How do we raise our children in a country like the UK?
First: The type of education we pursue
We aim for an education that is true to our religion, authentic culture, and our values that encourage filial piety and upholds familial relations and kinship ties. An education that adheres to the value of marriage and rejects extramarital relationships and the like.
Second: Points in mind
We have a duty towards our children, but its success relies on Allah first and foremost. Our educational methods are not certain to strike a chord with our children, and Allah’s will may have it that we face difficulties with one of them. The important thing is to do well by them by doing what is required in terms of raising and caring for them.
Parenting is not limited to providing the necessities of a decent life such as food and clothing, or luxuries like games and so on. Rather, it is spending time with them, looking after them, conversing with them, and adjusting their behavior in an elevated manner.
Children receive full legal awareness of their rights. Therefore, using violence against them may lead to the loss of their trust. Never mind that is originally a non-pedagogical method and should be avoided.
Parenting begins before birth with selecting a good husband/wife based on their abilities to provide sound upbringing, care and guidance.
We seek to help children find their way by showing them the starting point. The rest is up to them. it is not required that we plan their future on their behalf. In fact, doing so is unacceptable.
The concept of isolating children from Western society to ensure their good upbringing is impractical. Instead, we must teach them to be aware to integrate in parallel with preserving their identity. The main goal is to prevent complete assimilation that may end up in abandoning their identity.
Third: Important elements to keep in mind:
1- A harmonious family
Parents must attempt to uphold a tightknit family in which they do not quarrel or abuse each other in front of the children. And in which there is at least some level of love and a healthy relationship.
2- Role models
The parents, or the caretakers, must set an example for their children. That is achieved just by upholding good values and kindness towards others. Accordingly, they will wish to be like them and love to follow in their footsteps.
3- Preserving the language
The issue of wanting to preserve the Arabic language as a mother tongue is not a luxury or extremism. It is an inherent duty to preserve identity and a favor the parents can do to their children.
Kids may not understand this favor’s great impact and benefit until they are much older. They will then find out it is a great advantage for them in the labor market. Many of our youth have lost career development opportunities due to their incapability in using their mother tongue fluently. Not to mention that it helps them in understanding the Holy Quran and learning about their religion and culture.
4- A good environment
Parent, no matter how strenuous their efforts may be, cannot properly raise a son/daughter without the conducive environment. That is why we must make an effort to search for good companions for our children. As well as strengthening their communication with a group of good and moral companions. This can be done hosting them at home, and cooperating with other Arabs in the UK in this, especially with the institutions that carry out educational activities for children, such as the Palestinian Forum in the UK and other such bodies.
5- Personal identity
Take care to remind your child of their origin and identity, without halting their integration into society. Aim for them to master both their mother tongue and the language of their country of residence. (https://www.happinessispets.com/valium/) But make sure they remember that they have their own distinguished religious and social values, and that they must preserve them.
6- Religious values
Religion is considered the most fortress that enhances the positive values of its bearer, and therefore adherence to the values of religion in moderation protects the child from exaggeration or deviation and maintains the building of a balanced personality for him, and this is a detail that we can address in future articles, God willing.
7- Full schedules
If you do not occupy yourself with what is right, it will preoccupy you with what is wrong. This is the case of a mature adult human being, so what about a child whose personality is yet to be developed?
Here, parents and educators need to fill the child’s time in moderation with a number of meaningful activities and events.
8- Mini society
It is necessary that any Arab family living in the UK or any other Western country to surround themselves with several other Arab families. Thus creating a relationship closer to an extended family, where friends become like uncles in Arab countries. Of course, this pertains to families living away from their actual extended family.
This can be done through organizing monthly meetings and joint events, such as family trips and fun activities. This will become the backdrop in which children will grow, and their second refuge for care and love after their family.
9- Sports and scouting
Sports and scouting activities are among the best educational spaces in which children can spend their spare time, especially in early adolescence. There they can release their energy and effort by means of exercising, games and sports competitions.
10- Individual differences
We should pay attention to the individual differences between our children. Not all of them are going to enjoy football or group activities. Some of them will like computers or reading, and in them may lie a scientist or inventor in the works.
Parents must stay away from overdoing it with these tendencies, but to try to provide an environment conducive to the development of these skills. Along with observing in an unobtrusive manner.
11- Exploring the halal
In our Islamic upbringing, we learned that seeking the halal ways of life and avoiding the haram are two things that bring blessings in the home. It increases the family welfare and creates a protective barrier surrounding them. Even if someone deviate from it at certain points, they soon return to it after a while.
Finally, I recall the words of Jean-Jacques Rousseau: “I wrote six theories in raising children, and once I had my own, I could not apply any of them!”
Here we understand that children are a gift from God. They may be righteous or be afflicted with some educational problems, but this never justifies negligence in their right or not making the effort to raise them properly.
In practice, I have seen during my decade-long experience – particularly in the UK but in Europe in general – a good number of families who raised successful and even distinguished models of sons and daughters, who are of good character and have also achieved a level success in their lives.
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