Having a family is such a great blessing one can get. Likewise building a happy family is a great and important task one can take. Meaning, one does not just get a respectful and happy family, but has to work enormously to build it. It is a primary mandate for every parents to raise children that will be useful to the society because it has never been a dream of any developing nation to just contain large number of unproductive or even counter-productive youth, but rather youth that will contribute with their intellect, etiquette and knowledge in developing that nation.
In my opinion, taking care and raising children of good behavior should be a priority, a major task for all stakeholders in a developing society. Alas, this task falls among the most neglected of our duties in today’s society. Many children are been born, abandoned and to the ambivalent society where a child will choose at own discretion where to belong, good or evil.
I use to think that parents underestimate or even forget the greatness in being blessed with children. They turn to abuse the gift and misuse the opportunity God has given them. To remind us of the blessing of having children I will refer us to the Story of Zakariyya- the Prophet of Islam. It is believed that the highest position a man could get in Islam is position of Prophethood. Upon all that Prophet Zakariyya still felt that he missed an important gift, the gift of having a child. He advocated to Allah to bestow him with child (Purified family) (Q3:38). Moreover, couples have been categorized to those having sons and daughters, sons only, daughters only and those who have none (Q46:49-50). You are therefore, specially blessed if you fall among any of the first three categories. Thus, having a child is really a great privilege that should be celebrated and of course appreciated.
To do so, one should first of all get a good mother to his children. Let your children think of you when they hear about loving and respecting a lady. “The greatest gift you give to your daughter is to love her mother “. Let the parents show love and respect to each other and their children will grow up to do better.
In a summary, parents should be able to:
1. Provide a safe environment, their children should be free from physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
2. Provide basic needs; food, shelter, medical care, clothing and space.
3. Provide their children with SELF-ESTEEM needs; accept their uniqueness and individuality, encourage rather than pushing them to do the right thing, set realistic expectations upon them, use appropriately, rewards and punishment procedure.
4. Teach them morals and values; honesty, respect, patience, forgiveness, compassion, etc.
5. Develop mutual respect ; use respectful language when talking with them, respect their feelings, opinions, and privacy.
6. Educate them; spend the best resource you can to give them good quality education, supervise and monitor their educational development.
7. Get to know them; spend quality time together, be approachable, ask questions and communicate.
8. Love them.
Always remember “Parents are the ultimate role models for children. Every word, movement and action has an effect. No other person or outside force has a greater influence on a child than the parents.” Healthy family breeds healthy society.
Happy Children’s Day