Children are a blessing because they light up your world. But then everything good in life comes at a price. Similarly, kids are given to you as a test. They have been given to us with pure Fitrah (sinless). If their true nature is exposed to negative things; negativity will find a permanent spot in their nature. If they are exposed to ills of life; ills will become part of their nature. If exposed to bad language in house; bad language will always remain part of their vocabulary. We will be held responsible for the amount of damage to their purity. It is our duty and obligation to protect the Fitrah of our children. Besides, they deserve it.
So, how can we do that? Just need to sit down and revisit our approach to our kids and life in general.
If you admonish your kid and believe that the message is home, you are wrong. The child may back off momentarily but will return to same thing on first given opportunity. You have to set example. Kids have this strange mechanism of following your actions not your admonitions. If today you fail to correct your bearings, then tomorrow, don’t complain that your kids don’t listen to you. This issue has lived the test of time, you will hear every second parent with grown up kids complaining about their kids’ insolence, lack of attention and compassion towards parents, materialistic approach and not practicing the religion. But now, its too late, you have to give serious amount of attention to your home. The environments inside home. The respect or lack of it. The care to avoid Haram. The faith, in real God and not the Material God. These are just major issues and the list is way too long. Home remains the basic unit of a society. How a household functions is the microcosm of society. We need to put the focus back in to home.
And somehow, shed away this wrong notion of living a dream. The worst form of this disease is the fallacy of living an American Dream. What is American Dream? Financial freedom that comes with a luxurious house in an affluent neighbourhood (no matter how costly is the mortgage), an upscale car (mostly leased on surreal interest rates), (not loving but) ‘lovely’ wife and confident kids (being respectful is not a criterion anymore). This truly depicts pursuit of a dream because none of the parameters of this dream are compatible with real life or realities of life.
There is no harm in gaining financial freedom but at what cost? Getting in to debt up till the neck? Living a lie, where love and respect are not the fundamentals of home life. What is the possible outcome of this attitude? Tension and more tension. Stress and more stress. Lie after lie. A life full of gimmicks lacking sincerity. Secondly, the translation of financial freedom is also wrong that you bring more comforts to life or be able to boast about your possessions in front family, friends and colleagues. Where is the payback? Greater financial freedom should translate in to ability to give more. When you get more, you are obligated to give more. Anything short of it is ungrateful attitude. And ungrateful people have been taken to the task in the past.
Real investment in life is to give time to our kids. Fathers must play with kids. Make them friends. Do homework with them. Make them do chores of the house under your supervision. The only thing that you need to instill in your kids is to enable them to fight their own battles. Make every endeavor to turn them in to good, modest, self sufficient Muslims. The child is blessing of Allah. He or she comes to us in his/her purest form or nature called Fitrah al Saleemah. The onus is upon us, how we protect his/ her nature. As much the child deviates from his real Fitrah, as much our charge sheet grows. Parenting is a serious responsibility. It has changed us already but have we changed enough? Have we done enough? Have we got your basics right?
To avoid complaining at a later stage like so many other parents around us, we must look inwardly. We must bring some fundamental changes to our approach towards life. We must do all we can to protect the Fitrah of our kids because its an obligation and more so, our kids deserve it. This will come at the cost of some inconvenience but it is worth every bit.
May Allah guide us to understand and discharge our real responsibilities as He desires.