7 Things I Tell My Son Everyday
7 Things I Tell My Son Everyday
I have decided to write this piece with the attempt to answer many of your questions. Often times I get asked, “How do you do it?” Single parent, working full-time, traveling, dawah, interfaith, outreach, homework and the list goes on and on…
As we all know parenthood does not come with a manual, it is not a walk in the park nor a piece a cake. Everyday is a new day filled with new challenges, exciting news, memorable teaching, ongoing learning experiences, difficult stages, many changes and at times it can be extremely overwhelming.
Another question I am often asked is, “What is your secret formula?” Honestly, I wish I had one, but I don’t. I learn and implement as I go day in and day out. This is how I came up with, 7 things I tell my son everyday.
1.) “Thank you” – Two of the most important words we begin teaching our children at a very early age. It is extremely important for us the parent(s) to live by example which means utilize please and “Thank you” with them just as often as we ask our children to implement these two words to their vocabulary. On a spiritual level we must also make sure to start our day by thanking our Creator. I have always stressed and taught my son the importance of gratitude on all levels. As Muslims we are taught through our scripture the Qur’an and in our Sunnah (Hadiths) the importance of gratitude. Therefore, every morning after fajr salat (morning prayer) we take a few minutes to go down the list of things we are thankful for and the blessings we have been bestowed with from our previous day. For example: I am thankful for waking up this morning, for the meals I was blessed with yesterday, for having a home, for my friends, for my job, for being able to make new friends, etc. Towards the end we focus on each other. We always end by giving each other a peck, thank each other for the rolls we play in each others lives and we make sure to tell each how much “We LOVE each other”.
2.) “You Can Do It” – All 7 are important but this here is very important to me. I feel that it is my duty to build up my son’s confident level. Therefore, every single day before my son gets off the car during drop off, I make sure to tell him “You Can Do it”. I emphasize it a bit more during mid-terms, tests, try-outs etc.
My son Andrew is also memorizing Qur’an and from time to time he has felt overwhelmed and gets the urge to give up simply because at times it’s seem too difficult or too much. Our words are empowering, encouraging, powerful and very important to our children, so we must make sure to use them wisely. Therefore, I try my best to implement all 7 things when it comes to his efforts with the Qur’an, especially when he gets stuck in a new juz. I make sure that only positive words are expressed like, “You can do it” or “You Got This Babe!” and my favorite “I believe in you Champion!”
3.) “I Trust You” – This one here we have been working on as we are entering a new stage. My son is a pre-teen going on 40. So, even though, I stress the importance of trusting him, I also point out the importance of earning my trust, building it, holding on to it and especially not breaking my trust. Again, I am far from perfect and I am still learning, Alhamdulillah.
4.) ”I Am Proud of You” – Our children are always looking for validation, specially from us their parent(s). Therefore it is crucial for us to create a reward system and remember to tell them how proud we are of them on a daily bases. On the other hand we also need to remember to validate their hard work even when they lose. Loosing is part of life, giving up is our choice. I personally have seen positive results when I take the time to tell him how proud I am of him.
5.) “I Am On Your Side, Always.” – Relationships are established based on trust. As a parent I make sure my son knows I am on his side, ALWAYS. It is extremely important to make sure our children know that even if or when the entire world turns on them, we will be here to support them and or reprimand them when needed. I personally like to assure my son that I am here to look out for his best interest, to correct him, to teach him, to guide him, to protect him and most importantly that as a family we are part of the same team. Therefore, when I need to speak up for him I do and I certainly encourage him to also speak up for himself in a respectful manner.
6.) “Everything Is Going To Be Okay.” – Our children are little people with feelings, emotions, character and they too get overwhelmed especially if we are always expecting them to be #1 in everything they do. In just a couple weeks my son will officially become a TEENAGER and boy have I seen changes. With those changes we have clashed more than ever but one thing I assure him is that Everything Is going to be okay and I am right here for him.
Communication is key, do not shut the door, always make time for your children, learn to listen to them. Make sure you leave the door crack and what I mean by this is do not wait until it’s too late. Also make sure to seek for professional help when you know you can’t handle it, stay alert so you can see the signs early on. I personally have an open door policy, I am here for you at any given time. Recently we started “Everything Goes” we have picked a day of the week where my son can tell me, share with me, express to me anything he needs to or likes. I can’t get mad, I can only give him advice. Like I said before I am learning as I go and this is building our trust for each other as we continue to deal with this new phase “teenager years”.
7.) “I Love You.” – As corny or old as this may seem this 3 word phrase “I love you” is the most important and powerful statement we can tell our children throughout the day every single day of their lives. Our children need affection, nourishment and tons of love in order to be able to grow into prosperous, productive, compassionate, heartwarming, considerate, loving adults. It’s okay to sound like a broken records, repeat it to them over and over and over.
My son and I often enter a competition on how much we love each other, it goes something like this, He’ll say “I love you.” then I say “I love you to the moon and back a trillion times.” he always wins with this one, well Mom, “I love you more from here to jannah al fidous.” We normally continue with endless forever and ever, and the ever go on and on…
“Let your child be free to play until they reach the age of seven. For the next seven years, keep a watchful eye on him, and finally befriend him for another seven year. Then if he succeeds; otherwise, there is no good in him.” – Prophet Muhammad
Anyway, to my parents, specially my single moms and single dads out there, you are all doing an amazing job, thank you for raising our future leaders and holding it down. Don’t ever underestimate yourselves, like I stated early on raising little people is no joke, I feel your pain and joys. For whatever it’s worth, I appreciate you, every single one of you reading this. But most importantly, we must always remember that Allah subhana wa taala is watching us, every sacrifice, every tear will not go uncounted. Hold your head up high and say to yourselves, Oh Allah with your help #IgotThis!
Last but certainly not least, if there is one piece of advice I could give you all, it would be to….
Remember our children are ultimately our biggest treasures, responsibility and an amana, Allah subhana wa taala has chosen us and trusted us with them. Therefore, enjoy your babies, toddlers, kiddos, pre-teens to the fullest, teach them but do not forget to hug them, kiss them, embrace them, tell them you love them every single day and when you celebrate them, celebrate yourself. When you reward them, reward yourselves too because we are all part of the same team. #TeamParenthood!
Jazakum Allahu khair for your questions, for asking and inspiring me to share with all of you my parenthood journey, as we continue to learn and strive to be the best parents we can be. May Allah subhana wa taala grant us all the patience and wisdom we all need to be better teachers, mentors, friends and parents to our children, ameen.
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