In this counseling answer:
“First and foremost, building a good relationship with your daughter. Second, reforming her rebellious attitude including constant argument, ingratitude, and rejecting your opinions and may be your values.”
My dear sister I can sense your frustration, it is so obvious through your words, I can even hear your sighs that lies within your complaints….take it easy sister, this will pass in sha`Allah….just have hope in Allah and He will help you.
It is sure that any good parent would want to see his children better than himself and it breaks his heart when any negative sign appears in the long road of tarbiah and sometimes feel that all his word were in vain…this is despair which is haram as Allah says:
” ….and despair not of Allah’s mercy; surely none despairs of Allah’s mercy except the unbelieving people. “(Al-Yusuf)
Raising a teenager begins from birth and I dare say before their birth by choosing the right spouse. Educationalists and psychologists say that developing a moral system and raising the concept of “conscience” begins earlier than we think, but still, this doesn’t mean giving up on good tarbiah, tarbiah helps in the nurturing of the individual.
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Your problem has two aspects:
- First and foremost, building a good relationship with your daughter.
- Second, reforming her rebellious attitude including constant argument, ingratitude, and rejecting your opinions and may be your values.
If you could do the first, it will greatly enable you to do the second.
What is Adolescence?
Through the journey from childhood to adulthood, you will encounter hills and valleys, failures and successes but in sha`Allah, in the end, you will guide her towards ingraining values, morals, good behavior and social success. And although every adolescent is unique, some characteristics appear to be universal.
Adolescence starts before the physical onset of puberty with all its hormonal disturbances it is a time full of great changes physically, emotionally mentally, spiritually and socially.
So many questions arise at that time:
•”Who am I”
•”How do I fit in this world and with my peers?”
•”What is special about me?”…etc
With all these waves of conflicts within, some degree of strain develops between teens and their parents. No longer you will be unquestionable or beyond contradiction, all your actions will be telescoped by her. She will give you the implications that her peer’s opinions and values are more attractive and much more accepted than yours (although this is not true).
There could also be some external sources of their conflicts that why it is important to look beyond their behavior to the reasons behind it, such as :
Our own examples as parents and not being a role model for our children or a bad parenting style over the years, is one of the most important causes for their rebellion.
It is also normal that teens would act strangely as a way of rejecting tensions that may exist between the family members especially the parents.
Traumatic experiences and serious financial problems could also be the source.
And the destructive morals and values adopted by media, movies, TV and even songs, all these are considered as communicating messages competing with the messages we give to our children and it is not uncommon to find out that they win in enlarging and distorting the meaning of freedom and individualism that should not be limited by anything even deen and parents.
What to do in this dilemma?
Wisdom is a key element in dealing with your teen as Allah says:
” He grants wisdom to whom He pleases, and whoever is granted wisdom, he indeed is given a great good and none but men of understanding mind.”(al-Baqarah 2:269)
Create a positive relationship with her ( won’t work without it), show warm, kindness, respect and love constantly.
Take her opinion in different things, discuss them with her, show her how you think in this and that, and try to understand how she thinks and listens to her opinions. You might find that she might have some better opinions sometimes.
Spend quantity and quality time with her, choose a leisure activity to do regularly with her, it strengthens your bondage, deepens your love and respect that can render the unpleasantness of disciplining a bit acceptable, it will also help you to develop a more effective monitoring process which is crucial in keeping her out of trouble.
Encourage her to express her concerns, this will give her a healthy sense of self and an ability to resist peer pressure.
Set firm family rules, boundaries and clear expectations, which include red lines that are not to be compromised, green line for what is totally free for her to do and grey one for the negotiable things. These firm rules can provide a sense of stability to teens although they may seem loudly protesting against it, but when your standards are demanding but fair, your daughter will flourish and will have a clear map within herself to what is good and what is bad and these standards will be the balance through which all other information is measured. These rules are more apt to fulfillment if they are set by the family as a whole including teens, and will decrease the power of struggle with them.
When children become adolescents a desire for equity grows within, so a red line here is drawn showing what is allowed and what is not. For example: There is a red line in prayers, decency, and watching sex movies, but there is a green one in what to eat or what color to choose, what can kind of activities the family will do..etc
Researchers say that teens are less liable to rebel when they grow up in homes neither too permissive nor too authoritarian – so establish the middle way.
Involve her father in the development and implementation of tarbiah. Let him spend a lot of time with her.
Let her know that she will be held responsible for her actions the good and the bad ones, there are natural, logical consequences of her actions, e.g. withholding privileges which she may be taking for granted as, talking on the phone, watching TV, school tuitions or going out with friends on the weekend, etc.
Stay calm, don’t be provoked by her to the extent of losing your temper and acting irrationally, a firm tone is enough. Psychologists say that most trusted people, opinions, values and information by teens are their parents, yes she may turn to her friends for opinions about social matters, but she will turn to you in facts ethics and future planes.
Involve her in a regular halaqa, let her hear morals and values from other trusted sisters, study Qur`an and seerah (prophetic biography), let her go with them on trips, camping and other social activities in serving the community.
Carry out your acts of worships in front of her, make du`aa‘ where she can see you. And keep a loving smile on your face that says everything.
Try to solve family conflicts as soon as possible, a good home life is a safeguard against a lot of pitfalls that she may face.
Always make du`aa’ for Allah to guide and guard her against any evil and bring her in the way that would please Him.
“And they who say: O our Lord! grant us in our wives and our offspring the joy of our eyes, and make us guides to those who guard (against evil).“(Al-Furqan)
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