The Most Common Parent-Child Relationship Problems

Goda Brzozauskaite
  • Jan 03, 2022
  • 5 min read
mother hugs daughter parent child communication

Parenting is indeed one of the most gratifying feelings in the world. Not only does it give us a different perspective towards life, but it also provides an opportunity to raise a healthy and well-adjusted individual.

But in doing so, a number of conflicts can arise. Parents can become overwhelmed sometimes, whereas children might feel misunderstood or rebel against strict control.

This article will look at some common factors that rise to specific parent-children relationship problems. Research highlights some aspects of parenting that increase behavior problems. Child psychologists also emphasize the importance of effective parenting and sometimes can offer to reconsider parenting style.

Four Parenting Styles

What are these parenting styles? Many experts recognize four: 


One of the most effective and leading towards high expectations and goals for their kids is authoritative parenting. Such parents communicate flexibly and make parent-child communication easier.


Neglectful parenting can be very harmful in the long term due to the lack of time spent with the child. Neglectful parents may be unfamiliar with the social circle of their children. In some cases, the parents may not even care for their basic needs.


Permissive parents are generally loving and supportive. Taking this too far, they may avoid conflict at any cost. They rarely enforce their own rules. Doing this can be harmful to children, as they thrive on routine.


Authoritarian is not the same as authoritative parenting. Authoritarian parents are strict and demanding with their children. Their parenting style is not often flexible. They generally rely on time-outs to maintain obedience. There is rarely room for open communication between parents and kids.

Knowing which style you represent can help you reconsider your strength and weakness as a parent and approach conflict in a healthy way.

However, just knowing your parenting style may not be enough to solve all the problems. There are many specific situations and factors that contribute to your relationship with your children. Let’s look at them more closely. 

Single-Parent Struggles

Our life is full of various turning points; being a single parent might be one of them. It’s okay to be a single parent and to feel overwhelmed. Newly single parents might find it harder to enforce rules without emotional support. These parents may feel isolated and lonely. They may also have a higher risk for anxiety or depression. On the other hand, the children of single parents also go through a number of personal issues.

Negative feelings

Children may not comprehend the reasons behind your separation and may feel angry and blame themselves or their parents. Their feelings may also be similar to grief. It’s not rare that parents experience children’s hostility when moving on and finding other romantic partners.

It’s important to address your children’s feelings without reacting with anger. It’s not likely that the ignored situation will improve with time. If the situation is very intense, and they refuse to talk about it, visiting a family therapist’s office or starting online therapy could help. 

Behavioral problems

Single parents often feel pressure to be everything to their children, providing them with a comfortable life and love. However, there may simply be not enough time in a day to look after everything. Children of single parents often feel a lack of discipline both at home and regarding their school activities.

Setting clear boundaries will help create more structure in your family life. Giving your children some responsibilities adapted to their age and acknowledging their efforts will also help them feel more involved and important.

If you don’t feel you can deal with this alone, hire a professional caregiver instead of a babysitter or attend therapy to understand more about conflict resolution. 

Parent-Teenager Relationship Problems

Adolescence is one of the most delicate stages of personality development. Young adults want to be separated and to be independent, often resulting in rebelliousness, oversensitivity, or aggressiveness. It is due to their hormonal changes at this peculiar stage.

Some parents may not know how to deal with it and start feeling negative emotions as well.

Giving a bit more attention to your teenager and spending some one-on-one time with them is the first thing you could do while improving the relationship.

And when they think that nobody can understand them, you should be the one who tries the most. Truly listening to your child may be the only way to make them open up about their problems.

Trusting your teenagers is also very important in this stage, even if their actions might signal the opposite. At this stage, they are trying to gain more independence, and your control and lack of trust can only have a negative effect.

You don’t have to be blind when you know something is wrong. You could simply show trust and respect by involving them in family decisions.

Parent-child conflict therapy could also be a solution if you feel that you don’t have enough competence and knowledge to deal with your child’s behavioral problems. 

Conflict With Grown-Up Children

Even when children grow up, relationships with them can be intense. Dealing with adult children may cause you to be concerned about them doing things their own way. Even if a person becomes a full-grown adult, they are still a child to their parents. 

However, there are numerous reasons why conflicts arise with grown-up children. Some things might be contributing to it. 


The parent-child relationship is unique and special. However, in the pursuit of protecting their child, parents can often cross the line and become overprotective. The unwanted opinion about their choices or even demands often causes anger and withdrawal.

Advising your children and protecting them from mistakes is okay, but for a normal parent-adult child relationship, dependency or submission should not be asked.  

High standards

Everyone wants their children to succeed in life and be happy. Some might even see the right way for them to do so, but it doesn’t mean that children will have the same opinion. Children often fear failing their parents even when they grow up, but if they feel unable to live up to unrealistic demands, a parent-child relationship might get affected.

How to restore the relationship?

There are a number of reasons why you may not be having the best relationship with your adult child, and the key to fixing it is open communication about everyone’s feelings. Both parents and children should mention how they view the situation and what they expect.

This conversation may not be pleasant at all, but focusing on its purpose could help all the parties make appropriate conclusions.

However, if the problems are too deep and painful to talk about, therapy or online counseling can help. It doesn’t require all parties to attend therapy; one family member may be enough in some cases, for example, if you wish to understand how to deal with a disrespectful grown child or consider mother-daughter conflict therapy.

You Can Reconnect With Your Children Again 

The parent-child relationship is not like any other. A good bond between the child and the parent sets the base for a child’s upbringing and holistic development. It also influences overall personality. Having a good relationship with their children, little or grown-up, is what every parent hopes for.

Yet, everyone at some point experiences family problems, and it requires a unique approach in different stages of a child’s life.

Talking to a therapist can help solve such problems more effectively. We at DoMental will be glad to help and restore good relationships with the help of licensed family conflict therapists.