Hearing or experiencing your parents always fighting at home is a really horrible situation to be in. It's normal to feel sad, worried, stressed and even angry. While there's a whole stack of things you can't control in the situation, there are a few things you can do to help you cope and feel a bit better.
Create some boundaries
Remember that you’re not responsible for your parents’ conflict and it’s not your job to ‘fix’ it for them. It’s not your fault that this is happening and you don’t have to take sides.
Create your own safe space
When your parents are fighting, this can make you feel upset, angry, anxious, down, irritable or stressed. If you can, go to another room or somewhere you feel safe and secure. You could listen to music, or play a game with earphones in, so you can’t hear the fighting.
Do something that makes you feel good
When you’re going through something like your parents fighting all the time, looking after yourself is extra important. If you prioritise what makes you feel good day-to-day, you’ll be more resilient and feel better equipped to deal with those ‘Ah, crap, they’re at it again’ moments that aren’t so good.
Have a plan to do things you enjoy every day. Think about which ones you can do easily to distract yourself when your parents are fighting. For example, you could put on your headphones and listen to music or play a game, read a book, message a friend or do some drawing. These activities are discreet and won’t attract any extra attention to you. If you’re able to leave the house, you could take the dog for a walk or meet up with a friend.
Go somewhere else
If you have a trusted neighbour, friend or relative close by, you could ask if you can drop by. Even the time you spend getting there can help to clear your head. If there’s someone who knows that your parents often fight, you could ask them whether you could come round whenever the situation at home gets intense.
Your local community might have a public library, park or basketball courts that you could also go to. Try a few places until you find somewhere you feel safe that you can go to if you need to.
Talk to someone about it
Get support from someone you trust. It could be a sibling (if you have one), a friend, a relative, a GP or a counsellor. Your school, uni/TAFE or workplace might have a support person available.
If you’d prefer to talk to someone you don’t know, you could try using a hotline or online chat service, or share what’s happening with you on an anonymous forum such as the ReachOut Forums.
You might worry that if you talk to someone, you could get into trouble or it could break up your family – that’s not down to you. If you need support, don’t be afraid to ask for it.
What if home isn’t safe anymore?
If things are getting intense or you don’t feel safe at home with your parents, check out our info on what to do when your home is no longer a safe place. There are also family services around Australia that you can contact if you need help.