My Parents Are Stupid

“My parents won’t let me go anywhere.” “My parents won’t let me date.” “My parents treat me like I’m a baby.” “My parents treat me like I’m their slave.” “My parents punish me for rules I never knew existed.” “My parents are SO stupid.” “My parents suck.”

I hear many teens make these statements in my office. I get that the way you feel in this moment is that your parent(s) are the dumbest people on the planet. They make you mad, and they prevent you from doing what you want to do.

my parents are stupid

I could defend them now and tell you their side. I’m choosing to not do that right now. I’m sure you’ve heard them explain their reasons.

The one thing I will do is encourage you to take charge of the “issues” that are causing you to believe your parents are stupid. If your parents will not let you go out, find out why. If you feel that your parents treat you as if you are their slave, talk with them about it. If your parents never do anything fun with you, and all your relationship consists of is fighting and “working” (chores, etc.) let them know how you feel about the current situation.

Here’s the big catch: I have seen SO MANY TEENS fail at doing what I describe above. Why do they fail? Timing. They choose to “talk” about these issues when they are mad (after their parents have already said “no” to something). The teen is angry, the parents are annoyed, and the teen hopes to push their parent enough to to get their way. This strategy will only hurt you in the long run. I promise you that.

As I say in my other blogs, arrange a time (AHEAD OF TIME and when you don’t have something big that you’re asking for coming up in the next day or two) to sit down and talk with your parents. Be calm when you talk with them. Tell them you would like to problem-solve ____________ issue that you have with them. Use an “I statement” to start the conversation:

“I feel ______________ (defeated, hopeless, hurt, sad, ) when you _____________ (don’t allow me to spend time with friends, yell at me for not cleaning my room, etc.), and I’m wondering if we can figure out a way to work through this.”

Don’t expect this to cure anything. It may not work on the first attempt, but this is a good starting place. A few more pointers: Don’t yell. If they are not budging on the issue, agree to disagree, and revisit the issue later. Exercise ahead of time if you think you might end up yelling. Don’t have the conversation when anyone is hungry, on chemicals, or tired.

Let me know how this goes for you. I have other strategies in my tool belt, but I have seen this one do wonders. Good luck! 🙂

June 11th, 2013

18 thoughts on “My Parents Are Stupid

  1. People don’t realize that adolescents worry about more than having a clean room or a boyfriend. My parents have a thought disorder which makes communication difficult. Their thoughts are all scrambled. Sometimes they accuse me of doing stuff I didn’t do. They love me and I love them. But they’re stupid.

    They waste their money, go into debt, yell at eachother for mundane things. You’d think 17 years or so of the same income, same responsibilities, they would have their household managed. You think they’d save money and find economic cheap substitutes. They refuse to learn and listen to advice. They borrow money and lose friends; for a pint of ice cream for themselves.

    You think all teenagers are really over shallow and unexperienced. Theres no realistic counseling for people with real problems. Adolescent counseling is a joke.

  2. I have tried that many a time, but they blow me off and act as if they are the dominators of the world. They will not listen to me, and my dad is even worse. There is NEVER any peace, and I get yelled at for not doing stuff they never told me to do, or for breaking rules I never new existed, constantly. I hate it! PLEASE HELP!

  3. Hi Demetrius,

    Have you tried sitting down with your parents to clarify what the rules are? It sounds to me like your parents might think that you are defiant and that you don’t follow rules. To your credit, it is hard to follow rules that you don’t know exist. Maybe if you guys are able to figure out the rules, your relationship will improve. Maybe then your parents will listen to how you’re feeling.

    I hope this helps.
    All my best to you,

  4. Hi Christina,

    It sounds like your situation at home isn’t the easiest and that you have some realistic thoughts about why things at home aren’t going well. I agree; it would be nice if they could figure things out after 17 years. I’m sure their situation is more complicated than I can even understand from your post.

    I’m sorry that you think adolescent counseling is a joke! I absolutely respect the clients I work with and do not think they’re shallow and unexperienced. I recognize that each person I meet has different experiences, perspectives and opinions. I don’t judge them because of their age.

