Family Nightmares


OK. Here we go.

I am 16 and having huge family nightmares. My mom and I just got in an argument. It started out as about my laziness. OK, I admit, I am very lazy, but I’m trying to change. It’s just not easy. We have books to read for school next year and I am having a hard time reading them. I love reading, but my mind is all over the place, it isn’t stationary and it’s terribly hard to concentrate. I don’t know why, but it’s hard. She said, "all you do is stay home, eat, sleep and play games. Read your book!"
I replied that that is certainly not true. I do tons of things to benefit the house. And hence my problem, you see why it’s not easy (laziness and instability). These are vices that you just don’t overcome overnight. She said, “If I could stay home as you children do, I would do so much.”
“Why don’t you stay home then. I would’ve loved if you stayed home during my childhood. You were never there…actually.”
“Why are you challenging me. I am your mother. I have more experience…so why don’t you just shut up!”
“You won’t shut me up and you will remember what I said.”
“You children…all you do is challenge me? Is this how you will do in the real world? You don’t know what you’re talking about so stop talking. I don’t want to hear anymore. You know you did something wrong so just accept it and move on.”
“Why do you teach us things you never follow? Such people are called hypocrites. Why do you exclude yourself from the rules you establish? If you make rules, you have to follow them. You’re supposed to leave an example.”
"Why are you always nagging. If you go through the pain I go through, you could not endure, so just move! And go read your book!"
My dad also makes rules that he doesn’t follow. They both do. It is so angering. I don’t understand. Is it that much to ask them follow their own rules? My parents are not exempt from laziness and procrastination.
I should tell you something else. My mom and dad seem (at least to me) consumed in money. When I say to them that they don’t love me, they get mad and start to deny such a thing, citing their services. I came to believe that they care more about doing things for me (as they feel it is a particular duty of theirs), than me!!! Our house is so secular and materialistic. We are all selfish (I feel). I am desperately trying to change my ways, but it is despairing. None of us wants to go to Mass on Sunday…none. I still try to go, but again, I only go when I have to for the most part and have a terrible time concentrating. I don’t know how I feel toward them: sometimes I strongly dislike them other times I love them…I just don’t know. Everyone, even me, are nasty to each other. We all do our own thing and don’t want to be disturbed. We don’t eat together as a family anymore (we stopped like 8 years ago) and we don’t do anything as a family (not that we really have done much).

Is it wrong to tell my parents that they are doing things wrong???
Why is their such a lack of love in our house???:confused: :frowning:



I am sorry to hear about all these events in your family.
When I was at your age, I was kind of the same thing, except less guts to talk back to my parents. I started seeing flaws in everyone and having the passion for a change. I also do not go to Mass all the time. I only go when I feel like it which is almost never.

Four years after, some problems remains ie constant arguments with parents. However, one thing changed, I now go to Mass every Sunday (excpet when sick, and what not) and other days of obligation. I guess that’s the first piece of advice I can give. Cling to the Eucharist, it’s the best way to open yourself towards a blessed life.

You constantly mention that you see lots of mistakes from your parents. That’s kind of good I guess because it helps you to differentiate good from bad. And you say that you are seeking to see changes. Well, dear, it has to start from you. And you know what, you will feel better when you know you’ve changed the things that you know you are doing wrong. But it will not be easy. There will be obstacles like people not believing you could change or some people calling you a hypocrite. But you shouldn’t stop. Do what you think is right, according to the Catholic Church.

Last two advice would be, “Life is a matter of choice” and “what would Jesus do”. I know, cliches…but really, if you think about it, your family’s a nightmare if you choose it to be one. Also, when interacting with your family, think compassion. Think how you can show to them who Jesus is by showing them compassion and loving them (even if you think they don’t show that they love you back).

All these things will be easier if you will take the Eucharist as often as you can.

And do confession before taking the Eucharist, at least for the Mass you’ve miss out of your own will without valid reason.

God Bless.


