Parent trap: Friend or foe?

29 Nov

A cousin of mine quite often argued with me about how incessant and unnecessary interference in a child’s life can weaken the parent-child bond. According to her, in this day and age if parents unduly poke their nose in their children’s lives, especially those who have just entered or are about to end their teens, and don’t maintain a friendly relationship, their parent-child relationship may seriously suffer.

The inclusion of electronic media in the lives of the modern society has opened up a huge world of awareness-for the young ones in particular. Now these young adults are well informed ab
out their rights, freedom of expression and the modern way of living with liberty.

My cousin believes that the typical rigid style of parenthood can affect the mindset of their children adversely and is detrimental to their confidence level as well. Although I do agree with her about certain points, I have observed that at times, some of the ‘broad minded’ parents of our society confuse a ‘friendly relationship’ with a freedom to do absolutely anything -even if it is immoral.

Sometimes, the liberty and independence granted to children in the name of modernism, results in acute levels of moral destruction in a child. I myself have come across youngsters who have been brought up liberally and now are unable to maintain a civil level of decency and etiquette within traditional or cultural bounds. Respecting their adults, grandparents and even guests, that are all blessings from God, is all but a forgotten, archaic value.

To give your child a decent upbringing is a very hard nut to crack for every parent, but there are some very pertinent approaches that were followed by our parents in this regard back in the day. Although these may seem outdated, in certain aspects we could do well to learn from them. The most primitive amongst these methods was to use a slightly strict approach in which we were brought up. I still remember my childhood days when a mere thundering look from my mother was more than enough to bring my mischievous steps to a temporary halt.

Usually, back then, kids did not find much space to express themselves or at most instances even utter a single word in their own defence. This particular way of upbringing may produce an obedient and respectful flock of children. However, it stifles the unveiled capabilities and self confidence of a child sometimes resulting in an outburst of rebellious behaviour later in the child’s growing years.

Also for children, it may be highly discouraging when scolded or harshly forbidden from doing something they may deem important at the time. At this point, what parents fail to realise is that it is human nature to be more inclined to do something that has been forbidden as it sparks curiosity in the inquisitive minds. This is especially true for young children.

This form of discouragement affects the confidence level of a child, bringing out peevishness and low desirability for learning. This, eventually affects their school lives as well.

Fatima Salman, a housewife, speaking about her friends children and their relationship with their father said,

“My friend’s hubby was very strict and rigid with his children. He used to lock all of the entertainment channels while at office and if he found his two teenagers watching any of the prohibited channels all alone, he bitterly scolded and at times beat them. Later on, the two young bloods somehow managed to steal the password and started watching the channels furtively. Owing to undue strictness, the hatred of the children for their father kept increasing slowly but surely. They started arguing with him over petty matters which put off their hesitation of a confrontation with their father. And now when they are grown up, they don’t respect him anymore. So, it’s all in your hands. A friendly relationship between parents is a must in this era which results in smooth and progressive nourishment of your children. Otherwise it not only causes harm to their grooming but can also question their level of respect for you.”

In contrast to the aforementioned approach, is the other extreme where a child is given so much freedom and liberty that they end up using these liberties to disrespect and take advantage of their parents trust. Both methods are poles apart and have been unable to find a reasonable balance- thus both cancelling each other out as unacceptable.

Professor Muhammad Javed Jaffary, a religious scholar, says,

“Basically, children follow three methods of learning, which include learning by imitation, learning by doing and learning by punishment and reward. They say that children are the best imitators. Whatever you do, they follow you at once just like a parrot. And now it is up to you, if you do well, then most certainly, your children are going to do well too. The second method means you make your children do something by ordering him/her. And the very last method is of punishment and reward which means to reward your children for his good deeds and punish for bad ones. All these methods are approved by our religion – Islam. Now the point is how handsomely you use these three techniques in order to deliver a decent being to society.”

Today’s children are tremendously intelligent. That is why, being parents, it is your duty to be as intelligent and tactful in your parenthood to bring proportionality and balance into your child’s life. Neither are you required to grant an extreme level of independence to your child nor should you restrict beyond reason. There should be a well balanced relationship between a child and his/her parent.

Instead of keeping things from your kids, the best thing is to educate your child, with proper reasoning, so that they understand why you reacted the way that you did and the respect factor between you and your child is never compromised.

Don’t leave your children at the hands of the media or third party advice; parents should cultivate their relationship into one of mutual respect and understanding that will eventually provide the child with a better set of values and a better sense of judgement and recognition. They should be able to differ between good and evil on their own and they should be taught the value of relationships and morals. Once they understand the value of your teachings they will be better informed about the destruction caused by various evils and will understand that they will most likely be answerable not only to themselves and you for the wrongs done in their lives, but above all to Allah (SWT).

Alongside this, what parents need to do is to reflect upon their relationship and upbringing of their offspring as they will also be answerable to God for the human being they bring into society.

