Advice: Modifying interactions as relatives approach maturity

Q. Can you provide any practical advice on how I should modify my interactions with younger relatives of the opposite sex as they grow closer to reaching physical maturity?

A. Increase formality as they take on the appearance and behavior of young adults, and as they come closer to the age where they are expected to reach physical maturity. Likewise, increase formality if they reach a stage where they show an interest in the opposite sex or the opposite sex shows an interest in them. Be gradual and kind, and keep in mind that they might not yet understand why your relationship is changing. It’s an awkward phase, and there’s no need to add feeling alienated and rejected by family members to the mix.

And Allah knows best.

(Caveat emptor: This answer is a personal opinion based on fiqh and adab and personal experience. I make no claim about its general applicability to other people’s lives, nor do I claim any particular expertise with child development or psychology beyond the typical stuff a parent picks up.)

[From: Facebook post.]

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