Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

What do you do when you and your parent cannot seem to communicate without arguing?

22 Answers
Last Updated: 08/02/2021 at 5:47am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Lindsay Scheinerman, MA, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

My work with clients is to help them recognize and build on their strengths to find solutions for the conflicts presented in their lives.

Top Rated Answers
November 29th, 2016 5:24am
Hi there. So, I often find myself bickering with one of my parents in good humour and suddenly it escalates into a full-blown screaming match with mostly them screaming and me seething inside. Getting a word out means more trouble. Then they give me the silent treatment in the most un-silent manner. I realised that the trick lies in knowing that you cannot be forced into doing what they approve off and mindlessly letting the rest be. And when it comes down to parental nagging, please remember that indifference is more effective than confrontation. Because, they usually get support from their partner and we're the ones taking the brunt of the situation. I hope I helped. Take care. :)
January 10th, 2015 3:59am
Usually, what I tend to do when my mother and I get into an argument, is I take time for both of us to cool off, then we sit down and talk about why we argued and what we could to do to fix it.
June 8th, 2015 10:05am
I will say that spend time with them, communication gap is not a big problem but a common thing now a days. Just spend sometime remembering your childhood, it will help.
July 13th, 2015 11:44pm
I think taking some time out for awhile is a good idea. I know this is harder if your living in the same house. Often writing it all down when your calmer can help.
August 3rd, 2015 5:34pm
Take time to listen to your parent(s) point of view and request that they listen to your point of view in a calm manner. Try to avoid saying one another is wrong. Instead try to explain your reason for feeling a certain way about a topic.
August 18th, 2015 7:01am
Try and avoid situations and conversations where an argument can be started. It is this way with my mother almost constantly, so I just avoid her.
August 31st, 2015 8:05pm
This is a tough situation. If this is something that deals or occurs on a regular basis, then maybe speaking with a counselor or therapist could help you work through your problems and emotions.
October 26th, 2015 4:45pm
take a step back and think about the situation from your parents point of view. ask them if you can all sit down and talk and have a third party there who is netural to stop fighting
November 17th, 2015 12:05pm
i stop for a little and think about it, and then i star all over, i try to understand them and then to talk slowly
November 30th, 2015 11:22am
You make them both sit down and talk to them about what is going on and how you don't like it and say that you would like them to see a therapist and you will accompany them this way they know they are having problems and hopefully they follow your advice ;) good luck.
December 21st, 2015 3:55am
Try coming to your parent with your issue from a different angle. Start calmly by asking what you'd like. Refrain from yelling when you can. If need be, contact a third party to mediate.
January 18th, 2016 9:34pm
I have struggled with this myself and I know how awful it can feel. I also know how hard it can be to break this cycle, because when you are used to talking to each other in a certain way, it becomes "normal" and "acceptable" and very hard to break. What may help in this situation is to remember that you can only change your own behaviour, not the other person's, and that may be something you would want to focus on. You could try to do something special and new for the other person, making it clear that you appreciate them and do not expect something in return. Maybe give them a small gift, take them to the movies (no talking in the cinema ;) ) or prepare them a nice meal or bath, whatever feels right. Another thing that may be helpful is written communication. Write your parent a letter, explaining how you feel. Try to not sound as if you are blaming them, but rather explain that you would like to fight less, and that you miss spending quality time together. The third thing that may help is creating a positive ritual. Here, you can also get creative. You could propose cooking together, watching a series together, talking walks with the dog. Make it clear to your parents that these are times you want to enjoy their company, and maybe stay clear of topics you fight about. Last but not least, express gratitude. Your parents are certainly not perfect, they are flawed and that can makes family life difficult. But in most cases, they also care about you a lot. If you show them that you know how hard things can be for them, and that you appreciate all they do for you, they may feel less frustrated and more ready to treat you the same way. I know all this sounds like a very unbalanced effort. But usually, if you openly make an effort and show a person your gratitude and appreciation for them, they will slowly start to change the way they act towards you, too. Good luck and strength to you! :)
April 5th, 2016 8:32am
