Raising Muslim Kids- Counseling Session | About Islam
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Raising Muslim Kids- Counseling Session

Session Guest

Raising Muslim Kids- Counseling Session - About Islam

Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word poetry projects.


Friday, Jun. 14, 2019 | 08:00 - 10:00 Makkah | 05:00 - 07:00 GMT

Session Status

Session is over.

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.

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

[email protected]


How can I detect if my child have ADHD and anxiety disorder? How can I help as a parent?



Question 3 - About Islam

As salamu alaikum dear sister,

 

Shokran for writing to our live session with your concerns. As I understand your issue, you are concerned whether or not your child has ADHD.

 

Possible ADHD or Anxiety Disorder

 

ADHD is a rather common but treatable disorder. There are other disorders or issues which may present as ADHD such as anxiety, stress, or depression, bu are not ADHD.  As you do not know if your child has ADHD, the first thing to do insha’Allah would be to make an appointment with your child’s pediatrician for an evaluation or to get a recommendation to a child therapist for evaluation. Part of the evaluation process includes getting records from your child’s school pertaining to grades, behaviors, as well as having the teachers fill out questionnaires about your child. The counselor will also ask you to complete various forms and behavioral scales. This helps determine if it may be ADHD or something else.  A correct diagnosis is most important because it will determine they treatment modality.

 

Signs of ADHD

 

There are certain signs and symptoms which may indicate that a child has ADHD. Briefly, if your child has difficulty paying attention, is hyperactive, and impulsive, these may be warning signs. More specific signs are fidgeting, squirming while seated, getting up and moving around in situations when staying seated is expected, such as in the classroom, running or dashing around or  in situations where it is inappropriate, being unable to play, engage in homework, or hobbies quietly, constantly in motion or “on the go”, talking nonstop, blurting out answers before a question has been completed, having trouble waiting his or her turn, interrupting or intruding on others, for example in conversations, games, or activities and so forth (1).  Please do keep in mind though that this list is not inclusive nor is it indicative hat your child does have ADHD. As stated, there can be other reasons for these behaviors thus it is important that your child have a professional evaluation.

 

Signs of Anxiety Disorder

 

Children with anxiety may present differently. Anxiety is based on fear and worry.  Some may worry excessively, feel they are sick, have multiple physical complaints, become clingy, appear jittery, short of breath, feel afraid or avoid social situations. Other symptoms may include agitation, restlessness, inattention, poor focus, tantrums, crying, refusing to go to school, meltdowns, difficulties with transitions, problems with sleep.  Often children with anxiety due poorly in school. As illustrated, it can be difficult to determine if it is ADHD or anxiety as there are some similar and overlapping symptoms.

 

Treatment

 

Depending on the diagnosis, treatment can vary. Usually for ADHD it is a combination of medication and behavioral therapy for the child and parent skills training and stress management classes for parents. Behavioral plans are usually developed for the parents to follow at home. The school is usually involved in the treatment process to ensure continuity at school and too optimize the learning environment. For anxiety disorders, treatment usually involves cognitive behavioral therapy and mediation. Treatment can include just therapy without medication depending on the severity.

 

Creating a Conducive Home environment

 

For children with either anxiety disorder or ADHD, home environments should be structured yet relaxing. Structures provides a child with a routine. Relaxation provides a sense of safety. Parents should also be aware of their own behaviors as a child will learn from their parents’ behaviors (modeling). For example, if a parent is anxious and displays maladaptive coping behaviors in response to anxiety, the child will learn that this is the way to handle these feelings. Homes should be as stress free as possible with lots of relaxing activities. In fact, practicing relaxation techniques with your child such as deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation are very beneficial. Parents should encourage their children to talk about what they are feeling and support them by providing activities that reduce negative feelings and/or thoughts. When the child successfully manages an impulse or anxiety symptom, reward them. This builds confidence and encourages future attempts at utilizing coping skills.

