Sunday, March 17, 2019

Practical Advice on Parenting....

Dalia Magahed

I often get asked for advice about how to parent rebellious
teenagers by struggling parents. I'am usually like "please
let me know when you find out."

So what I'm about to share is from the deepest part of humility.
It's hard as hell. But there are a few thoughts on the matter,
things that have helped me and that I've observed in the lives
of others.

1. Know this: your kids are separate human beings, not a
reflection of you. They are not trophies. They cannot be
extensions of your ambitions, unfulfilled dreams or to make
up for what you failed to achieve. They don't exist to be
your fulfillment. They are servants of God. Allow them their
individual dreams, personalities, goals.

2. Even if they don't tell you, you are still their first and
biggest example. Be a person they can respect and
admire without being shamed into doing so. Work on
yourself so that the kind of man or woman you wish them
to grow up to be would look up to someone like you. Be
a role model. Be kind, generous and patient if that's what
you'd like for them. Call your parents. Cook for your sick
friend. They will do what you do, not what you say.

3. Humans have at least three essential needs: security,
belonging and purpose. They will find and fulfill these
needs, or numb the unfulfillment of them, one way or
another. If the home doesn't provide a safe space to be
who they are and be loved, they will find that elsewhere.
If the home and the mosque isn't a place of belonging,
they will find that elsewhere. If they have no sense of
purpose other than avoiding punishment, they will
search for it elsewhere or numb it's absence.

4. Your kids will likely disappoint you on occasion, or a
lot. Refer to point number one. You can do everything
perfectly and you still won't have perfect kids. It's not
your fault. Prophets had kids who rebelled. It doesn't
mean you failed. They are not an extension of you.
They have agency. We are only accountable for our
intentions and actions, not the way others behave,
even our kids. Don't indulge in self flagellation.

5. If your kids are perfect, praise the Lord, not yourself.
Don't take credit. Children are a gift, like health or wealth.
Those who say "it's because of my own effort" weren't
dealt kindly in the Quran. Don't feel superior to another
parent who is struggling anymore than you should look
down on a person with less money than you. God gives
to who He pleases. It's not a sign of your awesomeness.
It's a sign of His generosity.

1 comment:

TANIM AHMED said...

MasaAllah