Asking for a Friend: Help! What do I do when my mum is in a mood?

  • This week we give advice about procrastination and dealing with parents
  • If you have difficult, embarrassing or awkward questions to ask about teen life, send them in anonymously, and ‘Friend of a Friend’ will do their best to help
Amalissa Hall |

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Friend of a friend is here to help you with all your issues, like procrastination or angry mums.

Hello Friend,

This problem concerns my mum, my brother and myself. For context, my phone doesn’t always charge properly. I can plug it in and it’ll show that it’s charging, but later on it will stop.

Anyway, whilst my phone was plugged in, my mum said it wasn’t charging and that I need to plug it in properly, also adding “Don’t you have eyes, or are you blind?”

However, I checked, and it was charging, and my brother confirmed that, too, but she replied “Your brother can’t even see anything so why would you ask him?” His vision is fine though.

I tried explaining the problem with my phone, but she jumped in with “So you think I’m lying? I don’t want to hear any explanations from you.” From there it just got worse.

The subject changed and she asked me: “Why do you act as if you think you’re the only smart one here? Why don’t you become successful first and then you can have an attitude.”

I didn’t even show attitude! I’m only 14, and I don’t know what to do anymore. If she can falsely accuse us of these small things, I don’t even want to imagine the future … Can you help me?

Thanks, Eeny Meany Moody Mum

My sister is making my life miserable - what do I do?

Hi Eeny Meany,

Sorry to hear that you’re having a hard time at home. How often does this happen with your mum? Is it daily or just a one-time thing? If it’s happened just once, it could be that your mum is stressed from being stuck at home, or she could be going through something personal, causing her to take her frustration out on you and your brother.

If it’s more often, she could be narcissistic, meaning things will always be “your fault”, no matter what. If there are other adults living with you, maybe you can let them know how her actions make you feel.

For now, I think just let this incident go. In future, when your mum is in this mood, you can use a technique called “grey rock”. The idea is to act as neutral and boring as possible to diffuse the situation. You can politely reply, “yes”, “no” or “okay” in response to her questions – this means you can show you’re listening, but you’re not fully engaging, so she can’t criticise you for having an attitude.

Support your brother and spend time together if you’re both unhappy with your mum. Going for a walk together would help to alleviate stress and get you out of the house, giving your mum space if she needs it. Speak to a school counsellor if you can – they might be able to give you good advice to overcome your feelings.

Finally, try cleaning out the charging port on your phone with a toothpick! There could be a lot of dust trapped in there which is preventing it from charging properly.

I hope the situation improves, Friend of a Friend

Help! My friend is jealous I’m friends with her boyfriend

Hi Friend,

I have been exhausted by IB school life and I was really glad to have a long Christmas holiday.

However, I’ve started to procrastinate during the holidays– for instance, staying up late and avoiding my school work.

Do you have any ideas to help me get a grip on this terrible bad habit I’ve started?

Thanks, Master Procrastinator

Hi Master,

A lot of people have been struggling with procrastination recently, myself included, so don’t put yourself down! Setting a routine and sticking to it can help you break out of your procrastination habits.

Go to sleep early – it’s tempting to watch one more episode, but it won’t help you in the long run. Wake up around the same time you do before school, and make sure to freshen up, make your bed and eat breakfast. The earlier you’re ready in the morning, the more time you have to do your work.

The most difficult part of getting something done, especially something you don’t want to do, is starting. Sometimes we spend more time convincing ourselves to start than actually getting on with it.

Don’t bother writing a to-do list. Just get your textbooks, open a Google document, and start on that assignment you’ve been putting off. Don’t stress yourself by thinking you have to finish it all at once either – ease yourself into the task, and you’ll get into the flow of work.

Most importantly, set boundaries for using Netflix, YouTube, Instagram and other apps. Don’t worry, they’ll still be there when you finish! Browse a little when you’re on a break, but make sure you don’t waste time. It’s best to motivate yourself by only going on these platforms once you’ve done your tasks.

Best of luck, Friend of a Friend

If you have a question you’d like answered (about anything at all), please send an email to [email protected] with “Asking for a Friend” in the subject line. Don’t worry, you will remain anonymous!

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