Surviving the Teen Years

  • Teenage years are a difficult period for an individual struggling to find his place in the family and in society. He has to grapple with the physical, mental and emotional stress of pubescence, together with the ensuing demands of unbridled passion, and peer- pressure. It is an extremely sensitive stage of development, which parents have to nurture with care and discretion. Failing which, our great dreams for our children could suddenly turn into nightmares if they succumb to drugs, and booze, not to mention the grim prospect of contracting AIDS. It is therefore important that their energies and aspirations are channelled and expressed within a well-defined Islamic framework
  • During the golden era of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), society was divided into only two categories. An individual was either regarded as a child and granted all the privileges of childhood or as an adult who shouldered the responsibilities of adulthood. There was no intermediate phase of adolescence. ‘Teenagers’ were regarded as adults who used their energy and stamina to infuse into society the drive and enthusiasm necessary for the growth and preservation of Islam. They integrated into the adult world and contributed to the dynamic growth of Islam. They served as beacons of knowledge, justice, and courage. They bravely opposed the intrigue of anti Islamic forces. Even women married in their early teens and bore the responsibilities of nurturing and rearing their offspring with youthful agility. They fulfilled vital functions in the community and at the same time engaged in learning, nursing, and even defending the frontiers of the Dîn.
  • We can either choose to ignore reality and simply wish that it never happens to our children or commit ourselves to a constructive form of engagement with them. The latter would require more than just good intentions and noble aspirations. The youth are getting excessive doses of immoral behaviour, violence, sex, and drugs, not only from television, chat rooms, and video games, but also from peer networks, and enticing social trends. As parents we need to become pro active and fulfill the rights and dictates of parenthood upon our children.

Advice

Virtue of Making Salaam First: Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (Radhiallahu Anhu) relates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has said: “The one who makes salaam first is free from pride.” (Baihaqi – Shu’abul Imaan 6/433)