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anonymous
04-16-2013, 11:42 PM
Salaam brothers and sisters

My younger brother (age 11) is suffering from depression. He is quite weak (physically and emotionally), which causes him to get bullied at school.
Unfortunately our life at home is difficult due to our father. I am sad to say that my father just does not understand us (his wife and children) at all, and is a selfish, arrogant and ignorant man. My parent's marriage is already in trouble, my mother has always put up with my father's personality and thought process but now it is a daily source of depression for her also, and seeing my brother go through this pain is causing her depression also.

My father values worldly things (career, money, respect) more than anything else. He does not invest in his children's personal and emotional development at all. Because of this, my younger brother is suffering a lot. All the other children he knows (his friends, cousins, etc.) have really involved fathers who spend a lot of time with their children and take them out to places etc, so my brother is very conscious of the fact that his father does not do these things with him. In effect, our father is just a financial provider and not really a "father figure". My brother is severely lacking in confidence, which is causing him to get bullied in school as well. He is physically weak and now he is emotionally weak also.

All my father does is tell my brother off for watching too much tv or ask him about his grades. Whenever my brother builds up the courage to ask my father if he can take him out (e.g. to the park to ride his bike) my father just turns him down harshly, and says he is busy (he has some hobbies which take up most of his free time). My brother feels like he is not worth anything (at school by kids who bully him and at home by my father who does not spend time with him). It is painful to watch and brings tears to my mother's eyes.

On top of this he is extremely controlling and does not accept criticism or suggestions as he seems to think that he always knows better and is the smartest person in the room. I am currently studying at university so I have very little time to spend with my family when I get home in the evenings.

I have no idea what to do. I love my father but I do not like him. Islam is the only reason I remain civil. All through my childhood I have disliked my father for these same reasons and now it is slowly turning in to resentment. I hate even being in the same room as him or talking to him and listening to him basically proclaiming how intelligent and different he is. I would like to sit and discuss how we are suffering because of him but for my fear of Allah I dare not in case I hurt his feelings.

I want him to become a better father to my brothers. To love and appreciate them and to build confidence in them.
I want him to become a better husband to my mother who makes so many sacrifices for her family.
I want our family relationships to grow with love.

What can I do?
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Alpha Dude
04-17-2013, 08:28 PM
Wa alaykum salam,

Dua is the only thing I can think of. It's hard for people to change others. Make plenty of sincere, heartfelt dua.
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anonymous
04-17-2013, 08:38 PM
:sl:

My heart goes out to your little brother. I hope things work out better for him at school. I think what you really need to do is accept your father as a fact of reality. It's harder to change our core beliefs and attitude in life the older we get, this is why there's probably no use in trying to change your father. Maybe your father does have some qualities that may irritate you and that's understandable but it's also important to notice that he does care about you. If he provides financial support for you ad the rest of your family including your mother that does show that he cares a great deal. If he didn't he wouldn't bother giving any kind of support finanial or not. Sometimes when there's a big generation gap between the ae ranges of parents and their children misunderstandings occur. For some reason I don't believe that your father is an entirely self-centered man. I think maybe he had a rough childhood and set his heart on supporting his family financialy without recognizing the other aspects of a healthy family relationship which has led to his negligence of spending more time with your little brother. He probably stresses on academic grades because he wants to ensure a secure future for you and your other siblings. It happens with fathers who've struggled to gain a source of income.

You're probably hurt and this is why you've inclined to clam up and avoid him as much as possible. That's completely understandable but even that involves a process of bottling unresolved emotions which and wirl up in unexpected situations. Maybe for you personally you should try to sit down with your self and write down on a paper how you relly feel about his actions and why you believe it's affecting you and your family directly. I think if you wrote a well articualted letter to him and expressed inside it all your feelings in a contianed manner with signfying that you're really only pointing this out to him because you love him (he is your father afterall) and your brother also loves him and wishes to spend more quality time with him just like all the other kids at his school. I hope then he would have an open mind and scheduale more time with his family. Another idea is also showing interest in his hobbies (even if its not sincere) showing him that you like the things he likes can be a good plug in to building a more loving relationship with him. I think if you just try to put a little effort into that he might open up and become a completely different person.


