I love my parents, but I struggle to get on with them. Am I a bad daughter?
I’m 16 and am finding it difficult to get in with parents (all I can think about is moving out).. I still love them but does this make me a bad daughter?
Hi, and welcome to ask Alex. We would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us.
You have said that you’re 16 years old and that you find it difficult to get on with your parents. You also mentioned you’re having thoughts of moving out of home and you wonder if this makes you a bad daughter.
For many of us, our childhood is spent idolising our parents/carers as they are the first people in our lives with whom we form a relationship, and these relationships are usually extremely strong. Our parents/carers protect us, and we spend our childhood exploring our environment, safe in the knowledge that our parents are keeping a close eye on us every step of the way. Later, when we move into our teenage years, we go through many different changes and our emotions/feelings become more complex. During our teenage years, we spend time really developing our personalities, finding our true selves, creating a space in our world that is how we want it and exploring our wants, needs and our likes and dislikes. We also branch out socially, we make our own friends and often want to spend more time with them than with our families. This exploration and strive towards independence can clash with the wants of our parents. Furthermore, they often place (what we experience as) restrictions on us or want us to do chores or our homework when we’d much rather be listening to music or playing on our phones. Very often, the difference in our wants and needs and the wants and needs of our parents can lead to disagreements. It is important to know that this is a completely normal stage for families to go through and thankfully, it won’t last forever!
Keep in mind that this change is not only occurring for you as the teenager but also for your parents. Not too long ago, you depended on them for everything, you were each other’s centre of the world, and now they may feel somewhat saddened and isolated by your independence. It’s an adjustment for everyone. Having an open and honest conversation with your parents could help you guys come to a place of understanding regarding how you each are feeling about the changes that are taking place in your relationship, and your need for independence. Talking about these things may feel a bit embarrassing and awkward at first but may go a long way towards clearing the air.
Oh, and to answer your question, you are not a bad daughter for thinking about moving out! Having disagreements with our loved ones and wanting to be independent is a normal part of life and you clearly love your parents – you said so yourself!
Please know that you can contact Childline through our web chat on www.childline.ie, by sending a text to 50101 or by giving us a call on 1800 66 66 66 if you’d like to chat more about this topic or anything else that is on your mind. Childline is here for you anytime as we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is a free and confidential service. We are non-judgemental, and we will not tell you what to do instead we can help you explore what options may be available to you.
We hope that you find at least some of the information above helpful and we would like to thank you for your question.
Look after yourself.