 

Conclusion

 

Insha’Allah, please do take your child in for an evaluation to determine if it is ADHD, anxiety, stress or something else. By following the brief tips for a conducive home for your child’s situation, you can insha’Allah help them over come current issues as well as provide them with a platform of coping skills for things which may arise in the future. You are in our prayers, we wish you the best.

 

  1. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd-the-basics/index.shtml#pub1

What if someone's husband commits Zina just after the birth of thier son. He just cheated on his wife and sends divorce paper when the wife tries to stop him from meeting the girl who is also a prostitute. The wife came to know that he had physical intercourse even before their marriage. Despite helping her, her in-laws support their son and finalize the divorce paper.

She wants her husband back because of the baby. Finally, she informs the police and makes a case file. After 2 months the husband comes and withdraws divorce paper. Though they are together now, but the husband does not look repented. The wife is afraid of loosing him all the time, she is pregnant again. She always seeks for peace and secured life, performs salat and other obligatory prayers regularly but dissatisfaction works in her mind. What does Islam say here? What should she do? She can't even forget the past days of hypocrisy.



Question 2 - About Islam

As salamu alaikum dear sister,

 

Thank you for writing to our live session. As I understand the question, the husband committed Zina right after the birth of his son. He then files for divorce which is supported by his parents. Later, he withdraws the divorce. During the time of the zina and divorce filing, there were police reports filed in a case was made.

 

Safety Considerations

 

Sister, I am not sure why a police report was filed, and a case was opened.  It was not stated in the question. However, if it was due to domestic violence, then that is a serious issue. In this case, under no circumstances should the wife want to get back with her husband unless there is long-term, intensive counseling intervention. Even then it is risky.  As the husband and wife are back together, if this is happening (domestic violence) the wife should seek local assistance and leave immediately.

 

Sincerely Repenting

Sister, I am not sure what the marital problems were, only that the husband has cheated, filed for divorce but then came back. However, given the fact that the husband has cheated, did file for divorce, the police were involved and there was a case created, it sounds like the marriage was extremely unhealthy. On the other hand, if the husband did repent to Allah sincerely for committing Zina and is now following Islam, it is a different story. In that case the husband has repented and will be more likely to treat his wife with the love, respect, kindness and mercy that he is supposed to as a Muslim husband. We all make mistakes in this life no doubt. We are blessed in the fact that Allah is so merciful, we can go to him in prayer for repentance.

 

If Nothing Has Changed

 

Sister, if nothing has changed and the husband is still the same, the wife will continue to suffer doubts, fears and insecurity. This will not make for a happy nor healthy marriage or family life for the children. As the wife is still afraid of losing her husband, this may be indicative that the husband has not changed his ways.  It may also indicate that perhaps he has but the wife is still feeling the hurt and pain of the betrayal.  In either case, I kindly recommend that the sister go for personal counseling on a regular basis in order to address her hurt and pain regarding the betrayal. I also kindly recommend that both the husband and wife go for martial counseling to try to save the marriage, as we are to try to save our marriages as Allah hates divorce. However, divorce is permissible if needed.

 

Emotions and Reason

 

I understand the sister loves her husband. I also understand she is pregnant with their second child. She may be fearful, I am not sure. I kindly advise the sister to love herself and her children as much as she loves her husband. This will help her make good decisions regarding her situation. Right now, it sounds as if she is caught up in her emotions for her husband which is normal. However, she needs to think of herself, children and future. As it seems to the wife the husband has not repented (and still cheating), this may be the reason for her fears of loosing him.

 

However, she must ask herself why would she want a husband who does not repent and possibly continues to cheat? Doesn’t she want better for herself?  I kindly suggest the sister speak with her husband about her feelings, the situation as a whole, as well as drawing closer to Allah as a couple. This would include praying together, going to the Masjid, Islamic events, reading Qur’an together, and applying Islamically based prescriptions to the marriage.  As the husband did cheat and apply for divorce, it is upon him to help his wife heal from the trauma he has caused. If he refuses, the wife has the option for divorce.

