Information Centre

Conflict with your parents or guardians

Family Young People

Not getting along with your parents or guardians? Feel they don’t understand you?

Everyone disagrees with each other sometimes. But, constant arguments can be stressful and exhausting. 

What causes conflict?

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

  • when your own opinions and values are different
  • misunderstanding each other
  • wanting more independence than they’re willing to give you
  • feeling you’re being treated like a child or your right to privacy is not being respected
  • changes to the family caused by separation, divorce, a new baby, moving
  • feeling the burden of high expectations from your parents or guardians.
  • different cultural values of parents or guardiansLike you, your parents or guardians might be worried about other unrelated stuff, such as problems with work, relationships or money.  That can affect how they communicate with you.

 What you can do

Talk to someone outside the situation. Getting a different perspective can help you understand why there’s conflict and work out what you can do to improve the situation. 

Cool down. Counting to ten can be a good way to cool off and avoid saying something that could make the situation worse. 
Get some distance. While not solving the problem it can be good to get some head space and avoid more arguments. This might include going for a walk or meeting friends.

Talk it out. Talking about the situation with your parents or guardians might feel nerve-wracking. It can be a great way of calmly sorting through issues and finding a solution that works for everyone. Check our Resolving differences and How to talk so parents will listen for tips. 

Agreeing to disagree. If you simply can’t find a way to compromise, you might have to ‘agree to disagree’.  Remember you’re entitled to your own opinions, beliefs and values – whether or not you accept your parents’ or guardians’ views is up to you.

Violence and safety

If you’re being physically or sexually abused and feel unsafe, it’s really important to tell someone like a parent, a teacher or a counsellor.

You can also contact the CARI (Children at Risk in Ireland) Foundation helpline on 1890 924 567 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5.30pm) or call the Gardai on 999 at any time, they are there to help you.

If you would like professional support with anything you are going through turn2me provides free, confidential online supports for young people and adults in the Republic of Ireland.

  • Peer support – A free and safe space where you can find and give support by connecting with other people who have been through similar experiences.
  • Group support -Facilitated by a mental health professional, support groups are a safe space to connect with others and share solutions and coping strategies on a variety of mental health topics.
  • Counselling – Support for whatever you are going through, this is a safe space to talk with a professional counsellor to help you understand your feelings and work together to develop the tools you need to get through tough times.