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Phone addiction of younger brother


Asalam o alakum. I am a 14 y/o young woman. I have only one sibling, a brother, who is 3 years younger than me. We used to live with my father in UAE but due to financial issues my parents decided that they would shift back in Pakistan. We temporarily live in my mom side grandparents’ house (they’ve died so my uncles and their families live here) as in this city are better schools and better quality of life until we buy our own house nearby. I live with my mother and brother. So my brother has this phone addiction. My father bought me a phone in the first, so my bro would fight to share it with him, and then my father gave him his own phone and bought a new one so that at least he wouldn’t fight. After he got the phone, he would play games and watch YouTube (gaming videos) till 5 in the morning but would not stop. So seeing this, my father started to give him for a specific time, say for 3 hours and ask him to return and just because of the fear of my father he would return it. When coming here, my mother begged my father to keep the phone to himself as she knew she couldn’t stop him. I was relieved by this but rather than asking for his own phone he would beg my mom to give him her phone, and she would, I always would complain but she thought that just because I have a phone so he should be able to use it as well. This problem had grew so much that although when my mom doesn’t want to give him, he would start beating my mom, start throwing stuff, start beating me and even after giving the phone and giving him for specific time, he would not return when the time ends up and when taken forcefully, he would start do all the aggressive and psychopathic things as mentioned. It has been more than 8 months since we’ve came here and from the first day I would tell my mom to send him to some boarding school or at least send him to a masjid where there are ustad that teach Quran strictly but SHE DOES NOT take it seriously as she is scared of the terrorism and that she is all alone woman so for Quran a Qari comes to the house to teach him, she pays him more than a normal Qari would take. I have tried so much to talk him through politely even been aggressive but it does not effect, on the contrary, he becomes more wild. My mother sends him to the one of the top school of Pakistan, and as the rule the fees are very high, but it is like he doesn’t care at all, and is not even guilty to give her a crappy result, even my father doesn’t like the idea to send him to this expensive school but still she does just to make him mannered but no use at all. I try to keep her phone in my hold, but he annoys my mom so much that even though I’ve said no, he would make her beg me to give him the phone and I have to. Everyday my aunt would taunt me that it is very important to have a father around and I just quietly listen because I know I can not make her understand that living here is not a choice. My father has type 1 diabetes and blood pressure problem, he doesn’t like to live there alone either, at this age he needs someone to take care of him, but just because of all the economic problems we came here. I have no idea what to do, I need help desperately. I don’t want my mom to destroy her health because of someone as stupid as my brother who doesn’t care of his own mother.


Waalykum salam 

I must congratulate you to be so brave and matured at such a young age. Truly Daughters are such a blessing.
May Allah always make you successful.
Sorry to hear about the entire din you are all going through as a family.
Your brother does sound like an addict.
And it’s even more serious because he has moved away to where he thought he belonged!
But we also need to look at the situation in a different way that he is also going through a phase in his body, thinking,emotions, etc
This time, I.e. puberty, is an extremely difficult time especially for boys. More so, if he and the people around him are not aware of this changes.
Anyhow, I will suggest a few things that may ease your battle with him:
1- Read about his physical changes and acknowledge that rapid and harsh change he is going through internally. It is usually the period where most children suffer. Girls tend to balance it out more than boys. The more we read, the more we will be able to understand his actions and help him accordingly. (I would encourage your mother to do the reading too). This reading will also help you predict his actions and maybe that will help you change your ways of dealing with him!?!
2- He is suffering due to a drastic change in his life. You see, as kids, we have our comfort zone and belongingness to a certain place. Your bother has had to sacrifice everything that defined him, his country, school, friends and more over also his father!
In this case, you should be feeling sorry for him and help him out.
I know he my act too violent to receive any help at the moment, but maybe a lay talk during calm times, will help him have a better transition. I’m sure you have your talk times, you should definitely talk about his like and dislikes. Pls don’t oppose his likes or dislikes, simply listen! At times, all a young soul wants is to be listened to!
3- get him engaged into a physical activity. He is only hooked to screen because he thinks that’s fun and keeps him busy (he is bored). Well he needs to know that there are a million and one things out there to keep him busy other than the screen. Physical activity will also make him happier and will have a very good thinking capacity than now. He will gradually do better at school too InshaAllah.
Find out what his other interests are and encourage your mother to support the idea. InshaAllah You will see immediate results.
4- Quran is ideal for soothing the soul. Apart from just reciting I would suggest you play it in the House. It is important for all of you to have a good amount of time just listening to it. It doesn’t have to be stretched hours with a high pitch volume, rather a low 10-15 min hearing by a wonderful reciter will help.
5- pray. Yes! Pray a lot for him and your parents altogether. Spend good quality time with your creator and simply talk to HIM! you too need a good listener and who is more of a great listener than the Almighty Allah (swt)
This will help you calm down, and think more clearly.
Venting out your feelings will help you feel
Lighter and you will be able to make more proactive decisions than reactive.
At this level, don’t react to your bothers action! Be proactive.
E.g give him the phone to play with (with time restrictions) before he asks. That way, the fussing for asking with beating and screaming will be solved and you should expect a calm return too. (You must mention to him that, just the way he got the phone with calmness the same is expected while returning, if not, eg half an hour from tomorrow’s screen time will be reduced) and stick to the plan. If he fusses or screams just listen to him and don’t react. But stick to the rules. Slowly it will sink in and InshaAllah you will have calmer screen period. (Pls notify your mother of this and work as a team. You don’t want her to give in to his cries. She needs to be as strong as yourself)
I hope the above was useful
You and your family are in my prayers
Kind regards,