Dear parents, let your children choose. In the current world, we are careful and do our best to provide our children with as many things as we can afford but what we deprive them of, is their right to choose and make mistakes. Do not rob their rights to choose in fear of them making the wrong ones.
Remember dear parents, your role is to guide your child and not to live their life for them. But this is exactly what we do! As a normal parent; we choose the school for our children, we choose the dreams for them, we choose their victories and failures, we choose their course of education and we choose their spouse too.
When your child make mistakes !
Then suddenly one day they are adults and you throw them in the jungle. When they make mistakes they are tagged as useless unless, they fit the criteria of success set by you. It’s obvious you mean well, but here you are making your children dependant on you while they should be dependent on Allah.
You want your child to be pious and therefore, you force your daughter to wear hijab. You won’t let her out unless she is covered. You nag your son until he leaves for the masjid and you feel accomplished that you are doing your duty well. But are you doing your duty well?
What about the fact that your daughter does not bother wearing hijab when you are not around? What about your son skipping Salah when you are away? What about your son have a puff of smoke in the alley? Because dear parent, I see sisters who wear hijab while leaving home, removing as soon as they are far enough and then wear it back on returning home. I see brothers waiting till their parents are away to get into all sorts of troubles. I see disgusting habits spreading among the youth.
How you taught them ?
In this case, have you taught them to be a mumeen or have you taught them to act like mumeen? Dear parents that do not mean you need to let them run rogue. What it means is you need to teach your children to make the right choices even when you are not around. You have to teach them to make the right choice in front of Allah, because true victory of this life lies in the Aakhirah which is attained when your child passes Allah’s test.
When Allah tests your Children !
When Allah tests your children by putting them at a tough spot, they can only succeed it by making the right choices. You won’t be with them to make their choices in these situations and this is why it is of such importance to teach your child to know how to make the right choice. So how do we help them make the right choice? Here are some few ways:
1). Differentiate the right from the wrong to them.
Teach them the impacts of the right choice and the setbacks of the wrong choice. For this, you must be very clear about what is right and wrong. Seek guidance and follow them yourself as you cannot feed them lies. Also, you cannot teach them to compromise the right choice to gain big.
For dear parents, I hear couples complaining; how all the children except their child is not praying or wearing hijab but when the same child gets involved and refuses to compromise Hijab in the weddings ceremonies or the same child refuses to shave the beard off, these parents go on about the child embarrassing them. What has gotten into you dear parents? Are you proving yourself to be the right person for guiding them? Are you not confusing them and their choices? So be very clear of the right and wrong as well as beware of what you teach them.
2). Sit down with them and lay down the options.
Discuss the pros and cons for each of the choices. For this you must be open minded and learn new things yourself. Also, be open to listening to your children’s’ opinions and you must seriously consider it. Just because you made the choice doesn’t mean it is the right choice. The destination for all of us is the same and just because a person took a different route does not mean the route is a wrong route. This point mainly applies for teaching your child to choose the right course of living in this Dunya.
3). The final and important of all, let your child choose.
In the end give the responsibility to them and whatever choice they make do not nag them or criticize them. For once, try telling:
“Dear child, I have taught you right from wrong. Now I leave you to decide for yourself and remember whatever choice you make, I respect it. I pray it will lead you to success in this world and the hereafter and know even if it leads you to fall, I will try my level best catching you”
Doesn’t that sound too good to be true? Is it really practical? You all want to be liberal with your child. You have provided your child with unlimited gadgets for fun. Is that liberal enough? This liberation seems dangerous. It fills you with fear. The possibility of the wrong choice screws your nerves. You know you should trust them. But worry drowns you. So you become defensive and start carving the right path for them. But what you forget is, they are going to make wrong choices.
But when you give them the chance they will learn to make the right choice. Because giving them the liberty in selecting the clothes is not merely enough. Because letting them choose gives your children responsibility. They are going to see what their actions mean. And when they see that, they make better choice.
So remember dear pious couples, it is not only important to bring up your child in religious environment. It is more important to help them remain pious in lack of religious environment too. May Allah help us all bringing up our children in the best way and guide them right.
By Najeeba Sathar