My Teenager Is Ruining My Life – 5 Ways To Deal With It

Parenting is a journey like no other, coming with plenty of ups and downs along the way. Your child hitting their teenage years fall in a pretty odd position. They tend to be more capable but might pick up rebellious streaks that can lead to a lot of friction in your household.

It can reach the point where you feel that your teenager is ruining your life with their antics. Coping helps but you’ll need to start making some tangible changes to properly deal with the situation.

Get an objective picture of your current relationship situation. Don’t let your impulses get the better of you – and if you feel close to that point, remember to disengage for a few days.

Work towards establishing open communication to clarify what you and your teen should expect from one another, but be mindful not to overstep the boundaries they set. Lastly, don’t be ashamed of your exhaustion– you aren’t any less of a parent for feeling frustrated.

Even if your current relationship is tense, it’s unlikely that your teenager is trying to ruin your life. Talking over the problems both of you have is a huge step forward to addressing them properly.

1. Try to Get An Objective Appraisal of the Situation

Your home situation is likely far from pleasant right now, but remember to step back, take a breath, and how things might be for everyone stuck in this difficult situation.

It might feel that your teen is ruining your life, but both of you are hurting from this situation. Your teenager is NOT the problem to address, but your partner in dealing with this.

We’d recommend disengaging for a short while before trying to deal with this issue. Give yourself some time to purge any negative feelings that may cloud your judgment.

2. Don’t Let Impulsiveness Dictate Your Next Move

father and son pointing fingers at each other

Once you’ve got an objective picture of your situation, be sure to mind how you respond. Your teen might be getting to you with how they’re acting out, but punishing them – especially out of impulse – would just provoke even more problems between the two of you.

This situation demands cooperation, not further conflict. There will be some days when your teen pushes too far. While you can’t control how you feel, you can control who’s around you when you feel it. Leave the situation once you suspect that your emotions might be boiling over.

You might have to let the issue lie for a while, but that’s much better than forcing compromise when neither of you is ready. Handling this sort of problem while angry won’t improve a thing.

3. Strive to Openly Communicate with One Another

father and son talking on the couch

You need to understand why your teen is lashing out the way they are. It’s important that you get a good idea of that even if the answer might bother you.

Your teen may say things that you don’t want to hear. They might bring up sentiments that make you uncomfortable or perspectives that feel a little unfair. They might not even listen when you explain your side. This initial resistance is a normal hurdle to overcome, so don’t take it personally.

Your teen has every right to hold these views – it came from perspective and experience, and it may be wrong but is no less valid for it. Sharing these views with you is already a big gesture of trust, so let your teen speak without interruption and listen carefully.

Forcing your teen to change viewpoints or insisting that they’re wrong to hold them just pushes them away from transparency with you. You can disagree with your teen, but you can’t force them to agree with you. They’d stop sharing these sentiments, but they wouldn’t cease to exist.

You and your teen may disagree about a few things entirely. Compromise may not come, no matter how hard you try. Attempts to teach them might come across as patronizing or biased in nature.

Open communication comes bundled with a lot of potential disagreements. They aren’t a problem to quash, but an element to accommodate in this dynamic.

Respect each other on things you disagree with, and if problems need to be addressed talk about how you’ll go through them together!

4. Respect Their Boundaries, Privacy, and Safe Spaces

Open communication works through healthy boundaries and respect. If your teen is up to talking about where the two of you stand, great!

That doesn’t mean you’re entitled to their cooperation. Progress will come at the pace that works best for both of you. Anything less than that won’t be genuine or sustainable. 

If your teen is hesitant to talk about your family dynamic, don’t force them to deal with the issue. You’ll just be confronting each other here, which won’t end in anyone’s favor.

Your teen might also start hiding away in their safe spaces, like their room. It can feel like they’re hiding from a problem that needs solving, and it’s fair for parents to feel frustrated here.

But why do they feel the need to hide?

When the two of you talk about this sort of thing, do you think they feel safe? Safety doesn’t just come with physical protection, but also the validation of their emotions and perspective. Are you delivering on that, or do you tend to downplay their feelings at times?

The problem isn’t them not wanting to talk, but why they don’t feel comfortable doing so. Coax them out with time and reassurance, but don’t pressure them to work at your pace.

On an important note, steer clear of their safe spaces – especially if you haven’t been invited.

It doesn’t matter if it’s the room you bought and paid for. As far as your teen is concerned, it’s theirs. Intruding on their space means disregarding their boundaries. Dragging them out to talk would be even worse – never do this, as it might cause some serious anxiety in your teen!

Work within your teen’s comfort zones. You’re free to nudge them to act from time to time, but never force the issue unless you want the situation to get even worse than it already is!

5. Acknowledge Your Own Feelings of Exhaustion and Stress

stressed out man

You might reach a point in time where you wonder if your kid was worth the migraine to begin with. You might start to loathe their antics or hate their senseless rebellious streak.

There might come a point where it feels that your teen is totally ruining your life.

Having these thoughts from time to time won’t make you a bad parent. Parents will always love their children, but there will come days when liking them can feel difficult. It’s normal for this to happen with other family and friends, so why let this bother you?

Knowing this problem exists means it can be accommodated. It turns into something to be mindful of, rather than just something intrusive you need to keep repressed.

If you’re angry with your teen, own it. If you’re exhausted or maybe even a bit resentful, accept your feelings and look into what made left you that way. Problems in the family always need to be identified the moment they come up – even if they might come from within your own mind!

Final Thoughts

Family issues are always sensitive to navigate, but your teen isn’t out to ruin your life. They can be spoken to and reasoned with – and they don’t like this situation any more than you do.

Don’t be afraid to troubleshoot this with your teen. Work with a pace both of you find comfortable, and in time your household situation will improve. Even if they don’t change too overtly, you’ll be left with a deeper understanding of why they act the way they do with you.