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How do I stop my parents from fighting?

By Aunty Julie

Dear Julie,

My parents fight all the time and this is becoming embarrassing. I cannot invite my friends to my house when my parents are around because it really bothers me that something can break out between them and you can imagine my shame. Why is my own case different? I visit my friends at their homes and even spends weekends with them but none of my friends can come to my place. It’s not that they don’t want but I cannot let them because my parents are always fighting. How do I stop my parents fighting?

Laila, Auchi

Dear Laila,

Everyone disagrees from time to time. Even people who care about each other a lot may not always agree on everything. When people feel really strongly about something, it may be difficult to stay calm and arguments start which can become more heated.

Seeing your parents argue or fight can be difficult. It may seem, and may even be that they don’t love each other anymore. You might be worried that they are going to split up. You may also be worried that you’re to blame for them arguing. Sometimes, parents end up feeling differently about their lives and each other to how they did when they they got married. It may take them a bit of time to work out how to deal with it and they may need the help of a professional, like a counsellor. Some parents find that the only way to sort things out is to live apart. The most important thing to remember is that it’s not your fault. How your parents feel about each other is not your responsibility.

It’s not unusual in these situations to feel forced to take a side. Do your parents ever try to involve you in their arguments? It important that they understand how you feel and how worried and upset you are over what’s happening between them. If it’s difficult speaking to them about this, you could try asking an adult you trust, like a grandparent, teacher or school counsellor. It’s sometimes easier to speak to someone like this, about problems involving your parents. Such a person may also be helpful in getting your parents to understand how you feel.

Sometimes, fighting can go too far, like when there’s yelling, name calling and insulting language. It’s not okay for anyone in the family to be treated with disrespect. If this is happening, then it would definitely be a good idea to get someone else involved.

But always remember, your parents’ arguments are never your fault. Parents are responsible for their own actions and behaviors, no matter how much they are provoked by another person.



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