compare children as they can be very different. Your other daughter seems to be more compliant to accommodating all your needs. The 13 yr old, not so much.

    I’m not trying to be mean but there;s no other way to say this. Your note pointed out things that seem to be more about you: “you suffer with depression” “Your special day (Mother’s Day) being ruined” “you upset & crying” “you feel unloved” “you feel like crap” “you want cuddles” “you want to touch her”. These are all things you want that she isn’t giving you. And because she’s not fulfilling all your needs, there’s a problem. If she were meeting all your needs, there wouldn’t be a problem. Unfortunately, you can’t tell another human that it’s their job to fulfill all your needs. Teenagers are people now so they have choices. It’s a tough pill to swallow. Give this some serious thought: Figure out why your happiness depends on other people. Happiness should come from within, not put in the hands of other people. If you are joyous all by yourself, with no expectations of others, everyone will want to be around you, even your daughter. But you trying to extract joy from another person, only works for a short period before they get tired of you. When they’re done, they’re done.

    The fact that she’s withdrawn from everyone is a good sign she has some issues to work through. A counsellor might help?. Human nature is to seek relationships. If she is doing the opposite, there could be a serious problem. It may or may not have anything to do with you, but it needs to be looked at. People don’t withdraw for no reason. Your daughter needs someone she can confide in, someone that won’t judge her, someone that will listen without giving advice and someone she can trust. Everyone needs and deserves someone like this.

    Regarding the cuddles and not liking to be touched is probably because she feels like you still think she’s a child or she feel smothered by you. Respect her wishes and refrain from touching her. She is trying to become her own, so let her create some boundaries. When you make boundaries, you have to defend them or they are nothing but words. If she can’t get you to respect her boundaries, how will she get others who don’t love her, respect them?

    Putting your needs aside, this is a tough time for teenagers. So many hormones and it’s truly a difficult time for them. As they get closer to the age of being an adult (18) they must learn to become independent. The expectations of being an adult are huge and scary. The best thing to do is put more space between what YOU want and what SHE wants. Sorry Mom, your job was to provide food, shelter and unconditional love. As that job winds down and your job will change a bit. You will be more like a friend vs someone she has to depend on. A friend listens more than they talk.

    Try this exercise: Ask her if you could schedule 15 minutes (today or tomorrow) with just you and her (no devices) in a spot she chooses (she must be comfortable) so you can ask her a couple of questions that will help you support her better. WRITE everything down and DON’T get defensive or raise your voice. Stay calm as if you were talking to your best friend. Only ask for clarity or for an example. Repeat what she says so there’s
    no room for misinterpretation. What you get from this meeting is instructions on how to repair your relationship. Be grateful and thank her for helping you be a better parent. So basically, you can take this list and make changes to your behavior and make things wonderful or you can choose to shred the list and get used to being shut out. Remember, she controls who she keeps at her round table (a chosen small group of people closest to her). We as parents have to earn our spot. Once they are teens, we no longer get an automatic spot.

    We need to understand what having a child means. It is not some personalized project. We are manufacturing the next generation of people. Our children don’t owe us anything. They don’t “belong” to us and they are not our property. They didn’t ask for this life which can be challenging at times. So many of us didn’t automatically appreciate the life that has been given to us. We had no choice in the matter. Parents decide for us and then expect us to satisfy their every need. That parental mentality will only provide us suffering, loneliness and children that won’t speak to us. They have their own purpose and should be encouraged to become a full fledged life all on their own. So it’s time to get in the passenger seat and let your daughter find her own way. If you become a burden, she will avoid you. Don’t forget to show interest in the things she likes. Never criticize something she likes. And simply be there for her when she needs you.

    I hope some of this has helped. Best wishes! Hang in there, and don’t give up! Sending you the courage you need to get you through this. Hugs!

  • Rene

    March 21st, 2021 at 8:06 AM

    Just wanted to take a moment and thank you for your excellent advice. I too am struggling with a distant daughter and feel I have alienized my children as I was weak, depressed and so terrified of losing them. I did step back from their “roller coaster” , focused more on my happiness ( realizing it is “my time” now), one of the hardest things to do as a parent. I was starting to think that all my hard work in parenting was all for naught, and why had I devoted my entire life as a single mom to raise and focus on my children, just to “lose” them when they turned 18. Your words of wisdom have helped immensely, as well as everyone else’s here on this post. It is so hard to step out of the parenting role after 18 years of being a mom… but I am slowly finding my way and encourage all of you to do the same. Take time for you, make yourself the priority now.. and of course – know that your children will always be your children… no matter how difficult the journey is. Cherish the good memories, and have faith for the future.
    Thank you again for being out there.. you have no idea how much you have helped me!!

  • DR

    March 22nd, 2021 at 7:30 PM

    Rene, Your response brought me to tears! You are such a good Mom! I felt the same way as you. I quit my executive job and got a part time measly job close to home and my daughter’s school, so I can dedicate as much time as possible to being a good Mom. I went back to work full time when she entered 5th grade when having your Mom at school was no longer cool. Everything was like a dream. Then the teen age years, specifically 16 when she started being really mean to me. In her senior year she came home and announced she was going into the military. She was so mean I found myself walking on eggshells all the time and sometimes avoiding her. On the day I turned her over to the military I took her out for her final meal. That whole meal she unloaded on me on how horrible of a Mom I was. Everything I ever did wrong until she had me in tears. I remember very clearly that feeling of failure. It struck me to my core. How could I give my all to something and fail so miserably. It was one of the worst days of my life. Right after that she got shipped off. She barely spoke to me that entire year. That’s when I found myself. They say you reach your greatest spiritual strength through your deepest spiritual wounds. Boy is that true. Fast forward (she is 21), we talk weekly and she now includes me in her life and actually asks me for advice!! She also tells me she needs a facetime relationship “vent sesh”. She even told me that when she has to make a tough decision she asks herself, “what would Mommy do”? I cried my eyes out when she told me that. She didn’t have to, but she did. Still makes me tear up. You being such a great Mom, you too, have this to look forward to.
    Once you start making yourself a priority and you pull back a little is when they start to miss you. When you’re honestly too busy to “pick up their call right away”. When she doesn’t get a response to her text for 24 hrs. They start making their way back. They realize you are no longer living to serve them. And, like them, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to either. What really draws them back in is when they see that your not some loser Mom that has nothing else to live for. NOT THIS MOM!!! Thanks so much for reaching out Rene! You are already blossoming! It’s Rene’s time! It’s OUR time ladies! Big hugs and please know we are always here for you!

  • Clarice A.

    August 6th, 2021 at 6:00 AM

    Our daughter is 15 and is acting aloof and cold towards me now.Up untill the first part of june,everything was great between us.She finially made her First Holy Communion on June 6th in the class of 2021 with the 2nd graders.She wore the traditional,short sleeve,poofy,knee length communion dress and veil with the lace anklets and white mary jane shoes so she would blend in with the little girls.The Religious Ed. Director told me that to be more like the little girls that she should wear a tee shirt and plastic pants[rubberpants] under her dress just like the little girls wear under their dresses. So i got her the tee shirt and pair of white,adult size rubberpants and she wore them for the day,but wasnt happy about it.I told her that the R.E.D.told me that she should wear the tee shirt and rubberpants and she told me that i didnt have to go along with it,and that she felt weird having them on under her dress.Since then she has been aloof and not talking to meas much as she did before.

