My Teenager Makes Fun of Me

If your teenager makes fun of you, it's important to set limits regarding what's tolerable and, if necessary, seek professional help.
My Teenager Makes Fun of Me
Sharon Capeluto

Written and verified by the psychologist Sharon Capeluto.

Last update: 21 February, 2023

Having a teenager should be considered a high-risk sport. It’s not at all easy to accompany during this stage of life, which is characterized by being full of challenges and searches. Of course, some young people are more rebellious, unstable, and unpredictable than others. But we could say that, in general terms, they have attitudes that can produce bewilderment and anger in their parents. For example, when your teenager makes fun of you.

The relationship with our teenage children is usually a source of uncertainty, adrenaline, and confusion. Understanding them is much more difficult than we would like. Communication rarely flows harmoniously. Obstacles in this bond present themselves daily and at times we believe that there’s nothing we can do to improve communication with our teens.

In addition, we’re often their favorite object of ridicule and humiliation. That really hurts. But, even though this thought crosses our minds regularly, we must understand that this doesn’t mean that they don’t love us. Keep reading if you need to find a reason for your child’s unempathetic attitude.

Being a mother of a teenager

When children are young, they see their parents as perfect and omnipotent people. They think they know everything and can do everything. For this reason, they enjoy their company, their hugs, their games, and their conversations. And public displays of affection aren’t a problem.

However, children grow up and leave behind their role as infants. At the same time, they stop seeing us as perfect. This discovery changes the whole scenario. We’re talking about the turning point that comes when our children stop being children and become teenagers. Now, we’re flesh-and-blood people who make mistakes and don’t have all the answers.

When the dreaded moment arrives, although it’s not always as serious as it seems, we notice an abrupt change in their attitudes that hurts, makes us uncomfortable, and catches us off guard. The typical questions arise in our minds: How can it be that someone who acted like my biggest fan not long ago now insults me every day? At what point did I become their worst enemy? Why do they no longer let me hug them? Why is it that my teenager makes fun of me?

A teenage girl ignoring her mother.
Many times, teenagers begin to reject us through insults, mockery, and hurtful comments when their friends become their allies and confidants.

Teasing, hurtful comments, and embarrassment

Adolescence is a time of confusion, doubt, and discovery. Teens don’t understand themselves, so expecting us to understand them is rather illusory. The point is that, from one moment to the next, they begin to challenge authority, lie about where they are and with whom, play with boundaries, and test our firmness.

On this path, we seem to be their easy target, while their friendships become their best allies. When we want to approach them for a conversation, our teenager makes fun of us and humiliates us, even in front of other people.

Precisely, when they’re with their friends, their unfriendly attitudes seem to be enhanced. As soon as we want to say a word, they make us realize that they’re not interested in what we have to say, that it’s nonsense, or that “we don’t understand anything. In fact, they’re often ashamed of what we say. For this reason, they don’t want us to get involved in gatherings with their peers and sometimes even ask us not to even say hello.

Why does our teenager suddenly reject us?

Our teenagers reject us because they need to differentiate themselves from their caregivers. They are on a quest to discover their own identity, away from us. Thus, they want to conquer more autonomy and start making their own decisions. Basically, they want to feel free to find themselves. At the same time, they need to find their genuine interests and desires, build their own beliefs and develop critical thinking.

To make this search effective, they often resort to attitudes that hurt and irritate us. They make fun of us because by disapproving of us, they gain independence.

A mother opening her teen daughter's bedroom door.
The behavior of young people is often more rebellious than usual because they want to make us understand that they’re no longer children, so we shouldn’t treat them as such.

How to act in these situations

It’s essential to know that, as long as the rebelliousness remains within legitimate limits, we shouldn’t worry. However, if the defiance of authority, disrespect, and antisocial behaviors are out of proportion, it’s important to consult a mental health professional.

In the event that unempathetic behaviors with adults don’t exceed what’s to be expected, we should avoid taking it personally when our teenager makes fun of us or teases us. It’s important to set limits to mark the importance of respecting others, without forgetting the particularly vulnerable stage that our adolescent child is going through.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Mestre, M, V., Tur, A, M., Samper, P., Nácher, M, J., Cortés, M, T. (2007).
    Estilos de crianza en la adolescencia y su relación con el comportamiento prosocial
    Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología, vol. 39, núm. 2, 2007, pp. 211-225
    Fundación Universitaria Konrad Lorenz Bogotá, Colombia. 
  • Puello Scarpati, M., Silva Pertuz, M, & Silva , A. (2014). Límites, reglas, comunicación en familia monoparental Con hijos adolescentes. Diversitas: Perspectivas en Psicología, 10(2), 225-246. Consultado el 10 de enero de 2023 en
  • Rosado, Y. (2013). ¡Renuncio! Tengo un hijo adolescente, ¡y no sé qué hacer‪!‬ Guía para que tú y tus hijos disfruten de su adolescencia. Aguilar.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.