I am 19 years old. Other than me not being in full-time hijab which Inshallah by the end of this month I will be, I have constant arguments with my parents especially my mother.
As the oldest child in our house, a lot of expectations are placed upon me and though my mother won't admit it she knows it is true. I try my best to make her happy and proud but every time I try it's to no avail.
I can do 99 things correctly but I'll hear a mouthful about the one I did not. As well as constant reminders of how stupid, naive, unfocused, childish and disrespectful I am.
I admit yes I talk back and I have a huge temper but I only fight back because I honestly try my hardest and it's all for nothing.
I've been told many times by both my parents that I am going to end up like my aunt, who is on drugs, divorced and alone.
I was always told that I will never get married, that if I did I'd be divorced in 2 days because of my mouth. There was also talks about not needing to pay for university because I would never get in.
Every time I try to help I get yelled at and later get lectured on how I do nothing in our house but go to my room.
I know in Islam emphasis is placed on our parents and it's a great sin next to shirk if I disrespect them but I can't help it at times. I do really want to avoid this with my parents in the future so please advise me.
In this counseling answer:
•Focus on your own contribution to the situation. As angry as you feel about their words to you, shouting at them and having angry outbursts towards them is not going to make the situation any easier.
•If you can practice holding your tongue in such situations this will eventually contribute to easing the problem.
• Try to avoid listening to and believing what they say. Just because they seem to have poor expectations for your future, you don’t have to live up to this.
•Say kind words to them and do good things. After all, how can they be mean to you when you are kind to them? it makes little rational sense to behave in such ways.
Wa Alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,
It understandable why you feel this way when you try your best to please them, yet they only seem to say negative things back.
Unfortunately, sometimes when parents talk to their children in such ways and expect bad things of them, the children eventually end up living up to the negative expectations because they feel that they are worth no more than what the one who puts them down says about them.
In such cases, it could be advised to stay away from such people that do their best to bring someone down, but in this case, as it is is your parents, as you know, Islamically you must respect them and obey them.
It may seem like there is no good way out of this scenario, but there are several approaches you can consider to try and make things better.
Control your anger
Firstly, focus on your own contribution to the situation. As angry as you feel about their words to you, shouting at them and having angry outbursts towards them is not going to make the situation any easier.
This just contributes to the spiral of negativity. They say bad words, so you say bad words and this is only going to reinforce their negative expectations of you further which only serves to exacerbate your temper further, and so on. However, you can break this cycle. It is not an easy task, but the reward is great.
It can be very difficult not to bite back when people insult you, but if you can practice holding your tongue in such situations this will eventually contribute to easing the problem.
It probably won’t feel fair that you are the one to make the effort to stop the negativity, but as you stop your bad words and tempers your parents expectations of you will come to improve and they will no longer have the grounds to insult you and expect bad things of you as you exhibit good character.
This will be particularly tricky at first. It’s not easy to say nothing in response to insults, but in time it will become easy and in shaAllah they will eventually stop.
You make things easier for yourself by walking away when you feel that you are going to have a temper or say something bad. Or, change the topic. Talk about something else more positive.
This way you give the control back to yourself. You have no control over their actions and words, but you colander control your own. Use this to your advantage in bettering this situation.
Focus on yourself
Aside from controlling your response to them at the moment, try to avoid listening to and believing what they say.
Just because they seem to have poor expectations for your future, you don’t have to live up to this. Leave their words aside and focus on what you want to do and achieve and do all you can to reach this goal.
It may seem like you don’t feel their support at first but push through it and as they come to see you focused and motivated to achieve a good life for yourself their expectations will change.
Again, this can be difficult when it seems like their insults are so consistent, but use this as a motivation almost to prove them wrong; that you can achieve good things, perhaps this is even their way of pushing you to do better as much as it doesn’t see that way.
Another approach to take is one that is emphasized in Islam and that is to repel bad with the good.
Again, another thing that can be tough, but comes with great reward. Even though your parents can be mean to you, you don’t have to be mean back.
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Instead, repel this with something good. Say kind words to them and do good things.
After all, how can they be mean to you when you are kind to them? it makes little rational sense to behave in such ways.
It would be difficult to have poor expectations of someone who is so kind and well mannered.
May Allah guide you and your parents and may He bring ease in your family. May He make you all the coolness of each other’s eyes in this life and the next.
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