bismillah arRahmaan arRaheem
"I'm a Parent and I'm the first and most important CELEBRITY in my child's life"
I know, I know, some people have let us know that just saying the above statement makes them feel uncomfortable. It's okay, let me explain why I say that you are a celebrity and the most important one in your child's life.
First, we must understand that our children are simply a trust from Allah and they are under our care for a short time. We don't own them and we can't control them, not even before they are born. After the Angel blows their soul into their developing body and they begin to kick and move around inside the womb, Allah shows us how much we lack control. There is nothing a mother can do to not feel the pain of that baby moving and growing inside of her and Allah blesses her immensely.
However after this baby is born, it is Allah that has conditioned that baby to be attached to Mom and instinctively be able to eat. Think of how comfortable we are when our stomachs are full and we feel refreshed from a good meal. Now imagine because we likely don't remember this, but imagine what a baby feels like after eating from their mother. The warmth, the closeness, the security provided to the baby by Allah and instant love between the two.
As this baby grows older to being a toddler and then even older and progresses through the following pre-school, school age, pre-teen, and teenage years our status as Celebrity takes different forms and requires different and very distinct actions.
When we hold that little baby that has no teeth and is so soft, we are the only thing that baby wants, we are the ultimate Celebrity, the superstar. We are the only friend that baby knows or cares to know and they expand their friendship zone to siblings and others as they grow, but NO ONE takes the place of Mom or Dad. They are unique and there is only one of each, alHamdulillah.
As they grow and gain understanding, usually between 2 to 4 years old, they listen to everything we say and believe what we tell them as the truth because we have protected them, fed them, nursed them while they were sick, and catered to their many needs. So they trust us like no one else on the planet and they put all of their faith in us as parents. This is very important to understand because during the years when our children learn to talk and comprehend, we must make it a point to talk about Allah and begin to plant good seed inside them. This is also the age where Non-Muslims lead their children off of their fitrah onto something other than Islam.
As they get a little older, normally 7 to 10 years old, they have already been exposed to other friends and likely learned other things that happen in other homes. They usually have entered the school system and have come into contact with other students and probably have come across opposing or different views. Many times children a this stage begin to feel pressure to question what they have been taught and want to be accepted by their new friends. Sometimes this can diminish your Celebrity status as the child still is moving toward their independence and their curiosity and desire to explore may clash with the automatic acceptance of what we teach as parents.
Peer pressure gets stronger during the pre-teen years, the ages of 10 to 12 seems to be most common. Our children are growing and their bodies change and they are expanding their knowledge of the world around them and have other perspectives usually by friends or other relatives. The Celebrity status may diminish if we aren't using our clout in the right manner and adjusting to their physical and emotional changes simultaneously.
Once they are teenagers, Allah usually has opened their understanding up more and they are able to communicate on a more sophisticated level and understand concepts that younger children still have trouble comprehending. This is the stage that we are able to usually see our effectiveness or lack thereof and this is the time that parents must be most vigilant and using all 3 roles intelligently. There are only a few years left before our children will be seeking physical independence likely through going away to school or moving out of our homes. Yes, this is a challenging time and brings a tear to our eyes, but we want to be OUTSTANDING and make sure those tears are tears of joy instead of tears of pain because our children have chosen a path other than siratul mustaqeem.
You are a Celebrity because you shape your child's vision when that child didn't want anyone else but you! You are a Celebrity because as that child grew you planted good seed and that child believed you based on your past love for them. You are a Celebrity because you model the proper Islamic example and character so that your child can follow it and be grateful. These are some traits that we put forth as Celebrities because surely Allah only made one of us, one Mom and one Dad. So by mere scarcity we are irreplaceable and celebrities, so just make sure we are implementing the strategies that Outstanding Muslim Parent Celebrities do!
Remember a Wish changes Nothing, but a Decision changes Everything!
Nazir binNaseeb Al-Mujaahid
Author of Muslims Parenting on Purpose Vol. 1
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