Just like a growing plant needs exposure to air and sunlight, a child derives the same needs through care, love and compassion to help them bloom into the flowers they are meant to become.

Happy parenting!

The article was originally published at Express Tribune Blog

Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Viewpoint


29 responses to “Parent trap: Friend or foe?

  1. Hira Nazir

    November 29, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    This is the best thing indeed to transcend the barriers that unknowingly and ultimately come between parents and children resulting in destroying the bond of two. Media, others and so many things just poison our hearts and we separate from each other. True that, reasoning and consuling is important. Responsibilities lie on both parties. At times parents need to come down to their children’s age for better understanding. Mutual consideration comes first.
    A very well written post, I must say. Very well written and spot on (Y)

  2. FD.Sheikh

    December 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    @ Hira Nazir
    Right you are Hira. Well said. Thank you for appreciation.

  3. Ayesha Pervez

    December 15, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Hey FD! My buddy! Awesome Writeup! :)

  4. Parvez

    December 15, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    There have been so many articles on parenting, motherhood, fatherhood and what not. Its pretty much exhausted. Why doesn’t someone try his / her hand at grand parenting, grand motherhood, grand fatherhood and what not. It would be fun and interesting to know how the younger lot think this should be handled. It’s certainly a different ball game alltogether.

  5. Anwar ul Haq

    December 15, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    what a wonderful article, i really appriciate as a father……
    Nice one

  6. Pessimist

    December 15, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I liked your article and I want to thank you for bringing this issue up. I would like to add one thing to this conversation. People in our society don’t understand that bringing a child into this world and raising it is a big issue. Throughout my life I have seen newly wed couples having a child within one year of marriage. I’m not saying it is a bad thing, but in most cases, the mother and father are not emotionally & mentally ready to bring up a child. Unfortunately children suffer as a result of this consequence. Parents need to be 100% sure when having children. Do they have proper finances? How will they be disciplined and etc etc. For me this is the most important thing in child upbringing.
    Regarding your mention of parenting styles, my parents were very strict when I was young. I was not given junk food, and was not allowed to watch movies, tv shows etc. I was only allowed TV for two hours a day, which I spent on watching Swat Kats :)
    As a child, you feel your parents are committing a great injustice, but when you grow up, you realise your parents only wanted the best for you. I love my parents and hold no animosity towards them. The case of the children disrespecting their father is sad. I feel for the father, he only wanted what was best for his children.

  7. Ahmed Raza

    December 15, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I think that the article presents nothing new or original. More over, i don’t agree with the reasoning the writer provides here. He seems to draw out a stereotype which indicates that modernism leads to only one end = destruction. The author here seems to be suffering from the same problem which is currently infesting countless other writers of this pseudo-religious-wrapped-in-middle class-biases-trying-to-define-complex-things genre. I would advise the writer to step out of this frame of mind and not try to paint everything with the same brush. No two people are alike; certainly not large groups of people. The world is a complex place with complex phenomenons raging everywhere, and trying to limit the scope of definition of one is unjust and contradictory to contemporary practice.
    Ahmed Raza
    Networking Solutions- A Freelancing Agency.

  8. Afifa J Maniar

    December 15, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Good Work FD :)

  9. FD.Sheikh

    December 15, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Thank you Ayesha B. =)

    @ Parvez sb.
    Quite interesting idea, I must say. =) would try to manage some time for it and would be pleased to have your comments, in case you are a grandfather. =D
    But yes, one thing more I would like to add that there are always “new” readers, who are reading such type of articles for the very first time. This passes from generation to generation, I think. =)

    @ Anwar ul Haq
    Thank you so much for your kind words. I am humbled. =)
    @ Pessimist
    Ahan! That’s quite interesting. You have raised the aspect in an interesting way. I liked your approach. =)
    By the way, I am little confused, why have you named yourself “pessimist”? confused

  10. Pessimist

    December 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    For Ahmed Raza:
    I think you wrote a comment for the sake of writing a comment. I could give you a sentence to sentence response, but I wouldn’t think it’s worth it. Have a nice day :)
    For the Author:
    I am a pessimist in real life. I normally tend to focus on negatives rather than positives. You should read my comments on the other blogs ;)

  11. Parvez

    December 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    @FD.Sheikh: Looking forward to your attempt and thank you for responding.

  12. Sadia Azam

    December 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Wonderful piece of writing! You covered every aspect of the topic within very suitable boundaries. A very nice read for every parent out there, specially of this society.

  13. Sadia Azam

    December 15, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    @ Parvez
    lolz. grandfather…very interesting point. One should write in this aspect too.
    @ Ahmed
    I do not think so you have comprehended the article. you are right that modernism is not destruction but what you have stated, this doesn’t portray the writer’s point of view.

