Dealing with parents. I can't continue. I'm lost.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Dealingwith It, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. Dealingwith It macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2010
    Hello, greetings. I've lurked for quite awhile, but I'm seeking out the wisdom of the members on these boards for a very pressing issue that, not to sound melodramatic, is quite frankly ruining my life. I live well, but I've recently been butting heads with my parents so frequently, and without any lessons learned, that I've a lot of the flare in my life.

    Please don't dismiss this as another hormonal teenager with problems, soon enough I'll be off to university, but I want this to be dealt with, I can't keep this up. Thank you, apologies if this is long, but I really, really need help here.

    Recently my parents and I have been fighting incessantly over the smallest of things, snowballing into raging, heated, passionate arguments. The most recent one happened not two hours ago. I sit here in my room, lost. Please read it all, it makes for an interesting story at least.

    We began the argument fighting over something to do with driving. My parents disagreed with how I handled a situation, and I quite frankly said I was in the right, the correction was unnecessary. You have to understand my father and mother, while nice people to the outside world, are very opinionated, stubborn people. They refused to backdown, and in their defence, neither did I. I believed I was correct.

    Anger grew on both sides, and my parents started yelling at me. I tried to keep my cool, but when you have two full-grown, mature adults yelling at you, jumping on every word, backing you into a corner, what am I to do? I fought back, getting angry to. To me, that seems like a valid reaction. I get attacked by parents who are to set an example, and I fight back defending myself.

    They play the card "Oh, why can't you just admit you're wrong? You cause all these fights." etc. But I'm just standing wide-eyed thinking, "This is at least our fifth significant fight in two weeks, and you still can only point blame at me? You handled this perfectly, parents? I'm more than willing I should have calmed down, but they were equally in the wrong. They could have said, "Perhaps you're right, we'll talk to someone who knows the answer." I mean, they're the adults here, are they not?

    Evidently, this doesn't end there, anger heightens to new levels, and I'm truly seeing red. Both are in my face yelling at me, threatening to call my former Drivers Ed teacher and all this crap. Not. Backing. Down. How do I recover from that point? I'm yelling, trying to defend myself from two parents who are ganging up on the young'un, when my mother then grounds me from the party I was going to tomorrow. "Don't talk to your parents like that." Excuse me? I've been yelled at, belittled and treated horribly for the last hour, and I'm grounded for defending myself?

    Dad even doesn't agree with her, I slam my door, consequently almost putting my fist through it, and they argue. I go downstairs, still seeing red, my face feels like it's on fire, and just think. Calm down, you. Upstairs I hear my parents arguing, and the one point I hear my mother say made my ears go up, "You're going to let a kid tell you what's right?"

    This did it for me. Always my parents make me feel that because I am younger than them, every point I make is thereby invalid, and they are always correct. I can never show them fault, because I am apparently the intellectual inferior due to my age (a term I've since coined "Age Syndrome"). This phrase my mom uttered finally proved to me that she will never take my opinion seriously. She will continue to see herself as perfection.

    Why do I see this as a problem? Why don't I just put this argument behind me? Plain and simply, I'll admit I handled something poorly. I can be selfish, arrogant and stubborn. My parents? They never admit any fault. Never. I can honestly, honestly say, I can not for the life of me remember the last time one of my parents admitted they were wrong. Is that not sad?

    What does this do? We repeat a vicious cycle where my parents never learn one thing from it, they hug me and say they love me dearly, but even at gun-point would never admit any fault of their own, which causes these arguments where only one of the three people learn, to keep repeating over and over.

    And don't get me wrong, I love my parents dearly. They're beautiful, kind people when we're not fighting, but the fighting is becoming so frequent and inevitable, that I'm losing my mind in the futility of it all. I don't want to be another kid who says, "Screw it, I'm going to university soon. Won't have to deal with this." No, I want to deal with it and have a great relationship with my parents, I love them immensely.

    But to put it simply, I cannot fathom a way to go about this. Whenever I approach them about what they might have done wrong, admitting my faults to start, they either ignore me completely, won't hear any of it, or say "Okay, but here's what you did." Okay? No, that wasn't a confession. That was a word.

