If mother and father fight with each other (whether physically or verbally), whom should child side with?

  • 10
    Why should the child "side" with either? If this is a serious question, I recommend calling protective services rather than asking here, ESPECIALLY if we're discussing verbal and/or physical abuse... Mar 20, 2016 at 2:14
  • 3
    Welcome to Mi Yodeya! This question is dealt with in classical Jewish sources, and I hope you will receive quality answers.
    – LN6595
    Mar 20, 2016 at 2:21
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    – mbloch
    Mar 20, 2016 at 4:02
  • what do you mean by "side".
    – ray
    Mar 20, 2016 at 21:21
  • They should side with whomever is right. If the father is drunk and beating his wife due to intoxication, the child should side against the father. If the mother caught the father cheating and she is yelling at her husband, the child should support the mother. If the fighting is due to the fault of both parents, the child should not get involved and remain impartial
    – Aaron
    Jun 3, 2016 at 19:13

2 Answers 2


The Gemara in Kiddushin (31b), in explaining how to fulfill the Mitzvah of fearing one's parents, says that, among other things, he should neither contradict them nor support them. Rashi explains that the latter is called fearing them so as not to make it seem like your parents need your support. Based on that, I'd advise sitting this argument out.

If the child has to get involved, I'd try to side with both parents. Be a "talmid of Aharon, loving peace and chasing after peace" (Avos 1:12). We're told that "Hashem couldn't find a vessel to hold Brachah other than peace" (Uktzin 3:18). These are among the many sources that describe the power of peace. If he's forced to do something, he should try to compromise between them, unless it would make things worse. The best course of action would be for the child to go find the Rav of the community and ask him to sit down with the parents for a round of marriage counseling.

  • I heard there are two ways to pursue peace in this way, one is to say both sides are wrong, and one is to say both sides are right. One is better, but not as useful nowadays but I forget which. Does anyone know of this?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Dec 7, 2022 at 11:04

If parents fight the child has an obligation of kibbud av va'em to give the parents the impression that their fighting did not have a deleterious effect on the child.

The parents' fighting is likely to be due to a negative infringement from the 'outside world' which they try normally to protect their child from within the environment of the family.

Therefore if the child shows they are deleteriously affected by the fighting they will make the parents feel they have failed in this duty.

  • 1
    But they have failed if their fighting has hurt their child. How is this kibud av v'em?
    – Dude
    May 4, 2016 at 10:29

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