Help, I have a bad relationship with my parents!
Help, I have a bad relationship with my parents!
NiceDay blog: bad relationship with your parents

The relationship with parents is an interesting one. They are the first people you bond with after your birth. This relationship will be affected heavily throughout your childhood years. Think about a safe and trusting attachment during your childhood, but also puberty plays a big role in creating the fundamentals of a strong bond. Having a bad relationship with your parents can be very upsetting, and can greatly impact your life. Why does your relationship with your parents change, why can it turn into a bad one and how do you deal with that? I’ll explain it in this blog!

Change during puberty

Puberty is a special period with big life changes. You’re experiencing feelings you didn’t experience before, you’re becoming more in charge of your own life and you’re being prepared for the big world. Pocket money, social and even romantic relationships, responsibilities: everything is new. You’re still very impulsive and explorative and you’re experiencing new needs, such as independence, autonomy and freedom. As a consequence from these new needs, come changes in the relationship with your parents. They’re not the only important thing in your life anymore and this can create more distance.


Changes in your personal life also lead to new household rules, so that you and your family will still be able to live in harmony. Think of later bedtimes, a curfew and other important rules. These rules make puberty a period typical of conflict. These conflicts are very normal and are healthy when they’re being talked about. However, they can have a negative effect when parents for example have bad communication skills. Plus, big life-changing events, like a divorce, can greatly impact the relationship with your parents. It often affects the relationship with your father.

A better relationship?

Not having a solid foundation, repeatingly escalating conflict, a shortage or abundance of attention: these all can be a reason for you not being satisfied with the relationship with your parents. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t change anything about it! Listed below, you can find some tips that might change your mind:

  • Try to think about what bothers you the most about the relationship. Is it certain behaviour or a personality trait? Is it something from the past? Why does that bother you specifically? Are you able to view this from a different perspective? For example, is someone overly caring, because that he or she thinks that you’re incapable of doing it yourself? Or because you’re not seeing as often anymore, and that person just wants to keep being of meaning to you? Did someone give you insufficient attention in the past, because he or she thinks you’re not worth it? Or did that person have personal difficulties at that time and still tried his or her best?
  • Often, the other person is also aware that the relationship isn’t perfect. You’re sharing the same feelings. As you know, it can be quite difficult to work on a bad relationship. The same goes for your parents. Try looking at someone’s response whenever you try something to fix the relationship. It might stimulate the other to take more initiative as well!
  • Try doing something spontaneous. It doesn’t need to be something that takes a lot of time. Having a coffee together for half an hour or calling for 5 minutes can already be very meaningful within a bad relationship. A relationship takes work, but you don’t always have to make a huge gesture.
  • Don’t know what to talk about on birthdays or during Christmas? Bring some board games for a change! Besides that it’s a fun and active way to spend time together, you can also bond in a playful way.
  • It takes time to build a bond, also a damaged one. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself when it’s not good right now. You might think differently about it next year.
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Wouter Schippers

Hey, I am Wouter. I'm a NiceDay coach and psychologist. I like to play football and to make electronic music.

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