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My Teenager Hates Me: What Can I Do as a Parent?


Staff member
Dec 14, 2023
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my teenager hates me

Have you ever thought to yourself, “My teenager hates me”?

It’s more common than you might think for teens to say that they hate their parents.

As your teenager moves through adolescence, you may be on the receiving end of harsh words.

You may even feel like your teenager doesn’t want to spend time with family.

This can leave you feeling unappreciated, frustrated, and angry.

So what can you do to change your teen’s hurtful behavior and address your teen’s unmet emotional needs?

Learning some new parenting strategies is an excellent start.

The tips in this article will help you build a better and more respectful relationship with your teen.

Let’s start by exploring some common reasons teens become angry with their parents.

(And if your teen also doesn’t listen to you, make sure to download the quick action guide below.)

Why do teenagers hate their parents?​

Through the thousands of hours I’ve spent coaching teens 1-to-1, I’ve gained valuable insights into this issue.

I’ve uncovered common themes in what teenagers find annoying and frustrating about their parents.

Below is a list of the most common complaints I’ve heard from teens about their parents:

Reason #1: Their parents frequently remind them not to waste their potential​

Telling teens that they aren’t living up to their potential may seem like a good idea – but it can have an adverse effect.

Teenagers often feel like a failure if they’re on the receiving end of this type of comment. It also leads teens to believe that their parents’ love is dependent on how successful they are.

Here’s what to do instead…

Without nagging or lecturing your teens, encourage them to reflect on their current situation. Help them to gain self-awareness without criticizing or reprimanding them. Ask them gently about what they plan to do to make progress.

Don’t forget to celebrate small wins along the way. You can also make positive comments to acknowledge your teens’ effort when they work hard or implement good study habits, regardless of the outcome.

Reason #2: Their parents overreact to small mistakes​

parent and teen arguing

We all make mistakes. It’s a part of how we learn and grow.

But the way you respond to your teens’ mistakes can cause problems.

For example, your teenager might have lost track of time while hanging out with his friends. He’s now late in getting home, and you’re annoyed.

It’s important to take a step back and respond rather than react.

You can do this by first asking your teen why he’s late. Once you understand the situation better, you can then discuss strategies with him to prevent the same thing from happening in the future.

For example, he might decide to set an alarm on his phone as a reminder for him to start heading home.

The key is to not overreact. If you frequently overreact, it will create emotional distance between you and your teen.

Reason #3: Their parents continually criticize and nag them​

When raising teenagers, there will be opportunities for you to provide constructive criticism. Nevertheless, no one enjoys receiving constant criticism.

If you continually criticize your teens, it will hurt their self-esteem. Your teens might even become convinced that it’s impossible to live up to your expectations.

Try replacing negative comments with acknowledgments of your teens’ progress. Make a positive comment whenever you observe your teens trying hard or behaving responsibly.

This is a fantastic way to motivate your teenagers and show them that you’re their biggest supporter.

Reason #4: Their parents overemphasize academic achievement​

Academics are important. But they aren’t the only aspect of your teens’ life worth discussing.

Rather than only asking your teens questions related to school, focus on building a connection with them. Try starting conversations by talking about things that your teens are interested in.

Find out more about what they like and dislike, and about what their perspective is on various issues.

The deeper the connection you have with your teens, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to influence them when it counts.

Reason #5: They feel disrespected by their parents​

Nobody likes to be talked down to or treated disrespectfully.

Even though you have more knowledge and experience than your teenagers, avoid being condescending.

Think back to when you were a teenager. You probably thought you knew better than your parents, so don’t be surprised if your teens think they know better than you!

So treat your teens with respect, if not it’ll be hard for you to expect the same kind of treatment from them.

Reason #6: They feel as if their interests aren’t valued​

skateboarding boys

As individuals, we all have unique interests. These are things that spark our curiosity or inspire us. It’s what makes us who we are.

Parents often overlook the things that matter to their teenagers. When you continually focus on how your teens are doing in their academics or sports, they may feel like you’re not treating them as people.

They may feel like you’re treating them as a project.

