by Aisha Al Hajjar
CHILDREN often dream about what they want to be when they grow up. These dreams can fluctuate widely from moment to moment. I can remember at the age of nine vacillating between veterinarian-for my childhood love of animals, attorney-who knows why, and doctor that delivers babies.
I vividly recall my mother dispelling the idea of me being an obstetrician. She even went so far as to discourage me by informing me that I’d have to work 24/7 and be on call even during the holidays. Her lack of enthusiasm and support officially squelched my desire for many years, or did it? Here I am now, in my middle age years, studying midwifery with the prayer to open a natural birthing center for my sisters in Islam.
Maybe if I had been encouraged in my desires early on, I would have accomplished my dreams and pursued medical school straight away. But such is the qadr (destiny) of Allah and HE is the best of planners, for I truly believe that I will be a much better midwife after my own life experiences than I would have been an obstetrician straight out of med school, subhan’Allah.
Harness Their Interests
But what is the lesson in this for my own children, or yours? How do you react when they share their dreams or have a spark of interest in something? I believe it not only prudent, but also important that we harness their energy and support their exploration of the possibilities right away. In fact, as a homeschooling mother, I feel that this is one of the most important parts of my role in educating my children. When we see, sense, or hear our children’s interests we should follow that path until exhaustion. Encourage your child to research the possibilities, the requirements, and the lessons that complement their dreams.
In reality, there are a rare few that actually end up following the career path of their childhood fantasies. However, those that do may be the most satisfied and content in their work. At the very least, the children who are supported in their dreams are much more likely to enjoy their lessons and be well adjusted and self confident in the decisions they make for themselves, insha’Allah.
This is also a good time for lessons about setting goals and thinking about the future. Always remember that great achievements begin with a focus on where you want to go and then making a plan of smaller steps to get there. We are never too young, nor too old, to evaluate our dreams, strengths, and weakness and start making a move towards success, insha’Allah. Moreover, I truly believe that if we can dream it, we can pray for it, and nothing is impossible with Allah.
Always remember for yourself and your children that “Indeed Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change the condition of themselves.” [Qur’an 8:25]
What better time for reflection, encouragement, and goal setting!
©2012 firstname.lastname@example.org, All Rights Reserved (All writings are the original work of Aisha Al Hajjar and are based on her personal research, experiences, and opinions; they do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or this publication.)