  • Neil

    September 22nd, 2021 at 5:52 AM

    I have two teenage sons, my eldest is 16 and has been giving us grief since he was 11. Stoned or drunk every day, has done a lot of other drugs too, ket, valium, ecstasy, coke. Has been selling drugs on occassion, we have had the police round constantly about drugs and assaults & vandalism and our neighbours think he’s the devil reincarnated, i find drug paraphanalia and knives (lockbacks, penknives) in his midden of a room frequently (I clean his room a couple of times a week, sometimes daily but its always returned to the same horrible state in hours). Its not that he’s nasty to us, he does swear a lot and can be aggressive. He goes out every day sometimes not returning until a day or two later, sometimes covered in bruises, cuts and his clothes all torn. He was out of school as soon as he turned 16 and thankfully I managed to get him an apprenticeship but after 9 months i know his boss’s patience with him is wearing thin due to him phoning in sick so he can go and smoke weed all day or bunking off college when he’s meant to be there. I love him, but really cant stand him, im torn between putting up with him and hoping he will change to wanting to kick him out, he’s nearly 17. He’s hanging around with local idiots fighting other gangs and doing drugs constantly, i know he’s been schooling my younger son in the way of drugs but thankfully my younger son is a fair bit smarter although he has definitely dabbled. Just hoping for an end to all this crap, its just depressing, i know he’s a nice guy and he was brought up properly, but he’s a serial liar when caught out and just doesnt listen to anything he’s told, totally hitting my head aff a brick wall, no advice is ever taken on board, gets arrested for shouting and swearing at the police after being told to keep a low profile due to all the previous trouble he’s been in, just doesnt seem to learn. Not sure if there are any psychological problems with him, he had a pyschotherapist at his secondary school but they never diagnosed anything. I fear it wont be long until he’s sacked and his prospects will be truly down the pan, I can see illl have to move out of the house with him as he creates huge tensions and problems in my relationship what with his behaviour, the Police attention (harrassment and social work, childrens reporter etc…. Ahhh, please someone tell me there will be an end to his selfish idiocy!!!!

  • Di

    September 25th, 2021 at 10:34 AM

    Thanks so much for reaching out! This really hit home with me. Sounded like me growing up along side my brother. Your son is heading down the same path as he did. I was the one that obeyed and never crossed the line. He couldn’t stop crossing the line. He never graduated high school which added to his life struggles. He only got worse as time went on. He drank until he couldn’t drink anymore because his liver was dying. So he turned to coke, pills and then heroine. Couldn’t keep a steady job and was homeless most of his life (when my parents would kick him out). After a while they would let him come back, then kick him out again. This went on for 49 years until he overdosed on drugs and died. My brother had a heart of gold and was a master electrician. He could have had it all.
    Your teen’s future is at stake. We need to find a way to help him in the way he needs to be helped. He probably should have a psychological evaluation as soon as possible. Your teen is in agonizing pain over something. As babies we are trusting, we look at life as a miracle and we are all smiles until bad things happen to us. We are born without the harshness of life and reality. Babies are truly optimistic beings. It’s the traumas of life that makes teens turn to drugs and alcohol. It’s the only way to escape the pain & suffering from the trauma. Facing the issue is unbearable for them. Drugs and alcohol dulls the pain and they are able to escape reality. The problem is, the pain will never go away unless it’s dealt with properly. Unfortunately, the longer issues go unresolved, the harder it is to escape them. Then more and more traumas happen (life) and before you know it, they can’t handle living. This could take 49 years like in my brother’s case or 18 years in someone else’s case. Addiction is the loudest cry for help and the hardest thing to recover from.
    Me and my brother (11 months apart in age), were raised by a 15 year old mother and an 18 year old father that both came from very strict punishers, verbally abusive and tough love environments. They parented us the same way. Also known as “the vicious cycle of dysfunction”.
    All kids want is unconditional love and to fully be accepted for who they really are. Most importantly, by their parents. When they are not truly loved and fully accepted for who they are, they become tormented. They feel isolated, unloved and like there’s something wrong with them. Eventually, they can’t stand to look at themselves. They have gone down a path that has destroyed relationships and they can no longer control their actions because they are addicted to drugs and alcohol. They are completely lost and can’t find their way out. Their lives no longer belong to them, they are a slave to how they will get their next high. They know exactly how bad they have hurt the ones they love most. That adds to feeling like a disappointment. Do you think “tough love” is going to fix this? Do you think time will fix this? The answer sadly, is no.
    There’s many reasons for these downward spirals. Only each individual knows what it is for themselves. So to get it out of them will take much work on your part as the parent. They have lost all trust in humankind because the 2 people that are supposed to always be there for them and teach them how to properly deal with their emotions (mom & dad) have failed them. They have given up on all hope at this point. It’s obvious because no one would ever choose to wake up every morning so desperate for their next fix that they are willing to sell themselves for $20. Steal from and hurt the people they the love most in this world. Who would choose that life? Addicts are sick and their life is spinning out of control.
    The only way to fix this is to put all your needs, your expectations, your conclusions, your judgements and your advice ASIDE. This will be the hardest thing you will ever do because you have to bring your child up to “best friend” status. No longer parent/child relationship. That relationship has served its purpose. You taught your teenager wrong from right and now it’s time to let go and build a new relationship. The kind you have with your best friend. Don’t do or say anything you wouldn’t do to your best friend. Don’t take any liberties and respect the boundaries your teen is trying to set. It’s important they have boundaries or they will be walked all over when they are thrown out in the world. Listen more, speak less. Remember, we have 2 ears and only 1 mouth for a reason. This is so we can listen twice as much as we talk. Realize, your child doesn’t really owe you anything. They didn’t ask for this life, you made that decision for them. Maybe they don’t want this life that was forced upon them? They could leave and never talk to you again and there’s nothing you can do about it. When our children become teens it’s time to work on building a relationship where your teen wants to talk to you and wants to come to you when they need help. They will only go to people they can trust, people that will really listen, people that won’t judge them or tell them what to do. That person can be you if you do the relationship work that is needed. Time to have the heavy conversations before they go out in the real world. They need to be prepared. As parents it’s part of the job to prepare our children for life when they leave the coop. Which is only a few years away.
    Why does all your other friends want to talk to you? What do you want out of a best friend? Employ those same reasons & qualities to your teen. We all know that something went wrong with teens that have gone off the deep end. We have to build enough trust so they can share it with us without being crucified. If they are afraid of how you will react, they will never tell you anything important. They will start by testing you with smaller things to see your reaction. Whatever you do, do NOT fail these tests because you will never uncover the deeper issue they are struggling with.
    BE PREPARED for anything. They could tell you they were molested by a relative or someone they trusted. They could tell you they are attracted to the same sex. They could tell you they are transgendered. It could be because of a divorce, a death, a sibling is abusing them or they did something really bad. It could be because of several things you did years back. If it is something you did, that’s the best case scenario. Pray for this because that means you can fix it. No matter what you did, even if you don’t remember doing it, you must accept responsibility and genuinely apologize from the bottom of your heart. Let your teen get it all out until they feel they have accepted your apology and can move on from this. Give them the time they need to get past this. Don’t force anything. Their mental health is the only goal here.
    If you are the root of the problem, you have to put your feelings aside. This is your child and if you were responsible for their downfall, you should want to do anything in your power to make things right. This is not about you, this is about your child recovering and healing from what they feel has been life altering. This is your 2nd chance to be the parent every child dreams of. Not going to lie, you’re going to want to defend yourself, but you can’t. Not now. There will be time later down the road when your teen is more mentally stable and completely off drugs and alcohol. They will come around in their own time. This isn’t something you can rush. We all move at our own pace so be patient. When the time comes, they may even come back and apologize for things they weren’t equipped to handle as a teen. They need space to learn these things on their own, without the help of a parent.
    Be super sensitive and take off your parental adult shoes and put yourself in your teen’s shoes. Remember, they are not you, they are not their siblings and shouldn’t be compared to anyone else. Your child is special because they are unique and we shouldn’t put them in a box. We should just take them by the hand and give them the skills they need to deal with what life throws at them. Empower them, tell them they can get through anything. Be there when THEY need us, not when WE need them. Our needs should no longer be dumped on our children. Their needs are just as important as ours. We are equals as humans. It’s important they know this.
    Take the time to listen and not react. Depending on the age where the trauma(s) occurred, they could be stuck at that mentality level. This means they never learned how to work through their emotions. No one was there to help them so they are stuck. This happens through divorce. The parents are so wrapped up in what is happening to them, they don’t have time or energy to help their children through this devastating time. Trying to protect them from the truth has caused more harm. They need to know what happened and that it’s not their fault. And, that sometimes relationships don’t work out and that’s ok. We need to explain how things are going to change for them and keep them included as things change. Reassure them that they are important and everything is going to be ok. They should be included, not excluded. In this case, we need to go back and make things right while we still can. Apologize to them and admit that you could have handled things better. Be sincere.
    If your child was always an honor roll student and their grades suddenly took a dive, then that’s an indication that the trauma took place at that time. If your child always struggled just getting a passing grade, then just gave up and quit, that’s an indication that they needed daily help with their assignments & homework and never got the help they needed. This is also a parental fail, no excuses please. When we as a parent decided to bear a child, we took on the parental responsibility to see them through life and helping them succeed. No matter what it takes. If you had to work 2-3 jobs and couldn’t be there for your child, you could’ve found them a tutor. Or something. Do you think your teen likes waking up every day saying, yay, I get to fail again today. No, no one loves failing at anything. If you are failing at something, it’s the last thing you want to do, right? School is hard and kids need help every day. Too many parents take a back seat to their kids’ education. Just like everything else, their education is a big part of your job as a parent. If you did not make sure your child had all the resources and help they needed to succeed, that falls back on you. Yes indeed, parenting is thee hardest job out there. Deciding to have a child shouldn’t be taken lightly. Remember, your child never asked for this life. It was thrust upon them. It’s about being the best parent we can be, putting all our personal drama aside.
    For the people reading this that may hear that their child is gay and are devastated, here’s something to think about. It seems people are more ok if they have a friend that is gay but if it’s their child, it’s the end of the world? Or, maybe it’s against your religion? It’s super simple! Realize that this means your love is conditional. If they don’t conform to what you want them to be, you take your love away. If you can’t accept your child for who they are, you don’t deserve their love or to be part of their lives. If religion means more to you than your own flesh and blood, that’s a sign from the universe that you may want to look for a more loving and accepting religion. Either way, we should only share our lives with people that love us unconditionally and want nothing but the best for us. If you don’t want this for your child, are you the best parent you can be? This goes for all people, even our own families. They don’t deserve you if they can’t give you unconditional love.
    One thing for sure is you will never go wrong if you lead with love. Be open and completely honest. Talk to them as if you were talking to another adult. Sometimes you have to tell them the truth. You can do this in a calm, loving manner. Always pray for the highest good for all involved. Sometimes we focus on what’s best for us. Or we think we know what’s best for others. That’s an unevolved mindset. We should want what’s best for the people we love the most. Seeing them happy, will automatically make us happy. Isn’t that the ultimate goal?
    Remember, don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Your teen will go into “parenting mode” and try to comfort you. Then they will be afraid that you will break down and won’t be able to handle their problems. This means your child can’t depend on you to help them if you can’t even help yourself. Remember, it’s not about you. Keep yourself together like a parent trying to support their child. You need to be the strong one, not the other way around. If you yourself are mentally unstable and suffer from depression or other mental illness, seek professional help asap. Share your struggles with your child. They need to know you are aware of and owning your challenges and that you are seeking help. This will take some pressure off of them. And show them how important mental health is to all people, even parents. No one is perfect even if they try to be. When you are better equipped to handle life, then you can be there for them.
    Journal your thoughts after tough conversations. Write a letter if you can’t get through a conversation without breaking down. Take a shower and cry. Take a long walk and cool off. Join a support group where you can share your life with. Get some friends outside the house to confide in.
    It’s important to brainstorm all options together with your teen. Write them down, discuss each option in detail, decide together how you want to proceed. Meet regularly to make sure things are still good, if not, go back to the list of options. Plot the course forward. Revisit regularly, be flexible and always look for new opportunities and solutions. Life is an ever evolving process. It’s important to teach them to be flexible, be willing to change course when needed, troubleshoot along the way and handle things with ease and grace. A speedbump can turn out to be a really good thing. Something only becomes an issue if you make it an issue. Teach our children to be open to all possibilities that present themselves. To explore and enjoy this life.
    My parents could have saved my brother’s life. All he wanted was validation, them to accept responsibility for all the cruel things they did to him and for them to love him unconditionally. Instead, they denied everything he said, made him feel like he was a liar and was making things look worse than they really were. The worse part was that their love was always conditional. They would cut him off like he meant nothing. My Dad used to say to us, “who the hell do you think you are”? We would have to reply, “nobody”. After a while, my brother believed it. He suffered until the bitter end.
    My wish for all humans is that they are a full fledged life all on their own. That way, no one can mess them up so bad that they go against the grain of EVERY other living creature on this planet, to do everything in their power to stay alive, thrive and survive at all costs. That humans value their lives as much as all other creatures. You don’t see ants, earthworms or cockroaches killing themselves, do you? Go ahead and try to kill one, they will fight with everything they have to stay alive. They think their lives are worth preserving. My wish is for all humans to think their lives are worth preserving just as much as they do.
    Recovery is a long exhaustive process. But the sooner you enter recovery, the sooner you can get back on track. It’s never too late to help a person in need. If you are love, you will never give up on someone you created! You can do this!

