Help With Parents

Dear Sara,

I know that you give parenting advice. I am twelve years old and I need advice about my parents. They fight all of the time. They scream at each other and sometimes kick and slap. At times they talk about divorce. When they act like this I usually go outside or to my room but it’s loud enough that I can hear them even then. I’m sure the neighbors hear them too. I wish I could leave but there isn’t anywhere to go. I have friends at school but I can’t really bring them home. Sometimes I feel really alone. What should I do?

Dear Shawna,

I can only imagine how difficult this is for you. Sometimes parents don’t realize how their behavior affects their children. It’s OK to tell your parents how you feel and how this affects your life. Ask them to please go to counseling.

This seems almost like a way of life to them at this point. Also, let them know that you would like to live somewhere else until they settle their differences. If this doesn’t work, talk to your school counselor and let him or her help you. This is not a good way for you to grow up.


  1. Shawna,

    Although verbal fights can happen between
    parents any physical violence like kicking
    and slapping is a form of “physical abuse.”
    If you ever feel that your parents are taking
    their troubles to an unhealthy level and
    you think your safety could be affected
    you should make arrangements to stay
    at a friends house if at all possibletull they calm down or pick a family member you
    trust come over to mediate the situation
    if necessary.. It would not be good
    for you to try to do this yourself.

    And it probably is uncomfortable to have
    the neighbors hear your parents quarreling;
    but the important part is your safety and
    that their fighting doesn’t get out of hand.

  2. John Budzash says:

    You received I adequate advice. You should contact the Division Of Youth And Family Services or whatever a similar agency is named in your state.

    Arguing OCCASIONALLY is normal, but by your letter, your parents apparently are way past that point. I suggest you try talking with DYFS first as well as to a family member who you get along with well. That could be grandparents, Aunt’s or Uncles, or even an older sibling who either is on their own or is about to be.
    Don’t involve friends or neighbors. That most likely will cause one or both of your parents to get very upset and possibly lead to more violence.

    If there seems to be no chance of a happy ending ask DYFS for a lawyer to represent you on an action to ‘divorce your parents from you’

    Before doing so and without mentioning any of what I said, try to have a private chat in person with a relative you are closest to. Start out slowly and ‘test the water’ to see if their reaction is a good one. Make sure you begin by saying you want this conversation to be 100% confidential and no one else must know, not even their spouse. Tell them you fear severe punishment if they tell anyone and if they do tell, that you’re going to have to run away, but you prefer to try to help your parents, because you love them.

    Depending on reactions, you’ll probably have to make changes to my suggestions as things happen.

    You were smart enough to look for help. Try to hang in there and don’t stop looking for help until you get someone good who will help you

    I am the only person on Earth with the name here.
    I’m on NJ BUT hopefully, I’ll be moving by September
    Anytime you need someone to talk to look me up online to see I’m a good man, or contact me on Face book and let me know you need help. I promise I will get you help that you need regardless of what state you live in, there are government agencies that will help you

    John Budzash

  3. John Budzash says:

    PS. While Sara’s advice was correct. Things are more complex to resolve your problem. More likely than not they’re going to be upset , so don’t let them know anything until after you feel someone you can trust is involved helping you.
    Best wishes to you and my offer to help has no expiration date.


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