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Taking the First Step Towards My Parents

24 March, 2024
Q I have a rather difficult relationship with my parents that I want to improve.

I have been undergoing a lot of stress lately and when I go to my mother she tells me that I have no reason to stress. She says, I should stop my headaches, she also forces me to read Quran (i'm not very good at arabic) and I don't feel very comfortable with it although I haven't told her.

I also have constant arguments with her. My father lives somewhere else and started his own family since my parents are divorced.

He always lived far away from our house. Even when my parents were together.

Now I don't feel comfortable around him and don't even know what he likes and he doesn't know me as a person either.

We get into a lot of arguments through the phone about school, he makes it seem like he is a huge part of my life but he isn't.

Last time I saw him in person was around 4 months ago. Lately I don't want to be around any of them. But I do want to improve our relationship.

Help me! Also if you have any tips about de-stressing that would be great.


In this counseling answer:

There is no harm in stepping back from the argument, even if you feel you are right.

Make sure to utilize the time you spend with your parents in the best way.

The fact that you are reaching out for help in improving relationships with your parents is a good sign that you are motivated to make changes.

Implement various stress management techniques into your daily life.

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Assalamu alaikum,

Even though you seem to be having a difficult time in maintaining positive relations with both of your parents, for different reasons.

The fact that you are reaching out for advice in improving such relations is a positive thing. In sha Allah it will serve you well in building bonds with them. 

Improving the quality of time

At present you don’t seem to particularly enjoy the company of either of your parents for different reasons.

With your mother it is because you have constant arguments with her and with your father you also have lots of arguments although you live apart from him so your contact is less.

However, despite any differences it is always important to treat them well regardless.

‘And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.’ (Qur’an, 17:23)

Keep this in mind when arguing with them and ask yourself if what you are fighting about is really worth the stress and struggle.

There is no harm in stepping back from the argument, even if you feel you are right. If this is the means by which you can maintain peace.

Taking the First Step Towards My Parents - About Islam


It may be frustrating, but taking control of the situation by walking away from the argument can be beneficial to all.

It will also give you an element of control of the situation as the one who chooses to bring things to an end before they spiral out of control.

This alone can feel quite empowering and will help to improve communication between you even if it is a bit difficult to begin with.

Furthermore, make sure to utilize the time you spend with your parents in the best way.

Do things together that encourage healthy relationships. Talk about things that interest them and clearly bring them joy to talk about.

Join them in doing things that they enjoy too. It may be that these things and topics of discussion are not compatible with your own interests.

But it is a matter that sees them in enthusiastic engagement and discussion.

Relations between you will be more positive and in time you may even come to love these things as much as they do.

Working on tasks collaboratively can also be a great way to force bonds. Whether it be on something for fun, or something for necessity like cooking.

Otherwise, doing things like watching Islamic lectures together can be a good source of discussion on matters of the Deen as well as an opportunity to learn together.

Qur’an struggles

Although not the primary focus of your query, since you specifically mention this is an issue that causes difficulties with your mother.  I thought this would be a good time to target this issue in particular.

It will help relax your feelings towards your struggles in reading the Qur’an, but perhaps this will have a positive impact on your relationship with your mother.

Firstly, whilst it might feel like she is forcing you to read the Qur’an and you are not keen, there is much wisdom behind her pushing you to this. 

‘Fighting has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you. But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.’ (Qur’an, 2:216)

Reading the Qur’an can help to reduce levels of stress and since it is a reminder of Allah has the benefit of bringing comfort to the reader

‘Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah . Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.’ (Qur’an, 13:28)

When you find yourself struggling with it so much perhaps you do not experience such benefits. If you remember the following points then in sha Allah you will feel more relaxed towards your reading. Remember the great reward that comes with it despite your struggle.

Narrated Muhammad bin Ka’b Al-Qurazi: “I heard ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud saying: ‘The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “[Whoever recites a letter] from Allah’s Book, then he receives the reward from it, and the reward of ten the like of it. I do not say that Alif Lam Mim is a letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.” (Jami’ atTirmidhi, Vol. 5, Book 42, Hadith 2910)

Struggle with recitation

And specifically for people like yourself who struggle with reciting the Qur’an, you can find comfort in the knowledge that the reward is double than for the one who does so with ease.

