How to Get Your Daughter to Wear Hijab in 12 Steps

7. Speaking of fun. . .

As Cyndi Lauper sang in the 80s, girls just wanna have it! In the teen years, our children will be observing their non-Muslim peers engaging in many forms of entertainment that are not allowed.

Make sure you, as a parent, enable your Muslim kids to have wholesome fun with their friends.  If following Islam seems like nothing but a burden and a long list of duties and restrictions, our youth will not feel inspired.  But if they are allowed enjoyable and appropriate alternatives, then they will see that one can be both practicing AND joyful.

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Almost all forms of entertainment can be made halal with a little creativity and effort.  This is a huge way parents can support their teens.  It takes time and energy, but it is better than losing our kids to haram activities.

8. Have the same high expectations of your sons.

Everyone– especially siblings!– hates double standards.  Your daughter will surely notice the injustice if she is expected to act and dress modestly while her brother gets away with all kinds of inappropriate behavior.  Sadly, this double standard is a norm in some cultures.

Make sure to teach your boys to maintain their modesty, lower their gaze, and treat women with respect.  Remind them not to wear short shorts or swimming trunks that hang low, below the belly button.  Be just as strict with their manners as you are with your daughter’s.  Boys, too, must answer to Allah (SWT) for their actions!

9. Nurture your young Muslimah’s talents during pre-puberty and puberty.

This is a time to invest in the woman she is becoming.  Help her achieve her dreams and reach her potential.  If she has a talent or a passion, nurture it however you can.  Invest in the classes or supplies she needs.  Give her your attention and appreciation.

Brainstorm with your daughter. Discuss possible scenarios and how she could respond with confidence.

The young women of our Ummah deserve this dedication.  Furthermore, when we invest in them, they will feel empowered, loved, and more willing to listen to advice and to connect with their family and Muslim community.

10. LISTEN to her.

Really listen!  If she has concerns about wearing hijab, don’t just interrupt her with your own opinion, dismiss her fears, or ignore her.  Especially if you are a father who has never had to be a “visible” Muslim in a predominantly non-Muslim society, you have no idea what a covering Muslimah is going through.

If she says, “I’m worried what the kids at school will say,” you might be tempted to answer, “Don’t worry what others think!”  or “I’m sure you’ll be fine.”  Those platitudes will not help.  Brainstorm with your daughter.  Discuss possible scenarios and how she could respond with confidence.

Talk about what to do in the case of bullying.  Help her formulate responses that are succinct and correct.  Most important, tell her that you’ll have her back no matter what.

11. Dress appropriately yourself.

This might seem obvious, but a mother is going to be her daughter’s first role model.  Look at your own way of dressing and see if it meets Islamic guidelines.  If not, is it reasonable for you to expect your daughter to cover?  If you are a father, make sure you are fulfilling your Islamic obligations.  Kids can spot hypocrisy from a mile away.

12. Make sure she knows that your love for her is not contingent upon her hijab.

This might sound strange, but some girls will cover just to earn their parents’ love or, conversely, rebel against their parents by uncovering.  If you have a solid, loving connection with your daughter, she will not confuse her Islamic obligations with her relationship with her parents.

Yes, technically children are required to obey their parents, and a daughter should cover if her parents command her to.  Ultimately, however, our daughters will be grown, independent women who will need to choose to wear hijab every day for the sake of Allah (SWT) alone . . . not because we are watching over them, but because He (SWT) is.

First published: April 2016

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About Laura El Alam
For the past decade, Laura El Alam has been a regular contributor to numerous Islamic publications. Her articles have been published in SISTERS Magazine, Al Jumuah, About Islam, and Muslim Matters. Her Facebook Page,  The Common Sense Convert, offers advice, support, and education for Muslim women, particularly new converts.