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Teen Health

When Parents Argue

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What Does It Mean When Parents Argue? continued...

Most of the time when parents argue, it's because they are tired or stressed or have had a bad day and lost their patience. Almost everyone loses his or her cool every now and then.

Sometimes when parents argue, they act just like children. They get upset. They cry. They yell. They may say things they don't mean.

Sometimes an argument can be over nothing, and happens because one or both of the parents is not feeling well or is stressed from work or other concerns. Many times, the parents don't even know what's bothering them. They just lash out at whomever is closest.

How Do Teens Feel When Their Parents Argue?

Teens can feel unprotected when they see their parents upset and out of control when they argue. Their world seems to be falling apart. They may cry and get stomachaches. They worry. They might have difficulty sleeping; they may not want to go to school. They may even feel ashamed and withdraw from their normal activities or friends.

It's not unusual for teens to worry about one parent or the other during an argument. They might feel like one parent is being abused because the other parent is yelling at them so much. They may also worry that one parent seems so angry that they might lose control and that someone may get physically hurt.

What Should You Do When Parents Argue?

When your parents argue, the best thing to do is to stay out of the argument. For instance, go somewhere else in the house, or go outside. It's their fight, and it is not your job to be an arbitrator or referee!

After things have calmed down, tell your parents how much their arguing upsets you. They may not be aware of how their fighting affects those around them.

If you feel the arguing is out of control, talk to a trusted friend, a teacher, a school counselor, a close relative, or your health care provider. Someone else should know what's going on, because you don't want the arguments to become so out of control that someone gets hurt.

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