  • Myself

    October 5th, 2021 at 4:18 AM

    Yes, clearly written by a non-parent. Because all we moms of teens do is pick at them over eyeliner. Believe me, if this author had any clue, she would realize moms don’t care about eye liner, but about whether our kids come home at night. Such a nice, simple solution to a non-problem makes for a useless blog post that is grossly negligent in describing the real issue teens and moms face. Get some life experience, little girl, and leave the hard stuff to the grown ups.

  • Coralblue

    October 16th, 2021 at 6:19 PM

    My 17 year old son messaged me to tell “I hate you. Go away” today. I am so frustrated. So I was searching online to see what to do. Then I found this website. I took the words here “be strong and continue to love”. My son subscribed to a online life coach course two years ago. He really felt that channel host help him a lot. He helps my son to understand himself, control his emotion, finding his life purpose, etc. However, recently I felt he’s becoming more and more weird and un-socialized. He’s complaining about school system, education system and think college education is useless. While he has been a very capable student before. I worried a lot that he’s listening to that person and trying to find any answer from his videos. But I don’t believe I can convince him. As he has read some many philosophy and psychology books. Later I found a very insightful post criticised that channel host. Then I send this post to him and ask him to see some different point of view. After he read this, I received his message of “I hate you”. Shall I stay strong in this case?

  • DR

    October 18th, 2021 at 10:39 AM

    A good rule of thumb is to never ever, directly attack a person your teen is fond of. From what you wrote, this counselor has really helped your son through some really tough times. He has made progress under this counselor’s guidance. There’s a 2 year relationship here that you have to consider and respect. Your son must fully trust this person to discuss his deepest, darkest secrets. He’s beyond grateful to have this person in his life. He will defend this person to everyone. Anyone who attacks this person will be the “enemy”. What you did, was attack someone that he cares deeply about. Afterall, you would defend someone you care about if they were being attacked. We all would.

    Firstly, you have to determine IF this person IS the true problem. Usually, when there’s a sudden change in a person’s behavior, there may have been an “incident” or a “trauma” that is causing it. Him having issues at school, makes one think something might have happened at school. Maybe he’s struggling academically? Maybe he’s struggling socially with his social skills? Maybe there’s a bully targeting him? Maybe he feels like an outcast? This is what we need to find out.

    Be honest and tell him that you were concerned about the change in his behavior. And, you assumed it was his life coach. Tell him that was wrong of you to jump to conclusions, and you are sorry. Tell him that it will never happen again and that you will try to trust him more. Ask him if he will forgive you. It’s ok to admit when we are wrong. By doing this, you are showing him it’s ok to say you are sorry and it’s not the end of the world when we make mistakes. It’s human, it’s life and it’s ok. Parents are not perfect, and we should not expect our children to be perfect. Your teen needs less stress, not more. Stress reduction is the key.

