On Child Discipline & Positive Parenting

Salaam `Alaikum dears brothers and sisters,

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

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

Answers will be online very soon.

Feel free to contact us and send your questions anytime to:

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Tuesday, Aug. 07, 2018 | 08:00 - 10:00 Makkah | 05:00 - 07:00 GMT

Session is over.

Asalamualikim. I have a 9-year-old daughter who is very stubborn. She wants to do whatever she wants. For example, she doesn't want to wear an undershirt since she was 5 and still doing argument not to wear it. As she is a bit healthy it looks bad on her. There are many things she wants to do it the way she likes. Since childhood, I try to bring her on teaching her Islamic story and used to spend a lot of time with her. I used to reward her and encourage her to listen to me and sometimes timeout. I used to listen to Islamic lectures which are saying spend time with kids, but nothing worked with me. She doesn't care about how to make Allah or mom happy. I am worried about her. As now she talks back a lot. I am worried her younger sister might learn from her. I also, keep an eye in her friends and school, there is no issue over there for her this behavior. kindly guide me



Question #6 - About Islam

As salamu alaykum sister,

 

Shokran for writing to our live session. As I understand your situation, your 9 year old daughter is very stubborn which is causing problems for you. Your daughter’s stubbornness may be a way of exerting her feelings of independence and power over a situation. This is  a trait that is difficult to deal with at any age, but a stubborn child can frustrate us all!  At this age your child has figure out how people react and now exhibits the behaviors that work.

 

I would kindly suggest that insha’Allah you set firmer boundaries and consequences while at the same time respecting her growing need for making choices. For instance, if she does not want to wear a particular shirt, give her a choice or two or three. She is free to pick which one-but she must pick one. If not there will be a consequence for not obeying.  Perhaps cancel a play-date, take away a favorite game or something else that is meaningful to her.  Apply this to all situations in which there is no harm in her choosing. There will also be times when her having a choice is not an option.

 

When children refuse to do something and we give up in order to avoid a battle with them, it just reinforces their idea that they can do and say whatever they want without structure or consequences (i.e. her talking back). Without limits or repercussions, the child begins to feel as if they are in control and they can do or say whatever they please. I would kindly suggest that insha’Allah you sit down with her and have a mother to daughter talk. Inform her that you do respect that she has opinions and preferences but as a member of the family she is to obey you. Tell her that at times she will have choices and at other times she will not.  Inform her that if she disobeys there will be repercussions and outline some of these consequences so she understands.

 

It may be difficult in the beginning as she is used to getting what she wants.  The bright side is that if you are persistent and consistent in your efforts she eventually will see that you mean business.  Insha’Allah after some trying times (and yes there will be tantrums!) she will see that she can no longer just do whatever she wants and that she must obey or risk losing something of value to her.  By taking back control, you are actually giving her what she really wants-structure.  Children may act out and not want to listen, but all children really do want boundaries. It provides a child with a sense of order.  Even when children act out and try to be in control, having the power to over rule an adult can be frightening.  They know adults are to be in charge.  Children also count on parents to guide their behavior.

 

Your daughter is almost on the verge of being a pre-teen. Insha’Allah begin to set up more structure, boundaries and consequences now as it will be much more difficult when she is a teen.  Also as you have a younger child, your taking control of the situation now will prevent your other child from thinking she too can be in charge.  Insha’Allah you can change her behavior in regards to her stubbornness.  This will be a benefit to not only you, the family as a whole-but for your daughter as she interacts more with the world at large.

 

We wish you the best, you are in our prayers.


