We are a migrant family in the US, we left our country Egypt to the states 2 years ago. Since then, we have been trying to adapt to American life.
I have 2 children, the eldest is a 12-year-old girl. A few weeks ago, she came to me and asked me about dating and sex! The question surprised me and I couldn't answer her.
I asked her from where she got this question she said she heard her friends speaking about this. What do you advise me to answer her question and deal with this difficult situation?
In this counseling answer:
Answer her questions in a calm and loving manner.
Explain fully, what she seeks to know. Again, if you don’t, she will just seek it elsewhere.
Discuss the process of puberty, sexual feelings and the actual act of sex, marriage, and all the feelings she will (or is) feeling as a pre-adolescence.
Take advantage of these moments and opportunities to strengthen her Islamic resolve
I can only imagine how hard it must be trying to adapt to a new country. It is filled with many challenges and changes. I imagine as your daughter is 12, her body has begun to develop as well as you may be noticing some changes in her emotions. This is the normal path of adolescence and along with it comes sexual curiosity.
In America, children are often taught at a young age about sex education. While there are debates that this is the parents’ responsibility and should be kept out of schools, it has been going on since I was in school at 12 years old.
Right or wrong, it is happening and your daughter is curious. She and her friends are probably talking about it at school as well- because that is what pre-teens and teenagers do! The good thing is that she came to you to get her questions answered.
That is a big plus. She trusts you and she feels close enough to you to ask questions which may be embarrassing for her. I encourage you to keep the lines of communication open.
Please, insha’Allah, don’t act shocked or alarmed when she asks questions. That may make her close up, and get her answers elsewhere. You want her to come to you.
Answer her questions in a calm and loving manner. Explain fully, what she seeks to know. Again, if you don’t, she will just seek it elsewhere. I am not sure if she has started menstruation yet. If she has not, now would be a perfect time to discuss that as well because at 12 years old, she will be starting very soon.
I would kindly suggest that insha’Allah you discuss the process of puberty, sexual feelings and the actual act of sex, marriage, and all the feelings she will (or is) feeling as a pre-adolescence.
When discussing these things with her, insha’Allah, assure her that is part of normal development and as Muslims we have certain values which Allah commands for us to live by, such as waiting until we are married to have sex. Explain to her the reasons why (i.e. STD’s pregnancy, purity and obedience to Allah).
Insha’Allah, you and your daughter will maintain a close, open relationship as she grows and develops into a young woman. Whether you are here or still in Egypt, nature would have taken it’s course and these issues would have emerged anyhow.
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Perhaps as she is in a foreign country, she does feel you are the only one she can ask about this things-which is a plus!
Take advantage of these moments and opportunities to strengthen her Islamic resolve and insha’Allah she will always come to you with questions as well as seeking advice. That is every parent’s hope!
We wish you and you family the best in your new home here in America, may Allah SWT bless you and make it easy.
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