“Mooom ….. I dreamt last night, and kept me wet”, my son asked.
“Mom, what is dating …. ?”, another question.
“Mom, why do they kiss?”
Mom, … Mom, … Mom ….
It seems just like yesterday I gave birth to our children, breastfed and taught them to walk. And it was not long ago he was only able to ride his tricycle. But now ….. my children are growing and become curious about the world around them, hence the many questions they ask. Some of their questions touch sensitive subjects that we as parents feel at a loss on how to answer their questions.
If we react too strongly to those questions they will be confused and might try to find the answers through other sources. On the other hand if we ignore the questions, they will do the same, go to other sources to find the information. The problem is these other sources some times are not necessarily reliable, such as their friends who they, themselves might have heard it from someone else or from “Uncle” Google or worse, some irresponsible adults (Astagfirullah!).
So what should we do? We must build and keep a line of communication since they were babies, and as our children grow this line of communication also grows. When they were small we communicated as parents, and as they grow up it is more like friends. That does not mean we have to behave like teenager, mind you, just somewhat like an older and wiser friend that they can go to whenever they have something on their mind. Beside that the most important thing of all, we must also equip our children with strong religious foundation. Such as the dos and don’ts in our faith, the obligations we must do as Muslims and explain the whys (they certainly will ask you WHY they have to do and obey all those things). Because children are keen observers, they will surely ask about things they have seen, heard or observed be that from televisions, news or the internet. Things like drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, juvenile delinquency or celebrities hedonistic lifestyle and when we have equipped them with all the above therefore we can discuss these things calmly, so hopefully our children will always be in Allah’s guidance. And when they are adults and must deal with the nitty-gritty of life, they will not be easily swayed toward bad behaviour or dangerous lifestyle and so remain steadfast in their faith.
Lastly, hopefully our children will not behave like the prophet Nuh’s (Noah) son who defied his father (Prophet Nuh) therefore also defied Allah, when Nuh was trying to save everybody from the Big Flood (Surah Hud :42-46).
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
Rabbanaa hablanaa min azwaazinaa wa zurriyatina qurrota ‘ayun….
Rabbi hablii minasshalihin (Surah As -Safaat:100)