Kids aren't mind readers, but they are capable of reading our body language
When we hear about the tragedies in the world, or about all of the people and children hurt in the worn-torn countries found all around the world; the millions of children who are starving to death or dying of illnesses ...we each should be much, much more thankful to our Creator for all that we have been blessed with and never, ever forget all those who are suffering in our Du’aa (supplications).
Making Du’aa and remembering all those suffering should be a regular occurrence in our households, and with our families. Our children, with all the available perks in life are completely oblivious to the suffering in the world unless we talk to them about it and remind them that for all that they have there are so many that have nothing. By the same token, we need to give ourselves a harsh reminder as well not to take things - specifically our families for granted, as we so often do.
Our children really need us to be there for them, not just to give them lunch – money or pay their allowances.... but to be their rock in the shakable and unsteady world they live in. Most importantly, we need to show them by words and actions, that we love them – at every opportunity we get.
A single action can say, and mean, a lot
We all have clear and concise memories of our parents – clear into our adulthood. We remember what they did, what they said, how they acted, even how they said things... and we also vividly recall what they didn't do or say. Sometimes just a single action in a particular moment can say, and mean a lot to a child, including and especially a teenager. Teenagers and tweens care a lot more about what we, their parent, think, than they would like to let on. So, while they may act like they could care less, there should be no doubt whatsoever that they care immensely.
Some kids, if they do not get adequate positive attention, act out with undesirable behavior to get any attention in any way possible even if it is negative attention from Mom or Dad. Something is always better than nothing, or not enough. Make the time, you may not have it later as we live our lives and get caught up in our own dramas, we often forget that our lives here are only temporary.
At any given time, Allah Almighty forbid it for us, there could be a car accident, a burglary gone bad, an indiscriminate drive-by shooting or let's face it a hate crime committed against any person in our family. People pass away from house-hold accidents every day and then there is illness, which could strike any one of us. These circumstances are all beyond our control and are real.
Because we live with such uncertainty and because we must realize and make our children also understand that they are not invisible... we must make the time to spend with our family and show them we love them; not tomorrow, but today - right now, this moment, because we may not have that time later.
We all have the habit of putting things off, publicly and privately. It is easier, life is busy, and there never is enough time in a day. However, we should take notice to never procrastinate with our love. We cannot afford to take time for granted when it comes to our religion or our family. Time spent on these two vital aspects of our lives is valuable time that is been very well spent.
Start with a hug
I know some of you may not have been raised in a home that displayed affection and the thought of it, the action itself, may be awkward and a little strange. But even if you didn't receive it as a child, know that your children need it from you. Hugging is a whole lot easier than you think, and once you get in the habit of doing it several times per day, it will become natural and a comfort to you and your children.
Comfort in a cuddle!
I make Du’aa that, if haven't already, you begin today by giving your kids a hug each day and tell them you love and care for them. It is such a comfort for a child, or wife or close friend for that matter, to be held close and enclosed in loving arms.
For anyone who may be skeptical about it, you should ask yourself why it seems scary to you. The Prophet Muhammad was known to be very affectionate and caring towards his children and he is our best example and role model as is featured in the following Hadeeth: Abu Salamah related that Abu Hurayrah said: "The Prophet of Allah kissed Hasan ibn ‘Ali while Aqra` ibn Habis was sitting nearby. Aqra` said, `I have ten children and have never kissed one of them.' The Prophet looked at him and said, `Those who show no mercy will be shown no mercy"' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
After you have mulled that over for a while, then ask yourself: what do you really have to lose?