I will take your advice to heart. But I should tell you something. To my parents, compassion is “sappy nonsense” that is responsible for disobedient children. I’ve told them that people communicate through emotions. It doesn’t mean you have to overdo it, but you shouldn’t exclude it either. When I last went to confession, they laughed at me. My mother told me she would never tell a priest my sins. I told her that you need to because the Church says so. She really isn’t in sync with the Church. I just can’t concentrate during Mass. I try, but my mind wonders.


Honor thy father and mother comes to mind. There is much about this in the Bible, not to mention the Cathechism of the Catholic Church, perhaps you could leave those lying around the house and maybe they would pick them up and read them too?
Respect is something that you need to give to your parents, when they tell you to do something, its best to do it. They have your best interests in mind even if you don’t see it that way, (usually.) We always went to Mass together and to confession a couple of times a month also, and ate our meals together. But, not everyone I knew growing up did. Perhaps the best time to approach this would be when no one is upset about anything and then just talk to them. Tell them how you feel and that you would really like their support and encouragement.
Maybe you do know more about Church teaching then they do, I don’t know, perhaps as the other poster said, you could lead by example. I will keep your family in my prayers, pray for them.


You’re right. Thank you all, but it won’t be easy. Christianity is the only ray of light in this house of darkness. It is the only escape. They, however, don’t believe in listening to children. They feel that they have it all right, so it will be difficult reaching them by example. I just pray that the Holy Spirit enters our home. We desperately need him.


Here is a prayer to the Holy Spirit, I read somewhere one time that John Paul II use to pray this prayer daily also.
(By Cardinal Mercier)
I am going to reveal to you the secret of sanctity and happiness. Every day for five minutes control your imagination and close your eyes to all the noises of the world in order to enter into yourself. Then, in the sanctuary of your baptized soul (which is the temple of the Holy Spirit) speak to that Divine Spirit, saying to Him:
O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore You.
Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me.
Tell me what I should do; give me Your orders.
I promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me
and to accept all that You permit to happen to me.
Let me only know Your Will.

If you do this, your life will flow along happily, serenely, and full of consolation, even in the midst of trials. Grace will be proportioned to the trial, giving you the strength to carry it and you will arrive at the Gate of Paradise, laden with merit. This submission to the Holy Spirit is the secret of sanctity.


There’s some excellent advice in these posts, especialy the prayer to the Holy Spirit.
I would add a couple of suggestions: say to your parents that you used to really enjoy having meals together and wish you could once or twice a week still. Then don’t argue with your parents. You can’t change people by arguing. Just go to Mass and try to be as loving as you can to them.
It’s tough being an adult, in charge of a family with financial difficulties to deal with. Try to be kind.


Oh my, it’s like you took a page out of my diary from all those years ago!

Dear one, your feelings of anger and frustration, your hunger for change, your longing for more, your self-righteousness and your self-condemnation – all of this is completely normal for your age. I’d be worried about a 16 year old who didn’t feel this way, especially towards their parents.

Take some deep breaths and cut everyone, including yourself, some slack.

Just this morning (it was Sunday just a little while ago) the only thing I had to offer Jesus during mass was my distraction, and my desire to concentrate. It seemed like less than nothing, but I gave it to Him anyway. Do the same. Unite yourself to God through your desire, through your successes and your failures, through your frustrations, through your awakening into adulthood.

I suspect adolescence was not part of the plan until Adam and Eve messed things up. It’s a difficult time. But even though you feel like you’re the only one who can see how obviously hypocritical your parents are – really, it’s just that you’re seeing it for the first time. And someday, decades from now (please God) your own children will wake up to your hypocrisy, and they’ll be just as disgusted as you are right now. It’s an important part of growing up.

Now, don’t use this as an excuse to break any commandments. Honor your parents. And go to Mass as often as you’re able. And when you get distracted, give it to God. He made everything out of nothing. He can certainly make something infinitely beautiful out of the meager (and seemingly ridiculous) things we offer Him. It’s all about communication. Just keep giving Him everything.

As for the wish to be closer as a family – I don’t have any easy answers there. Ghandi once said that we should be the change we wish to see in the world. Personally, I think changing the world would have been easier than changing my parents’ ways. Incidentally, they did start hugging and saying “I love you” when I was a teenager. I don’t remember it being a particularly comfortable change after a lifetime without that affection or kind words.:shrug:

It won’t always be like this, I promise. God bless you, dear one.



