June 27, 2020


Dear Brandon,

GET. ME. OUTTA. HERE! My parents are literally driving me KA-RAY-ZEE!! We argue over EVERYTHING, including school, what to have for lunch, and how my new room should look. I’m upset and angry all the time, but I have to keep it to myself and pretend to be happy. I sometimes have to cry alone in the bathroom! Please answer soon, or I will simply lose my mind!

Family Feud Frustration

What’s Up Family Feud Frustration,

Oh wow, this sounds rough! And I bet it’s harder than usual right now, with social distancing AND being cooped up at to home. Having healthy relationships with parents (or other caregivers, like my grandparents) is one of the hardest things about being a kid.

When we’re little, parents make all our decisions for us. They have to because we can’t take care of ourselves. But as we grow up, we start to have opinions and it’s hard for some parents to give us more freedom. (Okay, probably ALL parents, but some more than others.) It can be extra frustrating when they want to control everything, but then they also want us to be mature. It’s like, THEN LET ME MAKE MY OWN DECISIONS, WHY DON’TCHA?!

(Can you tell I relate? 😀 )

But, I wonder why you have to keep it to yourself and pretend to be happy. Do your parents get mad if you express yourself and tell the truth? Even if you try to share it nicely and respectfully?

I know it’s hard to be nice and respectful when it feels like THEY’RE being totally unreasonable. One thing that I think really helps is to choose your battles. If you fight them on EVERYTHING, they won’t listen to ANYTHING. But if you agree with them on some things, they might be more willing to listen when things really matter to you.

Like, I’m sure it’s frustrating if they don’t care about your lunch preferences, but maybe save that energy for getting the bedroom you want. And also, show them that you’re willing to compromise. Maybe they won’t let you paint your entire bedroom black, but would they go for one wall? Or a black bedspread and curtains?

If you truly CAN’T express yourself to your parents, then I really encourage you to find a way to do it somehow, like keeping a diary, venting with a friend, or some kind of exercise that helps you get angry feelings out of your body. Because pretending you’re happy is only going to make you more unhappy. Which really stinks. ☹

If you can get out of the house AT ALL, like to walk the dog (or a neighbor’s dog), go for a bike ride or even just go sit out in the backyard, DO IT. But if you can’t, then try to escape into other fun worlds, like books, movies, video games or comics. And video calls with friends! Even the coolest parents become super annoying when you can’t get away from them at all.

How are you surviving being stuck with your parents? Do you argue constantly, or have you figured out a way to avoid arguments? Tell us in the comments below!