    Explain in a loving, caring way, exactly what is concerning to you. You might say, “it was concerning that you didn’t want to hang out with your friends, and you it appears that you are becoming more and more withdrawn”. And that you are worried about him because you love him. Or, “that he didn’t think school was important and you don’t want him to struggle out in this world without a GED.” Or, without a college degree because they are pretty much required like a GED nowadays. Explain you want to see him succeed in life because you care about him. Engage him in conversation about what his plans are after graduating high school. Just listen to his plans. Try to be as supportive as possible. Remember, you are on his side and should want what he wants. See if you can help him get started in the right direction. He needs to see you as an ally, not an enemy. He’s so close to being an adult and needs all the allies he can get. A good family & friend support system is critical for a teen approaching adulthood. For everyone for that matter!

    It’s ok to feel that there’s something wrong with the education system, because there are MANY things wrong with the education system. It’s no secret. College is unavoidable these days. You can agree with him that it’s not fair, but everyone has to do it. I had the same conversation with my 21 year old daughter. Say, I totally agree with you, but we all have to get through school and college the best we can. Assure him that you will be there for him along the way. If he needs help, you will do your best to find him the help he needs. Reassure him that you will be there for him when he needs you. So if he ever does, do your best to help.

    If he absolutely does not want to go to college, you both should work on a plan B. Maybe the military or something else. My daughter refused to go to college, so she joined the Navy. It’s not what we wanted for her, but we supported her in her decision 100%. She instantly regretted it once she hit basic training. She just finished her 3rd deployment. She has grown so much and appreciates me a lot more than she did. The biggest thing was that she learned not to make hasty decisions and to think things through. Nothing we could have taught her. He might have a plan in his head of what he wants to do. Help him work it out. What is the 1st step of his plan? Our children need to learn how to make good decisions on their own and learn by their own mistakes. Best they learn while they are under our roof so we can help lift them back up when they fall. They need to learn for themselves, and that’s how it’s supposed to be. We cannot learn their lessons for them. Life’s lessons are the best teachers. Let Life be the bad guy for once. Remind him that you are his cheerleader and his biggest fan. Because you should be. They did not choose this life. We chose it for them. The least we can do is support them and help them navigate this life that we have thrust upon them.

    If it’s a social issue, maybe you can see what’s going on and determine how to proceed. Try to present all options you can think of. Both of you discuss each option. It might need some follow up if you couldn’t find a viable solution. You may need to reach out for help or guidance if you don’t know how to proceed. Just don’t let it drop by the waste side. Things rarely work themselves out if they are swept under the rug. Real work needs to be done. Follow up letting him know you are looking into other options. Touch base as often as you can and work as a team. Your teen has to agree on the solution. If he’s not onboard, no progress will be made.

    Parents don’t have all the answers. Admit this to your teen. Make sure you are on an even playing field. If they feel you are looking down on them, they will shut down.

    Remember, listen more than you talk. We have 2 ears & 1 mouth for a reason. The idea is to have a calm, loving, engaging conversation. Never yell or raise your voice, don’t give advice unless you’re asked for it, don’t tell him what you think he should do unless he asks you, “what would you do”, don’t judge, be supportive and respectful. Everything you would want from a parent, is what you should try to be. If things get heated, take a break, and try to resume when you both are calm again. You are teaching him how to communicate effectively. No need to continue because neither one of you will HEAR each other. If he’s not ready to share, respect that. Tell him you will be there when he needs you and ready to talk. Continue to work on building that trust in your relationship.

    After age 12, your child has learned all the rights from wrongs. We need to stop over parenting and kick into a support system from a close distance. Empowering our children to make decisions and build the confidence they will need to enter the real world. Wait in the wings for when they need us vs when you think they need you. They need these skills to leave the nest full of confidence AND some life experiences under their belt. If something happens to you, you need to make sure they are prepared and fully equipped to navigate successfully through this life.

    How they will get life experiences before they leave the nest is by making mistakes and learning their lessons from them. That’s the only way. Give them the space to grow. If you do this well, when they fall down, they will run right TO you. Instead of running FROM you. They can cut you off at anytime and there’s nothing you can do about it.

    Use the extra time you will gain from over parenting to find yourself. To take care of yourself. To figure out what is next for you. Work on your inner wellbeing. Trust me, this will take up ALL of your spare time. Good luck and sending much love your way! We are all rooting for you!

  • Coralblue

    October 20th, 2021 at 4:16 PM

    Thank you so much DR! Thank you for sharing your experience about your daughter. I agree what you said. My son’s intention to leave school should be because of some issues happened in school with peers or grades or other things. It has been under Covid lockdown in my city for more than two months. And he has been doing online learning mode at home. But I did see some changes during these days. And it even involved with some emotional feeling with his break-up with a girl as well. I sent his that post. I didn’t mention, the channel host my son has been followed is Leo Gura and his
    What you suggested is absolutely right. We need good communication and work out solution as a team. However, he is now shutting down all channel with his father and me. He refuses to talk to us, answer any question. He is living like alone at home now, cooking and doing all things by himself. As you suggested, when last time I tried hard to approach him asking for a talk, he told me that he will continue to go to school for the rest of this year. He won’t talk to any of us before mid December. He told me that I am an overprotective mother and really need to step back and leave him alone. He suggested that I should find my own life purpose. He said he is sorry if this hurts me and he will compensate me later……And he thinks I should work out my own life purpose, find out what I am passionate about in my life.
    So it seems that all I can do now is live my own life, leave him alone, simply wait until he is willing to talk to me one day. That’s really stressful for a mother. I am thinking of if I should reach out to his school counsellor. But on the other hand, I am worried he may be very angry when he knows I bring his things to school counsellor without his consent.

  • MFS

    October 21st, 2021 at 8:47 AM

    Coralblue — I went through some things with my son. I don’t want to go into the whole story now, since every mistake you could make, I made, things got ugly, and I don’t want to ever take things for granted again and say “oh, everything’s all better now” since I don’t know what’s in his mind, nor can I take credit for any turnaround since whatever was going in with him, he is finding his own path out of it. I will say, though, that from what you wrote — well, maybe I’m talking to myself in hindsight, but when your kid spells out for you exactly what they want and need from you and gives you a blueprint like that, well, you follow it. Do NOT speak to the school counselor! At his age, he only wants you involved in his business when he specifically asks. His schooling is not a life-threatening matter. Even if he were to drop out of school, still not fatal, so no intervention needed on your part. Yes, we can “push” our kids to get through high school at least up through the age of 18, but at what cost to them? Admitetdly I am not the best advocate for education — I have a master’s degree and I am making a lot less money than many hs graduates or even non-graduates, so I served as a living example for my son of why college isn’t all that, and unsurprisingly, he has no interest in it. I’ve told him that if he ever changes his mind, we will find the finds somehow, but what he wants to do is 100% up to him and I am just here to support. Even now, after maybe 18 months of steady improvement (my son is 18 now -16 was when we hit what I sincerely hope was rock bottom), he gets frustrated/angry when I overstep my bounds and offer too much, and yes it’s frustrating to see him struggle with certain things that I could easily intervene with, but the turning point for us came when he pretty much told me some of what your son told you and since nothing else I tried was working, I decided to just pull back, focus on myself, and let him decide what was best for him. The best parenting lesson I ever learned, I learned from an angry teenager. Go figure. Anyway, I wish you luck with your own journey with your son, but at this point it looks like he’s left the door wide open for the two of you to have a fantastic relationship in a few years as long as he sees that you’ve respected the advice he’s offering you to give him his autonomy and to find your own way.

  • DR

    October 21st, 2021 at 10:13 AM

    So nice to hear back from you Coralblue! I can tell by your response you are a great mother. You have done a great job raising your son. Your son has given you some very wise, helpful advice. It was my God Daughter that told me “Be there for my daughter when SHE needs me, not when I need her”. Basically, LET GO in a nice way.

