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My Parents’ Fight Frightens Me

05 July, 2020
Q My parents argue a lot and it upsets me (sometimes even makes me cry.) My mum always wants to be right and dad screams at her. I’ m the oldest sister in the family.

Is there anything I could do? I feel helpless being only 15. I’m so scared that my parents might get divorced.


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.

•Or you can try to speak to a family member or respected community member whom your dad and mum may respect and listen to.

Salam ‘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 a child to have to bear the burden of their parents’ actions. It is not a situation that any child should have to deal with on their own.

As such, one of the first things I would recommend is that if there is an uncle, aunt, grandparent, or someone in the community whom both parents may respect, you may want to speak to them and ask for them to help intervene in the process.

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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 both 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’ improperly.

They realized that he may not have taken the advice directly from them because of their 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 own error.

Perhaps, this is something you can do with your mum by talking to her about the attitudes of some 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 they 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 goes first to the other and gives salam gains more blessing.

Especially in the case where the person is right but acts with humility and goes back to the other to say salam.

What My Parents Are Doing Frightens Me - About Islam

It often depends on the relationship of the child and the parents that will determine how much the child can speak to them.

If you are close to either one 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 is very important as well as using the utmost best behavior.

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 is 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.

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As I mentioned before, you can try to speak to a family member or respected community member whom your dad and mum 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 waiting 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 your parents’ relationship.

So even if they may get upset with you initially, you can hope for the mercy and pleasure of Allah.

We pray Allah sends sakinah (calm) and rahmah (mercy) upon your home and into the hearts of your parents and blesses you to understand that this is not your fault, nor is it a reflection of their love for you.

We pray that Allah Most High restores your family and blesses you all with happiness and peace. 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.