Pat's Answer

My parents hit us to make us behave

Your Question

My parents are always hitting me and my siblings, saying it will “teach us to behave” but it really doesn’t. My siblings follow my parents example and hit me too, they also push me hard to get good grades even if it affects my mental health. They even know that I’ve tried to commit suicide, but they simply don’t care. I’ve always wanted to tell someone, like my teachers or school counsellor but I’m too scared. 


Hello, thank you for reaching out to Ask Pat to share what is going for you in your life.

You are so brave in taking this big step forward to getting the help and support that you deserve. 

You are telling us that your parents are always hitting you and your siblings as they tell you it is to teach you how to behave. Your parents’ behaviour is teaching your siblings that it is ok to hit you as well. Your parents are pushing you and putting further stress and pressure on you to get good grades and this is affecting your mental health. You have tried to kill yourself in the past and your parents are aware of this, but you say they do not care. You really want to tell someone outside your family about what is happening to you at home, but you are feeling scared.  

We are sorry you are going through this. We are very concerned to hear you have tried to commit suicide. You have a right to live your life, be alive and feel happy. Your parents do not have the right to hit you, or your siblings, and your siblings do not have a right to hit you either. No one has the right to harm you or hurt you physically, mentally, or emotionally. Your parents have a responsibility to look after you, care for you and listen to you. We are sorry your parents did not support you with your suicide attempt. You do have a right to talk to an adult you trust and feel comfortable with, about what is going on for you at home and to talk about your relationship with your parents. You say you are scared to talk to somebody that you know, and we understand this. Maybe it would be easier to talk to somebody that you do not know first? It is important for your mental health and well-being that you get the support you need. 

If you are ever feeling suicidal or feel unsafe at home, or anywhere else, you have the right to call the emergency services at 999 or 112.

Tulsa is the Child and Family Agency in Ireland. The social workers within Tulsa are there for young people under the age of 18 years, and their job is to keep children and young people safe at home. You can find your local Tulsa office here if you would like to get in touch with them or get information. You may need the support of an adult to help you with this.  The ISPCC Childline website also has some information and articles you may find helpful;;

You are not alone, the Childline Team are here for you and we would love to chat to you more about what is going on for you. You can reach out to talk or chat to us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and these services are free and confidential. You can talk to us by phone 1800 66 66 66 or chat to us one-to-one on our webchat on  or by text on 50101. We will not judge anything you say to us or tell you what to do. We will look at what options may be available to you, with you. 

You have the right to get the help and support you deserve. Childline is here for you when you are ready to contact us.

We hope to hear from you soon. Take care,


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