My 7 year old daughter has a crush and I don’t know what to do about it, please help!
An Unsure Mother
Dear Unsure Mother,
Our daughters are precious and we would love to keep them protected for as long as possible. As they grow and develop, they will begin to see much more of the world around them, exposing them to all sorts of realities. One such reality is that of opposite gender relations and feelings towards the opposite gender.
Three very important points to keep in mind here are:
Respect your daughter and the validity of her feelings and emotions, acknowledge that what she is feeling is not wrong, as these feelings will serve her well when she moves into the marriage stage of her life. However, our feelings should be guided and reigned in by our intellect, and this is where our struggles arise. As Imām Jaʿfar aṣ-Ṣādiq (ʿa) has said, “The Intellect is that ability by which the Merciful God is worshiped, and by which Heaven is attained.” (Ūṣūl al-Kāfī, 1/11)
“Say to the believing women to cast down their glances and guard their private parts.” (Qurʾān, 24:31)
Your daughter is at a tender and impressionable age, even though the physical ḥijāb is not yet mandatory for her to wear, the social manifestation of it should be acknowledged. It may help to have her not spend time around this individual that she has a crush on and instead, occupy her time with female friends and family, ensuring she stays busy and engaged in fruitful and positive ways.
As your daughter gets older and is exposed to changing ideas, new peer groups, and a world that may not uphold the values that you choose to teach, one of the most valuable things you can do for her is to be someone she can communicate with safely and without judgment. Allow your relationship with her to be one that values open lines of communication especially as she goes through puberty and navigates the different stages of her youth and young adult life. Keeping open communication with sincere advice rooted in the teachings of the Qurʾān and lives of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) will allow her to grow and develop with a firm foundation and sound guidance.
Navigating parenting as our children get older and their struggles and challenges become far more complicated is always difficult. I pray Allah (swt) makes this easy for the both of you.
With many duʿās for you and your daughter,