"Tips for Parenting Muslim Teens and Pre-teens" by Afshana Haque

Recently in Houston there was a workshop on Parenting.  Afshana Haque gave some really good points that I wanted to pass along.  I wasn’t really able to sit through the whole program (b/c my wonderful children wouldn’t stay in baby-sitting) but the bits and pieces I picked up were really helpful, even for parents of small children.

Tips for Parenting Muslim teens and pre-teens

  1. Always demonstrate love and affection, with both girls AND boys
  2. Compliment them often (10 compliments to every 1 constructive criticism)
  3. Plan and create quality, enjoyable family time
  4. Engage your them when creating household rules
  5. Have the rules clearly written and displayed
  6. Create clearly defined boundaries and limits
  7. CONSISTENTLY enforce the household rules
  8. Create agreed upon consequences for every broken rule
  9. Allow them to EARN their privileges instead of simply giving it to them
  10. Place time limits on use of electronics (cell phone, TV, internet etc.)
  11. When rules are broken, take away privileges, screaming and berating is not necessary. Let them know that the consequence is a result of their own choices and actions and that it is no sweat off your back.
  12. Create a space in the house for homework to be done
  13. Be involved in their school (attend PTA meetings, sporting events, etc.)
  14. Help them break up their homework so that they can meet their deadlines with minimal stress.
  15. Encourage extra curricular activities, especially those that involve other Muslim children & families (if there are none available, create them!)
  16. Get to know the families of your children’s friends, Muslim OR Non-Muslim
  17. Find a balance between trusting them and asserting your right as a parent to know what is going on in their lives.
  18. If they break your trust, grant them opportunities to earn back your trust.
  19. Listen to what they have to say, sometimes without input, feedback or judgment
  20. Don’t be afraid of them, they need and want your attention more then you can imagine.
  21. Be an example to them, they really are doing what you do and not what you say. Be the Muslim/Muslimah you want them to be.
  22. Pray and read Qur’an together. *note: this should not replace family fun time.
  23. SEX, DRUGS, and ALCOHOL should not be taboo topics. If you are not talking with them about it, make sure somebody you TRUST is talking to them about it!
  24. Actively seek the help of family, extended relatives, friends, and community members at any points of distress.
  25. Parenting is HARD, VERY HARD. Do not shy away from asking for help. Reach out early. Do not wait until your situation it is entirely unmanageable, or when it is too late. There is no shame in seeking counseling or therapy.

Saira Siddiqui

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