  14. Faiza gillani

    December 15, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Hi FD shiekh! Nice article,can u plz tell me how can I submit my article as hav tried twice but no response,since u writing for express tribune so thot to ask u.hope u wnt mind nd help me.thanx,

  15. Asim Nazir

    December 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Dear FD Sheikh, good thoughts sharing on guided and monitored connection between parent and child. Keep up the good work, as usual!

  16. Parvez

    December 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    @Sadia Azam: What I love about this forum is the ‘ off the cuff ‘ comments. Prey, how did you come to the conclusion that I’m a grandfrather ? Nowhere in my comment have I said that. I could very well be a father who watches his parents spoil his children but still likes it and also does not like it, making thing confusing, but then isn’t that the joy of having a family ?
    Yeah, you were right, I am a grandfather with two lovely grand daughters – who was I kidding.

  17. FD.Sheikh

    December 15, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    @ Ahmed Raza
    I respect your opinion, Ahmed. But I wonder, you have, perhaps, not grabbed the main idea of the article. I nowhere talked about modernism = destruction. I always support a “balanced approach” in every walk of life. So did I in this write up as well. =)
    @ Afifa J Mania
    Thank you, Afifa. =)

    @ Faiza Gillani
    Thank you Faiza. It’s pretty simple. Just send in your write up along with a brief intro of yours @ =) The ed would contact you, if your write up is approved. Good luck!
    @ Asim Nazir
    Thank you so much for your generous feedback. =)

  18. Faiza gillani

    December 15, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Thanx FD.sheikh that’s really so sweet of u:)

  19. usman bukhair

    December 15, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    nice write-up … almost everything you have covered in this topic , i agree to all what you have said.
    we are dependent society and Islam at least doesnot allow us to leave that parental trap , for they have brought up after some pure struggles and endurance. the easiest approach is to leave the “ENLIGHTENED MODERATION SOCIETY BUILDUP” and see whats on the other side then.
    thanks for this write-up and bringing up the good topic under discussion.

  20. Sadiya Akhtar

    December 16, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    *likes the ending*
    Very well written

  21. Zahra Batool

    December 16, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    great !!!!

  22. Faseeh Ahmed

    December 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    a very nice article! almost all the aspects are covered very comprehensively regarding the subject!
    Keep doing such a nice work! all the best!
    Thank You for the tag, its only you who respect my opinion otherwise “kaar valay tay mennu dooji vaari salan ve nai paa k dainday”

  23. Mazhar Iftikhar

    December 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    FD, m raising three gen FB kids and fully appreciate the need to keep a balance between carrot and stick. Our children need role models and not critics. Even in this fast paced age, we need to make our younger generations understand our value system (with a lot of reason and logic). Also we need to understand is how they view the world around them. Moderation is what we need to keep things going smoothly. Thanks for making such an invaluable contribution, which will also help parents of millennials to make reasonable choices.

  24. Sarwat AJ

    March 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Nice article, do agree,
    As a mother, i must share that there was one resolution, one thing decided inside my heart about my children that i shall keep a sort of relation with them so that …….i should be the first one to come in their mind when ever they want to share any thought, any mischief, any idea, i should be the first one whom they will rely. All my motherhood followed this resolution. There are no bans in the house, on the tv, etc. but they know one thing that mama gonna share every thing. Its not easy. I have to listen each and every gossip, detail, etc they tell me. But this is the whole rule. To be frank, to be open, so that every thing can be disscussed and shared.
    To me, this era is a different one, with different set of requirements. In this time, so much of exposure is around that you must be in very firm and kind bond with your kid. Blood +love relation= not a weak thing surely

  25. FD Sheikh

    March 30, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    @ sarwat
    This is very productive approach, I must say. But I have realized parents following this approach, at times, are unable make their children realize the difference between “Respect of Parents” and “Frankness with parents”. Sometimes, children are found to cross that frankness boundary that ought to be taken care of by them. Nevertheless, this is one of the most productive parenthood approach, if implemented precisely.

  26. Sarwat AJ

    March 30, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Yes, its very productive approach, and boundries must be set by the parent. More over, habit developing is a phenomenon, from dinning habits to behavioural, from wearing right shoe first to reading habit, and from understanding limits and boundaries of frankness and respect, a habit takes time and enduring passion. Same as with this issue.
    Here we must also define the difference between being frank and true. Our society lacks truth, we conceal truth and facts. So parents must be open and true to children. And truth can be disscussed openly with respect.

  27. FD Sheikh

    March 30, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    @ Sarwat
    I must appreciate each word you wrote! Thumbs up!

    @ Mazhar Iftikhar, Faseeh Ahmed, Zahra, Sadiya, and Usman
    Thank you so much for your generous words. i am humbled. JazakALlah

  28. Sarwat AJ

    March 30, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Thankyou, i will feel honoured if you spare out some time to visit, and comment on the my toddler blog.

  29. FD Sheikh

    April 1, 2013 at 2:13 am

    Your blog feels food for thought. Thank you for sharing. :)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: