Monday, June 22, 2009

Parenting Is an Art

 huzaifah --I was baby sitting for my daughter

Parenting is an art, so say some expert in child development. And they say "It takes the whole village to raise a child". I tend to agree with what is said, although I have my own understanding of how to be a good parent, or rather, a good mother. First rule is just to be myself, for whatever its worth. I have been brought up the old traditional way, by a father and a mother until I was sixteen when my father passed away at a good age of about 95. My parents were immigrants from Java,Indonesia and many of the traditions are of course Javanese in nature. One of the characteristics of the Javanese immigrant values is to call a spade a spade, although I am also aware that a Rose is a Rose by any other name. Therefore I am always straight forth with my children, especially on values that are entrenched in the Hadiths and the Al Quran.

However, there are occasions when I let my children discuss and argue their course. There are times when I agree with them but there are also times when I don't. There are also times when I said straight to them that a certain issue cannot be argued upon. When they asked why, I simply said, "because I am your mother, and I know what is best for you, period".

It may sound Draconian, but I believe children must understand that a mother always means well, and definitely mothers are wiser. Children may be smart, but at a certain age they cannot be wiser than you.

But let me tell some of my secrets. When my children fallout, sometimes I pretended like I don't know and let things happened the way they wanted. But ocassions like these are few and far between. I let it be because I have my own recovery plans which I implement sooner or later. So all is well.

Someone asked me if I used the rod. Of course I did, but sparingly. I believe that we must use both the stick and the carrot. If I may say at this point, the principle of the stick and the carrot is actually A Quranic Value. Allah said very often in the al Quran that if you do good deeds, your place is in Jannah, that is the Paradise. Otherwise, if you do the forbidden deeds, then your place is in Hell. That is how the al Quran teaches all mankind. Therefore I am one of those people that do not agree that children must not be taught to fear Allah, but to love Him. I do both. And in the Hadith ( the sayings of the Prophet), it says that if a child does not perform his prayers and other required rituals at age 7, you must repremand him verbaly, but if he doesn't comply with required rules at age 10, then you must spank him. i.e using the rod or cane, at appropriate places as stated. And if we follow this, we get 'barakah", that is an assurance of success. Believe me, if we follow the Quran and Hadiths, we will always be blessed and we will never go wrong. If our children happened to be otherwise, it is the result of other forces and factors outside our control. Remember the saying above " It takes the whole village to raise a child." If we have a fallout, "somebody" in the "village" is not doing his or her job.

We can write a book on this subject. I am no expert at all. I am only stating some of my beliefs and opinion. We can continue on this at length on a different platform. For now, The right things I say come from Allah, and the not-so-right things are mine alone and I ask for forgiveness from Allah the All Mighty, and the All Knowing.

with my daughter Azra Haida

1 comment:

Kitty Pryde said...

thanks for this post, auntie!!

very much appreciated.

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