by Iram Shaukat
Suddenly the entire world has been threatened with a common enemy that does not distinguish between race and class. The world at large is being educated about what’s happening and humans all over the world have stepped up to mission survival.
Alhamdulilallah for our capability and capacity to overcome fear and work towards problem solving and getting results, however, the struggle is real. We, as parents, have to face the present uncertainties and fears with a conscious approach that our actions and reactions will directly affect our teenagers at home.
Homeschooling or not, we’re all home with our teens, or, young adults. We are all affected by this, as homeschoolers don’t really stay home.
We are missing our tutoring, classes, sports, co-ops, etc. because of the pandemic.
Staying home is hard for us too! Alhemdulilah a8la kuli hal.
Tip 1 – Don’t live in fear
We’re living at a scary time. It’s easy to be afraid.
The problem is that it’s hard to have a healthy relationship with our teens if we live in fear. It’s hard to function, period, if we live in fear.
We must trust in Allah SWT.
“And upon Allah rely, if you should be believers”[al-Maa’idah 5:23]
Tip 2 – Practice Mindfulness
In order to have a healthy relationship with our teen we should strive to –
- Be mindful of our own habits first; change the bad to good
- Consciously and mindfully lead a life of high morale as best as possible, because our teens will follow suit.
Tip 3 – Focus on priorities
We need to focus on our supporting our teen’s need for –
- Truth – by studying the religion. Use your Quran and books you have at home.
- Health – by allowing them to exercise in the way that they’d (practice social distancing).
- Emotion – by allowing them to freely express themselves whenever they’d like
- Education – by providing them with resources and information, while being guided from you
Have a heart to heart conversation with your teen. This act, in and of itself, will help you discover who your teen is and what their needs are.
Point out positive aspects about the current situation and actively listen to your teen. Sometimes all he needs is a listening ear and someone to understand his desires.
This act will help you create a stress-free environment, which is necessary during this trial of pandemic. InshAllah.
Tip 4 – Develop an attitude of gratitude
Teach your teen how to be grateful, by being grateful yourself. Explain to your teen how important it is to thank our Lord for our blessings.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Gratitude may be in the heart, in submission and humility; on the tongue, in praise and acknowledgement; and in the physical faculties, by means of obedience and submission.Madaarij al-Saalikeen (2/246)
Supporting Activity – Start a Gratitude Board or Gratitude Journal with your teen
A great idea is to start writing in the same journal or on a gratitude board, dating each entry, and then reading each other’s entry.
And, as always, use what you have. You can always be frugal and just staple paper together.
To be grateful is part of our religion, and when we’re grateful, Allah SWT will give us more.
“Therefore remember Me (by praying, glorifying). I will remember you, and be grateful to Me (for My countless favors on you) and never be ungrateful to Me”[2:152]
This practice will help our children understand that all good is from Allah SWT and we need to be grateful for it. InshAllah.
This will help you and your teen realize and focus on the blessings during this trying time. Our inward thoughts will translate into our outward actions, and hence, a rhythm of gratitude in mind, heart, and body begin to flow, channeling positivity within us and in our environment. InshAllah.
Tip 5 – Wash away negative thoughts the way you wash your hands for 20 seconds all day 🙂
We keep hearing about washing our hands for 20 seconds to wash away bacteria, to protect ourselves from coronavirus (Just for the record, I’ve been washing my hands before coronavirus appeared.) 😉
Imagine doing this ‘washing’ act with our negative thoughts.
Negativity is a disease. We must work to rid of this disease and focus on the good.
Also, just as we model washing hands, we must mindfully develop the habit of gratitude within us, so that we can become role models for our children. InshAllah.
Supporting Activity/How To
We must try our best to point out the good in everything we see. This includes with our own teens! We must try to
- always approach them with a kind and cheerful attitude.
- be friendly and compassionate towards them
- put up with them; showing forbearance and patience towards them at hardship
- refrain from being arrogant towards them or mistreating them
- avoid being harsh and angry with them or being critical towards them
In other words, striving to be like RasulAllah SAW who was the best example of this with ALL people.
May Allah SWT make us of those who follow the prophet SAW. Ameen.
The children of the world will face trials. Our children need us to see the positive in the trials so that they will do the same when they’re older.
This will help them for their future, inshAllah!
May Allah SWT Protect us all from all of the fitna. Ameen.
Tip 6 – Increase in your acts of Ibadah
During a pandemic, the best thing to do is increase in acts of ibadah. Your teens will see you and follow your lead, inshAllah.
