When Mom and Dad love the bro more

>> Sunday, February 19, 2012



I’m having a lot of trouble these days with my parents. It’s not that my parents are mean to me or anything. It’s just that they obviously love my brother more. They love me too, but I can’t help but feel like they’re always giving him priority and attention over me. I just want to know why? I mean I’m their daughter too. And isn’t it wrong what they’re doing? Like he gets the best things (food, electronics, clothes, etc) and I’m supposed to always sacrifice for him. Sometimes, I feel like I really hate him.


Dear Sis,

Big hug coming your way! I really feel for you. It must be really hard when the two most important people in your life keep favoring someone over you. That’s not to say that there aren’t times when it’s natural for parents to favor one child- a newborn, sick (or disabled) child naturally need more attention. If it’s a critical year in school, parents might also want to support their child by buying extra presents or showering them with attention, unfortunately sometimes at the expense of another child. If, though, you really can’t think of a reason why your brother keeps getting the “best” things, then, that’s a different story.

Unfortunately, though, , you’re not alone. The reality is that a lot of parents make this mistake though the Prophet (sallah Allah alayhee wa salaam) made it clear that parents need to be fair.

Al-Nu’maan ibn Basheer said:

"My father gave me some of his wealth, and my mother ‘Amrah bint Rawaahah said: ‘I will not accept this until you ask the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to bear witness to it.’ So my father went to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to ask him to bear witness to the gift he had given me. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to him, ‘Have you done this for all your children?’ He said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Fear Allah and treat all your children fairly.’ So my father came back and took back his gift." (Narrated by Muslim, no. 1623).

So, yes, sis, what your parents are doing isn’t right. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you can find it in your heart to forgive them for it. It should help if you think about how much your parents have done for you and how much they mean to you. Think about how many times you might have let them down and how much they’ve put up with.

At the same time, that doesn’t mean that you should give up and accept whatever is happening. Sis, one thing you need to realize is that relationships are fluid and that means they change. Day by day! Keep making dua; turn to Allah sincerely and ask Him to guide your parents.

While you’re doing that, try to talk to your parents about how you feel. You might be thinking “But I shouldn’t have to tell them! They should know”. I want you to ignore that voice. As we said in a different post, your parents are human. And they make mistakes. And sometimes, they don’t even realize it when they’re doing something wrong. You can’t hold your parents responsible when you haven’t tried to bring to their attention how you feel.

You don’t even have to do it directly. For instance, next time, you’re at the dinner table, take the initiative. Say something like “Wow, that looks really yummy. Let me get a knife so we can split into___ parts so that everyone can get a piece.” If they ask you to sacrifice something, let them know how much that thing means to you. Let them know you’d be willing to lend it to your brother, but that you’d like it back later on. Or ask them if they could get you something else instead.

If you’re too shy to talk them, then leave them a little note saying how you feel.

And if that’s not your style, think about talking to your brother about it. Now, that doesn’t mean that you should attack him (or even hate him) because he’s not responsible for your parents’ actions. But you can ask him to help you out a little. You can tell him that you feel a little hurt and left out. Ask him if he’d be willing to talk to your parents about it or if he’d be willing to share with you.

What else? Well, you asked why your parents love your brother more…The truth is that you don’t even know if your parents really do love him more. Love is in the heart and it can be expressed in different ways. I know you feel like they love him more because of how much attention they give him. But as a teacher, I can tell you that the student who gets the most attention isn’t necessarily the one that I like the most. It’s just that they’re so demanding, it’s easier to give them what they want than not to (unfortunately). And it’s easy to think that the others don’t really mind or to convince myself that they understand why I’m giving in. The same is true for parents…they might think you know how much they love you. And you never know, they might actually love you more for being so easygoing.

If you’re still convinced that they love him more, think about this: are you closer to one of your parents?

Sometimes, our hearts can’t help who they feel more inclined to. But if you put a little effort, things can change.
Try your best to see if there is something that your parents might be upset about, which you can change. Do your parents have to constantly nag at you to clean your room? Or help out at home? Are they constantly worried about your grades? Is there something that is continually causing friction between you and your parents?

