Many hold that the most sacred relationship is between mother and daughter, father and son—parent and child. But that just isn’t always the case. Sure, that girl’s best friend could be her mom: they go everywhere together, they share the same wardrobe, they would never keep a secret from one another. Or yeah, maybe she really is daddy’s little girl. She loves her dad more than anything and has lived her entire life under his safe, loving wing. But that’s just one narrative. There’s also a less fortunate one—one many would very much like to be excluded from (in the famous words of Taylor Swift). These are the stories about kids who were left on a random doorstep. The daughter that was left to pay her way in life at just 13 because her mother couldn’t care less. The children who are abused everyday by the two people that are supposed to love and care for them infinitely—so they’ve heard. While these may just be stories to some of us, it’s reality for a lot of angry, hurt, and confused kids. Kids who consequently have a lot of hate in their heart.

It’s completely normal, and expected really, to despise your parents when they’ve abused or abandoned you. Or even if they’ve never laid a hand on you but held you to unrealistic expectations or forced you to live a life you don’t desire. In instances of the like, it simply makes sense to have negative feelings toward them. It’s okay to feel this way. But say they’re perfect parents: the kind of cookie-cutter parents that are cast in feel-good movies. And despite their dedication to raising you and loving you as their child, you don’t feel that same love for them. Is that normal? This isn’t as common, but that doesn’t mean you’re abnormal. There is most likely a hidden reason behind these negative feelings and the best way to combat them is to get to the bottom of it. The following are possible underlying causes for your seemingly unwarranted hate:

  • Desire for independence. You may simply desire or be seeking more independence and your relationship with your parents is consequentially suffering. This typically happens a lot with age. When I moved back home for the summer after my freshman year of college, I expected a greater degree of independence and a lesser degree of rule enforcement from my dad. However, it was as if I returned to my home as a teenager in high school. This definitely caused a rift in my dad and I’s relationship, and had we not respectfully talked about the issue, it could still be suffering today.
  • Phase of rebellion. A lot of teenagers go through a period of rebellion and parents never know the best way to handle it—it’s tricky and also troublesome because it can either strengthen or (more often than not) taint the relationship. If parents respond with punishment and scorn, then it can certainly result in the child’s loathing.
  • Media exposure. Your relationship can even be affected by the type of TV shows or movies you’re watching. You may see a slightly different or better relationship portrayed on screen and wish that your mom or dad was more like it. This can lead to unrealistic expectations, similarly to watching couple’s act out the perfect love story on screen.
  • Differing morals and/or lifestyles. While our parents typically raise us with their ideals as the backbone of our growth, we don’t always take after their belief systems or lifestyles. This can absolutely cause a strain in your relationship if they object to your choices or if your differences are so varying that they create big issues. For example, a family that is devoutly Catholic may have a problem with their son declaring he doesn’t believe in God.

Celebrities: They’re Not So Different After All

Celebrities are like us in more ways than they are not. This includes sometimes maneuvering through life without parents or experiencing something that tore their relationship with them apart. Here are a few well-known celebrities that followed their dreams and reached success without the help of their mom, their dad, or both:

  • Adele: While the soulful singer and her father may have recently reconnected, Adele didn’t have a relationship with him for much of her life, as he abandoned her and the rest of her family when she was just two years old.
  • Beyonce Knowles: Beyonce Knowles has reportedly never gotten along with her father, nor has her sister or mother. He allegedly has attempted to use both his daughters’ talents to benefit himself.
  • Kelly Clarkson: Kelly Clarkson opened up about her damaged relationship with her absentee father during a performance of “Piece by Piece” on American Idol. While Kelly’s saddened by their relationship, or lack thereof, she’s thankful for her husband’s love for the couple’s own daughter.
  • Macaulay Culkin: The Home Alone star became estranged from his parents during their divorce when they reportedly argued over Macaulay’s fortune. This greed and hunger for money certainly drove a wedge between him and his family.

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