Everyone disagrees with other people sometimes and whānau is no exception. Occasional tension or arguments are part of family life. But ongoing family conflict can be stressful and overwhelming. Sometimes the fear or hopelessness of not being able to change anything for the better can lead to anxiety or depression.

It’s normal to want to do things your own way, but your parents, step-parents or caregivers might not trust your judgement. This can cause serious tension. It’ll feel like they think you’re just a kid and they don’t listen to your views. Or they’ll put huge amounts of pressure on you or hassle you about every little thing, from what you wear to who you hang out with. It may seem like no matter what you do, you can never please them.

If (or when) your family changes, things can get really hairy. A divorce, merged family, new baby or moving can really mess up your world.

Other times it’s your brothers and sisters. They know you inside and out and they know exactly what buttons to push. It doesn’t help if you’re really competitive, there’s a big age gap or you don’t have enough space either.

 

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