One thing that does not ever seem to change is the fact that parents and their teenage children (especially daughters) always have misunderstandings. On the part of the parents, they tend to see their youngsters as sometimes growing too big for their shoes. They feel that children should seek advice from them and consult them in all they do; at least that was the way it was in their days. Children however do not always feel this way. We often want a level of independence to be given to us. Sometimes we call it privacy. We wonder why we cannot take some decisions on our own. Sometimes, we are encouraged to take some subjects in school that we are not really interested in, we are pushed into attending certain schools even though we do not want to attend them, we are asked to wear certain clothes even though we feel silly in them the list is endless. But at such times, we wonder why our parent’s don’t ever see things our way.
The honest truth is that both parents and children are actually working towards the same goal but simply approach it from different angles. Both of them want what is best for the child but ones method may not be acceptable to the other. Very often, our parents; knowing that they have seen a lot in their time advise us to do things in a certain manner. We however, thinking that they just could not have seen anything like what we are passing through do not want to agree with them. What we do not understand however is that the difference between what we are passing through and what they have not only seen; but learnt over the years; is called EXPERIENCE. It could be sometimes frustrating when our parents raise objections to all our actions and do not want to listen to our own side of the argument. A few times though, they allow us to have our way when they are convinced that we have taken the right step. It is very important to understand why parents act this way.
First of all, we should realise that every good parent wants the best for his or her child. In whatever they do, our parents out of love for us put us into consideration. Likewise, they are simply carrying out their duty to us by counselling us aright. A good number of times, they may be talking from experience. Experience has been said to be the best teacher. Our parents do not want us to make some of the mistakes they or others in the past had made. There are other times when they see that there is no good in a step we intend to take and so they steer us in the direction of what will benefit us. As Muslim teenagers, it is important for us to be obedient and submissive to our parents in as much as they do not ask us to disobey Allaah or the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). No matter how difficult we feel our parents are, we could always get them to see reason if we explain issues as politely and reasonably as possible. We also have to show them that we are decent, mature minded, responsible and can be trusted at all times. A teenager who is wayward cannot expect her parents to willingly allow her to school far away from home where she cannot be monitored.
When our parents feel that they can trust us, they tend to give us the benefit of doubt and to reason with us when we bring up suggestions or make requests. It could help a lot if we think back to all the times our parents ever advised us or took decisions on our behalf. How many times did we obey them and end up regretting? How many times did we however disobey them and succeed? If we took a count, we would discover that it is better to listen to our parents. Parents don’t seem to ever understand because we don’t make them do so. Most times, we have made up our minds that they would never understand and so we either want to force them to reason by being confrontational or we simply give up without making an effort. We should learn that confidence and respect from our parents is earned by being responsible and respectful. When our parents respect us and have confidence in us, they would listen to us. We should also bear in mind that they were once young like us and would never want us to make the same mistakes they made. Lastly, whenever our parents give us advice that don’t go well with us, we should remember the adage that says even if the words of elders do not come to pass.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited