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To Sam

my parents make my life miserable

My parents constantly pick on me and punish me. The other day I slammed the door and they took away my laptop, phone and TV for a month. Just now I have been making something for over three hours from a video tutorial, my brother wanted his toys and my mum said to get them I said I was just finishing the part I was on, my brother punched me and my mum said it was his fault he punched me because I was in the way. She forced me to turn off the laptop so now the thing I was making is ruined and they've sent me to bed now with no dinner and it's only 4:45 pm, I try to talk to them and everything I say is seen as 'attitudey' or 'rude'. When I ask for something they'd say 'oh, it's always about you have you ever thought of us for a change?', when they're mad they say they wish they'd never had children and even in a good mood they always mention the things they could've done if they'd never had children. They have called me every name they can think of and I try to talk to them but they don't care. The other day I got blamed for my mum crying because I hadn't had a shower, however I hadn't been told to have one. They single me out and say whenever I'm around I'm doom and gloom and I should've just stayed at home. I'm telling you this hoping that nothing bad will happen to my parents because I love them but at the same time I want some advice. Everyone I talk to say I'm being stupid, no one listens. B x
Ask Sam


Hi there,

I’m so glad you thought of writing to me.

From what you've said, your relationship with your parents seems very difficult and that’s having a big impact on how you feel. It sounds like your parents are often angry at you, punishing you and seeing you in a very negative way. I can hear you think some of what they do and say is unfair. 

To be a member of a family where there’s a lot of anger can be very hard. Sometimes parents might be angry about a variety of things in their lives, beyond what their children do. Hearing parents say they wish they’d never had children can be such a hurtful thing for a child of any age to hear and it’s not okay for them to say that to you.

It also sounds like you feel your parents aren’t actually listening to you and that must feel frustrating. You say you’ve tried to talk to them and it must be hard to feel unheard. Also, you feel singled out and labelled in ways that don’t really reflect who you are and the kind of person you want to be. Being called names like this is emotional abuse. It’s hard to feel good about yourself when that happens a lot at home – a place where you should be able to feel cared for and safe.

It would be so nice if your parents could realise how their anger is hurting you emotionally. Sometimes, when talking hasn’t worked, you could try picking one parent to write a note or an email to. This could help get that parent’s attention in a different way. In the letter or email you could describe how you feel and also say that you’d like to talk to them, in calm way, about how things could be better between you. I can’t guarantee this will work, but it’s the kind of thing one of our counsellors could help you think about.

Another option is to think about whether there’s another adult your parents respect –for example, a grandparent, another relative, a teacher or a sports coach. Could you safely talk to someone like this? You could try telling them how their anger is affecting you.

I’m hoping you have moments when you are away from home where you have a chance to see that you are not like all the labels your parents are giving you. It could be when you are with friends, or doing things you enjoy or at school – these can be times to remind yourself that you are not what your parents say you are.

We all have times when we make mistakes or express difficult feelings and this is okay but I am sure there are also times when you’re not rude or “attitudey” or “doom and gloom”. In fact what I notice from your letter is that you express yourself really well. You seem honest and sensitive to what’s going on around you and have a big enough heart to say that, in spite of what’s going on, you love your parents. I hope you can feel good about those things.

I hope you’ll think about telling us more and speaking to one of our counsellors, either by email, phone or with an online chat. There are also the ChildLine message boards where young people support one another. There is a message board on Home and family. You may find looking at some of those posts helps you feel a bit less alone with your problem. And finally, we have a lot of information on Family relationships as well as Emotional abuse, which you can look at if you’re interested.

Take care,

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