Parental Roles in Raising the Right Child

By Hanaan Qasim Hersi

Parents are aware of their children’s serious–risky–leading effects as they are always ready to raise their children properly. However, they may sometimes be lax and careless in taking thorough supervision of their children’s daily activities. They may fail to provide appropriate training and precautionary guidance within ordinary social skills. Instead, they may wait and see how their children develop their mind faculty without parental guidance, education, and any other forms of contributing elements to assist the children grow their mental capacities. Consequently, they may allow their children, preteens, teenagers, and youth to develop antisocial behaviors and get out of hand until they reach a stage where no one can control them.

Down tracking to the theme, both parents are responsible for producing a child who is well–nourished, healthy, educated, smart, bright, active, effective, creative, productive, God–believing, and obedient to their parents. Even though their responsibilities may vary from one another, according to the nature of their gender differences, both parents are collectively accountable for the fulfillment of brain–building tasks. This necessitates the father be bearing certain responsibilities while the mother bears the rest.

If either of the two parents, for certain circumstances, fails to take his or her responsibilities, the other must endeavor in overtaking his/her partner’s duties. In a form of a clear job description, Allah Has already demarcated between these two responsibilities when saying: “Mothers will breastfeed their offspring for two whole years,

for those who wish to complete the nursing ‘of their child’. The child’s father will provide reasonable maintenance and clothing for the mother ‘during that period’. No one will be charged with more than they can bear. No mother or father should be made to suffer for their child. The ‘father’s’ heirs are under the same obligation. But if both sides decide – after mutual consultation and consent – to wean a child, then there is no blame on them. If you decide to have your children nursed by a wet nurse, it is permissible as long as you pay fairly. Be mindful of Allah, and know that Allah is All–Seeing of what you do1”

As it is the first source of feeding and nurturing, breastfeeding is a primary example of all forms of raising a child from infancy to adolescence or adulthood (infancy, toddler, childhood, pre–teen, teenage, adolescence, and adulthood). In each of these stages, a human being needs specific ingredients of healthy foods to maintain mental and physical wellbeing. During the first one to two years, babies need only breast milk and that is exactly what Allah prescribes in the above–cited verse of the Qur’an. Then, from two to seven years old, they need varieties of foods that are slightly different from those of the adult. When the best foods are chosen for the children in these stages, their brains can function well compared to those who did not get the opportunity to choose the best and most healthy foods. Thus, the following healthy food guidelines must be followed step by step depending on which country or environment the child lives. For instance, when children are preteen in ages (9–12), they need to change their food–choices to make their digestion adoptive to the most nutritious foods for teenagers. They need to eat more vegetables and fruits, whole grain foods and protein foods. Canada’s Food Guide recommends the following ingredients for the teenagers:

ƒ Vegetables and fruit, including:

  1. Dark green vegetables such as kale and bok choy each day
  2. Orange vegetables such as carrots and sweet potato most days

ƒ Whole grain foods, such as:

  1. Oats
  2. Wild rice
  3. Whole wheat pasta

ƒ Protein foods such as:

  1. Eggs
  2. Nuts and seeds
  3. Fish and shellfish
  4. Beans, peas, and lentils
  5. Lean red meats, including wild game
  6. Lower fat dairy products such as milk and yogurt
  7. Fortified soy beverages, tofu, soybeans and other soy products[1].

Fulfilling the above–cited Allah’s ordainment, parents must maintain the wellness and fitness of their children both physically and mentally. Each of the two parents must strive to raise the kind of children who are healthy, well– trained, talented, attentive, and the best characteristics. Since a healthy intellect can only be found in a healthy body, parents must give attention to both physical and mental advancement concurrently. To succeed in that, parents must cooperate simultaneously in the nourishment of their child’s body and mind by providing each with its foodstuffs, which must be the supplements of only the good food for the body’s sustenance and the right education for the mind’s development. Both these necessities must be commenced when the infant is in the womb of the mother.

In terms of physical nourishment, children must be fed with permissible – halaal – food, which is clean, fresh, nutritious, well–balanced in ingredients, and organic if afforded. All the harmful food that may directly or indirectly leave a negative impact on the child’s physical health and mental growth must be shunned away from them.

