I'm 13 years old. Ever since I was 10, I've noticed that my parents treat me like little kid. I'm not allowed to pick my own clothing, because I'd rather wear suits than dresses. I'm not allowed to spend time completely on my own. I've never done anything that would cause them to lose trust in me (drugs, bullying, watching questionable content, become rebellious, profianity, etc.) I can't close my door, or even leave it open only a crack. It must be completely open. They barge in whenever they want.

In order to counter this, I lock my door during the school day and do my homework on my bunk bed. I can't keep a diary, since my parents say that I need to share everything with them. However, they are conservative and I need an outlet to talk about me being LGBT+. I never have personal space, and my parents try to guilt trip me by saying that family raised you and cared for you.

I know how to wash my hair. Ever since I was 10 actually. But my mom feels the need to wash my hair herself. Even though I say it's weird, she does it anyways, since she's the one who bathed me when I was a baby. Don't worry, its nothing sexual.

I can only text certain friends (by certain I mean BFFs since first grade) and I can't text anyone else, even if they know them and approve of them. My dad just yells at me and my sister whenever he feels like it, and blames whatever my sister does on me.

I cannot visit the counselor, since I already used my free no parent consent needed pass. I'm not really allowed to be posting this question or making an account.

My parents make fun of writing, my dream career, and say that only scientists and doctors make good money. I plan on being a statistician, so please don't hit me with statistics on how hard it is to be a writer. I'm quite aware.

I've started to fight back, saying I need space and privacy. Every single time, they shut me down. They then either yell and try to slap me (but fail since I either block them and run away or just run away.) They are also strangely obsessed with medals.

(Sorry this is in the abuse tag, I know it's not abuse, but I couldn't find anything.)

  • 1
    Could you give any cultural context, e. g. which country you live in? Feb 15, 2021 at 16:37
  • 2
    I would say that trying to hit you, and repeatedly insulting and belittling you, does cross the line into abuse. It sounds like you are trying to have an adult conversation about your needs, and they are responding in a violent and abusive way. I can't offer advice about stopping it, but you should know that its they who are wrong, not you. Feb 17, 2021 at 1:00
  • I urge you to try the counselor again. Or try a teacher. Telling a teacher or counselor that your parents hit you should get their attention.
    – swbarnes2
    Feb 19, 2021 at 23:42

3 Answers 3


This answer is written not as a parent, but as a former child in a very similar position to yours.

Sorry this is in the abuse tag, I know it's not abuse, but I couldn't find anything.

Emotional abuse is still abuse. On top of that, you mention that they try to hit you, which is physical abuse.

It's very hard as an outsider to step inbetween a parent and their child without the parent's consent. Even though your parents are in fact in need of such intervention, there are also cases where the outsider is the ill-meaning party and the parent is correctly protective, so in cases where the outsider and parent conflict, the parent wins by default.

Having come from a somewhat similar household, I am quite aware about what your parents are doing wrong and what the impact of it is on you, notably in the long term. You already know that what they're doing is not correct, because you made the effort of listing these problems in your question.

The other answer pointing out that you can find a counselor or mediator between your parents and you is correct - your parents are more likely to listen to a trusted source than the child they clearly don't think is capable of independent actions.

However, as much as I know how painful this realization might be, I do think that you need to be prepared for the possibility that your parents might be too headstrong for any outside actor to either reconsider their parenting approach or force them to change it.

I've started to fight back, saying I need space and privacy. Every single time, they shut me down. They then either yell and try to slap me (but fail since I either block them and run away or just run away.)

No matter what happens, the most important thing you have to do is retain your sense of normal. Your parents are not treating you like you're a normal 13-year-old. That doesn't mean they don't love you (in their own way), but they have starkly different opinions on parenting.
If all else fails, keep a connection to the outside world. Whether it's a friend, family member who doesn't agree with your parents, counselor, ... someone. Even if this person isn't able to take action against your parents, being able to talk about what you're going through and having them confirm that it is not the way things should be, is going to be massively beneficial for your mental health and self-image.

I'm mentioning this because around age 14, I mentally caved from the abuse and started believing my father's rhetoric that I was the problem and the cause of all of our family's issues. This eventually led to me undermining my academic track, quitting school, and severing connections with outside people who were actually trying to help me, but I believed my father that these people were trying to do the wrong thing. I let him isolate me from the world, and I lost my sense of what was reasonable behavior.

In the years prior to that, unbeknownst to me, my mother had gone through a similar experience, effectively yielding to a controlling spouse and accepting it as the new normal. By the time I was old enough to know that what was happening was wrong (around your age), my mother had started parroting my father, and it made me feel that if two people both tell me the same thing, they're probably right.

