Q: I live with my mom and dad and 3 siblings. My mom disapproves of how I dress and act. She keeps taking clothes from my closet that she dislikes. But the most serious incident of this is when she took a T-shirt that I really liked that cost me $20. She knows that it was my favorite T-shirt, yet she still took it. I don’t know what she has done with it, but I suspect that she has thrown it away. I’ve been thinking about taking 420 from her purse or bedroom, since she took the shirt away. I’ve also been thinking about talking to her, but I know that she will not listen. What should I do?
A: Out of the two choices you listed, of course you should talk to her!!! Taking money from her is stealing. I’m sure you feel that what she did is the same thing, and on one hand it is, but she is the parent and you live in her house and she has more authority than you for those reasons. Sit down and talk to her calmly and tell her how this made you feel. Tell her why you like the clothes you do and the activities you do and why your friends are your friends, etc. Let her into your life and maybe you two can work out some compromises. Parents don’t compromise when their kids yell at them or ignore their rules or show disrespect. I am not assuming that you do these things; I’m just explaining that if you take a calm rational approach you will get much further. If this doesn’t work, then maybe you need a mediator. You could request that you all go to a family therapist to work out your differences. Hang in there and keep trying to work on things with your mom. The teen years are difficult for mothers and daughters but there may be no other relationship more important! Good luck and try compromise.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Nov 2006
Counts, H. (2006). Conflicts with parents.. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 10, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2006/11/02/conflicts-with-parents/