What you also need to do regarding your younger siblings (since it seems you're the eldest) I suppose then you have to take up that role in charge of your father. If your brother wants to go out and play in the park you can save up sometime for him and take him there. Partipating and being an active member in his life will give him an alterative source of security and comfort and it is incredibly important for him that have such a figure in his life. One that he can look up to and one that will be there for him to lean on and seek adice and guidance in his life. Even if time is a roadblock for you there's still some other ways by which you can keep in contact with him. You also have to do your best to boost up his confidence, encourage him and make him believe in himself. If your father criticised him for something he's done try to lighten it up and draw out the positives about it. Try to substitute you father's role and play a bigger part in his life so that he can be postively influenced. If he doesn't have strong connections with atleast one of his family memebers now at his age it will be much more difficult to assisst him in his teenage years and beyond which are very critical stages in one's life.

 

Hug your mother be the source of her happiness. Be a good son to her and tell her how much you love her and appreciate all that she sacrificed for your (family's) sake. Words of appreciation can be very releiving and motivating. Don't talk ill of your father infront of her it will make her even more sad. Buy her a gift or do something special for her. Try to transfer the negative scope into something brighter and more positive. Pray for your father, I know you are suffering because of his actions but he's probably suffering double-fold inside but just can't show it. Sometimes it's porbably he's job; they give a false persona for their occupier to assume and professional and private matters get confused, which causes frustration and sometimes a short temper fuse. Finally, be garteful trust me you have a shelter to live in , a living breathing family, food to eat , water to drink, access to higher education. Many blessings most people don't really have. Pray for your family and God willing Allah will manage all your affairs in the best possible way.


Sidenote: I'm so sorry if I didn't address your question appropriately or give you useful advice. I also apologize if anything I said offended you. Hopefully I didn't. I just don't know what else to say?. My prayers are with you though. In shaa Allah.
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anonymous
04-17-2013, 11:38 PM
Assalaam alaikum

I am the original poster.

Alpha Dude, thank you for your advice. I think you're right. I make lots of dua for my brother,father and family every single day and insha Allah things will only get better. You are right, only Allah (swt) can make changes happen.

anonymous, thank you for your advice. Masha Allah you have been blessed with amazing insight. You were completely correct in your assumptions, e.g. the age gap, my father's childhood, etc.
I had never thought about how my father could have been hurting as I was so focused on my brother and mother. It has completely changed my perspective and in fact reminded me how much I love and respect him. Thank you for your kind words and putting things in to perspective, and the invaluable advice. I have a much better idea of what he's going through, how to connect with him, how to help my brother, how to appreciate my mother, and of how much Allah (swt) has blessed me.

May Allah (swt) guide and reward you both for your efforts, insha Allah, I have made dua for you both.

Thank you once again for your time, I really appreciate it.
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جوري
04-18-2013, 12:05 AM
Does your brother have other male role models? uncles perhaps? I think involving the family will make your father rethink his ways especially if your brother forges a strong relationship with another male member..
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anonymous
04-18-2013, 05:07 PM
anonymous, thank you for your advice
You're welcome , give your little brother a big hug.
:sl:
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IbnAbdulHakim
04-18-2013, 05:51 PM
please dont ever resent him. rather feel sorry for him if he is being blind to what you can see.

when i see a blind man i will not get angry if he walks nto me... but i will make dua Allah gives him either sight or the capacity to live with his affliction as a muslim should.
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anonymous
04-18-2013, 10:16 PM
Assalaam alaikum

I am the original poster.


Originally Posted by العنود
Does your brother have other male role models? uncles perhaps? I think involving the family will make your father rethink his ways especially if your brother forges a strong relationship with another male member..
This is a good idea, although I fear this may (atleast in the short term) increase the distance between them. I will try to be a positive role model, Insha Allah.



Originally Posted by IbnAbdulHakim
please dont ever resent him. rather feel sorry for him if he is being blind to what you can see.

when i see a blind man i will not get angry if he walks nto me... but i will make dua Allah gives him either sight or the capacity to live with his affliction as a muslim should.
The negative feelings just slowly grew within me over many years, but you are right. As an adult I should look at the issue more objectively and as a loving son rather than a hurt child.



Thank you for your messages. May Allah guide you and reward you all for your efforts, Insha Allah.
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