I was reading an article on child abuse and heard of the cot death of a longed-for much loved baby that sent shock-waves… which deeply saddened me. Two starkly contrasting examples of parents. Those who, for whatever reason, do not value their children, regarding them as nuisance, burdens… even wicked (one child had his hand put in boiling water for “stealing” some cheese from the refrigerator!). And those who value them so much that to punish them physically, even when they’re at their most exasperating, would be unthinkable, who suffer in empathy when they’re injured, and to whom a child’s death brings everlasting grief.
Children are most precious gifts from ALLAH TA’ALA – a sacred trust over whose eternal souls parents are given temporary guardianship. Yet, how thoughtlessly some people view that guardianship. A child is conceived carelessly, is received with mixed feelings, is sandwich between other activities, is spoken to without respect for feelings, even shouted at in public, and criticized from morning to night.
Most will agree that, despite the fatigue, ongoing thought and work needed to rear children, they are our greatest treasures, a source of great joy and delight, they make life sweet, bring more rizq (sustenance) into family’s life and give hope. Through our children – clever or slow, fit or handicapped – new realms of love, interest and advantage unfold. We learn patience, unselfishness, responsibility, understanding – and to have fun. For, given the chance, their quaint remarks or innocent laughter tinge moments of despair with delight.
Children aren’t born to love you, but they soon learn to respond to love. They hold out their arms to greet you, their faces light up when you appear, forgive you readily for your mistakes, spend hours planning little surprises or drawings for you, grieve when you go away. What an investment!
They need deep love and sincere affection in order to develop soundly, with no psychological problems, crises or complexes. This sound upbringing will fill them with optimism, trust, hope and ambition. Thus their self-esteem is gleaned from this and it gives them confidence and security. Be compassionate towards them, for compassion is a basic Islamic characteristic, one that was encouraged by our beloved Messenger (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) in words and deeds as Anas (RadhiAllahu Anhu) tells us, a Hadith so beautifully encapsulates:
“I never saw anyone who has more compassion towards children than the Messenger of ALLAH (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). His son Ibrahim was in the care of a wet-nurse in the hills around Madinah Sharief. He would go there, and we would go with him, he would enter the house, pick up His son and kiss him, then come back.” [Muslim]
Children reflect their home life, for they learn what they live. If they see their parents making sacrifices for others, they absorb the unspoken message – kind people do kind things. Love and trust beget love and trust, and usually children respond to both. To young couples I say: children are a blessing from Almighty ALLAH. When you both really want a baby, prepare for parenthood sensibly. If you’ve had a happy childhood, you’ll be able to fall back on common-sense and intuition. If not, ask, read books on parenting, attend parenthood course.
If you are a working mom don’t go to work in your children’s early years. You can save money by staying home and spare yourself stress and conflict by being there when your children need you. As a queen of your home, you can plan a routine that snatches an hour here or there for a hobby, reading or outside activity. Watching your children develop is a fascinating privilege. Enjoy this short phase of your life.
Make the bedtime routine a happy end to the day. Never “order” little ones to bed. Accompany them, read them Islamic stories, talk to them in a gentle manner, make Du’a with them and give them a warm hug to send them off to sleep happily. Contemplate the moral and spiritual values you wish to pass on – how best to express your highest beliefs so that they’ll be caught, not just taught. Give freely of that priceless gift – your time. Time to listen so they’ll confide in you. Time simply to enjoy those unique creations on loan to you from ALLAH TA’ALA.
May we learn to appreciate our children, for, they fill a special place in our hearts we never knew was empty. AAMEEN!
~The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the ♥~