Tuesday 21 July 2020

Speaking Well of Our Children

 I have been meeting over the last few days with same colleagues at work to talk about whether we need to sponsor a platform for young people locally to share their stories of racism, particularly their experiences at school.  One of the ladies leading on the project is someone I have a lot of respect for because of her knowledge and experience.

In setting out her motivation to be involved with the project, she mentioned the experiences of her own children. She described them as her “four beautiful Black children”. Her description struck me because of how loving it was and her pride in both the children and their being Black.

It got me thinking about how I view my children and how easy it can be to fall back on complaining about your children as a default. I come from a culture that is quick to criticise, make fun of or be disappointed in children, but struggles to celebrate or encourage them. This doesn’t serve anyone – the parents that start to buy into their own narrative about their children being not good enough or the young people who would flourish so much more under our nurturing, encouraging and positive words.

Even done jokingly – in the way mothers often compare notes on whose child is more mischievous or more of a handful, this can feel discouraging to children.

It made me think about being more careful about the language I use about my children, both to others and myself.  Also, about how saying good things to them and about them is part of being grateful to Allah (SWT) for them.

We are our children’s biggest champion and advocates in the world.  We create the image the world has of them, we can open doors for them in doing so and give them a good start with people.

So insh’Allah I need to keep going back to my narrative about them: my beautiful, fierce, Muslim children. May Alah (SWT) keep them safe and protect them from every evil eye and every bad thing insh’Allah I pray that Allah (SWT) uses them for his deen and is pleased with them and us. Ameen.

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