Teenagers+Living in the West, Life Is Not Easy

27 January, 2018
Q As-salamu `alaykum.There are many difficulties raising children in a non-Muslim country. I want to know how to take care of teenagers when they start being Western—going out and so on, as the Westerners do. Should I be strict with my children or should I just make them understand politely?

Answer

In this counseling answer:

“Be aware, you should be friendly, but not over-friendly. Respect to you as parents should always be present and observed. Showing your love, support, understanding, as well as being able to accept his or her new needs are crucial acts you have to perform on daily basis.Be firm, loving, and understanding, but not too strict. In fact, there is a big difference between being strict and being firm. Firmness has to do with setting rules and observing everyone’s rights and obligations”


As-salamu `alaykum.

Thank you for giving us the chance to talk about such an important issue. For sure, you are not alone in your experience; there are millions of Muslims facing the challenge of raising their beloved children in non-Muslim countries. Having a teenager is a challenge, and living in the West is another challenge, so how does one cope with this complex situation? Here is some quick advice.

*Be as understanding as possible. As teenagers, kids undergo a very unstable period and need a lot of understanding, patience, and support. Turn your role from being a parent to being a friend

*Share their daily activities and let them be part of your life. Ask them to give you their advice and suggestions about issues concerning your life. Respect all their opinions, even if they are not identical to yours

*Show them that you respect them and their thinking. Discuss issues openly and frankly with them. Open discussions and joyful common daily activities are your tools to experience a closer relationship with your teenagers

*Be aware, you should be friendly, but not over-friendly. Respect to you as parents should always be present and observed. Showing your love, support, understanding, as well as being able to accept his or her new needs are crucial acts you have to perform on daily basis

*Be firm, loving, and understanding, but not too strict. In fact, there is a big difference between being strict and being firm. Firmness has to do with setting rules and observing everyone’s rights and obligations

Should I let my child go out?

No one except you can answer this question, as it has to do with going out.

1. Where are they going?

2. With whom are they going?

3. What security measures are there when your child goes out? Think about all these questions. Think about going out together as a family and having fun together. Think about accompanying them to wherever they want to go—as a friend, not as a parent. I hope that these guidelines will be of some help to you.

Jazaka Allahu Khayran.

Salaam.

***

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.

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About Mona Younes
Mona Younes has an extensive background as teacher and supervisor in both English Language and Arabic Language schools, before which she obtained her B.Ed at the American University in Cairo, Egypt.Mona attended and participated actively in a long list of conferences and seminars dealing with Family and Parental Issues. Currently, Mona Younes is doing her Masters on Online Education at the Southern Queensland University, Australia.