    As a mother we have to back off when our children tell us to back off. There’s nothing worse than a Smother (a mother who is smothering their child). We ALL do it. I did it and I thought that it would show her how much I loved her. NO, what it showed her was that I didn’t have a life and was focusing all my attention on her. The hardest thing I ever did was leave her alone and find a life for myself.

    I realized that our children don’t belong to us, and their purpose is NOT to serve our needs. As mothers we are very needy. We have to learn to give them as much space as they ask for. Now is the time for you to discover yourself again. You did your job as a loving mother. Now it’s time to move on and find your own purpose. Your son loves you very much and wants you to find happiness beyond him. You should take his advice.

    You have a lot to offer this world. We need people like you out spreading love and joy. Find your next purpose. We tend to cling to our children, so we don’t have to find our own lives. I’ve been through this and trust me when I tell you…. it DOES get easier. A LOT easier. Now I enjoy my life for me, no one else. There’s a book called “Why You’re Stuck” by Derek Doepker that REALLY helped me get moving. I also went to and searched for groups near where I lived. I found 2 groups that was a lot of fun and made some great new friends. This helped me tremendously. I found 8 really good friends going through the same thing as I was. Put yourself out there. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

    Meet new people and get involved in your community. Get a part time job that you love or volunteer doing something that makes you happy. Go back to school (that’s what I did). I got a degree in Horticulture. It was an amazing experience! There’s so much you can do. It’s time to stop resisting and accept that your role is changing as a mother to your son. Surrender the control you have on him (and anyone else for that matter). Acceptance that your son now has his own life to live. Cut the apron strings and find yourself again. This is true freedom.

    I promise you, when you let go, your son will appreciate you SO much more. Right now, he obviously needs his space so please give it to him. It’s true, when you give them what they want, they will end up giving you what you want. But you have to give FIRST. That’s how it works. Please do not contact anyone else behind his back because it will only make things worse. We don’t want to damage the relationship any further, we want to build something new and beautiful. More of a friendship.

    If I may suggest something that helped me find myself. At least 1-2 hours before you retire to bed at night, sit in a quiet place with a candle lit. Sit in a comfortable spot and just think about what makes you happy. What will be your next step towards your joy, which doesn’t include anyone else, but yourself. This way we don’t “extract” joy out of anyone else. We have to find it within and always move in that direction.

    I did this and my daughter (21 yrs old now) went from not speaking to me, to texting, calling and face timing me whenever she was upset about something. Whenever she needed someone to tell her, it’s going to be ok. She now SEEKS my advice. She tells me all the time, when she’s making a decision, she thinks to herself “what would Mommy do”. That is the biggest compliment in the world to me. We now have a very healthy loving relationship. All I did was let her go. You can have this too. You just have to let go and find your next purpose.

    Always move in the direction of what makes you happy. One step at a time. You will never go wrong that way. You got this! Hang in there and do the work on yourself. We are way more than just a Mother. It just takes a conk on the head from our children to realize this. You won’t be sorry, I promise! Kindness, love and strength sent your way!

  • DR

    October 22nd, 2021 at 8:04 AM

    Very well said MFS! Thanks for sharing!

  • Coralblue

    October 22nd, 2021 at 9:21 PM

    Thank you MFS for sharing, especially comments on school counsellor. You help me make up my mind of not contacting them.
    But since it’s a private school requiring term notice for early withdrawal. Otherwise, I will have to pay full term tuition after he left school. But money is not all I am considering. My son told me last time he want me to notice school by the end of this term. He thought the Xmas and new year school holiday is enough long for withdrawal notice. Somehow I felt he might not finally make up his mind yet. I am thinking of writing to the principal in a way which can mostly protect my son’s privacy. DR, do you think writing to the principal to tell his intention of dropout is a kind of acting behind him?
    And thank you for recommending the book. I will find and have a read. I am thinking of learning something new and do some writing. And now I am doing daily exercises to keep myself fit. I can see both of you are great mothers. We all love our child with our whole heart and have been strong for them. Now it’s time to let themselves be strong.

  • DR

    October 25th, 2021 at 10:10 AM

    HI CoralBlue! Thanks for writing back and the kind words! I LOVE that you are doing daily exercises!!!! This will help you in so many ways beyond your son. Keep up the great work cause I feel that you are setting a good example for other mothers. Which, in turn will inspire others.
    Money should always be a top concern. It’s what makes the world go round. Without it, you can’t live. If your son doesn’t know this, he needs to. I would suggest that you and your son (together) search the school’s website for the formal “Withdrawal” process. You need to follow it to the T (together). If your son wants to bypass the formal process, tell him you are ok with that but, IF you are charged tuition for a semester he will not be attending, then he should pay the tuition money. It’s only fair. Or, the other option is that if you are charged for tuition, he agrees to attend school for that semester. It’s his choice. Let him decide.

    If you can’t find the withdrawal process TOGETHER on the website, tell him that you need to make an appointment with the Vice Principal (VP) to find out what you both need to do. He needs to be there to hear it for himself. NO secret meetings! So make sure he can be there for the appointment. Don’t meet without him being present. During the appointment, make sure you write down the deadlines and exactly what you need to do to NOT be charged tuition. Have your son repeat the steps that needs to be taken in FRONT of the VP. This will eliminate any interpretational issues. And, that all of you agree and are on the same page. None of the “your word against theirs”.

    When you mention this, remember to tell him over and over that you want what he wants but there’s protocols you both need to follow to do this right. It’s part of adulting and there’s no way around it. Don’t be afraid to ask him if he thinks it’s fair to throw away that much money by missing a deadline or not following proper procedures. If he continues to buck the system, in a calm loving way, ask him if he’s ok paying for the tuition money in the event you guys miss the deadline. Tell him you can put him on a payment plan (dollar amount and how many months) that you both agree on. Have him document the date of each payment in a notebook and keep track of his loan payments to you and his balance. Ask him to pick the monthly due date. I did this with my teen (16 at the time) and she picked up a 2nd job and paid faithfully every month. If he is giving you lip, ask him if he thinks it’s fair to stick you with a financial debt caused by him. Be silent and wait for his answer. Tell him that you would never do that to him.

    Explain to him in a loving manner that this is a real life lesson, not a punishment. Sometimes life feels like a punishment but it’s just life. We are all in the same boat together. When he gets out on his own (in the real world), if he doesn’t pay his bills, he will ruin his credit. Or, end up throwing money out the window. Explain that you respect him and are honoring his request to be treated like an adult and this is what you are doing. Being an adult comes with a lot of responsibility. There’s no one that’s going to come to your rescue when you’re an adult. We are all expected to pay our own way. This goes for him too.

    Our teens want to be treated like adults but don’t really know how much is involved with being an adult. The sooner we give them the reins to their own life, the sooner they will appreciate EVERYTHING we did for them and took care of on their behalf. Remember, you are moving from a parental role being responsible for everything, to being a “support” system when he needs you.

    My daughter (21 now) who’s in Japan, just got her 1st apartment and called me and said, “I had no idea how much was involved in adulting”. She also said, “there’s no one else to help her do everything. It’s all on her”. She was stressing about everything that needed to be done when getting her own place. Looking at places, signing the lease, paying the security deposit, moving her stuff and purchasing all the basics (trash can, shower curtain, cleaning supplies, etc.). All the stuff you hate spending money on. Then turning on the gas, electric, internet and getting renters insurance. Coordinating her work schedule with all the services. I remember her being flabbergasted. I listened to her rant about everything then I replied, “welcome to adulthood baby, doesn’t it suck!!!!”. She joined the military at 17 so she didn’t have to go to college. And, shut me out of her life so I didn’t get to teach her everything I wanted to.

    It’s really hard to prepare our children for the real world when they are constantly resisting our guidance. The next best thing is to let them learn for themselves. When you do that, you end up looking like the hero. It circles back to “be there when they need you, not when you need them”.

    You’re doing great CoralBlue! Please keep us posted on your successes! And if you have any challenges that you think we could help with. Good luck and we are rooting for you! Hugs!


