One of the biggest issues parents have is why does my child not listen to me. Not just that, I want them to listen to me without having to shout and I want them to listen to me out of respect and not fear (although I’ll take fear if that’s what’s on offer! lol).
Let’s take a look into your child’s mind when they are not listening to us…..
Their behaviour is resistance (silent or overtly).
The feelings behind that resistance is ‘I don’t want to do what you’re telling me’. Why?
The belief behind the feelings is often ‘You can’t make me’.
This is the long-aged battle of CONTROL. When I coach teenagers, they say to me that they often break the rules because it’s a rule. I then ask, was it a good rule? They pause and say yes.
So I then ask, well if it’s good for you, why do you break the rule? ‘Because I don’t want to be controlled’.
My dear sisters, your child has been given free-will by Allah. They can choose to listen and they can choose not to listen. It might be good for them to listen, but they still have a choice. When a child feels that their free-will is compromised, they naturally resist.After all, it’s their God-given right!
But when you talk to a child as you do an adult, with respect (speaking nicely and not in a pushy way) maybe even explaining why you want something, they are much more likely to listen because their choice was respected and they didn’t need to enter the power struggle with you.
So next time, you want your child to take action, speak to them with the same respect you speak to your husband and other adults and watch the ‘magic’ unfold.
When the pressure is off, they have a space to reflect on what you are saying and much more likely to listen. From that space, you can even discuss it with them and see why they are still resisting. Its an open space.
That’s not to say that your child should decide on everything they do. For example, sleepovers are a ‘no’ in our family but we explained our reasons to our children and gave them a choice to suggest an alternative. If we could manage the alternative, then that was ideal. However, if we could not, then at least our children understood our reason. One key point here is make the reason for saying no for their safety and because it’s our family’s values. Be cautious when they are young that and you make the reason for saying no connected to being a Muslim as they may grow to resent a religion that just keeps on saying no. However, as they reach puberty it is important for children to clearly understand the boundaries which our deen has set for us and them.
So remember, next time that you want to ask your children to do something, speak to them with the same respect that you show others and remind yourself that they too have free-will and you want them to make the right choice without feeling forced.