It took me until age 25 to realize that what I considered normal very much wasn't. I ended up completely cutting ties with my father, and he is effectively dead to me. To this day, my mother still struggles with trying to make her "new normal" work, and it has taken a massive toll on her mental health. Without going into too much detail, she has been in and out of long term psychiatric care for the better part of the last decade. This is not meant to scare you, but I want you to understand how deeply these problematic experiences can root themselves in your mental health, when you lose your sense of how wrong these experiences are.

I'm not trying to argue that things will inevitably be bad. My father is stubborn to a fault to this day, but it's perfectly possible that your parents can be swayed, or are genuinely mistaken and open to improving themselves. Everyone is different. No matter what their initial opinion is, every person has a limit that they will reach which will cause them to genuinely reconsider their opinion. It's possible that your parents are simply not aware of how they're treating you when looking at it from your end.

Do seek out help where you can. You can't tackle this alone, since your parents are specifically ignoring your independence as a young adult and they're not going to acknowledge that you might know something better than them. Before anything else, find trusted people that you can talk to, even if they don't take action against your parents.

Isolation is the worst enemy for you. Combat it by making outside connections and relating to the outside world. It might not change how your parents treat you, but it will make sure that you don't lose your way.

No matter what happens, never forget that what your parents are doing is not how things should be. The world is much bigger than your household, even though your parents can currently restrict you so that their household is your whole world. There is a place for you in the world, even if that place is not in your parents' household. And when you become an adult, you can go out and find/create that place, and then you can decide whether your parents belong in your world.

Things will get better. If not sooner, then when you become an adult. What matters right now is that you don't lose yourself, so that you can be yourself when you finally gain the freedom you deserve.

  • The OP sounds very level headed and seems to have very controlling parents. I hope the OP keeps up their sanity and does not think that this is their fault.
    – user61034
    Feb 19, 2021 at 15:41

I know life can be thought but don't let it take away the goodness of your heart. See, we live in a world that is ruled by social conventions were if you are born a girl you have to be girl or if you are a boy you have to be a boy and there's people that don't have the capacity to see it any other way sometimes you have to go with the flow even though it's hard but just remember this there's no evil that last 100 years, one day you'll have the strength and capacity to hold your on weight and then you can be who ever you want but until then show them the good kid you can be and when that day comes to be who you really are they can accept it or suffer for losing a great person that they saw growing up and not accepting who you are.

  • Can you elaborate on how this relates to the question? It will help me edit some better formatting Feb 13, 2021 at 3:19
  • Thank you for answering! Yeah, I'm just trying to hold on and waiting for the day I come out as agender. I have a couple of other closeted LGBT+ friends.
    – user40496
    Feb 13, 2021 at 4:42

Do you have another trusted adult you can talk to? A relative, a good friend's parent, a teacher or a school counselor? Someone who your parents and you can trust to mediate for more privacy?

I am assuming here that your parents have your best interests at heart and think that they are protecting you from harm and evils of the world. Looks like you are demonstrating responsibility by keeping your grades up and also having good friends.

Maybe ask them what their particular concerns are. Maybe your mom thinks that you do not wash your hair properly: show her want you can do and what you can improve. Maybe they are afraid that you'll spend too much time playing video games/ whiling away time on internet - demonstrate that you are getting best possible grades, learning stuff outside of school and working towards goals.

Keep up with your writing and love of statistics - it will be a valuable combination. Try writing in different genres. There are lots of free resources to learn both on the internet.

I would hold the talk about LGBTQ+ for now, and focus on winning some privacy back if your parents are conservative and controlling.

  • No. I don't have any other adults that I can talk to. My mom admitted that I wash my hair just fine, but does it anyways. I know that they love me, but through the insults and my self esteem and body image issues, my brain tells me they don't.
    – user40496
    Feb 13, 2021 at 21:08
  • Maybe have a conversation with them exactly about that - pick one insult that they often say. Say - I know you love me, but constantly saying "insult" shows me the opposite. Stop at that one thing and see how they react. Unfortunately, sounds like you'll have to deal with the issue yourself and over time. Feb 14, 2021 at 14:35
  • Thank you for responding. However, I have done it a lot. They say that it's just stupid insults. And that I shouldn't care. It just keeps lowering my self esteem and I feel like I'm going to break anytime soon.
    – user40496
    Feb 14, 2021 at 17:12
  • @user40496 You keep saying that you know your parents love you, but from the way you describe it they've got a pretty funny way of showing it. Take a look at en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_blackmail. Does it sound familiar? Feb 19, 2021 at 20:47

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