Ask about Parenting – Counseling Session

Salaam `Alaikum dears brothers and sisters,

We would like to thank you for joining us in this Counseling Session.

We would like also to thank our counselor, sister Aisha for answering the questions.

Feel free to send your questions to [email protected]

Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 | 04:00 - 06:00 GMT

Session is over.
DISCLAIMER
Views expressed by hosts/guests on this program (live dialogue, Facebook sessions, etc.) are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent.  

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As-salamu alaikum,

It’s difficult for me to carry on with salah on time as I stay occupied with households and my 2-year-old toddler. The environment here is of songs and modernity (hijab but fashion), showing off, no Islamic stories and encouragement through Islamic history.

How do I hold on to my salah and raise my child without having on their reflection on him? we stay in an Indian joint family. My child cries a lot. what can I read for the protection of him?

As salamu alaykum,

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. Sister, sometimes it is difficult to complete prayers on time when there are a lot of household chores to be done and children to be taken care of. Also, if you are in an environment that you are not used to, such as you mentioned where there are songs playing and fashion is on display, it can be distracting. You are worried about your prayers and your son’s well-being.

Finding a Quiet Place

Sister, I’m not sure how long you have been living in the household with your joint family, however if there is an area in the home that you can find some peace such as your bedroom, perhaps it would be conducive to do your prayers in your room. Sister, I understand the busyness of taking care of a home and children.  Sometimes prayers may be late due to circumstances beyond our control, but Allah is most merciful and understanding. As long as you are completing your prayers within the time frame, insha’Allah you should be okay. Perhaps if you developed a schedule in which you did your chores and household tasks in a time slot built around prayer time it may help insha’Allah.

Concerns and Tips about Home Environment in Joint Family

Another concern you mentioned was about your child being raised in an environment where there are songs, fashionable hijab-wearing, and a lack of Islamic stories or encouragement. Sister, in order to raise your son as you choose, it will take some patience and diligence on your part.

This may include spending quality time alone with your son teaching him about Islam, reading him Islamic stories as well as taking him to the Masjid on a regular basis. In addition, you can also get your child involved in playgroups with other Muslim children.

This can be a big benefit in helping to form your child’s Islamic identity. While you cannot prevent your joint family from living the way they choose to, you can instill the Islamic values and foundations that you want in your child. As your child gets a little bit older, your child may question the family’s way of life compared to how you have taught him. At that point, you may wish to explain that as his mother you have differing viewpoints and while his extended family is wonderful, you are choosing to teach him in this way.

Keeping the Peace in the Home

Sister, insha’Allah try not to get upset with your joint family in regard to how they are choosing to live.  It would only cause hard feelings, misunderstandings and possibly cause a division. Be an example by keeping your prayers, reading Qur’an with your son, being kind and helpful as well as Islamically inspiring by your behaviors and habits. Yes, you are completely within your right to want to raise your child the way you want without interference, however, it will be a fine line to navigate as they are your family now and you do live with them.  Regarding protecting your child, if you ever feel your child is in danger you may wish to read Ayat al-Kursi (2:255). This ayat as you know is a very powerful one and is often read when one seeks protection from Allah.

Speak with Husband

I kindly suggest insha’Allah that you discuss the situation with your husband so that perhaps the two of you can come up with some guidelines and rules regarding your child and the household. As he knows his family, it may be best that he develops a plan which will be beneficial for everyone.  A discussion should take place in terms of what you both feel comfortable having your child exposed to. It would then be up to your husband to discuss it with his family.

Looking Forward

Sister, it could be that in a few years you may be in a situation where you, your husband, and your child have your own home and you will not have to worry about these things. It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job raising your child, as well as seeking to keep Islamic principles intact.

May Allah swt bless and reward you for your efforts. Insha’Allah, may Allah make this easy for you. We wish you the best.


As-salamu `alaykum.

I have a daughter who is 6-years-old and I don’t know if I’m a good mom or not. We live in Canada now, but we are from Egypt. My daughter is very smart, ma sha’ Allah, and she is very sensitive. She starts to cry if I get angry at her and raise my voice, and then I get angry with myself.

