GrowMama Round Up: Talking to kids about friends with bad influences

GrowMama Round Up: Talking to kids about friends with bad influences February 7, 2013

A young girl asked her elder female relatives about advice for dealing with friends that are engaged in un-Islamic behavior, such as talking inappropriately to boys. She wanted to know how to make her friends stop without becoming alienated. Here are some responses that we hope give you ideas for how to advise your own children.

A says:

First of all your responsibility is for you to be pure and happy and follow the footsteps of our beloved Prophet (pbuh) without compromising your Islamic values. You need to look out for yourself first and not get affected by the wrong actions of others. You can still be their friend, but explain to them that your relationship would involve talking about school issues, tests, teachers, homework, and about your hobbies – anything that is appropriate for your age group. Be clear to them that the minute they talk about any compromising issues, you will have to leave. And if they try to involve you and ask for your listening ears, then you need to sever your relationship. Otherwise, you will be guilty by association. Be a good, pure role model and value your Islamic heritage. Explain your position.

Life passes in stages. You are at the stage where you need to be studying, enjoying tea parties, shopping, telling jokes and so on. Just like you learn your subjects chapter by chapter, humans crawl, walk, study, attend college, and get engaged- with the help and guidance of your parents and theirs.

The companions were truthful to Allah, obeying Him and applying His righteous commands. Maryam, mother of Jesus, earned the title Al-Sadiqa (the truthful one), because she was truthful to Allah and devoted her service in His cause. That’s what each Muslim needs to aspire to be, Al-Sadiq. Build that reputation.

It is natural to have feelings for boys. These feelings should be kept to themselves because they change quickly. A girl likes another girl and befriends her. Things happen and the feelings change because you have experiences with each other. But because we are not allowed to mingle with boys for our protection, we don’t have these experiences and think they are genuine feelings. Minimize contact with boys because the Shaytan is around pushing his own evil agenda.

Lastly, always tell them to find an adult they trusts to talk to: a mother, counselor, aunt, but definitely not a peer. You did good to seek help. Keep communication open with the adults you love. And plan parties and things to keep yourself and your friends occupied with age appropriate recreation.

S says:

It’s called flirting and it usually ends in heartbreak. Most guys and girls do it to see how much attention they can get. The problem is, after all is said and done, the guilt, heartache and Allah’s punishment all feel so heavy. It will linger in your heart for many more moments than the splitting few that wronged Allah. Tell your friends not to waste their time. Save those precious moments, for true love that Allah SWT sends in a halal way. Young guys don’t think like girls. They want instant satisfaction. A cheap thrill and then they move onto the next desirable object. Your friends might say, “No this is different, he’s a really good guy.”  Well, really good guys don’t flirt. Really good guys look for really good girls who stay pure and have interests in doing things that serve Allah. Good guys want to marry girls that are well educated, grounded in their deen and would be a role model for their children. Tell your friends, that it’s really easy to get a “bad reputation” and once you have one, it sticks for longer than you might hope.

I know this sounds harsh, but it’s true. If you can, tell your friends that their actions are not cool. Sometimes your friends may not want to hear what you say and can outright reject you. If you cannot handle the emotional rejection then just back off and find a new group. If you think you can handle it, tell them what you think and insist that they keep you out of it. Remember always, if you hang around kids doing wrong things, you may also be labeled as one of those girls who like to flirt.  Stay true to Allah and be mindful of your reputation.

H says:

First off, you have to stay strong. You know wrong from right, so don’t sway from what you know is right. Drag them towards the right. A dark room is dark, but the light of a bright room spills out into darkened hallways and lightens them up.

Be a lightened room. When they talk about things you’re uncomfortable with, change the subject say “Astaghfarallah sister! We are muslims!” and change the subject. Don’t be a mom about it. Instead, laugh and shake a finger and be a bit playful, “Haram girl!”  They will learn to limit what they say in your presence, which means they’ll be thinking about what they’re saying and eventually they’ll realize for themselves what is appropriate and what isn’t.

Don’t let the shadow dim your light. Stay strong and pull them into the light, into your light.

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