Confusing Parental Behaviour

I’m so confused, how am I supposed to act and think?

Sarah Bowman
Sarah Bowman, studied family dynamics formally and informally all my life

Without being there to see what is going on I can only take a stab at guessing.

  1. Maybe they suffer from extreme mood swings.
  2. Maybe they yell, then realize they were wrong and decide to be nice to show they are sorry.
  3. Maybe you change your behaviour the instant they yell, so they turn nice to show their approval.

As I write those things, one thing bugs me. You ask why do my parents—plural—yell at me one second then act nice, as though they do it together in unison like when singing. That is very unusual behaviour, I must admit, and I don’t understand it. Is this really the way it is—that they practice like music and yell and praise together, the two of them yelling at you one second then praising and hugging you the next? If not, what is really happening? Are any of my guesses close to the facts of the situation?

One thing you could try is to find a time when everyone is relaxed and ask them this question. Find out what they expect of you in specific situations. I’m guessing you’re thirteen or so. As you get older you will want to learn to become your own person while at the same time, until you’re legally an adult and move out of your parents’ home, respecting house rules.


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