Asalaamu alaikum, I am traveling with my daughter to Yemen and I am very nervous on the travel. My daughter and I have completely different personalities. I am an introvert and she is an extreme extrovert. I get drained with the excessive talking and She gets angry at my just listening and lack of talking. I want to make this trip a memoriable trip and do not want to fight back and forth with her. Can you give tips on how to prepare her for the trip and how to travel with her and get her to respect the customs of the people there? Also any help for introverted moms on dealing with extroverted children would be greatly appreciated. wasalaam
Aslaam u alaikum dear sister thank you for writing to us with your problem. I wish you had mentioned your daughters age. Anyhow, I would like to say that this trip can be an excellent opportunity for you and your daughter to connect. However you have to be patient. Remember that you are the mother and the adultso perhaps you will have to do a little more than her. I want you to forget about these terms of introvert and extrovert. I want to you to see your daughter from a different angle. I am presuming that she has been raised in a different culture than you have. My advice to you is that you need to make your daughter comfortable to talk to you. The most important thing is that your child should understand that you love them and that they can come to you for anything and they should be made to feel comfortable to come to you.
I tell my son that he can come to me for anything and that he can tell me anyting. Even if he has killed someone he should come to me because I am his mother. I tell him that I may not like what he has done or may even get very angry but that I love him and that I am always there for him on his side.
It is very important to make this connection and not to alienate our children into feeling that they can not come to us or that we wonâ€™t understand them.. Often this happens by too much criticism, because we are from different cultures this is even more prevalent. Parents tend to criticize the childâ€™s taste in music, hairstyles the way they talk or what they like to eat. And also they tend to criticize the country they live in and compare in a nostalgic way to their own country and this can alienate a child who is trying to establish their own identity. Remember they can not be like you because they are not growing up where yo did and they are living in a totally different world and in many ways they have it much tougher. They may have all the material things but they have to deal with this countryâ€™s culture and with the culture of their parents.
So take interest in your daughters interests. You must overcome this feeling of being introvert. You must ask her about her friends and her likes and dislike and you must really genuinely listen to her and then you can tell her about your life as if you are sharing memories with her, not to compare but to share.
And also when she tells you things even if they shock you do not show her your shock, it will scare her away, you must make yourself ready to listen to anything she might have to say. And then you can gently and lovingly guide her towards the right way.
I hope that you will indeed have a memorable trip, Inshallah. And I pray Allah gices you and your daughter all the happiness and success in this world and the next.