By Imam Abdullah El-Amin, MMNS
O YE WHO BELIEVE! Save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe who do not hesitate from carrying out the commands they receive from ALLAH, but do (exactly) what they are commanded to do.
Qurâ€™an 66: 6
Forget rock stars, cartoons, Hanna Montana, and the kid down the block. The one your children are most influenced by is YOU. It is very important to give your offspring a positive outlook on life in the present, and the future.
Does your child go around sulking all day and feels everything will go against him/her? Is poor academic performance something your child expects? (Or worse still, is it something you expect?) It is not the place you want your family to be. This is especially true since low self-esteem and a negative attitude put kids at a higher risk for depression and poor performance in life. If this case scenario seems to fit your situation, you might take a look at yourself as the main cause of their state of mind. I donâ€™t mean to put you in a defensive mode and shut you down; Iâ€™m merely trying to point out some very real pictures in the sea of life.
As the above sura points out, you must be in position to save your offspring first. This is impossible if you canâ€™t save yourself. Kids model your behavior. If you are gloomy, negative and unsure of yourself in life, guess what? They will most likely be likewise.
You have a big say in your childâ€™s experiences. You are the one that decided where they live; where they go to school; where they worship; even what they worship. For the most part, they have no choice. This is the time to put those positive thoughts in their mind so they can grow. This is the time to tell them they can instead of they canâ€™t. This is the time to teach them to look beyond the brick walls and boulders in their path and either go around it, over it, under it, or knock it down. Whatever is possible.
It is not the time to fix all their problems for them. If you do this, they will not be able to learn how to solve problems on their own. Then what happens when you die?
No one else is going to baby them like you did so they will be at the mercy of the wolves that surely lie in wait. You know how safe and confident you feel when you approach something with knowledge and competence? Whatever it is it is less scary and intimidating.
Itâ€™s the same with your offspring. Let them see you being confident and they will approach their situations with less fear; so they probably will be more successful.
Another way of saving your children from the fire is to be active with them. Try doing new things with them.
This takes them out of their comfort zone and gives them new experiences to build strength and character on. Donâ€™t worry about failing.
Just point out that most great occurrence in the world came after many failures first. Teach them how to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and start all over again (to use the words of a great song).
With ALLAHâ€™S name, the Merciful Benefactor, Merciful Redeemer
As Salaam alaikum
(Al Hajj) Imam Abdullah Bey El-Amin