 I’m not sure if doing the right thing or not. I want her to be a special person, a good one in religion, manners, culture—everything. She is having problems with being alone all the time. When we see our friends, she loves to play with their kids, and that is okay, but she has started to copy them in everything they do.

She is afraid that if she does not do that they will leave her. I have tried to talk to her, but she never listens. I really know what it feels like to be alone, especially in this country. I feel that she doesn’t have any self-confidence.

As salamu alaykum,

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. Sister, you are in a new country raising your daughter. You are questioning whether you are a good mom or not. Your daughter is very smart and she’s also sensitive. You are concerned with her copying her friend’s actions because she fears they will leave her if she does not be like them.

A Good Mom

Sister reading your question brings up several issues. First of all, you seem like a very wonderful mother. You are concerned about your daughter, you described her as smart and sensitive, you also want her to be a good Muslim and excel Islamically. You also want her to have friends. These are all aspects of what a good mom wants for their children.

Anger and Sensitivity

As you discussed, your daughter is sensitive. You stated she cries if you get angry at her or raise your voice. When you do this, you get upset with yourself. Sister the only way to resolve this situation is to not raise your voice at your daughter. If you feel that you are getting angry, I would kindly suggest that you take a deep breath, maybe count to five, and then speak to your daughter in a calm voice. There are exceptions to this of course, especially if your child is in danger.  An example would be if she were playing outside near the road. You may raise your voice if you see a car coming, or if you see another danger. That is normal.  However, in everyday life, it is not good to raise your voice to your daughter all the time. It’s hard to not raise your voice when you have children. Sometimes it feels like children are not listening and that we need to raise our voice to be heard. However, quite the opposite is true. Often times when we talk calmly our children pay more attention. Sister tries using a calmer voice to see if that helps. If upset you are upset, try closing your eyes for a moment, take a deep breath, and then speak.

Loneliness and Friends

Sister, I am not sure how long you been living in Canada, but you are concerned about your daughter having friends. You say that she’s having problems being alone all the time. I am not sure if she’s going to school or not, however, I would kindly suggest that if possible, see if she can attend preschool or kindergarten classes several days a week for a few hours. Insha’ Allah, explore the Muslim community around you for options and availabilities. By having her be a part of the Muslim Community there, she will begin to make more friends and feel a part of her new home.

Imitating Friends Behaviors

It is often natural for children to copy the behaviors of their friends. They want to be accepted, they want to be liked. As long as your daughter is around children who have good manners and Islamic foundations it should not be a problem. However please do keep in mind that no one is perfect, especially children. Children are learning. Expect your daughter to go through different phases of development as she grows, as well as she acclimates to her new home country. Instead of trying to get her to stop imitating behaviors of her friends, perhaps complimenting her on her own unique behaviors will be more effective. Sometimes what we put emphasis on tends to grow bigger!

Finding your Place in a New Country

Sister your last sentence is important. You stated that you “really know how it feels like to be alone especially in this country” and you feel that your daughter doesn’t have any self-confidence. I’m wondering my dear sister if you were speaking about yourself as well. Please do look at your own situation and determine if you feel lonely. It is quite normal to feel lonely when one moves to another country. It can be difficult to try to reach out and make friends. If you are experiencing this sister please do reach out to Muslim sisters in your area for friendship.

I can imagine is very difficult being in a new country. You need the support, love, and guidance from sisters who live there and who can befriend you and give you tips on your new country of residence. Try to attend the Masjid for prayers, see if there are any sister groups you can join, and attend Islamic events. Insha’Allah you will soon find that both you and your daughter are making more nice friends and creating a sense of belonging which will increase self-confidence and reduce loneliness and anger. Insha’Allah you will be able to find that balance between wanting her to excel in all areas and at the same time enjoy her new environment. We wish you the best!


I am 14-year-old and I feel I’m stingy and selfish. This is not only my opinion but my parents keep telling me that as well. My mom tells me that I will lose my friends because I have a terrible personality. My friends also tell me that I am really stingy.

I have not lost any of my friends so far, but I’m afraid I will. I want to change, but I do not know how. Please help me.

