How to help a friend with mean parents?

I have a small community that I’ve gained from streaming, and one of them sent me a message telling me about the rough family trouble they’re going through right now and while I do my best to validate them and remind them how much they’re loved, I don’t know what kind of practical advice I should give them.

Their parents tell them that they are a mistake and that they’re the cause of all the family’s problems. They are forced to spend time with their parents, who insult and belittle them regularly, and have been getting upset that this person is spending time with their IRL and online friends. Recently, they finished a major art project at school and really enjoyed it, but their mom insisted upon seeing it and proclaimed that it was awful and she could do better. Other similar incidents has occurred but you get the picture.

They told me that one time their mother slapped them after they said something she didn’t like. I don’t know if that’s a regular occurrence or if that just happened once, but I advised them that if it happens again to go somewhere safe and call the police.

I don’t come from that kind of family, so while I sympathize and try to encourage them, I can’t truly relate to what they’re going through. They are a minor (though I don’t know their exact age; in high school, I’m guessing), and I don’t want to give them advice that would end up with them being hurt even more. It’s a complicated situation and I just don’t know what her options are. They’re not sure what to do during this upcoming summer break and I don’t want them to be stuck having to be constantly hurt by the people who are supposed to love them the most.

If you have thoughts or ideas I could pass on, I would greatly appreciate it.


From: Night/in/gale (Discord)

Hey there, welcome! That sounds like a tough situation to be in for both you and them. Your advice for them to go to the police if things escalate is probably the best you can realistically give. You could suggest that (if they’re old enough to do so independently of their parents) they go to a friend’s house to sleepover or something when things get tough in the household. If they 're in school and they feel comfortable and safe doing so, they should try and talk to an adult about it, as they will then be able to take the steps needed to find a safe solution. Obviously it is hard to know what advice would end up hurting more than helping, but it can be a risk that needs to be taken. A good friend of mine who comes from an abusive household ended up calling the CPS when things got really bad, and, while it scared the living daylight out of them when their parents found out, at the end of the day they are now in a much safer place. Apart from that, making them feel loved is the best moral support you can give them, all while remembering to take care of yourself too! Your mental wellbeing is also important! Feel free to share more with us when you want, we’ll be here! Stay strong and send our love to your friend :heart:


From: j71s8 (Discord)

Thank you for sharing your story with us. It is a difficult situation you are in. To be stuck where you are unable to know more about the person is difficult. To truly be safe for the other person, you would need to have other services involved for your community member. Unfortunately you are not to be able to set up these services for them. They need to talk to a therapist about what is going on in their lives as well. There is only so much that you can do for them before you are going to run yourself dry. When you are running a community it is important to know when you need to have other resources take over where you cant. One of the biggest places is in mental and physical health care (as well as social services), I would say you need to direct her to those services and help her on her way so she can get the services she needs. There are many ways to get these services through non-profits, government agencies, and other grants. I would encourage you to have her look into services such as heartsupport’s wall right here if she needs somewhere to talk. Just to let you know, you are loved, you matter and you are cared for greatly


Thank you for sharing this information and experience with us. You’ve done a great deed by truly caring for this person enough to reach out and seek the support of others on their behalf.
In my opinion, the best advice that you can give them would come from your own heart. Telling them everything you have told us, that you truly sympathize (but cannot personally relate), would go a long way in gaining their trust. At the end of the day, they likely don’t have much control over their situation. Perhaps changing the way that they perceive their situation would improve their mental wellbeing, or even just some reflection on what they have. Family itself is a fluid construct, and does not require relation by blood. Simply, family is those who love and take care of one another. Creating a family dynamic within their group of friends may be greatly beneficial in the long run, as having a strong support system is necessary for emotional and mental stability.

With this being said, perhaps the best thing that you could do for them (and for yourself) would be to welcome them to this community. They would likely receive the professional help and responses needed to encourage positive mental growth. No matter how much you care for them, you cannot change their situation. I understand the need to help others, but you must take care of yourself as well.

Stay strong
-William Pedersen


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