Don't get along with your parents, guardians or carers? Often arguing and feel that they don't understand you? Are you asking yourself, 'why don't they see things the way I do'? Explore this section for more some suggestions and stories.

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Being angry is normal and sometimes it can motivate you to do better. In other situations, it can be harmful.

Steven 'Bajo' O'Donnell from ABC's Good Game SP along with headspace ambassador Dan Jackson and other young men talk about situations that make them angry, what the warning signs of anger look like and how it can affect our day-to-day lives.

For more information, to find your nearest headspace centre or for online and telephone support visit headspace.org.au

  • Author: headspace
  • Upload Date: 2013-08-15

Created by headspace

Stories on this Topic

Featured Story (text)

My life so far

My life so far

A work by Dean

My advice for those going through rough times is that nothing you can do will change the past.

Things will happen and, if we accept that, we can move on to change the things we can change. My mother died of breast cancer in 2007 when I was 12, and my father was hardly ever around so I often moved form home to home.

During this time i was constantly told that I would amount to nothing, that I wasn't good enough. But i worked hard, trying to proove them wrong. Now i'm 18, have been in various musicals and plays, recieved a 82 ATAR, got accepted into a Bachelor Teaching (Secondary)/ Bachelor Arts majoring in drama with distinction and high distinction averages, work in a theatre as a general technician while also designing for theatre productions, have auditioned for broadway and happier than i've ever been. All this happened because I wanted to prove them wrong and I didn't wait for someone to help me. When the world turns its back on you, you scream a little louder until it notices you. Work hard and you will get where you want to be.

Click to read the text

I quick description of my life to date and the achievements i've made by working hard.

  • Author: Dean
  • Upload Date: 2013-11-21

Written Text.


Provided by Reach Out

We have partnered with Reach Out to bring you the best factsheet information we can on this topic. Reach Out offers information, support and resources to help young people improve their understanding of mental health issues, develop resilience, and increase their coping skills and help-seeking behaviour.

Dealing with parent conflict

Don't get along with your parents, guardians or carers? Often arguing and feel that they don't understand you? Are you asking yourself, 'why don't they see things the way I do'?

Everyone disagrees with each other sometimes and occasional tension or arguments are part of family life. However, ongoing arguments and tension can be stressful and overwhelming.

Some people lose their temper and become intentionally hurtful, aggressive or even violent. But there are ways to defuse conflict and help bring about a peaceful result, even if the final decision is compromise or agreeing to disagree.

What causes conflict with your parents, guardians or carers?

Common causes of conflict or arguments with parents, guardians or carers can include:

  • When your own opinions and values are different that that of your parents, guardians, carers or other family/community members.
  • Misunderstanding each other, jumping to the wrong conclusions, or lack of communication
  • Wanting more independence than they're willing to give you.
  • Feeling that you're being treated like a kid or having them not respect your right to privacy.
  • Changes in the family caused by separation, divorce, a new baby, moving house or even moving from a new country.
  • Expectations and pressure: you might feel pressure or high expectations from them about your friends, career/job, exams and school, chores, or even your hairstyle, the clothes you wear, or the music you listen to.
  • Cultural expectations: if your parents, relatives, guardians or carers have grown up in another country or another generation they might have very different values and expectations to people in this country.
    For example, your parents might insist on you speaking their first (non-English) language, while people outside your family might bully you or call you names for not speaking English.

Other things to consider

Like you, your parents, guardians or carers might be worried and stressed out about other unrelated stuff, such as work, relationships or money, and that can affect other relationships and how they talk and act with you.
They can also feel pressure from expectations from their own parents, family and their community about 'being a good parent' (really!), especially if they grew up in a culture with different values and beliefs.

What you can do to ease the conflict

Talk to someone outside the situation

Getting a different perspective can help you understand why there is conflict and work out the things that you might be able to do to improve the situation. People you can talk to include a counsellor, friend, brother or sister, or teacher. Check out Reach Out's  Who can help you section for more info.

Count to 10 before responding

It might sound silly, but walking away and counting to 10 can be a good way to cool off anger and avoid a response that could make the situation worse.

Get some space away from the situation

While not solving the problem it can be good to get some head space and avoid more arguments. This might include exercising or chilling out with your friends.

Talk it Out

Sitting down and talking about the situation can seem pretty stressful and impossible. You might feel like you shouldn't have to take this step. However, it could ease the situation if they see you are taking a 'mature' step. It can also be a great way of sorting through issues and coming to an arrangement that works for all of you.
Some tips for talking to your parents, guardians or carers include:

  • Try and find a time when no one is angry, upset, stressed or tired and somewhere you can sit without being interrupted by the phone, TV or other people.
  • Be willing to compromise and have a number of options you're willing to accept.
  • Don't make it personal! Try and avoid being sarcastic and making personal comments, e.g. "you're an idiot" because even though it might make you feel better it isn't going to help the situation. It might be helpful to stick to "I feel" comments, e.g. "when you keep telling me I need to get high marks to get into uni, I feel really stressed and overwhelmed".
  • Be honest. If there's something they do which really pisses you off tell them (though keeping in mind the point above!). Maybe there's something that you can both do to ease the situation.
  • Listen to what they have to say and accept that their point of view may be as valid as yours (easier said than done!). They should try to do the same.
  • Once a compromise is agreed upon, stick to it - this might mean agreeing to stick to it for a set period before reassessing it to see if improvements are being made.  Write it down as a 'contract', if necessary, which is signed by all of you.
  • If talking to them seems impossible it can be helpful to send an email or write a letter, explaining how you feel. Another useful option is getting mediator or family counselling.

Agreeing to disagree

If you simply cannot find a way to compromise, you might find you have to 'agree to disagree'. Remember that you can have your own opinions, based on your own experience, beliefs and values - whether or not you accept your parents', guardians' or carers' views is up to you.

Violence + safety

If you being physically or sexually abused and feel unsafe, it's important you tell someone. This could be a counselor, the police or a friend. Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 - it's free from a landline and won't show up on your home phone bill. Or try Lifeline 131 114 for the cost of a local call from a landline. Both services are anonymous and open 24/7. Check out Reach Out's factsheet on Child abuse - how to get support for more info.

More information


Thanks to NSW Transcultural Mental Health Centre and members of the Transcultural Youth Mental Health Network for preparing this factsheet.


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