    October 26th, 2021 at 11:17 AM

    I have found this group to be very helpful especially with my current situation with my 17-year-old son. We have been through hell and back these past couple of years. He had a mental breakdown in April ended up in a psychiatric hospital for 10 days on a 5150 hold and they started him on meds (Zoloft 25 mg and ability 5 mg) due to depression and psychosis episodes. He’s been in therapy since then, and now he was diagnosed with agoraphobia with panic disorder. He was vaping before the pandemic and then during the lockdown. He’s won’t leave the house, he has so much anxiety, he has become very aggressive in the beginning but lately, he has been calmer and more of himself which makes me happy because it’s been over a year since I’ve seen him smile. I wanted to send him to teen-challenge its residential program for a year but I don’t know how he will do since he has that disorder? I’m want to do what is best for him, he is not doing well in school at all. He is in independent studies, however, I find it very difficult to do his work, he still lacks motivation. Any advice???

  • DR

    October 27th, 2021 at 2:19 PM

    Hi Sandy! So glad to hear things are a little better these days. What a roller coaster ride! This is a tough one. Kudos to you for getting him the medical evaluations and help he needs. If your loved one has been diagnosed with mental illness, there’s a few things you can do to help them and yourself in little ways. Some of these things can give them the boost they need to take a step in the direction of happiness. These must become daily rituals and must happen by your encouragement Each and Every Day. If you want to see any improvement in your loved ones mental well-being.

    Music – Encourage your loved one to listen to some sort of music that they enjoy. No hard rock, head banging or rap. Nothing that irritates the senses or provokes violence. For example, Classic Rock is a nice compromise and is very uplifting. If they resist or show no interest, you can play music in the house while they are there. You can involve them by asking what they want to listen to. If they don’t care, choose something calming & inspirational. Ideally, you will eventually get in the habit playing music on a daily basis. If you can’t get them to listen during the day, set them up with a device that plays nature sounds while they sleep. The best thing would be an iPad where you can pick what will play all night. Make sure it is on a very low volume to not disturb sleep. Listening to soft uplifting music during dinner is also nice.

    Here are the ones I listen to on a rotating basis: Start a playlist of the ones you like best so they can play continuously all night.

    Frequency Music / Binaural Beats / Isochronic Tones – Go to YouTube and search binaural beats followed by a key word of a struggle you or they are having. There are binaural beats for stress, anxiety, physical pain, letting go of the past, attracting positive energy, letting go of bitterness, anger, attracting love & compassion, manifesting happiness, harmonizing your relationships, balancing your mood, boosting your career, manifesting prosperity, wipe away negativity, whole body regeneration, deep sleep, fall asleep faster, obtain mental clarity, de-stressing your life and manifesting anything you desire.

    Other types of music I have on my playlist are (my favorites): Meditation music, Zen water fountains, Sounds of Ocean waves with seagulls, Campfire sounds with owls, babbling brooks and crickets, Rain on a tent with campfire noises, Native American Shamanic music with fire, flute and drums, Rain on leaves in a forest, relaxing music & rain sounds, calming harp music and Tibetan bowl music. So many.

    Get in the habit of turning on music instead of the TV. Great times to turn on the music are when you are doing chores, cooking, crocheting, crafting, cleaning or reading. This will not only do wonders for your loved one, but also for you.

    Get your loved one involved with a Hobby, Interest or Sport – Surely, there’s SOMETHING that your loved one is interested in. Even if it’s looking at comic books, dancing or baking. If you don’t know what it is, you have to find out. Maybe a friend of your loved one might be able to help? Once you find out what it is, engage them in activity as much as you can. Make is your bonding time. Even if you don’t like it or think it’s stupid. It’s time to loosen up your “dislikes”, be completely open and give whatever you are doing your full attention. Lead by example and do everything with 100% involvement, without prejudice. You can do this because you are a mother to the world. You are LOVE!

    Playing a musical instrument would be ideal because it would take care of the music part and the hobby/interest part. Dancing is also just as good. Maybe some lessons or you put some time aside to dance like no one is watching.

    Get out in Nature – This is extremely important. For mental well-being, we NEED to connect with nature every day or at least every week. We need the fresh air, vitamin D3 that the sun provides and to feel the sand or soil on our toes. This does wonders for our energies. Depending on where you live, you can walk to the park, walk around the block or walk to the store. If you have a dog, ask them to walk it a couple times a week. You can hike, camp, fish and explore. If going outside is impossible right now because of a diagnosis, you have to bring the outdoors inside.

    You could get a turtle or fish & tank, or any small animal or reptile. If they can care for another life, it may give them some purpose. You could get a table fountain for their room that trickles water, maybe get one of those sand meditation gardens, an ant farm or a rain stick. You can get a lavender or sage candle to burn in the house. It’s always good to sage your house every so often. The smell provides an automatic calming sensation. Get creative and of course, your loved one has to be somewhat onboard with the idea.

    Diet – It’s very important that your loved one is eating a healthy diet. They say that you are what you eat, because you are what you eat. Look at your body right now, it’s just a heap pile of food you have eaten over your lifetime. Your loved one should be eating plenty of living food (uncooked). Start stocking living food packed with nutrients. Experiment with making smoothies or shakes with your loved one.

    Look for fiber rich & nutritious 5 star recipes online, get the ingredients and ask your loved one to help make them. Grocery stores stock pile these brain/energy drinks made with ingredients that enhance your alertness, give you a sharp mind while enhancing your calm. Like when you are in a movie theatre watching a movie, you are alert but calm. There is also V8 and other fruit and veggie drinks widely available in Walmart, Target and chain grocery stores. Ash Gourd juice is a really good one. Maybe a green tea with honey. Honey is an amazing antioxidant that we all don’t get enough of. Introduce a morning juice as part of “starting” the day. You can drink it together and have some morning chit chat. Make this a ritual. The idea is to fuel their brain and give them the energy needed to do something productive.

    If you feed your mouth and ears with a little care, you will naturally reap the rewards. When what goes in your mouth and in your ears is healthy and good for you, you will naturally feel better physically and mentally. No more watching depressing daily News programs. Or reading the news for now. It’s far too negative for people struggling with anxiety and depression. Positive in, positive out.

    Maybe you can encourage them to go on and search the topics. They need to interact with friends, family and impartial 3rd parties. They can not isolate themselves because they will just fall farther & farther down the pits of depression and loneliness.

    Never stop trying, no matter how frustrating. All we can do is love and support our loved ones until they no longer need us. If they are in your life, they are there for a reason. All that is expected of us is that we do the best we can. Do what’s needed of us today. And BE love. If you are love to all things, you will do what’s needed and will get in return, all that you need. Most of these things don’t cost money, just the price of time and love. Warm regards and I know things will get better because you care. Love and Hugs sent your way!

  • Coralblue

    October 30th, 2021 at 2:21 AM

    Thank you for sharing the ideas and those about your daughter. As my son is shutting down all conversation with me, I have no chance to discuss with him about the solution. So I wrote to the principal in confidential and luckily got a very positive answer from him saying they will not charge for next term if my son does choose to leave and will keep this matter to only himself at this stage. I feel so grateful. I do strongly agree with you about money issue. I still remember when I graduated from college and got my first job, I was still living with my parents. They asked me to pay some living expenses. I paid and thought that was alright. But only now when I am a mother thinking of how to teach my son about money, I kind of understand why my parents asked me to pay. I feel that my son doesn’t really understand that money isn’t the cure-all, but no money is no cure at all. He is not the kind of child who wants expensive toys, games, shoes, and clothes. Most money he spent was for books, courses and trainings. We never say no for these kind of learning expenses. So he never feels short of money. When he was starting his high school and said to me that college is useless. I provided him two options. One is going to college and having four more years to prepare for real life. Another is to start to earn money as soon as he leaves school. He chose the first one at that time. But now he is thinking differently. But anyway I have to respect his decision. Meanwhile, I think I must stick to my principles in this matter. Do you think he might feel I am mean to him about money? Because he knows we are able to support him financially. But I really think it’s very important life lesson for him that he needs ability of earning his own life.