On the other hand, it might not have anything to do with that. You could have just led very separate lives for a long time and your parents can’t help but feel more connected to your brother. If you want your parents to notice you, then, it’s time you try. Maybe you can watch an Islamic/educational series together. Or how about going walking with them? When it’s time for dinner, you can casually enter the kitchen and start chit chatting with your mumzy about your and her day. When your dad comes home, you can offer to make him a cup of tea. These might be small things, but they speak volumes. You can even think about making something together or coming up with a goal with your parents (e.g. saving money for Umrah!). Etc…

But most of all, sis, never forget that you have Allah on your side. And anytime, your parents seem to think about your brother first and you feel a little hurt, remind, yourself, that Allah is saving something for you in jannah…something truly special.
Every time that you are unfairly treated, remember that Allah knows. And rest assured that He will never let any of your acts go unrewarded.

…and whatever good you put forward for yourselves - you will find it with Allah. Indeed, Allah of what you do, is Seeing. (2: 110)

And think about it this way. Maybe your brother got your parents because Allah chose you for HIM. He wanted you to draw closer to Him…

I have chosen you for Me.(Surat Taha, 41)
How does that sound?


6 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

sippingchai February 19, 2012 at 7:43 PM  

As always excellent advice, Masha'Allah! When I was younger, I thought my mother favored my brother over me. As an adult, I look back and realize how my mother showed me her love was different and I was blind to it. You offered so many different ways of looking at it. Really loved reading the advice.

My recent post http://sippingchai.wordpress.com/2012/02/19/sungei-buloh-wetland-reserve/

Shireen Baig February 19, 2012 at 10:43 PM  

I am definitely gonna put my 2 cents here - when I read the question I really felt like 'Woah there's somebody else going through it just like me'

I speak from experience - I spent almost half of my life disliking my brother and hating him occasionally because of the way my parents treated him. He is the one and only son of my parents, plus he's a boy and plus we come from a typical Indian society that should say it all ;)
My sis and I used to think that we are second class citizens in our family and I won't lie the last time I complained about the partiality my mom did was just about 2 months back :P because these things they stay in our hearts - because they at one point hurt so much that every now and then there's an outburst if you don't take care of it like i didn't

My advice? In retrospect - my mom did love me but her way was different , I kind of accept the fact now that love is a natural thing it cannot be imposed on anyone. Most of all, Allah swt witnesses what you are going through and perhaps he's making you go through this so that it becomes a means of earning reward for you.

I know it's really tough I can soooo vouch for that.. But sometimes even complaining to parents doesn't help I tried it plenty - Just have to remember at the end of the day its Allah whose love is really gonna matter. I know it sounds very oft repeated advice but its the truth... :)

cheer up you! *hugs*

Haseefa,  February 20, 2012 at 6:58 AM  

Excellent advice! MashaAllah!

I love these the following advices!

"And anytime, your parents seem to think about your brother first and you feel a little hurt, remind, yourself, that Allah is saving something for you in jannah…something truly special.."

"Every time that you are unfairly treated, remember that Allah knows. And rest assured that He will never let any of your acts go unrewarded.

…and whatever good you put forward for yourselves - you will find it with Allah. Indeed, Allah of what you do, is Seeing. (2:110)

"And think about it this way. Maybe your brother got your parents because Allah chose you for HIM. He wanted you to draw closer to Him…"

Those words are sooo comforting!

Little Miss Aunty February 22, 2012 at 8:53 AM  

Sippingchai: I'm happy to hear that you realize love can be expressed in different ways. (And I saw your latest post- absolutely loved the pictures, mashaAllah tabark Allah.)

Shireen and Haseefa: May Allah help all of our parents treat us fairly. May He grant us patience when they don't, and make us turn to Him always, and love Him more. :D :D

Anonymous,  February 23, 2012 at 2:36 AM  

Though it maybe true that brothers are sometimes favoured...all of you people who have brothers have got to be satisfied in having a brother for i dont have one and sometimes am sad about it.

Anyway everything is ALLAH SWT's wish....

Yasmin March 2, 2012 at 4:24 AM  

i even thought same for a while but i adored my brother aswell he was an inspiration and def. d reason ma parents gave him more attention was because he was good in studies and he made dem feel proud. now i understand and i hope no misunderstanding comes between

:)

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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