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Teenage Problems/My relationship with my mom is fading?

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Question
Okay so to start off I'm 14 years old. Now I am in the point of my life where a lot of things start to change and I am starting to find out who I am as a person. However, lately I've noticed that my mom and I aren't as close as we used to be when I was younger. Like whenever she makes a promise to me, she ALWAYS BREAKS IT. It is so frustrating because she does this constantly. And whenever I confront her about it she always yells at me for no reason and goes into defensive mode, as if I did something wrong!I also don't tell her anymore secrets anymore or my feelings because I know if I tell her something then she'll tell someone else in our family (she has a big mouth). Another thing is that she won't take me seriously. Like she'll brush off the conversation and change the subject. For example, previously before I was going through self depression and whenever I tried talking to her about all she would say to me is that she "doesn't have time for that nonsense". Then she would go upstairs and watch TV until she fell asleep. I'm trying to build a healthy relationship with her but every time I try to it's like she always does something to mess it up again. Honestly, I'm sick of trying. She always takes out her anger on me for no reason, she's ungrateful for the things I do for her, and she always makes me angry. I feel bad saying these things about my own mother but I just sick of trying to have a healthy relationship with her if she is not going to try. What should I do?

Answer
Hi Amber,

First off I want to tell you that I know exactly how you feel (and I will usually never say that to someone), as this mirrors my relationship with my mom. Your mother sounds like an exact mirror image of my mother, and the rocky relationship we have had for 10+ years. There comes a time where you have to stop trying all together, or to stop trying and bring in a 3rd party mediator.

1. Consider whether or not your mom is going through something that she doesn't know how to deal with. Sometimes stress can cause people to lash out and take out their anger on the wrong person, whether it's because she feels like no one is listening to her, or because she hasn't reached a point where she feels like she can or will talk about it. Realize that this situation is not happening because of you. There is something going on with her but unfortunately, you are the easy target, and I can relate to that feeling of helplessness when even mom can't sit down and talk.

2. One thing I had to do with my mom was to completely detach from her emotionally, and remedy this situation with a little psychology and reverse psychology. I began finding excuses to stay out of the house longer. If I could stay late at school for study groups, tutoring, sports (events or practice), or just to do homework, I would. Because I have horses, I was provided with an easy excuse to stay out of the house for an extra 4-5 hours because, let's face it, someone has to look after them. When situations arose when I would potentially need to talk to to my mom, I would find someone else to talk to. If you have a good friend whose mom you can trust with difficult situations, talk to her. Eventually, your mom will begin to notice that you are becoming distant with her. She has created the wedge, and you are facilitating it to the extent that she will begin to come back to you.

3. If you are feeling like you are having issues with depression, seek out help yourself. Get in touch with a school counselor and discuss the situation with you. This school counselor could be just the 3rd party mediator you need in order to help your mom "get it" and understand that something is going on with you. That counselor will probably contact your mom to recommend a child/teen psychologist that can help you work through your issues better, and can also provide a better means to relating to your mom. Your mom could have the same reaction my mom did to having a counselor/psychologist step in and become offended if she doesn't hear what she wants to hear. Don't give up, but don't force her to continue going.

PLEASE NOTE: I am NOT telling you be secretive, sneaky, or lie to her. By all means, be honest about where you are going and what you are doing, who you're with, etc., but do not come to her with problems with friends, or with the problems you are encountering with her. There will be situations where you will have to come to her, and you will know those situations when they show up, but moments that require some emotional support, advice, sensitivity, and a kind listening ear...don't include her. Find another adult that you can trust (a friend's mom, your dad, grandmother or other relative, a school counselor, a teacher) to talk to. When mom finds herself shut out, she just might try to talk to you and figure out what's going on. If/when she does, TALK to her. If she makes the effort to find out what's going on, DO NOT SHUT HER OUT. She's giving you the effort of coming to talk to you, "reward her" (for lack of better words) by including her in that situation.

Distance can often be a healer of issues like this but because you are not 18, I cannot and will not recommend moving out. Moving out and really taking control of my life at 21 is what it took for my mom to finally "get it" because she realized she no longer had control. You are still a minor and moving out/running away is not going to fix the situation. This is a situation that will take time to repair but over time, it will get better. I definitely will say to get help for yourself. Your mom is older and will figure things out in her own way, but definitely seek help for the break down in your relationship with her. In time, things will get better.

Good luck, and feel free to email me back with follow up questions if you need to.

Sincerely,

Brittney

Teenage Problems

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Brittney

Expertise

I can answer any questions that have to deal with managing friendships between girls and boys. Question topics can include: dating, how to handle disputes, jealousy, how to know when one is being taken advantage of, healing friendships, and other topics similar to these. Other topics include how to handle disagreements with parents, or dealing with parent child relations in general. If you are a parent and want to ask a question, I can answer questions regarding how to relate to your kid in this generation, the best way to surprise them with that gift they've been wanting, etc.

Experience

Life has been my teacher. I have always been the go to person when friends had disputes and have successfully fixed many friendships between my friends and their friends. I grew up in a family with a doting dad and an emotionally distant mom, and I have dealt with emotional and verbal abuse from my mom for a few years. We have since repaired our relationship, and I have used my experiences with her to help friends deal with their issues with their parents.

Education/Credentials
I studied psychology in college. I was also a child development major for toddler through age 18. I enjoyed studying the periods of adolescence & teen years (10-18) because these are the years children start really figuring out who they are, as well as it being a time where maintaining friendships is important.

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