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Why does my mom pick fights with me?

Asked by on with 1 answer:

From a 19 year old guy in the U.S.: My mom picks a fight with me whenever we are in the same room. I have tried to help solve it but whenever I do she just disregards my advice/ compromise. Even when my mom is angry over something my sister did she would still take her anger out on me. Whenever we do argue, she points out flaws in my life, and whenever I try to tell her what flaws she has she just gets even angrier.

Even while doing something peaceful she still wants to start a fight. Yesterday I was watching a movie with her and in the middle of it she started arguing with me because of the way I was sitting.

Even when I’m playing a game she still finds a way to argue with me.

Why does my mom pick fights with me?

Answered by on -

A.

So at 19, you are living in your mom’s house. What’s that about? You didn’t mention if you are still in school or if you have graduated high school and working. Regardless, you are at an age when the expectation in our culture is that you will be getting ready to leave “home” and start living an adult life.

It’s not unusual for parents and teens who are on the cusp of leaving home to start fighting. It’s part of the process of separation. After all, if everything was warm and fuzzy, why would a kid ever want to leave? Why would a parent ever want them to leave either?

It’s not unusual for the parents and kids start finding fault with each other. As one of my funnier friends once said to me, “The last month of pregnancy and the last month of high school are the same. You just want the kid out!” She loved her kids. She didn’t want a rift in the relationship. She was just acknowledging that the time had come for her kids to live an independent life.

I think you and your mom aren’t fighting about what you are fighting about. I think you and your mother are having difficulty facing the next steps. If you aren’t already talking about what you will do next, then that discussion has to happen. If finances or schooling requires you to still live with your family, then there needs to be a discussion about a shift in your role and responsibilities as another adult in the household, not as one of the kids. That would mean assuming more of the chores and perhaps contributing financially. It would also mean that your parents need to get comfortable with you having more independence even while living with them.

The families that get through this shift in roles are those that talk about it carefully and directly. I hope you and your folks take the time to figure it out together.

I wish you well,

Dr. Marie

Why does my mom pick fights with me?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). Why does my mom pick fights with me?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 22, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/09/28/why-does-my-mom-pick-fights-with-me/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 27 Sep 2019 (Originally: 28 Sep 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 27 Sep 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.