 

Conclusion

 

I kindly suggest that the wife seek counseling for the trauma and that the couple engages in marriage counseling. If the husband refuses, the wife has the option to divorce. If there is domestic violence involved, I urge the wife to seek assistance in her area as soon as possible so she can safely leave. Please do make duaa to Allah for mercy, protection, direction and ease regarding this marriage.  Our prayers are with the wife, may she find resolution and peace.


As-salamualaikum,

I am happily married, Revert to Islam with a 1 1/2 yr old daughter. My mother has not been happy with my reversion. I do take special care to speak to her with kindness and have even invited her to our Masjid although she has declined. I know that “heaven lies at the feet of our mothers.” My question is, my mother has been in quite a toxic place for a long time. Just as a background, as a child she screamed and belittled us (brother and father) a lot.

I realize she was stressed. As an adult, I learned about narcissistic personality disorder and although I can’t diagnose her, she has a lot of the traits. She has gone through a lot in her life and I feel for that but refuses to get professional help. Sometimes she will make fun of me, like about my weight and then say “it was just a joke” but refuses to acknowledge that these things are hurtful and says that she never says anything wrong, that I am too sensitive.

She has been trying to get me to come to Christianity since my reversion, sending me anti-Islam videos on a weekly basis and sometimes every day. Anyway, I have given up debating at this point and just make dua for her. I allowed her to give my daughter Christmas and Birthday gifts although we don’t celebrate and I don’t really know yet where I stand on that but I don’t like it because to me it feels like a way she can manipulate my child. She had made the remark “I was going to buy her a Bible but I kept forgetting” knowing full well that we are raising her as Muslim.

These things really make me not want to leave our daughter alone with her. At this point, she hasn’t because I have exclusively breastfed.. My question is I guess, am I justified in denying her alone time with my daughter even though it will make her angry and probably cause her to retaliate? I don’t want to cause a big problem.

Actually I would love for her to have her time with our daughter but given that it seems like she wants me to leave Islam and the Bible remark, I feel like she just won’t respect our wishes and undermine or even alienate us from our daughter. I don’t mean this to speak badly of my mother. I am sure in her mind she feels like she is doing what “God” would have her do by trying to “save” us. Thoughts?



Question 1 - About Islam

 As salamu alaikum dear sister,

 

Shokran for writing to our live session.  As I can see by your question and concerns your mother is not happy about your reversion to Islam and she has boundary issues. You state that you’re happily married, reverted to Islam, and you have a daughter who is 1 and 1/2 years old.

 

Sister you seem to have a lot of insight into what is going on with your mom. You stated that she was always stressed out and that she went through a lot in her lifetime. You also realize that while she does have issues, it is also her responsibility to get professional help, which she refuses to do. Sadly, this has impacted your life in a negative way. Some of the examples that you gave was her making fun of you about your weight and then saying it was just a joke. She refuses to acknowledge that these things are hurtful. She’s also trying to get you to convert to Christianity as well as wanting to buy your child a Bible.

 

Family Opposition to Islam

 

Putting aside her mental health issues for a moment sister, I would like to point out that when one reverts to Islam who comes from a primarily Christian or other religious family, there is often opposition. It is usually a big shock for the parents. What you are going through with this is not uncommon. Family, particularly parents, often take a big objection. This is based on a lot of misinformation that is put out by the media and others concerning our religion. Is very sad that this is the way it is, but it is up to us to show our families what Islam truly is.

 

While your mom may not be open to learning about Islam at this point, the best thing you can do is illustrate Islam through your behavior. This would include not arguing with her, being kind, thoughtful, and patient. When parents see a positive change in their children after they have reverted to Islam, they may begin to reevaluate their belief system concerning Islam. Some parents may realize that positive change is due to Islam and they may become more open as to what our teachings are all about. By understanding and acknowledging this, we can understand their reactions a bit better. With this in mind, please do understand that it may take time for her to fully realize that Islam is not evil, that is a beautiful religion and that it has enabled you, her daughter to become a better person. Again, this may take time.