    I've grown restless, I fear for the relationship I cherish so greatly with my family may be at risk. Nights like these, I don't want to go to sleep. I wake up with the most painful, wretched feeling of regret (but part of me still knows I was right) and unfounded remorse that I end up feeling bad and apologizing, which just causes this to start again in a few days, because my parents think "See, HE was wrong! I was right the whole time."

    What did I gain from this? Nothing, it's going to happen again. We've all gone to bed in separate rooms, furious at each other. On top of this, I'm not not allowed to party with my friends tomorrow, something I've been looking forward to for weeks. I've hit a wall. I'm about to lose my mind. Can they not just realize we are ALL humans, capable of faults? A fact age does not excuse you from?

    What do I do, Mac Rumors? How do I solve this?
  2. bensharp macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2007
    Sorry for you guys...

    ... but it's not unlike arguments that everyone has had for ... well, ... ever!

    Your post sparked things in me about my wifes' and my relationship, where I was always looking for who was right, and you know what? even if she admitted she was in the wrong, things wouldn't work out ok... so looking for who's right and wrong doesn't ultimately help, I don't think.

    But forgiving each other for the place you're in, both physically and age-wise, will help immensely. Of course, your parents have much more life experience then you, but you seem to have a good head on your shoulders, so I hope for you guys that you can wake up, have breakfast, and look each other in the eye and smile and say, "holy cow, what are we doing? Let's all get along, ok?" ...and you all hug each other and then it's another day...

  3. Xfujinon macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2007
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Synopsis: you chafe at parental authority.

    Solution: there isn't one, unless they do something against the law.

    Eventually, you will be free. Trust me, it sucks until then.

    Take the high ground. Say nothing to implicate yourself, keep your words few and controlled, and accept that unless they physically strike you or endanger your health you are without any recourse.

    Accepting this as the truth makes things easier.

    Spend your time constructively, planning how to live your life when you are free, rather than dwelling on the realities that cannot be changed now.

    This probably doesn't help. But, I've been there. Keep your composure, as there are consequences for being irrational, even as a minor.
  4. MrCheeto macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2008
    Let me tell you something that is going to require a LOT of self control on your part, something that I have quite a handle on and have had a better life since.

    The next time something elevates, be SURE it's not YOU doing it. You must make sure it's the other person elevating the conversation to an argument or yelling. Once they've done this, if you speak softly they will inadvertently calm down and stop yelling. Sure, it's not a cure-all but it at LEAST makes people less angry.

    There's been studies for preventing road rage by playing speech to the driver in different tones. It has an effect on their entire psyche for the time. Imagine I walked into your room and just started shouting, you'd light up and freak. Now I creep in slowly and kindly say "oh, I'm sorry I hadn't known somebody was in here...who's house is this...weird...third time this week." You'd probably be weirded out but none-the-less you wouldn't be enraged...hopefully.

    So the point is, don't throw wood on the fire. If you slow down and be rational you can avoid a LOT of mistakes, something I've learned since I decided to exist outside myself...if you can gather that...
  5. bamaworks macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2007
    Lexington, KY
    Be passive, don't even worry about arguing or trying to prove a point and getting angry. Ignore when issues arise like this and since you're not far at all from heading to college, these issues will be long gone soon enough. It's kind of like being stuck in a terrible job situation when you know you're quitting in a few months. Just bide your time, make as little noise as possible, then get out. I can assure you once in school your relationship will get better. My parents began to appreciate me more since I was then no longer under their roof, they became more like friends and less like parents. Now I'm out on my own, married, etc. and our relationship is leaps and bounds better than when I was your age.

    Consider that psychology is a strange thing and parents can act quite erratically and even be combative when they too know you're about to leave the nest, so to speak, and can try to desperately grasp onto the straws of power they can sense are disappearing.

    Bide your time, chill out, and care less. Realize that nothing good can come from continuing to argue with your parents. What happened when you extended the arguement? They never realized anything and you went from partying the next day to sitting at the house wondering what happened...
  6. MrCheeto macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2008
    Yeah man! Life rulez when you stop caring!

    Haha, but seriously, one thing that has made me a better person is learning to not moderation*

    If someone drives by and calls you names, all I think is "haha, I wonder what the conversation in the car sounds like after THAT stunt". Break "drama" into humor, it's the easiest way to brush things off.
  7. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    To the OP.

