Words Arva M.
Photograph Alifiya S.
For many of us, our children made our lives more purposeful, gave us direction and for all of us they brought immense joy. Parents give birth to a child and the child gives birth to her parents. It thus follows that our most important duty as parents and even as individuals is to nurture our offsprings and give them the very best of our time and ourselves. After all, children are our future, our legacy.
As parents, the Almighty places upon us the most crucial task of all, to bring up a child in the right manner. I use an open-ended word ‘right’ in relation to parenting since I mean to use it in that manner. Parenting is a subjective science, science, nevertheless. The moment we appreciate the enormity of the fact that our progenies are our future and our legacy for this world, it dawns upon us the value of understanding our child and how can the child understand us better.
Dr Benjamin Spock, an American paediatrician says that intuition of parents is one of the strongest and for mothers especially that “you know more than you think you do.” The distraction around us today is so abundant that we are at risk of losing our intuitive powers. In such a chaotic environment it is rather difficult for the parents and the child to better understand one another.
The first step towards understanding a child is spending time with her. Reading together, engaging in a conversation, working on a hobby, gardening, even cooking together would be spending quality time with the child. Children and youngsters are hungry for our love and time. It doesn’t mean that a child should be constantly provided company, which is not at all good for her. The right balance between together time and independent working will take the child and parents a long way.
Quite often parents and teenaged or grown-up children are so engrossed in their respective lives that there is hardly any interaction. Communicating for the bare essentials doesn’t really do it. If we as parents do not really talk to our children how do we expect them to talk to us now and even when they grow up. The parent-child bond needs to be nurtured. Talking generally and engaging in fun or meaningful conversation with the children and thus better understanding one another is an exercise which will bear fruits in the short and the long term.
Last but certainly not the least, one more responsibility that we as parents must fulfil is making our children understand the value and aspects of our culture. Parents are the bridge between the deen and duniya and must ensure that our children are well educated about deen. Knowledge of deen is spiritual and will always be with the children as they grow into accomplished human beings. Deen also brings us and binds us together. Which better way to bond with the new generation than this.
Interestingly, we come a full circle here. We understand our children by communicating with them by spending time together and interacting with our spirituality and cultural values. Our legacy is these angels and we all positively want a better and honest relationship with our children in the future. An interesting read on how to communicate with children and ensure that when they grow up the children really talk to the parents is How to Talk so That Kids Listen and How to Listen so That Kids Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.
Model: Mariya S.