Parenting (General) - Sheikh Vinay Khetia

We had the pleasure of listening to Sheikh Vinay Khetia talk about parenting… here are the notes on general parenting/early years. Inshallah will share his notes on the second stage of parenting (8 to 14 years) tomorrow!

Sheikh Vinay Khetia – Talk on Parenting

General Parenting:

Sura Tahrim – ayah 6 (66:6): “O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones.” – Thus this is our main priority when parenting.

Children are a fitna (test) as well as a joy. We parents become an invitation towards Allah (da’aat Allah). We want our children to have pride in our religion – very different to pride in ourselves.

Sayyid Sistani says a mother plays a unique role in imparting stories through love – the relationship is different to a fathers. This connection needs to be capitalised upon and time spent with children:

* Establish a love of Allah in their hearts – talk about miracles and the wonderful creation of Allah
*Use these stories and examples from the Prophets/Aimmah/Ulema – make them the lexicon of your family:

1. Prophets

Suggested resources:
God’s Emissaries (book by Rozwan Arastu)
Many children’s books out there

2. Aimmah

Suggested resources:
Voice of Human Justice (about Imam Ali): https://www.al-islam.org/voice-human-justice-sautul-adalati…
Baqir Sheriff Qureishi: https://www.al-islam.org/person/baqir-shareef-al-qurashi

3. Ulema

Suggested resources:
Ayatullah Khomeini: https://www.al-islam.org/rays-of-the-sun-eighty-three-stori…
Allama Tabatabai: https://www.al-islam.org/eternal-manifestations-80-stories-…

*Read these stories at bedtime (instead of the other fairytales, etc). Also encourage children to talk to the Imam at bedtime, and end with Dua Faraj. As much as possible, protect them from other influences/examples.
* Bring everything back to Allah and divine principles – for example, go to the library and connect it with Allah’s commandment to Read (Iqra)
*Make it fun and developmentally appropriate – through puppet shows, drawings, skits, etc as when they are young, God is too abstract to understand simply through discussion (best understood after 14/15 years of age)

It is very important to establish foundation of faith, as without it, nothing we do is worth anything. Biggest losers in quran:

Say: Shall We inform you of the greatest losers in (their) deeds?
(These are) they whose labor is lost in this world’s life and they think that they are well versed in skill of the work of hands.
These are they who disbelieve in the communications of their Lord and His meeting, so their deeds become null, and therefore We will not set up a balance for them on the day of resurrection.
Sura Kahf 103-105

Parenting is the first line of teachers. 3 M’s are just icing on the cake: Masjid-Mimbar-Madressa

Parents need to be higher in (religious) education than their kids – if they find a lack in their knowledge and an inability to answer questions, they should go and take classes and learn. This way they will also build up a resource and support structure so that they have somewhere to go and ask if stuck.

Teaching kids Salaah:
3 – La Ilaha Illah
3 years 7 months – Mohd Rasulullah
4 – Sallahu Alayhi Wali Mohd
5 – teach them right and left, Qibla, Sajdah
6 – all stages of Salaah
9- Wudhu & Salaah

Overall our spiritual responsibilities (which is 80% – physical, secular education, etc is only 20%) to our children are:

To impart:
Sound belief
Fulfilment of Religious Obligations
Good character

To protect from:
Sins
Bad habits
Bad peers

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