    Good luck to you,

  5. I’m not sure it’s even worth it to try to talk to my parents anymore. I try and they don’t listen half the time. I can say something and they don’t know I’m in the room. They don’t care about my personal interests as long as I keep the house clean and keep the grades up so they don’t look bad or have to do anything. They’re fine with that, but the moment I quit cleaning or I get sick of school it becomes the same thing: I’m the worst kind of kid someone can have. Compared to some of the other kids I know and the things they do, I don’t see how I’m as bad as they make me out to be. It’s not like they don’t know what’s going on because they do. I think it would be easy just to say goodbye to them and never come back. I’m sure it would be hard, but you don’t get to choose who youre related to, and I don’t believe that just because youre related means that you love someone right away or even care the slightest about them.

  6. Hi Austin,

    I’m so sorry that you’re feeling this way about your parents right now and that you feel that they don’t care about you. Is it possible to sit down with them (NOT during a disagreement/argument/fight!) and talk about how you feel that they don’t understand you? I know this conversation won’t be easy and that your parents might be defensive. If you tell them how you feel (instead of telling them what they’re doing wrong), the conversation will likely go better.

    You’re right about choosing your family. You did not get a choice, and I don’t know if you actually love them or not. That being said, I do know that you’re looking for them to understand you, your interests, your struggles, etc. better. You deserve to have this kind of relationship with them, and they deserve a chance to hear you out.

    I hope this helps. Please know that these hard years will pass and that in your future, you will have the option to do whatever you want.

    All my best to you, Austin,

  7. My parents don’t care about what I have to say. They are so strict I can’t live my life or do anything. They are very religious and I am not but they keep forcing me to be religious and if I don’t listen there are huge fights and my phone and internet and tv rights get taken away. So pretty much I have to do what they want and have no opinion. Its not fair.

  8. Hi afin,

    I’m sorry that your opinion is not heard when you talk with your parents. Are you able to discuss these issues without fighting with your parents? Sometimes parents will make you follow their religious beliefs for a period of time; eventually this choice WILL be yours. Is there any way to (temporarily) tolerate the their religious wishes as you continue to have discussions (not big arguments!) with them about the topics that are upsetting to you? It might be helpful to sit down with a therapist about some of these issues and see if your parents can hear you when an objective third party is present.

    I hope this is helpful. Please remember that you don’t have to go to their church forever! You will get to make all of your own choices before too long.

    All my best to you,

  9. My parents do not listen what so ever. Yes, I’ve tried talking with them about things calmly and at times when they’re not (obviously) angry. But they soon start interrupting, yelling, etc. They think they’re right, ALWAYS, and refuse to listen to my input.

    They’re extremely strict, as well. I’m not allowed to go outside, get a job, have any social media, date, go to friends houses, etc. They kept me out of public school until the 8th grade, when homeschooling became too much of a “burden” (even though I taught myself most everything because they wouldn’t). And I don’t know why! I keep my grades up, I don’t do any drugs, I have good friends, I keep my room clean, I’m respectful… But they only see my bad qualities, and they point them out constantly. They say I’m a lazy, rude, obnoxious, immature, annoying, stupid…

    They do the rule thing, too. I get grounded ALL THE TIME for stuff I either don’t do or didn’t know about. And when I ask they’re just like, “well, it’s a rule now!”, all sarcastic-like.

    And the slave thing… They trash the house, and then blame it on me and make me clean it.

    I’m trapped. I feel so lonely and sad and beaten down. I just sit at home, all day every day. If I could escape, I could be jogging, or building on my awful social skills, or working, or volunteering. I don’t understand, and I don’t know what else to do…

    Please, help.

  10. My parents constantly put me down by implying “You won’t be successful in life” and agree with anyone else’s opinions like slaves except for me. Everytime I prove that they’re reasonably wrong they won’t take my word for it unless it’s from someone else because “Children are all stupid and none of them are smart unless someone says so.” (My parents philosophy) Which they thought of not through thinking much when I informed them saying “Technology is making life easier which is making kids think less and just problem solve using the knowledge they’re given.” (Me) Which they then confirmed with my sister. I understand their perspective on many things and take them into consideration but, I want them to stop and listen to me so they could learn something; however, they just don’t want to not know that I’ve grown up and know some things that they do not. They will not acknowledge any opinion I have and they actually cannot understand how I feel even though they want to, they just seem to not care about anything I say. Anyone or anything that respects me is immediately classified as stupid. How can I make them understand that I need them to stop putting me down and listen to me.