    I highly recommend printing your post out and sticking it in an envelope marked for when I become a parent.

    When you son/daughter reaches the ripe ole ages between 16 and 18, open it and read it.

    Please understand I am not judging you. What I noticed with my son is the small meaniless things that seemed overly important to him, at the time, were rather trivial but those issues caused a few good arguments.

    If I had to give any advice I would ask you to think about what the subject at hand and ask yourself how you handle it if your son or daughter was standing in your shoes.

    Many times my parents were simply offering advice, a different perspective if you will, to situations and alternative approaches learned and valued from experience.

    Again please let me express I am not taking sides, just offering a different perspective. The been there done that bit.

    When you are your parents age and assuming you have kids, you will most likely say the same (what seems to be stupid now) things to your kids and your kids will look at you like you are a fruit cake and post on a forum as well. then you will say, sheeet I sound just like my parents.

    If you want to talk to your parents about this try doing it in three stages.
    First, in a non-confrontational situation, ask your parents to make a prepare a list of what they think is wrong and how the situation can be improved and you do the same.
    Then have a second gathering and share the lists, with the caveat that the lists be shared and not argued about. What's good, that bad, what you would like to see changed and how you are willing to change.
    Of course some ground rules will be needed like no arguing, respect others floor time and so on.
    Thirdly, revisit after an agreed time frame and wee how you everyone is doing.

    Then again, stick the sheets of paper in an envelope marked "when I become a parent."

    I really don't think you are straying too far from status quo. but take advantage of this situation to understand their perspective.

    good luck,

    One last thing, it is truly upsetting but rewarding watching your children becoming adults and moving out. As a parent you hope you didn't f' up along the line, you hope and pray that your son/daughter is ok without the immediate safety net available, and hope and pray and worry your ass off all the damn time that everything is ok while trying to be cool about things.
    How do I know, my son is now 20, living in Boston in his own apartment while attending school. It is rewarding and heartwarming to see him doing well but I have to say I miss him and worry all time. Senior year in high school was very tasking but we got through it as you will.
  8. solchitlins macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2009
    I don't remember how I would have responded to your problem when I was your age, probably not well.

    But, now that I'm much older and wiser I would suggest you just chill out and agree with them. Try not to let things escalate to that level in the future.

    It's just not worth it. It doesn't really mean squat who's right or who's wrong. Your parent's probably put up with a lot of crap and stress from their jobs and everything else in this world and their probably just annoyed that they get it at home too.

    Just let them be right for now.
    It doesn't seem fair I know. But in the big picture missing that party isn't going to mean anything anyways, there will be plenty more.
  9. wvuwhat macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2007
  10. jknight8907 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 14, 2004
    Hudson Valley NY
    Stop yelling at them. Yeah, they may be wrong, and yeah they may be yelling at you, but you're not going to help anything by doing the same to them. Second, zip it and listen. There's a good chance you can learn something from your parents. It's going to feel like you're having to just bend over and take it, but it'll be okay. It's not going to hurt you to flex a little and do more what your parents want and a little less what you want. It won't be the last time you have to do it in life, that's for sure. Basically just try to be more flexible instead of always standing up for exactly what you think and want.
  11. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    You're not the only teenager with parental problems. Just ignore it, pretend they're right and act sorry. Who cares, you don't have to defend yourself every single time. Some battles are won by backing down. If you just ignored them for an hour, you could have been able to go that part tomorrow. :D
  12. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Yep- I wish I had problems this easy when I was growing up.

    OP- stick it out and deal with it. This is not that serious.
  13. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040


    Sep 29, 2005
    I don't back down from my parents, and we have a great relationship. If one of them yelled at me I'd yell back to defend my point of view and they'd eventually apologize for acting brashly. The point is, you have to let them know how you feel. Personally, I might write them a note similar to your original post and just give it to them without saying anything and go out for a drive or something and let them read it, think about it, and discuss it. It's apparent you care for them, and that's what counts.

    Every son/daughter has a different relationship with their parents, so my advice may not work. You might want to think about it though. Putting something in writing forces them to think about it as they're reading it and they can't just shout over you when there are just words in front of them.