Hello, my parents are both Muslim and extremely strict about Islamic teaching but have let their cultural views also take over. I am a transgender male and I hope to transition from female (the sex which I was assigned at birth) to male as soon as possible because being stuck, forced to live as a girl and having to identify with what I am not is damaging my mental health and slowly killing me. Next week I am planning to run away from home after coming out to my parents via a letter. I do not want to hurt them but I don't want to risk any danger coming to me if they are not accepting. My parents are loving and kind, however I am scared that they are too religious to love and accept me. Before this is thought to be a phase, I have felt this way and known I was a male since I was at least 11 or 12, and even questioned my gender identity before that. I don't know is transgenderism is acceptable in Islam but have seen a lot of controversy over it and my entire family seems to be homophobic. I am planning to stay with friends for the rest of the summer if my parents do disown me, but I am absolutely terrified. I don't want to be a burden to anyone but I don't see what I can do in the long-term because I have school, none of my job applications are being looked at, I love my family so much and I don't want to lose them. I am no longer a believer myself, at least I'm not a very good Muslim, and I can't bear to lose my parents and siblings. I have told myself that if worst comes to worst I will kill myself, even if it is haram. If someone can answer this as soon as possible, please. What is the ruling in Islam on this, can my parents disown me?



Question #5 - About Islam

As salamu alaykum,

 

Shokran for writing in to our live session. I am so sorry to hear about all that you are going through.  I can imagine what you are feeling is extremely overwhelming right now. Please do take some time to breathe deep, relax your mind at look at your situation from a different perspective.

 

This is a very emotionally charged time in your life right now and I kindly ask you to please insha’Allah know that it will be resolved one way or another eventually. This is a test and a trial and I am confident you are strong enough to get through it.  Have patience with yourself, with life and with the process. Please do not run away, do not harm yourself, insha’Allah, give yourself the opportunity to address this in a mature and knowledgeable way.

 

First of all, you do not have to tell your parents right now what is going on if you fear harm from them. I understand you love them very much as wish to tell them what you have been suffering through as they are close to your heart.  I do recommend that you talk with someone who can help.  I am not sure if you have sought out counseling in regards to gender change or in regards to the turmoil you have been enduring.  If you have not, I kindly ask that you seek counseling to help guide you through what you are feeling and to help give you a sense of direction.  As you are depressed and talked of suicidal ideation, please do seek counseling as soon as possible.

 

I would also ask that you write a contract stating that you will not harm yourself and that should you feel the urge to commit suicide, you will seek the help of a trusted friend immediately.  This is what you owe to yourself and to those who love you.  In addition to the contract, please call the suicide prevention hotline if you feel like harming yourself (1).

 

While I am not an Islamic Scholar, I do know that there are genuine cases of medical conditions which can and do cause sex assignment at birth to be an option of the parent. Some medical cases may not even be detected until the child is older.  I kindly suggest that in addition to counseling you get a complete physical exam.  Be sure to tell the doctor what you have been feeling since you were a pre-teen.

 

Insha’Allah they can refer you to a specialist who will do testing to see if indeed there is a medical/hormonal reason as to why you feel you are male.  If no such conditions exist, you may have gender dysphoria which involves “ a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify. People with gender dysphoria may be very uncomfortable with the gender they were assigned, sometimes described as being uncomfortable with their body (particularly developments during puberty) or being uncomfortable with the expected roles of their assigned gender (2).

 

In Islam, there are certain conditions such as hermaphrodite that allow a person to change to the sex that they feel they are.  If there is no medical cause and you do decide to go forth with gender change please know that this is between you and Allah and Allah knows best. Only Allah knows our hearts.

 

Please do however consult with our “Ask the Scholar” section concerning this situation as I am not an Islamic scholar.  As you know, in Islam randomly changing your sex is not permissible as it is altering what Allah created.  However as stated there are some valid medical reasons wherein it is permissible.