Maybe try a different approach to send the message across. Sometimes maybe the way the message is conveyed is not understood or wrongly understood.
June 13th, 2016 2:17am
When my mother and I can't seem to talk without chewing each other out, I use writing as a safe medium for us to communicate. With writing, we take the time to think about what we want from one another without unintentionally hurting each other through arguing. Later, when my mother and I have had a chance to see things from the other's perspective, we'll try to talk to one another again. This time, there's a lot less arguing involved.
August 2nd, 2016 12:12am
College. I want to get things going, and they're telling me I need to chill and relax and enjoy my last year.
June 12th, 2017 1:00am
Try and identify why you think you can`t communicate with your parents, maybe you feel they`re not fully understanding or listening to you? Staying calm and expressing your feelings openly can also help. Taking time to breath during conversations can stop things from building up and creating an argument.
July 17th, 2018 12:33am
take some time apart, and then talk
August 7th, 2018 7:43pm
In my personal experience, it is helpful to approach the issue in a calm, collected manner, without becoming too emotional. If the conversation seems to be turning into an argument, simply step away and begin again. Never lose your temper
February 17th, 2020 7:53pm
There are 4 things to avoid when talking about important issues: Criticism, Defensiveness, Contempt, and Stonewalling. To combat coming across as critical, you can start out gently and schedule a time to have the conversation. (So many conflicts happen when people are trying to hurry and talk when the other isn't listening.) Use I statements and focus on what you need. Bring up the subject, but then take time to hear the other person's point of view. Don't interrupt. Listen and help them feel understood. You can do this even if you don't agree. To avoid getting defensive, you accept the other person's perspective and take responsibility for anything you should apologize for. To avoid stonewalling, be in tune to your feelings and before you get to the point you want to get up and run away, ask if you can take a break for a few minutes to get re-centered. Practice self-soothing. If that isn't possible, try to breathe slowly and stay in the moment. To avoid contempt, think about what you appreciate about them. When you do this, it keeps you from feeling superior to them (which contributes to the conflict.) There are therapists who can help you practice these techniques. This is just a start. Here's hoping you can strengthen your family with these important techniques.
February 24th, 2020 7:13am
Its a very common issue I believe. Its happened because parents and children have different mind set and goals. Normally parents have dreams for their children and children not follow those dreams that situation cause the issues. On other hand children want free situations and want freedom.I think there is should be balanced between both these conditions. Both parents and children must try to avoid these situations. But problems never sort out without divisions. In my opinion parents should try be more responsible in these situations try to understand there situations. Gave them enough freedom to choose there own ways to spend there lifes. They should play the role of guider and supporter
June 15th, 2020 1:57am
This is definitely a hard situation to be in for anybody and I am so sorry you are currently in that position. The best way to start tackling this issue is by taking a step back to try to see the bigger picture. Are you and your parents arguing about small things that quickly and consistently escalate to larger issues? Or, are you and your parents simply bickering about any small thing at all? If it is the former, the best thing to do is to ask your parents if you could all have a calm and collected discussion about any qualms that the family may be mulling over. It is so important to have open communication while remaining level headed, so if this sort of discussion results in problems as well, remind yourself that you would be better off taking the high road and giving your parents some space to analyze their own feelings. If it is the later of the two, then perhaps there are other aspects of your parent's lives that may cause them to be upset over the small things. If this is the case, remind your parents that you care and offer some small words of affirmation or consolation. I truly hope things get better for you. The whole 7 Cups community is here to support you!
August 2nd, 2021 5:47am
Growing up is super challenging. Inevitably, children will argue with their parents and it still can happen from time to time once they are adults too. Finding that middle-ground between being heard and listening to your parents can be tricky. When in the moment, it is sometimes best to take time to reflect on how information is being presented by both people (or all people if, say, both parents and their child are involved). Saying something with an "I" statement is useful because the point of "I" statements is to get the point across without accusing or assuming anything. There are great steps online about how to create "I" statements and use them in daily conversations with friends and family.