My Daughter Has Become Angry, Rude and Disrespectful

15 June, 2019
Q Salaam, My eldest daughter is 32 years old. She still living with us at home as she is not married and now her attitude I fear is going to break up the family. We started to look for someone suitable when she was still at university. 12 years later, she is still not married. She has not taken this matter seriously until just a few years ago. I’ve looked on hundreds of profiles on websites for her, Suggested marriage agency, friends etc nothing has worked. There have been some very nice people but she doesn’t even want to meet them because they don’t ‘look’ nice to her.

We argued about this subject for so long everyone is sick of it. It was important for us that our girls settle down within a reasonable time and start their own life. This hasn’t happened. She has also been working since about 18 years of age and despite having a uni degree doesn’t have any particular career or qualification. She had a good job until a year ago then decide to leave and try to do her own thing which hasn’t worked out, and therefore she is unemployed with no money because she loves to spend. This is another matter we argue about- her inability to save. She always sleeps till mid-day has breakfast and often will make plans get ready and go out in the evening with friends. She takes very little responsibility in the home and if she does cook if she has to (about once a week). She expects us to be very thankful and probably give her a medal. I work full time and am on call nights and weekends but it is still expected that I will cook - which I do.

Now we have got to the stage that we dare not talk to her about any of these topics as she has become very disrespectful, rude and always breaks into tears. Everything is our fault, we’re told other parents don’t give their children a hard time over marriage, or going out, we’re so negative etc. Her father doesn’t like her going out in the evening but she still goes and often she will come back late - sometimes 2 or 3am. This makes him angry so he doesn’t speak to her.

We’ve reached a stage where she says she can’t live with us and wants to move out. We’re very hurt by this - I’ve cried for days - all we want is for her to have a successful and happy life. What are we doing wrong? She has become antagonistic and a disruptive force in our house. She neither respects her parents or her younger sibling who is a very caring and sensitive person and gets badly affected by all this carry-on. We worry about her also - how it affects her. Despite all this they want us to be happy all the time and create a good environment- we’re not allowed to show anger, disappointment or get upset. In effect - to care less. We are trying but it is not easy. Please advise. Thank you for your time. May Allah swt reward you for your efforts

Answer

In this counseling answer:

•Her behavior is disrespectful, but at least if you can understand the potential reasons why like this then it is easier to approach her in a way that may be more helpful for everyone.

•Perhaps a bit of negotiation between you would be a useful way to allow her to have her voice heard so that she feels her place in the house is respected as well as getting a chance to have her say as well as you yours.

•It may be the same scenario regarding marriage. Perhaps she feels she has little control over who she is to marry and this is why she is disregarding your choices without even meeting them. Maybe this is her indirect way of exhibiting control in this situation. So, again, maybe handing her back some control and having her get more involved from the start might help.


Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh and ameen to your duas,

We often have parents writing in who have problems with their children from young ages, and even up until teenage years. It’s more unusual to hear of such difficulties at an older age, although not unheard of so you’re not totally alone.

It seems that right now whatever you do and however you try to help her she just Disrespect you back. This is understandably causing you a lot of distress. Perhaps it’s time to try and manage the situation a different way if you feel that nothing is working right now.

When you have prolonged troubles with someone the best way to begin is to try and see things from their perspective to try and identify why they are behaving the way they are towards you. This will help you to develop a sense of empathy for them and place you in a position to manage her behavior in a way that you feel she may be more responsive to as you are able to see things from her point of view. So, for example, her behavior seems quite controlling, which comes across as disrespectful.

My Daughter Has Become Angry, Rude and Disrespectful - About Islam

Living with you, her parents, perhaps she is feeling like she has little control because she must live by your rules. So she should, because it is your house and she should respect that. But, as a fully grown woman perhaps she feels uncomfortable not being able to live by her own rules so to gain back the control she feels she doesn’t she is seemingly being disobedient and disrespectful.


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Her behavior is disrespectful, but at least if you can understand the potential reasons why like this then it is easier to approach her in a way that may be more helpful for everyone. So, if this is the reason behind her behavior perhaps a bit of negotiation between you would be a useful way to allow her to have her voice heard so that she feels her place in the house is respected as well as getting a chance to have her say as well as you yours.

For example, regarding her laziness around the house, perhaps give her the chance to go out and pick what she wants to eat and be the one to cook and prepare it for the family. This way, she gets the choice of what is to be eaten, and you get to see your daughter more involved in the household chores. If she is given this choice and independence then maybe she is more likely to step up and help out.

It may be the same scenario regarding marriage. Perhaps she feels she has little control over who she is to marry and this is why she is disregarding your choices without even meeting them. Maybe this is her indirect way of exhibiting control in this situation. So, again, maybe handing her back some control and having her get more involved from the start might help.

These are more gentler ways to try and manage her behavior by understanding her perspective. In sha Allah, this will help to evoke some changes. However, if they don’t work, you could try the absolute opposite approach and be a lot more harsh. Obviously, this comes with a lot more risk, so take this approach with caution. But, if it’s getting to the point where the family is on the verge of breaking down then maybe she needs this wake-up call. You are her parents and she should respect you as long as you are not being abusive or pushing her away from Islam.

So, for example, you don’t have to cook for her, instead, you can leave everything for her to cook for herself. Or, you could even go far as to take a nice holiday with your husband for 2 purposes.

Firstly to get a break and have some time to relax by yourselves and then go back feeling refreshed and better able to manage the situation, and it gives her the time to herself to also reflect on her own behavior as well as be in a position where she is forced to take care of herself. It might be the boost she needs to realize the extent of her behavior as you will no longer be there for the short time to support her.

May Allah make it easy for you and guide her on the straight path. May He bring happiness and contentment in your family.

Ameen.

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About Hannah Morris
Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)