 

AboutIslam (3) states “A Muslim should be satisfied with the way Allah Almighty has created him or her. If one faces physical or psychological problems, he or she should treat them according to the general values and morals of Islam. In Islam, changing one’s sex is not permissible if the person (male or female) has complete male or female sex organs. This is because this person would be seeking to change Allah’s creation which is forbidden in Islam. Allah Almighty reports Satan as saying, “… and surely I will command them and they will change Allah’s creation.” (An-Nisaa’ 4:119).However, it is possible for the hermaphrodites to get assigned a certain sex, by means of medical intervention (surgical and/or hormonal therapy) and behavioral training. When a sex is assigned, the individuals must do their best confirming themselves in that sex.‎” (3).

 

I kindly ask that you be patient.  You are only 16 years old right now, you do not have to make any fast decisions.  Please do pray to Allah regarding this situation and ask Allah for guidance. Allah does love you and is there for you.  This must feel like a lifetime of struggle for you and while I respect how you are feeling, I am asking you to take some more time to explore the possibly reasons as to why. An issue as serious as this deserves some investigation as well as guidance. My heart goes out to you because I cannot imagine how you must feel, only that it must be a painful and scary realization. You do not have to go through this alone and insha’Allah you will seek help from a counselor and imam.

 

I would kindly suggest that insha’Allah if you still want to go forward with telling your parents that you wait until you have seen a physician, started counseling as well as talked with a trusted and compassionate Islamic scholar or imam about your situation. If and when you do tell your parents you want to have all the information available to discuss with them from both medical and Islamic perspectives.  The more informed you are about your body, feelings and options, the better presentation you can make. You also want to be emotionally stable.

 

As far as your parents disowning you, a hadith reports “for the severer of ties of kinship will not enter Paradise”  (Muslim 32:6199).

 

Should you tell your parents, naturally it will be a shock.  As Muslims, of course they will be upset.  However, they are not to disown you.  While they may disapprove of what is happening, they should not disown you as that is a sin as well.  Insha’Allah after the initial shock, they will be able to support you, not from a spiritual perspective but from an emotional one as you are still their child.

 

Please do give yourself more time to get counseling, have medical tests performed as well as seek the guidance of a trusted, compassionate imam.  Please pray to Allah for guidance in this decision.  We wish you the best, please let us know how you are.

  1. Suicide Prevention Hot line https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
  2. https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/gender-dysphoria/what-is-gender-dysphoria
  3. https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-the-scholar/morals-manners/community-rejects-transgender-woman/

Assalam Aleikum I write on behalf of my sister, she has two boys aged 17 and 13, and a girl aged 10. Lately, she has been complaining about the middle son, he is always depressed and throwing tantrums, and gets bullied a lot by the elder brother. Since the father is not very affectionate, she as a mother has to step in to comfort him as he is a very sensitive boy but very loving. What can you advise for her? She fears the boy will grow to resent the father. He gets into trouble at school as well.



Question #4 - About Islam

As salamu alaykum sister,

 

Shokran for writing to our live session.  I am sad to hear that your nephew is being bullied by his older brother.  Bullying is a serious problem and can have devastating affects on a child, even long term ones lasting into adulthood.  I can understand how worried you and your sister must be, especially as her 10-year-old is already depressed and throwing tantrums.  StopBullying.gov (1) states “When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior they send the message that it is not acceptable.

 

Research shows this can stop bullying behavior over time. Parents, school staff, and other adults in the community can help kids prevent bullying by talking about it, building a safe school environment, and creating a community-wide bullying prevention strategy.” Sister, please do speak with her about the effects of bullying (1).  While this is rather specific to a school setting, it is applicable as well to a home environment. The faster this bullying issue is addressed, the less damage there will be. The real issue dear sister is not that the child will resent the father when he grows older, but that he is being bullied.

 

As his father is not very affectionate or involved with the resolution of this, your sister may want to take the children for counseling. I would kindly suggest that insha’Allah she chose a therapist who is family oriented and familiar with the dynamics of bullying.

 

It is likely that your nephew is acting out at school due to the painful situation at home.  Your sister may wish to engage both boys in an Islamic class for boys at the Masjid which will address various adolescent issues as well as teach them adab.  Insha’allah the boys we learn to be protective and loving of each other rather than seek to harm one another (the older one).

