What Kind of Discipline Works for Teens? – Counseling Session

Salamu alaykum dear 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 Hannah for answering the questions.

You can find answers below

Feel free to send your questions to [email protected]

The service is completely anonymous


Q:

Salamu alaykum. My daughter is 12 years old. She reached puppetry and her father says she must wear hijab but I think she is really young for this step.

Hijab comes with lots of challenges and is a little kid; why should I burden her with this now?

Can we wait until she really knows what it is all about and be more mature, like 18 years old for example? She feels hot if she wears covered clothes, and ahe is not used to this let alone if she wears hijab.

I think in the past prophet’s time and so on 12 year old girls were considered mature enough to do this but now it is very different!

A:

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

This is a concern that all parents of girls go through to some extent or another. For some it’ll be easy and the daughter will be happy and eager to wear it it, whereas others will be less keen and even defiant in the matter.

As parents we are the ones that will be judged for the way we guide our children. It may be that they choise to follow the wrong path, but we must do our best as parents to try and encourage them on the straight path.

This is probably the way your husband is thinking in saying she must wear it because if she should not, then he will be held accountable for the same, especially now that she has reached the age where she should be wearing the hijab.

Hijab does come with lots of challenges, as do many other things at this age. However, the blessings far outweigh the challenges.

For her to start wearing hijab at this age will be a good way to remind her about modesty at an age where her hormones will soon, if not already, start going wild and she might start taking interest in boys son to wear hijab will give her some protection in this regard.

This may even be a good starting point to have discussions on this topic. I know you feel that she is still too young, but the thing is, if she doesn’t learn it at home from those she trusts, she will turn to her friends to learn these things and could be lead astray and you may end up looking back with regret.

This should not be a burden, but a necessary responsibility that needs to be faced at some point.

Regardless of your and your husband’s thoughts on it, the best place to begin is to address it with her directly, after all, she is the one that would be wearing the hijab. If it should suddenly be enforced upon her then she may be more likely to rebel, whereas if she is a part of the discussion and process then she is more likely to comply without question.

You might begin by getting her opinion on wearing the hijab now. It may be that she is agreeable and already ready to wear the hijab, it may be that she needs a little education and with that support choose to wear it of her own volition.

It may that she requires more extensive discussion before taking this route. Either way, consulting her first who it will help you to understand her own perspective first and you can work with this.

If she objects then things might be a bit more tricky, but you must also keep in mind that you will influence her with your own opinion so be careful about expressing that you don’t think she should wear it otherwise she may express the same opinion blindly as a means to please you.

Try to address it with her more objectively to begin with so that she has the space to express her own opinion without

influence. If she is more reluctant, you can support her by looking at hijabs together and letting her pick out any style she prefers, likewise with more modest clothing. Letting her be a part of the process and choices will mean she is more likely to comply willingly when she’s ready. Even if she doesn’t choose to wear it immediately, having it available to make that choice any time will facilitate her in making the decision herself.

Furthermore, the process of wearing hijab and covering modestly does have to come in one drastic move.

It is usually easier to make this a gradual process. It may be that she begins by wearing looser, more modest clothes before donning the hijab, or perhaps she might like to start with the hijab, whichever is more comfortable for her.

It may be that she needs more time to understand why it is necessary to dress this way before making any changes.

Either way, as her parent, it is your responsibility to make sure she is equipped with the knowledge to make this decision and you can do these things to facilitate the process in a way that will make it something she desires to do for the sake of Allah.

May Allah reward your concern for raising your daughter in the best way and guide you in supporting her and may He guide her in her journey as a Muslimah.


Q:

My son is 10 years old and he heard conversations about homosexuals and came to ask me what does gay or lesbians mean?

I tried to explain it as a kind of illness but he keeps asking more questions and I don’t know how to handle this. He also sometimes watches movies where this theme is present ( same sex attraction). Please advise

A:

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

Unfortunately in this day and age this has become a hot topic as it has become normalised and made acceptable and even enforced in schools to learn about.

The first thing is to make sure he is not being exposed to it in movies as he is at present. Make sure to pay attention to what he is watching.

It is often the case that it is subtley included in movies to the point where it is seen as ‘normal’. This is perhaps more dangerous than the more obvious displays of homosexuality as it makes it seem like something that is acceptable, which of course in Islam it is not.

Depending on the laws in the country in which you live will in part determine your response to this too. You should check with his school the extent to which it is being addressed.

It some schools these days it is being taught and this is where it is important for you to get to know your child’s curriculum to see what is being taught and if it is compatible with out beliefs as Muslims.

If not, then you should take the necessary steps to withdraw him from such classes. In some places this is not a problem, in others it

might be so your course of action regarding this will vary depending on your location. The most important thing is to ensure he is not being exposed to anything haram.

Of course, in this day and age its almost impossible to censor every thing to do with homosexuality so it is a matter that should be addressed with him as his parent to avoid him becoming misguided.

Given that he is asking about it then now would be a good time to start. You can inform him about what gay and lesbianism is, but also that in Islam it is not OK. Also let him know that some people choose to take this path, but in Islam it is not acceptable.

Being open and honest with him at this stage will set him on the straight path himself, whilst understanding that some people choose this way of life.

He should know that whilst we don’t accept this way of life, we must also respect them, as much as anyone regardless of their choices, as fellow being of the human race.

That does not mean that we should accept their way of life or even endorse it, but we just know that their choices regarding their sexual orientation are not acceptable in Islam or liked by Allah and we should distance ourselves from this where possible but in as respectable way as possible.

