As children progress towards teenage, they also move towards a sense of greater independence. In this process, they end up turning rebellious towards their parents (who still treat them like a baby) and try to resist the household rules. This holds especially true for Muslim teens in the West who struggle to find a balance between their “cool” friends and “restrictive” parents. Again, like every phase of parenting, this too shall pass. However, it will require some major adjustment and understanding on your part to raise a pious Muslim teen.
How to raise pious Muslim teens?
1. Give them more privilege
Changing some extremely stringent rules you set for them when they were little kids. Restricting them too much can lead to rebellion. As your child rapidly changes into a teen, their life will be filled with emotional, physical, intellectual, and social turmoil. Understanding this will help you manage their rocky stage of development.
2. Barter your work hours with family time
It is better to have one decently paying job, fewer luxuries and more family time than having many luxuries which come at the cost of absent parents. Parents (mothers AND fathers) can’t instill values in their children if they are absent, period. You need to spend time with your teen to be able to connect with them and parent them properly. Take them out for Halaqas, drive them to a library, park, mall or masjid and get to know them as they change.
3. Attend a weekly Halaqa
Lazing on the couch over the weekend is tempting, but you can put that time to productive use if you have Muslim teens around. Take them out for a weekly Halaqa which has people of their age group joining. Not only will they connect with religion, you’ll see them engage with it.
4. Respect your Muslim teen
Your child is no longer an inept baby. Respect their opinions, encourage them to speak up in important household matters and reason with them. This way, you’ll be building their thought process and turning them into good and mature decision makers.
5. Look for what interests them
Legos and dolls will not interest your children as they progress into their teenage years. Look out for their new interests. Ask them about it. Engage with your teen’s life.
6. Keep a check on their company
At this age, your teen is susceptible to bad company and habits. And the bitter truth is that you can barely control who they associate with once they step out of home. The ideal solution to this is to maintain a healthy friendship with your teen. Talk to them about societal evils upfront. Tell them why drug or porn addiction is wrong. Tell them why it is not okay to engage in premarital relationships. Raise aware teens and they will make aware decisions in life.
People today struggle with raising pious Muslim teens. However, they neglect the basics of teenage parenting and go on to blame the child of ill manners. Losing your temper does not do. Adopting a tactful, friendly and understanding approach does.
Also read: Top 7 tips for Muslim parents