Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,
This is a common issue fdaced by Muslim parents as their children become teenagers. The challenge that parents face is to convince them that the things they desire to do are not acceptable. To them it seems that the parents are being strict as they don’t see the danger in what they are doing only to go on to eventually either get into trouble for what they have done, or suffer consequences for their actions or just to simply look back and regret behaving in such ways.
She is correct that Islam is meant to be easy, not hard, but what she, like other teens, don’t understand is that not wearing makeup and hanging out with boys is the easy path. It is the easy path because there will be no negative consequences, both Islamically, but also in worldly matters also. In fact, to make the decisions that she desires to is actually the hard path as whilst right now it might seem like the thing do and it might feel like fun now, there will be more difficult consequences to deal with.
However, as a teen, she wants to fit in with her friends and do as they are doing and as she heads for independence she is more likely to listen to their advice than her parents. So, this leaves the question of how to encourage her against what she is pursuing, and to do so convincingly and there a few ways to approach this.
Do continue to talk to her about it, but try changing your approach. Putting it across in a harsh or demanding way can have counter effects and could even encourage her to do the opposite just to rebel out of frustration. Approach it gently. Let her know that you understand she just wants to fit in with her friends and that if she doesn’t dress the way they do or hang out with the boys like they do then maybe they wouldn’t accept her anymore. Let her know you understand this. This let’s her know that you are able to see things from her perspective and she may therefore be more open to hearing your concerns. This is when you would then talk about your concerns in her behaving this way and explain why from the Islamic perspective regarding things like the dangers of mixing with boys, especially at this age and how things can easily lead to haram. You are concerned for her welfare and only want what’s best for her. You are not doing it to be strict or controlling, but because you want good for her and don’t want her to suffer the consequences of such behaviour.
Aside from being direct about the issue you can encourage her in Islamic practices. Invite her to pray with you, watch lectures with you, read Qur’an together.. Etc.. This will encourage a strengthened connection to her Deen that will increase her love of Allah and fear of His punishment that will naturally encourage her away from acts that she is desiring now. Her making these choices herself will make her more likely to stick to her decisions and avoid haram. As part of this perhaps you could invite friends with daughters the same age over and encourage her to naturally make friends with other girls her age who are practising Islam. Let her see that it is possible to have friends and fun without wearing makeup and wearing skimpy clothes and hanging out with boys.
Additionally you can support her in having some of her needs met in an alternative and more acceptable way. Go shopping together, bond as mother and daughter, buy new clothes that are beautiful but modest and let her have some choice over this. If it is that she really desires to wear clothing that is immodest perhaps you could agree that it’s ok for her to wear them whilst she is at home. You could allow her invite her friends over and fun together with them without having boys around. Let them pamper themselves with facemasks… Etc.. This way she can be with them and have fun but you can relax knowing that she’s having fun with her friends but there are no boys involved. Also, let her know that she is beautiful the way she inside and out and she doesn’t need makeup or boys to prove that to her. Promote her self confidence that she doesn’t feel the need to seek such approvals from others based on her looks or how much makeup she’s wearing.
If there is anyone in the extended family who you feel she would be more responsive to then you could ask them to talk with her about it. This might be best coming from someone like an older cousin who is perhaps a little older and may have been through this already and could talk to her on a level that she can relate to more especially if there is less difference in age. Likewise with any daughters of friends you have who may be able to do the same and bring the matter to her on a level that she is better able to relate to.
May Allah reward your desire to please Him and to raise your daughter to do the same too. May He guide her in the straight path and make it a journey that she is content with.
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