 

Your oldest nephew should also be made aware that he is too old to be bullying his 10-year-old brother.  He needs to grow up.  He also needs to be made aware that he will soon be of legal age and may be held legally accountable should the school or other entities find out.  Your nephew is already depressed and “throwing tantrums” which may be indicative of the hurt and shame he feels by being bullied.   Your sister should not permit the bullying to continue.

 

Your sister is doing the best she knows at this point.  Comforting a child that is being bullied is a natural response.  Ideally the father needs to step in and put the older one in check, but sadly this is not happening.  Please do advise her of the effects of bullying, suggest an Islamic group for the boys, encourage her to set rules and disciple for the older son as well as get the boys into counseling.  Insha’Allah sister the situation will improve with these measures or a combination of all four.  We wish your sister and her family the best, please let us know how they are doing.

 

1-https://www.stopbullying.gov/

2-https://www.psycom.net/effects-of-bullying


Hello, we live with our parents, my dad never says good things about us, he calls my sister a witch and nitpick on everything she does. He fights with my mum and says all the curses on us as his kids even though we help with chores and with financial benefits. if we decide to tell him what he does is wrong he reigns insult and people who come to resolve in turn beg him and ask us to be patient but it seems to get worse and uses Islam to justify it saying we are obliged to respect him even if he does us wrong. Is it right and don't parents have consequences on how they treat their kids.



As salamu Alaykum dear sister,

 

Shokran for writing to our Live Session.  I am sorry to hear about how your father is mis-treating you, your siblings and your mom.  This is not an Islamic way to treat one’s family sister and his cursing of his children is haram.

 

Sister, you sound like a wonderful daughter. You not only help out around the home with chores but you also help financially.  It may be that your dad is depressed. He may be angry over something that has nothing to do with you or your family.  It could be stress at work, an unfulfilled life goal or any other number of reasons.  People who are always criticizing others, nitpicking, treating others poorly, are often not happy with themselves.

 

I would kindly suggest insha’Allah that you ask for a family meeting to discuss this problem. I understand you have tried to resolve this before with him, however this time please do suggest family counseling. Suggest counseling on the premise that you desire a happy and harmonious family life and that by seeking counseling perhaps it may help resolve any issues and increase happy relations.

 

You may want to discuss with your father that you all love him very much and seek to make the family a happier unit.  Assure him of your love and respect for him while at the same time pointing out how the Prophet Mohammad (PHUH) treated his family.  As your father seeks to condone his behaviors using Islam, you may wish to bring forth Islamic proofs (in a loving way) concerning the Islamic standpoints on how to treat one’s family and loved ones.

 

If your dad’s heart does not soften sister, you may want to try another method.  When he starts insulting you or your sister or mom, just ignore the insults. Do not respond.  I know this is hard but often times when we stop responding to negativity, it decreases over time and stops.  Insha’Allah this will be the case with your dad. If your dad resists family counseling or does not make efforts to be more kind, please do consider speaking with a close (other) family member or your imam to intervene on your and your families behalf.  I understand this is a hard situation for everyone sister.  Make duaa to Allah for mercy and ease as well as ask Allah to help your dad with his issues.

 

You’re in our prayers, please let us know how you are doing.

 


My mom keeps telling me to pray. And I know it’s because she cares. But when I pray it doesn’t feel like it’s for me. So I don’t. I should but when she keeps telling me to, I don’t want to



Question # 2 - About Islam

As salamu alaykum,

Shokran for writing to our Live Session and for your important question. As you know, your mom is right about praying and she does love you and cares about your relationship with Allah swt. You are right as well when you state that “when you pray, it doesn’t feel like it’s for you”, so you don’t pray. Sister, getting into the habit of praying can be hard at first.

