But What is She Doing on the Internet?

>> Friday, April 13, 2012

Assalamu'alaikum, I have an Internet problem, too, but it's about my little sister. I have a 14 year old sister and she wants to browse the internet whenever she can. She uses it for more than two hours. I'm not sure what she's browsing or doing and I worry that she might be getting into things she shouldn't. I need your advice on how to handle this situation nicely.  If I say "no" she keeps nagging me and sometimes I get angry. How should I approach this?

Wa'alaikum salam wa rahmatullah, :D

I know exactly what you mean. I have the same problem with my younger sister and other siblings. I can tell you what helps me in this situation.
  1. Try talking to your sister nicely and developing a good and strong relationship with her. Explain to her the harms and dangers of the internet. Maybe ask her what her favorite websites are. Tell her about yours. :) See, this problem right now could just be the first of many. Other things could follow now that she's in high school, and you want to be there for her so that she doesn't give in to peer pressure and such. Be open with her. I have a friend who has sisters who are 15 years older than her, and she loves them dearly still. If I'm not mistaken, she still goes to them when she has problems or whatnot. I've known her since we were 11-12 years old, so I know that the relationship has been there for a while. Since she was younger, her older sisters let her know that they would always be there for her. See, we have to build that bond with our sisters when they are younger. I'll give you an example about myself. My baby sister is 14 years younger than me; that quite a gap, isn't it? I'm trying to do small things with her--read her and my younger brothers bedtime stories from the stories of the sahaabah or the prophets nightly. Or we go for a walk around the block, just the two of us. I'm hoping she'll remember these times fondly when she gets older. 
  2. Get your parents involved. Is she on the laptop or desktop computer? If you have a desktop computer, then at least solitude with the internet is not a problem. If you guys have  laptop, ask your parents to set a rule in the house which says that all the kids have to use the laptop on, say, the dining table for only a specific amount of time unless schoolwork is involved. But make sure everyone follows this rule, including you, otherwise, it's probably not going to work.
  3.  Since we're the older children in the family, it's natural to feel protective over the younger siblings, but I also think it's important to understand that we're not the parents either. My brother and I always fall into this trap and we try "parenting" them. Yes, we can guide them nicely, but honestly, it's ultimately our parents' job. Our parents raised us, and now they'll raise them well too inshaAllah. Just learn to let it goooooo. :) Don't try getting too authoritative. We're the sisters; let's try staying that way!
  4. Last but certainly not least, make du'aa to Allah (swt). That's the most important tool we have! We can't forget that, now can we? :)
This here is a great post a friend of mine wrote about her sister and their relationship over the years. It might help you with the issue at hand: Sisters--Ayesha and I

I sincerely hope this answer aided you in some way, inshaAllah. Thoughts or comments, anyone? :D


2 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Anonymous,  April 14, 2012 at 6:33 PM  

jazakAllah khair sis, inshaAllah i will try.:)

RealLittleSister April 15, 2012 at 9:22 AM  

You are soooooo right about not parenting them because I did that with my brother who is 'just' 5 years younger than me. It just doesn't work, now we are always fighting and always on each other's nerves. We laugh together sometimes and even chat a bit but the respect isn't there at all.

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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