Narrated ‘Aishah: that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “The one who recites the Qur’an and he is proficient with it, then he is with the noble and blessed Angels (As-Safaratil-Kiramil-Bararah), and the one who recites it” – Hisham said: “And it is hard for him” – Shu’bah said: “And it is difficult for him, – then he gets two rewards.” (Jami’ atTirmidhi, Vol. 5, Book 42, Hadith 2904)

As you can see, even though you dislike your mother forcing you to read, there is much benefit in it. She is only doing so for your own benefit and has your best interests at heart.

Seeing things from this perspective will help not only to increase your motivation to read the Qur’an but will soften your heart towards your mother too. 

Check out this counseling video:

Impact of stress

You might also look to your own contribution to the current situation. It does seem like you are experiencing heightened levels of stress.  This is having an impact on the way you interact with your parents.

It can be quite difficult to recognize when it is actually our own behavior that is in fact impacting on relationships. As it is much easier to find faults in the way people treat us. That’s not to say that the way your parents are with you is not inappropriate but it is also important to work on yourself too.

As any psychological difficulties you are facing, may be impacting on the way you interact with them, which will cause them to also respond negatively too. Stress can be one of these causes.

For example, it may be that the stress you are feeling is reflected in the way you communicate with your parents, most likely without you even realizing it.

You can implement some of the tips below to try and manage your stress levels which will have beneficial effects on your well being. As well as helping to improve the way you approach your parents.

Stress management tips

There are a number of ways in which you can manage your stress listed below. Some may be more appealing than others.

Given the current situation and restrictions that are in place in many countries globally I have tried to highlight those that can be implemented within the home.

Time management. It may be that you have lots of commitments that you are trying to juggle that is causing stress, so keep a diary or schedule to make it easy to ensure that you complete all necessary tasks in a timely manner.

Journaling. This can be done in a few ways. You can use it as a means to vent difficult emotions so you can get them without having to do so to someone else, or even take these difficult emotions out on others in different ways. 

Identify the source of stress. This could be another way to use journaling to your benefit. Note in your journal each day the times you got stressed, what you were doing, where you were and how you reacted. This can help you to identify what exactly is causing the greatest stress so that you can find ways to manage this more effectively. 

Avoid the things that you can that make you stressed where possible. 

Recognise the signs. When you feel your stress levels rising, perhaps you start to shake, or sweat..etc.. and take yourself away from the situation temporarily 

Exercise. This is where you will need to get a little creative especially if there are strict restrictions on leaving the house. Take time in your days to spend 30 minutes doing some kind of exercise at home. If possible this might be walking around the house or garden. Otherwise, find ways to do so from inside the house.

Relaxation exercises. Take time each day to go somewhere quiet and practice slow, deep breathing. Another way to relax is to practice mindfulness by mindfully paying attention to all your senses in your surroundings.

Again, sitting somewhere quiet, spend a minute or 2 exploring each of your senses paying attention to what you can hear, see, smell, feel and taste.

These are things that you can do anytime, but they can be useful when practised in the moment of stress, especially the deep breathing exercise as it is also a means to reduce levels of arousal on the spot by helping to control the physiological symptoms such as increased heart rate and breathing.

Guided imagery. This is a particularly good exercise to do in the current situation where freedom is restricted. Again, sit or lie somewhere quiet and take yourself on a mental vacation. Close your eyes and imagine yourself there. As with the mindful exercise above, pay attention to the things you might experience; what can you see? Hear? Smell? Etc…

Do something you enjoy

Positivity. Look for positives in everything. A good way to do this is to have a gratitude journal. At the end of each day write down 3 positive things that happened to you in the day, or 3 things that you are grateful for. 

Chat with friends on the phone who make you happy


The fact that you are reaching out for help in improving relationships with your parents is a good sign that you are motivated to make changes.

You note that you are feeling quite stressed at present and it is important to recognize that this could be impacting on the way you interact with them. Furthermore, having difficult relationships with your parents can also exacerbate your levels of stress.

You can see how the 2 factors are closely linked. You can work on both things simultaneously by improving relations with them. Also by improving the quality of time that you spend with them as well as implementing various stress management techniques into your daily life.

These things will impact on one another and in sha Allah serve to improve the bonds between you and them.

May Allah reward your efforts to improve relations with your parents and to please Allah. Allah will ease your worries and make it easy for you. May you continue to find comfort in the remembrance of Him.



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 are liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Hannah Morris
Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (