Growing As A Parent

“Am I a good parent?”

“Am I a good enough role model to my children?”

“Do they feel they can confide in me as a parent and a friend?”

“What is parenting?”

“What is the difference between being a person and being a parent?”

“Are there any techniques that can be used to be a good parent?”

These are some of the questions that most of us parents face. We lose sleep over them, wondering and hoping and questioning. But has any parent, in all the lost

sleep, found the perfect answer to these million dollar questions?

Not at all. In fact, there is no perfect answer.

By musing on such questions we will come to the conclusion that every child is unique, and so each person’s parenting style is unique too.

One thing is for sure, we start learning from the moment we are born and most of that is from our parents. They influence us greatly as they become a standard for us. We build a mental image of what to expect and what not to expect from a parent.

And of course, we all want to be the best parents possible.

So when it comes to our turn to parent, we want the good in our own parents’ behaviour to be passed on to our children, whilst we change the not-so-good to

improve the quality of our parenting.

Parenting is a bond we create with our children right from the very beginning, something we need to work very hard for and use a lot of energy. When they are a baby, we cuddle them, feed them, carry them in our arms for, often, hours at a time, and spend many sleepless nights trying to give them what they need.

Then, as a toddler and through most of their childhood, we talk to them, play with them, and listen to their nonsensical talks. It is a mixture of compromising, guiding, and building trust, love, and affection within the family. This doesn’t happen overnight, rather we must prepare ourselves in acquiring these qualities day by day. These qualities will certainly create a strong bond between us and our children and they will feel confident to talk to us and ask for our opinion and advice.

A good parent is a fast learner. Yes, we are not only the teachers but also the learners. It is very important to learn from our experiences with each child, to understand the variations between our children and act accordingly. Each day we learn, and the key to learning is being open minded, which will lead to improvement in our parenting and in our bond with our children.

Children need more attention and guidance when they are young, and they are also more open to it. Unless we have built a bond of love and trust with them, they will not encourage discussion. Much research shows that children find it easier to discuss their personal matters with their friends and peers rather than their parents. This can only be avoided by consistently strengthening our children’s trust and confidence in their ability to talk to us.

There is much research done on parenting, in fact, we can find endless lists of books and articles. But we all have access to the best book in this world; the Holy Quran. And we have the example of the greatest man, the Prophet Muhammed (saw). Using both will guide us to be better parents.

Finally, what we do is what we should expect from our children, as we are their main point of influence. It is vital that we hold ourselves to the same standard we hold our

children. May Allah (swt) guide us to be the best parents (and children) to be living with our families in Jannah.

Brother Kishor Raheem