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How to Prevent My 20-Year-Old Daughter from Going Astray

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Oct 01, 2017

Question

My daughter is 20 years old. She's has been wearing the hijab since she was 5. Recently, after she graduated from the Polytechnic, she started to go out without her hijab. She said she didn’t want to wear it because she didn't want to wear it in the beginning. She felt she was asked to. She also has stopped performing her daily prayers. I've repeatedly mentioned her obligations to perform salat and complimented her when wearing hijab. As months go by, she is now doing things a Muslim girl is not supposed to do. She mixes with the wrong company; she smokes, drinks (I assume) and she was out with a guy until 12 am. I shared with her the side effects of smoking. I don't know how else to tell her and to disapprove of her going out with guys. Please help me. I might not be a supermom to her, but I've always make dua for my children. She has an older brother and a younger sister.

Counselor

Answer


How to Prevent My 20-Year-Old Daughter from Going Astray

In this counseling answer:

“At this point in your daughter’s life, she may feel she is finding herself or redefining herself. She may be experimenting with her identity and her values. In sha’ Allah, she will not make this a lifestyle and she will return to the path of Islam without too much harm being done.”


As-Salamu ‘Alaykum,

Thank you for writing to us, sister.  You sound like a wonderful mom. Your daughter is blessed to have you.  I hear your concern and feel your pain over the situation.

Sadly, at this point, there is not much you can do, except keeping the doors of communication open for her. Often times, when our children grow up and experience new things in life, they change. Most of the time, the change is only temporary and the child/adult returns to the foundations in which they were taught concerning morals, values, and religious obligations.

At this point in your daughter’s life, she may feel she is finding herself or redefining herself.  She may be experimenting with her identity and her values. In sha’ Allah, she will not make this a lifestyle and she will return to the path of Islam without too much harm being done.

I would kindly suggest, dear sister that you try to be more of a friend now than a mom. You have already taught her Islam, morals, values, etiquette. You gave her an education.  You provided her with a wonderful home life and she was raised Islamically, alhumdulillah. Now, it is time to take a different position.

How we, as parents deal with our children, is clearly outlined Islamically. At this age, we can be more of a benefit in the role of a friend. Of course, you will always be the mom to her but what she may need right now is a really good friend to confide in who does have her best interests at heart.

Perhaps try to spend more time with her going out for lunch, a walk in the park, whatever she and you would enjoy doing together. While you want to try to guide her Islamically right now, the important thing is to gain her trust and her confidence. In this way, she may open up to you about things she is thinking about; she might tell you about her worries, future plans and even why her sudden change. It may come slow sister, but in sha’ Allah she will come to view you as her best friend and you may have the influence to help guide her back to the right path.

By taking this calmer approach, you are showing her that while you do disapprove of her current choices, you are still there for her and do respect her as independent women who can and does make her own decisions.

While some of her decisions right now are not good ones, in sha’ Allah try to find some good points and focus on these. These will be the points that you both can share with happiness and, thus, move you both forward in correcting some of the ones that are not Islamic. You need to start somewhere and by focusing on her positive choices you may help her see how her other choices hurt her. When trying to correct a wrong in someone, it is best to begin with positives. That way, the person who is in need of guidance will be open as you see a good thing in them.

Again, as your role of a friend may be a difficult one as you are her mother, please do rely upon Allah (swt) for strength and mercy. Make du’aa’ that He guides you in helping your daughter and that He guide your daughter back to the right path.

In sha’ Allah, this is a passing phase, dear sister. A painful one not only for you, but I think for her as well. Deep down inside she knows that she is going against her very own nature, and in sha’ Allah she will soon realize that she slipped – like we all do in this life. In sha’ Allah, she will return to the practicing pious daughter that you raised.

Please, let us know how she is doing.

***

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.

Read more:

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How to Deal with Today’s Teenagers (Islamic Reflections)




About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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