Coming of age this year, I have been pondering upon the last few years of my life: teenage years – a time of confusion, change, and revelation.
Fellow teenagers always felt I was too ‘mature’. But then aren’t teenagers meant to be mature? I remember coming across a sentence in my biology course book: “The trouble with teens is that they have feelings and thoughts as accurate as an adult’s but are still perceived and treated as children.” Throughout my teenage years, I have been given examples of way more responsible teens in history: Muhammad Bin Qasim, who conquered Sindh when he was seventeen; Osama Bin Zaid (rtam), who led Jihad at the same age; and Aisha (rtaf), who got married early. The question is: are the teenagers of today as trained, responsible, and independent as Bin Qasim, Bin Zaid (rtam), and Aisha (rtam)? Do we have the tools, sense, and general knowledge that Aisha (rtam) had?
Both science and Islam tell us that teens are adults; Islam says that by the time a child reaches teenage years, fasting and prayer both become Fard (mandatory). Conclusively, a teenager should ideally know about life and interaction with people and should be mature. But since society has long grown into the idea that teenagers have just ‘begun’ to grow, today they need way more counselling than before. How? This is where reflective conversations come in as a way through which you can discuss with them serious topics and gradually build in them a sense of responsibility, individuality, and independence – raise them in the way of Islam.
Direct talks are difficult to initiate for both parents and teens. Long lectures on behaviour, character and manners often turn into direct criticism, which is not easy to deal with for either side, not to mention that most of the time these ways do not even work. So, it is better to initiate conversations randomly and on topics of mutual understanding.
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