It is a difficult situation to be saddled with at such a young age and it is always difficult for a child to have to bear the burden of their parents’ actions. It is not a situation that any child should have to deal with on their own. As such, one of the first things I would recommend is that if there is an uncle, aunt, grandparent, someone in the community whom both parents may respect, one may want to speak to them and ask for them to help intervene in the process. I know the first thing a child may be scared of is the reaction of the parents, but in sha’ Allah when the other adult speaks to them, they will be able to frame it as being done as a means to help the family and bring everyone closer to Allah Most High..

It often depends on the relationship of the child and the parents that will determine how much or how little the child can or can not speak to them. If a child is close to either one, in a way that he/she can tell them how he/she feels, then I would suggest that the child lets them know how their behaviour at those times makes him/her feel. Framing concerns in a positive way is very important as well as using the utmost best adab. Speak to them kindly and perhaps let them know that he/she is sharing his/her feelings to help keep the family unified, so as not to allow Shaytan to come between all of you. A family that is solid, following Allah’s commands and being merciful to one another, will enter Jannah by Allah’s mercy, and this is something else that a young child can say they want for the family. It may help them to understand what the concerns are and then make them reflect on their attitudes.

As I mentioned before, a child can try to speak to a family member or respected community member whom the dad and mum may respect and listen to and let them speak to the parents. I know as a child, there may be hesitation about this since many times it is considered to be “shameful” to expose our problems to others, and this is often the feeling of elders. However it is our duty to do this if we believe it can make a difference, rather than waiting until the situation has escalated too far to reach a solution. In this case, the child ought to remind him/herself that he/she is doing this for Allah and to preserve his/her parents’ relationship, so even if they may get upset with you initially, one can hope for the mercy and pleasure of Allah.

We pray Allah sends sakinah (calm) and rahmah (mercy) upon every home and into the hearts of our parents, and blesses the children to understand that this is not their fault, nor is it a reflection of their love for them. And we pray that Allah Most High restores our families that are broken and blesses us all with happiness, peace.