Tired of My Messy Daughter

07 August, 2020
Q I have a 15-year-old daughter. Her room is like a pig-sty, she dresses like a slob and she doesn't take care of her personal hygiene which is a must .

I shut the door on her room because by doing so I don't have to look at it.

I do remind her to take a shower every day, and to take care of her monthly habits, but the kid doesn't listen. How should I deal with this?

Answer

In this counseling answer:

•Your daughter might have grown out of her room, especially has it might have remained unchanged for quite a long while.

•Once you have established a more friendly relationship and explored where she is at along with solutions (solutions made together), your daughter might be more receptive to what you have to say.

•Take it as an opportunity to share in reorganizing her room to suit her needs.


As salamu `alaykum dear Sir,

You are obviously a very caring father who takes an interest in his daughter’s lifestyle. To say the least, most parents do not expect to be putting in the same amount of energy into parenting their teenaged child as when they were younger and more dependent, but as we soon find out, it can seem like walking into a minefield – i.e. one can never know whether the next step is the right step to take!

Rather than waste energy on trying to get them to do what you want them to do, and ending up stressed out, it is worth the time and the relationship to take time out, find a quiet moment when they are at least semi-receptive and begin a casual conversation which indicates to them that you are interested in what they think and feel.

Share reflections on their day, school, on the way to school, on the way home from school, friends, studies and friends etc.

Somehow, amidst their lives is an issue that you overlooked as a parent. When the level of negligence that you described takes place over a period of time, it is usually a sign that something has gone awry.

It could be that your daughter has a low interest in life in general and there might be a cause behind all of that.

Tired of My Messy Daughter - About Islam

Maybe it is something that your daughter herself can not identify, but by casting a wide net which allows her to explore with you, you can discover together what the problem is.

Your daughter might have lots of friends, but this does not mean she has someone she can really talk to, and these are the years in her life, when she needs you to be a friend, not the nagging parent.

Usually, I find this helps. In the process of discovering what I wrong, as a parent, we also get to reflect on our roles and to adjust in a manner that can be more inclusive of their needs.

In this busy world in which we live, a teenagers room is the domain of privacy, a domain that allows them to take time out from their parents, from all the pressures and expectations that are placed upon them.

It could simply be that she is rebelling via her room, but equally, it might be something more than meets the eye.

At the same time, your daughter might have grown out of her room, especially has it might have remain unchanged for quite a long while.

Once you have established a more friendly relationship and explored where she is at along with solutions (solutions made together), your daughter might be more receptive to what you have to say. Take it as an opportunity to share in reorganizing her room to suit her needs.


Check out this counseling video


Does she need:

  • More space
  • An area for studying: desk space, shelf space and a place to file her papers, folders, reports etc.
  • Does she need a separate shelving for her books, ornaments, cassette recorder, tapes and other personal belongings
  • Does she need somewhere to display pictures, posters, reminders, calendar
  • A laundry hamper to put her dirty clothes in
  • A larger wardrobe
  • A dressing table
  • An area to relax and do things
  • Redecorating
  • New curtains for her window

Try to see her room from her point of view and that includes some privacy and in sha’Allah, your daughter will take an interest in her life and her immediate environment as well.

If however, the problem seems to be deeper and/or more complex than you first thought, do not be afraid to seek help and get her any counseling if needed.

Salam

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About Hwaa Irfan
Late Hwaa Irfan, may her soul rest in peace, served as consultant, counselor and freelance writer. Her main focus was on traditional healing mechanisms as practiced in various communities, as opposed to Western healing mechanisms.