My parents fight a lot

I am a student of Class 9. I had a very loving family but that has changed recently. My parents are constantly fighting over small issues and due to this, I feel very insecure. They are always shouting at each other and sometimes even drag me into their fights. I feel very depressed because of this. I really want the loving and caring family I once knew.
Faiza (14)

Dear Faiza,

You feel quite distressed when you see your parents fight, especially since you have been used to being a loving family. In addition, the lockdown situation has created exceptionally difficult circumstances where everyone is in a close physical space and the opportunities to disagree are more.

Voice your feelings to your parents. Try telling them: “When you do (their action), I feel/experience (my feeling)”. For example: “I feel worried and concerned. And, when you both fight, I feel very disturbed and insecure.” Ask them to help you to understand what is going on. While you need to accept that they may have differences, you can gently request them to work out their differences in private.

Meanwhile, build a relationship with each of your parents individually. Spend time with them — help them in daily work, exercise together, chat and more. If they agree, encourage them to set aside some time every day, say 30-45 minutes, where as a family you can do something together. For example, games such as Scrabble; Hangman, X and 0; or doing puzzles, crosswords, listening to music, and so on. Set a rule that during that time, each person will agree to create a harmonious atmosphere. This will not guarantee that your family will change, for your parents need to work out their problems by themselves, but you can surely try to create some joyful moments in the day.

Nasreen Hashambhoy
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Nasreen Hashambhoy

Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.