Islamic Laws

The Best Way of Raising Teenagers

The problem of raising teenagers is one of the problems that concern the specialists in this field. Sons usually stay under their parents control until a certain age, but the parents often misuse this control. The parents later regret it after their sons leave their control whether by marriage, migration or study. Therefore, it is very important for these parents to give this subject plenty of time and attention, knowing that a righteous son would be like an everlasting charity, which would benefit them after death!
Man has a bodily structure and a psychological structure. Just as there is a moving body, there is a growing sprit. Therefore, when we pay attention to the bodily growth of our sons, we have to pay attention to their spirits and their growth. This growth reaches its peak, integration, or low point in the age of adolescence.
There are factors that influence the growing teenager and his behavior. Some of them are internal factors like hereditary characteristics and mental structure. Obviously while these factors vary from one member of a family to another, that does not imply fatalism in determining human behavior. Other factors are environmental factors like parents’ or corrupt relatives’ behavior, friends, scholastic environment, and finally different media that have often become devilish tools to corrupt our sons.
We notice in many cases that internal factors for sons are healthy and perfect, but unfortunately parents’ behavior within the family; disputes and conflicts, disobeying religious rules, or neglecting their sons and being preoccupied with their own affairs, all of that would produce different defects in the sons’ behavior. In this case, parents are the ones to be held responsible in the Hereafter.
Some parents, as we can see, do not know who their sons’ friends are, and what orientations and inclinations they have when in fact they are the ones who outline their sons’ behavior. We have often seen parents giving all their efforts, psychological and intellectual, to raise their son on good manners till the age of eighteen. However, one red night, one trip to suspicious places, or one corrupt company turns this son upside down, and what a great loss! For this reason, it is necessary to start strict and full monitoring over the sons, as long as this can keep them from evils, by watching whom they accompany, where they go and what they do.
One of the environmental influences on the teenager behavior is the scholastic environment. As we can see the school nowadays form a large part of the youths’ life. Yet it is regrettable to see some parents, for financial reasons, local nearness or the like, choosing corrupt schools, or schools known to have improper breeding environments for their sons. In reality, financial spending in this matter is an assured investment, and it is much more beneficial than spending money on life’s luxuries.
One practical recommendation in this matter is constructive dialogue. Youth nowadays have wide knowledge and awareness, and good analytical abilities in politics, economy, culture, and so forth. When the social sphere is full of imported thoughts, cultural corruptions and mercurial concepts that can be missed, it is our duty to help the youth who live in a kind of intellectual confusion, output of this intellectual freedom, primarily by open-minded discussion, instead of clashing or cursing with corruption and unbelief. This latter method would lead them to stubbornness and insisting on their attitudes, even just as a challenge. The holy hadeeth had stated something close to this: “Never raise your sons the way you were raised, because they were created for a different time than yours”.
Another practical recommendation for the parents is to establish a friendship with their sons and avoid the roughness that is widespread in eastern societies. This friendship would encourage the son to discuss his problems and concern with his parents, the ones who know what is good for him, instead of strangers. The father should himself select the most suitable group of friends for his son like those who come frequently to the mosque, before the son would choose bad ones.
Another important recommendation for the parents is to show their love, affection and satisfaction with their sons, and keep away from accusation and mistrust which will make them lose their self-confidence. The father who notices any good sign of this son should take advantage of this chance and try to encourage him, praise him and reward him. It is well known that reward is a motivator even for adults, a fact that is considered also in urging recommendable actions by the Divine Law.
If Moses and Haroon (S) were ordered by Almighty God to speak with soft words to the Pharaoh, we should certainly speak to our sons, while they are our subjects, our satisfaction and our everlasting charity, with soft words! Isn’t that fulfilling what the Almighty called for in His saying: {Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way} and {There is no compulsion in religion}. Therefore, let us ask Almighty God for help, and pray to him saying {Our Lord! Vouchsafe us comfort of our wives and of our offspring}, so that the Prophet (S) can be proud of such offspring in front of other nations in the Hereafter

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