    Anyway, good luck.
  14. senseless macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2008
    Pennsylvania, USA
    I don't know. Maybe you're being reckless in their minds and they are alarmed. Maybe you see yourself as so skilled that there was no danger. What was the actual event?
  15. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    Without knowing the event, what can anyone say? For all we know your idea of what was right could be something very not right spurred on from your admitted stubbornness.
  16. heehee macrumors 68020


    Jul 31, 2006
    Same country as Santa Claus
    what he said.

    Who is to say you are always right?
  17. iMpathetic macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2007
    I'm about to turn 16, and I get into arguments with my parents ALL THE TIME. It's just what comes of being a teenager. I know it sucks that they don't understand you a lot of the time, but when you're older you inflict wrath on your children. That's just how it works.

    Good luck.
  18. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    When you leave for college all of this will dwindle away and be behind you. It sucks at the time but honestly you'll end up forgetting all about it.

    The best thing you can do is focus on school, get into a good college and enjoy college life. Its a lot of fun and a nice nice break from highschool.
  19. yojitani macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    An octopus's garden

    haha. I had the same reaction. My wife also uses that line about 'are you going to listen to a kid?' I hate it personally because I don't think that being a kid necessarily precludes people from having something to say. HOWEVER, when the kid is wrong but insists that he (in my case) is right, it drives me nutty.

    OP I think that you need to just let the issue drop rather than insisting you are right. Choose your battles, as they say. Is this really something that is worth arguing over?
  20. ntrigue macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    Just because you're blood does not mean you have harmonious personalities. Get a girlfriend, make sure she has amicable parents.

    You know what is the greatest feeling in the world? Remaining calm while your parents act like children. Try it, you might like it.

    "I'm sorry you feel that way."
    "My mistake, I'll work harder in the future to ensure it doesn't happen again."
    "Interesting point, I don't feel that way. I'll be in my room."
  21. Berlepsch macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2007
    Just because your parents like quarreling, its is not necessarily about you. Is it possible that they have been arguing about lots of stuff in the last years, even if you weren't involved?

    Your parents might be thinking of divorce, but delaying the whole thing until the kid has grown up. Think about it, is it possible that they tried to hide internal conflicts in the last years?
  22. Gelfin macrumors 68020


    Sep 18, 2001
    Denver, CO
    OP, you're about to be the adult, out on your own. And you're at the age when everyone really begins to notice that his parents are human beings with human flaws.

    It seems like you have noticed that unhealthy, unproductive arguing is something you have not just grown up with, but learned yourself, and you don't like where it ends up. There are a few things like that for everybody. The only way you can deal with it is to make a conscious decision to recognize situations like that and refuse to react like your upbringing suggests.

    This will require you to change your own idea of what constitutes a situation where you "can't back down." There are definitely situations you shouldn't back down from, but a lot of people have that dial set way too high. The older you get, the harder it is to unlearn things like that. You'll probably struggle with it your whole life to an extent.

    One of the hardest things to reconcile will be that you can only fix yourself, not your parents. More to the point, fixing yourself cannot depend on them being fixed also. You have to learn to be what you want to be while accepting that your parents are still who they always were. It'll be frustrating, but you'll have to learn to let that go as simply the price of having a relationship with your parents.
  23. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

    May 10, 2009
    I remember being a teenager well, your parents are arguing with you because they are concerned that you might **** up the same way they did--better to maybe shut up and listen and maybe see where they went wrong. Ask for explanations for why they say no rather than purely resist thinking you're smarter than them. Tap their knowledge if you can, catch them in a good mood, and share this post with them have yourselves a pow wow and iron out your issues with each other you might surprise yourselves.
  24. IntheNet macrumors regular


    Oct 6, 2009
    Perhaps the arguments are at least partially caused of their love for you in some way. Honor your parents always. The problem is likely of your causing, by your attitude. Change it.

    While you live in their house you follow their rules and abide by their code of conduct. Later, when you move out, you can follow your own rules. Moreover, the issue is likely your own attitude that needs adjustment. Try dealing with children with attitude yourself and see how quickly arguments start! Again, honor your parents always. admit that you are wrong and do as you're told and try to be the agent of peace in the household, at least while you are there...

    Best of luck with this situation...

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