As salamu alaykum,

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. According to you and your parents, you are stingy and selfish. You also stated that it’s not only your opinion but your friends as well. You feel that you may lose friends because of your terrible personality.

Self Reflection and Evaluation

Brother, perhaps it is time for some self-reflection and evaluation. You may want to sit down when things are calm and quiet and think about what this means in terms of reality, change, and thinking towards the future. I will kindly suggest insha’Allah that you thoroughly understand what the words stingy and selfish mean. You may wish to look the words up and write down their definitions from several sources.

After you’ve done this You may wish to examine your thought patterns to see if this is truly a reflection of you. Do you feel you are truly stingy and selfish? Or is there something bothering you that could be reflected in your behavior as being stingy and selfish? What thoughts or emotions do you feel that cause you to act selfishly or to be stingy?  Please do start a journal to track your feels and emotions concerning these traits.

Possible causes of Stinginess and Selfishness

Oftentimes when people feel frustrated or have low self-confidence, they can appear to be stingy or selfish. This can happen when a person has something they could share, but don’t.  They may feel that what they have to share or give may not be good enough. It may also be based on a fear that whatever is offered may be laughed at or ridiculed. This can be things such as an opinion, a gift, or anything else that is of tangible value. They may also fear rejection.

Not Wanting to Help Others

If this is not the case (fears, insecurities) and you truly do feel inside that you don’t want to help people or give to others, perhaps it is time to list the reasons why. I kindly suggest you make a list of the reasons why you do not like to give. Do you feel it would be a personal loss to you.? Do you feel that the person does not deserve to be given something? Do you feel that by sharing, it would take something away from you? These questions and more are important reflective thoughts to help you discover why you may be selfish or stingy. From this point, you can then develop a plan to help you overcome faulty thinking that has led you to become this way.

Into Self

I would also like to add that at your age, sometimes teens can be viewed as stingy or selfish. At 14 you are probably pretty much like any other teenager. While all teens do not go through a selfish stage, some do. Some questions you may want to ask yourself:  Are you only into yourself, your needs, your desires, and your wants? Do you put yourself first and not even think about other’s needs? Do you ever feel bad when you don’t share or act stingy? Most teenagers usually outgrow this and become more aware of those around them and develop compassion. However, you can get a heads up on this process by recognizing your behavior as being non-conducive for not only your friends and family, but yourself.

 

Changing Thoughts and Behaviors

Insha’Allah the next time somebody asks for something, challenge your thoughts and responses. If you have an opportunity to offer something, make a conscious effort to do so. After you have shared or given something, write down in your journal how it made you feel. The more you get used to giving, sharing, and helping others, the more you will want to do so insha’Allah. Sharing and giving to others may sometimes seem like an inconvenience, but it always ends up making us feel good because we have helped somebody. Just as we would like to be helped or have something given to us that we need, or as a gift, we should want to do the same for others. By making a conscious choice not to be selfish and stingy, you will get used to giving, sharing, and being compassionate towards others.

Conclusion

Brother, I am sure that in time your feelings and views will change regarding being stingy and selfish. It could also be that since your parents keep telling you that you are, perhaps you believe them and have created a self-fulfilling prophecy. This means that since you have been told this over and over, you have become that. By starting a journal, defining the meaning of the words as well as reflecting upon your inner thoughts, fears and desires, it should help you determine if you want to continue to be that way. If you do not, there are ways to change, and it begins by being kind, sharing and giving. If you do decide to start changing your behavior, you may be pleasantly surprised at how good it feels to give. We wish you the best!


My son is 12 years old. Physically, he’s very mature. However, he finds concentration extremely difficult. He has a short attention span unless he’s very motivated and interested. I don’t believe he has attention deficit disorder (ADD) since there are no other symptoms.

He often feels out of control, especially regarding his temper. These aspects of his behavior are different from his peers who seem able to concentrate sufficiently in class. Can you help?

 

As salamu alaykum,

Shokran for writing to our live session. As I understand your question your son is 12 years old and very mature physically. He does however find difficulty in concentration and has a short attention span. You did point out that when he’s motivated and interested in something, he is able to hold his attention. You stated that he often feels out of control regarding his temper but has no other symptoms of ADD.

