Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff: When Teens Hate Parents

Unfortunately many parents will hear these words when a heated debate comes up and a teenager is not allowed to have or do a specific event/item. Enduring this type of ‘tough love’ is one of the most common paths parents of struggling teens have to travel, hearing these hateful words.

Many cannot understand or grasp the concept of “not enabling” the child to ruin or run the family unit. Enduring life with a teen that is running the home can result in many uproars, conflicts, arguments, battles, and sometimes psychical and verbal abuse. Tough love is exactly that: Tough. Loving our children is unconditional, but we don’t have to like what they are doing or how they are destroying their lives.

There will come a time when a parent realizes enough is enough! This is the time that they need the support from outside sources, such as a support group, along with professional intervention. This does not reflect you as a parent, nor does it place blame on the family, it is the child that is making the bad choices and the family is suffering from it.

Many times tough love is simply letting go. Let the child make their mistakes and they will either learn from them or suffer the consequences. Unfortunately depending on the situation, it is not always feasible to wait until the last minute to intervene. If you see that tough love is not working at home, it may be time to consider residential placement (placement outside the home). Quality residential placements work with the entire family.

While in the whirlwind of confusion, frustration and stress that the child is causing, it is hard to see the actual problem or problems. With time and distance, the healing starts to occur. Tough love is a very painful and stressful avenue, however in some families, very necessary and very rewarding. Tough love if used correctly can be helpful. However if you are the type to give in at the end, all the hard work of standing your ground will be for nothing. Actually, your weakness or giving in could result in deeper and more serious problems. Please confer with professionals or outside help if you feel you are not able to follow through with what you are telling your child you will do. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help, you are certainly not alone.

Learn more about residential therapy at

Be an educated parent, you will have a more peaceful home. 

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