My daughter Safiyah is 12 and I never realised it, but 12 is a lot like being grown up. I expected my kids to be kids until they were 18. Not so. Safiyah is incredibly talented at writing and drawing, but also extremely private about her talents. She does not let me read her writing or see her drawings. When I go into her room to ask her what she wants for lunch, (or to check she is alive), she scrambles to hide what she is doing. I think she fears my reaction, but honestly, on the rare occasions where I am allowed to see what she is doing, I am wholly and completely blown away by her abilities, (MashAllah).
There are obviously some issues here about how she deals with her own abilities, but my more immediate concern is how I deal with her desperate need for privacy – as a mother. I used to be terrified of my mother seeing what I was doing too, but she didn’t take no for an answer… she used to find and read my diaries, no matter how well I thought I hid them. I swore I would never do that to my own kids, and am pretty pleased that even when my kids leave their diaries lying around, no matter how tempting, I never read them without permission. Never. More