It’s partly your age but that should not be an excuse. Use the knowledge to your advantage - realize things will look differently to you when you get older. No matter how much you think you understand things now, you really don’t. It’s just the way it is but you won’t want to hear or accept that.

Remember we are to honor our parents. That doesn’t mean accepting violent behavior, etc. It does mean not falling into the trap of calling them hypocrites, etc. If you truly feel that way than pray for them and for yourself. But, here’s a dose of reality that most don’t want to think of - your parents won’t always be there. At all. Not to help or to chastise you. Not to talk to, or irritate or annoy you with their hypocrisy, demands, whatever. Nothing. It may not happen today, next month, next year, or even for 20 years or more if you’re lucky. But it will happen. For most of us (those with everyday, run-of-the-mill families complete with normal issues not actual abuse, etc.), that will leave a gaping hole in our hearts and lives. Faith in God and knowing that Jesus is always with us sees us through these times but they are still painful -we are human. Many of us would give anything to just hear their voice let along be able to get irritated with our Mother or Father or both again.

Cherish them while you have them, pray for them, give them as much slack as you want to have given to you. Some don’t know how to physically show affection by hugging, kissing, saying I love you depending on what happened to them as children. They do it by “doing” things to care for and help you. Accept it and return the love to them. And pray.

Finally, remember the parable in Matthew 7:1-4 about pointing out splinters in someone else’s eye while ignoring the wooden beam in our own. It’s a hard teaching to follow. I imagine almost all of us struggle with this one. It’s just easier to see what others need to fix. Just keep reminding yourself of it whenever you want to climb on your high horse and preach how others should act or think. (I say high horse not to be snippy. It’s sort of a private joke. I’m very visual and I developed the habit of picturing myself climbing up on a high horse everytime I start getting judgmental and preaching. It works wonders because I can’t stay angry when I start laughing at myself.)


Sounds very sad, but all too typical. :hug1:

Went through a lot of the same things in my family. No suggestions, just prayers and hugs.

This is why Mommies need to stay home to take care of their kids. Lord help us, that used to be a given!


You have chosen a great name “Image of God.” Try to remember
that you are made in the “Image of God.”!!!
You can’t change your parents, but you can change yourself. Have you been eating well and have you had a checkup lately?
When I was a teen they discovered I had iron-deficienty anemia
and hypothyroidism (I had a pea-sized nodule removed from my
thyroid and the tests done then revealed it). The doctor told me
he had no idea how I had managed to achieve what I had (I was
a good student). I thought everyone felt that way, I had no idea
until later what it was to have energy and to feel good and not
so argumentative. My mother always told me I was make a good
lawyer!! I had a lot more patience with my brothers and sisters,
etc. My older brother would tease me constantly, but when I
pretended it didn’t bother me (it did, though) he quit. He wasn’t
having any fun anymore.
So this is getting so long, but if your laziness and distractedness
has a physical reason maybe my story can help you.
Also, I think you wanting to have meals together is a great idea.
How about suggesting that you’d like to try putting a meal
together and setting aside a day to do it, but that everyone has
to be there. You might ask them what they would like on the
menu, etc. Then try to bring up topics that everyone would not
take issue with and keep it lighthearted. Stress how much your
family means to you and how you appreciate it and thank them
for being your mom and dad. They might think you’ve just been
given a grim diagnosis, so assure them you’re okay. LOL
If it works and you can manage it, do it once a week maybe
then it can be more regular, with them pitching in, too.
Hope this helps. Oh and do be regular about going to Mass, but
don’t rub it in. Even if you do get distracted say that prayer to the
Holy Spirit. I developed a very close relationship to the Holy
Sprit during my high school days. He is very real to me to this
God Bless You for trying so hard!


Thank you all very much for your encouragement and support. I will try to take what has been said here especially the prayer to the Holy Spirit. Yesterday, I decided to look at what the Catholic Encyclopedia had to say…

Children need to give their parents
:whacky: :slight_smile:

I think that you should read the article too, especially those who have suffered similarly. It’s rather interesting:


So what kind of rules do they put on you they don’t follow? That gotta be home at 11pm? LOL.

