Source : OnIslam.net
By Maria Zain
So you’ve tried positive affirmations. The tantrums are still flaring. You’ve tried counting; your kid is banging his head on the wall. You’ve tried relaxation and deep breathing; there is still a lot of resentment.
You’ve tried talking about it and expressing your kids’ feelings; they’re expressing theirs too: they don’t like what you’re doing or saying. You’ve moved on to punishment. Harsh tones, time outs, firm voices with no compromise.
Nope, your child is still hitting others, holding her breath, kicking the fridge. He’s not doing his homework or she’s still sulking in her room. He doesn’t want to talk. She doesn’t want to know.
Nothing in the entire library of parenting books is working. And the technique of [insert useless parenting tip] propagated by founders of this website [enter random parenting website here] is just what it is: a useless parenting tip.
Parenting can be stressful. Ask any hands-on mother and she will confess having had a few evenings crying over what went wrong, how she could have handled the situation better; how she could have handled the children better; and how the situation could have been avoided all together.
And no matter how she tries, no matter how innate her instincts are, things are just not working out.
Why Is This Not Working Out?
Like you said, you’ve tried every trick in the book, but things aren’t just working out.
First thing is not to panic.
Sometimes, as mothers, we have to think creatively outside the parenting box with a due amount of honesty.
Think About Your Relationship with Allah
Sometimes we get too caught up with our relationships with our children that we forget to think about how life would be without them. It’s easy to get lost in the parenting realm and forgetting that there are other important things in the world, besides our children.
Sometimes, it’s not so much a problem that is surfacing in the relationship between you and your child. Maybe there are other considerations too. Your relationship with others is sometimes a mirror to the relationship you have with Allah.
Since everything that is good comes from Allah, cultivating a strong relationship will bring you closer to a peaceful inner self; one that is confident and trusting; one that is filled with mercy and at the same time, humility.
Firstly, by building a strong bond with our Creator, you will realize how simple life can actually be if we live with patience and a sense of servitude. Accepting that difficulties, (in parenting as well), come with fruitful lessons and blessings is one sure-fire way to remain calm during moments of tension, even with your two year old.
To those who are close to Allah, either by constantly engaging in charitable deeds or by making du’a on a regular basis, Allah removes plenty of hardships from his or her way. Think about it, could the tantrums that your child is constantly throwing mean that there is a gap between you and Allah and this dehiscence is being imparted upon your child?
Our purpose of living this temporary life in this temporary abode called the dunya is to worship Allah, our Creator. To put Him first and foremost, to follow His Commandments, no matter how adverse the situation that surrounds us becomes.
We live and breathe, as humble slaves to please Allah alone, enjoining in what is good and shunning everything that is evil.
Do we do that enough? Take out the equation of being a mother first and foremost, and be Allah’s humble slave. How are we in our prayers? Do we pray with steadfastness like tomorrow is our last day on Earth? How often do we read the Qur’an in awe and with great zeal? How focused are we in pleasing Allah first, before we decide to please anyone else first, including the children.
During the most turbulent moments of his life, as he was being bludgeoned half to death in Ta’if, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) dropped down in prayer, invoking Allah to not be displeased with him.
No matter how hard the going gets, being mindful of what Allah thinks of us first is more important than anything else, including handling the issues we have with our children.
By putting Allah’s directives first, insha Allah, other moments of tension become miniscule and are easily resolved.
Is Your Lifestyle Something Close to What is Documented in the Sunnah?
Besides your relationship with Allah, give the Sunnah a good, hard thought.
How familiar are you with the life of Prophet Muhammad? Do you eat like him? Do you leave the house like him? Would you greet a stranger with a smile; pass your loose change to charity; make an effort to hug an orphan?
The companions of the Prophet during his time, would rush to follow a Sunnah, would mull over it and would love it unconditionally because it is a Sunnah. Sometimes we get so caught up with our busy lives, that we leave acts of the Sunnah, just because we feel it’s a Sunnah, and that we are not obliged to follow suit.
But there are blessings in everything we do that is accordance to Prophet Muhammad’s actions, even as minute as enjoying dates, not wasting water and giving gifts to your closest neighbor. Besides elements of worship like prayer that need to be perfected, we can also start perfecting matters of the dunya, like indulging in sports of the Sunnah, finding entertainment that is in line with the Sunnah, and scheduling our days just like the Prophet would have done.
There are blessings in every act that we commit that is in line with the Sunnah as this will help realign our faith. And the closer we are to Islam, the closer we are to complete way of life, and all other peripheral matters will fall into place in the long run.
How Do You Resolve Your Own Problems?
Sometimes the problems in our personal relationships surface in different ways. And though we feel like we are zoning out of our problems and taking time down, we could be fuelling more bad habits that will only add to challenges in the future.
Instead of turning to Allah with our heartaches, are we are spending quiet moments in front of the television, just to get away from all the stress? Are we over-eating just to get out of frustration or boredom? Could we be hoarding during shopping sprees because we feel overwhelmed with our problems?
Instead of trying to solve issues by indulging in things that are not beneficial to us, it may be a good idea to find constructive way, to again improve your own personal outlook of life, in relation to what matters to Allah and how living closer to the Sunnah would affect you.
Allah guides those who make a conscious effort to get closer to him, not to those who stray further and further away.
Would it be better to watch an Islamic talk on Youtube, instead of the TV? Would it be better to exercise (to keep fit and de-stress) rather than to over-indulge in food? Wouldn’t it be better to give away so many things that we don’t need – (look out for orphanages!) – Rather than continue shopping? These are just few ideas and everyone is different, so it’s important to be brutally honest with your own personal life and your relationship with Allah and the Prophet’s Sunnah.
Every time the going gets tough, take time to realign your priority as a parent. And sometimes, with priorities, we need to take our children out of the equation and take a good hard look at our lives, as humble slaves in this temporary abode. What are we really doing for ourselves, as per Allah’s expectations?
Be Kind to Yourself
After all that, know that every parent goes through this. Every mother has her ups and downs.
The chances are you’re having quite a good time with your children, minus some hiccups. And yes, some hiccups last a little longer than the general whiff of air. Some issues with children go into long phases that seem never-ending. Though it is mostly true that things will pass, there are times where you just have to savor the moment by rewarding yourself with the things you have done right with your child.
The chances are, you’re probably a really good mother and that is why you’re sitting down in the evenings psycho-analyzing what went wrong. So while you do that, smile at your accomplishments no matter how small and make du’a to Allah for strength to continue the next day, by improving your relationship with Allah and in turn, tackling whatever issues is getting in the way of your relationship with your child.
Source : OnIslam.net