Angry Parents

>> Friday, May 4, 2012

My problem is that I love my parents so much but sometimes can I say this without tarnishing their personalities? I feel like I'm such a terrible child just by thinking about it! it goes this way.. as I said I love them so much that!! (I'm suppose to!) it's just that sometimes they are too much! that's the problem. sometimes I just can't understand them.. I know that they only want what's best for me but I don't know sometimes they get angry with me and I don't know the reason behind those wraths.. it's just not fair! sometimes I feel like scolding them back to defend my side! but Alhamdulillah those thought never really come to an action. how can I prevent such actions like just avoiding their chastise and pretending I didn't hear cus I know it's bad and I want to get rid of it! .. huhu If you'll give an advise which I hope you would.. please don't recommend talking to them about it cus I can"t.. I simply just can:t...   Seriously Guilty one.

Dearest Seriously Guilty One,
First of all, you can tell that you love your parents and that you do want to be better! I really don't want to call you the "guilty one"..Let's call you "Going to be better, inshaAllah".

Second of all, I'm so sorry for taking so long to answer you.  The problem is that you told us not to recommend talking to them and that was obviously the biggest piece of advice that we had...LOL.

REALLY. Try as we might, we could not think of any other advice. 

You said that they get angry and you don't understand why. Well, hun, there's no harm in simply asking them or writing them a note, like the following: 

"Mom and Dad, I'm really sorry to have angered you. I understand I did something to upset you, but I'm not really sure what I did. Can you please tell me what it is that bothered you? I don't want to do it again, but I can't not do it, if I don't know what it is."

Not only will that help you understand your parent's more and not repeat the same "mistake" again,  it will also give your parents a chance to really consider their own feelings. Maybe they're not angry WITH you, but angry at at something else. Maybe they're actually frustrated with something else and are taking out their stress from work on to you. Maybe they don't even realize that they're "always angry". 

Both you and your parents deserve to have peace in the house..and you can only do that, when you muster the courage to find out what's causing this "anger" that they're feeling. Think about it: ignoring their "chastise" really isn't going to solve anything, is it? In fact, that could be part of the problem. How would you like it if someone was ignoring you when you were talking to them? That would probably upset you even more, right?

See, in order to really change things around, you have to be sincerely willing to UNDERSTAND their reasons behind their "anger". You really have to be willing to let go of your ego and find out how you could possibly (most likely unintentionally) 'adding to the problem/ anger". The fact that you sent this letter in makes me think that you really do want to do this, inshaAllah =)  

But how? Well, you don't have to talk to them the moment they're "having one of their full fledged screaming frenzies....Instead, you can tell them 'I'm truly sorry that I have upset you so much", walk out of the room, and leave the discussion for a time when you and them are calmer.  

Then, some other day, you can invite your parents to a barbecue/ fun day at the park/ or the beach.... While there, you can cautiously bring up the topic. "Mom and Dad, I feel that I've hurt you/ disappointed you/ done some things to bother you. I really want to be better, now. I really want to be a better daughter to you. Please tell me what it is that you want from me..." You could even try to start that conversation even in the weekend, after making them a cup of tea/ surprise cake/ etc. 

Once they start talking, you need to be really calm. You need to remind yourself that you really have 2 solutions:
 either you fully accept their decision (because you know they want what's best for you and are just trying to protect you) 
- or you try to reach a reasonable compromise with them.

For example, let's say they tell you that "They don't like the people you're hanging out with/ or your attitude/ whatever".

Take a deep breath. Swallow. And avoid saying something dumb like 
"YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING. What planet are you from?!!!"

Instead, stop for a moment. Ask yourself "Are your friends really the best company you could have?" 

And then, ask them "Is there a particular friend you don't like...?" Is there a friend that you DO like?" 

 That's right. Ask them! Keep the door of communication open. Don't close it. Ask questions and try to understand how you can both get what you want. 

RESIST, resist, resist "getting "angry" at them because  when we get angry, we end up getting stupid. 

And I mean that actually in the literal sense! I'm copying this from a newsletter I got:

It's important to realize that when we get frustrated or angry, our brain is hard wired for "fight or flight".  So all our blood leaves the "common sense" area of our brain and goes to our muscles so we can run or fight. Essentially, we get stupid.  We can't think calmly or clearly, we often feel compelled to say the first thing that comes to our mind...and often in a threatening or disrespectful tone.

Instead, if you do feel like they're being so "unfair" and you're going to shout  back at them, you should follow the Islamic advice for dealing with anger. Change your position (sit down, if you are standing),seek refuge from Shaytaan, and if possible, ask to go to the bathroom (and do wudu)..

And just remind yourself that your parents love you and want what's best for you. Even if they don't know how to show it and you don't agree on what's best for you. 

And then, give yourself time to think of what they've told you and solutions that they could agree to.

- For example, with the problem above, you could suggest that they enroll you in an Islamic course/ good club so you can make some good friends, too. 

Let's give another scenario. Let's say you ask them to go "out" with friends and they angrily tell you "No": 

You can try to work a compromise with them about that. You can: 
- agree with them on your "homework and studying schedule". Maybe they're worried that going out will interfere with your studies. Talk to them about that. If you've got exams, agree that you're going to go out for a limited time only/ whatever
- agree with your parents about what places you can go to? and what places you will NOT go to
- agree on a  specific curfew (they could even pick you up)
-  agree to call them every other hour on their mobile (even if that sounds ridiculous to you, it beats being stuck at home, doesn't it?)
- give them a friend's mobile number so that if they can't reach you, they have another number to call

 See? Once you know what's bothering them, you can think of lots of solutions!

Finally, though, it's important to think of 2 or 3 things you can do to make your parents happier. Things like washing the dishes, making them a cup of tea, calling them if you know you're going to be late, etc. Deep down, we all know at least 2 or 3 things we can do or stop doing that would make Mom and Dad a lot more happier. Right? Let's do them? 

Well, sis, that's all that I can think of. Maybe the other sisters can share their advice =)


5 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

New Wife May 4, 2012 at 7:23 PM  

mashaAllah excellent advice!

Appleblossoms May 4, 2012 at 8:48 PM  

I can attest to writing notes to your parents. I usually do that and alhamdulillah, it works really well! Just pour out your thoughts and let your parents know how you feel and leave it on their pillow at night so that they can mull over it and you guys can talk in the morning. :)

Unknown May 5, 2012 at 1:49 AM  

Assalamualeikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuhu dear sisters!
As always, jazakummulahu khairan for lovely and extremely useful advice! I can totally relate to the sister.......... O.O

Fida Islaih May 5, 2012 at 11:01 AM  

Thank you so much for this post! (:

Anonymous,  May 14, 2012 at 8:47 PM  

Thank You. little Auntie. Thank you for the
advise :)

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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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