19 Apr Pt. 2 RESPECT SERIES- Raising Respected Muslim Women through Respectful Mother-Daughter Bonds.
PART TWO: PARENTING THROUGH MODELLING. QUIT THE NAME CALLING: 5 WAYS TO MODEL THE RESPECTFUL BEHAVIOUR.
Part one of this series focused on building on respect towards ourselves as mothers in an effort to develop a relationship of respect with our daughters. Understanding our direct influence on the respect that our daughters show others is a significant step in raising Muslim women of good character.
How do you build a respectful relationship with your daughter?
NEVER insult your daughter. She is a trust from Allah, a slave of Allah and other than your daughter she is your ‘sister’ in Islam. If she makes a mistake or even disobeys you, it does not give you the right to call her names and attack her character. Done enough times this will damage her self-esteem. This can raise future bullies, it is called bullying. YOU WILL BE CALLED TO ANSWER BEFORE ALLAH. Yes, through some cultures, this practise is very prevalent. Doesn’t make it okay. Ditch the name calling.
Create an environment in your home where your daughter is comfortable to communicate her opinion and take part in making decisions. You listening to her will, in turn, build a young woman who will be able to respect and listen to your views as she develops and the views of others.
Take the time to understand your daughter’s age and developmental level. For young children a different level of patience and understanding can be required especially through toddlerhood and preschool years where it is still difficult for children to communicate feelings and discomfort. It is okay to hug through a tantrum and later talk about it. You can’t beat fire with fire and you cannot reason with a hungry/ tired small child. For young adolescents and teenagers, it is so easy for us to forget what we were like at that age or even relate due to cultural and societal differences. But, it doesn’t take much to understand the emotional and hormonal rollercoaster that is hormones and try to reason with ruley and impulsive teenage daughters in a respectful manner.
We need to respect ‘no’ from our daughters. This does not mean tolerating disobedience and “no’s” in a sense that your daughter can do whatever she wants. This means tolerating no’s in areas where she has a right to make a choice. For example, asking your daughter to clean up the table and she replies no, this is not okay. But if your daughter (and this varies from babyhood to teens) is not hungry, not cold or not comfortably with kissing or hugging every other aunty, respect her no. This will teach her the concept of consent, give her a sense of self control, and prepare a woman who is able to respect no from others, including you.
Forgive and ask for forgiveness. Just because we are mothers, doesn’t mean we can’t make mistakes, react unfairly or lose our temper. This is what makes a human. But what makes a Muslim is the action of seeking forgiveness, firstly from our Creator and then from those we have wronged, even if that is our daughter. This in turn emulates the behaviour of which all mothers want to see from their daughters when they do something wrong, to repent and ask for forgiveness.
You cannot expect strong trees to grow from a trunk with rotting roots just as we cannot expect to raise empowered Muslim who know what it means to treat others well and be treated well when we as mothers aren’t modeling the behavior.
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If you are in a harmful or toxic relationship, seek help. Please contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you in touch with a network of support services especially for Muslim women, insha Allah.