Tips for Parental Interference

 

Regarding your original question and issue about your mom interfering with your daughter concerning Islam vs Christianity. I will kindly suggest sister that you speak with your mother. Make up a list of points about Islam regarding respect for parents, treatment of children, kindness to others, and our deen in general. Make them basic but powerful. I would suggest you speak with your mother at a time when things are calm.  Maybe take her out for lunch where things are quiet and the two of you can talk without interference.

 

Ask her if you could please just have 5 or 10 minutes to speak, after which you would like to hear her opinions. Outline your points on Islam and our way of life. Indicate that you have the utmost love and respect for her, however as a woman with a child of your own, you are grown and have a responsibility to your daughter.

 

Insha’Allah, explain to her that you want her to be a part of your child’s life however you cannot permit her to influence your child against Islam. Ask your mother to think back upon when you were a baby. Ask her if she would allow any of her family members or her mother to interfere in that way. Perhaps by invoking empathy she may reconsider.

 

Toxic Relationships

 

Sister, if she does not respond to your kindness, patience, and respect in regard to your daughter and Islam, you may have to step back for a little bit. We are not to cut off our parents as you know, however for your own well-being as well as that of your daughter, it may be necessary to limit contact for a while. The relationship as it currently stands is toxic. A toxic relationship is a toxic relationship regardless of whether it is a colleague, a parent, or a friend. Sadly, when at one of our parents is toxic and they will not change despite our efforts to create harmony, we may have to minimize contact in order to preserve our mental health as well as our family.

 

During this period of spending less time with her, insha’Allah continue to ensure that your mom is taken care of, that she has the things she needs, and check up on her. Insha’Allah, just try not to engage in toxic conversations or interactions. If it becomes toxic, you can politely state that you love her, but you need to end the conversation. It may be that you need to take a firmer stand such as this to help your mother understand that her interference regarding Islam will not be accepted. While she is doing it out of love, concern and fear (of Islam), it still needs to be addressed in a loving way. This may even include your stepping back for a period of time.

 

Navigating Interfaith Families

 

Regarding her giving your daughter gifts for Christmas and birthdays, that is an individual choice. We obviously don’t celebrate Christmas that is not our holiday.  Some Muslims with interfaith families will accept gifts to show respect, just as we would expect them to show respect for our holiday. For instance, my children have received Eid gifts from my non-Muslim family members and it was so nice. If you chose, you can view the gifts as an act of kindness, not an act of holiday worship.

 

Instilling Islamic beliefs and values in your child will give your daughter a solid foundation and identity. When your daughter gets older, you may wish to explain that not everyone has the same beliefs, and to look at the act of the kindness of the gift, rather than in the context of a holiday. This has kept peace and harmony is some interfaith families. However, this is a personal choice and decision that you must make. As far as your mother giving her a Bible, I will kindly suggest that you inform your mother that she is not Christian, and you will not permit her to give her a Bible. Giving someone a religious book is quite different than giving them a random gift. It does carry a heavy message. But again, that’s a personal choice you need to make.

 

Sister I understand you love your mom and you have a really big heart, and a lot of understanding of your mom’s situation and her mental health. It is no wonder that you are especially conflicted regarding her time with your daughter. Speak with your mom. Have a heart to heart talk. In a loving way, set your rules for their interactions. That is your right as a mother and as a Muslim.  Insha’Allah, in time your mom will come to understand true Islam and her fears will be reduced.

 

Insha’Allah, this journey of boundary setting may inspire her to look at and address some of her hurtful feelings and behaviors. It may be difficult for a while sister, but mothers usually do come around.

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

 

 

 


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