  • DR

    October 31st, 2021 at 12:57 PM

    Hello Coralblue! So glad to hear that you won’t be charged. That’s a weight off your shoulders. Glad that worked out. If your son finds out about going to the Principal, simply remind him that he closed all lines of communication so you had no other choice. If he wants to keep the lines of communication open, you will be happy to include him in anything that pertains to him. That seems fair.
    About the money. Your money shouldn’t be considered his money as much as your parent’s money shouldn’t be considered your money. I too had to pay a weekly rent once I turned 18. I realized, why should I live at home and pay rent when I could get my own place and pay rent. So I swiftly moved out. Just because you have the money to support him the rest of his life, doesn’t mean you should. It will do him a great disservice. It could create ongoing financial issues for him long term. If he doesn’t learn how to make a living and pay his bills now, you chance him not being able to when he gets on his own. What if something happens to you? What will happen to him?
    This is something a parent IS supposed to teach their children. If you don’t, he could blame you for not doing your job. Then you could be expected to support him for years to come. Will he be mad, maybe? Probably? Remember, he’s still a teen and like many others, can’t see the lesson hidden in the test. Mainly because in school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson. So there’s a disconnect there. Teens are so caught up in themselves (because before now, it’s been all about them). Entering adulthood, it’s no longer about them. It’s a DIFFICULT transition, mentally. But the sooner the adjustment, the better they will bounce back and find their groove.
    So, if you support him as long as he needs the support, it could last a very long time. Plus, it will effect his confidence to make it out on his own. The longer the support, the less confidence a teen will have. Just another hard parenting lesson we have to get through. None of us like it and a lot of parents feel guilty. You’re not alone. This guilt is our issue and shouldn’t hold our kids back from doing what is supposed to happen. We all are expected to contribute to society and support ourselves. Don’t fight the process. Best wishes and please keep us posted on how things progress. Warm regards, DR

  • JH

    November 2nd, 2021 at 5:30 AM

    I feel like the world is updside down. My 16 year old daughter fights me on everyting. My husband died 3 years ago and I know I get alot of the misplaced grief and anger. My dauhgter over the last two years constantly breaks curfew and really all other rules. She is very careless with money and lays in bed 100% of the time she but yesterday was a disater. Arguing about doing no homework over the weekend after missing curfew both nights, and then terrible grades were added in yesterday. It turned into a complete mess. She said I am not nuturing like fher firend’s mom and I cannot wrap my head around that. I take care of everything, laundry, dinner, make her lunch everyday, etc. I do whatever she nees at the drop of a hat. She needs tampons at school and was too nervouse to ask the front office so I drop everythnig to go help her. This is really hard to wrap my head around. How am I to be ultra nututing when I am fought at every turn? And how am i not nutirning when I do everything I can for her?

  • DR

    November 2nd, 2021 at 10:03 AM

    Hi JH, I first want to say I’m so sorry for your loss with your husband. Thoughts and prayers are sent your way.

    I have a daughter who is now 21 and I was in your spot when she was 17. It was one of the saddest times of my life. But I am happy to report we have an amazing relationship now. So, hang in there. One of the things that I did NOT have was the why like your daughter has given you. My daughter wouldn’t tell me what she wanted or what I was doing wrong. I had to figure it out the hard way. I am so happy your daughter communicated to you what she needs. A lot of teens don’t do this.

    Your daughter says she needs more nurturing from you. To be clear, nurturing is not buying her things, running to get her tampons, cooking her dinner, making her lunch or doing her laundry. You are acting like her servant. She should be doing all these things for herself by now. You have to shift from being her servant to being her support system.

    It’s your responsibility as a parent to purchase groceries so she has something to eat but she should be making her own lunch. If you want to make her dinner, that’s fine but she needs to know this isn’t you JOB anymore. It’s your responsibility to stock tampons but it’s her responsibility to remember to take them to school. The school nurse should have pads for these types of emergencies. That’s where she should have gone. Nothing like wearing a big bulky pad to help you remember to ALWAYS carry a spare tampon in your locker. She is old enough to do her own laundry. These are the skills and chores teens should be doing to fully prepare them for being on their own. Teaching her to do these things is your main responsibility. NOT serving her like she is the Queen of your household. You are doing her a disservice by this constant catering. Would you respect someone that sits at your beckon call waiting to serve you?

    Let’s talk about what nurturing really is. Nurturing by definition is to care for and encourage the growth or development of. By doing everything for her you are not encouraging growth. You are doing the opposite by not letting her grow. What she needs is your support and encouragement. Not you catering to her every need at the drop of a hat. That’s not what teens want or need at this point in their lives. They need emotional support, problem solving skills, empowerment and basic life skills so they can survive on their own. This is crunch time for them and it’s super scary. Life tells them when they turn 18, they are an adult. It’s sink or swim time. As parents, we need to ask ourselves, will our child sink or swim if anything happens to us? We all know tomorrow isn’t promised.

    She needs you to find out why she is so angry, why she purposely breaks curfew, why she doesn’t respect you. Why she blows her money, why she lays in bed all the time and why she doesn’t want to do her homework. You need to find out examples of what her friend’s moms are doing that you are not doing. So, you can start doing immediately. Each one of these need to be a calm and loving conversation. No yelling or letting tempers flare. These are critical to your resolving your issues and rebuilding your relationship.

    She seems to be willing to share but you might not be ready to listen. It’s important in these “teen” years that we listen more than we speak. I mean really listen and take what they say to heart. We have 2 ears and 1 mouth because we are supposed to listen more than we speak. Work on 1 issue at a time. They could be very complex issues that require some work on your end. And some on her end. They could be as easy as the reason she doesn’t do her homework is because she needs help. This is a simple one. Either you can help her or get her a tutor. The sooner you start finding out how to be the mother she wants you to be, the sooner things will get better.

    There will only be problems if you continue to resist and do what YOU think she needs. And it sounds like that isn’t working so well. Our teen’s needs change as they become capable of doing all the things they couldn’t do as a child (all the things you mentioned you are still doing). We get in a groove and don’t realize their needs are shifting. Sometimes we resist because we think we know best when we really don’t. If we didn’t have good role models, we have no clue. All we know is what we wanted as a teen. So, we need their help to shift into a more supportive, encouraging role. Basically, we check in to see how they are doing to make sure everything is going smoothly. Otherwise, we sit on the sidelines waiting for them to reach out to us. They need space to find their own groove. It’s a tough process on everyone.

    When there’s a problem, we should sit down with our teen and ask how we can help them get through this. And sit back and listen. When they tell us what they need, we should help them in that way. Not interject and tell them how they should live their lives. Or what they should do, even if you know. This is a lesson they need to learn on their own. That way they develop the skills they need to navigate future issues.

    We need to treat them more like we would treat a best friend. Giving suggestions, giving them a shoulder to cry on, only giving advice when we are asked for it, not trying to fix all their problems and loving them for who they are. We can provide options to a problem, but the decision should be left up to them to decide. They are responsible for their own lives, and they need to live with the outcomes. If they fall, we will be there to lovingly pick them up. Not say, “I told you so”. They already know that. Life is the best teacher, and we can’t intervene with the lessons they need to learn. Every human being needs to learn their own lessons. That’s how it’s supposed to be.

    This is the law of nature so we can’t fight it. We don’t “own” our children. We have to figure out how to help them be the best version of themselves by letting them make decisions and having responsibilities. So, they are confident and capable entering the real world. We forced this life upon them, and they might not appreciate it as much as we think they should. Always remember, they don’t owe us anything.

