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Controlling Parents Barely Let Me Have Any Freedom

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Apr 10, 2019

Question

It’s more my dad than my mum but I’m 17 years-old in the 21st century. I’m barely allowed a phone. Not allowed ANY social media, not allowed to give my friends my number, not allowed to go out with my friends even for an hour.

I’m very respectful, I agree to all their orders; I don’t misbehave. I do very well in school. I help out so much around the house. There is nothing I don’t do. Yet I’m barely allowed a phone, it’s so restricted and I feel bad for complaining but I feel it’s not fair!

Counselor

Answer


Controlling Parents Barely Let Me Have Any Freedom - About Islam

In this counseling answer:

•Sit down with your parents and discuss your concerns.

•Explain to them that you do understand their concerns and you respect their position.

•Give examples of how you made wise decisions. Insha’Allah, ask if there is a midpoint where you can meet with your parents so that you will be able to go out with your friends once in a while as well as enjoy your phone.

•You need to learn to make good decisions regarding cell phone usage, social media choices as well as activities with friends.


As salamu alaykum,

Thank you for writing into us. As I understand your situation sister, you are 17 years old and desire more freedom.

Restrictions

You state that you are barely allowed to use the phone, you’re not allowed to go on any social media sites, nor give your phone number out to your friends. Additionally, you are not allowed to go out with your friends even for an hour.

You also state that you are respectful, help out around the house a lot, and don’t misbehave. As you have not done anything to lose their trust or cause them to worry, I am sure you are perplexed.

I can understand you’re wanting more freedom, after all, you are 17 and you are a wonderful daughter and a pious Muslim. At this age, I’m sure you feel that you would like to have friends and enjoy their company, as well as talk with them on the phone occasionally. It is a natural and normal desire.

Controlling Parents Barely Let Me Have Any Freedom - About Islam

Protection from Harm

Sister, oftentimes parents do set strict rules for their children given the dangers that are on social media. Sometimes parents are strict with who you go out with, what you do, and who you give your phone number to. It is in this way that they feel that they can protect you from any harm that may come.

It is not that they don’t trust you, it’s more likely that they do not trust others and fear others may mislead or harm you. They are trying to protect you sister because they love you. It’s not just your parents who are strict. There are many parents who are strict in this way.

Talking with Parents

Sister, I will kindly suggest insha’Allah, that you sit down with your parents and discuss your concerns. Please do so in a way it is not accusatory, but one that is friendly, respectful and open to suggestions. You may wish to explain to them that you do understand their concerns and you respect their position.

You may wish to discuss your good points. Give examples of how you made wise decisions. Insha’Allah, ask if there is a midpoint where you can meet with your parents so that you will be able to go out with your friends once in a while as well as enjoy your phone.


Check out this counseling video


You may wish to suggest a contract that includes things you will not do on your phone or when you visit your friends. There may be places that they don’t want you to go, just like there are social websites and media that they do not want you on. By developing a contract that outlines the things you will not do, it illustrates that you have thought about both sides and this is a sign of maturity.

Perhaps it will put them more at ease. When you do have opportunities to show your parents that you are mature in your decision-making, I am sure they will feel more comfortable easing up with some of the restrictions insha’Allah.

Conclusion

It is a hard line to walk for parents because there are so many unsavory things that young people can get involved with these days. However, they do have to understand insha’Allah, that you are 17 and you will be an adult in another year. Insha’Allah, you need to learn to make good decisions regarding cell phone usage, social media choices as well as activities with friends.

You can only learn through experience and practice. It would be beneficial to have your parents help you learn these things now. Insha’Allah sister, talk with your parents about a compromise with their guidance.

Wish you the best, you are in our prayers.

***

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:

How to Deal with Controlling Parents?

My Mom Doesn’t Love Me, Help!

My Parents Don’t Understand Me, What Should I Do?

 

 




About Aisha Mohammad

Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word poetry projects.

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