My dad is aware that I hate him. He is a control freak. He abuses me, and is always arguing with my mother. They stay together "for the sake of me and my younger siblings." Since he is aware that I hate him, he does things as punishment for hating him. He told me that he knows I hate him, and I can't do anything I want as long as I live in his house. What should I do to make our relationship better?

Answer

I understand why many women choose to stay with unsuitable partners 'for the sake of the children' if they're afraid they won't have any income or financial support, and often they fear things might just get worse. But I remain disappointed in couples who can't see they'd be happier if they lived apart, and with happier parents, their kids would have much more pleasant lives. I believe it is asking too much to expect kids to be able to safely make their way through a daily minefield, but it sounds like you'll have to try. (Unless you're old enough to move out and start your independent life, which would be an easier alternative.)

You say your dad knows you hate him. I'm not sure if you said the words out loud to him or your dad's just assuming you hate him because of your actions and behavior around him.

You also say he abuses you, but there's no mention of beatings or physical violence, so I'm going to assume he just mouths off at you with no physical harm. I'm guessing you just 'clash' over just about everything and he probably calls you names and yells a lot.

There's two of you involved in this conflict. You don't have any control over your dad's choices and actions so you'll have to modify your own behavior and hope he responds positively. Here are a few thoughts that I hope will help you. (Read to the end without getting frustrated along the way. lol.)

You and I both know that sometimes teenagers can be really hard to get along with. It is easy to become self-absorbed and moody or impatient towards anyone who dares enter your personal space without being invited. Blame it on hormones, but be aware that attitude has a lot to do with it. To have any chance of improving your relationship with your dad, you'll have to change your attitude towards him. Now, this might feel really uncomfortable and insincere at first, but let's look at ways you might view your dad more sympathetically. I don't know your dad or you so I'm writing generally here. You'll have to figure out the specifics.

Let's say he goes to work every day, perhaps even to a job that he hates. He brings home money to pay the bills. Got to give him some credit for that. Maybe he mows the lawn in his time off. That can't be fun. Does he ever drive you or your siblings around? That has to count. If you're not wearing rags and devoid of every type of personal item most teenagers take for granted, you're better off than you could be.

Yes, your dad is a control freak, but you haven't said exactly what it is he's controlling. I suggest you think that through and see if you can be a little more forgiving. If you were an adult looking in from the outside, would you think he's terribly unfair? (For instance, I can see that kids could think it is unfair if dad forces them to get off the PlayStation or computer to go to bed ... but an adult onlooker could reasonably say the kid is lucky to have access to PS or computer, and needs to get a good night's sleep.)

You say your parents argue a lot. I'm guessing quite a few of those arguments are inspired by issues to do with you kids. Truth be told, you can probably single-handedly reduce some of their arguments by changing your attitude and behavior. Perhaps you can keep your younger siblings busy for a while when your dad first gets home from work, so your parents have time to actually talk about their day without interruption. Or you could help get them sorted out at bedtime so there's less drama and chaos, if you identify that as a problem time. Instead of bossing them around and trying to flex muscle to get them to do what you want, try jollying them and lifting the general mood in your home.

Then the next step is to tell your dad that you're trying to help more around the house and free him and mom up so they can spend a bit of time together without hassle. Tell him you don' t want a bad relationship with him. You're doing your best to make your home happier in the hope that he'll do his best to make home life happier too.

This process will probably take a while, but you might actually be surprised at the changes you notice within a short time. Keep it up, and if your dad threatens to punish you for something in the future, you can point out that you make a genuine contribution to things within your home. I'm hoping that he'll become more forgiving of you as you become more forgiving towards him.

Updated on April 12, 2018

Original Article:

I Hate My Dad—Trouble at Home
By LongTimeMother

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