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My Parents’ Arguments Upset Me

Questioner

N (15_female_US)

Reply Date

Jul 11, 2018

Question

My parents argue a lot, and it upsets me (sometimes even sends me to tears.) My mom always wants to be right and my dad screams at her. I'm the oldest sister in the family. Is there anything I can do? I feel helpless being only 15 years old. I'm so scared that my parents might get divorced.

Counselor

Answer


My Parents

In this counseling answer:

“Speak to them kindly and perhaps let them know that you are sharing your feelings to help keep your family unified so as not to allow Satan to come between all of you. A family that is solid, following Allah’s commands and being merciful to one another will enter Jannah by Allah’s mercy, and this is something else that you can say you want for your family. It may help them understand what your concerns are and then make them reflect on their attitudes.”


 As-Salamu ‘Alaykum my dear sister,

May Allah bless you for trying to seek a way to bring peace and tranquility to your family. It is a difficult situation to be saddled with at such a young age, and it is always difficult for children to bear the burden of their parents’ actions. It is not a situation that any child should have to deal with on his or her own.

As such, one of the first things I would recommend you is that if there is an uncle, an aunt, a grandparent, or someone in the community whom both parents may respect, you may want to speak to him/her and ask him/her to help intervene in the process. I know the first thing you may be scared of is the reaction of your parents, but in sha’ Allah, when the other adult speaks to them, they will be able to frame it as being done as a means to help the family and bring everyone closer to Allah Most High.

From what you mentioned about your parents, it would appear that they are dealing with their various stresses in unhealthy ways. Regarding your mother’s need to be “right” all of the time, I would suggest you use the example of the grandsons of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) when they noticed an older man making wudu’ (ablution) improperly.


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They realized that he might not take the advice directly from them because of his age, and they wanted to maintain his pride and self-respect. Instead, they asked him to judge between them to see who was making wudu’ properly. In so doing the man was able to see and notice his error.

Perhaps, this is something you can do with your mom by talking to her about the attitudes of one of your peers at school, or a teacher, or someone you know who always needs to be right, and how uncomfortable it makes you feel. Further, you can add to this that if that person took their examples from Islam, how different it would be.

This is because the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) advised us that in the case where two people are having a disagreement, the one who first gives salam gains more blessing, especially in the case where the person is right, but they act with humility and go back to the other to say salam.

Often the relationship of a child and his parents determines how much the child can speak to them. If you are close to either parent in a way that you can tell them how you feel, then I would suggest that you let them know how their behavior at those times makes you feel. Framing concerns in a positive way and using the utmost of adab(Islamic manners) is very important.

Speak to them kindly and perhaps let them know that you are sharing your feelings to help keep your family unified so as not to allow Satan to come between all of you. A family that is solid, following Allah’s commands and being merciful to one another will enter Jannah by Allah’s mercy, and this is something else that you can say you want for your family. It may help them understand what your concerns are and then make them reflect on their attitudes.

As I mentioned before, you can try to speak to a family member or a respected community member whom your dad and mom may respect and listen to, and let them speak to your parents. I know you may hesitate about this since many times it is considered to be “shameful” to expose your problems to others, and this is often the feeling of elders.

However, it is your duty to do this if you believe it can make a difference, rather than wait until the situation has escalated too far to reach a solution. In this case, remind yourself that you are doing this for Allah and to preserve their relationship, so even if they may get upset with you initially, you can hope for the mercy and pleasure of Allah.

We pray Allah descends sakinah (calm) and rahmah (mercy) upon your home and into the hearts of your parents, and bless you to understand that this is not your fault, nor is it a reflection of their love for you. And that Allah Most High restores your family and blesses you all with happiness and peace, and that you focus on the ultimate duty of serving Allah and His cause. Please, do not hesitate to contact us if you need further advice or to update us on your situation.

And Allah knows best.

***

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About Jeewan Chanicka

Jeewan Chanicka is from Toronto, Canada, and has been involved in working with youth, education, and social services issues since 1993. He graduated with a bachelor's degree with honors in individualized studies at York University with a focus on conflict resolution and culturally appropriate forms of mediation. He has done much work with both youth and adults, especially around parenting, teenage and youth issues, and bridging the gap between generations.

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