May Allah reward your concern for your son and raising him on the straight path. May Allah guide you both to what is best for you in this life and the next.


Q:

As salamu ‘alaykum,

I am just wondering about my younger sister who is in her mid-teens. All of our family converted to Islam two years ago, and we also adopted the traditional modest Muslim way of dressing. We wear hijab, but recently, my sister started to wear only plain BLACK.

Whenever she’s out of school, with usually a very long hijab, she says it is the proper modest way to dress as a Muslimah. She’ll refuse to wear any jewelry and make-up at all! I mean, isn’t it a bit too extreme?

A:

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

Alhamdulilah that your entire family has been guided to the path of Islam. May Allah keep you all steadfast in His path.

I don’t think that it is extreme to dress only in black. Some people prefer to dress this way so as not to draw attention to themselves. Some people even say this is preferable to wearing anything that draws attention to oneself as a Muslim woman.

Everyone has different opinions and perspectives on the matter. Likewise, some may also argue that things like jewellery and makeup draw unnecessary attention to the woman and should be saved for the husband.

Again, this is a matter of opinion and some people will agree whole heartedly with this approach whilst others will completely disagree and will have their own justifications for such an opinion.

In your sisters case, it may simply be that she is of the opinion that she dresses in black and avoids makeup and jewellery to avoid attention as mentioned above, in which case this is harmless and you should leave her to practice in this way if this is what makes her happy and don’t make her feel bad for following this path because there is nothing wrong with this if this is the reason for taking this approach.

In sha Allah there is nothing suspicious about her approach to Islam and this is just the way she is choosing to express her beliefs and there is nothing wrong with this at all.

If however, you are concerned that this behaviour is a result of something more sinister then it would be more appropriate for you to take action.

If you feel that she is taking this approach because she has been the victim of some kind of brainwashing to extremism and your concerned that this could escalate to something more serious than the way she dresses, then there are a few things to look out for to begin with.

– Is there anything unusual about her behaviour other than the way she’s dressing? Does she seem to have changed at all?

– Does she still hang around with the same friends? If so, have they changed too? If not, what are her new friends like? Do you know them or their families?

– Do you know her whereabouts at all times? Or is she very secretive about it?

– Is she exhibiting any other signs of extremism? Sudden change of attitude? More extreme following of some of the Islamic guidelines.

If so then you should begin by talking to her about your concerns and give her the chance and space to have her say.

It may be that there is nothing in her behaviour and if you seek to understand it then it will make things easier between you. This will help you to identify also if this is something that you should genuinely be concerned about and take the appropriate action.

If she is not showing any of these signs at present but you fear she may follow this path, or be vulnerable to then keep a close eye on her.

Stay close to her and don’t push her away for dressing the way she does or you may even push her away from your family to find comfort else where and may fall into traps of people who will misguide her.

Just because she expresses her Deen in a different way to you, it doesn’t make it wrong and should not be a cause for divide between you.

May Allah reward your concern for her and guide you all contently on His path.


Q:

As-salamu `alaykum.

I thank the counselors for doing a great job. My eldest son is 15 years old. I need help in how to motivate him to perform his daily prayers satisfactorily and with all the recitation, as I notice that most of the time he does not recite during the prayers, but only performs the movements.

This makes me very sad as he is not able to appreciate the prayers and I feel that his lack of commitment towards prayers can lead to other undesirable behavior.

Being the eldest, I had so much trust and confidence in him, but he has disappointed me to great extent: he is very rude to us, his parents; he is not close to his siblings and not interest in his studies. Just like any other mother, I want him to be a pious and filial son. Please guide me. Please help me to guide my son.

Thank you

A:

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

At the age of 15 you are right to be concerned about how seriously your son is taking his salat and his Deen in general, especially as the oldest child who will have a stronger influence on us younger siblings.

Starting with the positive, Alhamdulilah that your son prays. It wouldn’t be unusual for a child of this age to outright refuse to pray and rebel more than your son is.

However, you do note that his attitude towards prayer and towards you as his parent is not good and this is not acceptable and should be nipped in the bud before it gets out of hand.

Use the fact that he is at least engaging to some extent to build on this and nurture his faith further. There are a few ways you can encourage him from here on in.

– Ensure that he is mixing with other boys his age who will be a good influence on him and encourage him with his prayers. This may be through friends with children the same age, or even through classes in your local masjid.

Classes in the masjid would be good for increasing his confidence in his recitation and prayer as perhaps the issue is not that he doesn’t want to, but that he struggles or doesn’t know how.

– If he is not interested in his studies and prayer, what is it that he is directing his attention to? If it is something that you could use to encourage his prayer then take advantage of this, or if it is something that is taking too much of his time, then set restrictions to ensure the same doesn’t overtake his life. These are restrictions you can come up with together so that he is part of the process and more likely to adhere.

– Do things together as a family that will encourage him to bond with his siblings and desire to be a role model to them.

– Anytime you see him doing anything favourable, praise him. When he shows noticeable effort with his prayer, or commitment to his study, hone in on that moment and praise him. This way he will continue to seek to get this positive appraisal and will continue with the positive behaviour.

– Likewise, don’t reprimand him for not giving his all to prayer or not being overly committed to his studies otherwise he will develop a negative association with prayer and have no desire to commit more.

In sha Allah a combination of these things will at least start to push him in the right direction with his attitude towards prayer and will jlnurturew a love for the Deen and everything that comes with.

May Allah reward your efforts to encourage your son and may He guide him on the straight path. May your son and all your other chil

Sunday, Jul. 12, 2020 | 09:00 - 10:00 GMT

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