Ask about Parenting – Counseling Session

Salamu alaykum dear brothers and sisters,

We would like to thank you for joining us in this Counseling Session.

We would like also to thank our counselor, sister Hannah for answering the questions.

Find answers below.

Feel free to send your questions to [email protected]

The service is completely anonymous


Q:

My toddler is 3 years old and he has a speech delay. Because of the coronavirus outbreak, he spends most of his time at home.

 I need him to go to a nursery to help him improve his speech but I’m worried that he might be infected with COVID-19.

 Is it safe for him to go to the nursery or it is better give him in- house sessions to help him speak properly?

A:

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

I understand that you are concerned about your son’s speech delay and feel attending nursery would give him the chance to catch up. However, at the same time you are concerned about the COVID-19 risk. This leaves you in a bit of a dilemma about what to do.

My first suggestion is that you seek medical advice regarding his delay as there are many different causes for speech delay that may need medical intervention.

For example, a cause of speech delay can be auditory issues. Either way, you doctor can refer you to have all the relevant testing for your son to see if there is an underlying cause that can be resolved in the necessary way.

It may even be that there is no reason for the delay at all and he will catch up in his own time. Keep in mind the speed of development varies from child to child and a delay does not always indicate a problem.

This will also help you to decide if sending him to nursery genuinely would be a good approach to take to help boost is language skills. He may also be offered speech therapy. Here you would get professional help from someone experienced in dealing with cases like your sons.

Aside from sending him to nursery to help him with his speech, there are other benefits to this. In a nursery, your son will be amongst other children his age and it will help him to develop social skills as well as giving him a new environment which will also help him with psychological and emotional skills too. However, given the current COVID-19 situation, this also comes at potentially added risk.

To assess the level of risk specific to your son, take a look at the incidence in your local area and the precautions that are being taken by the nursery. Talk to other parents too to find out about their experiences of sending their child to nursery and what they would advise too. This will help you to make an informed decision about how safe it is to send your son to nursery.

If you feel that the risks outweigh the benefits, then there are other ways you can support your son with his speech, as well as having social interactions in a smaller and more controlled environment. To help with his speech, you can get advice from other parents as well as speech therapists and books to guide you through exercises you can do with him to support his speech. With social interactions reduced at this time, it is possible to get this support from online sources.

Otherwise, you can support your son in social activities by arranging small get togethers with other parents who have children of the same age and allow them to play together within the confines and rules of the country in which you reside. This way he will get to have at least some level of social interactions that will be beneficial for his language development as well as social development too.

May Allah guide you to make the decision that will be best for your son and may He make it easy for you as you support him in overcoming his language delay.


Q:

As-salamu Alaikum,

Please I need you advice, my children ( 9 years and 6 years) will return back to school this week , can you give me tips to prepare them for the new school year? 

A:

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

This is a concern that all parents are going through right now as their children have either returned to school, or will be returning soon. You are not alone in the current worries that you face.

Alhamdulilah, you are doing the right thing though by trying to prepare them ahead of time so that it doesn’t come as too much of a shock when they return.

The first thing to do is to connect with the school if you haven’t already to find out what special measures they have, or will be putting in place to manage the current situation. This will enable you to support them specifically in relation to their own school. This way you will be able to let them know exactly how things will be on their return.

In terms of your own support in preparing them, there are 3 key area to focus on.

The first is the more practical measures. Educate them on the importance of cleanliness. Let them know that they should be washing and sanitizing their hands frequently, coughing sneezing intonthe croon of the arm.. Etc.. .

This is a practice you can begin to enforce at home to ensure they are comfortably into the routine before even getting to school. Also help them to understand why they should do this and why it’s important. This will make them more likely to implement this in their daily routine.

The next step regards social interactions and the importance of maintaining a safe distance. Again, educating them about why this should be practised will help them to take it more seriously.

Talk about ways that they can still interact with others without getting so close. Also address the matter that just because you can’t be close to or touch others like they did before, it doesn’t mean they don’t like each other or can’t be friends.

Finally, support them and prepare them for the psychological aspect. Things will be different. The school will be different. Things will be done in a different way. Interactions will be less and different.

So much change can be difficult for anyone to deal with, especially children. By being completely transparent from the beginning they can make mental preparations for what they will have to face which may ease the anxiety a bit for them. However, also let them know that it may make them feel sad and worried and that they should talk to you if they are having a hard time.

Having that option available to them will also help to ease their worries too in knowing that you are always there to support them. Do also continue to ask them how they are doing regularly once they return to school.

This way you will be able to tackle any difficulties they are going through from the very beginning and find a way to sooth the situation.

May Allah reward your concern for your children and may He keep them and you safe during these difficult times. May He make their return to school a joyful one in continued good health.


Q:

Salamu Alaikum. Please my husband lost his job 3 years ago. And I have been the one providing for the family and our children. He doesn’t go out to look for sustenance even if we are hungry. I want to go back to my family pending when he can take care of us again. Is this allowed in Islam? And what if he refuses what should I do?

A:

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

That is a very difficult situation for you to be in. Of course Islamically he is supposed to be the one taking care of you in terms of providing for the family. You are allowed to help him out financially, but you are not obliged.