 

At first, we may not think it is for us as we truly do not understand the power of prayer nor the blessings in prayer. Additionally, often times there is a sense that Allah does not hear our prayers therefore why pray.
Insha’Allah sister I ask that you commit to praying for one month. During this time I would also kindly suggest that you read about the benefits of prayer and really get to know about the importance of your relationship with Allah. You may not initially feel anything sister, but insha’Allah during these 30 days, you will begin to see both the benefit and importance of keeping your salats. Also, once you get into the habit of praying (which researchers say a habit is developed in 30 days) it will become much easier to pray and feel less of a burden.

 

Insha’Allah, you will develop a deep love for prayer and it will come to be something you look forward to. As prayer becomes less of a habit and more of an act of love and obedience-if a prayer is missed you may feel like a part of you is missing.
Sister, we need Allah, Allah does not need us. As you know, our pray is our connection with Allah. It is a gift to offer salat. Ask yourself, do you seek to connect with Allah sister? Do you love Allah swt? Look at it from this standpoint as well, if your mom was gone away on a trip wouldn’t you call her a lot to talk to her? Well, it is the same with prayers.

 

While you may not “feel” like praying now, once you get used to communicating with your Lord on a regular basis (salat) you will find that it is indeed your daily blessing and protection. Insha’Allah sister please do try to cultivate your relationship with Allah, keep your prayers for 30 days straight and seek to gain a deeper understanding of the blessing of prayer. Make duaa that Allah guides your heart towards understanding.

 

We wish you the best.


Assalamu'alaikum. I want to know if my 7 years old daughter can sleep with her father at night or not.



Question #1 - About Islam

As salam Alaykum sister,
Shokran for writing in with your question. This is a question that a lot of parents have -when is a child to old to sleep with parents. However, you stated, “if your daughter can sleep with her father”. Psychology Today (1) discusses children sleeping with parents stating ‘Co-sleeping may have seemed like a good idea at one point, but over time it’s anything but restful and, in fact, it creates additional stress for the entire family.

 

Recent studies indicate that near epidemic proportion of children are co-sleeping with parents today. According to Parenting’s Mom Connection, a surprising 45% of moms let their 8- to 12-year-olds sleep with them from time to time, and 13% permit it every night”. Often, children sleeping with a parent can be a common and normal practice for many families, especially in some cultures. It can provide bonding and a sense of security for children as they grow. However it some cases it can also cause children to be less self reliant.

 

As your daughter is now seven, she may want to sleep in her own bed and have privacy. She is also almost entering the age of pre-puberty wherein she will be getting her menses. I would kindly suggest dear sister that you speak with your daughter to see how she feels about sleeping with her dad. If it is a situation wherein it is just your daughter and her dad-and you sleep in a separate room I would have to ask why and kindly ask you to investigate the situation from all angles.

 

You may want to look at the following questions insha’Allah: Has your daughter been sleeping with you and your husband since birth? Does your daughter currently sleep with her dad? What is your and your husband relationship, are you close? Are there any other children who sleep with their dad? Is your home small and lacks space for sleeping quarters? Do you feel comfortable with your daughter sleeping with her dad? What are your husband’s viewpoints on this?

 

Sister, often times it is completely normal for children to sleep with a parent or parents. Your daughter and your husband may already be used to this, however, when a child becomes a certain age as stated, they begin to feel awkward in certain situations.

 

I would kindly suggest dear sister that you speak with your daughter alone. Please, insha’Allah ask her how she would feel sleeping in her own room as she is becoming a big girl. You may want to take this opportunity to discuss at an age-appropriate level her growth as a young lady and some of the changes she may soon be going through. You may also want to ask her how she feels about sleeping with her dad.

 

If she is used to sleeping with you and your husband perhaps now is the time you can slowly introduce her to her own bed over time by having her sleep in her own room once a week, building up to seven. Please do talk with her sister to assess her comfort level with the above questions in mind and make your decision from there.

 

We wish you the best.