Most parents agonise over the children’s future and worry about setting them up for success in life. In fact, we go as far as setting up our children with as many skills as possible so we don’t ruin the children’s future chance of success and happiness.
So why are some children ok when they grow up whilst others struggle in Life? The truth is parents have a huge say in how they set up a child’s foundation. We do not have control of the future although we can help shape it to some extent. Children will lead their own lives and how they are Ok or they struggle with life will be all about the decisions they make and things they do. But you can have a MASSIVE influence on how things are shaped now.
So I’m going to share with you some of the essential keys to helping your child be ok in life but first lets us look at what you might be doing to set the children up for the future.
What Parenting Life Looks Like Right Now
Some of us worry so much we over burden the children and set up their foundation with intensity and jam pack their lives with so many things to do, that they just miss out on the joyful experience of childhood, free play and boredom that pushes a child to become curious and explore.
On the other hand, some parents are so into the idea of letting them be children, they love allowing the children to have access to whatever they want, filling their lives up with entertainment, digital gadgets, phones, PlayStation and all the “toys” we parents also enjoy.
A common trend that seems to be happening alot is that we parents get some peace and quiet to do the things we want, while the children are entertained by the modern baby sitter, the tablet, Nintendo, Playstation, youtube etc.
Don’t worry I’m not criticising you if that’s describing your family situation, we all fall into this one. However, what I am pointing to is that whilst the children are left to spend hours with the ‘modern babysitter’ our connection to our children diminishes and we become less tolerant of the normal level of noise children make.
Especially as a father I can say for sure, when you’re not used to hearing that level of noise all of the time, you tend to try and quieten the children down when they’re having fun. Often that means a scenario like, “hey shall we watch a movie, or let’s watch some cartoon, and woohoo the peace and quiet is back again. Phew… I thought I was going to have to get irritated again, after a long hard days’ work, I just want to relax and have a peaceful evening”.
Now that might not sound like it describes some people’s lives, you might even be that responsible parent that plans out the ENTIRE week, every day and every evening. The kids love the activities you plan, except for when you lose it because they won’t follow the plan, or they just don’t want to constantly be doing the things you’ve set for them. Some times they just want to stay home, no clubs, no going out and just playing in the house with their toys or reading their books.
Either way, however your family life plays out, the chances are you’re always worried about the future of your children. So do your best to earn the kind of money to pay for the things you need, give them the experiences, holidays, toys, shopping etc.
We all try our best as parents, but sometimes that’s just not good enough for us and then we punish ourselves for the little wobblies we have, those parent tantrums. After having an emotional earthquake in the house, we go through this punishing regret and try to make it up to the children by giving them whatever they want.
How can Parents stop themselves from ruining their children’s lives?
Don’t worry I’m sure you’re actually doing your best. We all try to do our best and the truth is that you will do your best to give you child the best. That’s what all loving parents do. But if you want your child to be ok when they grow up by setting a good foundation then I think the following 7 Tips will really help you to do that insha’Allah.
1) Stop worrying about the future
You have no idea about the future, only Allah knows that golden peace of info. Right now in your life the future doesn’t exist and worrying about something doesn’t exist doesn’t make sense right? Of course not 😊
2) Have a plan.
Set some goals for what you would like to see in the child’s tool box. What skills do they need and how will it help them. I suggest that you include knowing Allah and Knowing who they really are.
3) Don’t become the Enforcer or the Fun Police.
That will happen if you can’t have fun with your children. It’s much easier to have fun with babies and toddlers but as the children grow up don’t assume what’s fun to you is fun for them. Let the child lead the way in the activities you spend your one to one time on.
4) One to One time
Oh, this is a really important one. One to one time is where the child really builds their connection with you. If you don’t spend any one to one time with each child then I suggest you get started. Connection is key to your relationship, to understanding them, having their trust and letting them know that you love them.
5) You are alive and present Now
Future is non-existent and past is history. So, you have now so enjoy doing things with your children now while you have this moment. When this moment is gone, it will become history and it will either be a memory you cherish or another one of those regrets that punish you.
6) Don’t lose your Rag
That means don’t get angry AAAAAALLLLLL the time. Frustration and anger are the fruits of those worries you have. Here’s a trick that might help you to not lose your temper with the children all of the time.
I want you to imagine that Anger is Vomit.
Every time you lose your temper with them, you’re not telling them how foolish they’ve been, or how it’s unacceptable to behave like that, or you expected better from them, or you’re disgusted with that kind of behaviour, or even you just very upset with what they’ve done.
No none of the above.
What you’re doing is Vomiting all over them and the house. You’re making a right mess and the only one who’ll be left to clear it up is you.
Your children won’t think about what they’ve done wrong, they’ll be too busy feeling your projectile vomit all over them. Standing in shock as if your entire breakfast, dinner and lunch is all over them like a buffet creamy soup all in one.
If you’re a cool cat and that never happens to you, I’m guessing you’re not a parent yet.
Anyway next time you feel like vomiting your thoughts all over those chidren, Stop and don’t think because that will make it worse.
7) Help Yourself First
That’s right, if you can get yourself in order and be happy with who you are then you will be ok. That is a fact but it relies on your understanding your own mind, how life really works and being present in your life. This all comes under the banner of علم النفس Ilmu Nafs. This is life mastery based on the Divine principles set out in the Quran and Sunnah.
Look if you can get your own peace of mind, confidence and purpose driven life in order, then you will find that all the aspects of your life fall into place. The only true 100% guarantee I can give you about getting that right is always going to be from Divine sources of the Quran and Sunnah.
You might be saying to yourself well I’ve studies Arabic, Quran and self development and I’m still struggling. I’d say there is still something missing then because Allah revealed the verse:
الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي
‘This day I have completed for you your Din (religion, way of life)
And I have completed my favours (blessings) upon you’
Surat Al-Maaida, v.3
So if this is the case that Allah has given us everything we need, then it’s there somewhere. You just haven’t discovered it yet.
So that’s great news alhamdulilah because that means that there’s something for you to learn still.
IF YOU DO THIS YOUR CHILD WILL BE OK INSHA’ALLAH
I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that all we’ve spoken in the 7 Tips is YOU and your parenting skills and what you can do or not do. It’s not about the Children.
This is why…
Your have 100% control over yourself and what you do to lead, influence and affect the lives of your children. You can teach them, you can tell them stories, you can have fun with them and help them to navigate this life.
So you have influence over them now, but you can’t control the future.
The problem is that we predict the future and scare the daylights out of ourselves with our predictions of how life will be. Then from that place of fear we try to make decisions to help our children.
What you cannot do is live their life for them and control how they think, feel and behave. As the children get older, we all realise the loss of power and control over them. Truth is there is only One who is in absolute control and that is The Merciful and Compassionate Allah.
And guess what He swt has given us the power of choice and the freedom to use it. The children will begin to exercise their power of choice as soon as they realise they have it.
The biggest leverage point you have over your children to help them with the Tools they need dfor their future is how you behave, and how you control what you have control over and that is yourself.
That being said if you can connect to the children, a beautiful, loving and supporting connection, you will find that your influence over them is lovingly accepted.
If you can’t and you always try to use power and control, you will find that your influence will diminish over time. It’s your choice, albeit it might be difficult considering how you have been parenting up until now.
I pray that Allah showers you with his mercy and gives you the tools for your tool box, because that is what will make us all great human beings, great Muslims, and great Parents insha’Allah.
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