It is unfortunate that you are in a situation you feel like you almost must be the one to keep working in order to provide for the family. This is not an ideal situation to be. However, it does happen at times and it is up to the couple to decide how they move forward.

You have the idea that it could be a good idea for you to move back with your parents until he can find a way to be taking care of you again. If your husband agrees and it is Islamically correct, then I think this could be a good way to get things moving in the right direction.

However, before you take this step there a few things you should clarify first. I’d recommend doing these things to be sure that you are doing what’s best for everyone, that everyone is on board, and most importantly that it is acceptable according to Islam.

Therefore, the first step you should take is to get scholarly advice on the matter to see if this is acceptable to do so. If it is not, then you should let go of the thought of doing this and try to fix things within the home. If it is acceptable then this could be an option to consider.

Either way, the next step following this would be to discuss the matter with your husband. If he is agreeable to the same then perhaps this is the right thing for you to do in giving you both the space to focus on what’s most important; he on seeking employment and you on taking care of the children (as well as working if this is necessary also). If he is not agreeable to this option then things may be more difficult.

Regardless of his own thoughts on this option, you might consider why it is that for all this time he has been unwilling to seek employment. Is it that he is just being lazy? Or is he suffering from some kind of mental health problems, or anything else that might be stopping him from searching for work.

This will also determine the way in which you bring the matter to him. If he is being lazy, then he needs a push and to be told that what he is doing is not acceptable. If he is suffering with mental health problems or otherwise, then he will need your support.

If this is the case also, you may want to think twice about going to leave to live with your parents as this move may only reinforce any negative feelings he already has towards himself and make the matter worse.

The latter may be quite difficult to determine, especially if he is of the belief that mental health problems are a taboo matter not too be discussed. However, having known him before he lost his job, you will know yourself what his work ethic was.

Until he lost his job, was he working hard and dedicated to his work? Why did he lose his job? Was it because he was being lazy at work? Or there was some other reason?

If it is that he was always well committed to his work and performing well until he lost his job, then this may point to something more serious regarding his lack of motivation to seek work and will require your support, both emotionally and perhaps practically to in terms of helping him to find jobs.

If it was that he lost his job due to laziness, or that he had issues holding down a job previously, then he really needs to get himself together for the sake of the family. In this case, a move to your parents might be that wake-up call to do just that.

If it takes too much time, then maybe you could ask someone close to him or even from your families such as your father or brother if you have one to talk to him about it and encourage him.

If the latter is the route you take as a result of laziness, then maybe you will give him a certain time frame to get things together so you are not left waiting for him to do something about the situation. Being away from him with your parents will give you that space to contemplate the same. Likewise for him whilst he considers the consequences of his lack of action.

May Allah make it easy for you during these challenging times and may He guide you to do what is best for your family and most pleasing to Him.


Q:

As’selamu Aleykum Werahmetulahi Weberekathu,

I have a 1 year & 4 months old baby boy and would like to shape him the right way (Islamically) possible in the upbringing process. How can I do that? Can you please give me a heads up on how to start?

Thanks,

A:

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

Masha Allah, you have done the right thing in contemplating this very important issue at an early stage in your children’s lives. Some people may argue that they are too young to be concerned about such things, it the truth is that it is best to get on top of these things from a young age rather than seeing them go astray later in childhood and adolescence and regret not taking care of their Islamic upbringing from an early age.

What people may get confused about is that at this early age, its not necessary to be strict and complicated in what you teach your children but to approach it in an age appropriate manner. This will ensure that not only do you raise them in the best way, but that you do not push them away from the path of Islam too.

At this young age, the best way you can shape them the right way is to be a good role model and practicing Islam proudly and openly in front of them every day.

At this stage, it wouldn’t be expected that they would actually start saying or doing anything Islamic, but for them to see it practiced daily will engrain it in their minds that this is the way of life. Over time they will pick small things up.

When you see them doing something positive then reward them with verbal praise. This let’s them know that they are doing the right thing and they will be more likely to replicate this behaviour again and again.

Furthermore, even though it is not necessary to say duas out loud when in their presence you might do so so that they can pick up on the smallest phrases. For example, saying Bismillah before eating.

Otherwise, make sure to be training them to do certain things that can easily be implemented from a young age such as eating with the right hand, using the toilet properly.. Etc.. This will have them establish the correct way of doing things according to Islam before they can get into the wrong habits the can be difficult to break, especially if they become exposed to non Islamic ways to do things later in life.

Another thing to do is to be in the company of other Muslims and encourage your children to play with theirs so that they can be exposed to others who live the same lifestyle as you do. It can sometimes be difficult for children to feel different to others when they live somewhere where not everyone is a Muslim or where they are not practising so to be able to spend time with other Muslim children like themselves can provide that reassurance that there are others like them as well as giving you the reassureance that they are in the company of good people.

These are some things you can do in the very early years, but as they grow older you would take a more active approach in teaching them. The important thing is not push them too hard, or against their will making Islam something undesirable. By implementing these things early in their lives it will make the next step in their development easier for them and you.

May Allah reward your concern to raise your children on the straight path. May He guide them on that path and make them the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next and upstanding pillars of the community.

Sunday, Sep. 13, 2020 | 12:00 - 13:00 GMT

Session is over.