Religious as well as scientific
Principles for Raising Teenagers
The problem of raising teenagers is one of the most important problems that concern the Religious as well as the specialists in this field. Sons usually stay under the control of their parents till a certain age. After that age, sons leave the control of their parents, whether by marriage, migration or study. Later, some parents regret it.
So it’s very important for Muslims’ parents:
1. To give this subject plenty of time and attention.
2. To Know that a righteous son would be like a (Sadaqah Jariyah = an everlasting charity), which would benefit them after death!
3. To Use properly their control over their sons during this specific period of time.
Every human being has two structures:
· A bodily structure, and
· A psychological structure.
Just as there is a moving body, there is a growing sprit.
So 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 certain factors that influence the growing teenager and his behavior:
· Internal factors: like,
– Hereditary characteristics
– Mental structure.
It is well known that these factors vary from one member of a family to another. This doesn’t mean that these factors enforce and determine Human behaviors. It does not imply fatalism in determining human behavior.
· Environmental factors: like,
– Parents’ behavior.
– Corrupt relatives’ behavior.
– Scholastic environment,
– Different media that have often become devilish tools to corrupt our sons.
In many cases we notice that internal factors for sons are healthy and perfect. So, what are the factors that would produce different defects in the sons’ behavior? The most important factors that would produce these defects in the personality of sons are the behavior of the parents within the family; like,
· Disputes and conflicts,
· Disobeying religious rules,
· Neglecting their sons,
· Being preoccupied with their own affairs.
In this case, parents are the ones to be held responsible in the Hereafter.
All of us know that parents are the ones who outline their sons’ behavior. But some parents, as we can see, do not know some important facts about their sons, like:
· Who their sons’ friends are,
· What orientations and inclinations their sons have.
What is the significance of such information?
Dear brothers & sisters in Islam, we have often seen parents giving all their efforts, psychological and intellectual, to raise their son on good manners till the age of eighteen. But 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, dear brothers & sisters in Islam, it is necessary to start strict and full monitoring over the sons, as long as this can keep them from evils. And this is only achieved by watching:
· Whom they accompany?
· Where they go?
· What they do?
As we can see the school nowadays form a large part of the youths’ life.
Nowadays, dear brothers & sisters, schools form a large part of the youths’ life. So the scholastic environment represents one of the most important environmental influences on the behavior of our teenagers.
But as we notice, for certain reasons, like; financial reasons, local nearness or the like, some parents do not pay attention to what school they would choose for their kids; schools may be either corrupt ones or not; schools known to have improper breeding environments for kids or not, and so on.
In reality, financial spending in this matter is an assured investment, and it’s much more beneficial than spending money on life’s luxuries.
One practical recommendation in this matter is constructive dialogue.
1. Youth nowadays have:
· Wide knowledge
· Good analytical abilities in:
– Culture, and,
– So forth.
2. Our social sphere is full of:
· Imported thoughts,
· Cultural corruptions,
· Mercurial concepts that can be missed.
3. Our youth live in a kind of intellectual confusion, output of this intellectual freedom.
In such a case, it is (and it is only) our duty to help our youth primarily by:
· Open minded discussion,
· No clashing,
· No cursing with corruption,
· No cursing with unbelief.
Imam Ali (raa) 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,
· To avoid the roughness that is widespread in our 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,
· To 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,
· Try to encourage him,
· Praise him,
· 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.
All of us know that Moses and Haroon (S) were ordered by Almighty God to speak with soft words to the Pharaoh. So, we should certainly speak to our sons with soft words! why?
· They are our subjects,
· They are our satisfaction,
· They are our (Sadaqah Jariyah) everlasting charity.
Isn’t that fulfilling what the Almighty called for in His saying: (Call unto the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way), and (There is no compulsion in religion). So let us ask Almighty God for help, and pray to him saying (Our Lord! give us joy and comfort of our spouses and our offspring), so that Rasul Allah (saas) can be proud of such offspring in front of other nations in the Hereafter.