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Confessions: Our teenage daughter hates us, threatens to leave home

Parenteen By Mirror

Dear Coleen,

Our daughter recently turned 16 and finished her GCSEs.

The school and social parts of her life are absolutely fine, in fact, she’s clever and popular, but when she’s at home she’s unbelievably rude and acts like she hates my husband and me.

Everything ends in an argument with screaming and door slamming and I’ve spent many evenings crying over it.

I just can’t seem to get through to her.

She’s an only child, so I don’t know if that makes what’s going on more intense and I keep wondering if we’ve made her this way by spoiling her and giving her so much attention.

Every time we argue she threatens to walk out and live by herself because “she’s old enough” and she doesn’t need our “permission” for anything.

She threatens us with it all the time, but I don’t know whether she’d act on it.

I’m at my wits’ end and not looking forward to the summer holidays where she’ll be at home all the time.

Can you help?

This is so upsetting, our house is a very unhappy place right now.

Coleen says:

I’m not sure it has anything to do with being an only child, but I think it’s got a lot to do with her age.

It can be a tough time for teens and parents.

I certainly found the ages of 15 to 18 challenging with my sons and they found it hard, too.

There’s the pressure of exams, friendships, working out who they are and what they want in life, and hormones play a part, too.

It’s always easier to take out your anger and frustration on the ones closest to you and that’s what she’s doing.

She feels safe to act up at home as she knows you won’t reject her.

I wonder if she’s ever explained why she feels so angry.

I would ­ persevere in getting her to talk to you and ­ reassure her you love her and only want to help.

No topic is off the table.

But she won’t respond to a lecture.

There’s something going on she feels strongly about, but try to get there gently instead of the sledgehammer approach.

Not easy when you feel mad at her for all the chaos she’s causing, but it’s all part of parenting teens.

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