My parents frequently fight with each other

In recent days my father and mother are in depression due to financial problems and frequently fight with each other. My brother and I get worried and blame each other for the troubles. How can I stop these fights and bring my family together?
Jennifer (15)

Dear Jennifer,

You are understandably worried about your parents — their frequent fights due to financial problems make you quite tense. It is unclear why you and your brother ‘blame each other for the troubles’, but instead of playing the blame game, help your family to take positive steps to find solutions to the problem.

Empathize with your parents and appreciate them — tell them that you know that it must be a difficult time for them and that they are worried about how to manage, especially to provide a good life for you both. Then suggest that you can have a discussion and agree to the different ways in which the family can reduce expenses. Also encourage your parents to think of different ways in which they can generate more income. As youngsters, you too may have new ideas to share.

Set aside family time: Pray together, eat together and share simple joys despite hardships. Most of all, as a family build hope and express gratitude for what you have received and are still to receive.

If you still think that they are depressed and unable to help themselves, encourage them to seek help from a professional counsellor: now, there are several helplines available.

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.