In this counseling answer:
•Seek out a counselor that is familiar with child development as well as family issues.
•Try to spend as much time with your daughter as you can. Focus on her good points and assure her of your love for her.
•When parents get married, the children begin to act out. It’s not a comfortable situation but it is one that can be resolved insha’Allah with time, patience and prayer.
As salamu alaykum sister,
As I understand, you had a child out of wedlock before you reverted to Islam. I feel and hear your deep regret about what happened, however as you know when you took shahada and became Muslim, all of your sins were forgiven.
After taking shahada, you did indeed start fresh.
Sister, even though your child was born out of wedlock, all children are blessings as it’s not the child’s fault how or when the child was conceived but Allah did create this child and I know you love her very much.
You stated that the father abused you and took your child away from you when she was 6 or 7 months old, however, you did get her back when she was 11 months old.
So as I understand it, she was only away from you for 4 months and even though you stated that she was raised for 4 months most around males she didn’t bond to you that well because of the lifestyle being lived during those 4 months.
Sister, she was very young, she was only gone for 4 months and I’m not sure what effect that may or may not have had on her now.
You said you have been raising her for 7 years and she gets into a lot of trouble and that you’re always getting phone calls from the school about fights or her being disruptive in class or walking out.
Jealous of your marriage
As you got married two years ago and you’ve been raising your daughter for 7 it’s quite possible that your daughter’s acting-out behavior is due to jealousy of you getting married.
You have to look at it from her point of view, she had you all to herself for 5 years and suddenly she has to share you with a man, your husband.
Possibly, that is where the adjustment issues are coming in. Your daughter loves you and she quite possibly may like or even love your new husband but beyond that may lie a jealousy or fear that he’ll take you away from her.
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This is common sometimes when parents remarry, especially when there’s an only child who has had the parent solely to themselves and no one else.
Your daughter has been through three major changes in the past two years. The first was when you reverted to Islam the second was when you got married, the third was when you moved far away from where you were living.
The first is a lifestyle change wherein you are striving to be a good Muslim and I’m sure that brought about changes in the household as well.
The second was your marriage and for this, she has to share you with your husband. The third is moving.
When you moved your daughter lost all of her friends, the familiarity of the school she went to, her surroundings and her home. She had to start over again in all aspects. Understandably these are major changes for a 7-year-old to deal with.
These changes can be immense blessings, especially you are reverting to Islam and teaching her Islam.
Having a father figure in her life is also a blessing as she has a male father figure to look up to (eventually insha’Allah) as well as take the lead and guide her and protect her.
It may take some time getting used to however as you have to remember, she had you all to herself for 5 years. Now your time is being divided between her and your husband. There may be some acting out behaviors as a result of all these changes sister and to some degree, it is normal for a child her age.
Seek out a counselor
I would kindly suggest that you and your husband and your daughter go for family counseling. Seek out a counselor that is familiar with child development as well as family issues.
Some counselors specialize in blended families and know how to conduct effective family therapy for those going through issues such as yours.
Sister, I would also kindly suggest that you try to spend as much time with your daughter as you can. Focus on her good points and assure her of your love for her.
While you do need to address the negative behaviors as well, if you start to focus more on the positive behaviors and what makes you proud of her, insha’Allah she will strive to attain that and feel secure within your boundaries.
You mentioned that you don’t want to give up your daughter because you love her deeply but that you want her to change for the better.
Sister, I’m not really sure who you are thinking to give your child to, if you gave her up-where would go? Sister rest assure that as her mom, you are the best one for her. By giving her up that would just validate her fears of losing you, being rejected, or being chosen over your husband.
You also stated that your daughter’s behavior is slowly coming in between your marriage. That is understandable however both you and your husband should know that even though your daughter is not his blood child, there are immense blessings in the caring of a child, especially one who may initially be difficult.
While it may not be easy right now, you’ve only been married for 2 years and your daughter is still adjusting.
I hope that insha’ Allah you and your husband will seek out family counseling to help resolve this issue with your daughter as well as to help ward off any potential issues within your marriage.
As previously stated this is sometimes an issue when parents get married, the children begin to act out. It’s not a comfortable situation but it is one that can be resolved insha’Allah with time, patience and prayer.
Please do seek out counseling for your family situation, spend quality time with your daughter assuring her of your love for her, spend time with your husband as well building on the foundation of your marriage through love and affection.
Make Duaa to Allah to grant ease and mercy for the situation. Insha ‘Allah, with counseling, quality time and patience, your daughter will soon adjust to the new life and will feel safe and secure in the situation and her behaviors will cease.
We wish you the best you’re in our prayers.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.