I need my own space
I am a 16-year-old girl. I am a student of first year in a private college. I have no words to praise you enough for the wonderful job you are doing. I belong to a middle class family. I live in a joint family with my parents, siblings, grandmother and my chacha and chachi (uncle and aunt). We all live in an old family house, which belongs to my late grandfather. The problem is that the there are only four rooms in the house which are not sufficient to accommodate so many people. One room is occupied by my grandmother, one room by my uncle and aunt, one by my parents and fourth one is shared by me and my two younger brothers. So, there are definitely space issues. My aunt is expecting and soon they are going to have a baby and then they will also need a room for their baby. I have told my father to get a separate flat for ourselves but he says that it is not possible for him to live independently in this time of inflation. At least here he does not have to pay the rent. Guru, I am getting frustrated. I have no privacy. I cannot invite my friends over as there is no space. I need my own space. Please help.
Dear Upset Girl,
You are too young to understand the complexities of relationships. In our social setup joint family system is a norm and many families (willingly or unwillingly) live under one roof. There are many social and economic factors involved, too. Your father is right; he is clearly not in a position to afford a separate place at the moment. You are a grownup girl now; try to understand your father’s position instead of grumbling. Well, you are right to some extent: families are growing and sooner or later your father and uncle will have to make some serious decisions. Tell your father to talk to your uncle and try to resolve the issue amicably. It’s better if they sell this family property and out of that money, they can buy two small flats or portions where you guys can shift easily. Your grandmother can move with your uncle as his family is relatively small. But till the time your uncle or father come to any logical/practical solution, stay calm. Good luck!
My parents are very old fashioned
I am 17 years old. I simply love your advice column. I am a student of A Levels and studying in co-education in one of the best schools of Karachi. I belong to a well-to-do family but my parents are very conservative. They don’t like me going to parties or talking to boys. In fact, my mother keeps a vigilant eye on my comings and goings, and she even keeps tracks of my phone calls. My friends call me ‘outdated’. Most of my friends don’t feel happy hanging out with me because when I am out with my friends, my mother calls me 100 times. This is so embarrassing for me. My parents don’t trust me whereas my friends’ parents are so cool. I am very upset with this situation. This is also shattering my confidence. Please help me!
Dear Disgruntled Girl,
Don’t feel bad about your parents’ attitude towards you. Your parents are not old fashioned; they are only concerned about your well being. You have no idea how difficult it is to earn money these days. Remember that your parents are rich, but you are not rich. Whatever you have got today is because of your parents. You should be grateful to them for providing you with the best of education and living. It is their right to see what their child is up to as you are still in your teens. 17 is quite an impressionable age. Right now, you feel under pressure and embarrassed because of your parents but 10 years down the road you will realise that your parents were right.
If your parents don’t like you to stay out late, why don’t you invite your friends over? I am sure your parents will have no objection to that and they’ll be happy to meet your friends. By doing this you can also gain their trust and confidence. You can also have quality time at home by watching good movies and by reading books. Remember, if you want others to like you, first you have to like yourself. This is the first step towards confidence. Count your blessings and start working around your strategy from today. Good luck!
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