Connect with us

#Life

Parenting Can’t be Outsourced

Published

Cultural Influence

As I mentioned, the influence of other cultures is so invasive and powerful that merely trying to guard against it by prohibiting TV is futile. Children are exposed to other cultures all through their day. What needs to be done is to demonstrate to them the value of our culture in such a way as to enable them to take pride in it, while still respecting other cultures. This is essential because the usual approach of running down everything else creates walls and doesn’t promote cross cultural understanding. How to learn without becoming judgmental while retaining our own sense of right and wrong? This is a complex issue and something that needs to be learnt before one can teach it. The most critical part of this is to retain an open mind while being clear about the boundaries of Islam. One must be confident without becoming bigoted. This is critical to presenting Islam also because you can’t present an alternate perspective without understanding and respecting the perspective of your partner. We live in the most God-conscious country in the world. The majority of people in this country are pious and seek the pleasure of the Almighty. The difference of opinion we have with them is about the identity of the Almighty. But we must appreciate their desire to seek Him and His pleasure.

The modern world has also created a myriad of new career options which bring with them new dilemmas and questions. In short your life history doesn’t work anymore. Our challenge is to prepare them for a world that we know nothing about. But you signed up for that job when you had a child.

shutterstock_190791650

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Just to give you a small peek into what I mean please consider the following:

The top 10 “in demand” jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004. In the year 2000, Google (founded 1998 but public in 2004), Facebook (2004), Twitter (2006), YouTube (2005) and Whatsapp (2009) didn’t exist. We all lived in a world without the things we consider critical to survival today. And for the most part we lived happily. These things apart from their nuisance value do have some positive uses, create jobs and hugely influence our perception the world, our social behavior, our buying preferences, who we look up to and who we look down on. Today it is thanks only to Facebook and YouTube that a lot of modern scholars have more popularity than Imam Ahmed and Imam Abu Hanifa had in their days. It is not the depth of their knowledge but our slavery to these technologies that has colored our perception such that the first thing people ask is, “How many videos does he have on YouTube?” As if that is one of the questions of the Day of Judgment.

These technologies and the gadgets they come in, take up huge amounts of our time and create anxiety, stress and anguish over pointless things. They rule our hearts and minds if we allow them to. And they make some very smart people insane amounts of money at our expense. How are we going to explain the dangers of all this to our children when we are ourselves the victims of these technologies? The solution is not discarding them. That would be like pretending it was not raining when it was. You would only get wet. Also as I mentioned there are positive aspects to them which we can and must use. The key is to be able to differentiate and use, not become the used and manipulated. Our challenge is to prepare children for challenges that don’t exist yet, using technologies that haven’t been invented. The reality is that today’s solution is often tomorrow’s problem. If you need a reminder, think of plastics. There are many here who remember a plastic free world and the delight with which we welcomed plastics when they came into our lives. As they say, the rest is history.

The total amount of technical information is doubling every two years. This means that for a student in a 4 year course, what he learnt in Year 1 is already outdated in Year 3. So what is the use of our traditional teaching – both what we teach and how we do it needs to change. Frankly it doesn’t need to change; it needs a decent burial and a new system needs to be born. Finland, which is famous for its educational system has decided to stop teaching subjects completely and teach application instead. I had proposed that in 2002 in my vision statement for the SBA. Without understanding application we have the pathetic situation of our children going to school for 15 years and coming out completely innocent of anything remotely useful. Their minds are filled with disconnected pieces of information that are, perhaps, individually useful but because they never learnt the relationships or how to use that information in real life, they lose all interest in the subject itself. In the real world they are completely incapable of survival, let alone being able to influence, guide, command or even earn a decent living. Fifteen years of schooling only puts them on the threshold of another decade of studying to qualify to stand in the line for a job.

What never ceases to amaze me is how the insanity of it doesn’t strike anyone and we still continue to donate serious amounts of money to the system that does nothing for us. Those who send their children to big name schools with high fees, ask your child what he or she learned that can help them to survive one week on their own and you will know what your money bought for you. Ask if your money bought you good manners, compassion, the ability to have an intelligent conversation, write a decent letter or cook a decent meal; let alone Taqwa, Ta’alluq Ma’Allah, respect for the Sunnah, confidence in Islam or in their own culture. What it probably did buy you is recalcitrant attitudes, arrogance, embracing the worst values of the West instead of the best, enslavement to gadgets and brands and a burning desire to go to Europe or America to study immediately after graduating from school, but at your expense and not on their own merit. An entitlement mentality that is the cancer at the root of all degeneration and family disputes, especially in business families. Most sadly it probably also bought an attitude of looking down on others including, in many cases, their own parents who pay their bills. And to think of it, none of this was promised in the prospectus when you put your child in the school, was it? Talk about the “Aha!” experience and getting value for your money!

So what to do? Solution: Win the RACE. What race? RACE is my acronym for what you need to do to deal with the challenge of raising children you can be proud of. RACE stands for Read, Anticipate, Create and Execute.

2 of 3

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Mirza Yawar Baig is the Founder & President of Yawar Baig & Associates. He is an international speaker, coach, trainer and facilitator, specializing in leadership in family businesses.

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Reema

    April 27, 2015 at 5:10 PM

    What an insightful post. It has me thinking of how I need to raise my children in a society centered around and dominated by technological advances. While I don’t want to constantly police their activities (I believe this is counterproductive), I want to ensure that they use social media and technology responsibly. As you say, today’s parent must be particularly well-versed in the language of technology in order to educate and protect their children. This is a challenge we must all face head-on. Thank you for your post.

  2. Umm A

    April 28, 2015 at 9:35 PM

    Assalamualaikum, and SubhaanAllah Shaikh!

    Very well said. I have thought similar thoughts in a disorganized fashion quite a bit. It’s a constant struggle for me to avoid the compulsion of repeatedly checking my phone or email which ends up compromising my productivity, and yet am so grateful that Allah Ta’Ala has made it so easy to acquire knowledge.

    I was slightly taken aback when I read this statement though – like the nurse in the operating theatre or the butcher in the abattoir, the sight of another’s suffering leaves us untouched. I work/train in the field of critical care medicine, and yes, the visceral reaction to blood or obvious pain blunts to a degree, but without that kind of acclimatization, no one would last in the field. It also does not translate into a lack of compassion. And I also assume that a butcher is not heartless, and neither are all the many meat-loving Muslims :) I am sure the intentions were ‘nek’.

    • Susan Harr

      May 12, 2015 at 4:16 PM

      Well said. A nurse or a surgeon has to steel her/himself against feeling queasy at the sight of blood, incisions and so on, but this does not entail or imply a lack of care and compassion for the patient in his/her hands; rather, it means to rise above the self-engrossed squeamishness of the medically untrained so as to be able to do what is necessary in the interests of the patient.

  3. Sadaf

    May 1, 2015 at 3:10 AM

    Excellent, eye-opening post! Very well-articulated.
    بَارَكَ اللهُ فِيكَ Shaikh Yawar.

  4. Hibaysh

    May 1, 2015 at 11:07 AM

    “Without understanding application we have the pathetic situation of our children going to school for 15 years and coming out completely innocent of anything remotely useful. Their minds are filled with disconnected pieces of information that are, perhaps, individually useful but because they never learnt the relationships or how to use that information in real life, they lose all interest in the subject itself. In the real world they are completely incapable of survival, let alone being able to influence, guide, command or even earn a decent living. Fifteen years of schooling only puts them on the threshold of another decade of studying to qualify to stand in the line for a job.

    What never ceases to amaze me is how the insanity of it doesn’t strike anyone and we still continue to donate serious amounts of money to the system that does nothing for us. ”

    This. Haqq right there.

    Excellent article, very well put together.

  5. Wajahat

    May 1, 2015 at 2:58 PM

    MashaÁAllah. Good post. May Allah guide us to choose spouse as per the guidelines of beloved prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him), as guardianship of children starts from there. Also we should hold fast tge Book of Allah and Seerah of Prophet and fiqh of deen. Ameen

  6. Haji Abdul Kareem Nandasena

    May 2, 2015 at 9:03 AM

    Kindly permit me to use your articles at our educational forums.
    WasSalaam.
    Haji Abdul Kareem Nandasena – Sri Lanka.

  7. Abdul

    May 2, 2015 at 12:04 PM

    Barrakallah fikm…outstanding article worth everyone’s sight.

  8. mariam

    May 5, 2015 at 11:11 PM

    really good point. May I suggest some real tips to follow. Parenting tips from
    http://www.simpletips4mom.com/?cat=38
    They have some easy to follow project to deal with in the long run the problem with hardening of the heart. May Allah(swt) protect us and our children from that. ameen.
    JazakaAllah khair

  9. Susan Harr

    May 12, 2015 at 4:20 PM

    A deeply thought out article, and expressing many views that I myself hold, though I am not Muslim. As an English teacher of over forty years’ experience, and having had a wonderful, innocent childhood myself, unblighted by this barrage of shallow information and technological wizardry, I really do pity the children of today. I am of a generation which did not even have television – until I was twelve and we got one to watch the Queen’s coronation!

    • Mirza Yawar Baig

      July 27, 2020 at 11:16 PM

      Sadly so-called Old World values have been cast aside. There is no old and new with respect to human values. Manners, respect, compassion, kindness, integrity and courage are all timeless and apply to all of us, Muslim or not. I wish we can convey this in all that we say and more importantly in all that we do. Children (and everyone) listen with their eyes.

  10. Stardusty Psyche

    May 14, 2015 at 9:56 AM

    Brother Mirza,
    Indeed, there is no substitute for one on one parental contact. Not day care, not a babysitter, not after school programs, not a computer, not a smartphone…a human parent.

    There is no substitute.

    Unfortunately, two career families and divorce are the driving forces that lead to outsourcing.

    I would repeal so called no-fault divorce, which is another way of saying groundless divorce. If a couple has minor children they should have to stay married unless there is abusiveness in the house that makes divorce truly the lesser of evils for the child.

    Parental happiness is irrelevant. Parents seem to think they are entitled to personal happiness at the expense of their children. The law says they are. I say they are not.

    Thank you for your article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

..
..
..

Ramadan Video Series

MuslimMatters NewsLetter in Your Inbox

Sign up below to get started

Trending