There are many difficulties raising children in a non-Muslim country. I want to know how to take care of teenagers when they start being “Western” like going out and so on as Westerners do.
Should I be strict with my children or should I just make them understand politely?
In this counseling answer:
•Attending local activities in the local community will introduce them to other Muslim children who will share the same values.
•Educating them about Islam and ensuring good Islamic practice at home will support you in accomplishing this.
•Additionally, you could tell them to invite their friends around sometime so that you can also get to know their friends and know who they are spending time with.
Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,
There are indeed many challenges that come with raising children in a non-Muslim country, but in sha Allah with firm faith in Allah it is possible to raise good, righteous children in such an environment.
Being Strict or Easy?
You suggest 2 options; being strict or make them understand politely. These are 2 options you could potentially take, but they could both have negative outcomes.
If you are too gentle and polite about it then they might not understand the importance of refraining from activities that are not in line with Islamic values and therefore not pay attention to what you are doing.
Likewise, if you are strict on it, they may get angry and rebellious not understanding why you are restricting them from doing the things they want to. However, at the same time, a polite approach might make them more likely to comply, as might a strict approach.
Knowing your own children, you would be in a better position to understand how both approaches might impact on their behavior.
There are, however, alternative ways that you can approach this issue. Firstly, ensuring that they have a firm Islamic education, whether that be by attending a local madrassa or at home as a family if the resources are not available locally.
Attending local activities in the local community will introduce them to other Muslim children who will share the same values.
Ensuring their Islamic education, whether that be at home or the local madrassa will indirectly from a means of ensuring that they don’t desire to do the things that some people do in a Western culture that is not compatible with Islamic values.
This is because as they come to learn more about Islam and what is acceptable behavior and not, they will be more likely to only engage in things that they know are okay to.
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If you are confident in their Islamic education then you can feel more settled that when they are going out with their friends that they are only doing things that are acceptable and it is not at the cost of their Deen.
The thing is, that going out with friends in itself does not have to be a problem. Children do also need to have this social time and enjoyment as much as they need to be serious when it’s time to study too.
Educating them about Islam and ensuring good Islamic practice at home will support you in accomplishing this.
It will also install their own confidence about their Deen with an understanding of what is right and wrong in the eyes of Allah.
Look to their friends
Additionally, you could tell them to invite their friends around sometime so that you can also get to know their friends and know who they are spending time with.
This way you can not only be aware of what they are doing and ensure that it is not harmful, but you are then clear who they are spending time with and if they are good friends for them that will not be those who might lead them astray.
May Allah reward your concern to raise your child in the best way and may He grant you pious and righteous children that will be upstanding pillars of the community and the coolness of your eyes.
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