ADD or Other Behavioral Issue

While you may not think he has ADD you are still concerned because his behaviors are different from his peers in the way he concentrates.  Without an evaluation,  is very hard to tell whether he has ADD or not. I would kindly advise that you speak with his teachers at school to see if they can do an ADD screening. Also ask for feedback on his behaviors at school. Some schools do provide these supports. You can also create a daily log of his behaviors at home. This will be helpful in regard to frequency, intensity, and type of behavior. You might also wish to see if there’s a counselor at his school who could speak with him and help you with this issue. Oftentimes teachers and counselors at school have a pretty good idea of who has ADD and who does not in the class, as they usually have many years of experience.

Seeking a Diagnosis

Regarding your son’s behavioral issues, an official diagnosis would entail much more than this. It would require reports from the teachers and school, looking at grades, obtaining an assessment from you, observing and interviewing your son, as well as other diagnostic assessments.

Emotional Issues

You feel that he does not have ADD and it is more of an anger issue that may be affecting his concentration.  He may be experiencing thoughts, feelings, and emotions which are bothering him. This could be related to something he experienced at school, a trauma, or some other issue that has been bothering him.

Seek an Evaluation

I would kindly advise you to first seek assistance from the school, and then have him evaluated by a child therapist. As he is 12 years old and heading into his teenage years, it is best that you address this now rather than wait until he is a little bit older. When he is a little bit older there may be other problems that may come into play and it may be much more difficult to resolve. We wish you the best.


My daughter chose to stay with her father when we divorced. She doesn’t return my text messages and she has asked that I do not call her. Her father has said a LOT of untrue things about me and he continues.

Her father and I were together for 17 years. It has been 2 months and I am so torn apart. I do not know what to do. She wants nothing to do with me.

As salamu alaykum sister,

Shokran for writing to our live session. My dear sister, this is the most heartbreaking situation. As you were married to her father for 17 years it appears that the divorce has turned somewhat bitter with your daughter caught in the middle. You are feeling very torn because your daughter does not return your text messages and she has asked you to not call her.

X Husband Backbiting

You feel the reason your daughter is rejecting you is because her father has said a lot of untrue things about you and you and continues to do so. I can imagine that this hurt very much as this sinful behavior of your x-husband is ruining your relationship with your daughter at the moment.  Sister, in this situation the best thing you could do is have a cooling off time.

Cooling off Time

This means not taking it personally, which I know is hard because you are her mother. It also means not getting into conversations with her father on the phone or otherwise concerning what he’s doing and saying. It also means not asking your daughter why she isn’t texting or calling. I  kindly suggest that you do send her texts periodically telling her that you love her just to reassure her of that fact.

High Emotions

As it is only been 2 months since your divorce, there are a lot of emotions which are running high. These emotions need time to calm down. If after another month or so the manipulation by her father continues, and she still refuses to speak with you, you may wish to have an intervention between you and her father with a mediator.

Mediation

The mediator doesn’t take sides, but rather listens to the facts of the situation from your side and from your ex-husband’s side. A recommendation is offered and is usually worked out through conflict resolution if the two parties (you and your x) cannot agree. I would recommend an Islamic mediator if possible.

Your Daughter

I do not know how old your daughter is, or what your relationship with her was prior to the divorce but please do know that for the sake of your child, a resolution should be reached. I understand it is not in your hands. Insha’Allah, once things are calm, your x husband will see (and repent) that it is not fair to put her in the middle of these affairs. I understand that it is your husband doing this and not you. I also understand that it hurts you very much and I am very sorry you are going through this. My heart goes out to you, but I believe that in the end, Allah will make things right for you. Please do make duaa to Allah for His guidance and mercy.

Conclusion

Please insha’Allah, try to find a calm ground right now, especially between you and your ex-husband.  Let things settle down, try to repair things with your husband so there is a point wherein he can see the wisdom in refraining from backbiting and lying. It is not only a sin, hurting you, but it is hurting your child. Her wellbeing must be put above all else. Please do seek Islamic legal guidance if your x husband’s behavior continues to be destructive. We wish you the best sister.