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Responsible Parenting | Lessons I learnt from my father

Parents play a vital role in fostering a positive family environment.
12:00 AM Jun 03, 2024 IST | Mutaharra A W Deva
responsible parenting   lessons i learnt from my father

Our children are an amanah from Allah (swt). The best gift we can give our children is a proper upbringing. All parents believe in certain values which they strive to imbue their children with. The common values can be respect, responsibility, integrity, love and more.


Today I remember the positive and powerful values my revered father Prof Waheed uz Zaman Deva inculcated in all of us. Although he is not with us physically but his influence and teachings have left an indelible mark on the people he came across, met and taught during his illustrious career spanning over 40 years, including his children. He used to say that children are God’s blessings.


Parents have the responsibility of being good role models which my father has shown amply. A child’s development is influenced by the environment in which he/she grow up. Good children are likely to be raised by good parents in a positive environment. Think about what would happen if parents frequently used harsh language, argued aloud in front of their kids, were rude, etc. What impact would growing up in such an environment have on a child? Growing up in an unfavorable environment could inadvertently lead them to normalize such behavior in their own lives. Parents play a vital role in fostering a positive family environment.


But as parents we can all agree that parenting can be confusing and daunting as babies do not come with an instruction manual. On top, each child is different making our job as parents even harder. Parenting really is the hardest job ever, if you want your children to grow as responsible citizens. We have to be extremely cautious of our role as parents so as to fulfill this immense responsibility..


A righteous child is a truly precious gift for parents. Hence, it is important to carefully select a righteous partner before entering into marriage, with the goal of raising a righteous child.


It is indeed a loss if parents are more preoccupied with their smart phones, constantly engaging with various social media applications, while neglecting to educate their children in matters of life. After all, it is in their children that they place their hopes and aspirations for the future, even after they are long gone.


Our children have the right of receiving equal treatment, as you have the right that they should honor you.


My father’s approach to parenting was based on love and guidance. Being a disciplinarian he applied positive discipline tools to nurture values in matters of faith, relationships, and everyday life in us. He empowered us to be responsible, capable and proactive individuals along with addressing sensitive issues constructively and resolve conflicts by focusing on solutions rather than problems.

He was facing a more daunting task of parenting all girl household which he did commendably. I wonder imagining his resilience and strength in dealing with all such social and religious issues.

He always used to talk to my mother in a gentle tone, practicing tolerance, and refrained from arguments in our presence and we were not allowed to talk loud to our mother. Their commitment and prayers have provided a nurturing environment that fostered positive speech and character development in all of us. Alhamdulillah.  As you know the prayer of parents is one of the best prayers for a person and is answered by Allah (swt).

Prophet Muhammad said: “Three prayers are definitely answered: the prayer of the oppressed, the prayer of the traveler, and the prayer of parents for their children.” (Narrated by Imam Ibn Majah)

My father showed affection and love towards us all and it has made us to understand that we are loved and respected. We were never made to feel that being girls, we were inferior or less capable and I have never heard him complaining about having only female children as most men in our society do by attaching stigma to this situation and saying “bei chus kouri moul”, which indirectly expresses that their situation is perilous and people should be lenient with them in everything. An absence of this kind of a sentiment in your childhood brings a huge impact in your later years and it instills life-long confidence in you.

A hug from your parent comforts you and shows a deeper commitment of the parent's care for you. So if a child comes running to you, you need to listen to him or her and cuddle your child in case, he or she feels sad and show mercy which is very important and incumbent on us.

It is also important to treat your children equally, although it is not uncommon to show preferential treatment to children. Beauty, intelligence, gender, and other factors could unknowingly make parents favour one child over the other. We must be extremely cautious as  how we treat our children ensuring all children are treated equal so they don’t live life feeling inadequate and under confident. Children have different strengths, and each child must be made to feel an equal and important part of the family unit.

Father is responsible for food, clothing, accommodation and all other needs of the family. To fulfill these needs, he must not discriminate among his children for any reason. Mother has an important role of child rearing because she spends most of her time with the children and thus also has the responsibility to educate and train them. Family is the first and foremost social and legal responsibility of a man. Children should be loved and parents must spend their time with them - playing, chatting and having fun.

Taking an active interest in your children’s lives is paramount to establish a connection with them. Being a parent, is not just about financially providing for children, rather parents should be there for them emotionally and spiritually as well

Bringing up children well and without any discrimination is the main obligation of parents. It further includes all those rights that are comprised of provision, protection and participation rights.

Early childhood experiences from birth to age 8 affect the development of the brain's architecture, which provides the foundation for all future learning, behavior and health. A strong foundation helps children develop the skills they need to become well-functioning adults.

A child’s early years can have lifelong physical, social, and emotional impacts. While positive experiences and environments can set up a young child on a stronger life-long path, traumatic experiences or environments during those formative years can have long-lasting, detrimental impact.

In particular, the time between birth and age 3 is a period of rapid brain development when billions of connections between individual neurons are established. Mechanisms and interventions to support that development must be available beginning at birth.

In today’s modern world, many of us are caught up in the fast-paced nature of things bustling with movement and life and change. Therefore, it is not so strange if we end up applying the same speed  in raising our children. As parents, other than ensuring that our children grow up healthily, we also need to ensure that we are raising our children to become productive human beings who will benefit the society that we live in.

In Kashmir, some unusual things are happening. First of all drugs have plagued the society very badly. Suicides are common. Every now and then people both young and old, boys and girls, men and women jump into the Jhelum to end their lives. The recent cases of killing of mothers by sons is really scary. We as a society have to think what is going wrong and parents have to take this responsibility for this immorality.

I feel the basic function of mother, as a pivot of a home, is to be looked into more discreetly because mothers have to take a lead in society. Fathers have to show respect to their spouses and not demean them in presence of their children. That may lead for a solid foundation. Until and unless a family unit is established on moral values, no big change is expected.