Kids face excruciating pressures today; to fit in to the crowd, to seek acceptance of who they are. When that happens things can spiral out of control. Some can suffer from eating disorders, depression or face a crises in deen- at the heart of it all is low self-esteem. For a Muslim child trying to come to terms with their Islamic identity, it can be an uphill struggle especially when low self-worth holds them back. It’s not easy when they see books, social media, films and newspapers presenting a way of life that often clashes with their values and may not empathise with their identity and day to day struggles.
It takes guts these days to wear the hijab while school friends debate over turning their hair pink, tying it up or leaving it down. It’s hard to leave your friends having a good time in the canteen at lunch because you have to pray salah. These challenges can be overcome but they require building of self-esteem, knowing one’s self worth and purpose in life - and here is where a parent’s relationship with kids can make all the difference.
There can’t be a generational divide between parents and kids. It’s a crucial time, kids need moral support, counsel and encouragement. They need approachable parents; to see them as their friends and allies (and not just laying down the laws-nagging!) This relationship can only be sown from when they’re young by nurturing a bond of love between parent and child. Through this love comes the beginnings of trust. And love and trust are the best path to encourage good behaviour in children. Whereas telling them what to do alone could risk alienation, leaving them to walk the path alone to tackle peer pressure.
The Prophet (saw) built a foundation of love and trust through play before teaching the serious matters of faith.
Mua’adh Ibn Jabal said the Prophet(saw) took him by the hand and said, “Oh Mu’adh, By Allah I love you, so don’t forget to recite after every prayer: ‘O Allah, help me in remembering You, in offering thanks to You and in worshipping You properly.’“ [Abu Dawud]
So first love to forge connection when young; when ready, the rules with encouragement, support and lots more love.
#parentingmuslim - 26 days ago