Many years ago, children learned much of their morals,not just in books, or from parents, but from watching the entire society. Watching neighbors, friends, uncles and aunties, but today especially for children growing up in west that mode of education, practical demonstrations of what the books say, is very little to nil.
The prior generations were learning all kinds social skills living in closely knit societies. Today, it can take us weeks to even contact our cousins and grandparents.
Thinking back to my own childhood, I wonder how many facts of life, emotional cues, morals, and much more I learned by just watching, my family members engage in all kinds of disputes, hardships, and what not…
I think just watching my aunt bargain was quite something to learn from!
Yes, today a world of knowledge is open to us, we can insert all this knowledge in the children’s head and hope they will be even better than us. But is that enough????
Surely the next generation has access to more information and knowledge than any before, but I wonder if they will ever have in themselves or even have access to half the wisdom that the prior generations had.
Truth is that today even adults cannot digest knowledge they are learning. That’s why all around us we see coaching of this or that. What is coaching? A coach is really taking the theoretical knowledge and teaching you slowly, step by step, how to apply it in your life.
Today there are thousands of parents constantly researching , attending parenting skills classes.
What about the children though? Doesn’t their need to be a greater effort in teaching children how to be good daughters and sons?
How can we just tell them a hadith, or ayah, or tell the to obey us and then expect them to know what exactly they are suppose to do and do it!
It’s not fair
Yesterday, I am sure it was enough to just tell them and they would follow, because actually they were not just following the words, they were following the examples they had seen all around them.
Today they hear the words, and see their friends curse their mothers, see every tv show presenting mother as critical figure, a burden, someone you just want to get away from, someone who wants to control you. They see their friends using similar attitude towards parents.
As one sister recently pointed out to me, that every disney movie, either shows that the mother is dead, or needs to be saved, and so on…
Who is talking about the importance of mother? Who is showing them how to honor her?
Ofcourse your own example helps immensely. But its far from enough.
They can easily forget it as, well you are another generation.
“You are not dealing with same things I am” etc
I am reminded of a video I made a while back called “Why didn’t Allah(swt) email Quran?” In that we talked about the fact that just knowing the Quran was never enough for us, thats why Allah(swt) gave us his message and the messenger, who demonstrate to us, showed us, how to apply the message. Just as the quran, that example also has been been passing down for centuries, within ourselves, our manners, our behaviours, and even some of our traditions. Unfortunately though it is disappearing slowly ….
My point is, it is not enough to just tell the children to obey parents, give them hadith and Quran and expect that they will. It has to be broken down, step by step, issue by issue for them. What does it actually mean to honor your mother? Why can’t I argue my point of view with full force? Whats wrong with saying its unfair all the time? Aren’t I suppose to fight for whats fair? So why can’t I fight with my parents? Respect is earned, my parents haven’t earned my respect. Why can’t I talk back to my mother, all my friends do? Infact I am much better in the way I talk to you. Why do I have to respect you? I don’t owe you anything, you had a child, you have to raise me. What’s me doing a chore got to do with honoring you?
They know Islam demands honor to the mother, they know they owe you, but hardly any of the children have ever really reflected on how much honor and why you deserve it. They haven’t even reflected on what you have done for them. So then they look at your faults and assume, “you are not a good parent, you don’t deserve my good treatment, we are even now.” This is a clear sign, that the child never truly understood the enormous sacrifices of the mother, and why Islam teaches us that we can never pay her back? Why are her actions, so much higher then yours? Whats the difference in our intentions?
Here are some more examples demonstrating the confusion of their thought process due to lack of understanding
Probably of all the relationships, a person has, the one with the mother, is the one, which is farthest from the status it has & the status it is given, it is the one that is most taken for granted.
But once again, I find it hard to blame the children, and I am not even blaming the parents. I blame myself as a teacher, we the teachers need to do a better job in educating children.
Sure, we cannot change the entire society and we also cannot just give up. So what do we do? We need to do for children, what adults have already figured out for themselves, we need to coach them to apply the knowledge.
Not just tell them or give them hadith. But go deeper into their physcology, go deeper into their everyday issues, find out what is stopping them, what are the excuses they are using, how exactly is shaitan trapping them, and solve the problem there.
We need to also COACH them to be better sons and daughters.
Don’t just tell them, but be creative about how to tell them
Don’t just show them the hadith, but understand it with depth yourself first and then help them understand it with the same depth.
Stop insulting the intellect of children by just telling the or commanding them, help them understand.
Not being able to simply things to help them understand is nothing but a shortcoming in our intellect not theirs. To be able to simplify things for children we need to go to an even deeper depth and understand the hadith’s and ayahs, even better, than we would for adults. Go down below all of the complexity of the statement and find the simplicity. Then teach it to the children.
Unfortunately what we find is quite the opposite, we often think, oh children we can just teach them basics and they are not capable of understanding any more than that. NO! They are, shortcoming is of our intellect not theirs.
Its totally doable, and InshaAllah we will do it.
And once we do raise our own standards, we will see the children respond and see a generation of children bringing back the highest of examples of honoring their mothers. And inshaAllah they will then become inspiration for others around them.
My Guide to My Mother’s Heart video program is my first step in going deeper and coaching children, to be better sons and daughters to their parents.
Last year I completed my accreditation to be a counselor and and past few months I have been working on this program. I often found myself struggling with issues, to get the answers for the kids, breakdown the excuses such as the ones above. Every time I started on a video topic I felt like I have entered a jungle and I had to clean it all up to reach the simplicity and explain to the children, address the root of the matter.
Alhamdulillah I am glad I did, as not only has it helped me bring our a better result but made me a better daughter too.
May Allah(swt) put barakah in it and inspire the children through it. Ameen.