Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,
Dealing with teenagers is difficult at the best of times, but dealing with issues related to Islam in a county that doesn’t practice it makes such matters even more difficult. When the normal way of life in the country goes against Islamic values it becomes increasingly difficult to convince children otherwise, especially as they reach the teenage years.
You daughter has reached an age where she is becoming more independent and wants to be able to make decisions for herself. It certainly is important to encourage this, but at the stage it should also be done under guidance, especially when it comes to matters of the Deen.
It would likely make things temporarily easier for you and your relationship if you just continued to allow her to do as she pleases, but the consequences for all would not be good in the end.
Firstly, and most importantly, you will be held accountable for allowing your daughter to do things that are against Islam. Furthermore, when your daughter has found her way, she may even feel a sense of resentment towards you for allowing her to do these things. To stand your ground and prevent her doing these things makes you the opposite of an unfit mother. It may not seem like it to her, but your choices are what is best for her as prescribed by Allah.
However, perhaps you should consider taking a different approach to dealing with such matters since it seems at present she is unresponsive and this is causing difficulties between you 2. Difficulties that push her further away and more likely to make irrational decisions. Instead of making it seem like you are setting the rules and she must follow them, take a collaborative approach.
This has many benefits. It gives her the opportunity to have a say in her life, it places her a position of responsibility and it will help to nurture your relationship that she will value your opinions more and therefore take them on board and abide by them without question. You might begin with more minor matters such as getting involved in buying ingredients and making dinner to build the trust and relationship before moving to bigger matters.
It is more difficult when you don’t have much support from her father, but when it comes to matters of the Deen you may want to be a bit more firm in telling him to get involved for the sake of the children as well as how he will be questioned for the actions they take. You may ask him to talk to them directly on such matters rather than consulting him and relaying the message on. The might provide a firmer response.
You might also encourage her to develop friendships with other girls her age who would not encourage her to dress inappropriately or free mix. If you have friends with daughters the same age invite them to your house and allow such friendships to develop naturally and reinforce such relationships by allowing them to meet outside. Similarly, get yourself involved in the local Muslim community and encourage her to attend with you.
Another thing to try is to bring in someone else who you feel she may be more responsive to, if she has a cousin or aunt for example and have them have the same conversation with her. Even if she doesn’t respond she will have heard from more than just you on the matter which will reinforce the point more.
Aside from trying to make decisions together, do things together to develop the relationship. Things that don’t involve deep discussions about what she wears and where she goes. Instead, go somewhere together a s family. Do something fun that she enjoys. Have fun together and allow the relationship to blossom free from an environment of you telling her what she should do and her making remarks back. Other things that can help nurture the relationship include taking an interest in her life.
Make a point of asking how her day was, what she’s been up to.. Etc.. This paves the way for healthier relationships that will make things a lot easier when it comes to the more tricky matters. When such a relationship is established she will be more likely to respect your opinions and abide by your rules.
In the worst case scenario if she still refuses to make any compromises and does her own thing without your consent, at least just be there to catch her if things should go wrong. Know that you did all you could to prevent it, but as a loving mother you will still be there to comfort her if things should go wrong. In sha she will eventually find her way and she will need support then.
May Allah reward your concern to raise your daughter in the correct way. May He guide her and strengthen your relationship.
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