So try to not be dismissive of things that are important to your teens, but which you might think are a waste of time, e.g. gaming, shows, social media.

The more you get to know your teen, the more they will understand how much you care about them.

Reason #7: They feel pressured to pursue their parents’ dreams​

As a parent, it can be tempting to view your teens as younger versions of yourself.

You work hard to provide opportunities for your teens to do things you couldn’t do when you were younger. Perhaps you overemphasize a certain career path or extracurricular interest.

But I encourage you not to do this. If you do, it will only end with frustration and disappointment.

Don’t pressure your teenagers to pursue your dreams.

Your teens have their own identities and interests. You need to respect their individuality and support them as they work toward goals they find meaningful.

Reason #8: Their parents refuse to apologize when they’re wrong​

One of the reasons your teenagers may hate you is that you never – or almost never – apologize.

As a parent, it can be tough to admit when you’re wrong. The truth is, anyone you’ve harmed through your words or actions deserves an apology.

If you’re in the wrong or you’ve messed up, acknowledge it to your teens.

Apologizing takes courage, but it models responsible behavior for your teenagers. It can inspire them to do the same when faced with a similar situation.

Reason #9: Their parents don’t include them in the decision-making process​

parent and teen discussing an important topic

As teens get older, they’ll start to test existing boundaries. This is normal! Teens are in the process of figuring out who they are and taking steps toward independence.

As such, it only makes sense to include your teens in setting rules and boundaries.

This doesn’t mean you should become a pushover. Working in collaboration to establish healthy boundaries is beneficial to both parents and teens.

An additional bonus is that your teen will see that you’re willing to negotiate.

For example, let’s say you want to set a curfew. This will give you peace of mind while also teaching your teen the importance of responsibility.

You can sit down together and decide on an appropriate time. As a parent, you have the final say, but the goal is to have a respectful discussion.

By involving teens in the decision-making process, you empower them to be more responsible. At the same time, they’ll also develop negotiation skills.

Reason #10: Their parents don’t really listen to them​

The best person to answer the question, “Why does my teenager hate me?” is your teenager. If you listen carefully, you’ll come to understand why he or she feels resentful or frustrated.

Listening is one of the greatest gifts you can give your teenager.

Some teenagers go through a phase where they spend more time alone as they deal with difficult issues. This reluctance to open up can cause them to be misunderstood.

As a parent, it’s important to learn specific strategies for how to talk to teens. Invite them to open up and listen without judgment when they do. The key is to go beyond just listening and make sure your teens feel heard and supported.

Reason #11: Their parents downplay their feelings​


When your teenagers are upset, the last thing they want to hear is, “Oh, it’s nothing to get upset about.”

So don’t dismiss or downplay your teens’ feelings. Doing so invalidates and minimizes issues that are important to your teens.

If this continues, your teens will eventually stop opening up to you.

Be there for your teens not only in the good times, but also in the tough times. It can be a great relief for teenagers to express anger, sadness, or frustration and know their parents will support them instead of judging them.

Reason #12: Their parents focus on rules and neglect the relationship​

Every household needs rules to ensure everything runs smoothly. But making rules the focal point of everything is ineffective. It can also hurt your relationship with your teen.

For example, let’s say that you and your family have agreed to eat dinner together at 7pm. But your teen suddenly feels like eating earlier because she needs to work on an assignment. This isn’t the end of the world!

Yes, family time is important, but your teen also needs some flexibility. So you can discuss with her how you can work around this situation while still understanding the values that matter to your family.

As with many things, balance is key.


As a parent, there are a variety of ways to mend the relationship with your teen. So don’t lose hope!

Start by identifying which of the reasons listed in this article ring true for you and your teen. Then, put the relevant tips into practice to help your teen become less frustrated and resentful.

As you do this, you’ll bring out the best in your teen and strengthen the relationship too.

And if your teenager is also unmotivated or irresponsible, try my online course for parents of teens. It’s a step-by-step system called Transform Your Teen Today. It’s been proven to work and it even comes with a 100% money-back guarantee!
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