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To Sam

Parents always arguing because of me

My dad is horrible to my mum. He calls her all sorts of names and shouts at her all the time. At least once a week they have an argument and my mum is always crying and saying how he doesn't care. My dad works reaaaallyy hard to earn enough money to send me, my sister and my brother to good school (private education).

I know how hard my dad works and he spends most of his money on us. Then there's my mum who was a doctor and gave up her job to look after us. She's basically given up everything for us. She isn't like other mums. She doesn't go and get her nails done or have time to buy nice clothes, as she's always running around after us.
But we try to show her our appreciation. My dad won't say this but somewhere in his mind he thinks wives are for cleaning and looking after the children. He trats her like a slave. When he gets home from work he moans and complains about the stupidest things and starts lecturing my mum like she's a child. Like if my mums cooked fish hell complain about the smell and get annoyed. But sometimes it's more serious than that. I swear once he put his hand over my mums mouth to stop her from talking but I can't remember too well. He never thinks about what he says when he gets home from work. He doesn't stop to think that my mums just one woman and can't do everything. And every time he apologises snd my mum forgives him because shes that nice. He hasn't done anything to us children that will really hurt us. He's slapped us quite a few times when we've talked back to him but nothing serious. It's not like he slaps us every day. And he's never left any red marks. But what bugs me is the way he tries to scare us by saying things like "I'm gonna slap you" and "be careful, be very careful". His face goes all weird like when a horse is scared and you can see the whites of its eyes. He's really intimidating. I've tried befor to try and do something but my mum just gets annoyed at me, as she thinks I just want to be in all the drama. And my dad just says shut up and I'm not joking but he kind of sounds like a robot/darlic. My mum even said to me that she would have left him by now if it wasn't for her needing the money to send us to the good schools. Plus my mum would never get a Job as she hasn't worked in 10 years. But I can see what this is putting my mum rough and I  can't help but think its because of me that she's  still living here, What can I do?

Ask Sam


Hi there

Thanks for writing to me and telling me about things at home. I can hear that you understand the way your dad treats you and your mum isn’t okay. It sounds like your mum works very hard to do her best for your family and that your dad treats her badly by shouting, belittling and intimidating her. I can hear that you love your mum very much and know that she shouldn't have to deal with this kind of behaviour. This situation with your parents must be really difficult for you.

From your letter I can see that you really appreciate all the things that your parents do for you. I can also see that you understand how hard both of your parents work to take care of you and give you the education and home they want you to have.

I also want to let you know that it is never okay for your dad to physically hurt you. You’ve said he slaps you but doesn’t leave a mark. Hitting is never okay, whether he leaves a mark or not. Threatening is not acceptable either and is classed as emotional abuse as he’s making you feel scared of him.

You’ve spoken about your mum needing the money that your dad earns in order to send you, your brother and sister to private school. It seems like your home can be a tough place to be sometimes. It must be hard to hear that your mum has stayed with your dad because of your school fees. I know you said that your mum said you want “to be in all the drama” but it's clear how genuinely concerned and upset you are about everything that’s been happening.

What you’ve described happening to your mum in your letter is 'domestic abuse'. Domestic abuse (also called 'domestic violence') is when one person hurts or bullies their partner or a family member. It can be really difficult for adults and young people to live in homes where this is happening. You might find it helpful to look at The Hideout website, which is designed to support young people in situations like yours.

You might like to think about talking to a ChildLine counsellor. Our counsellors could talk to you about what it’s like to be living in such a difficult environment and try to support you with your feelings. A counsellor could help you think about what you could do to improve things. You can call for free from any phone on 0800 1111. Or you could register an account on our website so you can send an email to one of our counsellors or have a 1-2-1 chat, which is like instant messenger.

ChildLine is a confidential service which means we won’t tell anyone what you talk about. There are some occasions when a counsellor may have to think about telling someone. For example, if they thought your life was in immediate danger. You can find out more about this on our confidentiality page.

You’ve shown a lot of courage to write everything down in a letter and I hope you find my answer helpful.

Take care


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