Among the most notable harmful food may include sugary drinks such as cokes/ sprites and sugary smoothies, sugar cookies, candies, refined carbs, refined carbohydrates, highly processed foods – especially grains, white flour, foods high in trans–fats, and fish with high mercury2.

Sugary drinks damage the young person’s brain and mental capacity, while it leads them to consumption of alcohol drinks and street drugs. Similarly, foods including cakes, biscuits, fast foods, chips, burgers, pizzas, chocolate, sweets, processed meat, spicy red meat, syrupy snacks, and several other modern fast and junk foods are harmful to the brain of the young persons.

Contrary to the above–listed foods and drinks, the most suggested foods that play various significant roles in the brain’s development, growth, health sustainability, and functional advancement are those contain proteins, carbohydrates, long–chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, chlorines, irons, coppers, zincs, vitamins; A, B, C, D, and more others to be suggested by the nutrition specialists. Allah says: “O! Believers! Eat of the pure things wherewith We have provided you for sustenance and give thanks to Allah if it is Him that you serve. He Has made unlawful to you only carrion and blood and the flesh of swine (pork) and that over which there has been pronounced the name of anyone other than Allah’s. But he who is constrained (to eat of them) – and he neither covets them nor exceeds the indispensable limit incurs no sin: Allah is All–Forgiving, All–Compassionate”3.

Eating only the foods that are pure and healthful means it is not permissible for you to eat the unclean and unhealthful foods lest they damage your physical and/or mental health, capacity, shape, and structure. Allah does not only recommend us to eat healthful foods but, in the same sentence, Has forbidden us from eating impermissible, harmful, dirty, and poisonous foods.

Deliberately investigating for most part of the juveniles who commit minor acts of delinquency, which often start from the early childhood stage, we can discover that they are not particularly distinctive in their personal characteristics or family background. Notwithstanding, broken homes frequently establish the kind of delinquency that the youth brought up from their homes of derivation[1].

Domestic conflicts and recurrent quarreling cultures are more significantly related to parents’ early practices of delinquencies or grandparents’ upbringing. Parents who frequently quarrel are often temperamentally unsuitable to take care of children. The reason is that their psychological tensions and emotional disturbances can influence the child adversely. Therefore, the home where we expected to be a place of protection and care becomes a place of breakdown and burden.

The child, deprived of care, may develop an inadequate personality and maybe seeking unhealthy contacts in their search for emotional outlets outside the home. If parents are constantly quarreling, their children do not only suffer from depression but also lack effectiveness supervision provided to them. Moreover, they miss the parent–child relationship, necessary feeding, clothing, joy, and any form of socialization4. Consequently, the child may have no choice but to endeavor to seek any means possible to cover their basic needs of seeking foundations of protection and happiness regardless of their negative impacts.

Furthermore, parents maybe very busy with their own problems and business other than care – giving for their children.

Then, they may inadvertently neglect the children even though they are aware of the consequences but without realizing that the time is flying. An example of this is when both parents are working either outdoors or indoors. Ordinarily, this causes poor parent–child relationships. It leads to the estrangement of parents from their children. As a result, the children would ignore the value of their parents by relying merely on self–desires.

It is the family duty parents to disapprove and shun small irregular or antisocial acts that may create and trigger delinquent behavior in the future. As a pre–requisite, parents should feel the duty of avoiding disapproved behavior before it occurs. When shunning away all the possible sources of antisocial behavior, parents should not be pessimistic

up to the level where they may show the child or youth signs of irresponsibility. This effort automatically demonstrates that parents underestimate their children’s positive qualities while overreacting less harmful incidents. This policy of minimal intervention can be applied from different stages in different levels of demonstrations according to the youngster’s actions. It would be appropriate to tackle antisocial behavior before its appearance by preventing the occurrence of the first time minor offenses. If the parent fails to fulfill this duty, they are undoubtedly responsible for any delinquent act committed by their child. The reason is that such delinquency occurred due to their negligence and the results of their weak commitments.

Hanaan Q. Hersi
Intermediate School Student

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