  11. P.S. They are barely home as they party with friends while they leave me at home alone and anytime I say something like “I have 5 fingers.” They always have to say it’s wrong and bs their way through.

  12. Parenting, a modern form of slavery. We as children are enslaved by their will. For those of you subjected to painful circumstances my advice is such; be smart, be resilient, be loving, and most importantly be true in all that you do.

  13. Hi Kitty,

    Wow… it sounds like you’re really feeling hopeless and stuck. If you cannot get them to listen to you alone, can you talk to a school counselor about possibly working with your parents? If the school counselor can’t help, he/she will be able to direct you to someone who can. Hopefully, now that you’re getting older, your parents will allow you some more freedoms. Sounds like you deserve some!


  14. Hi Brian,

    I’m sorry that it seems like your parents constantly put you down. Have you tried talking with them about this dynamic when you’re not fighting? I would ask them to arrange a time with you to sit down and talk. When they do that, express to them how you have been feeling lately. Use statements that start with “I feel ____ when ______” (instead of saying, “You always put me down,” etc.). I have another blog about that here. One other thing: You may never get your parents to agree with you about technology. Is it possible to agree to disagree on this issue?

    Hope this helps.


  15. I’ve read other replies and all you say basically is to communicate. Every time I try to they say I’m just nagging. They have no real sense if efficientcy, equality, or logic. They seem to think I do nothing when I actually do more work around the house than them. My mother is sick, but not as sick as she thinks. Why is she able to go to work somedays but just sit and watch me work others? My dad just goes along and makes the most hypocritical statements I’ve ever heard. When we argue they never punish me because when they’re calm they admit they know I’m right and yet do nothing to fix it. They know I’m right and so they don’t punish me just threaten to each time I use their ridiculous statements against them. If the best solution is communication then there isn’t a solution for us. My dad will agree when my mum’s not there but when she is she just starts telling and he’ll sit there quietly and agree with her!

  16. Hi Mark,

    You are right in that I believe that communication is generally the best way to solve problems. That being said, sometimes more communication is just not an option. Because I am not sitting with you and your parents, I am unable to determine if there are problems with the way the communication is happening. Often times there is. If we assume that you are communicating effectively and that they are not “capable” of making change based on ongoing communication, then my opinion is that you need to get additional support in order to not be alone in tolerating their shortcomings. In other words, it is not healthy to be alone, unheard, and frustrated if you are not supported. Some people go to therapy to learn how to tolerate their situation, others have good friends, a pastor or teacher or school counselor, etc. My suggestion to you is that you get more support so that you can best tolerate these last years in their home (I’m assuming you’re in your teen years).

    I know my thoughts aren’t super cheery, but I hope they’re helpful.

    Thinking of you,

  17. I see that all these kids have similar problems. The same I have, actually. Lets point out some similarities: the kids seem to be unshallow, intelligent kids who know how to communicate. Their parents, on the other hand, are either unfit or religious (same difference!), have deplorable communication skills, and have twisted values and ethics. The pros to horrible parenting are that the offspring have incredible empathy for those who suffer emotional abuse, are above average intelligence, and usually prove their unsuccessful parents wrong frequently. The cons are that the offspring suffer horrible emotional/psychological damage, depression and in worse case scenario injury or death (homicidal or suicidal.) My question is… WHY THE HECK ARENT PARENTING CLASSES MANDATORY!? HOW ABOUT AN IQ TEST? …the irony is that the smarter the individual, the more likely that they won’t reproduce.

  18. Hi Arielle,

    Please know that you deserve to be loved and respected! Have you tried talking to your parents about how you feel? If they don’t respond well, you should talk with another adult you trust, who can help you get help. Teacher, school counselor, boss, friend’s parents are some ideas. It is important, also, that your parents know some of the things you have tried because of your pain (cutting, etc.). If your parents cannot hear what you’re saying to them right now, please reach out to another adult in order to get the help you need.

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