Question: My daughter is nineteen years old. My problem with her is that I cannot tolerate her arguing with me, though I know that she is right most of the time, but I still contend with her proudly. I remember her childhood and my efforts for her until she reached this age. I do not know how to persuade myself that she has become an adult. Now, she is not a child that I can impose my opinion on her.
The answer: This feature is a result of some or all of the following reasons:
1. Each one belittling the other
2. Not comprehending the development of man and life
3. Being proud and haughty
4. Being impatient and intolerant because of the difficulties that affect one’s nerves
5. Not knowing the subjects of discussions and disputes
6. Having an inferiority complex that leads to stubbornness and confrontation
7. The difference of intellects and cultures between the two generations
As for the solution, you should realize that your daughter has an independent personality in her understanding and existence, and this should make you proud and delighted. In order to realize that man is a developing creature, you yourself have to develop by reading continuously and by learning new ideas and news to enlighten yourself with that knowledge that concerns your life and your role as a mother who is still responsible in life.
Besides this, you have to have good manners as much as you possibly can in order to be the example that your daughter will imitate. You should know that your daughter is a part of you; what makes you happy makes her happy, and what makes her sad makes you sad. You should look at her through yourself, for you are the mother who gives all favors to her daughter, and she is the daughter who will be a mother some day and will then, practically, understand your favors and appreciate your efforts. Consequently, she must respect you and be dutiful to you if she wants her daughter, in the future, to respect her and be dutiful to her.
The problem between you and your daughter is the opposition between your ego and her ego. As long as you are still within the circle of your ego, you should not expect her to love you from the depths of her ego because selfish people often clash with each other while altruists harmonize with each other. So you have to be altruistic and give up selfishness.
When you change, your daughter will change her behaviors towards you. But if she does not change, you have to continue your new manner of dealing with her, expecting Allah the Almighty to reward you and, as a part of this reward, Allah may rouse your daughter’s conscience and she may then change for the better inshallah.
Here, I would like to give the following advices to your daughter:
1. You have to be humble; the sun with all its greatness becomes humble and sends its light and warmth to the little earth and makes it fresh and lively. We, also, are required to be humble and to descend from our pride to the warmth of life. Beware of pride, because the first eclipse of one’s soul is when he sees himself only.
2. You should regard the dignity and position of your mother in your heart, because your daughter may do to you tomorrow what you are doing to your mother today!
3. You should try to make your mother understand your opinions in a way that is full of love and respect.