I am eleven years old and my sister is twelve. For more than three years my dad and mom have argued. They fight about silly things, like that the water is dripping or that my mom leaves a wrinkle when ironing. I feel badly that my dad insults my mom, and I don’t know how to tell them not to fight over nothing.
I want to ask you to give me advice so that they won’t fight.
We are happy to know that you are following our “Cases of the Week.” Many problems in your life can be avoided if you learn from the experiences of others.
I was very sad to learn about your situation. I had a problem just like yours when I was your age. My parents fought all the time. Sometimes they were so loud and violent that the neighbors would call the police. Finally they got a divorce, and my mother married again. But not much time passed before the fights started between my stepfather and my mother.
I wanted so badly for it to stop! I tried everything. I would beg them to stop, but nothing changed. There was absolutely nothing I could do to make a difference, so I tried to escape from the situation by reading books all the time. I immersed myself in the stories of others so that I wouldn’t have to think about my own story.
Many young people in your situation have found their own ways to escape. Some of those ways are positive, and some are very negative and dangerous. Drugs and alcohol are common ways of escape that only bring worse problems. Relationships with the wrong people can also be a way of escape, but they too are very dangerous.
In answer to your question, I am sorry to tell you that there is no way for you to make your parents stop fighting. Instead, you should accept that you have no power over them. You can only change yourself. Like I did, you can determine that you will someday make a better home for your children. And you can decide that you will never marry a man who treats you disrespectfully in any way. Just last week, the case we chose was about a sixteen‑year‑old girl who tried to escape her bad home life by marrying an abusive man. Regrettably, she is now worse off than she was before. Please don’t make that mistake!
The best thing that you can do is to find an isolated place in your home or patio. Go there when the arguing starts. Get some earplugs or earphones for music, and use them to muffle the sound of the fighting. Use the time to study, to read, or to write down your feelings in a journal.
Remember that you have a Heavenly Father who loves you very much. He can give you a peace in your heart that will help you endure the bad times in your home. Pray in your own words, and ask Him to help you and to be with you. It worked for me, and I know it will work for you.
You are not alone,
Linda (Charles’ wife)