With Ramadan around the corner, we have a beautiful opportunity to reconnect with Allah SWT, inshAllah.
Allahuma Balagna Ramadan. Ameen.
- Pray together as a family.
- Study Quran and Islamic Studies books that you already own.
- Create a Thikr culture in the house. You can play Thikr on YouTube so that your teen will subconsciously repeat after it, even under her breath.
- Sign up for Islamic online courses – Study religious courses together. Many websites are now offering free courses because of the recent pandemic.
This is what we’ve been created for, after all, to worship Allah SWT.
“And I (Allaah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)”[al-Dhaariyaat 51:56]
This will also help us and our teens prepare for Ramadan, inshAllah.
Tip 7 – Focus on life skills
Now that we’re all home, it is a great opportunity to focus on life skills. Try out at least one life skill.
We are focusing on cooking as a life skill right now, as I believe it is an important life skill we can pass on to our children.
Teens are young adults. They are more than capable of doing the work of an adult, if not even better. 🙂
Examples of life skills –
- Basic cooking skills
- Budgeting and money management skills
- Personal healthcare knowledge
- Good social skills and manners
- Auto maintenance skills
- Essential domestic skills
- Work skills and basic responsibility
Youre providing your teen with something that a book can never teach. InshAllah.
Tip 8 – Attend online classes together
There are tons of online free classes that both the parent and teen can be enrolled in simultaneously. There are many free options because of coronavirus pandemic.
Choose on item below, depending upon what you and your teen may enjoy together as an activity.
- Art class
- Foreign language
- Physical fitness
And the list goes on.
You will grow together inshAllah. If you’re not a homeschooling family, this is an opportunity to observe how your teen responds to teachers and online learning.
Your young adult will also gain confidence when she helps teach you a concept that you’re struggling with! This, in hand, will boost her self-esteem and confidence.
Tip 9 – Play games together
Games are not just for young children!
Here are a few FREE games to play with your teens –
- Twenty questions
Don’t forget to play games that you already own!
Find new FREE games online to play with your Teen
Mom Junction offers Education games for Teens. Below is an example of a fun one!
Making Sentences – From Mom Junction
Making sentences is a simple yet effective game that develops your teen’s language skills. The game can last between 30 minutes and an hour.
Number of participants:
Minimum – 2, Maximum – 10
You will need:
- Sheets of paper
This game requires a lot of preparation.
- Look up sentences with words that you want your children to learn.
- Jumble the sentences and start writing down the unique words randomly on the sheet of paper.
- Ensure that the words are spelled correctly and are written clearly so that all the participants understand. Make copies so that each participant gets one.
- Include articles, prepositions, conjunctions and other words that your teen would need to form sentences.
- Make an exhaustive list of sentences that can be created with the words on the paper.
How to play:
- Give your participants a pen, two sheets of blank paper and the sheet with the words.
- Players have to form as many sentences as they can in 30 minutes.
- In the end, the player with the highest number of meaningful and grammatically correct sentences scores the highest.
- You can also form teams of two if you have more people.
Making Sentences is a great FREE game that lets teenagers experiment with language. It makes them think about the different ways a word can be used in a sentence and builds their writing skills. InshAllah.
Benefits of play for teens
Allowing your teen the time to play encourages creative thinking, addresses his desire for greater independence and ownership in his learning, and fosters a good familial relationship, inshAllah.
Playing together as family helps relieve stress and strengthens the bond as a family.
Tip 10 – Take a hike
Go where the humans aren’t (#socialdistancing). If your area is complete shutdown, go out in the yard and/or deck.
You can also do workouts at home using YouTube, but bear in mind that many of the people on there don’t cover their awrah. Try to only find teachers who are covered.
Here’s one option!
Your little lady will have so much fun following this lovely lady, mashAllah, Allahuma Barik!
Frequently Asked Questions
What if my child only wants to play video games?
Nothing changes overnight and we are in a difficult circumstance, so it’s ok if they play more often than usual, however set boundaries and communicate them clearly.
What if my teen doesn’t want to spend time with us?
Again, setting boundaries and limitations is a key to a harmonious household, inshAllah. For example, you can establish that your teen always does the following with family – salaat, meals, studying Islam, family conversations. Pick your priorities and don’t give your teen an option.
May Allah Subhanahu Wa Tala grant our sick complete shifa and our healthy to be safe and remain healthy. Ameen.
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