“Mum, you are different from my friend’s mother.”
“And how is that?”
“I mean I can talk to you about everything, even that which is ‘taboo’, without you freaking out and putting barricades on my life! You advise me in a way that I can understand rather than shoving things down my throat.”
“Hmm… Alhamdulillah! And I am glad, you don’t abuse my kindness.”
Some of you might be wondering,
“But isn’t this setting them up on a road to disaster?”
“Oh c’mon! They are still kids. How can they make choices for themselves!”
Let’s just say, we have our differences. Luckily, in His Mercy, Allah has blessed us with the best example in the form of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent “pattern…”
[Surah al Ahzab, 33:21]
The Prophet ﷺ raised four daughters, Zaid ibn Haritha RA, Ali ibn Abu Talib RA from the tender age of 7, and Zaid’s son, Usamah ibn Zaid RA after his father passed away. What’s striking is that he was a father figure in addition to his responsibilities as a Prophet, a statesman, a friend, a companion, husband, a military commander and more.
Fast forward to 1400 years later – The Present Times:
Things are different now. Our youth is faced with a whole lot of trials and tests that can shake their entire world, and ours too.
It is important for tweens to have supportive adults in their lives. Parents and caregivers, in addition to their teachers and other adults can help tweens navigate the challenges they face. As a parent/caregiver, your tween needs you to react with empathy and understanding to the feelings they express and share with you.
Let’s look at a few tried and tested ways that can help them and us pass through this phase successfully, In Sha Allah.
1) The Safe Haven:
Providing a nurturing and caring environment is important for your child’s healthy development. Establishing and maintaining routines, spending time as a family, not burdening your children with problems and establishing communication with your child are essential when it comes to your child’s wellbeing.
Be supportive and caring with the challenges they face by setting healthy boundaries. The better prepared you as a parent are to handle any challenges that may come your tweens way, the smoother this transition will be!
2) Don’t dictate them, rather Understand their feelings and point of view:
Parents and caregivers need to be supportive, empathetic role-models for their children and when their tweens share challenges they are facing, parents should take the approach of support and empathy when assisting their children. When your child presents you with a challenge in their life, do your best to be empathetic. Being empathetic towards your child will help them realize they are not alone in their struggle. You will be able to connect to your child at a deeper level and understand what is going on in their life.
3) Practice what you Preach:
First and foremost, you as a parent need to be a good role model for your child. As Muslims, we are entrusted with raising our children as practicing Muslims. Ensuring we are spending time with our children, and being present in their lives means that we will have the opportunity to instill important values in them. Remember, your children are people too. Just as you expect respect from your children, respect your children and involve them in important decision-making opportunities for the household. During their tween years, children need to learn life skills as they transform from child to adult.
4) Learning from the Best!
While you are your child’s role-model, it is also important to expose and provide your tweens with the stories of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his companions. When a situation arises in your tweens life, you can ask what Prophet Muhammad ﷺ would have done in a similar situation?This will not only fuel a great conversation and bring about the remembrance of our dear Prophet ﷺ, it will also serve as a way to help your child work through the challenges they face and live life according to the teachings and foundations of Islam.
5) Prepare them for Life Ahead:
A sense of strong spiritual, social and emotional intelligence can help your child think about different ways to approach challenges that may come their way.You can help your child build up the necessary tools and strategies to strengthen their emotional intelligence and in turn, strengthen their ability to cope when challenges come their way.Helping build up your child’s social intelligence is also important. Things such as making friends, being able to handle new situations and understanding others will come easy to them. To have integrity, humility, to be kind, and generous are all components that will enable them to be able to face the challenges they encounter.
6) Set the Stage with Muslim Kids TV:
As a parent, you try in different ways to expose your child to Islamic values right from the beginning. You may have taught your child yourself, used the help of more knowledgeable individuals, sent your child to a weekend Islamic school or a full time Islamic school, or perhaps it was a mixture of a few approaches.
Finding quality resources can take time to satisfy your quest for knowledge. With Muslim Kids TV, your search for quality, Islamic resources is all in one place. From Islamic print resources, to a digital Quran, to videos showcasing Islamic values and principles, you will love Muslim Kids TV.
Change can be good, and challenges are a part of life’s journey. Our children are stepping into adulthood, bombarded with a rush of new emotions and feelings. If we guide our children now, they will be able to take on the world in a successful fashion.
May Allah make these new changes in your child the start of something profound and beneficial to your child and your family!