Q&A: Questions and Answers


Answers are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.

“I argue with my parents all the time. I love them, but we just don’t seem to get along. What can I do?”

New Era

  • When you get angry with your parents, remind yourself that they love you and you love them.

  • Talk to your parents often, not just when you have a problem or when you want something.

  • Don’t be too proud to say you’re sorry, and be quick to forgive.

  • Through service, show your parents you love them.

  • Do your best to understand where your parents are coming from.

The thought of families being forever can seem like more of a headache than a blessing if you are constantly arguing with your parents. But if you get along with your parents, the idea of eternal families can seem like the greatest blessing. The secret is figuring out how to get along.

When you get angry with your parents, remind yourself that you love them and they love you and want you to be happy. Getting along with your parents can be easier if you understand the sacrifices they have made for you. “You are precious to your parents,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley. “You may not think that sometimes, when you get a little careless about what you think of your father and your mother. All of their hopes and dreams rest in you. They pray for you. They worry about you. They think of you. They love you. Be good to your parents. Treat them with love and respect and kindness. It won’t hurt you once in a while to tell them that you love them” (Ensign, Aug. 2000, 4).

Show appreciation for your parents by doing your best to make your home a pleasant place. Show them your love through service. Volunteer to do the dishes, fix a meal, clean the car, or work in the yard. Remember to say “please” and “thank you.” Pray to know how to handle disagreements and difficult situations.

Talk to your parents often, not just when you have a problem or when you want something. Let them know about your interests, what’s going on at school, and who you hang out with.

Learn to listen too. Ask for their advice. Try to learn more about your parents. Ask them about their interests and goals. Find out what problems they faced when they were your age and what challenges they face now.

Even if you and your parents do your best to communicate with each other, you may still have disagreements. Do your best to understand where your parents are coming from. Realize they want what is best for you. And be patient.

Don’t be too proud to say you’re sorry, and be quick to forgive. Everyone makes mistakes.

“I urge you children to be patient with your parents,” said Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve. “If they seem to be out of touch on such vital issues as dating, clothing styles, modern music, and use of family cars, listen to them anyway. They have the experience that you lack. Very few, if any, of the challenges and temptations you face are new to them. If you think they know nothing about the vital issues I just mentioned, take a good look at their high school and college yearbooks. Most important, they love you and will do anything they can to help you be truly happy” (Ensign, May 1987, 32).

President Howard W. Hunter

“You must ensure that there is nothing in your relationship with family members that is out of harmony with the teachings of the Church. We especially encourage you to obey your parents in righteousness” (New Era, Apr. 1995, 8). —President Howard W. Hunter (1907–95)

Readers

My mom likes to say that we are all on the same team. It is a lot easier to get along with your parents if you remember you are all trying to return home to our Heavenly Father. Mallory Newberry, 14 Sardinia, Ohio

It’s good you are concerned for your relationship with your parents. You’ve noticed the contention in the home and want to do something about it. Try sitting down with your parents and discussing the issues you fight about. Do it calmly and politely. Remember to talk with them not at them. Starting your discussion with a prayer would help too. Andy Dilts, 18 Salt Lake City, Utah

I used to fight a lot with my parents too. But then I started just talking to them. When bad things happened to me, I realized that they are always there for me. Now we have a close relationship, and although we still fight sometimes, it’s gotten to be less and less. You’ll learn to love and understand your parents and realize that they know a lot more than you think. Cassidy Kremin, 16 Papillion, Nebraska

Tell your parents that you love them and care for them. Talk about subjects you know will bring peace to your conversation. This will help prevent any arguments that you know may be starting. Sterling Weed, 15 Salt Lake City, Utah

When I was having trouble getting along with my parents, it helped to read Church magazines and the scriptures. I felt the Spirit more than ever as I read the scriptures daily, and all of my relationships began to improve. Danielle Stacy, 16 Fulton, New York

[photo] Photography by Jed Clark