Abdullah bin Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
“Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects. A man is the guardian of his family and he is responsible for them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and his children and she is responsible for them. The servant of a man is a guardian of the property of his master and he is responsible for it. Surely, every one of you is a shepherd and responsible for his flock.”
[Sahih Bukhari 6719, Sahih Muslim 1829]
Bringing up children they say is one of the toughest jobs, yet parents are more and more frustrated at seeing there is little training for the huge task. If you happen to acquire certain skills from your own upbringing through your own parents, at least there is a good chance to use those skills in aiding you in your own endeavour.
There are various organisations now who help can help parents acquire various skills, as most parents do not have the necessary skills in dealing with tantrums, or teenage issues or as such. Yes, parents have the basic skills like feeding and hygiene and for some even in these matters they need help in. Nutrition and Hygiene are very important baseline factors for which some parents due to financial constraints find it difficult to cope with. We must not forget and need to include the emotional upbringing of the children also.
All that being said, it seems that there is a divide and it all appears to be black and white, that either you have them or you do not. Objectively speaking and through experience in dealing with family issues I can quite honestly say that this is not the case, as parents are individuals and they have their own way in trying to cope and seek help, coupled with their life experience and the knowledge gained through their own upbringing, most parents do a very good job. I must say here, even though society is pushing toward a “robotic workforce elite”, where people are coerced due to financial issues, parents still belief in the traditional way of things where the mother is the home-maker and the father the provider. This still paves way for parents to seek ways in improving their career in bringing up children which in my opinion is the best career in the world.
A person who is serious is wanting to develop their skills in whatever endeavour they choose is a responsible and mature person indeed. A person who has anger issues, meaning they are extreme in their reaction to things who seeks help in anger management, the person who has a drug problem seeking rehabilitation for example are just two responsible and ethical endeavours. But when it comes to needing skills in parenting, most shy away from seeking this help for fear of reprisals from their OWN family laughing at them, as if the ones laughing are the best parents in the world.
I do agree however that any further skill-sets can only better our job as parents so it should be embraced rather than scorned. Due to childrens’ mindsets, “heartsets” and emotional changes, parents have to up their game. We cannot use the same upbringing skills on a 12 year old as we do on a 5, 6, 7 years old. So we need to learn the skills so that we can adapt for the benefit of ourselves, after all we do hope they would take care of us in our old age as we have taken care of them in young years. Children need boundaries, love and discipline in large equal doses. They need creativity not just mundane tasks, they need to search and find frogs and newts, find birds nest, go fishing get muddy, fall over and learn to get back up again. They need to be praised with love when they do their studies or house chores, (which incidentally should start at a very young age if they are to learn home and life skills), and when they are reprimanded explained to as to why they are, they need to learn responsibility and accountability for the betterment of their own emotional content.
We as Muslims not only fall into the categories above, but have a head start with the deen of Allah subhanu wa ta’ala, and the Sunnah of Rasulallah peace be upon him. If we adhere to this and inculcate it to our children, learn parenting from the Sunnah, and supplement some modes of skills from modern society, I think we would raise our standard of not only ourselves and be better parents but also the standard of our children to be the future of world, in shaa Allah.