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My Mom And I Frequently Fight. What Can I Do to Solve It?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Mar 07, 2018

Question

My mother and I fight a lot nowadays, and it always ends with her saying that I will get nowhere in my life because of my attitude. I try to control my anger and behavior as much as possible, but sometimes she says things to which I respond. And when I do she starts saying about how I am talking back and raising my voice against her. Recently, when she did this I stopped talking and continued with studying for my exams. She got really pissed and she tried to snatch the highlighter from my hands. After which she said a bunch of hurtful words. I love my mother, I know she isn't bad. So is the fault in me? Am I the reason that we fight so much? What should I do? It hurts a lot, her words. I feel like given up sometimes.

Counselor

Answer


In this counseling answer:

“I would kindly suggest that you sit with your mom over tea or coffee and talk to her about how you feel.  Explain to her that you love her very much and do not wish to hurt her nor be disrespectful.  Ask her how she feels you can improve your communication skills when speaking with her.”


As salamu Alaykum,

Thank you for writing to us. I’m sorry to hear about the problems you are going through with your mom.  As you did not state your age but did talk about the incident while you were studying for your exam, I can guess maybe you are in your teens or early 20’s (college?), please forgive me if I am wrong. At any rate, I have no doubt that you and your mom love each other very much.  I am sure she desires to resolve this as much as you as it probably is hurting her as well.

Sister, it sounds like typical teen/young adult-parent communication problems. Often times communication takes a turn for the worst between teens/young adults and parents during these years as independence and self-growth are key components during this developmental phase. As you are a young adult now sister you are forming your own idea’s, opinions as well as seeking your independence as an individual. With that may come conflict with your mom as she may see your energy, passion and oftentimes impatience at getting a point across as disrespectful.

You, on the other hand, may think your mom is not understanding what you are trying to say thus leading to frustration.

I would kindly suggest that you sit with your mom over tea or coffee and talk to her about how you feel.  Explain to her that you love her very much and do not wish to hurt her nor be disrespectful.  Ask her how she feels you can improve your communication skills when speaking with her.

While your mom may need to upgrade skills as well as you are no longer a child but a young adult, it will benefit you if you take the initiative towards asking her how you can improve.  This will show her you do care, you do love her and mean no harm and that you do wish to strengthen your relationship by stopping the arguing and communication issues.

Perhaps as she reflects on how she would like you to communicate your needs and points she will insha’Allah reflect on how her method of communication may or may not be feeding into the problem as well. Some points or good communication include don’t go on the defensive when communicating, try to understand your mom’s point of view-where she is coming from; address her concerns honestly and directly; don’t ridicule or criticize her viewpoints and make requests, not demands.

Please see Web MD (1) for further excellent tips on communication for teens and parents insha’Allah. In addition sister, body language says a lot.  When talking with your mom try not to cross your arms over your chest/waist as this is often taken as a closure and defensive as in someone not wanting to hear what is being said or someone not open to dialogue.

Try to look at your mom when she is talking rather than looking away.  This conveys an interest in what is being said as well as attention.  When responding, rather than blurting out the first thing that comes to your mind or speaking off of your emotional reactions, take a moment to think about what was said and formulate an intelligent and calm response.

If something is not clear to you, please do ask for clarification rather than assuming.  When someone is speaking to you try to be fully in the present.  Don’t let your mind wander into what your response will be but rather listen to what is being said.

Finally,  if anger is a problem for you (as you stated you get angry) please do insha’Allah find the triggers (words, gestures, behaviors) which cause you to become angry during a conversation.  Write them down if needed.  Reflect upon them and ask yourself, is it really worth getting angry over?

Also, insha’Allah look towards alternative reactions to anger such as deep breathing techniques, counting to 10 before reacting (basic I know, but it does work), asking for a minute to collect your thoughts as well as centering your mind on a peaceful thought or imagine until you calm down.  While these techniques can interrupt the flow of a conversation if you tell your mom ahead of time that you are working on your anger issues and explain to her how she may be understanding and give you a few moments to do so.

 

Sister, I am confident insha’llah that with persistence, awareness and patience you will be successful in your communication skills with your mom.  In turn, your mom insha’Allah will see your efforts and applaud your maturity and determination in self-growth.  Again as I do not know your age, I cannot say if you may be experiencing the emotional ups and downs because of hormonal changes of puberty but if so, please do be aware of this factor.

Lastly and most importantly, make duaa to Allah swt to help you and your mom over-come these unhealthy communication styles.  It is very evident that you love your mom very much and seek to always honor and respect her.  May Allah bless you sister and reward you for your efforts.  We wish you the best.

 

1-https://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/better-communication-with-teens#

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Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.




About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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