Why Do Teenage Daughters Hate Their Mothers? 5 Main Reasons

Most mothers hope that they can forge a strong, supportive bond with their daughters over time. That’s more than achievable, but the journey to that point is filled with a lot of conflicts that need to be unpacked, understood, and eventually addressed.  

Your teenage daughter might feel burdened by what’s expected of them – these might be expectations you shared or ones they placed on themselves. This might also be from old arguments rearing their ugly heads, so now you’ll need to properly lay that issue to rest.

Your daughter might feel that you don’t respect them as a person, so you’ll need to talk to them about how you can properly respect their boundaries. They might also feel neglected, or that you forced them into responsibility. Lastly, mothers are also easy targets to blame.

It might feel like your teenage daughter hates you, but there’s more to it than that. You can’t just stop at “they hate me” – you need to see what can be done to make things right again.

They Feel Burdened by Expectations

girl sleeping on the couch

It’s understandable to expect the best from your kids. You know just how clever and capable your daughter is, and all they need is the right push to make the most of their talents…

… but your daughter deserves room to breathe and enjoy life. They can be strong and smart, but that can’t be maintained at the cost of their own happiness.

A lot of parents measure the success of their child on how much they can accomplish, but it’s easy to assume that they’re as pleased with their success as you are.

Even if you didn’t openly impose these expectations, you’ve definitely influenced them to some degree. For example, if you talk highly about doctors your daughter might want to become one to make you proud.

Even if you didn’t pressure them, your daughter could easily pressure themselves into a role they aren’t ready for – and subsequently, resent you even if you weren’t at fault.

Your teenage daughter deserves plenty of success, but it should never feel like an obligation. Achievements are meant to be celebrated, not maintained. Failure is a part of life, and a learning experience to boot – it’s not meant to make people feel lesser than their true worth.

You might have imposed all of this and had no idea, or your child might have thought you’d expected this and unduly burdened themselves.

It doesn’t matter how it starts, so long as it eventually gets fixed.

The best way to settle this issue is through a talk with your daughter. Sit down and communicate. Understand why they feel the need to hold themselves to such standards. Promise them that you love them and will support their efforts, and that success is a celebration – not an obligation!

At its core, this issue stems from your child not wanting to disappoint you. Simply reassure them that this was never a possibility. Make them feel that you’ll love them no matter what happens.

Old Conflicts (with Mom) Weren’t Settled Properly in the Past

angry mom child about to cry

It’s possible that old resentments in the past just happened to reemerge at a bad time. Motherhood is a role people grow into, and no matter how much study or advice you get your main teacher will still be experience. You might have struggled or gotten lost early on, and that isn’t a shameful thing to admit at all.

Mistakes are inevitable here, but how you choose to address them matters to your daughter. Now is not the time to let misplaced pride get in the way of loving your daughter! 

Maybe, a few years back, you told your daughter to shut up or go to her room in a fit of anger. There had to be something – a course of action you wouldn’t condone today, but something you did in the past while you were still growing into motherhood.  

You may not remember, but your daughter most certainly does. The axe forgets while the tree remembers, after all. Her peace of mind matters far more than your pride as an authority figure.

If your daughter is upset about something you mishandled in the past, talk her through it. Whatever happened clearly bothered her enough to stick around a long while even after it happened. Don’t stand by your old judgments simply because you were the one to make them.

Don’t be afraid to recognize your past mistakes. There’s no shame in having been wrong – only in pretending that you’ve never been.

Otherwise, what sort of example will you set for your daughter here? 

While it’s one of your responsibilities to discipline your daughter, your main role as a mother is to support and empower them. They deserve understanding and patience from you.

They Don’t Feel Validated, Respected, or Even Heard

girl ignoring mother

There’s nothing wrong with wanting your daughter to realize her full potential. Sometimes, they do need that little push to get them out of complacency. Other times, you’d be senselessly yanking them right out of their comfort zone.