Here’s a newsflash, you’re gonna have rules EVERYWHERE you go. Everyone has a boss in the real world, and he doesn’t always treat everyone the same. Its called the real world, and following rules you think are bogus are a part of it.

You love your parents they love you, and everyone is still in the same house, and in this day and time, something to be thankful for.

No question things are broken. You admit to being lazy, but trying to get better. If you want them goin to Mass every weekend, guess what? YOU gotta show them its important to YOU, and that means gettin up outta bed and GOING.

You go to Mass every week, pray everyday, and participate in the Sacraments, I promise it will change you. People are like sponges when it comes to God’s grace, they soak it when exposed to it, when you go to confession and Communion it clears you soul so you can soak in even more of His grace, and THAT will change you.

When you are following God’s plan things fall in place. Sitting around the house, playing games, talking on the phone, bagging on your parents, not doin your assignments, and ingnoring the part you play in making your home work, is NOT in God’d plan for anybody.

Your folks will see the positive change in you, pehaps that will encourage them to go back to church.

Sometimes you get more done with sugar then vinegar.


The rules are more like: wash your dishes once you finish eating (yet they don’t wash theirs), don’t let the water boil on the stove for a long period of time (yet they do it), don’t leave your cups and plates lying around (yet theirs lies around sometimes), don’t lie (but they do lie), etc. It’s really hard to follow rules if the rule maker doesn’t follow them.

I will try as I said before. It’s not easy being nice to nasty people. But again I’m nasty too (sometimes). Your advice was a wake up call from God.:smiley:



hi hi.

i am very sorry that you are in pain, and i can sympathize with your predicament.

i would like to offer you some words of advise. i am 21 years old, so i can remember back a couple of years ago when i was 16. i have said many horrible things to my parents while fighting with them or challenging them on their rules. though, now that i look back it is easy to see that i was terribly wrong. (i know all that i say may not apply to you particularly because i don’t know your entire situation, but bare with me).

no matter what, i am sure that your parents want the best for you. even though you may not think that, or they may not show that, it is true. until you are on your own, you will be going through stages when you don’t understand why your parents are doing the things they do. just like a child doesn’t understand why he can’t have ice cream for dinner, so you don’t understand why your parents are scolding you for “being lazy.”

challenging your mom isn’t going to do any good. no matter what, in your relationship with your mother, she is the mother and you are the daughter. it is not only disrespectful, but harmful to your relationship to try to reverse your roles. it won’t help. your mother will only get angry and so will you. i advise you pray about your situation. ask God to help your mother understand your needs, and to bring harmony to your home.

in terms of attending church, lead by example. go to church by yourself if that is what it takes. my family never went to church once in my life, and i started attending at my own accord. your faith, is your faith! go to church alone, and pray for your family to follow in your footsteps. God listens to your prayers. He will help you. list a prayer intention in the prayer intention forum, and then wait. attend church, pray, and pray some more.

i apologize if i rambled a bit, but i hope that something of what i wrote hits your heart in the right place. i have tons more to say, but the important things i wrote. pray, pray, pray!!!

may God bless you



I don’t believe that family is a democracy, but even in monarchy, kings must follow the rules they make or the subjects will be angered. I just don’t understand why they exclude themselves from the rules they make. But you’re right, I should obey them and never challenge them which is a difficult thing to do. I will try.


I’m a son not a daughter.:wink:

You don’t need to apologize I typed this because I needed your valuable advice. My dad is in a critical condition. That’s part of what got me to type this…please pray for him.

If I could drive, I might go to Mass, but I can’t because my mom doesn’t trust me.



Thank you for your console. I can’t do it alone. I will take the Holy Spirit. I said in an earlier post that my dad is in critical condition. While he has gotten better, I think it would do much good to change my ways. Regardless of his cruelty, I want him to know that I love him and only the Spirit can create true love. Perhaps through it the Spirit will change our home and all of us. We just aren’t really Christian right now. Our house is filled with materialism and secularism. Thank you.

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