    Time to sit down and have a loving heart to heart with your daughter. Ask her to give you some examples of how you can be more nurturing. Write them down and start trying. Don’t be afraid to tell her that this is all new territory for you, and you really want to be a better Mom to her. Let her know that you need her help to guide you in the right direction. And ask her to be patient because maybe you don’t know how to do some of the things she is asking. But tell her you promise you are going to work on yourself. Don’t forget to thank her for sharing and giving you a chance to grow. Our kids need to know that we are NOT perfect, and we don’t have all the answers. We are all on this earth trying to find joy and happiness together.

    This is also the perfect time for you to figure out what you are going to do with your life. She can’t be your entire life anymore. She can be a big part of your life but now it’s time to find yourself again. As Mothers we put our lives on hold way too long for our children. Sometimes we lose ourselves. This is a kick in the butt saying, it’s our time again. Time to be reborn into whatever we want. If we move in the direction of what makes us happy, we will always be ok. We are all rooting for you. You are a loving Mother that can do anything you set your mind to! Sending you hugs of courage for your new journey!

  • Meirl

    January 26th, 2022 at 6:54 PM

    This is such a joke. I read all you parents talking about how “it rips your heart out” or “I’ll die without my teen’s affection”. I have never loved the child i gave birth to. Sometimes we had amusing times, as a small child may provoke feelings of protection in an adult human. But honestly, I am counting down the days until this child is 18 and I am no longer legally obligated to care for them or talk to them. I can’t wait until they aren’t in my house anymore. I don’t want an adult relationship, I don’t want them “to come back to me eventually”. I have been ambivalent or annoyed by their existence for as long as I can remember and just want to move ON WITH MY LIFE. After 14 years, parenting is getting old and I don’t want anything to do with them anymore.

  • DR

    January 27th, 2022 at 1:40 PM

    Hi Meirl, Thanks for sharing how unattached you are to your child. I guess it could be considered a gift because you will never feel the pain that most parents feel. On the other hand, you will not feel the love and joy a child can bring to your life. You have learned how to not attach yourself to another human, not give yourself away, not be dependent on another for happiness and not needing validation, acceptance or love. What a freeing feeling, right!
    So it looks like you are all the way on the other side of the spectrum than the parents here on this feed. Personally, I think a perfect balance of both sides of the spectrum is the key. But for some people it’s hard to find that happy medium. I came from a mother that felt just like you. So I learned how to be tough as nails, build walls, drop people before they hurt me, always felt insignificant, unimportant, unloved and unwanted. I was a mistake and always felt like I ruined my Moms life for being born. As I grew up, I was becoming cold hearted just like her. I knew I did NOT want to be like her but didn’t know how to NOT be like her.
    After my brother killed himself because he couldn’t handle not being loved, I dropped all contact with her. After that very second I cut all ties, my life immediately got better and better every day. I’m sure my Mom’s life got better too. My only regret was that I didn’t do it sooner. So I’m really hoping your wish comes true and your child is able to move out and start their life finding people that build them up and makes them happy. If your child is doubting this, please have them post on this feed and I will share how wonderful life can be when you surround yourself with kind, loving people.
    I can also explain to your child that some Mom’s are more like other species (they reproduce, provide until needed, then go their separate ways). More like animals, they procreate because nature is pushing them to do so. As products of these people, we should not take this parenting style personal. The thing is, we can decide not to have children by taking birth control or getting our tubes tied. Knowing this before we get pregnant is crucial.
    There are plenty of humans on the planet. The planet surely didn’t need my Mom or you to reproduce if you didn’t want to. We all have that same choice. If given the chance, I would encourage your child to put the past behind them and don’t drag the baggage through life. I’m pretty sure you will manifest a life without your child. Life has a way of assisting us that way.
    I do want to applaud you for not having more than 1 child. My Mom didn’t get her tubes tied until she had 3 kids. At least you stopped at 1 (thank you!). Try and remember that none of us asked to be born. Our mother’s chose this for us. I never appreciated my life until my Mom was completely out of it. We do not need the love and acceptance of our parents to become a loving full fledged life. I’m hoping the next 4 years goes quickly for you both. As I’m sure your child is just as miserable as you are. Sending you both love and hugs! Thanks again for sharing and good luck!

  • Medea

    March 22nd, 2022 at 12:36 AM

    Actually, every single one of us asked to be born, including you. We would not be here otherwise. I remember this from both sides, from the side of the proto-child, seeing my would-be parents, and then years later before my daughter was conceived. These were vividly perceived, and unmistakeable experiences. As I’ve grown older, I’ve recognized reflections of those distinctive images repeated throughout art, literature, religion, science, philosophy and math. Every form of human expression, every human invention contains echoes of these images of mystery of creation. In the beginning was the word. For this reason, I know that I’m not alone in having experienced this. I know that we have agency, we have a soul. So many people have forgotten, and it is too taboo to mention, perhaps because it challenges the materialism driving our present culture. Or it is considered too sacred to discuss directly. But I remember. And I will never forget. It doesn’t make any of this any easier, only much, much harder, because I do know the truth and I’ve held onto it tightly. If only my child had the same perspective that I did when I was young, and retained when I decided to become a mother, all the way through the present day. It’s as if parts of her soul are no longer present. She has lost her spiritual awareness. She has forgotten who she is, like many, if not most, people alive right now. Most days I feel as if I were a toddler awake during nap time, my eyes pressed closed, pretending to sleep so as not to disturb the sleepers.

  • DR

    March 22nd, 2022 at 4:03 PM

    I respect what you believe. However, I think you misunderstand spirituality. Spirituality is accepting everything the way it is. Not putting our expectations on other people. Not judging where individuals are on their own personal journey. The whole purpose of spirituality is to fix yourself. We are not placed here to fix other people. That is NOT our job. Our job is to be supportive and loving. I’m afraid your words lack both support and love. Or maybe you never learned how to do this properly give support and love in all your previous lives? I’m here to tell you that until you learn how to love unconditionally, you will die in a state of suffering. It’s just that simple. My hope and wish for you is that you have this awakening, apologize to all your loved ones for placing all your expectations on them. For making them feel less than you. Tell them, from this point forward, you will accept them for who they are. If you were spiritual, you would know that forcing people to be who you think they should be is NOT love, acceptance or support. Love is acceptance and not trying to change people. Not making them feel bad about themselves. Do you want to be around people that make you feel horrible? No matter how wonderful you think you are, if no one else thinks your wonderful, you have failed and wasted this life. No matter what world you are from or if you are on life #250. You will keep coming back until you get this right. Please realize you were not sent here to fix other people. You were sent here to fix yourself. I don’t think it’s too late for you if you truly want to be a full fledged happy life. And you want to be the best human you can be. If you want to know how people really feel about you as a person, ask them to be honest. Or do you think they will be afraid to tell you the truth? Or, lie just to get you out of their face? Time to do some real spiritual work on yourself. That is my wish for you.
    PS: I will gladly offer your daughter a loving, accepting place to live. She deserves that! No matter what you think she deserves.

  • Corrine J.

    May 23rd, 2022 at 8:41 AM

    Our daughter is 15 now and aloof and not talkative about her feelings or emotions even tho i have tried to be open with her.It all started i feel when she was just past age 12 and started puberty.She started bedwetting every night because of it,so i got her Goodnites to wear to bed.Shortly after she started getting rashes from then so i got her pull ups to wear and the same thing happened! After trying a couple of other products that also gave her rashes,as a last resort,i got her cloth diapers and plastic pants[aka-rubberpants] to wear at night and she wasnt overly happy about wearing them,but the rashes stopped!She wore the diapers and rubberpants all thru age 12 and 13 and about halfway into 14 when her bedwetting finially ended. When she have friends sleepover,she hated having to wear the diapers and rubberpants around them,but they were accepting of her.She didnt fully understand that the diapers and rubberpants kept her bed dry and didnt cause rashes.She now resents me because of it and accuses me of making her like a ‘baby’ during the bedwetting time!

Leave a Comment

By commenting you acknowledge acceptance of's Terms and Conditions of Use.


* Indicates required field.

GoodTherapy uses cookies to personalize content and ads to provide better services for our users and to analyze our traffic. By continuing to use this site you consent to our cookies.