Wed 01 October 2014
6 Dhu al-Hijjah 1435 AH  



LECTURES

Man is in Loss

Parenting

Building Personality

Muslim Personality

Marriage

Muslim Family


Ingredients of a Blessed Family

Journey to Parenthood

A New Arrival in the Family

Infancy and Pre-school Nursing

School Exposure

Adolescence

Issues of Social Ills


new lectures to follow...


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Infancy and Pre-school Nursing (Click here for multiple questions on this Lecture)

A New Challenge

As the baby gradually becomes a child, his world starts widening - from his
parents in the beginning to people around him. The surrounding environment
keeps on building his personality. In the first two years the baby grows
steadily and changes rapidly. The cooing and babbling sounds that come from
the tiny mouth have magical attraction. By the time he sits and crawls he has
learnt how to make mess of things. Within a year he is used to do a lot of
mischief and get on other peoples' nerves. The little angel becomes active
and as such, needs protection from a lot of household dangers when he walks,
runs, talks and pokes into anything he finds interesting.

As he grows he learns how to communicate meaningfully with others. He sees,
observes, responds and learns. Countless information piles up in his small
brain and tries to confuse him about the meaning of the world. He is in the
process of building his unique personality. This is the time when parents
have tremendous role in his rapid physical growth, intellectual development
and spiritual quest. The child's life begins as an adventure and this,
naturally, puts a high demand on the parents. Everyday he masters new skills,
speaks new words and understands new concepts through games and other
activities. All parents remember their child's beginning years with most
affection.

A Question to think about : With reference to the way in which a child develops in the first 2 years, suggest practical ways to make them learn.

Safety and Well-being

A baby is dependent on others, but not ignorant or totally helpless. He knows
when he is happy, hungry, tired or in pain and he signals these with his
sound and body movement. As 'health is wealth', the parents must take their
young child's physical well-being, safety, immunisation, etc, very seriously.
So should be the moral, spiritual and intellectual upbringing. The formation
period of a man's journey in the world should have a strong grounding on all
these.

A Question to think about : What kind of environment is suitable for a moral, spiritual and
intellectual upbringing.
?

Child's Attachment to Parents

Parents, especially mothers, should provide physical closeness to child in
order to give him security and peace when he needs most in a world which is
totally new to him in his tender age. In the early days someone has to keep
an eye on the vulnerable creature. A child, of course, should not be made
unnaturally dependent on parents. A gradual natural 'programme' for
independence needs to be adopted. This requires careful planning for positive
parenting. The practical task of parenting needs 'professionalism' and basic
'skills'.

A Question to think about : Suggest a basic plan for how you would gradually make your child more
independent.

Children Learn through Play

Children love playing. The sort of games or play a child likes vary. Games
and other activities give him the opportunity to learn about the world around
him. Prophet Muhammad gave importance to this. Even in his old days, he used
to engage himself in innocent play with his young wife Ayesha. It is
universally acknowledged that physical activity, games, intellectually
stimulating play, etc, enhance children's creativity and confidence.

A Question to think about : Suggest examples of games you would play with your children and how you could modify them so that they have an Islamic perspective.?

Parents Learn from Children

Parents do not have to be psychologists, but they need common sense and
elementary knowledge to interact and contribute to their child's development.
Conscious parents continuously learn from the child. It is a two-way process.
If parents respond positively to a child, he will eventually develop into a
sociable and considerate person. But parents should not hurry in such a
process. All children are born with innate potential, parents need only to
blossom them.

A Question to think about :The author says: "But parents should not hurry in such a process." How do you think "hurrying the development process of a child" can affect his future
and character.

Beware of TV as a Baby-sitting Tool

The struggle for survival in the real world keeps parents terribly busy. As a
result, many of them cannot invest required amount of time with their
children. In situations these, TV could unwittingly take place of a
Baby-sitter. For the tiny minds, finding no other creative things to do, TV
can prove to be a 'Terrible Virus'. Like viral infection, TV addiction can
have fatal effect for the growth of the child. Unless it is absolutely
essential for both parents to engage in full-time earning or study, parents
should plan between themselves to make sacrifice for their loved ones. Even
for those lucky ones who have support from the closed family members, making
time for their children is vital.

A Question to think about : How can TV prove to be a "terrible virus"? Suggest ways of using TV
positively.

Home as the Nursery

Positive parenting involves pro-active teaching with love and care, but with
admonition if and when necessary. All these should have contexts. Parents
should plan for disseminating knowledge and understanding commensurate with
age and ability. One cannot expect parents to have formal syllabus as schools
have, but conscientious parents have targets and focus in educating their
children from the very beginning.

Children are not adults and as such should not be left on their own to find
their own way. It is true that natural instinct leads human beings to find
their way to survival. But children need nurturing - physical, intellectual
as well as spiritual, in order to grow as 'emissary' of Allah on earth. If
the parents fail to shape their character in Islamic way, the environmental
effect will turn them away from Islam. Responsible parents are like cautious
potters who meticulously and sensitively engage in shaping their vulnerable
raw materials for a wholesome outcome. Every community invests on creating
their future generation in their way. Muslims in the past succeeded in
creating Muslim personalities when they were the teachers of humanity.
Unfortunately, this vision is blurred to many Muslim parents. This has proved
disastrous for the ummah in the past centuries.

A Question to think about : What is the meaning of "pro-active teaching"? How would you make your child develop a love and thirst for learning about the "righteous
predecessors" of Islam?

Examples are Better than Precepts

Children are efficient in identifying love, affection, anger, sadness and
other human features. They can read the faces of their parents even when they
are small. Parental dealings have to be meaningfully positive, especially in
their tender age. Parents need to overtly display their positive feelings.
They should maintain consistency in their dealings and behaviour. However,
discipline is also important for proper upbringing and teaching. That does
not mean that parents should only resort to 'Do's and Don'ts' to discipline
their children.

A Question to think about : What, according to you, is important to maintain the balance between love and discipline?

Vocabulary and Islamic Ethos

As sickness spreads fast, swearing words and slang languages could be easily
learnt by the children. Parents must be careful in using words at home.
Islamic vocabulary should be constantly used before the children so that they
get the habit of saying them. The words, Bismillah, Alhamdulillah,
Insha'Allah, Assalamualaikum and like should be in their lips as daily
vocabulary. At the same time parents need to practise religion and general
rules of human decency. They should make a habit of uttering supplications
loudly so that they make imprints on young minds. Children in a house where
parents are practising Muslims copy many of the rituals that have lasting
influence in their life.

A Question to think about : How would you deal with a situation where your child has picked up
swearing words at school and is using them frequently.?

Personality Traits

As a child grows under the very eyes of the parents and other adults, he
develops his own unique personality. Some of the traits are inherited or
hereditary. His physical features, such as height and colour of the skin and
mental characteristics, such as aesthetic talents are passed from the
parent's genes. However, a child's environment is as important as their
genes. His upbringing, health care, education, abundance or deficiency of
love, family manners, etc, influences the growth and development of the
child and moulds his personality.

Parents have lot of expectations from their child. But no one knows whether
they will be realised. Every baby has a future that is already predetermined
by Allah. This belief and conviction is rooted in Islam. Instead of creating
fatalism and passivity, this creates in Muslims a full reliance on Allah and
an over-arching urge for dynamic and creative action, targeted only to please
Allah. Heredity, environment and action are the ingredients of human destiny.
Parents must have open mind about them. At the end of the day parents can
only try and pray for their children.

A Question to think about : Show how "having lot of expectations from their child" be both beneficial
and detrimental.?