It’s one thing to keep nudging your daughter to try new things, but another to force them to work with your standards. Your “encouragement” should never undermine the boundaries they set.

For example, let’s say your teenage daughter struggled with her academics.

It’s easy to assume that she isn’t putting in the effort – or failing that, not putting in ENOUGH effort. It doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong, as your daughter will take your words personally.

Your daughter might be doing her best already. It’s just that her best doesn’t align with the best you set for her. You need to coax them towards self-improvement, not force them to fall in line.

Rather than asking “Why aren’t you doing this?” or “What is wrong with you?”, focus on coming up with more constructive questions.

“How can I help?” or “What do you need to do this?” will lead to a less hostile conversation, and shows that you’re trying to accommodate them fairly.

Conflicts are never settled with anger. You’ll just end up yelling at each other for a time, then eventually sit down and talk – or just stop speaking to each other altogether! No one wants to fight, and even if you think they might hate you both you and your daughter will struggle in that pointless silence.

Skip the argument. Invite them to talk about what they think might help. If you disagree, be sure to offer an alternative. No one likes a conversation partner who only knows what they don’t want!

Your daughter needs to be treated like a person, not just your responsibility. Give them a say in this conversation, and work to figure out a compromise where everyone gets what they need.

They Feel that They were Forced Into Responsibility

Your teenage daughter might hate you because they feel like they were forced into responsibility early in their life. They might have had to take care of themselves because you were too busy to help them at the time – this can extend to anything from hobbies, chores, or even schoolwork.

Your daughter might feel that you’re an unreliable person, so they’d hesitate to place their faith in you. You didn’t mean to let them down in the past – and you might not have even noticed then.

You might have been preoccupied with other things. You might have had work or other responsibilities, or maybe you had to raise your daughter on your own. Logic and reason alone won’t convince your daughter to change their mind.

The fact is that your daughter feels this way. It’ll take a lot of effort to earn that trust back. This type of concern is more noticeable if your teenage daughter happens to have younger siblings.

Most parents end up mellowing with age, and the disparity between how you treated them versus how you treat their siblings now might be the cause of their resentment towards you.

Unfortunately, your daughter probably got used to living somewhat independently thanks to this experience. You might be able to convince them to give you another chance, but it’s unlikely that you’ll get the opportunity to directly make amends for this problem.

Assure your daughter that you’ll do more to take care of them, then strive to live up to that promise.

Mothers Make For Easy Targets to Blame

stressed out mother

Lastly, it’s just a sad fact that mothers make for an easy target for their teenage daughters to vent their frustrations.

If a mother gives her daughter advice, she might put it to use. If things work out, she’ll be unlikely to credit her mother. If things don’t, she’s almost certain to blame her for the mess she made!

They might view your attempts at guidance and discipline as overbearing or too controlling. In some cases, they might be more than right to see it that way. The two of you are stuck with each other at home, and such closeness is bound to be a source of tension at times.

From your daughter’s perspective, their mother might want to be right all the time. They might seem too demanding, or liable to insist on their way when alternatives are available. They have to defer to their mother’s authority, no matter how much they might personally disagree.

That doesn’t excuse abject disrespect though. Your daughter might not get along with you. She might even hate you at times. But she can’t just use you as a way to vent her frustrations. 

If your teenage daughter is genuinely upset, hear her out. Validate her struggles, and see where you might be able to help.

If she goes too far with her words and actions, make sure that you gently remind her that such behavior isn’t acceptable. If she disregards the warning, start taking away privileges.

Your role as a mother is to support your daughter, but that doesn’t mean she’s exempt from the consequences of her actions. If she still wants to hate you, so be it, but she needs to remember to respect you in this household.

Final Thoughts

A solid mother-daughter bond takes a lot of work to develop – especially if said teen daughter seems to hate their mother.

Your daughter’s grievances against you might be understandable or unfair, but your main priority isn’t discerning who’s to blame, but how you can fix this together.

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