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As you get older your relationships with family members may change, especially with your parents. For example, the more your parents ask about what is going on with you, the more you may want to keep to yourself. Or, the more advice you are given, the more you may think ‘they have no idea’. As young people grow into the teenage years, parent – child relationships can come in all shapes and sizes, though common challenges have been found to arise for many young people during this time.
If you think back to just a few years earlier, you might remember feeling OK about talking with your parents, and wanting them to be interested and to help you with your problems.
Why might talking with your parents feel so annoying or difficult now, compared to before?
Adolescence is a time of major change. You often start to develop your own ideas, and want to solve problems for yourself (this is the process of developing autonomy). You may also feel more confident and want to start exploring who you are and what you want from life. When this happens, it can take a while for you and your parents to adjust, and this can cause conflict.
As you develop your own identity you may want to start separating yourself from your parents’ way of thinking and doing things, and start expressing your own ideas and opinions. At times you may voice your opinions really strongly, or you might feel like you have to keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself to avoid upsetting others.
This can be a confusing time not only for you, but also for your parents. Until this point in time, your parents may have been used to you mostly listening to and doing what they say, and not questioning their way of doing things.
When people come together with different ideas and communication is not clear, conflict can occur. At times like these, talking with your parents might seem really annoying, tiring or frustrating. Parents can find it annoying, tiring or frustating too! However, there are ways to make things smoother. Below are some ideas to think about.
Talking to your parents about sensitive things and asking for assistance or advice can be really tough, particularly if you are going through something difficult, or need to talk about something big.
Although it might feel uncomfortable, talking about difficult things can often help. Your parents may know how to help, and offer support, or just listen to you and understand at these times.
Below are some ideas to think about.
Keep in mind that good communication takes time, energy and practice. There may also be times when things just don’t work out, no matter how hard you try. Take a break and try again later.
Young Carers NSW Retrieved from: http://www.youngcarersnsw.asn.au on 4 November 2011.
Last Reviewed April 2015