Black and White thinking on Islamic parenting from my son

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by TerryJ2, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh. M. G.
    Eye roll.
    Part of conversation last night:
    "You should do what H's parents do, like they do in Islam. They listen. They don't take away things."
    (Hmm, note to self: The Saudi Islamic Sharia law of cutting off one's hand for thievery is not taking away anything.)

    Backstory: difficult child's new girlfriend is Muslim, born in Iraq. She has been in the U.S. for many years and hardly has an accent. She wears jeans and a small hijab, which she typically hides under a pink hoodie. She is a HS sr. She got her license the same day that difficult child did. She is a straight A student. She is totally rebellious and in my humble opinion, difficult child is Haraam (forbidden/sinful) and that's his only appeal. She is not allowed to date. They do not go to movies or out to eat. They just meet at our house, on the pretense that she is at the library. Or they meet at school, in the real library. Or she drives him where ever he wants to go. To him, she is exotic and exciting, and she also has a car. Important, since we took away his car.

    "So all those years you took away my GameBoy, and my PS2 to punish me, I didn't learn anything. It just taught me to be a better liar. It's the same thing with the car. It doesn't teach me anything except to take the bus and go through a bad neighborhood. And I'm going to do what I want anyway."
    (In point of fact, he was addicted and we had to limit his time, so it had nothing to do with lying.)
    "It's our car. Our gas. Our insurance. It may not teach you anything for us to take it away when you abuse your privileges, but it will save us money and court costs if you smash the car, or get pulled over for drinking and driving, or smoking weed and driving."
    "I agree, it's your car. You can take it away. Fine. I'm just saying, you should sit down and talk with me and listen. Really listen to my side. You act like I'm inferior and that I'm always lying."
    "You just told me you have learned to be a better liar ... which is it?"
    "That's not what I meant. H's parents don't take things away. They have never, ever, ever taken away her phone or her car. And she talks back to them. She yelled at her dad and mom and they backed down. And they listened. That's how they do it in Islam."

    "How do you know that her parents aren't just wusses?" I asked.

  2. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member


    D.C.: "You don't listen. I just want you to really listen. If you'd just listen you'd understand. You don't understand."

    Me: "I understand perfectly. I just don't agree with you and so you think if you keep talking I'll change mind!"

    Yep. Had that conversation more than once.
  3. I think we've all had that conversation.

    Maybe girlfriend's parents haven't taken anything away yet because they don't know what all she's up to!
  4. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    When there is an error in the world, there is an error in the world.

    If you do not see that huge, gaping, black error in the world right in front of you, you need to be explained again and again and again. (And if that doesn't work, being called imbecile.)
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    She is a straight-A student who is outwardly at least nominally compliant. If her parents had any idea of what she is really up to... they'd be taking things away REAL fast. If she was outwardly rebellious (skipping hijab, for example, or wearing short skirts), they'd be reacting fast. If her marks were nose-diving, they would react. She hasn't given them any reason to suspect she IS rebellious - because she is probably smarter than her parents.
  6. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Or is at least smart enough to know to manipulate the system, not buck it.

    Like Lil said, we've had that conversation WAY too many times! Understanding and agreeing are not one in the same.
  7. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Hasn't he ever heard of Islamic honor killings when a girl has sex and is accused of shaming her family? He's living in lala-land.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

  9. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If you were more like her parents I wouldn't have any problems at all :sochildish:
  10. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't think Islam has anything to do with this .. and that would be my response to him. He's using that as an excuse, but I know you know that. Let's just be careful to keep opinions about the religion itself out of this thread.

    The grass is always greener. I used to wish my parents were more like my friends' parents, too. She probably wishes her parents were more like you in some ways, although he'll never tell you that :)
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  11. runawaybunny

    runawaybunny Administrator Staff Member

    I agree with @CrazyinVA that his girlfriend's faith is irrelevant. She'd still be sneaky and rebellious if she were Jewish or Episcopal. He's using that as a convenient excuse because she wears a hijab.
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, somehow she framed it that way. I'll find a way to ask him if he came to that conclusion, or if she said that it was because her parents were Islamic that they listen to her and never take away anything.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Crazy and Runaway, I couldn't argue with-difficult child ... I can argue that point another day. I was just happy he was home and talking to me. Sigh.
    And, it was kind of funny, in its absurdity.
  14. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh I don't think it's worth pointing out to him. He won't get it. When my kids used to tell me so and so 's parents were better, I'd tell them they were welcome to stay with them for a while!
  15. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    He might be right about them not taking things away from her. Some of the Muslim parents I know will send their child to live with relatives in their home country until they straighten up or they can marry them off.
  16. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    There really isn't Islamic way of child raring any more than there is Christian way of child raring or atheist way of child raring.

    In parenting practises cultural tradition, ideals, what kind of upbringing parents themselves have had etc. are much more influential than religion. Many things western people consider Islamic are actually typical to some local culture (for example female circumcision is not an Islamic thing, but tradition primarily in certain areas in Africa and all religious groups in those areas practise it more or less.) Of course our religious views affect how we raise our children, but often differences in that are just as huge inside different religions than between them.

    Often our understanding of foreign cultures and religious groups outside of our own experience is much more homogeneous than those cultures and religions actually are. In our neighbourhood there is a family, who belong to same church we do, though a certain sect not popular in our area, but to same church nevertheless and attend to same services etc. as we do, who consider things like contraception (even when mother is in danger and even using celibate as contraceptive measure), any kind of measures to make themselves more attractive (make up, hair dye, jewellery etc.), sports (either as a spectator or participating), many art forms (theatre, movies, modern music, dance etc.), owning or watching tv, dating without intention to marry, hand holding or kissing before marriage and many other things sinful or unwarranted. And yes, they are about our age and have 17 kids and counting. And we are from same country (which is considered homogeneous by outsiders) and belong to same Church which already represents only a very small percentage of Christians world wide.

    Islam, or even just an Arab culture, is far from homogeneous too.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    not likely! They moved to the U.S. from Iraq because the dad was tired of being a soldier who killed Jews in Israel. It escalated and escalated, and he thought, you know what? I've got a wife and kids ... I'm outa here.
    the daughter herself was perpetuating that stereotype.
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hahaha. I don't know if you're aware of this reality show, Suz, but this reminds me of "19 And Counting."

    I think they're nuts, but that's JMO.
  19. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    LOL...yes, if I didn't know Suz was in another country I'd have thought she lived near the Duggars. The Quiverfull movement is...unusual. Even most of the fundamental of Christian groups generally don't just pop out baby after baby.

    I agree that parenting has less to do with religion than it does culture as a general rule. The Muslim girl may be telling Terry's son that they are lenient parents because they're Muslims...but I suspect it's actually because they're clueless.
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Like all the rest of us started out, Lil ;) Their daughter is not very old, and the night is young.