Sunday, May 22, 2005

Raising childern as better citizens by Mrs Ilyas [...] The real question is not what values, what civic and religious ideals to pass onto our children but how to translate them into their daily routine. We as parents must ourselves be role models; we ourselves must first set our own limitations. For children to understand what it means to be Muslim, we at first need to be one too. We need to put the basic practices in home. Children may be guided by what the parents say, but it is parent's deeds and actions that will have greater impact on them. We must understand ourselves the meaning of a Muslim. It means first to believe in Allah, Creator and Sustainer of all people and universe. The Quran tells us that Humanity was not created in idle sport it was created with just ends, to serve Allah. Also Quranic teachings tell us that service to Allah cannot be separated from service to mankind. These are two basic principles our lives should focus upon. And these are the principles we must bear in our minds when we train our children. There are certainly no guarantees but with these principles in mind the parents can expose their children to global Islamic values and help them in applying and integrating these in daily life:
  1. Children must be encouraged to think rationally. Even Quran does not appeal emotionally to its followers but encourages argument, thinking through observation and reflection.
  2. Children should know their rights and responsibilities as stated in Quran encompassing both local and global arena.
  3. Children should learn volunteering- at home by helping their parents, brothers, sisters, and in the community by helping neighbors, sharing their time with elderly, visiting sick and sharing resources with others.
  4. Children should learn to respect and value relations, by showing humility and love to the closed ones. Let them show their generosity by sharing their things, let them express their feelings; encourage them to return the love through own participation like buying gifts themselves.
  5. Children should learn tolerance. It means resolving conflicts through fair words, not clenched fists. It means listening to others, developing self esteem, be a team player, have good manners and show civility.
  6. Children should learn to participate actively in globalization process to understand the implications of living together in world community. Educational Exchange programmes must be introduced to foster respect for other's tradition.
These are some of the ways we can raise responsible future citizens of the world. While there is lot more we can do, these things can at least give us a start and hope that our world will be a better place tomorrow and the seeds that we sow today will bear fruits tomorrow.
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