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To Sam

no freedom, no life

I just wanted to write to get some advice on a family issue with my parents. My dad is a muslim and my mum is non religious. Im 14 years old and i have younger sisters who have muslim names and my dads last name. I didnt have a muslim name or my dads last name i had my mums. But recently they made me change my name, i complained many times to my mum about not wanting my name changed and she was supportive about it but my dad wasnt happy about me refusing. So it did get changed even though i didnt want it done. The other massive problem that is getting to me is the lack of frerdom i have. Well none at all in other words. Im always expected to help look after my sisters and im never allowed to have some relaxing time by myself in my room. Im never allowed out with my friends or to stay at there houses mainly because my dad doesnt agree with it and my mum just has to go along with It. My mum has postnatal depression herself and when she is in a bad mood its always always taken out on me, the shouting mostly. I understand that giving me no freedom is a protective thing and they are just trying to keep me safe but i can no longer live like this? Its bringing me down every single day. My friends are always planning things to do and its me thats never able to go. I have got depression too and this whole thing in my eyes is the reason i have it, i just dont know what i should do?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

It can be really difficult if the way you are treated at home is different to the way your friends are treated. Not being able to take part in plans with friends can leave you feeling isolated and alone. It's wrong for you to be always expected to look after your sisters and not to have any alone time.

With your name change, I know your mum was supportive but your dad wasn’t happy so you still had to change it. You can change your name back when you are 18 without your parent’s permission if you want to do this.

As your mum seemed to understand, maybe you could speak to her about this. You could ask her to sit down with you and your dad to let him know how him being overprotective is making you feel. Ask your mum to support you in the conversation and help you to come up with a compromise that will keep everyone happy. This could be something like you being allowed more freedom as long as your parents know where you are going and you keep in regular contact. Think about what you would like to say before and maybe write things down so you don’t forget anything.

Make sure it is a good time to talk for both your mum and dad before you start talking to them. Choose a time your mum is not in a bad mood and both your parents have time to listen. You could start off by asking to be allowed to do something small and build up trust with your dad so you can eventually have more freedom.

It sounds like your mum can take things out on you and she should not be doing this. You could try and speak to her separately about this.

Depression is an illness which can cause you to feel down or sad and can really affect your life. Talking to a doctor will help as they will be able to talk to you about different types of treatment available. If you don’t feel you could go alone, you could ask a trusted adult or a friend to go with you.

If you would to talk about this some more you can get support from other young people on our message boards or talk to a ChildLine counsellor.

Take care,

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