Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

“I'm scared of my own Mom!”

Hey Terra,

My mom has been pretty grumpy lately... well, she pretty much always is. She gets mad real easily, it's not a real problem, just the way she is. if I do one thing wrong, she goes crazy and starts a fight. It happens about twice a week. I try talking to her but she just gets all grumpy. Any other suggestions?

Needing Help

Dear Needing Help,

This sounds like an uncomfortable situation to be in the middle of. You probably haven't thought of it this way, but my guess is that your mom isn't real happy when she's in the middle of it either!

You say that you have tried talking to her about it (and I respect you for that)... Let me ask you this, where and when have you tried talking to her? What I mean is, what's going on when you decide "This is a good time to talk to her"? Are you in the middle of a fight? Or is she busy doing a million other things and too stressed and busy to really listen? OR... Is she calm and relaxed when you try to talk to her? The reason I'm asking is that if your mom is "pretty much always... grumpy" that means she's not likely to listen or even give you a chance to say what you want to say about her behavior. But if you can find a time when she's actually in an OK mood, well, then you'd have a much better chance of getting her to hear what you have to say.

The next time she "starts a fight" use all of your self-control and do NOT fight back. Just close your mouth. And if at all possible, leave the room. It will be easier for your mom to calm herself down if she's alone.. So give her space. Then when you have a chance, you might want to talk with another family member about your mom's "grumpiness." A grandparent, aunt or uncle may be able to help you deal with this. You could also talk to your school counselor about what you're feeling about the situation with your mom.

Another place to get help is by calling 1.800.999.9999. That's a teen crisis helpline. Good people. Available to listen to whatever's going on with you 24/7.

I hope this helps.

In friendship,


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.

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