When kids find it hard to get what they want, they go to “fairy land”, where magic and fairies (or other grown-ups) grant them their wishes. Unfortunately, they learn this irresponsible technique from the grown-ups around them. Even parents, when they do not get what they want, go to the “fairy land” of wishing for a winning big money, drawing a big prize and having more luck, so it is really no wonder their kids do exactly the same. They justify their unhappiness as bad luck or blame someone else for it.
Thus it is very important to educate our kids to be a REAL Muslim Kids.
I agree there is some benefit in developing the imagination with wishes and dreams, but it is very important for kids (and parents) to understand we have the responsibility to create our own luck by actively working towards our goals. If kids want to have friends, they need to do something about it. If kids want to be successful at school, they need to do something about it. If kids want to be able to swim, they need to do something about it. When kids do not wait for things to fall from the sky onto their lap and know they have to go actively looking for them, they are empowered. And their parents are there to help them succeed.
Ask your kids this question:
“If I could help you achieve 3 things in the next 3 months what would they be?”
Let them speak their mind. Listen to their words. This is the time where we can hear more of our child from their inner thoughts, which we parents often neglect. Insya Allah, our kids will be more open when they realize that we acknowledge and respect their say.
- Adjust the question to the right age. Remember the emphasis is on “helping THEM get what THEY want”
- Make sure your kids ask for something THEY want and not something they believe you want to hear. If you suspect this is the case, ask them “Why did you choose this?” or “What will you get if you do this?”
- Do not belittle any desire or they will keep some desires away from you
- Hold yourself back from doing the job for them. Remember you are not the genie. You are just helping them move towards something they want
- Every process of going forward has some setbacks. You want your kids to learn the process. Talk to them about the progress, the movement, the improvement, not about being 100% successful. As long as they are moving forward, they ARE successful
- Encourage your kids to write their current goals down somewhere to allow both of you to see them and read them in the next 3 months. If your kids are too young to write, they can draw or cut and paste pictures from a magazine
- Remember to write the date on each of the goal statements, drawings and collages and keep them as memorabilia