Coping with Teens

You thought you were over the hard part: changing nappies and being kept awake throughout the night by your crying baby, dealing with an uncontrollable two-year old ‘monster’. But now comes the really hard part: coping with a rebellious, often rude and obnoxious, teenager.

Teach them from an early age about Allah, the Prophets, the Sahaba, and the great heroes of Islam. If we develop in them a love for Islam and provide them with pious examples for their heroes, they will be much less likely to go astray. A person wants to be like his heroes.

Be very careful about your child’s friends. During the teenage years, children often care more about what their friends say than what their parents or elders say. According to a hadith, ‘Man is upon the path of his intimate friend; so let each look to whom he takes as a friend.’ It’s essential from an early age that we try to get our children involved with good kids.

Encourage children to participate in wholesome religious, social, and sports activities. Bored teenagers are more likely to look for excitement in the wrong place. If teenagers' lives are full of good and exciting things to do, they will not have the time or the desire to get involved in bad things.

If we haven't done so already, now’s a good time to let kids become part of the family decision making process. If teenagers feel they have the right to make some decisions and even to help make the family's decisions, they will not feel that they have to rebel against an oppressive family that is always telling them what to do.