How to Deal With Your Mom When You Are Mad
The relationship between a mother and child can be a difficult one. As a parent, she is used to telling you what to wear and eat and how to act, but as you grow up the mother-child dynamic changes. You want to be more independent, and this can often cause tension and arguments. While it is perfectly natural to feel angry and upset sometimes, it is important to know how to act on those feelings without hurting yourself or your mom.
Confronting Your Mom
Delay your reaction to the situation.Sometimes the worst thing you can do is blurt out the first thing that comes to mind when you’re upset; it will most likely be ill-thought out or hurtful to both your mom and you in the long run. Instead, take a minute (or as much time as you need!) to understand your anger. Try saying:
- “Mom, I’m feeling really frustrated and need a little bit to think about all of this.”
- “I’m kind of upset right now, but I’d like to keep talking about this later.”
Calm yourself down.When you are mad, it is very important to try to cool down a bit before confronting your mom. When you feel yourself getting really angry, try one of these ways to calm down:
- Calm yourself by repeating soothing things to yourself, such as “You are okay, just calm down” or “Take it easy, everything will be okay.”
- Leave the situation and go for a walk or a run. Exercising will help relieve some of the intensity of your anger, and the time away will give you time to think.
- Try slowly counting to 10 before you speak (or a higher number if you need more time!).
- Focus on slowing your breathing. Take slow, deep breaths through your nose, and then slowly exhale out your mouth. Repeat this until you feel your heart slowing and your anger subsiding.
Identify possible solutions before responding.Once the immediate, fiery anger has subsided a bit, determine the outcome you want (to get the car keys, to be allowed to go to the party, more allowance, etc.) and consider ways to discuss this with your mom in a calm way.Keep in mind compromising goes a long way! For example, if your mom won’t let you borrow the car, try saying, “I understand that you don’t want me to take the car, but what if I put worth of gas in it before giving it back?” and see what she says.
- Try to find a middle ground with her, and be prepared to make a sacrifice to reach a compromise.
- Try offering to do extra chores around the house, like doing the dishes or cleaning your room.
- Show your mom you are really trying by doing things without being asked, like helping set the table for dinner or practicing your instrument.
Make your comments as calmly and as respectfully as possible.When talking with your mom (or anyone for that matter), it is okay to disagree with someone as long as you avoid being disrespectful or aggressive. In order to have a constructive conversation, be sure to:
- Use “I” statements to discuss your feelings and thoughts fromyourperspective, which is less argumentative and can help steer the conversation with your mom in a positive direction. For example, try saying “I feel a lot of pressure to do all of these chores when I still have so much homework left” instead of, “You make me do so much housework that I have no time for myself!”
- Avoid putting down her beliefs or ideas. You don’t have to agree on everything, but saying things like “That’s a stupid idea!” is counterproductive.
- Focus on the present, and don’t dredge up all past grievances. It will confuse your point of view and quickly escalate the conversation into an argument.
- Be respectful and avoid sarcasm at all costs; it is the fastest way to derail a positive conversation.Instead of responding, “Yeah, I’ll getrighton that Mom” try saying, “I know you want me to do that right now, but would it be all right if I did that after I finish this assignment?”
- Don’t play your parents off of one another. This will only cause the situation to escalate, and even more feelings could get hurt.
Hear what your mom has to say.Even though it’s hard to believe that your mom could be right, it is still important to hear her point of view. She could have reasons that you haven’t considered! Regardless, you should respect her by hearing her out, just as you want her to respect you and hear your side.
- Try restating and summarizing after you hear her side.For example, you could say something like, "Mom, let me see if I understand you correctly. It sounds like you're saying I can't have the car on weeknights because of school, but you are okay with me using it on Saturday night if I put gas in it. Is that right?"
- This has two benefits: it shows you were listening to your mom, and it allows her to clarify anything that may have been misunderstood.
Know that you might not “win” the argument.You might not get your way this time, but that doesn’t mean that you haven’t successfully dealt with being mad at your mom. Ultimately, she is the authority figure, and you must mind what she says. But know that your calm, rational discussion with her will make her respect you more, which will undoubtedly benefit you in future disagreements.
Understanding Your Anger
Recognize that feeling angry is not bad.Anger is a normal emotion and a common reaction to things that upset us. It is important to realize that expressing anger can be a good thing, and that avoiding anger entirely can actually lead to larger, more harmful blowups with your mom later.
Explore the underlying feelings causing your anger.Being mad at your mother is often a way to cover up your real feelings or a way to express that you have needs that aren’t being met.As you feel anger growing inside of you, take a minute and ask yourself, “What is this feeling really about?” Some common underlying feelings are:
Consider the things that trigger your temper.When dealing with your mom, it is important to know what triggers you to feel mad so that you can not only avoid these situations with her, but also so that you are prepared to deal with being angry in a healthy way if the situation is unavoidable.Some common triggers include:
- Invasion of space or privacy
- Discussing grades or school responsibilities
- Privileges being revoked
- Asking about relationships with friends or significant others
- Arguments over chores
Identify whether your anger is chronic or situational.If you tend to get mad at your mom due to certain words or circumstances, your anger is most likely situational; try avoiding these types of situations and talk to her about how certain words trigger you. However, if your anger is extreme in nature and occurs often or with minimal provocation, your anger might be chronic; consider reaching out to an outside party, like a therapist, for help with these more complex feelings.
Coping With Anger Moving Forward
Build security in your relationship with your mom.The more often you address issues as they come with your mom in a clear, level-headed way, the more likely she is to recognize that you are growing up, and thus she can trust you and your decisions and opinions more. Set ground rules and build trust and security with your mom, and you will be mad at her (and vice versa!) much less moving forward.
Find healthy outlets for your anger.In addition to healthy discussions with your mom as situations arise, it is also important to prevent anger from building up inside of you. Some common outlets include:
- Listening to music
- Writing down your feelings and thoughts
- Deep breathing
- Talking with a trustworthy friend
Own your feelings and behaviors.It is easy to feel like your mom doesn’t understand you or to blame her and others for all of your problems, but these are very counterproductive reactions. Rather than asking why this is happening to you, take responsibility for your own feelingsandyour own part in a situation. If you don’t, you will continue to make the same decisions and have the same fights with your mom.
- Expressing your anger should never be violent. If you or your Mom experience violent reactions, please call (800) 799-SAFE (7233) for anonymous, confidential help.
- If you feel like you or your Mom need counselling for anger, please visit for help finding the right specialist.
Video: Mean Mom
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